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Arx A1b/A2b Speaker Review Discussion Thread​



For the Full Review Click Here

Conclusion
Don't tell anyone at The Audio Insider that I held on to the Arx speakers a lot longer than I needed in order to do this review. There were some extenuating circumstances -- thank you "super" storm Sandy -- but in reality there's a very simple reason for why I had them so long; I fell in love with their sound and was loath to give them up. I pine for speakers that have detail, clarity and a wide soundstage. Dynamics must be spot on, there can't be any harshness or audible compression until the volume gets painfully loud, and every nuance has to be clear and precise. Oh yea, they also must be dirt cheap. That, in a nutshell, describes the Arx speakers. Another way to describe them would be Value, with a capital V. I'm not sure how (or more accurately, why) TAI is selling them this cheap, but if you're in the market for a home theater or stereo system comprised of speakers with exceptional qualities make sure you don't plunk your money down on anything until you give the Arx a try. If you are the type of person who loves to hear others say in total disbelief "you only paid how much for those?!" then Arx needs to be on your short list. Their appearance might not win any prizes, but the extraordinary sound they create certainly could.

Please feel free to discuss below.
 

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I have the A3'a and the A2 center. I absolutlely love them. This review is spot on for how great the Arx line sounds. Thanks for taking the time to do a review, this line of speakers truely deserve it. :T
 

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I've been waiting a long time for a review of the Arx speakers. Thanks for this, Jim.

Been very interested in Arx for a long time, your review has me searching for an excuse to fit a pair of A5's in here somewhere...

The planar combined with the XBL2 driver and the low pricing is what makes the Arx line so special.
 

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I've been waiting a long time for a review of the Arx speakers. Thanks for this, Jim.

Been very interested in Arx for a long time, your review has me searching for an excuse to fit a pair of A5's in here somewhere...

The planar combined with the XBL2 driver and the low pricing is what makes the Arx line so special.

I'm new here, but I'm "the guy" who helped Jon Lane develop the A5's.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the simply outstanding midrange is probably the best part of the A5's...and I take nothing away from the planar tweeter or the XBL2/SplitGap midwoofers. The midrange is simply superb. It drips of refinement and really does help create that wrap-around stereo effect with good recordings.


Jim, as always, a superbly written review. You should start your own online magazine. :D
 

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Glad you could join us, BufordTJustice!

I watched with interest as the A5 developed, and was glad to see it hit the market. Dunno if I can justify another speaker around here, but I sure would like a pair of Arx for 2 channel listening, the A1 at least!
 

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Happy to be here! Long time lurker!

I think we are all looking for an excuse to buy "just one more ____". ;)

I would really like to have Jim put ears on the A5's for more than a few minutes. They will be at the next AVS GTG, hopefully he will be get a chance t really sit down and give some impressions of the A5's then. *fingers crossed*
 

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Great review Jim! :T I'm looking for a new set of speakers and I'm definitely interested in Arx. They're added to my list of speakers to test! I just hope John can get the A2b produced soon so I wouldn't be without a center channel.
 

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Great review Jim. Too bad you had to give them up. For the price and performance I think the Arx line deserves to be on many peoples short list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would really like to have Jim put ears on the A5's for more than a few minutes. They will be at the next AVS GTG, hopefully he will be get a chance t really sit down and give some impressions of the A5's then. *fingers crossed*
We're setting up a gauntlet of sorts for all the speakers to navigate through which will consist of both musical passages and various movie scenes. Unfortunately one-on-one time is what's really needed to properly evaluate something, and since I'm co-hosting the event I probably won't have the ability to focus on the speakers in the manner I would like. However, I'll be down their the night before the GTG helping setup and get everything squared away so perhaps some time will be available then. Jon has agreed to send the speakers out a few weeks prior to ensure sufficient time for break-in, which should mean they're ready to go.
 

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Excellent review Jim. :clap: After being very impressed with my A5s, A1bs, and A2 for some time now, I am glad to see it getting some well-deserved credit.
 

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Thank you very much, Jim. This is a rare and appreciated treat (and not just a little humbling). The pursuit of the real core of the music is for us a valid pursuit and we've found that it's not always related to cost or price.

It's a lot of fun recreating convincing illusions at the entry level but it's even more fun when good friends identify that with us. It's validating and I'm moved.

Jim, thanks again and thanks too to the Arx community. Your involvement does us all a service.
 

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We're setting up a gauntlet of sorts for all the speakers to navigate through which will consist of both musical passages and various movie scenes. Unfortunately one-on-one time is what's really needed to properly evaluate something, and since I'm co-hosting the event I probably won't have the ability to focus on the speakers in the manner I would like. However, I'll be down their the night before the GTG helping setup and get everything squared away so perhaps some time will be available then. Jon has agreed to send the speakers out a few weeks prior to ensure sufficient time for break-in, which should mean they're ready to go.
A few moments ago I confirmed to the group by email that we'll be happy to lend a set of A5s. How such a modest little tower does among all the heavy hitters I understand are planned for this GTG is up to the audio gods, but I'm sure they'll be in good hands.

As always, if TAI can do something to support and further the event we shall. Eat all you want; we'll make more, as the old tag line goes...
 

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I can only echo everyone else in their appreciation of a great review Jim... very well done!

Oh... and make sure you wear that HTS shirt when you are at that GTG. Maybe I should send you a sweatshirt and some giveaway T-Shirts too. :whistling:
 

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Thank you all for the kind words. I'm glad the review has been so well received.


Oh... and make sure you wear that HTS shirt when you are at that GTG. Maybe I should send you a sweatshirt and some giveaway T-Shirts too. :whistling:
Send them my way, swag is always good! Last time I gave away a PSA XS15, so while not quite in that league most people subscribe to the axiom "if it's free it's for me". :D
 

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I've been waiting a long time for a review of the Arx speakers. Thanks for this, Jim.

Been very interested in Arx for a long time, your review has me searching for an excuse to fit a pair of A5's in here somewhere...

The planar combined with the XBL2 driver and the low pricing is what makes the Arx line so special.
Hey Tess, I'm sure if you looked long and hard you could find some space for a pair of A5's someplace:T I looked hard, well not very and found a spot for a third A5, just appeared, you want a solid LCR front presentation with enveloping sound, look no further. Even with two channel listening I had to often check to see if my receiver was set to all channel sound. The sound is all around the speakers and behind them, never too forward and precise imaging, nothing more to say.
Cheers Jeff :sn:
 

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I'm eager to hear the A2b as soon as it arrives later this year (God willing).

Sorry if I missed it, but I found no mid bass cone material specified in the review or TAI website. My only bias in mid bass cones is negative for woven carbon fiber, which seems to be overly self-damped, thus minimizing transient and macro dynamics. The split gap mid bass are obviously not WCF, so I'm just curious. The cones appear to be composite polymer, which I generally prefer.

To increase output capability in a larger room, I consider three vertical stand-mounted A2b across the front LCR. For purely functional reasons in a unique application (not space, not esthetics) LCR must be stand mounts, not floor standers.

What vertical point on the A2 do readers estimate is the ideal ear height? System is dual-use HT/music, with retractable perforated screen, in large dedicated room. Stereo converts to 3.1 via pure analog Trinaural Processor by the late James Bongiorno. There is no screen nor furniture interference, with wide placement options. The first priority is ideal performance then second priority (more for esthetics, less for stability) is low speaker height relative to my ear height of 39.5".

Regarding ear height relative to symmetrical vertical array: A nearby friend/professional speaker designer listened with his ears horizontal with the center of the top mid bass center of his very large MTM headed for a studio (12"/large waveguide/12"). He noticed the image rose above the speaker. Upon further research of AES papers he found experiments showed that listeners in blind tests perceived sound sources above their actual height.

I'm hoping A2 sound ideal with ear height equal to the center of the top mid bass rather than the tweeter.
 
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