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T120 Impressions

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  • T120 Impressions

    I purchased a set of the T120's from Newegg a couple of weeks ago and would like to share my thoughts about them.

    My intital impression was that the satellites had a rather harsh tone. The bass was weak and the sound from the sub didn't integrate very well with the satellites. The satellites were spaced about 3.5' apart, on either side of a flat-screen monitor, about 9" from the rear wall. The sub was placed on the floor in the corner, diagonally facing outward, Later I followed Jon Lane's suggestion and moved the sub so that it wasn't equidistant from each wall.

    The sound has steadily improved since then, indicating a break in period is indeed necessary. The following review is being written after using them for about 50 hours. Also, input was from an M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card from the PC, and a Sony Discman portable CD player so I could hear the speakers without the noise from the computer fan.

    This is a very nice set of speakers! The sub now puts out tight, clean and punchy bass. I can hear distinct notes and there is no boominess or muddiness. The satellites are on the bright side, although not objectionably so. They sound clean and what I feel is particularly impressive is the imaging/sound stage they present. There is an airy quality about them and I feel like I am sitting in the room (or auditorium or wherever the recording took place) and can sense all the nuances like the breathing of the vocalist, the decay of a plucked string, subtle reverbs from small percussion instruments like canastas, etc. The speakers can play plenty loud. I used them in about a 12x10 room and they could go louder than I cared to listen so I have no comment as to exactly how loud they can go before getting distorted.

    I listened to a variety of music, including Diana Krall, Patricia Barber, Santana, James Taylor (live), Steely Dan, Eric Clapton (acoustic verion of Layla), David Benoit, Oleta Adams, Glenn Gould, and Miles Davis. A particularly interesting recording was Bob Belden's "Black Dahlia" which has a wide dynamic range and a good variety of instruments. The speakers shine on the first track, "Genesis," having a very spacious but well-defined character. Glenn Gould's solo piano really shines, also. It sounds very natural and the speakers/amp ably handle the dynamics with no harshness or strident sounds. Again, the speakers have a very spacious quality about them. I feel like I am sitting a few rows back of the 1st row when listening to most selections.

    Cons: I perceive a slight exaggeration of the upper bass/low midrange region because some male vocals and guitar notes resonate more than the notes above or below them.

    I had the opportunity to compare these to the Videologic Sirocco Crossfires set up in a 2.1 mode (the Crossfires are a 4.1 set). For those unfamiliar with the Crossfires, they are no longer produced but they've received rave reviews from pretty much everyone who has heard them. They also cost over twice as much as the T120's.

    The sound between the two was surprisingly close. The Crossfires have a more detailed and pronounced midrange. This was apparent on many of the recordings. A good example was listening to Diana Krall's "I Love Being Here" from her Live in Paris album. They do not have the spacious quality and the sound stage / separation of the T120's, however. When listening to the Crossfires, I feel like I am in the front row directly in front of the performers whereas I mentioned above that with the T120's I am several rows back. The sub is slightly cleaner than on the Crossfire but I think the T120's blend a little bit better with the satellites. I say "slightly" and "a little" because they are very close in quality.

    What is odd is that the the instruments and vocals sounded like they were in different places depending on which set of speakers I listened to.

    Not knowing what the original recording is supposed to sound like makes it difficult to know which one is more accurate. Both systems sound great but I have to say that the response of the Crossfires appears flatter and the midrange is crisper. It's a matter of taste because I'd rate them both excellent, though if I had to choose I would take the Crossfires. Not an easy choice by any means.

    Appearance-wise, there is no contest. The T120's win hands down. The build quality is excellent on both the Crossfires and T120's, but the piano lacquer finish and aluminum faceplates, as well as the speaker cones in the satellites, are gorgeous. The T120's also seem to be more solidly made. The amplifier for the Crossfire remains much cooler than the heatsinks on the T120 sub, however.

    My overall impression of the T120's is that they are one excellent speaker system and worth the $179 that Newegg is charging. Aside from the slight bump in the upper bass/lower midrange they are well balanced and put out an excellent soundstage. It's a matter of what sort of speaker character you prefer, when comparing them to the Crossfires.

    Sorry for being so wordy but Jon Lane did say to write as much as we wanted!

  • #2
    helwp me wit a new trhred

    hEwwo, I am vewy scaird of spongus and I am vewy scaire
    of monsturs in slweepng and spungbob and I am 5 yers owld and I need
    two knowe how to keeep fom seeing sponges in threds


    • #3
      Craig, you better answer this before Buzz does.


      • #4
        I KNOW I'm slow.... but I don't get it. :confused:
        John W.


        • #5
          Don't worry about the sponges in the threads. It's the ones in your bedroom closet that are the problem. You see, they don't get much food and little kids are a perfect meal for them. I can help you with them though. Two things... first, they can't eat a kid that's awake so DO NOT sleep, and second, urine slows them down so if you do feel sleepy just wet the bed real good and you might make it til morning.


          • #6
            You're not 'sponge-worthy' either.
            There's a fine line between gardening and Madness.
            -Cliff Clavin


            • #7
              Somehow, it appears the Ghost of Doj's past managed to find its way here. :clapper:


              • #8
                Originally posted by quadman
                I KNOW I'm slow.... but I don't get it. :confused:

                Umm... well... consider this a freebie quadman. :D