Aperion Audio Verus II Grand Tower Speaker vs SVS Ultra Towers (and others)

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by BadJRT, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    Hello Todd,
    My first post here, but i've been lurking and trying to learn all I can, when I have time. I'm not very knowledgeable as of yet, so I may say or ask some not so intelligent questions. You mentioned comparing the SVS towers to Aperion but I haven't seen where you directly commented on this. I'd love to know how you'd compare the Verus 3 (I realized you reviewed the Verus 2 but would like your best assessment based on specs/news of the 3 which I would assume to be slightly better than the 2?) to the SVS Ultra tower when in two channel mode for music. (I will also be using for H/T but music is my priority for choosing mains/towers). I have a budget I'm trying to stay within and want to start from scratch building the best system I can. I'm also looking at the RBH 55-E and Axiom M100's. I heard the SVS Ultra's briefly at a demo done at a nearby A/V store and thought the bottom wasn't as tight and accurate as I'd hoped, but realize this could have been the setup or acoustics. They were mainly showing off H/T capabilities but they did run them with no subs in two channel mode, but only for a few moments because most people there wanted to hear robots slamming their feet onto a car. I'd have love to have heard more music but just didn't have the opportunity. I was outnumbered by a huge
    margin, but it was still a cool event and I really enjoyed the only factory audio demo I've ever been to.

    I'll be pairing whatever I get with two subs, most likely being the SB 4000 or SB Ultra 16's. I want to get the most accurate, best sounding fronts I can for well under $3K, if possible. I realize the M100's are 3 grand but don't want to do that unless I feel it's my best bet which in turn will probably put my surrounds on the backburner for a while.

    As I side note, I'm willing to go with very high power for the mains and am seriously considering class D for all channels or maybe just the mains and run the rest off a Marantz receiver, for instance.


    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I read a lot of contradictions online and it can become confusing and frustrating.
     
    #1 BadJRT, Dec 30, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  2. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    @BadJRT – first off, welcome to AV NIRVANA! Great first post, I hope its the first of many (and many!)... I'm a firm believer that there are no such thing as "not so intelligent" questions. This is a tremendously fun hobby and there's more than one way to skin a cat. No one here has all the answers... and often time the ideal gets squashed by real life. So, don't be shy... our moderator team doesn't put up with nonsense from trolls, so you don't have to worry about anyone giving you a hard time. ;-)

    Alright, let me see if I can answer some of your questions with some fairly straight talk answers.

    I have to be honest – I don't remember if I mentioned comparing the Aperion and SVS speakers (or if I ever did so ;-)... I may have!

    So, you're asking about the 3's vs the Ultras using the 2's as a guideline.... First off, the Verus and Ultra are, visually, very different speakers. In terms of room presence, I have to give the nod to Aperion. They just ooze this gorgeous high-end finish. No knock on the Ultra (note: I ended up buying Ultra's for my home theater room). But the Aperion finish is realllllly nice. They're lookers.

    In terms of performance, the Verus II and Ultra really are different speakers. If I were to characterize the two: the Aperions are a very smooth and nuanced speaker that has a slightly (emphasis: slightly) tamer (possibly more detailed?) high end and a little less power in the low end. The 3s could be different in the low-end category... not sure... but the 2's, from my experience, have a little less punch than the Ultras.

    The Ultra is very much a jack of all trades speaker that has a high end that's a little brighter (but not sharp or uncontrolled) high end complimented by great low-end power.

    You mention the Ultra's low-end was a little less than impressive during your demo experience. I'd immediately want to know: did your retailer have the rear-firing port plugged or unplugged? Personally, for me, I've plugged the port. I found the open port to be a tad too loose (remember, though, that's for my particular room. Yours could be different!).

    Bottom line, SVS makes awesome products. You can't go wrong with them. If i were you, I'd go back to that dealer and take some demo material with you. Pay close attention to how they have them setup... and see if they have the ports plugged. Of course, so much comes into play with the plugs (especially room size and proximity to boundaries)... but for me, those plugs went in and never came out (tightness!!!). Also, SVS gives you a free 45 day in-home trial. You can't lose with that!

    The Aperion Verus 2 is an impressive speaker. If I were looking squarely at 2-channel performance, I'd give it a really good look. And in looking at the Verus 3 specs, I'm totally intrigued. The sound from Aperion is just a little more laid-back, if that makes sense. And you're going to be pairing these speakers with sealed subs. So, for me, that immediately puts the focus on high-end performance. Both the Ultra and Verus are great, but they're different. I hate to characterize the two, because I don't want anyone to pigeon hole these speakers as one thing or another based on what I'm typing, but I think it comes down to the Ultras being a little sharper and the Verus being a little more mellow in the upper frequencies. My ears prefer the sharper... but i really REALLY liked the more mellow sound of the Verus.

    Unfortunately, I've never heard the other two speakers you're looking at... but Axiom's are definitely worth investigating (I've handled some of their gear). Great, passion company.

    Subs: those SB-16 subs are sooooooo great. I have two in my home theater. They deliver the goods with such finesse and grace...well built... great technology. I'd add those to my Home Theater 1,000 times over and never think twice about it. GREAT GEAR. If they work in your budget and you aren't trying to fill a massive room... do it. You won't regret it.

    I agree on your receiver/amp thoughts. I'll always run my front three with power from a standalone amp (I'm not shy about Class D either)... and happily leave the rest to be controlled by a receiver. For most applications and systems, it's perfect.
     
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  3. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    Todd,
    Thank you so much for the quick and thorough response, covering all my inquiries. You asked me about the rear port (I think that's the only port?) on the Ultra tower during the demo I heard. The port was open and I realize proximity to the back wall could possibly make the bass boomy and maybe that's what I was experiencing. This brings up something I read regarding ports and plugging them, that I'd like to run by you. A review I read on Audioholics By Steve Feinstein regarding RBH's R-55E:

    "They have pretty good bass extension, definitely deeper and stronger than the B&W CM8 and Paradigm Prestige 75F. It’s a dual vented design; from my look inside the cabinet, all three woofers appear to share the same internal volume and the two rear ports serve to tune the entire bass section as one. Interestingly—and to RBH’s everlasting credit—there weren’t any foam cylinders included so the user could “plug one or more of the ports.” Many—too many—otherwise credible companies provide foam port plugs so the user can ostensibly change the speaker or subwoofer from a vented design to a sealed design.

    That’s so bogus. A speaker designed to be vented can’t be made into a sealed speaker simply by plugging the holes. Not into a good sealed speaker. True acoustic suspension systems have drivers with completely different Thiele-Small parameters than a vented system. A real sealed system woofer has a far lower free-air resonance and higher compliance than a vented woofer, because in a real acoustic suspension system, it’s the trapped air spring in the sealed cabinet that provides the woofer’s restoring force, not the driver’s mechanical suspension (its surround and spider). If you simply take a vented woofer and block the holes, you’ll end up with a remarkably un-optimized system, with a far-higher bass cutoff than would be the case if it were an optimally designed AS system to begin with. I shake my head when I see vented systems offered with “port plugs.” RBH didn’t do that. Kudos to them."


    Now I realize in the above quote he doesn't necessarily say it's a bad thing to do across the board, he only says it's bad regarding higher bass cutoff (which is exactly what I'm thinking you desired when blocking your Ultra's due to you running twin Ultra SB16's, and wanting tighter accurate bass, rather than extra SPL?) So, my question is do you think there's any other detriment to plugging ports, as far as negatively affecting the mechanical properties of the motor and acoustic suspension/excursion? Here's a quote from you regarding plugging the PB Ultra 16: Todd Anderson "I'm not sure how the PB16 would perform sealed. I'm fairly sure that that SB16 has some added DSP that helps to manage its output (that wouldn't be present on the PB16)... so you might get a slightly different result between the two if both were to be played sealed." Could what you said here also affect the Ultra tower in a similar way? (keep in mind I have no understanding of DSP you mentioned, I'm trying to learn)

    Another question about porting. Why do most companies have rear firing ports? It seems to me from what I'm reading, rear porting can often cause issues with pragmatic positioning of towers in a multi purpose room such as a family room or main living room. I know I don't want my towers sitting 3 feet out into my family room, from the wall behind them, in order to avoid a boomy bass. Wouldn't front ports be more practical? I'm guessing the rear gives higher low frequency SPL, but what good is that if there's even just a nuanced hint of boominess? I'm probably missing plenty here, and that's why I'm running all this by you. I'll really appreciate hearing what you have to say about this.

    Thank you so much. ps, if you want to move this to a different thread, that's fine as this started out with me asking about Aperion speakers that you reviewed, but has since changed topic.

    Thanks again, Brian
     
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  4. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Hey Brian (@BadJRT).

    Ok, moved thread ;-)

    Yes, the Ultra Towers have a single rear port. The boominess you heard could be any number of things, including what you noted... the room and speaker position have a big effect on what you hear. That port is going to allow the low-end to extend a little further with a more shallow roll off. When plugged, you get a sharper roll off and a little less extension... but the bass also appears to be a bit punchier and less loose (at least to my ears).

    That Steve Feinstein excerpt is interesting. I'm not a designer (and don't have that kind of background to draw from), so I can't really comment on the accuracy/validity of his comments. He very well is probably correct, technically speaking, but I can't imagine design engineers would introduce any sort of modification that would have a notable adverse effect on output. It could be a case of technicality versus what the human ear ultimately perceives.

    I plugged the ports on the Ultra Towers for straight 2-channel performance, as I found it sounded better in my theater room. For me, the bass is still there, it just lends to a tighter and more accurate low-end (my opinion, of course). Just as background: my entire rig is really built around home theater duty (first) and 2-channel (second). When I watch movies, subs are engaged. I also primarily listen to music with subs engaged... but I'll also switch over to a straight 2-channel mode that has no subs and Towers playing at full range.

    You're asking if I think there's a detriment to plugging ports... I guess the detriment could be weaker bass performance in larger rooms. Of course, I (personally) would subscribe to plugging ports on speakers that don't ship with foam plugs. As for that quote about the PB Ultras... I don't believe anyone plugging the ports on that sub is going to find output becomes noticeably poor. In terms of ultimate output, the two subs might not play exactly alike if compared side by side... but the Ultra has the benefit of being tuned to a specific room or likeness once its in a home. Meaning an owner might find that two ports open is just a tad too loose (so they can pop in a plug and tighten things up a bit).

    The position of a speaker's port ultimately shouldn't effect output, but can be a problem if you jam it against a wall. Sometimes port noise is less audible if its on the rear of a speaker (as opposed to the front), which could be good reason for putting it on the front. Also, I'd imagine some position the port on the rear because of room (or lack there of it) on the speaker's baffle.

    Generally speaking, you want your speakers out and away from room boundaries (as much as possible). Some folks have amazing amounts of space and can accommodate speakers being placed far away from a wall. Others (like me) struggle to find space but do they best they can.

    I'm curious... if these speakers are going in your family room, might you consider something like GoldenEar's SuperCinema 3D Array XL? (I reviewed it here). I think I'm about to pull the trigger on the smaller version of this. When paired with a sub, this soundbar (don't let that word scare you off) throws insane imaging. I was literally blown away by its performance capabilities.
     
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  5. Kal Rubinson

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    Yes. The location of the port should not be an issue because all the surfaces of a domestic speaker are usually within a wavelength of the relevant frequencies. The only concern is whether something blocks the pressure flow from the port and a foot or so of clearance should be entirely sufficient for that. That said, I like speakers with their own pedestals and bottom ports so that the load on the port is determined by design.
     
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  6. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    @Kal Rubinson : what’s your take on plugging ports (i.e., foam plugs that manufacturers provide). Do feel they inflict any noticeable detriment to sound outside of their intended impact? Curious to read your thoughts
     
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  7. Grayson Dere

    Grayson Dere Moderator
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    Just to add my own personal experience with SVS subs, yes, they ARE exceptional performers in a home cinema! I have the PB-2000, just one, in a 4500 cubic foot family room/theater, and it actually causes audible crackles in the drywall of the room during explosive action scenes : P
     
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  8. Kal Rubinson

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    I believe it is a band-aid because the port is a critical component in the proper system performance. I cannot imagine the use of a plug is optimum.

    OTOH, if speaker placement already is compromising the function of the port, I see no reason not to try the plug and see if it helps. I try to avoid buying speakers with rear ports if they are to be used where the ports cannot to their job..
     
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  9. Grayson Dere

    Grayson Dere Moderator
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    I agree, Kal. If the subwoofer's design was to have the port be open then that's the way it should be used.
     
  10. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    Thanks again for replying, Todd

    I think you're right about the tiny bit of boominess I heard. I really didn't pay that much attention to the way the speakers were positioned, but thinking back I remember them being close to the wall and the SVS reps had everything set up to awe people in the theater mode and running them in two channel for music was only done briefly at my request. If I had it to do over again, I would ask the reps more of the type of questions I'm asking on here, but at that time, even though it was just a few weeks ago, I didn't know what I know now. (or more accurately I didn't know enough then to realize how much I don't know now;)) They were running the subs at 120Hz which I didn't care for either, but I realize why they do it like that. All in all it just wasn't a demo geared for people judging two channel music mode. They did have one setup in a room that consisted of the Ultra bookshelves and one SB 3000 running in stereo and it sounded fantastic.

    As far as plugging the ports on the towers, I think that's what I'd end up doing as well, based on what you're telling me the result is. If I get to demo those again, you can bet I'm going to ask for them to be plugged with no subs running. I want my system to hit hard, but not at the expense of accuracy, hence me not settling for less the twin SB's. (either 4000's or Ultra 16's)

    I'm curious, did you ever try running your towers with the ports plugs out and high passing them at different frequencies? Say 50Hz or 45 or 55? I'm wondering if they'd lose that little bit of inaccuracy you described? I'm just trying to get an idea of what different combinations are possible to attain a desired effect.

    You mentioned the positioning of a speakers ports and what you said makes perfect sense. Port chuffing is probably the reason for most being in the rear as you said.

    The GoldenEar's are interesting, I never looked at those before.

    He very well is probably correct, technically speaking, but I can't imagine design engineers would introduce any sort of modification that would have a notable adverse effect on output. It could be a case of technicality versus what the human ear ultimately perceives. Very good points!

    Thanks
     
  11. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I can't remember all of the various iterations of operational modes that I ran the towers through... but I'm guessing I probably settled on ports closed for 2-channel and left it that way once the subs were integrated. I'd hazard to guess that the towers set to small with a crossover in the 50-80hz range would end up sounding pretty much the same whether open or closed. I'd go through the process of doing that for you right now, but my entire basement, including my home theater room, are torn to shreds for a renovation that's ending sometime in march! :dizzy: All my gear is in storage.

    Your experience with whatever speaker you choose will be largely dependent on your room, tho... that's one reason why the free in-home trial is such a great thing.

    It's funny you mention the Ultra Bookshelves... when I wrote the Ultimate SVS Ultra Atmos System review, I spent considerable time listening to the Bookshelf model in 2-channel mode. I loved it. In fact, my memory is telling me that the Bookshelves threw a slightly better image than the Towers. It was really - really - good. You could pull together a killer (not to mention, highly affordable) system with Ultra Bookshelves and a sub.
     
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  12. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I believe that SVS's latest iteration of sub models all have multiple DSP modes for their subs, which can be used for various operational modes. That probably corrects for changes in tuning...?
     
  13. Grayson Dere

    Grayson Dere Moderator
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    Very good point, Todd. Theoretically I'm guessing the DSP would/should correct for various modes of operation. So if the port were plugged the DSP would make the necessary corrections to allow the sub to still sound awesome.

    This sort of reminds me of the room correction technology that LINN uses for their active speaker room correction called Space Optimisation. It's pretty fascinating if you have yet to experience it. No matter where you place your speakers in the room...every wall can even be made of glass and metal..and the software will tune the speaker to sound as if you were in a proper mixing studio. My local showroom swears by the LINN Space Optimisation tech.

    https://www.linn.co.uk/technology/space-optimisation
     
  14. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    Since we're on the subject of ports, plugging ports and issues with rear ports due to possibly being too close to a wall, do you guys know of any $2-3k towers that are sealed? In all the speakers I've looked at, I don't think I've run across a single sealed acoustic suspension tower. It's a wonder more companies aren't making a speaker like that with the way sub technology has taken off, and affordability has become mainstream, allowing people to not worry about taxing their mains with the lowest frequencies. Maybe I'm getting to hung up on associating ports with loose bass, but I'd think an acoustic suspension speaker being delivered very high power from today's D class amps would be much easier placed in a multi purpose room? Or maybe I'm thinking of this all wrong?

    I noticed in the reviews Wayne (AudiocRaver) https://www.avnirvana.com/threads/a...ent-tower-speakers-1200-or-less-results.1640/ did on several towers priced $1200 or less, most, if not all, had issues when in close proximity to a rear wall. I know he said he didn't use plugs in any of the tests (and maybe that would have helped some of them) but why not make a sealed version of at least one line of speakers? What would a tower speaker possibly gain and lose from this? I'm assuming it would lose very low frequency spl, but would possibly gain tightness and accuracy?


    I'm just trying to understand and get a better grasp on speaker designs. Anyone?
     
  15. Grayson Dere

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  16. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    Interesting, I wish I could find more reviews on them.
     
  17. Kal Rubinson

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    It is not an acoustic suspension design as those rear diaphragms (I hesitate to call them drivers since they lack voice-coils and magnets) act as mass-loaded ports. To quote the referenced review: "Positioning is crjtical, but only because of the rear-firing ABRs in this ............ while Quad claims that these passive, rear-firing bass units support the main drivers to extend bass response down to 35Hz'"
     
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  18. Grayson Dere

    Grayson Dere Moderator
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    Ah, I see. So even though they don't physically resemble conventional ports the rear diaphragms actually try to mimic what a port is supposed to accomplish, but maybe with even more extended bass? Is this correct?
     
  19. Kal Rubinson

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    Not necessarily "with even more extended bass" but it gives the designer more tools.
     
  20. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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  22. JStewart

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    One of highly regarded speakers in the under $1200 thread was the Chane A5rx-c. Chane has a new and hopefully available soon, SEALED 7 driver tower having 4 6.5" woofers and 2 midranges and tweeter in an MTM arrangement.

    The thread for the speaker is here https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/forum/showthread.php?47679-The-Chane-L7-thread/page21

    There's a lot of interesting info on speaker design in general from Jon Lane the owner/designer which alone makes it worth the read IMHO

    My interest in this speaker also started because of the sealed design due to a small room and close boundaries. That and a set of their A2.4 that I really like.
     
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  23. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    For myself, just my opinion, I don't think I'd ever buy a ported sub. I heard side by side comparisons of the SVS SB and PB 4000 series at a demo I went to a few weeks ago and I immediately said to the guy I was with, 'I'm sold on the sealed box' and he agreed, even though on our way to this demo, he told me he'd never buy sealed because you get more bang from ported. The guy was playing a movie track and of course the sealed wasn't quite as loud, but it sure sounded better/tighter. That's why I'm asking so many questions about ported tower speakers. I guess it's not nearly the factor it is on subs, but it's still a factor and since I could easily have over 800 watts a channel from a Class D amp, efficiency wouldn't be the factor it used to be. I'm hoping D class is going to allow manufactures to start designing speakers for the tightest, best accuracy possible, without worrying so much about having to advertise close to or over 90db efficiency.
     
  24. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    JStweart, I looked through that thread you linked and I didn't see where it says the L7 is a sealed acoustic suspension speaker. Could you direct me to that info please? I read some of the info I read about these speakers and I must say I'm very anxious to see how this L7 performs. It sounds as though they put several years and a ton of effort into designing this new line. Four 6.5" woofers in each tower..... Should be interesting.
     
  25. BadJRT

    BadJRT Member
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    JStewart you can disregard my previous post. I just learned plenty speaking to John, one of the designers of the new Chane L7 speaker. First of all I was wrong to refer to sealed speakers as if they are also always acoustic suspension. That's incorrect and as I've stated before on this forum, I'm new to this and just learning all I can. The L7 will be out for sale by March or April at the latest and is indeed a sealed speaker. (no porting at all) It's sensitivity is 91.5 db. They're using a newer higher tech driver motor for the 4 6.5 inch woofers that are geared towards more accuracy than the splitGap motors used in their previous models. More accuracy may have translated to slightly less db, hence the use of 4 woofers brining the sensitivity to the level of, or even higher than, most ported designs.

    I must say John at Chane Music & Cinema was a pleasure to speak with. I was on the phone for over a half hour with him and he really took his time to explain their goals and design technologies regarding their new lines of speakers that are soon to be made public. I can't wait to see these speakers reviewed!!
     
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