Heard them at RMAF. A steal, sounded better than speakers at 5 times its price.
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These are good home theatre speakers but are designed to be supplemented with subwoofers. They are also dipoles, so they need to be a few feet away from the front wall to get the best imaging. IMO, the AV123 Strata Mini is better all the way around and especially for stereo only listening. Check the classifieds on the AV123 forums for good deals.
My brother in law (silvergsx) has these speakers. They are far and away the most capable $1,000 speakers that I've ever heard. The competition at this price are bookshelves that can't touch these speakers dynamic capabilities, bass response, and staging.
These speakers are just as much, or more, for 2 channel stereo as they are for home theater. Their designer, Danny Richie of GR Research, is a 2-channel only guy. Yes, for full range sound into the 20hz range you will want to use a sub, just like any other speaker that doesn't giant bass drivers. Bass is handled by 2 6.5" drivers in a sealed box, which is very tight and easily goes down to the mid 30hz range in a mid sized room, and doesn't have the boomy residue that you would get with a ported enclosure.
I'm sure the Strata Minis sound good as well, but they are no longer available, and when they were, they were twice the price of the X-Statics.
If you're in the market for a nearly full range floorstanding speaker for $1k that plays far out of its price range, I would recommend taking a closer look at these.
I've had these speakers for a while now, and outside of having driven 8 hours and 450 miles in the snow to pick them up from someone "local" who was selling them, my experience has been nothing but positive.
I've compared these speakers with some Dynaudio, Anthony Gallo and Verity Audio just to name a few, and, outside of speakers that cost 15 times the price, the X-Statiks sound just as good if not better than speakers costing 5 times as much.
The two 6.5's in the sealed bottom box are tight, yet have time and time again extended flat well beyond their rating. Only now, when I moved them into a rather large listening room have they really needed the accompaniment of a sub.
The open baffle dipole top portion, when set up properly (at least 3 feet or so from the side walls and at least that from the rear) give the music a wonderful airy quality that gives the overall presence a live feeling. They're not bright sounding, but they're definitely not a laid back sound like the Verity. Vocals and instruments are balanced well and the imaging is spot on.
Into classical music? These speakers will treat you well. You'll get the feeling you're at the concert hall and the dynamics are spectacular. It truly gives symphony pieces a true to life feeling and puts you front and center in front of your favorite orchestra playing your favorite piece.
I have yet to find a genre of music that doesn't sound great on these speakers. If you can find someone local with a pair I suggest you take a listen, cause you'll be hooked as soon as you sit down. Not only is the finish something you'd find on a speaker costing 10 times as much, but the unique design will have all your guests asking about them.
"aven't heard much about AV123 in a while. Is this a case of no news is good news?"
It is a case of most audio forums locking down AV123 threads about those "issues" to keep decorum. So, most people have moved on from trying to discuss those issues.
There are some real questions of late as to whether all the charity raffles AV123 has held over the years have paid the collected monies to the charities.
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but I own the demo pair from RMAF and need to buy a set of grills and grill mounting poss for these. My best friend picked them up from Mark, and was promised grills at a later date, but then things got crazy. I traded him for these and love them, but the WAF without grills is not high.
My friend was selling them here http://new.audiogon.com/listings/243822 before he moved away last month. I didn't even know they were posted here.
Anyone with used/NOS grills, or who can make some could contact me and I would be grateful. I'll log in later on a real computer, not iPad, and post a WTB if needed. I joined long ago but haven't used Audiogon.