Help Me with new speakers.... Please. - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 01-16-09, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Help Me with new speakers.... Please.

So I'm upgrading my 5.0 speakers from HTiB. I have a limited budget. I was looking at the Elemental Designs speakers. They have a "package builder" that saves 15% on an order. I've read many good comments on these speakers. Any additional comments from people who have or heard them??

My question is what combo I should go with. I'm looking at a combo of the A3 - 5TC - Bookshelf Pair front and rear and a A6 - 6T6 - MTM center. Or A6 - 5T5 front and rear? I want to keep it under $450 after 15% off if possible.

Any suggestions/comments would be great. FYI I'll be looking for a receiver upgrade soon to power these. Specs on what too watch for power wise would be helpful.

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-17-09, 09:16 AM
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Re: Help Me with new speakers.... Please.

I have not heard the Elemental Designs,... in fact I just barely heard of them a couple months ago . From the net chatter about them I would suspect them to be on par or better than the majority of HTiB speakers.

I suspect someone here at the Shack has heard them and will soon chime in.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-17-09, 09:52 AM
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Re: Help Me with new speakers.... Please.

I have not heard these either, but I am trying to work with ED on sponsorship here, so that they can have a home audio forum like they do a car audio forum. They need somewhere that all of their current owners and potential owners can have a common ground for discussion.

I know of one member who has these and will see if he can chime in.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-17-09, 10:27 AM
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Re: Help Me with new speakers.... Please.

Hey guys. I'm no eD Audio expert, but I've known about them for a few years, chatted with them many times, and purchased their 6T6-US (Under Screen) speakers for L-C-R with 5T5 rears.

Now, I may not be 100% on their history and description here, so forgive me if I'm wrong on the details.

These are younger guys that started off in DIY car audio who started up a company putting together great bang for the buck (car audio) Amps and Speakers that were well received by the Gen Y car guys (I'm a Gen X guy myself that thinks he's still 25 LOL). I stumbled into them because I have a Scion xB (a Gen Y car by design) and these guys are a big hit with the Scion crowd...especially subs and amps.

So I kept an eye on them for a few years, and I heard about them doing some HT stuff. And since I'm on a budget, they are well loved by the younger car guys, I figured I'd give them a try and buy a set of the 6T6 Under Screen speakers. I like the big bold face and DJ Loudspeaker like look of them (not exactly the best design for HT or Home audio a more experienced installer would say because of large reflective surfaces etc, but whatever, I'm a very visual person and I liked the way they look).

Anywho, I don't want to sound like I'm bashing eD, but they dropped the ball a few times. First I have to point out I'm probably the 3rd person to order a set of the 6T6-US, and they are pretty much custom made (CNC routed MDF by the way). And there were lots of delays on my speakers because of spraying issues (they are rough rubber coated exterior, which I like), then parts issue (I was told for weeks they couldn't ship because they didn't have ports!!). And then when they finally arrived, they were packaged very poorly which damaged a tweeter, and to top that off UPS had roughed them up and one speaker had a crushed corner and a spike was imbeded in the MDF. eD were quick to send me a replacement tweeter...which was also packaged poorly, so that arrived damaged as well. Finally they sent me a well packaged tweeter that arrived well and I swapped it out without any further issues.

As for the damaged speaker, I hounded them with E-mails for a week or three about "what should we do" and "are you filing a claim", and "are you going to send me a replacement and I'll ship this back to you". At this point I was getting luke warm responses from eD.

Finally I just gave up trying to chase them down and just kept the damaged speaker. It was only cosmetic, and this whole deal was a hassle from the start.

Wow, that really sounds like I was bashing them...again, they seem like nice guys and they tried to help me out and were very responsive in the beginning...but I just got so tired of chasing them down in the end for what should have been a simple buy and install speaker purchase.

As for the sound of the speakers...they are loud and efficient, but seem a bit sybilant to me. They seem like better than your store bought fodder, but no where near a high end home theater speaker. I'd put them as upper mid-end quality like much of the newer Kliptsch stuff. Good bang for the buck for sure! I did mention the sybilants to them, and of course they said it couldn't possibly be their speakers, it's got to be my equipment. Which is possible, but keep in mind...I've built myself high end two ways for high end two channel reproduction for about 15 years, and I build my own tube amps as a hobby. While I don't have a "golden ear", I know I can hear pretty well. And to me, these speakers sound a bit like loud speakers; Big, bold, and a bit brash...but great bang for the buck. They have mellowed out a hint over the months, but my initial thoughts still hold true.

Would I recommend eD Audio?....I'd have to say, for the money, I'd give them a chance again. My experience could have just been a series of unlucky happenstance. They did try to correct things, but I felt like I was doing most of the foot work and hearing a lot of lame excuses. They do build a decent product, and it has good value (if it works out of the box, LOL).

I've avoided posting my experiences for about six months because I didn't want to post in frustration, and I wanted to give the guys a fair shake. What you see here is an honest account after a six month cool down period. LOL
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-17-09, 10:34 AM
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Re: Help Me with new speakers.... Please.

I went to an open house of theirs in Dec, but truth be told, it wasn't an ideal listening environment. The only critical time I got was with the A6 towers, which handily impressed me considering they're $500/pair.

I'd say their speakers are a pretty safe bet considering the cost, but I can't claim to have given them a thorough once over.

One thing you should do, though, is keep you front 3 matched. Go 5t5 or 6t6 for both fronts and center. For surrounds, you can get away with a lot less and stick with the A3 5tc.

If you're on a tight budget, also consider getting some refurbed Beta 20s from the HK reseller on ebay. They're $60-70/each shipped right now, so you should be able to get 5 (ideal), or 4 plus a matching center (250 or 360), for under $400. They're my current ultra budget pick.

P.S. I also have a brief interview with the co-founder Ben which will be posted soon.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-17-09, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help Me with new speakers.... Please.

Nice info from everyone. I am on a tight budget so as Lonely Raven said I think I'm the prime target for eD. I'd love to see some more info from other users and have looked over that car audio forum which have a small bit of HT talk. I'd love to see more here.

I agree with you eugovector. After thinking it over I was planning on the 5t5 front and center with the a3 5tc bookshelf rears. I'm going to check into those Beta 20s you suggested and subscribe to that podcast.
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