Originally Posted by mczolton
Thanks for the reply. I won't be using DVD-A or SACD so that isn't an issue for me either. I also read about the Omnisat (love them or hate them), and I am a little concerned that such a diffuse sound quality won't work for my situation - I only want to use two of them. I'll check out the Orbs - they are pretty cute
so it starts anew. orb audio sent the system to me in two parts, the subwoofer through ups and the speakers, cables and wires through fedex. the subwoofer arrived on monday. the speakers were supposed to arrive on saturday. the fedex website reports that the delivery was made at 4pm. my wife and i were home all day and did not hear a knock on the door or the doorbell. not only that, but at 4:15 i was on my way out of the house and saw nothing on the front porch.
ANYway, on to my impressions of the sub. since i don't have anything to hook it up to, this is purely a appearance/build quality review. i hope i'm able to listen to it sometime soon.
the super eight is wrapped in a plastic bag and packaged in a box with styrofoam holders on the top and bottom. nothing protects the sides of the woofer from damage during shipping. in most cases, the subwoofer should not be in any danger as there is some empty space between the sides of the box and the sides of the sub. however, my box came with holes in it from who knows what. for a company that prides itself on sparing no expense, i'm a little disappointed there is no padding for the sides of the box. that said, i could detect no damage to the sides of the super eight.
the sub is made in china. for a company that plays up the fact that their speakers are handcrafted in the u.s.a. it is disappointing to me that they manufacture their sub in china. i hope someone will correct me if i'm wrong, but no company manufactures anything in china for the high quality labor. they move there for the cheap parts and for the cheap labor.
the first thing i noticed about the sub was the smell. this thing STINKS. the smell is coming from the rubber feet, which are made of some type of cheap industrial black rubber. the rubber is dense, but doesn't look like it has any kind of finish on it. the smell is strong enough to pervade my entire living room. if it doesn't fade soon i'll have to return the whole setup because of the odor. it's a gasonline/chemical-type odor. when i wipe the feet with a cloth, the cloth becomes black.
in my opinion the sub is pretty ugly. the finish seems to be of decent quality, but the textured flecks on the surface are not very attractive. i like the rounded corners. the grille on the front is not pretty. it's grey, but there is a reflective thread woven throughout the fabric that makes it look very...i'm not sure what the word i'm looking for is. the grille frame itself is made of a lightweight particleboard material that looks like it was dipped in tar and then not cleaned off very well. the grille fabric is glued to the round frame. the holes on the sub that the grille mounts onto have not been machined well. two of them are flush with the surface of the sub and blend in fairly well with the finish. the other two are raised and one seems to have been forced into place, its edges look crushed. on the top surface of the sub there is also a bump on the cabinet where it looks like a screw underneath was not screwed all the way in.
the back of the sub is different from the pictures they show on the website. the detachable power cord is gone. the sub now sports a connected cord. the various dials and switches have also been moved around a bit. apparently the price of the sub has been dropped $50 from earlier years. i wonder from what step of production the savings came from.
the dials and connectors appear to be of good quality. the sub itself is fairly heavy. it weighs close to 30 pounds, a far cry from the 11 pounds of the niro sub. the niro sub was by far more attractive. i even miss the little brass spikes.
so far, i'm not very happy. i can't understand why i'm having so many problems with more expensive audio gear. my klipsch gmx 2.1 setup is made up of cheap internals that are beginning to fail after three years of use. the fit and finish of the klipsch however, is impeccable. closed seams, no blemishes, quality material (even the plastic parts do not feel cheap) solid workmanship and appearance. of course, the most important thing about an audio setup is how it sounds, but can't there be a balance between build quality and performance?
what bothers me the most is that both niro and orb audio advertise themselves as direct to consumer companies who use no middlemen or advertising, thereby saving their resources for quality components and construction. my personal experience with each company so far has been quite subpar in terms of build quality. of course, i have yet to see the orb speakers.
i suppose the other possibility is that i'm just crazy, since it doesn't appear that anyone else has experienced these problems. or maybe normal people don't care.
i'll post a sonic review if i ever receive the speakers. if orb doesn't work out, i will give the omnisat setup a try. if THAT fails me, i'm going to buy a cheap setup up from logitech or similar company and be done with it. :P
thanks for letting me vent!