Its time to write a review of the some of the thoughts I have after doing an audition with
with the following speakers:
Emotiva T2 Towers
Def Tech D9
Elac Debut 2.0 B6
The only older model was Kef Q100
These thoughts are only mine and based on our listening preferences they will be different from
By the way, I didn't know Cat5 prior to this audition, great guy and good to meet somebody from these forums....
Let me start with the budget speakers:
These have been around you can read other reviews, notes, and praise. They are selling for $200 + a capped $30 shipping. Just crazy value for this price. Good low end, handles everything relatively well. If you have $200 this is an auto buy no questions to ask. I can say more but they speak for themselves
imo the 2nd most disappointing speaker of the group. The price tag was over $400. It sounds exactly like the old RBH R5Bi so if you are familiar with this speaker, its signature, build is exactly the same.
Solid speaker, it did everything pretty well..doesnt handle high volumes that great, low end ok, mids good, highs ok, detail and clarity there but not my favorite of this budget group, but a solid speaker
A speaker that doesnt do anything bad, but doesnt do anything great. Decent soundstage & imaging. It didn't keep me, didn't inspire, excite me. But a good solid speaker.
Elac Debut 2.0 B6
As everybody knows from the shootout I did last year---I didn't like the Elac B6 at all
This year they are much improved, their dynamics, their signature, good low end, mids strong, highs a little break up/ high volumes a little rough, maybe a tad very small towards bright...
But they are really good speaker. Soundstage good, imaging much improved over last years B6. Clarity/detail improved but not at same level as my favorite speaker coming up next. I would definitely recommend these speakers for a budget set up. Performs like a $500 speaker. Good value. They created a much better version of the B6
Before I go into my favorite budget speaker I will briefly talk about the DefTech D9
How the heck can they demand $700 + from this speaker? $600? $500?
It was simply dull, uninspiring..lacked character, decent low end.....I would buy if $300, I would pass if over $300 so I passed. This was the most overrated speaker of the group by far.
MY FAVORITE BUDGET SPEAKER
Absolutely stunning!! Sound yes, but its build, You literally can buy this speaker as simply a house decoration. The build is glamorous. I'm going to go out on a limb....This might be the most beautiful speaker under $700 you can buy...Maybe under $1k
So the sound....
Weakness....while low end is much improved is falls short of the Elac...but not bad at all. If you have subs or buying subs...BUY this speaker you will be very impressed for the money.
So we got the bad out of the way....
But oh my the clarity/detail was pretty dam good for this speaker, it had dynamics, pretty good soundstage, very good imaging, handled highs well....I had the old QA3020 for my son's room and the difference is so much better with this model.
Here's the thing...You can always artificially low end via sub.....YOU CAN'T ARTIFICIALLY CREATE Clarity & detail.
1. I kept the QA3020i for my son's room replacing the old QA3020.
2. I kept the Elac B6 2.0 for my garage with a small stereo amp.
3. I kept the Emotiva B1s to work as surround in my "new" set up which I will discuss later
OK....now for the big boys
Emotiva T2 Towers
I really liked the towers. They are good value no doubt. Low end is so good. In HT, watching mad max Road to Fury they excelled at everything. They didn't handle high volumes as well as the Chane's A2.4 but then again who does. I do like their looks...that seems to be controversial...but I like them.
They were more dynamic than the Chane's providing a little bit bigger soundstage...imaging was also very good. Mids very good...Highs pretty good. Good clarity/detail. Slightly less than Chane's I believe but still very very solid. Music I noticed did kind of "float" which is hard to describe but noticed it more than once...this was something pretty cool. I assume tweeter responsible.
They did have some issues with higher volumes. Overall I was really impressed with the Emotiva T2s. Very solid, clear, detailed, good imaging/soundstage speaker. Definitely a steal at this price I believe. THey feel more like $3k pair towers not $1K
Holy Guacamole....SLow down boy get back here...Relax, Breathe.....Lol
These things hold no mercy
Like Cat5 said like a bull in a China Shop
Cat5 likes aggressive, forward, little bright speakers.
I wont get into too much detail....but I did have several moments in music where they were fatiguing.. They are so in your face it was clear the Emotiva & Chane's more neutral. They were bright to me. High volumes a little rough. But BIG soundstage, good imaging. We didn't listen in HT too much but I'm sure they are very good. They performed Mids good, Norah Jones on highs first go around was some screeching.
They just aren't my type of speaker just like I don't think the Emotiva's or Chane's are Cat5's type of speaker. Very similar to SVS Ultra's. Would definitely buy these before the Ultra's.
They are the silent killers. They don't look pretty, they have no special marketing, no fancy boxes...but man they just have so much clarity and detail. Their imaging is probably best of group. Soundstage is very good. Everything has been said before by other ppl.
They were the only speaker we cranked up the volume and handled it pretty well.
I do have A2.4s in LRC and A1.4s in Rear Surrounds.
I have replaced the Chane's A2.4 LRC & A1.4 Rear Surrounds with the Emotiva set of T2 Towers, C2 Center, and rear Surrounds B1s
The Chane's A2.4s LRC & A1.4s Surrounds are a good value for a little over $1,100.
Emotiva set I have is approximately $1700.
Why am I keeping the Emotiva's if Chane's a better value
Simple, I wanted to experience towers and I really think T2 BEST towers available. They are more dynamic with better low end than the Chane's. After listening/adding the Emotiva C2 center it has really given even more Ooomph to the Emotiva set up. It's really growing on me. I only have about 4 hrs of T2 listening time.
Overall, I do have some buyers remorse in the Emotiva's...NOT because they are not very good speakers, the whole set up is very very good...ONLY because it was stupid to spend $1700 more on a set of speakers when I had a pair less than 1 year old, and only played the Chane's a couple months due to Hurricane Irma and damage in my house.
All the budget speakers were good...I like the QA3020i the best but really you are splitting hairs. Put a sub into the mix and all of these speakers would do well.
As far as the big boys: CHane's, HSU, Emotiva's they all performed very good. My only advice is if you have a set of speakers under 1K, getting tired of them, think you need to upgrade know this..I have listened to 19 pairs on speaker ALL under $1,000 in the past year and within this class under $1,000 NO speaker is bad. They all have strengths and weaknesses. If you really want to hear a difference, you need to spend some big money. Be happy with what you have because not always is the grass greener on the other side.
Ok I’ve had some time to compare briefly the centers
I’m really liking the C2. Powerful, clear, detailed, big soundstage. Definitely more dynamic than the Chane’s A2.4.
C1 is very solid as well but the CHane A2.4 is a little better. But the C2 is a beast.
It’s completely making the HT experience shine with the T2s.
Will wait for
to add his thoughts
Picture 1 attached: Emotiva T2,C2 set up
Picture 2 attached: son’s room QA3020i & Emotiva C1 center