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The 2018 Chane A Series rollout

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  • I got mine earlier then some...

    But didn't get a chance to hook them up for a bit. Professionally I deal with large AV systems, IT integration and installed sound. We use a lot of JBL, Crestron, Extron, EV, etc. This current job (this part was engineered out of house, fwiw) is QSC, BiAMP and LAB.Gruppen amps. Fills a collegiate basketball/volleyball gym to deafening levels (plus bleeds full throated into the surrounding athletics facilities attached) w/o breaking a sweat.

    The 5.4's attached to an old Yamaha amp seem to do the same in my (somewhat) smaller livingroom. I used the 2.4 as as center (it's bigger than your mom's family room CRT from the 80s) for a bit at first, certainly better than the Energy Take5 (the OG ones) center. :biglaugh:

    Did that for a day and the fam watched TV, etc. then the next day I had a chance to setup the 5.4s and ran them stereo. Some local FM stations. Routed an iphone through the amp and played that. Mostly did music vids on-demand on the cable box (not the best choice, probably). Still, the sound was phenomenal. I think I could have ran the Yamaha all the way to 11 (I didn't) but the speakers never broke a sweat. Generally kept it mellow until a song my son (only 3) liked came on, then I turned it up a bit so he could dance.

    Packaging was solid. The feet extensions, spikes and pads (nice touch how the spikes sit on the pads) all went together well. Seems well thought out. I imagine there is a compromise regarding packaging of something like speakers (which are heavy) and how the packaging represents the product. This was good compromise. I would rather any money spent went to quality and getting them safely vs solid white boxes and Ikea style assembly manuals.

    Clarity and punch from the 2.4 is there. I think most people could do LCR with those. They are big though (not abnormal but in the world of soundbars...), my debate was get a big enough TV credenza to hold all that (plus a TV) or buy stands - or just by something that costs more, goes louder and comes with it's own stands built-in? Naturally there was just one choice.

    Where these end up for us is a smaller space, 12/13' across W then L back probably 19/20' total. I was worried about stage, maybe having to toe in all crazy or something but really, even in the main living space (temp location), hugging the TV (5ft apart?) the towers had a giant stage. I could practically put my head between then when watching TV in stereo (this Yamaha isn't 'faking a center') and I could clearly hear the stereo separation when it was happening as well as the centered voice during most scenes.

    For us, it will be TV, movies, games for the kids. Maybe dad will sit down in the family space and listen to some old tunes now and again. I think for the former it will work well. Phenomenally well. For the pure 2-channel music experience, I bet these stand up against much more expensive competition. Additionally, they look good. Sharp corners, classic shape and finish.

    * edited to add this was all bung-free listening, ports weren't blocked, 5.4 were off the wall 1.5' or so.
    Last edited by GoZags; 07-25-2018, 09:00 PM. Reason: forgot to mention

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    • Just pulled the trigger on three A2.4s for my LCR. There has been so many good reviews on the A series, I am excited to get them in. Wondering if these speaker will benefit much from a separate amp. I know they are pretty efficient, but I am kind of curious.

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      • The soundstage AND imaging on these are indeed ridiculous. On some recordings I go to check if surround speakers are on... Only to find out they are not... That has never happened to me before. Mine are really far apart and dialed in to my listening position. The center has been dead on in some good recordings or movies... Mine are about 11 feet from each other.

        If you look at most products they usually do one or the other and I think these do both. Creating a wide soundstage yet being very direct with imaging.... fantastic job.

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        • I've had my pair of A5.4s for a bit now.

          First of all the quality of construction is incredible for this price point. The finish looks very good and the cabinets are astoundingly inert and quiet.


          I have to say, though, that the bass has been the most pleasant surprise. Bass extension is much better than I expected, plus it's remarkably tight, agile, and musical. On top of that it's very linear to my ears in my room. To me this is a crowning achievement of these speakers. I'm really blown away by the quality and depth of the low end. I'm not sure how much of this is the SplitGap woofers and how much of it is the rigid cabinet, but suffice to say it's a very pleasing result. Dynamics are excellent all around.


          I've been traveling and haven't fully run them in yet but I'll have a lot more time for that now. At the moment I would describe the sound as very very detailed if a bit thin in the midrange and bright for my tastes (I'm running solid state amplification and a resolving DAC). I'm hopeful that with more break-in time the midrange will fatten up and the tweeter will integrate more cohesively with the rest of the sound in my room.

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          • After a bit over a week I am more than impressed. They provide a huge sound stage an excellent clarity. Oddly enough I do not regret using the massive 1.4's as surrounds. I am still waiting to run XT32. Bought the boom mice and an adaptor for the mic but it was the wrong adaptor so Monday my new and proper adaptor should be here.

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            • Personally I didn't like what the XT32 did to the towers. I found they needed nothing.... If you think they are too bright, then perhaps you don't like bright speakers... I mean, there are people that just don't like bright speakers. The only amp I've ever used that brought midrange warmth to my previous bookshelves was a $900 NAD 2700 THX amp which has broken. I'd love to test that on these but sadly the high end cut out. I have no clue on who could fix it but I've looked and looked and no one seems to be able to repair them in my state at least. If they do they want some crazy price.

              But back to the A5.4s.... The Audessey changed the midrange of the speakers to the point I felt they sounded strange. So I did the entire system but then I put ignore L/R speakers. I'm glad it lets you do that.

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              • I ran XT32, but changed the front 3 to small and 80 hz xover. This is the first time I’ve heard that these speakers are bright. Yet, I know everyones’ setup, rooms, and ears are different. All I really want is the larger center channel!!!

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                • Large Center Channel

                  Originally posted by GFOviedo View Post
                  I ran XT32, but changed the front 3 to small and 80 hz xover. This is the first time I’ve heard that these speakers are bright. Yet, I know everyones’ setup, rooms, and ears are different. All I really want is the larger center channel!!!
                  I understand your desire. I gave serious consideration to the Q Acoustics speakers but my primary use is home theater and their small center channel was a deal breaker.

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                  • Finally got Xt32 run on my setup and could not be happier. I'm sure I don't have the ear many others do for this stuff but it corrected the distance issue I had to perfection. I run a sectional so one 1.4 is close and the other not so much. Before I had to boost one side a ton to get a decent reproduction, now it sounds great.

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                    • After a ton of research I went with 2.4's across the front and a pair of 1.4's for rear surround duty. Waiting some other stuff before I can actually install them, but I ran a 2.4 for a week as a center first before ordering everything (and ran it long enough to break it in and re-run audyssey) and I love it. 1.4's are probably overkill for surrounds in my current room (10'w x 16'L x 8-9'h but open to a 10x20 kitchen/dining area), but my last speakers I ran for about 16 years so I was buying for the future as I don't expect to live in my current house for more than another few years. I also preferred to keep the main speakers as similar as possible especially with more and more movies really utilizing the surrounds for more than just ambiance and a few effects.

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                      • Originally posted by Vance View Post
                        I understand your desire. I gave serious consideration to the Q Acoustics speakers but my primary use is home theater and their small center channel was a deal breaker.
                        I felt the same about the Q Acoustics center. I also auditioned the 3020i bookshelves. They had a nice warm sound and sounded great for most music but I chose the Chane A1.4 over the Q Acoustics, Elac Debut 2.0 B5.2, and Emotiva B1. The Emotiva was the closest in my mind it couldn't handle difficult music passages as well (very close, closer than the Q or Elac) and sounded a bit boxy for my tastes. I wish I would have snagged a Chane A2.4 for center duties but wanted to audition the A1.4 first and now they are out of stock.:(

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                        • Originally posted by MattieDSC View Post
                          I felt the same about the Q Acoustics center. I also auditioned the 3020i bookshelves. They had a nice warm sound and sounded great for most music but I chose the Chane A1.4 over the Q Acoustics, Elac Debut 2.0 B5.2, and Emotiva B1. The Emotiva was the closest in my mind it couldn't handle difficult music passages as well (very close, closer than the Q or Elac) and sounded a bit boxy for my tastes. I wish I would have snagged a Chane A2.4 for center duties but wanted to audition the A1.4 first and now they are out of stock.:(
                          Folks are beginning to realize why we put the tech, design, and tuning we do into these models. There's a conscious reason for it, believe it or not. :)

                          The A2.4 returns before mid-Sept and the site is taking orders for it now. I regret the shortage but demand has left us a little short. I apologize.

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                          • Originally posted by MattieDSC View Post
                            I felt the same about the Q Acoustics center. I also auditioned the 3020i bookshelves. They had a nice warm sound and sounded great for most music but I chose the Chane A1.4 over the Q Acoustics, Elac Debut 2.0 B5.2, and Emotiva B1. The Emotiva was the closest in my mind it couldn't handle difficult music passages as well (very close, closer than the Q or Elac) and sounded a bit boxy for my tastes. I wish I would have snagged a Chane A2.4 for center duties but wanted to audition the A1.4 first and now they are out of stock.:(
                            Worry not, they'll be back in stock in September. The Chanes have been a quiet sales success for several years now and demand, while always steady, has grown in leaps and bounds this year. Hence the stocks of products selling out at rates that greatly outpaced even Jon's most liberal expectations. Good problems to have, I suppose. Though, I am fairly certain it adds several points to Jon's blood pressure. Lol!

                            But, I think you're hearing a few things, if I may be so bold as to say.

                            The "boxy" sound (or distinct lack thereof) is a common report from Chane users. The presence of that "boxy" sensation relates to both undamped physical cabinet resonances (the panels themselves vibrating like the body of an acoustic guitar), the subjective decision made by designers in the use of damping material inside the cabinet (the fluffy stuff that some makers skimp on), and the electrical choices of both driver selection and crossover design. All of these factors contribute to "that boxy sound".

                            Some speakers using decent quality drivers can mask this effect at lower levels, until moderate output levels or complex musical passages (where staccato percussion overlays some gentler strings or synths, etc), as you stated, arrive on the scene. It could be some components in the crossover are becoming slightly overwhelmed electrically speaking or those undamped resonances in the physical cabinet are just banging around inside at higher and higher levels, re-radiating directly through the cone material in addition to the sounds that the cone is creating from it's own movement. An ugly situation. If a loudspeaker is not disappearing and morphing into a wall of sound (with an appropriate recording, of course), the issues stated above are usually to blame.

                            Just looking at the weight of some loudspeakers can provide some insight into these issues in a general sense. The A1.4 is 17 pounds per speaker and the B1 is 9 pounds. An enormous difference...and one I suspect you're hearing.

                            There is some ad copy floating around regarding the use of HDF material instead of MDF for speakers. Allow me to provide some context for this claim:

                            HDF is only offered in massively thinner grades than MDF, and there are varying grades of both. MDF is compressed with forces ranging from 650kg per meter cubed for mid grade MDF (used in kitchen cabinets for homes, etc) up to 800kg per meter cubed for high grade MDF (expressed as 800kg/m3). High grade MDF is offered in all thicknesses up to 1.5". Jon uses high grade 3/4" MDF for all Chane loudspeakers. Mst others use 5/8" MDF at these price points.

                            HDF is created from the exact same wood product material as MDF using higher pressures of 850-900kg/m3. Yet it is only offered in vastly thinner thicknesses, like 3mm to 8mm (roughly 1/8" to 5/16"). Any HDF that is offered thicker than approximately .75" is going to be at or below 850kg/m3 of force used to create it...making it barely not MDF.

                            So, the difference in compressive force used to create HDF (850-900kg/m3) is definitely higher and more dense than std high grade MDF @ 800kg/m3. However, that minor percentage difference in fiberboard density cannot make up for a much larger difference in the thickness of MDF material used for most std, high quality loudspeaker cabinets.

                            Jon uses 3/4" (.75", or 19mm) high-grade MDF in his cabinets with full internal bracing, and it shows. Both on the scales and at the ear.

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                            • Thanks for that post, Buford. I especially learned something about MDF and HDF. As you said, I have seen recently that some manufacturers are advertising their use of HDF, which certainly sounds like a good idea to the uninitiated such as myself. I did not realize that a side effect is much thinner material, resulting in a net mass quite a bit lower than good MDF. I will also make sure to pay attention to the MDF I buy to build my subwoofer boxes, seeking out 800 kg/m^3 material.

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                              • Straying a bit off-topic (is there a DIY forum here? ;)), but where does one get 1" thick MDF? Thickest I can find in sheet form at Home Depot or Lowes is 3/4". There's some 1" thick MDF trim boards, but they're only a couple inches wide. Wanted to see how much it'd cost to make a cabinet with a 1" thick front baffle and 3/4" thick top, bottom, sides, and back.

                                Chris
                                New system: Receiver/integrated amp TBD; Chane Model 753 speakers!

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