My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 10-15-13, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later

Since the beginning, my quest for audio and video nirvana had the unfortunate result of a system evolution that would go through some rapid changes – equipment/speakers never remained the same for very long. When it came to my speaker selection, satisfaction was often piqued, but never completely achieved – I had a bad case of upgrade-itis. I would make small gains, but the more I changed, the more I would wonder. I could never get to that point of being content enough to able to settle. That is, until I came across the names Danny Richie and GR Research. I had been an admirer of his work since I first found out about the influence he has had on so many products that I've enjoyed in the past. It was a long and arduous journey, especially nearing the end of my speaker journey, but it has been worth every one of the trials and errors in the long run.

When I first caught glimpses of the LS-6 & LS-9 speakers I drooled and dreamed. I had read review after review of these speakers all just gushing at how incredible they were. But, at that time these speakers were only offered as a kit through Danny’s website and the cabinets would require being built yourself. It didn’t quite seem feasible for me since I had no skill in woodworking nor did I have the machinery. I have tinkering know-how, so putting everything together would’ve been doable, but cabinets, especially at they size they are, would be completely beyond me. There were one or two places that could have built the cabinets, but individual pricing and customizing would put these way out of my price range during that time.

Then when AV123 offered them completely built at an incredibly affordable price, I finally had to jump at the opportunity. In retrospect they were ridiculously underpriced for what they are. Despite having not heard them personally prior to ordering, Danny’s reputation for quality was enough for me. After having placed my original order, I never could have anticipated that I would be waiting months and months in order to finally get them from AV123. Alas, in my eagerness, sold off all my previous seven channels and subwoofer and then I decided I would need to upgrade my surrounds anyway. So during my waiting time, I was able to purchase two pairs of A/V-1RS kits and outsourced those cabinets to another company, which then I then all put together. I used a pair of the A/V-1RS as temporary placeholders until I finally got the LS-9s in place. I also picked up the X-Voce for center channel duty because it would provide the closest sonic match to the LS-9s, at least at that time. As the time stretched on from initial ordering of the LS-9s I began to worry and hope that these would live up to the hype that surrounded them.

When I finally received the LS-9's in my hand and I set them into place for the first time, all my fears, frustration, and doubts were laid to rest. I ended up being one of the very select few individuals that was actually able to acquire them amongst the entire fiasco with AV123 before that company completely disappeared. In fact, the pair that I got was the RMAF ‘08 pair of rosewood LS-9s that is so prominently shown in many advertisements for GR-Research! These were the most dynamic speakers I had ever experienced. The depth and speed of these were unmatched by any other speaker that I had previously heard. In fact, the subsonic decay speed was second to none, even in subwoofers that I heard either. Previous subs I've experienced simply could not provide the attack and release necessary to provide the visceral impact and detail experienced with these towers. Silky smooth highs soared, as ear fatigue remained nonexistent. There was nothing shrill and nothing harsh to speak of. Details and nuances previously unheard came to life as recording after recording played. The amount of layers in the sound space expanded in both width and height. Recordings began to have new palpable textures. The sound these goliaths produced simply enveloped me as I began enjoying them more and more. As I continued to delve into their monstrous power with thunderous audio mixes in movies, I began to realize just how incredibly capable these speakers were. Not only were they incredibly musical, they were overachievers for home theater usage. The more I turned up the dial, the more the LS-9s just seemed to stretch their wings. All the clichés of gushing and glowing speaker reviews were now the only words that could come to my mind and that I could spout regarding the speakers.

What home theater wouldn’t be complete without a powerhouse center channel, and thankfully Danny engineered one with the X-Voce. Another speaker of Danny’s that was offered through AV123 completely assembled. Regarding the X-Voce, I know Danny has recently released the LS-C, which is a much better fit to the LS-6s and LS-9s, but, alas, I’ve been enamored by the sound the X-Voce outputs. It is still among the best center channels I’ve come across. The airiness of the open-baffle sound is expansive enough to closely match the grand sound stage that the LS-9s output. It does a remarkable job at disappearing into the mix between the LS-9s. Despite being sonically different than the LS-9s it has kept up marvelously and it is truly one of the most capable center channels out.

Finally, the A/V-1RS surrounds are working famously and are a fantastic inclusion in my home theater. I’ve had numerous surrounds trying to recreate a natural sound presence, the ones preceding the A/V-1RS being the Axiom Audio QS4’s and then the Onix Rockets RSS. The A/V-1RS surrounds have the most presence and also provide the most natural sound and imaging of all the surrounds I have heard. They also provide a smooth transition from the LS-9 that certainly add an immersive movie experience overall. What makes them even more praise-worthy is they are the least finicky surround speakers to place to get a good sound. They have now traveled with me through three different homes and that point has made them the clearest winner for recommendation for surrounds. This is especially true considering that most individual’s systems will be in the confines of spaces that are less than ideal; having easy-to-place speakers will ALWAYS be a huge plus!

Fast-forward to now; I've been enjoying these same seven speakers, the X-Voce, LS-9’s, and A/V-1RS, coming up on five years now. While this summation is reflective of my initial experiences, I wrote it based off of recollection and, more importantly, my continued experience today. The honeymoon phase has long been over and the appeal of “new toys” has long since past. In those years, many things have changed, but the one thing that has stayed constant is my sound system. I have finally found speakers worthy enough to keep for this long. No longer do I have upgrade-itis and no longer do I desire to have better speakers. Nearing five years now, these speakers still astound me just as much as they did on day one. While I am strongly considering making the jump from X-Voce to the LS-C to complete the system, I’m pretty much satisfied at where I am at right now. I know there are better stereo speakers out there, like the ones that Danny recently designed and showcased at RMAF ’13, the Open-Baffle LS and sub system, but I’ve gotten my fill and have finally achieved satisfaction. I tip my hat to Danny Richie/GR-Research.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

Last edited by Jon Liu; 10-15-13 at 10:34 AM. Reason: typo corrections!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-15-13, 11:24 AM
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Re: My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later

Thanks for the feedback. I am always glad to hear stories from happy customers.

I hope you enjoy them for many more years to come.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-31-13, 02:35 PM
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Re: My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later


I know what you mean about Danny's speakers. I have built two pairs of his bookshelf speakers (an X-LS Encore and an N1X) and one center channel speaker, an X-CS Encore. I like all of them and have them set up in two different systems, The Encores as part of a surround sound system upstairs and the N1X's as part of a 2.1 system in my office.

My wife was impressed enough with the N1X's that I am building a fully upgraded pair of N3 transmission line speakers for the living room. An N3S center channel is next for that system followed either by a pair of AV1/RS's or O3's for surrounds. They will have to wait for awhile though because I have a stepdaughter, niece and nephew who each want me to build them a pair of speakers, 2 sets of X-MTM Encores (floor standers) and one pair of X-LS Encores.

Happy listening,

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-07-14, 09:13 AM
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Re: My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later

I built a pair of X-LS and they recently became a gift to a cousin of my wife. He loves them and now all his friends want me to build some for them. It will have to wait for now though, because I am already behind on projects.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-08-14, 09:54 AM
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Re: My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later

Thanks Jon for that excellent write up of your continuing experience!

I have had the opportunity to hear several of Danny's speakers as well, and that guy really "gets it" - I have walked away from every session going "WOW"!

I still have an XS kit in my workshop waiting to be built....
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-08-14, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My GR-Research Experience Still Going Strong Five Years Later

Thanks for the comments guys! For the last couple months it's been rare for me to be able to sit down to listen to my system. When I have, though, I still have fallen in love with the sound that they produce. Danny really does "get it" and it really shows by his continued love and passion to make speakers.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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