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My A5s arrived today. Here are my initial listening impressions (copied from my review in the TAI forum):

The first time I hooked them up, they sounded like brand new A1s. The planar tweeter was sounding good but the bass was not yet "full" and they need some break-in time. So left them on and went out for a couple of hours to do some chores.

After coming back, I was surprised that they are already sounding a lot better. I mean, it took about a week or more for me to break in my A1s and A2. Right off the bat I noticed the increased clarity. These were not just A1s that played louder. The highs seemed a bit more pronounced and the midrange was amazing. It seemed that there was more spacing between instruments and the vocals. Not sure if this is the treble adjustment and improved midrange resolution that Jon and Buford talked about in their prior posts (nonetheless, thank you).

I was surprised to hear sounds coming from the A5s that I did not hear before on the current track that was playing (). I was like, "was that there before?", and I had to rewind the track... I was waiting until the full break in to play my wife's favorite tunes but I had to check. I played the live performances from Daryl Hall's website and was amazed at the increased clarity. My wife stopped by to listen. I switched from stereo to 5.0 and could not tell the difference between the whole Arx system (with the A2 and A1s fully broken in) and just the A5s. I asked my wife to close her eyes and see if she can hear any difference (she sings in a band). I was pleasantly surprised when she said I prefer the prior one (just the A5s)--they're clearer and louder. I used to do this with the A1s and she always preferred the A2 with the A1s playing vs. just the A1s. She then said that she liked the A5s the best and gave a compliment "it's better than your prior [HTIB ribbon] speakers" (she always compares those to the A1s and prefers them). She then asked about the price and I told her about the value of the first group buy, which made her happy.

We then had to stop and just listen to our favorite songs (and enjoy the music). Amazing! I'll probably sound like Buford in his initial impressions of the A5 prototypes but the sound really seems to envelop you. I did not notice how loud the A5s were playing (I was using my normal 50% volume), when my wife told me she could not hear me because it seems that she's surrounded by sound in 3D. The A5s do sound a lot bigger than their physical size. The attributes Buford mentioned in his initial impression of the prototypes that convinced me to avail of the group buy are true!

Thank you Buford for "pestering" Jon to create the A5s and of course, thank you Jon for such a wonderful product. I really enjoyed my A1s and A2 and thought that they could not be outdone by the A5s.

Clarity, transparency, efficiency and value (I agree to what Bill said). Great job folks! Call me impressed.
 

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Nice review.

Glad to see more happy Arx owners. Can't wait to order my set next week. Its amazing at the performance and value the Arx speakers offer. The A2s across the front with A1 surrounds is great sounding as it is, can't imagine how good the A5s will be.
 

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I thought perhaps I might add my 02 on the A5's...

There was a GTG this past weekend in PA that I attended. The main demo room/torture chamber :D was in the basement, while the A5's were upstairs. Because of that I didn't have sufficient time with them to get a full understanding of their character, but I did at least hear them long enough to get familiar with the sound signature.

To me they sounded fairly neutral, warm even. I detected no harshness, sibilance or exaggerated highs. The room was pretty big, so I didn't really expect them to be overly bright anyway. Even though the placement was less than ideal I still think the sound stage was quite wide, especially in the midrange. They aren't afraid of volume either; we had them cranked up rather high, yet they didn't seem to lose their composure. They simply got louder, without losing refinement.

All-in-all, I would have to say I was quite impressed with what I heard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice review.

Glad to see more happy Arx owners. Can't wait to order my set next week. Its amazing at the performance and value the Arx speakers offer. The A2s across the front with A1 surrounds is great sounding as it is, can't imagine how good the A5s will be.
gtpsuper24, did you get your set of A5s? Any impressions that you would like to share with the group? Do you have a full 7.1 Arx system? I believe you are driving these with the Onkyo 818?
 

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gtpsuper24, did you get your set of A5s? Any impressions that you would like to share with the group? Do you have a full 7.1 Arx system? I believe you are driving these with the Onkyo 818?
Yes got my A5s. I keep meaning to do a review but I suck at trying to type out a worthwhile read lol.

Right now I have A5 mains, A2 center, A2s for surrounds and A1s for heights, although I might move them to the rear. Yep driving them with the 818.

I've really noticed how articulate the midbass is. Not boomyness or "slow" sound to it. The tweeter and mid I would have to describe as just natural, theres never any overhang in the tweeter like my Axioms and the mids never seem strained like the Axioms also. The Axioms tweeter did not have the same separation as the Arx planar. The Axioms seem to slur though the highs like strings, but the planar seemed to have more separation, kind of like and on off very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, gtpsuper24. No worries. I too, struggle in typing out a worthwhile read.

I agree on the A5 drivers being "fast." Also, based on your suggestion on the TAI forum, I have mine crossed at 80 Hz right now. The bass seems tighter vs. having them full range with the sub on. I think the term you used was the bass seemed "bloated"? Not that it sounded bad but adjusting the settings helped in my room (I have limited placement options). I'll play with the settings some more and might cross these lower.

Do you utilize the 818's Audyssey MultiEQ XT with the A5s? How's the SQ with Audyssey on the A5s?
 

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I currently have mine crossed at 60hrz. After running REW, I noticed I had a null around 60-70 hrz. So crossing the A5s at 60hrz seemed to help fill in the null.

The 818 has XT32 and its great sounding. Although the biggest improvement is in the bass, I didn't noticed much difference in the mids and treble with XT32 on vs. off. Midbass and subwoofer bass has the biggest improvement. I have not tried out the normal Multi EQ XT, I went from 2EQ and Multi EQ right to XT32.
 

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Thank you, Jim. I look forward to your formal review of the Arx A2 and A1bs. I believe someone mentioned in the TAI forum that the A1bs sound like a small version of the A5s.
That is correct my friend, a little less sensitive than the A5's though, but really shine with a little more power, they really open up and sound way bigger than the enclosures would dictate.:T
 
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