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Mag_Neato
08-17-2005, 07:38 AM
Has anyone seen the new XLS speakers from AV123? They are obviously aimed at the CBM-170's in size and driver configuration. With a maple veneer finish they are supposed to sell for $189/pr.

How could these possibly compete with the Ascends at that price? Is this a tactic by MLS to lure more market share for his meat-n-potatos products by actually losing money on a fish bait product? The only way these could compete with the 170's performance for under $200, IMO, is that they are a sacrificial lamb, much like Ford's Escort and Chevy's Cavalier/Cobalt.

If anyone was at the recent AV123 get together in Colorado and saw/heard these, what are your impressions?

bikeman
08-17-2005, 08:47 AM
I'm looking at the whole "X" line as bait. Nothing wrong with that. Risky strategy but Mark does not seem to be risk averse.

David

Kurt C.
08-17-2005, 08:57 AM
Can you post links to more information? Unless they have a 6.5 inch woofer and show as impressively flat a frequency response as the 170s, the price of $189 makes me think they are aimed more at potential Paradigm Atom/Athena AS-B1 buyers.

Assuming a typical listening room without acoustic treatments, both of those speakers have decent sound. In my opinion the 170s are the next logical step up and probably the best speaker under $1000/pair. The new av123s would have to be a hell of a speaker to challenge the supremacy of the 170s in this class.

Yes, you guessed correctly that I'm pooling my meager savings for 3 of 170s.

Mag_Neato
08-17-2005, 09:16 AM
Seems like their having problems with their forum, so I can't link to it. When they are back up, it is under the Colorado get together thread.

They were supposedly the hit of the show. :eek:

bikeman
08-17-2005, 09:28 AM
as impressively flat a frequency response as the 170s, the price of $189 makes me think they are aimed more at potential Paradigm Atom/Athena AS-B1 buyers.


AV123 dosen't post FR graphs. Most companies don't expecially at this end of the market. There are stated and unstated reasons and this has been talked to death on several forums including AV123.
Ascend handles things differently. That's one of the many reasons I chose to spend my money right here.

David

BradJudy
08-17-2005, 10:00 AM
I was at the GTG, spent a lot of time with the speaker's designer (Danny Ritchie of GR Research), and actually measured the speakers (near-field and quasi-anechoic). They do measure very flat.

As for the cost, I don't expect Mark is taking a loss given that he doesn't have to pay a middle-man for cabinets and moves enough speakers to get components at good prices.

I'll hold any judgement on relative sound until I can listen to a final pair in my own home, but I will agree that they seem like they will challenge a lot of speakers out there (including more expensive ones in the AV123 lineup and Ascends).

Quinn
08-17-2005, 11:19 AM
It is a very wise marketing move going after the entry level Paradigm Atom/Titan or Athena buyer. Don't forget SVS is jumping into the game too.

How are they voiced?

I saw the proto-type photo and the aerogel(?) driver in the pix did not have a phase plug like the 170 does. I'm assuming the 170 will have better detail and imaging just from not cutting that corner.

MikeAndAnnie
08-17-2005, 11:52 AM
Here's an FR posted by MLS for the XL-S. its in the av123 forum as a July 11, 9:16am post:
http://forum.av123.com/showthread.php?postid=165578#post165578


Pix:
http://forum.av123.com/attachment.php?postid=165578

Flat, but not super flat...

Quinn
08-17-2005, 12:03 PM
If it truly gets into the 30s it is pretty safe to say it will not match the imaging or detail of the 170.

Mag_Neato
08-17-2005, 12:09 PM
One mid/woofer producing bass in the 30hz range will definitely hinder the clarity of the midrange and imaging. I'd say even if it "only" hit in the 50hz range it would impair it.

As with any new product aimed at a benchmark, listening tests are mandatory.

BradJudy
08-17-2005, 01:14 PM
The driver is not aerogel, but I'm not certain of the composition.

I don't think it's 'safe' to make any assumptions about a speaker before hearing it.

It looks like the AV123 forum is continuing to have DB trouble, so I can't see the FR graph Mark posted. I'm guessing he ran it through his CLIO setup - that will be clear when I can see the graph.

curtis
08-17-2005, 01:48 PM
I have heard Danny Ritchie's AV2 in my own home......a very nice speaker. It also measures very flat, but is different than the CBM-170 and CMT-340.

The XLS looks to be a great deal at $189, but I will make a prediction that it does not sound like an Ascend Acoustics speaker. :)

Quinn
08-17-2005, 02:29 PM
Brad- How was it voiced?

I'm making the assumption because 35hz is a lot to ask of a 6.5 inch driver while covering the mid-range too. I've heard a few monitors that go low but the mid-range detail is challanged in the process. Even the Ref 1s at $1500 loses a little in the mid-range detail to get it's bass in my opinion.

When the 170 does 75%or more of the Ref1. If you knock off the 170 you going to knock out the Ref1 too.

Of course, someone could come up with new technology and make it happen. I doubt that is going to occur under $200.

BradJudy
08-17-2005, 02:31 PM
Curtis, I wouldn't assume that either. :) They didn't sound like the AV series from my recollection of the AV-1. I remember those as sounding distinctly different than the Ascends when A/Bed. As I said, I want to wait until I have a factory pair before making comparisons.

curtis
08-17-2005, 02:54 PM
OK.....I trust your judgement.

When will they be available?

Mag_Neato
08-17-2005, 02:54 PM
Kinda hard to compare a speaker you can't buy yet :rolleyes:

I'm sure it will be a good bargain for the price.

Brad, I'll be waiting your official A/B comparo :)

BradJudy
08-17-2005, 03:57 PM
I don't know when they will start shipping. I know this pair was the first time Danny saw the final cabinet and he seemed to approve (except for one minor change). It sounded like the crossover design was final, so I'm guessing it's a matter of parts availability and ramping up production. My best guess is 2-3 months assuming no component sourcing problems.

It also isn't clear if the final version will be shielded or not. The demo pair was not shielded, but it seemed up in the air for the production version. I like that Ascend just makes everything shielded so you don't have to think twice about it.

Mag_Neato
08-30-2005, 11:07 AM
I believe end of November, early December before they start shipping.

Really curious as to how they will compare to the Ascends. I hear they are way too good for the price.......time will tell!

jermy4
09-02-2005, 12:02 PM
The graph looks similar to the graph of the Athena B2s. It is decent but doesn't look overly accurate like the Ascends.

EDIT: I found a couple of pics:

http://forum.av123.com/attachment.php?postid=155852
http://members.cox.net/wjepics/xls.jpg

curtis
09-02-2005, 12:23 PM
Where's the graph? Who measured them?

jermy4
09-02-2005, 12:27 PM
Where's the graph? Who measured them? I don't remember where I saw the graph of the Athenas. I think it might have been stereophile. I'll try to find it.

jermy4
09-02-2005, 12:30 PM
It was the B1s ...

http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/athena_asb1/

jermy4
09-02-2005, 12:32 PM
For comparison here's some graphs of Athena's F2s ...

http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcomponents/645/index4.html

Quinn
09-02-2005, 12:38 PM
http://forum.av123.com/attachment.php?postid=165578

Kurt C.
09-02-2005, 04:23 PM
http://forum.av123.com/attachment.php?postid=165578There's something odd going on with the graph. If a speaker with a single 5.5-6.5" woofer could have that much output at 35 Hz, it would be headline news.. Given the dip at 80 Hz, I suspect that this measurement is of the speaker with a subwoofer...

BradJudy
09-02-2005, 05:03 PM
Actually, there are speakers with this small of driver putting out good output this low - particularly those using XBL2 tech. It wouldn't be headline material by any means.

I'm not sure if these pre-production ones are still in-country. If so, I could probably pick them up and measure them myself. I would rather just wait until the production ones are out though.

Quinn
09-02-2005, 05:03 PM
There's something odd going on with the graph. If a speaker with a single 5.5-6.5" woofer could have that much output at 35 Hz, it would be headline news.. Given the dip at 80 Hz, I suspect that this measurement is of the speaker with a subwoofer...

I think that may be why the question whose measurements was asked.

BradJudy
09-02-2005, 05:06 PM
Since the measurements were made with CLIO, I'm guessing they were done by either Danny Ritchie, the designer, or by Mark Schifter. Both have CLIO setups.

BradJudy
09-02-2005, 05:10 PM
Actually, Mark did say that was the speaker system at $179 + $199, so it is the XLS and X-sub.

Quinn
09-02-2005, 06:09 PM
Brad-

It may be appropriate to include the fact you do work for AV123 in your signature line.

BradJudy
09-02-2005, 06:17 PM
Brad-

It may be appropriate to include the fact you do work for AV123 in your signature line.

I do not work for AV123. I am assisting Rich Hollis and Chris Cahill on refining AV123's MMK measurement system, but I am not paid for this work.

Mark did give me, or state that he would, an XLS paid and X-sub for assisting his crew with setup and measurements at their local event.

I have given companies, including Ascend, feedback on pre-production products. I have not received any money from these companies.

I have extended offers to multiple companies showing at the RMAF to assist them, or provide area information.

I am more than happy to fully disclose my relationship with any company or organization, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to include any of them in a signature line as I don't work for them.

bikeman
09-02-2005, 08:25 PM
I don't think it's appropriate for me to include any of them in a signature line as I don't work for them.

Nor do I. I think it's absurd to even suggest it.

David

craigsub
09-02-2005, 08:58 PM
I do not work for AV123. I am assisting Rich Hollis and Chris Cahill on refining AV123's MMK measurement system, but I am not paid for this work.

Mark did give me, or state that he would, an XLS paid and X-sub for assisting his crew with setup and measurements at their local event.

I have given companies, including Ascend, feedback on pre-production products. I have not received any money from these companies.

I have extended offers to multiple companies showing at the RMAF to assist them, or provide area information.

I am more than happy to fully disclose my relationship with any company or organization, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to include any of them in a signature line as I don't work for them.

Brad, You are correct. There is NO way anyone should suggest you are some form of paid employee for any company. And yes, you have been supportive of a lot of speaker companies. If memory serves, you have a rather lengthy review on Ascends posted on the Ascend site.

Quinn
09-02-2005, 09:55 PM
Thanks for clarifying.

BradJudy
09-02-2005, 10:10 PM
Not a problem. Just give me the benefit of the doubt on being honest and up-front as I make an effort to be both.

This kind of misunderstanding can happen when one starts having more involved discussions with various companies. I wouldn't be surprised if it has happened to Craig for multiple companies (what do you have now, 10 systems with speakers from 15 companies? :D )

Yes, I did do a long write-up on the Ascends a couple of years ago that was (is?) referenced on the Ascend site.

Thanks,

Brad

Kurt C.
09-03-2005, 02:06 PM
Actually, Mark did say that was the speaker system at $179 + $199, so it is the XLS and X-sub.That explains why the freq response looked to me like output of a monitor plus a sub--it was.