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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FYI, for those of you in the So Cal area...


Sunday April 20, 2003 @ 2pm


GotApex has agreed to bring his Aurum Cantus Leisure 2Ds along with the Aurum Cantus Center channel over to my place for those who might be interested in seeing and hearing these speakers. I have the Onix Ref 1s to compare with the Leisure 2Ds. If anyone else is interested in bringing some other monitor speakers, you are most certainly welcome to do so.


I also have a full Rocket Package #0 setup so those of you who are interested in hearing these are welcome to attend as well. Please PM me for more information if you would like to attend! It should be a fun afternoon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off, I want to thank Apex for lugging his Aurum Cantus speakers over on Easter Sunday! A very nice guy who I’m glad to have met! I had a great time! Now onto the details…


Both the Aurum Cantus Leisure 2Ds and Onix Reference 1s are fabulous speakers. PLEASE keep in mind that these are MY OPINIONS ONLY!!! We did use a RS SPL meter to balance the sound output levels since the Ref 1s are spec’d at 88dB and the Leisure 2Ds are 87dB. The specs seemed accurate as the volume was adjusted up for the Leisures to match the Ref 1 level.


They are both 2 way monitors. The Leisure 2Ds employee a G2 ribbon and 6.5†woofer to handle the task of reproducing music while the Ref 1s make due with a Vifa Ring radiator and a 5.25†Atohm woofer to handle the musical tasks. From a finish standpoint, the Reference 1s are more polished. The high gloss birds eye maple is amazingly smooth (almost mirror like) and lacking of any imperfections. Although for the price, the finish of the Leisure 2Ds is INCREDIBLE, it is not up to the same high standards set by the Ref 1s. The gloss is not as highly polished and there are noticeable imperfections in the finish if you look closely. The binding posts on the Leisures were very nice though looking like they would be right at home on a speaker selling for 10x’s their price. Overall the Leisure 2D finish left something to be desired when compared to the Ref 1s. Of course I would not expect a speaker available in the mid $500s to compete with a speaker that sells for $1,500. In this case, the saying you get what you pay for certainly applies…although you get MUCH MORE than you pay for with either when compared to B&M speakers that you would normally find in their respective price ranges. :D


So how do they sound? I know many folks including myself were very curious as to how the Refs would compare to the Leisure 2Ds…I’ve gone on the record and stated that the Ref 1s are the ABSOLUTE BEST monitor I’ve heard to date. Well, after the audition session I still stand by my opinion. It’s not that the Leisure 2Ds are poor sounding speakers. Far from it. The Leisure 2Ds exhibit the same SUPER SMOOTH characteristics that ribbons are so well know for which I just love. :) However these ribbons also exhibit the same limited horizontal and vertical dispersion characteristics that ribbons are so well known for also.:( Off axis high frequency response, while better than the ribbons of the VMPS RM40s, was still not as good as that of the Ref 1s.


Also, the smoothness of the Leisure 2Ds came at the expense of detail and resolution that I have become so accustomed to with the Ref 1s. The Refs simply have a broader, deeper soundstage and imaged more precisely than the Leisure 2Ds. Bass notes were more articulate through the Ref 1s and also extended lower. The musical presentation was just so different between the 2 speakers. The Leisure 2Ds were much more laid back presenting music in a leisurely but very sweet, non-fatiguing fashion while the Ref 1s delivered all music with a much more detailed forward presentation. Instruments and vocals were just more detailed without being fatiguing. The Ref 1s give me more of the live “right there†feeling than the Leisure 2Ds. Another note regarding the smoothness of the Leisure 2Ds…The Leisures were just as smooth as the VMPS RM40 ribbons but they did have the same high level of detail that the RM40s had. The Ref 1s had the same level of detail as the RM40s but weren’t quite as buttery smooth.


So in regards to sound, again it is the classic case of getting what you pay for. Again, in this case, it is MUCH MORE that you pay for in both instances. My honest opinion is that the Aurum Cantus remind me a lot of the Swan M1 monitors with more bass output. The ribbon is a bit smoother and sweeter as well which says a lot of the Leisures given that the Swans M-1 sell for about $799 and the Leisures with a nicer gloss finish are available for $530. For $530, the Leisure 2Ds are tough to pass up on. However, when compared to the Onix Ref 1s, I have to say that there is no comparison as they are in different leagues. Yes, IMHO, the Ref 1s are that much better…but as I wrote earlier, for $1,500 I would expect them to deliver more and that they are able to do and MUCH more.


Since I have a Rocket setup for HT and the Ref 1s for 2 channel, the Leisure 2Ds had to come close to the Refs in performance for me to consider purchasing them. Unfortunately the gap was just too big for me to justify acquiring a pair of Aurum Cantus Leisure 2Ds. But for those of you folks who might consider purchasing a pair of $550 speakers, I would definitely encourage you to consider the Aurum Cantus Leisure 2Ds. They are worth every penny for the sound and finish. But if your goal is to find the best sound available from a 2 way monitor, then the Leisure 2Ds will not fulfill that need. Once again, this is just my $0.02…Please keep that in mind. Thanks for reading…Until the next audition session…Happy listening…:)
 

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How do you think they stacked up against the Rockets with regards to sound and fit and finish. The dollar amounts puts them closer to the Rockets with regards here. I'm not certain if you only got to hear the L2Ds or if you got to hear the MR-C and the MG speakers or not. I doubt the MG, because of their size, but what about the MR-C? I'd also like to hear from Gabriel on this to see what his thoughts and impressions were.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Ten 99
How do you think they stacked up against the Rockets with regards to sound and fit and finish. The dollar amounts puts them closer to the Rockets with regards here. I'm not certain if you only got to hear the L2Ds or if you got to hear the MR-C and the MG speakers or not. I doubt the MG, because of their size, but what about the MR-C? I'd also like to hear from Gabriel on this to see what his thoughts and impressions were.
Apex did bring the MR-C but we didn't listen to it due to 1) time constraints and 2) we were primarily interested in the L2Ds.


fit an finish...apples and oranges comparison due to satin and gloss...if u like gloss, then the L2D is better...if u like satin, then the Rocket finish is better. pick ur poison. :D however if you get A-stock Rockets, you will get speakers with no imperfections. The L2Ds had small imperfections in the finish that could be seen at close range. Still for $500, you will be hard pressed to find another speaker that can deliver the finish and performance of the L2Ds - PERIOD!


Apex more or less agreed with my assessment...you can read his assessment here...

http://www.gotapex.com/forums/showth...0&pagenumber=9
 
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