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Results of $1,000 tower speaker evaluation

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 
Over at Home Theater Shack, Sonnie and crew did a massive evaluation of $1,000/pair tower speakers and the ARX A5 won.

Speakers in the evaluation:

Magnepan MG12,
Tekton Model Lore,
Vandersteen 2Ce,
Focal Chorus 716v,
HTD Level THREE,
MartinLogan Motion 12,
Klipsch RF-62 ll,
Arx A5


The write-up is massive. I haven't read it all, but this was a major undertaking. See all the results at:
http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/two-channel-audio/69421-official-1-000-speaker-evaluation-home-audition-event-results.html

Edit: P.S. Please ignore commsysman's comments below. He can't read, isn't telling the truth, and seems to have an axe to grind.
Edited by BarnacleBill - 9/8/13 at 2:01pm
post #2 of 116
Very comprehensive review.

Interesting that all of those speakers could have benefited from subs at 80hz in that room. Just some more than others.
post #3 of 116
First of all, the ARX speakers came in NEXT TO LAST in that test, with only 5% of the subjects voting for them. This is obvious to anyone who reads the test results.

This does not surprise me; they suck compared to the top speakers in the group, which each received around 20% of the vote.

The people who did that test certainly thought so too. How you can look at those results and think the ARX speakers were anything but the WORST escapes me!

The Vandersteen, Focal and Klipsch speakers were actually the top-rated speakers according to the test result.

Also I would like to know where you can buy Vandersteen 2Ce speakers for $1000? The price is $2595 per pair. They are IMO the best speakers in your list, by far. Anyone that thinks the ARX speakers are even close needs a hearing test.

IMO the best speakers you can buy for anything close to $1000 per pair are the PSB Image T6 speakers, which run $1395 per pair. I had them for two years and nothing comes close in that price range.

Both The Absolute Sound and Stereophile claim they are the best in their class and have made them their speakers for "Recommended System" articles.

The ARX speakers are a VERY inferior product for their price, which is exactly what these test results show.
Edited by commsysman - 9/8/13 at 7:40am
post #4 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

First of all, the ARX speakers came in NEXT TO LAST, with only 5% of the subjects voting for them. This is obvious to anyone who reads the test results.

This does not surprise me; they suck compared to the top speakers in the group, which each received around 20% of the vote.

The people who did that test certainly thought so too. How you can look at those results and think the ARX speakers were anything but the WORST escapes me!

The Vandersteen, Focal and Klipsch speakers were actually the top-rated speakers according to the test result.

Also I would like to know where you can buy Vandersteen 2Ce speakers for $1000? The price is $2595 per pair. They are IMO the best speakers in your list, by far. Anyone that thinks the ARX speakers are even close needs a hearing test.

IMO the best speakers you can buy for anything close to $1000 per pair are the PSB Image T6 speakers, which run $1395 per pair.

Both The Absolute Sound and Stereophile claim they are the best in their class and have made them their speakers for "Recommended System" articles.

The ARX speakers are a VERY inferior product for their price, which is exactly what these test results show.

Maybe you should actually read the thread and the results part.....
post #5 of 116
I certainly did read the whole thing. Maybe YOU need to.

The results clearly state that only 5.37% of the test subjects voted the ARX the best speaker, while around 20% voted for the Vandersteen, Focal, and Klipsch speakers.

You find that hard to understand?

I find it ridiculous that experienced people could not get the Vandersteens set up properly, since there are ten pages of detailed setup instructions in the Vandersteen manual. Something smells there.

The fact that they decided that the ARX speakers were the ones they would buy is a bad joke. It completely ignores the strongly expessed opinion of the listeners who ranked the speakers.

I have listened to them and they suck. The test panel obviously agreed, since they rated them so low.

The only explanation I can come up with is that the people who made that decision have a vested interest in promoting the ARX speakers.

It is a FACT that the Vandersteen 2 speakers are the best-selling hi-end speaker of all time. Stereophile wrote an article on Vandersteen which documents that fact, if you want to check it out.

Their comments on the Vandersteen sound quality are completely ridiculous It calls the whole article into complete disrepute.

It is like saying that a Porsche 911 accelerates poorly and handles badly; It totally flies in the face of well-documented FACTS!!
Edited by commsysman - 9/8/13 at 8:11am
post #6 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I certainly did read the whole thing. Maybe YOU need to.

The results clearly state that only 5.37% of the test subjects voted the ARX the best speaker, while around 20% voted for the Vandersteen, Focal, and Klipsch speakers.

You find that hard to understand?

That was a poll of what forum members thought might win the shootout.

And the article explains the Vandersteens were secondhand for that price so were included in the comparison.

Calm down, take a deep breath, then read the article. rolleyes.gif
post #7 of 116
The poll was for the HTS members who were guessing which speaker the tester would end up choosing. Here is the results thread which shows how the ARX and ML were the top two speakers and the ARX was the one the tester ended up preferring.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/two-channel-audio/69421-official-1-000-speaker-evaluation-home-audition-event-results.html

Of course, that does not mean that the ARX is "the best" or superior, just that the person who was running this test ended up preferring those over the others, in his room with his gear.
post #8 of 116

I paid $800 for a used pair of 2CE Signatures in perfect condition. I wouldn't call them high end unless you have your sights set low. People don't need a hearing test just because they don't agree with you.

post #9 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The fact that they decided that the ARX speakers were the ones they would buy is a bad joke. It completely ignores the strongly expessed opinion of the listeners who ranked the speakers.

I have listened to them and they suck. The test panel obviously agreed, since they rated them so low.

If you paid any attention the votes WAS NOT from the listening panel. It was to enter into the give away contest. It was to vote on what speakers you think might win, before any results was given. After a certain period the polls was closed, those that chose the speaker that Sonnie liked the best would be entered into the raffle/drawing to win a prize.

Sonnie the owner of HTS listened to each speaker exhaustively and chose the Arx A5 which by the way is a fantastic speaker and you obviously never listened to them and would never say they suck.

Its your typical lying that you've been called out on numerous times. Ascend called you out as did many others.
Edited by gtpsuper24 - 9/8/13 at 8:43am
post #10 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

Maybe you should actually read the thread and the results part.....

Reading all of a document to understand what is being said is overrated. Particularly when the text is not giving you the answer you want wink.gif
post #11 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnacleBill View Post

Over at Home Theater Shack, Sonnie and crew did a massive evaluation of $1,000/pair tower speakers and the ARX A5 won.

Notably a $2,000 tube amp was used to power the speakers. Since tube amps color the sound, a solid state amp could have made a difference in the results.

Not trying to say that the ARX are bad, just that most people would not be using a tube amp.
post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I certainly did read the whole thing. Maybe YOU need to.

The results clearly state that only 5.37% of the test subjects voted the ARX the best speaker, while around 20% voted for the Vandersteen, Focal, and Klipsch speakers.

You find that hard to understand?

"We did it! It was a major undertaking, but we really did it. For the full low down, please see The Official $1,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event Thread, which explains the event in detail. To summarize, I was looking for a pair of speakers for my two-channel setup within my dedicated home theater room. I selected 8 speakers that I was interested in hearing and that I was able to obtain for $1,000 or less (plus reasonable shipping) and a panel of four of us got together to evaluate and audition the speakers in my home. We allowed members to vote on the speakers I would select, with those voting correctly being entered into a $500 cash giveaway drawing. Here are the speakers chosen for the event and the final voting results"

Sonnie HTS ^^^^
post #13 of 116
commsysman is quiet all of a sudden smile.gif
post #14 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Notably a $2,000 tube amp was used to power the speakers. Since tube amps color the sound, a solid state amp could have made a difference in the results.

Not trying to say that the ARX are bad, just that most people would not be using a tube amp.

I thought about that myself.

I would be interested in a review where the sound is not colored by the amp.
post #15 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevePMo View Post

commsysman is quiet all of a sudden smile.gif
I believe it has finally dawned on him that the poll was for forum members to GUESS which speaker would come out on top in the test, NOT the results of the testing. eek.gif Would it not be character building, not to mention criticism deflecting, if he would come back and simply apologize for his error? smile.gif
post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rijax View Post

I believe it has finally dawned on him that the poll was for forum members to GUESS which speaker would come out on top in the test, NOT the results of the testing. eek.gif Would it not be character building, not to mention criticism deflecting, if he would come back and simply apologize for his error? smile.gif

That will never happen, he's known to stir things up in a thread and then just disappear. It would not surprise me to see him bring this back up in another thread later on. But he won't ever acknowledge he was wrong.
post #17 of 116
^His normal M.O. is to go back and edit his posts and fix his mistakes after they're pointed out.
But in this case, his posts were quoted by others, so he can't do that. biggrin.gif
That's why I always quote his posts when responding to him.
post #18 of 116
TLDR

Came in for the laughs at angry commsysman

OP: Thanks for sharing, I did the most high level review in history and came back here to talk about that the anger in a situation that doesn't call for it by the aforementioned.cool.gif
post #19 of 116
I'm pleased that the listening observations, and even the terms used to describe the A5's, are identical to those used by A5 listeners (and me) on TAI's forum over a year ago. I am further impressed because there was no sandbagging and the other loudspeakers are also excellent performers.
post #20 of 116
Nice test! I'd love to hear the A5's at some point. Be pretty cool to put them next to the e55ti's and see which one I prefer.

Buforod, any idea's of late on if Jon is going make a taller (and wider/deeper I guess) tower at some point. I'd love to see what he can do with a slightly larger tower. As good as the e55ti's sound, they look great too. In my particular setup, anything quite a bit shorter would just look goofy I think. Still...i'd like to hear them!
post #21 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

Nice test! I'd love to hear the A5's at some point. Be pretty cool to put them next to the e55ti's and see which one I prefer.

Buforod, any idea's of late on if Jon is going make a taller (and wider/deeper I guess) tower at some point. I'd love to see what he can do with a slightly larger tower. As good as the e55ti's sound, they look great too. In my particular setup, anything quite a bit shorter would just look goofy I think. Still...i'd like to hear them!

I can't say too much...but a "big brother" to the A5 has been discussed in detail. It might have: almost twice the cone area for the bass drivers (play louder and deeper), a bigger cab (more efficiency), and might be taller. wink.gif

However, nothing concrete has been established yet.
post #22 of 116
I'll take 2 please
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

I'll take 2 please

I know, right.

If it comes into being, and whatever the final config ends up being....Jon and I both agreed it needed to be a significant step up from the A5....which requires a lot of modeling (and eventually, tuning) so as to not lose the detail delicacy, and refinement of the A5. It serves no purpose for us if it's just louder, but not better. We are searching for more refinement, more detail, more clarity....and that is no small task. Also, being kicked around are better finishes (i.e. wood veneers and/or a high-gloss black presentation). It's all up in the air for now.......

EDIT: Of personal significance to me, this is my 398th post on AVS...which is also my patrol car number. It's the little things. wink.gif
post #24 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

Also, being kicked around are better finishes (i.e. wood veneers and/or a high-gloss black presentation). It's all up in the air for now.......

This would be a big upgrade IMO. They look good now, but could look incredible with some nice wood veneer. Many people have the "wifey factor" come into play and I bet this would help greatly in swaying them in that direction.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weazy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

Also, being kicked around are better finishes (i.e. wood veneers and/or a high-gloss black presentation). It's all up in the air for now.......

This would be a big upgrade IMO. They look good now, but could look incredible with some nice wood veneer. Many people have the "wifey factor" come into play and I bet this would help greatly in swaying them in that direction.

Jon and I agreed on this. My wifey should be included in that group...though she tolerates the current finish, a piano black would make her MUCH happier.
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

It serves no purpose for us if it's just louder, but not better. We are searching for more refinement, more detail, more clarity....and that is no small task.

That is what I really enjoy about Arx speakers, the A1 is a great speaker but as you move up to the A2 and then A5 you get not just more output but deeper bass, better dynamics and more over all refinement, and in the A5 case a much better midrange performance IMO. There is a certain ID brand that only focuses on each model up just being louder and worried about power handling. There is really no difference in each model as you move up unless your looking for more "louder".
post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

First of all, the ARX speakers came in NEXT TO LAST in that test, with only 5% of the subjects voting for them. This is obvious to anyone who reads the test results.

This does not surprise me; they suck compared to the top speakers in the group, which each received around 20% of the vote.

The people who did that test certainly thought so too. How you can look at those results and think the ARX speakers were anything but the WORST escapes me!

The Vandersteen, Focal and Klipsch speakers were actually the top-rated speakers according to the test result.

Also I would like to know where you can buy Vandersteen 2Ce speakers for $1000? The price is $2595 per pair. They are IMO the best speakers in your list, by far. Anyone that thinks the ARX speakers are even close needs a hearing test.

IMO the best speakers you can buy for anything close to $1000 per pair are the PSB Image T6 speakers, which run $1395 per pair. I had them for two years and nothing comes close in that price range.

Both The Absolute Sound and Stereophile claim they are the best in their class and have made them their speakers for "Recommended System" articles.

The ARX speakers are a VERY inferior product for their price, which is exactly what these test results show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I certainly did read the whole thing. Maybe YOU need to.

The results clearly state that only 5.37% of the test subjects voted the ARX the best speaker, while around 20% voted for the Vandersteen, Focal, and Klipsch speakers.

You find that hard to understand?

I find it ridiculous that experienced people could not get the Vandersteens set up properly, since there are ten pages of detailed setup instructions in the Vandersteen manual. Something smells there.

The fact that they decided that the ARX speakers were the ones they would buy is a bad joke. It completely ignores the strongly expessed opinion of the listeners who ranked the speakers.

I have listened to them and they suck. The test panel obviously agreed, since they rated them so low.

The only explanation I can come up with is that the people who made that decision have a vested interest in promoting the ARX speakers.

It is a FACT that the Vandersteen 2 speakers are the best-selling hi-end speaker of all time. Stereophile wrote an article on Vandersteen which documents that fact, if you want to check it out.

Their comments on the Vandersteen sound quality are completely ridiculous It calls the whole article into complete disrepute.

It is like saying that a Porsche 911 accelerates poorly and handles badly; It totally flies in the face of well-documented FACTS!!


lol.
post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

That will never happen, he's known to stir things up in a thread and then just disappear. It would not surprise me to see him bring this back up in another thread later on. But he won't ever acknowledge he was wrong.

So true... Commsysman constantly gets schooled around here only to turn up and spout the same inaccurate opinions as facts..

He has never heard the Arx speakers and only discounts them because he has a couple favorites he pushes whenever he can.

The Arx speakers are very impressive for the money.
post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

I know, right.

If it comes into being, and whatever the final config ends up being....Jon and I both agreed it needed to be a significant step up from the A5....which requires a lot of modeling (and eventually, tuning) so as to not lose the detail delicacy, and refinement of the A5. It serves no purpose for us if it's just louder, but not better. We are searching for more refinement, more detail, more clarity....and that is no small task.

Also, being kicked around are better finishes (i.e. wood veneers and/or a high-gloss black presentation). It's all up in the air for now.......

Well what are you all doing!? Get going! lol. If you need a test person....biggrin.gif
post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

So true... Commsysman constantly gets schooled around here only to turn up and spout the same inaccurate opinions as facts..

He has never heard the Arx speakers and only discounts them because he has a couple favorites he pushes whenever he can.

The Arx speakers are very impressive for the money.

Kind of how he said that he listened to the JTR 228HTs and said they wasn't very good, even though at the time they hadn't even been released yet tongue.gif

He probably hadn't even heard of the Arx speakers until he read that review. Funny how no matter what speaker is mentioned he has listened to it and its no good.
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