Ha ha! Just kidding. (Like I'm going to spend two days writing up posts about my build just to say I was underwhelmed at the end of it all!)
It might be best to start with what I was expecting
to hear, since expectations can so often affect our perceptions. What I thought
I was building were face-rippers. When asked by my buddies about them prior to finishing my build, I would tell them that these things were going to be like the Dodge Viper of loudspeakers: no frills, no bells-n-whistles, just 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. So, buckle the hell up!
Boy, was I wrong.
Not to say that the Titans can't rip your face off, or go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds: they can, and they will, but that's not what's so impressive about them. What's so impressive is the ease and grace with which they do it. This is not
an aggressively voiced speaker- regardless of how loud you play it. It's just smoooooooooooth. Maybe people jacking a kilowatt into them can get them to sound strained, but I sure as hell can't pull it off up to and including volume levels that make my heart hurt. It just feels like no matter what you throw at these things, they're almost laughing back at you: "what, you think this is loud
, bro?" And that's the real kicker: the Titans sound the same at 60db as they do at 90db: just 30db louder, if that makes any sense. There's no change in their tonal character, and they're not straining at all to hit those higher levels. I thought I was going to hook these things up and put them through their paces, but what really happened was that they put me through mine!
I turned them up to the point that I couldn't bear to be in the room with them anymore, and there they were, just strutting along like it was no biggie.
And that butts up against another oft-cited characteristic of the Titans: sneaky-loud playback volume. I had people over on Saturday night to check these things out, and was playing some tunes through them as a primer. I got them dialed up to about where I thought they should be and let them play for a bit. Then I turned to a buddy who was sitting right next to me
and realized I was basically shouting
like you would do if you were at a rock concert. This phenomenon has been mentioned before, and I was aware of it, but you really have to experience it to truly understand how awesome it is.
What I discovered was that my Dodge Viper analogy was inept. This is an Astin Martin Rapide, with all the bells and whistles. Sure- it'll get you around fast as you want, but in style, and smoothly. James Bond style!
So, with general impressions out of the way, here are some more detailed thoughts separated by subject:
Well, it's just immense.
If you just close your eyes and listen during intense action scenes, you'd think you were sitting in front of a baffle wall filled with drivers. I feel like I'm at a commercial theater in terms of scale. One good thing about my setup, and you'll see it in my pictures, is that the delta between the cd height on my custom center and on my mains is very minimal considering the fact that it's a horizontal, below-screen center setup. It's a very strong reason for flat panel owners or non-AT screen owners to consider going with Titans using my custom center design. I've watched a half dozen flicks now, and everything's very
cohesive in my front stage. Huge win.
Imaging is solid, but I wouldn't say spectacular. Now- this could well be owing to my room, which is largely untreated and my positioning within it, which is suboptimal. I'm not fussing about this at the moment because I'm going to be completely re-orienting my room in the coming weeks. Right now, I'm shooting across the short side of the room and off to one side, which was fine when I was rocking entry-level ID mid-towers, but that crap's not going to fly going forward. I'm going to re-arrange everything so that I'm shooting down the length of the room with screen and center channel all centered up. Once that's done, I'll be building some panels and traps and I have a sneaking suspicion that my imaging will improve. This will also create enough room to place a couple Marty cabs between my center and mains on each side! Hello.
Detail and dialogue reproduction:
Stellar. Wow. If I could post a bunch of swear words, I'd do it here (but in a good way). Again- these things are just smoooooooth. There's detail all over the place, but it's never harsh, never clinical, never straining: just detail
. As for dialogue specifically- the fullness with which voices are rendered is really something. Again- it sounds like you're at a commercial cinema. If you, at any point, cannot understand the dialogue in a film with these speakers properly set up, you can be assured it's the mixer's fault and not the speakers.
They're digging pretty deep in my space. I haven't done any sweeps to get hard #'s because of the aforementioned and impending room change, but I can tell you that Audyssey wanted to set them to Large/full band, which should tell you something. Testing them full band without the subs, I'd say they have to be getting into the low-mid 30's with room gain. But it's very clean-sounding bass: doesn't sound like the boomy, authoritative stuff you'd get out of a sub driver. My guess is that if you were really desperate to run these things full-band, especially for music, you could do pretty well with an external DSP and some boosting in the ~30 hz range. For my own use, I've got them crossed over at 60hz for the moment and everything sounds super-duper to my ears.
Comparison to my Previous Setup:
had asked me to compare/contrast to my previous setup. I think you can probably guess where this is headed. It's obviously unfair to pit entry-level ID mid-towers against these monsters. About the only thing equal between them in my opinion would be the imaging, and I think that's largely due to placement/room issues and a lack of room treatments. In any and every other aspect, the Titans don't even belong in the same paragraph
with the SVS's, let alone the same sentence. That particular line from SVS was pretty fatigue-free, but you had to crank them to get much detail out of 'em. The Titans, by comparison, are like putting a pair of glasses on after not knowing you've needed them for half your life. That's without getting into the huge gap in efficiency and extension between the two.
Welp, that's about all I can think of at the moment. Feel free to ask questions if I've left something uncovered, here. Final pics of finished speakers coming up next!
(to be continued...)