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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:56 am 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I bought four bookshelves to test in my home theater. Axiom M22, Klipsch RB61, Energy CB20, Sinclair Audio BT25. I may buy a used pair of Klipsch Heresy IIs to add to the mix.

Warning: I am no audiophile. My untrained ears are just that. The best speakers I've ever heard are a good friends Totems so they are my reference point. (Staffs, Rainmakers, Thunder!)

My configuration: The room is 113 Inches Wide, 83 inches tall (7 foot ceiling), and 316 Inches Deep (great for multi rowed seating). SVS PB10-NSD Sub. AVR is a Pioneer 1019. Music source is my HTPC. Music testing is done with 80% lossless tracks (FLAC), 20% BluRay and DVD. HDMI to my PC with straight pass-though via PCM, no interference. Movies are DTS or Dolby for the HTPC, DTS HDMA and TrueHD for Bluray on my PS3.

Sinclair Audio BT25s:
SPECIFICATIONS
Price: $330
Description: 2-Way,Double 5.25” Driver Tower with DALtech Sound Damping
Woofers: Dual 5.25”Woven Fiberglass Hybrid
Tweeter: 1” Polymer Integrated Soft Dome
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Sensitivity: 90dB
Power Handling: 150 Watts
Frequency Response: 45Hz-20kHz
Dimensions, mm (HWD): 850mm x 180mm x 222mm
Dimensions, inches (HWD): 33” x 7” x 9”

Opinion: I've had the Sinclair BT25s for about 8 months and they are decent. I compare them to a $800 pair of Mirage towers I bought second hand and they lack the warmth and bass of the Mirages. Like most new speakers these days they are bright and fatiguing. They look nice but thats the highest praise I can give them. I find them shrill and lifeless. I bought them when my audio knowledge was non-existent.

Klipsch RB61:
Price: $370 - Sale price - Regular: $620
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 43Hz-23kHz +/-3dB
POWER HANDLING 100W RMS / 400W Peak
SENSITIVITY 95dB @ 2.83V / 1m
NOMINAL IMPEDANCE 8 ohms compatible
HIGH FREQ CROSSOVER 2000Hz
HIGH FREQUENCY DRIVERS 1" (2.54cm) Titanium diaphragm compression driver mated to 90x60 square Tractrix® Horn
LOW FREQUENCY DRIVERS 6.5" (16.5cm) Cerametallic™ cone woofer
ENCLOSURE TYPE Bass-reflex via front-firing port

Initial impression:
The horn tweeters do sound different. With the smaller bookshelves pulled out from the corners of the room there is an improved sound stage. I'll give them a couple day break-in before giving my final opinion but initial impression isn't positive. They sound bright, not balanced like the higher end Totems I've heard. They do blend MUCH better with my sub than the Sinclairs did. At higher volumes they are clearer than the Sinclairs but nothing like the Totems. They excel at revealing detail in audio I may not have noticed before.

Day 3:
Gave up on the Klipsch RB61. They really don't do it for me. They have an accurate sound stage but the bright highs are annoying. I find them too fatiguing. They are very easy to drive.

Energy CB20
System Type 2-way bookshelf, magnetically shielded bass reflex with rear-firing port
Frequency Response 60Hz - 20kHz
Recommended Amplifier Power 20-150 W /channel
Impedance 4 Ohms min./8 Ohms nominal
Tweeter 1-inch (25.4mm) hyperbolic aluminum-dome
Woofer 6.5-inch (165mm) w/Ribbed Elliptical Surround
Sensitivity (2 speakers in a typical room) 92dB

Initial Impression:
The Energy CB20 has a killer midrange. They sound rich and definitely don't sound fatiguing. Not quite warm like I was expecting, just balanced. My Pioneer 1019 has no trouble driving the CB20s. They have solid base and I can't believe they only cost $350 regular price. The CB20s make me smile. At louder volumes they get muddy fast which is to be expected at this price range. I like these so much I would love to try the Energy RC70 towers. I bet they sound brilliant. A very solid Rock speaker. Not as good as the Klipsch for electronic music.

Axiom M22 V3
Enclosure: Vortex / Reflex
Max Amp Power: 200 Watts
Min Amp Power: 10 Watts
Freq Resp +/-3dB (Hz): 60 - 22kHz Graph
Freq Resp +3dB- 9dB (Hz): 50 - 22kHz
Impedance (Ohms): 8 Ohms
SPL in Room1w/1m(dB): 93 dB
SPL Anechoic 1w/1m(dB): 89 dB
X-Over 3.5 kHz
Tweeter: Single 1"
Woofer: Dual 5.25"
8 Ohms
SPL in Room1w/1m(dB): 93 dB
SPL Anechoic 1w/1m(dB): 89 dB
X-Over 3.5 kHz
Tweeter: Single 1"
Woofer: Dual 5.25"

Initial Impression:
Started using the M22s today. They sound bright to me. They have a ton of detail, they reveal everything on the original recording. They have a very clean and uncolored sound. I'm a little disappointed with the bass. I find them a little fatiguing. Maybe I would like the M60 or M80 more but they don't work in my room as well. I'm going to use the M22s for another couple days and I'm going to check out the Klipsh Heresy IIs. I really want to like the M22s more than I do because I love this forum and I dig that they are Canadian made.

So far, I can't say I like them as much as the Energy CB 20s. Yes the Energys are more colored, they don't go as loud and they lack the flat frequency response but I don't care. The Energy CB 20s had me tapping my feet the whole time I was listening.


Last edited by Pastuch on Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:13 am 
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Location: Welland, ON, CA
What about the Axiom's? Is there a part II coming up. Did you like the Energy's more than the Mirage?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:31 am 
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Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I'll be playing with all these speakers for the next week before making up my mind. I've already ruled out the Klipsch RB61s. The Mirages are the M390IS from 2000 and I like them better than the Energys but then they are four times as large and cost three times as much when new. I paid $120 for the M390is and a great little NAD 712 Stereo amp off UsedOttawa. Killer deal!

Mirage M390-is
I generally agree with the other owners on Audioreview. They have terrific bass, great balance and they make for an excellent all rounder. Detailed midrange. They are my go-to speaker for parties right now. I'm not sure they are quite as good as the Totem Arrow but they are close. My friend had the Arrows before getting the Staffs and I thought they were stellar.

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/speakers ... 94crx.aspx

I really want to demo a pair of Klipsch Heresys because I hear they are an uber rock speaker and they perform well in the corner of a room.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:43 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I think the Klipsch speakers would perhaps need longer break in, my buddy who went through Klipsch speakers, (forgot the model #), said it sounded bright in the beginning, but after a month it smoothed out.

I am not saying that's the case here, but something to consider.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:48 am 
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Every lower end Klipsch speaker I have ever heard has that cupped hands sound to the treble that I just can't stand. I have heard a couple of the higher up models and didn't notice this phenomenon.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:54 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
Tardis, I've read that in multiple places. The Klipsch have a long break-in period. I'm just not impressed enough to bother. For $100 less I can go buy the used Heresy IIs that will almost certainly put the RB61s to shame.

-- 18 Jul 2010 19:04 --

Put in my initial impressions of the M22 V3s (first post). I'm disappointed with them so far. I think vocals are the weak link for the M22s. Trent just doesn't sound right to me.

I'm shocked how much I like the Energy CB-20s. I think I enjoy them as much as the Mirages. They are the least expensive speaker in my home and they frequently go on sale for as low as $250 at Futureshop. I would say they are best sounding sub $300 speaker I've ever heard.

-- 19 Jul 2010 17:02 --

I'm going to return the Axioms, Klipsch, and Energys! They all loose. Well really the Energys are great but I'm not paying $350 plus tax for a speaker that I can get for $250 on sale easily. I'm going to audition the Klipsch Heresys this week. Hopefully they impress.


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