Classix II vs Apollo vs Helix - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-16-2019, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Classix II vs Apollo vs Helix

Sorry if this has been covered before, but was wondering if anyone has heard all 3 of these and can comment on them. I've been asked to build a bookshelf in the 6.5"-ish range for relatives (they want something to match the decor, so I suggested a DIY build). Three different designers, but the only one I've heard/built has been a few kits from Carmody (which I like).

The Apollo looks like it'd be the best if not running a sub, but the 4ohm spec has me wondering just how demanding it is (due to also having very low sensitivity). If it's anything like the Elac UB5's that I have, it'll need a powerful amp (100WPC or more) to really bring out the dynamics.

I'm leaning Classix II since it seems to be a good all-around kit, but wanted to ask here first in case anyone had some insight.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-16-2019, 02:44 PM
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Haven't heard the other two, but the Helix domes really impressed at a recent GTG. JC's take on them here. Amazing amount of bass from speakers that size (but do note, they are rear ported so location may be an issue).

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post #3 of 14 Old 07-16-2019, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
Haven't heard the other two, but the Helix domes really impressed at a recent GTG. JC's take on them here. Amazing amount of bass from speakers that size (but do note, they are rear ported so location may be an issue).
I assume he meant "MT" and not "HT".

Port location is not an issue...they are all rear ported. Still, I could theoretically move the port anywhere I wanted...

Good to see a review on them though.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-16-2019, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _tk View Post
I assume he meant "MT" and not "HT".

Port location is not an issue...they are all rear ported. Still, I could theoretically move the port anywhere I wanted...

Good to see a review on them though.
Yes, MT.

Lots of Helix builds around here. A more recent thread: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...lix-domes.html

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 02:38 AM
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Just some conjecture on my part, as I've perused these three kits as well. The Apollo has the most excursion, as in, VERY high excursion but of course is 4 ohms, has lower sensitive and will require more power. This makes me wonder if sensitivity will be lower in the upper bass region and have less slam or impact than the more sensitive Helix Dome build. I'm guessing both of these builds will have lower distortion and potentially better sound quality than the Classix II which uses a lower quality woofer.

I would personally probably lean towards the Helix Dome due to higher sensitivity, but its tough to say. The Appolo may have slightly lower extension if you aren't running a sub, and the Classix also extend very low if using without a sub matters. Notnyt built a pair of the Classix II and measured in room....the low end bass was VERY impressive for a bookshelf. This might trump the effect of a little less distortion from the higher quality kits.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, after consideration not sure I really want to deal with a 4ohm speaker with low sensitivity as I'm not sure what amp will ultimately be behind it.

That leaves the Classix II and the Helix. Wonder if DIYSG can build the Helix flatpack out of Baltic Birch so that I don't have to mess with MDF?
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 07:58 AM
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Baltic birch is a lot harder to work with for small baffles because it doesn't machine nearly as smooth and sharp as high quality MDF. The MDF on those cabinets is not like the kind you get from Home Depot or Lowes.

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post #8 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post
Baltic birch is a lot harder to work with for small baffles because it doesn't machine nearly as smooth and sharp as high quality MDF. The MDF on those cabinets is not like the kind you get from Home Depot or Lowes.

Ah, ok. Thanks for the input. Any chance to get baltic birch for the top/sides and everything else MDF? Just curious as I've been pretty successful at staining BB and I could paint the front and rear MDF panels.

I didn't want to sink a ton of money into veneers but I also don't want them to look like a hack job if the paint doesn't come out well.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post
Baltic birch is a lot harder to work with for small baffles because it doesn't machine nearly as smooth and sharp as high quality MDF. The MDF on those cabinets is not like the kind you get from Home Depot or Lowes.

Interesting you should mention that - I have been buying most of my MDF for baffles (if it is possible for the dimensions required) as the 2x4 handy panels from Home Depot. I have found the 4x8 full size sheets of MDF are not the same density or quality. The handy panels are a bit darker in color, denser, and machine better. The 4x8 sheets fracture a lot easier, and if you are dealing with slim sections between drivers in order to get the cones as close together as possible, you risk having breakage using the 4x8 material.



It costs a bit more, almost double, but is worth it if you have the cash to spare or if the baffle dimensions aren't larger than 2' x 4'.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _tk View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post
Baltic birch is a lot harder to work with for small baffles because it doesn't machine nearly as smooth and sharp as high quality MDF. The MDF on those cabinets is not like the kind you get from Home Depot or Lowes.

Ah, ok. Thanks for the input. Any chance to get baltic birch for the top/sides and everything else MDF? Just curious as I've been pretty successful at staining BB and I could paint the front and rear MDF panels.

I didn't want to sink a ton of money into veneers but I also don't want them to look like a hack job if the paint doesn't come out well.
I recently just finished a trio of Helix MTMs out of baltic birch, They turned out pretty stinkin good. They sound even better.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-17-2019, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rickreagan120 View Post
I recently just finished a trio of Helix MTMs out of baltic birch, They turned out pretty stinkin good. They sound even better.
Home theater I assume? Mine are need for 2-channel and I was a bit worried the MTM's might not work as well for that as the MT's.

But yeah, I like working with Baltic Birch as it offers more finishing options over MDF.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-18-2019, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by Rickreagan120 View Post
I recently just finished a trio of Helix MTMs out of baltic birch, They turned out pretty stinkin good. They sound even better.
Home theater I assume? Mine are need for 2-channel and I was a bit worried the MTM's might not work as well for that as the MT's.

But yeah, I like working with Baltic Birch as it offers more finishing options over MDF.
Yes they're setup as a 3.0 system currently. I sold my tempests, quad 4 and a pair of volts because I wanted a matching LCR. I really enjoyed the tempests but was ready to move on and build something new. I don't regret selling them and going with the helixs. I'm very happy with how they perform for HT.
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post #13 of 14 Old Today, 10:40 AM
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How about the Samba kit from parts express? That looks like a lot of speaker for the money. Certainly a step up from the classic.
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post #14 of 14 Old Today, 01:56 PM
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I know we are in the DIY section but I will share my experience anyway. I was in this exact same situation. When I looked at the time to build and finish the boxes, I ultimately went with the JBL 308P which I mated with a DIY sub and DBX crossover. The 308P measures excellently and has built in DSP/amps that will be hard to beat. The resulting sound holds its own against anything I've heard under $500 when used within its SPL limitations which is greatly mitigated by the use of a sub. At $425/pair shipped, it's hard to not consider it since it includes the boxes and amps as well as being done when you get them. They are returnable but I doubt you will do that. Once I eq'd them to taste, I was blown away.

Just sharing an option.

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