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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at upgrading my bookshelf speakers that sit atop my sealed sonotube bass bins and looking at available offerings I began to wonder how much difference there was in sound between the Arx A1b bookshelves/A2c center and the Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1 bookshelves/CSC-1 center, and just how the audio signature would be different. Clearly, the cabinets are finished differently, however, both use a quality 5.25" midwoofer and planar magnetic tweeter, though the Arx tweeter is from an unknown maker (perhaps BG as well?). Even the cabinet weights are nearly the same. The 'voicing' of the crossovers are surely different, but how so? Am I missing something else?
 

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I recently did a review on the Arx speakers, so I can give you quite a lot of information about those. Unfortunately I've never heard the Carnegie Acoustics speakers, so I'm not in the position to offer you any advice on those.

The tweeter used in the Arx is a variant of one made by HiVi, a very respected manufacturer of drivers. It's definitely a quality piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jim. I read your review with great interest. I figured the Arx planar wasn't a cheap unit, being a planar with few manufacturers that build them, so HiVi makes sense. Combined with the solid cabinet and XBL midbass, Arx just looks like an amazing performer. I'm trying to scrape together enough to pick up three Carnegie speakers, but in the process I began wondering how much different these units sound as I may miss out on their current sale. I would then only be able to afford the Arx to upgrade from my current titanium dome bookshelves.

I also note that the Arx is rear ported while the Carnegie is front ported, and the Carnegie center is sealed while the Arx is rear ported, so placement may be one of the more important differences.
 

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I also note that the Arx is rear ported while the Carnegie is front ported, and the Carnegie center is sealed while the Arx is rear ported, so placement may be one of the more important differences.
The Arx line of speakers was designed to be run as bass reflex or acoustic suspension, so you can use the port bung and block it off if you need to. That way you're able to move them closer to a boundary, which sounds as though it may be an issue for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's correct. I'm probably not going to replace what I buy anytime soon and our room will never be huge. Since my environment may change, I want to be able to have them fairly close to the wall, if needed. I really want to hear planar tweeters as I feel that these titanium domes are a bit harsh during dynamic passages, but have never had the opportunity to do so.
 

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The Arx planar is pure awesome and its a very expensive high quality tweeter. I think Parts-Express sells them for $55-60 each, although I doubt TAI/Jon Lane pays that much just cause of volume. The Arx tweeter though isn't an off the shelf HiVi ribbon its totally custom to Jon Lanes specs. Heavy cast alloy face plate and the drivers are sheer monsters. The magnets on those 5.3" XBL2 woofers are bigger than some 8" woofer magnets i've seen.

Its crazy the level of quality and components in the Arx line. They are not the typical over priced cheap titanium tweeters and stamp woofers, with no venting and frames that ring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The parts list for the Arx is quite impressive for a budget price. If I can't take advantage of the Carnegie before it sells out, I could still pick up the LCR Arx and see for myself what all the fuss is about regarding planar tweeters. I wish I could swap the tweeters out in my current bookshelves just to try it as they cross high enough around 3.5 Khz, but I don't think the planar faceplate will come close to fitting :sad:
 

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I actually think the Arx planar is crossed fairly low, I believe Jon said its around 2200-2500hrz. Seems its all custom for power handling and much more robust than typical ribbons that need crossed over fairly high. Those Carnegie look almost like the older Acculine models Jon designed but replaced with the Arx line. While no experience with them the comment about the BG tweeter was beamy and bright and seemed not to blend with the woofer that great.
 

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The BG planars I've heard in Danny Richie's designs are anything but bright, his speakers are well known for their smoothness. Something else to consider, the Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1 sensitivity is rated much higher than the Arx A1b, and the cabinets have a beautiful finish. Is Carnegie still in business? I can't find their site online.

The Arx has been very well received by the audio community, as we have seen. It appears to be the value leader in it's niche.

Tough choice, ironglen. I don't think you can go wrong with either. Personally, I'd go with the one that saves me the most money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just when I think that I can do something to upgrade, I have a cash flow deficit. I'll have to put this on hold, unless I sell some unused stuff.

I agree, both designs look solid, with little to compromise other than aesthetics between the two. I run mine with a solid amp at 100w to each channel, so the sensitivity is a moot point. I wish the chance to hear both would be available before purchase, but since that's not a real option, a purchase will either be swayed by funding/availability. I might just spring for a center channel even though it won't match the other front two (a bit no-no, eh?). Or even pick up a single bookshelf Arx for my center, as I already have a bookshelf acting in that regard. That might be what I try, with little cost at stake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it did look as if their product lines have been on clearance since late last year. The economy has definitely been thinning the herd when it comes to discretionary income purchases. The AI Arx line's arrival is very fortuitous for enthusiasts.
 

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They moved their site a while ago - think they were having security issues.

Here is the site now:

http://carnegieacoustics.net/#/home/
Take it from someone in the computer field... no one moves a site due to 'security issues'. Even if you change host providers -- because they are lax with security -- you still keep the same URL. Something is fishy about that line of reasoning.

That, and the suspect security problem, doesn't bode well for them.


Of course, they could still be out of business and the site is just still there I guess - the home page shows them being at Capital Audio Fest - in 2012......
BTW, did you check out the specs on the CSB-1 bookshelf. 11.5" deep, yet 13.5" tall? Sounds like some goofy dimensions to me. Wonder how aesthetically pleasing those were.
 

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Take it from someone in the computer field... no one moves a site due to 'security issues'. Even if you change host providers -- because they are lax with security -- you still keep the same URL. Something is fishy about that line of reasoning.

That, and the suspect security problem, doesn't bode well for them.




BTW, did you check out the specs on the CSB-1 bookshelf. 11.5" deep, yet 13.5" tall? Sounds like some goofy dimensions to me. Wonder how aesthetically pleasing those were.
I actually have a set - I bought them from Danny at GR. I am planning to use them in a bedroom system, I just have not had an opportunity to set them up.

Aesthetically speaking, they really are not bad looking - the cabinet is designed with a backward slant which gives them a somewhat unique appearance and they do have a really good gloss finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Aesthetically speaking, they really are not bad looking - the cabinet is designed with a backward slant which gives them a somewhat unique appearance and they do have a really good gloss finish.
Backward slant? I missed that somewhere, and it may not bode well for me being atop my bass bins since they stand almost 32" tall by themselves.
 
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