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  • Comparison?

    I'm sure that this is a difficult question to answer, as they're all very different speakers but...

    How do the Arx 1s compare to the Swans M200MKIIs in the same price point? (Or the MKIIIs and D1080s, which are respectively more and less expensive?)

    ...As a desktop 2.0 system, running off a high-end Asus Xonar or a budget DAC.

    Thanks! :D

  • #2
    That is a good question, with lots of variables to consider.

    The Arx A1 comes from the standard that the Acculine A1 helped create, which was that of a compact, high-definition speaker for use ideally with a sub or close to some boundary that would pick up it's bottom octaves a little. The subsequent Acculine A1r was a revoiced A1 that aimed more at front main speaker duty further out in the room. The A1r was a fuller, more powerful sound than the A1 and eventually it became the preferred of the two models.

    The original Acculine A1 would have been a reasonable choice for a desktop speaker. The new Arx A1 is basically an Acculine A1r but with a significantly upgraded woofer: It's still a compact speaker and it's still limited to flat output above roughly 50Hz, but it has the response and voicing of the Acculine A1r plus that very good Arx SplitGap woofer.

    The Swan M200MkII comes at the desktop problem from a different angle: Naturally it's optimized for desk or console-top setups and it has the raked back front baffle that aligns it for nearfield use. Its bottom end is tuned for the expected boundary assist but even so, it has tone controls that allow you to move it around and always get a relatively flat response.

    The differences between their drivers are more pronounced. The Arx A1 is simply the better speaker, and if we could ensure its response on a desktop would remain flat, you'd probably prefer it.

    Fortunately the A1, like all Arx models, comes with foam port plugs, allowing the user to convert the bass reflex tuning to acoustic suspension. Leaving the port in place gives the speaker a bass rolloff about a half an octave higher but the new bass cutoff slope is roughly half the rate of the bass reflex tuning. The result is a versatile speaker that can be used in a lot of situations, either with without a subwoofer.

    The only remaining problem (assuming you have some good, clean power to drive the A1 with) is that it's more directional. You'll want to rake it back and turn it in toward you until you get the center image you prefer. The planar tweeter won't have the broad dispersion the M200MkII's dome does, although in nearly every other way the planar is the preferred tweeter.

    As far as the M200MkIII is concerned, it's a much more powerful version of the MkII, and everything the latter does the former can do more of. It's a bona fide studio monitor-grade system, and if you want clean and loud(er), than it's the possible choice, assuming it's within budget. That said, a quality 100w amp behind the Arx A1 will do just as well, and will include the benefits of Arx driver technologies...which are significant, if I may say.

    The D1080MkII08 is simply a less sophisticated M200MkII: Lower grade drivers, but the same basic form function and output basics. The D1080MkII08 is probably our single best self-powered value from Swan.

    Last note: The first Arx container dock just before June. We'll upgrade the Arx product pages soon to reflect this. We're also commencing development of Arx models A4, A5, and A6 at that time and should have them inbound before Fall.

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    • #3
      Thank you very much. Your response was more than helpful. :)

      I'm leaning towards the D1080s at the moment, mainly because they're such a terrific value and I'm just now encroaching on the enthusiast sound market for the first time. I'm even looking to pick up a DAC while I'm at it.

      ...Though a future vertical upgrade to either of the two higher end models seems likely haha.

      Thanks again!

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      • #4
        how would the arx compare to say the swan diva 2.1?

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        • #5
          The Diva 2.1 is a larger speaker than any of our 5.25"-based models like the powered M200 or the Arx A1. The greater enclosure volume gives it a combination of good bass and higher sensitivity, meaning you need less power to reach the same volume.

          In virtually every other respect the Arx A1 is the better speaker. It has lower distortion across the board and while it's smaller and needs more power than the 2.1 for the same volume, it has a similar low frequency response.

          The Arx drivers are radical designs. You can expect cleaner sound and blacker backgrounds. You also get higher treble extension from the Arx, owing to the planar tweeter. You lose the fancier Diva cabinet and some output (unless you go with the A2 or A3) but you get better performance from the A1 just about everywhere else.

          If you step up to the A2 or A3, you get the sensitivity back and then some, plus great bass power and in the case of especially the MTM-style A2, a huge soundstage - three of them across the front with good sources and amplification is a personal concert hall. The A3 has a slightly more pinpoint image as well as knock-out bass. A five channel A1/A2/A3 system is completely enveloping.

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          • #6
            Hi Jon!

            If i was only focused a 2 speaker setup for only music, would the a2 be better then the a1? I might get a subwoofer later.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by andrew
              If i was only focused a 2 speaker setup for only music, would the a2 be better then the a1? I might get a subwoofer later.
              Two answers to that: In general the A2 is the better speaker - roughly double the output and somewhat great initial sensitivity.

              If you want to save space and money, adding a low frequency system to the A1 probably favors that model if you don't need that extra loudness.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jon Lane
                Two answers to that: In general the A2 is the better speaker - roughly double the output and somewhat great initial sensitivity.

                If you want to save space and money, adding a low frequency system to the A1 probably favors that model if you don't need that extra loudness.

                so in that case than, the a2 with a subwoofer would make for a pretty epic 2.1 setup? :D

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by andrew
                  so in that case than, the a2 with a subwoofer would make for a pretty epic 2.1 setup? :D
                  With careful setup and great integration, a huge sound.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jon Lane
                    With careful setup and great integration, a huge sound.
                    Would this be a recommend setup for nearfield use?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by andrew
                      Would this be a recommend setup for nearfield use?
                      Assuming the bass is compatible with the environment, yes. It should be quite immersive.

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                      • #12
                        Room Size Guidelines for Arx Speakers

                        Hi Jon,

                        I was hoping you could provide some general room size guidelines ( in cubic feet) for use of each of your new Arx Loudspeakers. I think that may be helpful to the customer when trying to decide if for example the A2 speaker might be a better fit than the A1 or A3 in the room they are planning to use the speakers in. Thought obviously should be given if the customer plans to use a subwoofer or not.

                        I know it would be your opinion, but it would be comming from the designer of the product and for those of us less knowledgeable it may be helpful in trying to make a more informed decision.


                        Thank you,

                        STSIMTSOS

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