Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Arx's Competiton

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Arx's Competiton

    Got bored the other day and decided to take apart a few bookshelfs to see whats inside and compare Arx to a well known ID brand (which I'm not naming, but you can guess). The difference in price and quality between the two is shocking. This goes to show you the great job Jon has done with Arx and the fantastic value he's providing. This other brand is $50-130 more than compariable Arx bookshelf. Offers cheaper quality parts and less performance for significantly more than the Arx models. The A1 also performs really close to this other company's $500 bookshelf. On top of that they want to charge even more money for something that is standard on Arx.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	phpUvcKX0AM.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	66.0 KB
ID:	78529Click image for larger version

Name:	phpCMfhmlAM.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	51.8 KB
ID:	78528Click image for larger version

Name:	phpnkTiVRAM.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	68.1 KB
ID:	78527

  • #2
    Yeah, and the bottom of the motor assembly on the competitor's driver is a bucking magnet for shielding purposes. It serves no functional purpose other than that. Remove that and the disparity grows even larger.

    Aesthetic notions aside, I have not been able to find a price competitor who uses drivers or crossover components with the same level of tech or refinement that ARX uses.

    I recently upgraded from some cheaply assembled pre-terminated speaker cable with some pretty crappy soldering on the connections to a pair of 10ft Ten White 10awg cables with ultrasonically welded connectors by Blue Jeans Cable.

    Just brings out more of the midrange clarity that these drivers are truly capable of. I'll add more soon. Thx for posting these pictures....and feel free to name drop. The Audioholics forum moderators certainly don't hesitate to shred the entire ARX line, despite not one of them owning an ARX product....so in the interest of fair competition, why don't you let us know who makes the other driver in the picture and from what model it was plucked?

    I know you're trying to be classy, but I'm asking in the interest of having this be an open and informed forum. ;)

    Comment


    • #3
      A few points:

      Note that in addition to SplitGap the Arx woofer has a cast alloy frame and a ventilated voice coil former and rear suspension. Compression effects of air trapped under the rear suspension and dustcap are all but eliminated.

      These components are necessary when you can work the excursion as far as we do with Arx.

      Add their cost to the special doubled top plate, the internal shorting ring, and the license fees SplitGap incurs on each driver used and you can see how Arx woofers are simply far more costly than average. I'd estimate an Arx woofer costs roughly four times what the usual production woofer in a popularly priced product does these days.

      On another tangent, I'm tempted to offer TAI's thoughts on the potential for over-reliance on measurements common in some circles these days. I raise the point in the rough context of the audio Press... ;-)

      Comment


      • #4
        Those drivers are from the Axiom M22($498 and VP150 ($434). The Axiom drivers don't have any venting in the bottom of the magnet either not like the Arx drivers. Tighten the Axiom drivers back into place and you can slightly feel the flimsy frame flex alittle. The Arx is rock solid.

        These are V2 drivers, I have been told by several people that the newer Axiom V3 drivers are of even less quality. Axiom is going to charge and extra $10-15 per driver if you want the option of cast baskets. But Axiom claims there is no audible difference between the two (stamped vs cast). I say they just don't know how to make a driver good enough to see the benefits of cast baskets.

        Now to really surprise you, these are the same midrange drivers they are using in the new Axiom M100 tower ($3,780).

        A few people have brough up the truncated frames and Axiom has stated that truncated frames add too much to the cost and we don't want to charge our customers with something that isn't noticable in are "DBT".

        Jon, after thinking about it I think you should just let Arx's quality, craftsmanship and sound speak for itself. This is a great example of the quality gap between Arx and a few of its competition.

        Comment


        • #5
          Click image for larger version

Name:	phpCrdFaeAM.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	78.5 KB
ID:	76193

          Shows the difference between Arx 5.25" driver and Axioms 5.25" driver.

          The Arx driver is fitted very securely in the enclosure, it took some muscle to get it go come out. The Axiom on the other hand started to fall out as soon as I started to loosen the last screw.

          But the Arx is really neat and clean, the Axiom has big globs of yellowish color glue all over it like the bottle tipped over and leaked on to the crossover.

          Comment


          • #6
            I just want my A5s :(

            It's funny as you all know that I am a audio noob. I was actually looking at Axiom awhile back. My main hobby is computers and in that world generally speaking the more you pay the better the item is. So I thought audio was like that. I quickly learned that wasn't true. I think I will be happy waiting for the A5s. They are at such a great price for the first group buy. I already own A1s and the A2. Since I am new to the audio world, I find myself closing my eyes and just focusing on the sound and just smiling at how great it sounds.

            Being honest though sometimes I wonder if i push the A1s a little too hard.... Then I think of that excursion video lol

            Originally posted by gtpsuper24

            The Arx driver is fitted very securely in the enclosure, it took some muscle to get it go come out. But the Arx is really neat and clean.
            I must agree with that. When I got my A2, I thought the tweeter had to be mounted differently at first. So I unscrewed the tweeter and I could not get it out. I had to take a driver out, then push very easy on the edges of the tweeter. Being careful not to touch anything I thought might be important. My only issue with the woofer was that there was 2 extra srews stuck on the magnet. I contacted Jon and he told me it must have been a mistake and told me to pitch them. Never have had a issue with it. Anyways everything is such a tight fit and very flush with the edges.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah the Arx magnet is really powerful it probably snagged those extra screws and no one noticed. It actually started to pull the Axiom driver across the table although it was only about 9-10" away. And it found a few other little metal pieces.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gtpsuper24
                Yeah the Arx magnet is really powerful it probably snagged those extra screws and no one noticed. It actually started to pull the Axiom driver across the table although it was only about 9-10" away. And it found a few other little metal pieces.
                Niiice. What a difference quality craftmanship makes... thanks for posting the pictures.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aus10
                  I find myself closing my eyes and just focusing on the sound and just smiling at how great it sounds.
                  If you ever get a chance try out some Hi Rez music, Fleetwood Mac DVD-A, AC DC Back In Black dual disc, Dire Straits DVD-A (although super expensive) The Police DTS CD.

                  Dire Straits 2.0 stereo PCM at 2.3Mps is just awesome. Sounds great through the A1s, I'm sure its 10times more impressive with those A5s.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll add to this list: Getz Gilberto SACD, Flaming Lips DVD-A, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the moon SACD, and Beatles Love DVD-A... some of my favorite all-time reference albums. I don't own some of the ones gtpsuper mentioned, I'll put them on my to-buy list!

                    I believe Collin (BufordTJustice) also had a few great suggestions, I'll need to look through the threads for them..



                    Originally posted by gtpsuper24
                    If you ever get a chance try out some Hi Rez music, Fleetwood Mac DVD-A, AC DC Back In Black dual disc, Dire Straits DVD-A (although super expensive) The Police DTS CD.

                    Dire Straits 2.0 stereo PCM at 2.3Mps is just awesome. Sounds great through the A1s, I'm sure its 10times more impressive with those A5s.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ryansboston
                      I'll add to this list: Getz Gilberto SACD, Flaming Lips DVD-A, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the moon SACD, and Beatles Love DVD-A... some of my favorite all-time reference albums. I don't own some of the ones gtpsuper mentioned, I'll put them on my to-buy list!

                      I believe Collin (BufordTJustice) also had a few great suggestions, I'll need to look through the threads for them..
                      I recently started using this site....it will suck your wallet DRY.

                      https://www.hdtracks.com/

                      They use top quality codecs and their rips are the cleanest I've ever heard. Ever. It's truly studio quality.

                      As for the DVD's I just put my hands on the Flaming Lips DVD-A, though I'm only currently set up for SPDI/F audio via coaxial so DTS core is all I can get to my receiver. I'm planning on upgrading my LG BD590 to the Panasonic DMP BDT500 w/ analog 7.1 pre-outs as soon as it comes out. Even with DTS core, the Flaming Lips disc is amazingly well recorded.

                      I also like the Across the Universe BD, among many other discs. You guys hit most of the really good ones. I can tell you that these ARX speakers really reveal tons of detail in the midrange and treble bands. Just finished watching the BD of Star Wars Episode III RoTS above reference (90dB the entire movie) with my wife....which was also her first time seeing this movie (believe it). She was just awestruck at how you could HEAR about what was going on. She and I both repeatedly thought we heard sound effects coming from other rooms, both behind us and behind the system (and from the front door *eek*). I am only running 3.1 right now with the A5 prototypes, an A2 center, and an eD A7s-450 sub w/ eQ.2. I am still continually shocked at the level of detail vice any harshness. My wife used to hate listening to movies loud, and I fully expected a headache from the experience (well worth it for a sci-fi geek like me). No discomfort for the entire 2+ hour runtime. Just amazing stuff. Nothing competes at anywhere near the price...and that goes for all the ARX models.

                      The A1b that Jon has coming is going to really shake things up in the marketplace. It's going to be slightly more efficient than the original A1, slightly bigger, and have deeper bass extension. I'm really excited to hear people's feedback once they come in.

                      -Collin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gtpsuper24
                        Those drivers are from the Axiom M22($498 and VP150 ($434). The Axiom drivers don't have any venting in the bottom of the magnet either not like the Arx drivers. Tighten the Axiom drivers back into place and you can slightly feel the flimsy frame flex alittle. The Arx is rock solid.

                        These are V2 drivers, I have been told by several people that the newer Axiom V3 drivers are of even less quality. Axiom is going to charge and extra $10-15 per driver if you want the option of cast baskets. But Axiom claims there is no audible difference between the two (stamped vs cast). I say they just don't know how to make a driver good enough to see the benefits of cast baskets.

                        Now to really surprise you, these are the same midrange drivers they are using in the new Axiom M100 tower ($3,780).

                        A few people have brough up the truncated frames and Axiom has stated that truncated frames add too much to the cost and we don't want to charge our customers with something that isn't noticable in are "DBT".

                        Jon, after thinking about it I think you should just let Arx's quality, craftsmanship and sound speak for itself. This is a great example of the quality gap between Arx and a few of its competition.
                        I certainly don't think that the issue is Axiom not knowing how to design with better drivers. I think they are quite talented and that they could design great speakers with much more expensive drivers and have them sound great. I think it's a very simple business decision that they've made to have higher margins by using less expensive drivers. That's all I think it is, really. Ian Calhoun is no dummy.

                        -Collin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jon Lane
                          A few points:

                          Note that in addition to SplitGap the Arx woofer has a cast alloy frame and a ventilated voice coil former and rear suspension. Compression effects of air trapped under the rear suspension and dustcap are all but eliminated.

                          These components are necessary when you can work the excursion as far as we do with Arx.

                          Add their cost to the special doubled top plate, the internal shorting ring, and the license fees SplitGap incurs on each driver used and you can see how Arx woofers are simply far more costly than average. I'd estimate an Arx woofer costs roughly four times what the usual production woofer in a popularly priced product does these days.

                          On another tangent, I'm tempted to offer TAI's thoughts on the potential for over-reliance on measurements common in some circles these days. I raise the point in the rough context of the audio Press... ;-)
                          As a fellow car guy and a gun guy, I can tell you that 'bench racing' is a favorite past time of many. However, if all we did was look at specs, then why have races and gun matches?

                          Example:

                          How does a Porcshe 911 (now in the 2012 '991' series), with slightly more than 60% of it's weight on its rear axle (and the entire engine OVERHANGING the rear hub centerline), handle so predictably and smoothly? How is this possible? The car, on paper, is just one large engineering compromise. And, for those who have had (and will have in the future) the privilege of riding in one of these beauties, oh what a compromise!

                          I say all that to illustrate my point.....you can bench race a speaker all you want. BUT, to really make your own judgement, you have to listen to it for yourself, in YOUR listening space. Absent doing that, you CANNOT know how it will sound in your room. Anybody who is trying to convince you that you can.......well, if you believe them, I have a very inexpensive bridge on the market that I would like to sell you.............. ;)

                          You just cannot know everything you need to know about any speaker without listening to it. For all the musicians out there....they don't normally waste a ton of time talking about how an instrument "sounds" until they have actually played said instrument.

                          Thin about this for a moment. How many musicians could you walk up to and ask them about even a well-known musical instrument....if you asked them how it sounded (and they had not yet heard it), they're just going tot ell you that they haven't heard it yet. They won't even likely bother trying to explain how it 'could' or 'should' sound.

                          My buds are always fiddling with guitar pickups, cymbal sets, drum heads, mic pre-amps, DACs, switching out different tubes in their amplifiers, etc. BUT, the bottom line is they don't give a damn about how nicely a particular item measures on an oscilliscope or via a DMM or other measuring device (or via factory specs) if it doesn't sound good to them when they hear it. There is also a degree of subjectivity here, but my point is, I agree with Jon about the 'bench racing' that much of the audio press has started to fall into. As soon as somebody starts to tell you how a box is going to sound in your room, beyond the most BASIC and generic of representations, that person is lying to you. At that point, they've become nothing more than a fortune teller.

                          Basic measurements are baselines. There are those who take care to record many baselines for many speakers...but they are still only baselines. There is a lot you can learn about a speaker by its baseline measurements, but it is are a mere part of the big picture.

                          If the technical knowledge and ability existed to completely and fully numerically quantify how a speaker sounded, then why are there so many live sound technicians at churches, convention centers, and concerts everywhere? It's because these magnificent machines called "ears", when coupled with our brains, have the ability to analyze sound in 3 dimensional space and in real-time that defies our current aggregate scientific knowledge of sound. If you question this, go to a major venue for a live concert and watch a sound engineer hear the barely audible oncoming ring of a soon-to-be deafening feedback loop that is buried SOMEWHERE deep in their mix (and remember that the average professional live band uses at least 48 channels coming from the stage, not including effects channels). The engineer will quickly reach for an EQ knob for the exact channel where the feedback loop is starting to build and quickly notch-out the ring. If you covered your eyes, you probably would not even know this happened. Yet, it happens dozens of times for each rehearsal, soundcheck, and show.

                          If we knew as much about how speakers sound and how sound behaves as some would lead you to believe, we would not need humans behind sound consoles. Yet, we still do....very much so. So take a lot of the bench racing with a grain of salt. I love to geek-out as much as the next guy, but don't fool yourself into thinking that you're getting the complete picture.....

                          -Collin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BufordTJustice
                            Basic measurements are baselines. There are those who take care to record many baselines for many speakers...but they are still only baselines. There is a lot you can learn about a speaker by its baseline measurements, but it is are a mere part of the big picture.
                            That.

                            I alluded to measurements being essential on the design side. I also alluded to measurements becoming potential diversions to listening or substitutes for listening on the user side. While disclosing measured data is in no way being limited just for the sake of doing so, disclosure as a substitute for real perceptual reality - does it sound neutral to the content it's reproducing - just isn't entirely or even significantly useful.

                            How many times have we heard first-hand accounts of how unfulfilling Big Brand equipment sounds despite the published measurements? And how many times do we hear how musically involving Arx or Dana or some other real labor of love sounds to our users?

                            Therefore measurement wars are by themselves not only not guaranteed to be helpful, they may be diversions from the need to listen. Used wrong, they can actually - and frequently do - lead us away from things we should be considering. The concern is not in what they inherently are; it's in how they're sometimes used.

                            Coming back to where they are of the most use (by far) on the design side, if a designer takes one design and develops two equally "flat" but different amplitude responses from it, does the device sound identical? We know it probably will not and we'll probably move to other measurements to further define how it sounds different. These being flawed devices there is no flat* "flat" and there are any number of ways to make the same device measure "flat".

                            But what if those other measurement show us no meaningful difference either? If the alteration between these two measurements of two slightly different behaviors of one system are different to within less than 1dB, as when we design the same system to damp one overall slightly more than the other?

                            The result - the difference - is very real and to a dedicated, experienced listener it is very audible, but it's the same basic loudspeaker.

                            Likewise where one of these two slightly different designs varies from the other in the spectral balance by a fraction of a dB here or there. It's still "flat" and it's certainly audible, but to isolate it among the sea of measurements possible from any one very complex multiway loudspeaker's universe of possible final internal designs is simply impossible. There is no way to point to one particular plot out of dozens or hundreds and identify it as right and all the others wrong.

                            So we see that using measurements to defne loudspeakers can give us only a very rough idea of what any loudspeaker is doing. Not what it sounds like, but what it is doing in the technical sense such that in your example, Collin, we find the Porsche to be a fundamentally different machine than, say, the Ferarri or the Corvette, yet in the measured quarter mile or on the Nurburgring can be reduced to raw numbers - to measurements.

                            Essential and useful measurements and these days, even impressively complex and entirely necessary measurements that relate to a huge amount of data the human driver can only vaguely describe, but in the end it's that subjective performance that either plugs the subject into the joy of the experience - in audio, the soul of the performance - or gives him a less than involving chore or facsimile. The GT40 may lap the circuit a second slower than the other car but what if it connects me to driving?

                            We measure and we model just like everyone else does or should. The typical Arx protype has tens of thousands of CAD simulations and countless measuring sessions under its belt. But the sound of real in the likely envelope of user setups and practices of use - to the degree a speaker can recreate it via what's technically a perpetually flawed technology, of course - is what we're after. In this case that sound has to please Arx users in a very economical Arx category.

                            They'll never hear it in anything we can provide them using ink on paper. We may yet do so, but the sound of authenticity - in our opinion as designer and by our work as manufacturer - is something I've never even thought could come exclusively from a microphone. It can be partly verified there, but it can never be predicted and ultimately cannot be insured there.

                            --

                            *These days you can substitute "accurate" for flat - the view is that there are accurate speakers as defined by their measurements and then there is everything else. This strikes me as slightly accusatory - that without published flat lines any brand should be categorized as incompetent or even shady. (And my highlighting this phenomenon will invariably cost TAI sales, although without our publishing lines on plots yet we were probably already out of the running... :wink: )

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gtpsuper24
                              If you ever get a chance try out some Hi Rez music, Fleetwood Mac DVD-A, AC DC Back In Black dual disc, Dire Straits DVD-A (although super expensive) The Police DTS CD.

                              Dire Straits 2.0 stereo PCM at 2.3Mps is just awesome. Sounds great through the A1s, I'm sure its 10times more impressive with those A5s.
                              I would love to try out some real Hi Rez music but my current setup... I prolly wouldn't notice a difference.... Going from a APC H15 to a cheapo $80 blu ray player (Lg something) out via HDMI to my 1121 using 16 gauge RCA wire connecting to the A1s using banana connectors....

                              Do you think it would be worth it?... lol I do love me some Pink Floyd and AC DC though...

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X