As of December '06, J&R seems to be the sole purchasing option. If you live near a brick and mortar store, I encourage you to go listen for yourself and add your thoughts to this thread. If you own or have otherwise heard these yourself, please do post an opinion, whatever it may be.
Attributes of the XP62:
- 1" extended frequency tweeter - soft dome; unidentified material
- 6.5" aluminum woofer - with true phase plug
- Frequency response: 38Hz-50kHz +/-3dB *
- Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
- Sensitivity: 88dB ^
- Recommended power: 15-125 Watts
- Finish: Black Ash Vinyl with High-Gloss Black Accents
- Dimensions: 13-3/4"h x 7-3/4"w x 12-5/8"d
- Individual speaker weight: ~13.5 lbs
- Video shielded
- Made in China
- Not bi-wireable
- XP series manual: http://www.audiovox.com/manuals/owners/XP_Man_6_29.pdf
- Currently available for $100/pair.
^ SPL output vs other 88dB speakers suggests actual sensitivity of ~86dB
Speakers used for comparison: B&W DM601 S2
- Are bi-wireable (the DA10N can bi-amp these but this was not done for this comparison)
- Spec Sheet: http://www.bwspeakers.com/downloadFi...fo_DM601S2.pdf
- Dealer price; years ago: $450-$500/pair.
Test system configuration:
- Source: Sony CDP-CX355
- Receiver: Technics SA-DA10N (optical in)
- Wire: four whole strand, braided Cat5 (~12 gauge; same as Audioholics Cat5 V2 cable)
I spent several hours listening and A/B selector switching between the DM601s and XP62s. In that time I compared five selections; specifically, these:
- Sarah McLachlan / Afterglow - Train Wreck
- Seal / Seal 94 - Don't Cry
- Carpenters / The Singles '69-73 - Yesterday Once More
- Pink Floyd / Dark Side of the Moon - Money
- Norah Jones / Come Away with Me - Don't Know Why
One confounding issue is that the DM601s were louder at the same volume setting. It's odd since the B&W specs state 88dB, matching that of the XP62s. However, they clearly had a 2-3dB greater loudness as measured using a Radio Shack handheld digital meter on program material. Maybe the receiver B amps were hot compared to the As. [subsequent selective measurements did not reveal an amp offset] Whatever the cause, louder tends to sound better and in some of the testing I did try to adjust for this effect but could not be 100% accurate since the Technics does not read out volume digitally. It has only a motorized knob for level indication.
I'm not comfortable calling something warm, transparent, bright, smooth, 3D, etc. It seems to me that such terms are too easily misconstrued, so I will avoid using them.
Bass: XP62 wins this one, with more of a tactile quality, but not by a lot. Do I need a sub? Not really, but perhaps at lower volumes.
Mids: Surprise; I preferred the XP62's performance here as well! This difference is much of what gives the sets different tonality. I sense that the XP62s have less bass emphasis in the mid which results in less nasal sounding voices. Lyrics are nice and clear. I noted the slightly more nasal sound of the DM601s when comparing Norah Jones' and Sara McLachlan's voices. I'm not saying the DM601s aren't pleasing in this respect; I like them still. Could someone send Sara over so I can compare the genuine article to these?
Highs: There is another small difference here. The XP62s are only slightly less intense. Maybe it is due to the greater degree of mid/bass emphasis. I should note that I'm 37, so according to sources, I no longer hear above ~16kHz, which begs the question of what the rated 50kHz response really could contribute. Micro-dynamic harmony? I suppose. If there is a winner here, it's not clear enough to me. [see also post 28]
If I were not privy to which set were selected but had heard the selection on both recently, these speakers are different enough that I'm reasonably sure I could identify which is in use. If an unfamiliar artist/selection were played on only one randomized set, I'm not so confident. I would try to pin it down using the difference in bass response in that case.
In conclusion, my B&W dealer is fortunate I didn't have the XP62s in an A/B setup at the showroom when I bought the DM601s. I would have confidently walked out that day with the XP62s! Factor in the price difference and it is no longer a serious contest.
Additional details of the XP62 per direct inspection:
- Has 5-way binding posts with plastic nuts; even the DM601s use plastic nuts.
- There are odd plastic top/bottom front retainers for the wire mesh grill. They remove easily, but do need to stay since the speaker directly sets on the bottom one and the top looks funny without it. The top cap is loose enough without the grill to make me wonder if it will eventually rattle, causing its removal.
- Behind the grill is a surface covering shaped foam piece that is not intended for removal, but may have acoustic benefits and looks nice anyway.
- Utilizes a single rear port, slightly above center, attached to a 1.5" diameter tube of about 7" length and flared on both ends.
- Cabinet and finish seem solid with maybe a top/bottom that should be thicker. I passed that judgment after simply rapping a knuckle on each surface.
- The rear wall is not a relatively solid plank like most speakers. Instead there is at least some side-to-side cross bracing and a large plastic housing. This housing is a 1.5" deep (at center) convex, semi circular, protrusion attached to the entire rear of the cabinet (axis running top to bottom). The shape echoes that of the cabinet's front grill.
- Using a telescoping mirror to look around in the cabinet, I spotted yellow acoustic batting on one side and bottom with the top and opposite side being bare. The same batting is visible at the rear of the cabinet behind what appears to be the main rear brace/wall placing it in the aforementioned plastic housing.
- Mid/bass surround material appears to be primarly composed of foam but may be a rubberized hybrid.
Thanks to 'Groch' for the following photos from posts 21 & 22: