Opinions on Onix Reference 1 monitors??

Any one who has auditioned or own the Onix Reference 1
mkii monitors...can you please give me your impressions of
How do that compare to other monitors in their price
range of 1000-1200.00?

There is no comparison. The Onix is hands-down the best choice. Strictly from a build quality standpoint, nobody can compete with the cabinetry, and the driver selection at this price point. As far as the sound, again with the quality of components that go into these, they are tough to beat at the price. Excellent bass response, great tonal balance,dynamics, and all of the imaging/soundstaging buzzwords apply. I have listened to these quite extensively, and with everything from inexpensive tube integrateds, to tube separates, and some pretty high end solid state gear. If you go with these you will not be disappointed.
Check out the GMA Europa's for the same cost. Cast marble cabinets, 1st order crossovers for true time/phase alignment, exceptional drivers, designed by physics, not cosmetics. Do a search here for other owners comments....or check them out at http://greenmountainaudio.com/
I have had my Onix Reference 1 MkII monitors since February 2006, and I am amazed at how well they image and extend down to their 42Hz bottom end. The Vifa HF driver is ultra-smooth with no hint of sibilance or harshness. Room placement is critical with these exceptionally well built monitors. I have them on 30 inch Onix speaker stands and toed in toward my "sweet spot" in my 17 ft. x 12 ft. living room. I purchased these speakers with the Onix SP3 integrated amplifier for $1199 and haven't looked back since. Off-axis listening is not as good as some more expensive speakers like Tetras, but it still sounds great when I'm casually listening and moving around the room.

I have also tried using my Naim Nait solid state integrated amplifier with these speakers, and gotten very good results. These speakers are very musical, and they are very revealing of the upstream equipment like sources and amplification. I was able to distinguish the difference in DACs in my CD player and FireWire digital audio interface (The CD player won out). You definitely won't be as pleased with anything less than the Onix SP3 and a quality playback source pushing these speakers. In rolling tubes, and upgrading my amplifier and CD player power cables from stock cables to Zu Birth and Zu Bok, respectively, the soundstage has expanded and deepened and the frequency extremes have filled in more for even tonality from lows to highs.

I have compared these little gems to Joseph Audio monitors and Quad monitors, and these speakers sound very good. They do have a more forward presentation than the Quads and Joseph Audio.
In the $1200-$1500 range I can think of two better sounding speakers. The Dynaudio Focus 110 and the Polk Audio LSi-9.

The Dynaudio is equal to the Onix finish and is every bit as sexy. One thing I did notice, the Onix can sound bright with some material, but it's detail is very good. The Dyn is a bit smoother to my ears. If you jump on the Onix and SP3/A120MKII deal, it can't be beat and is a no brainer. You can sell one or the other if it's not your cup-o-tea.

As for the Polk LSi-9, they have the same tweeter, but do sound different than the Onix. The Polk doesn't have the detail as the Onix, however it has smooth mids with a suprisingly tight bass that extends very low for it's size. The Polk finish is different, but the cherry side panels mated with the gloss black is pretty sexy as well.

I have two pair of Onix Reference 1 monitors runing through a 2 channel Rotel RX-1052 receiver. Major sonic discovery ignored in Audiophile magazines!!: If you put a pair of monitors near the side walls of your living room at roughly the 10:00 and 2:00 repspectively and toe them directly in toward the center of the listening area you will be blessed with bass equal to what you would hear from floorstanders in the normal front position and with incredible stereo imaging!

If you then splurge by spending some of the money you saved by buying the Onix brand instead of B&W or Dali, etc. and buy a second pair of Onix speakers and put them in the normal front position in addition to the side pair you will be blessed with some of the best music that you have ever heard anywhere. The two pair synergistically put out stereo imaging that literally puts you directly in front of a live band with true concert sound as the two frequencies instrinsic in each pair of monitors and their distance from each other - merge for a depth of natural live sound that neither set could begin to hope to achieve on their own. I would challenge any monitor pair under $5,000 being made today to beat the sound acheived by these two pair of Onix reference monitors working in tandem (I had B&W 805s, Dynaudio SEs, and Dali Helicon 300s and 400s). An added bonus is that your amplifier will increase its output due to the added load and the detail and clarity of your speakers will increase dramatically, even at lower sound levels!

I have a Rotel RX-1052 which works wonderfully with this set up and achieves sound that is night and day different from one pair playing by itself. In addition, adding an equalizer will also achieve a difference in sound that no room modification or expensive wiring can touch.

My Rotel RX-1052 does not have subwoofer output but an indirect bonus is that it does have zone output with adjustable volume that can be connected to your subwoofer. This setup led to a discovery on my part in overcoming subwoofer distortion. I had my 10" AV123 ULW-10 Rocket sub (one of the most musical anywhere) connected to the normal 2 channel subwoofer output on another receiver and found that the input signal was so high from the amp that I only needed to turn the sub volume up to about 25% to play it at a normal listening level which would blend with my music. However, I noticed distortion coming out of the sub on some softly played songs. When I used my zone output from my Rotel I had to turn the zone volume up a bit for that zone on the receiver and then turned my subwoofer output up to about 60% capability to match the lower zone output and play at a comfortable listening level, suddenly the subwoofer distortion completely disapeared and the bass became extremely accurate and tight. This effect is probably true for all subwoofers.

A word of warning! The more expensive high powered subs (I have owned them - for example, the $1,400 Velodyne HGS-10) are great for dinosaur stomping home theater but stick out like a sore thumb for most music whereas the 10" ULW10 Onix Rocket Subwoofer sounded and blended beautiful with music. The rocket is adequate for home theater when turned up. Choose a musical sub first and buy a seperate sub for home theater if you must or buy two rockets and turn them both up for home theater and you can play each sub behind each set of monitors if you want. I have not heard a better subwoofer for augmenting deep bass in a seemless musical way than the Rocket ULW-10 (I have not hear their UHW-10). The deep rolling bass of Fleetwood Mac for example comes alive and gives your speakers a totally different sound.

So ignore the stereophile snobs who ignore the reality of needing to overcome the bias of your speakers or ampflifiers voicing, or your personal listening preferences, and room acoustics and buy a good equalizer before spending money on expensive cable or a new set of speakers or receiver to solve your desire for better music. Behringer makes a very sweet digital EQ or some high end older home EQ models (luxman, audio control, even lesser priced but good Harman Kardon or Yamaha EQs) can be had on Audiogon or Ebay. I personally love to push up the eq about 8db in the 500 and 1000 range (midrange) for more forward vocals and instrumentals. Stevie Nicks goes from being slightly even with or behind the band as studio mixed to being more forward and bold as should have been.

The summary of this is that at their brand new price, you can buy two pair of Onix Reference one speakers (the Rosewood is jaw dropping beautiful) and outclass any single pair of monitors (B&W, Dali, Onix, etc) in performance and still save a 1 or two thousand. And if you are buying two pair, AV123 will almost certainly deal with you or you can look for used Onix References on Audiogon or buy two pair of B stock at around half price as I did. I got two air of B stock in perfect new condition with the same as new warranty from AV123 dot com.

In retrospect, the sound you hear from quality high end speakers in an "Apples and Oranges" thing - in other words, what flavor or type of sound from which Company do you prefer for your own listening tastes. That is why so much disagreement exists over the best sounding speakers. Beware though, that bright sound that I loved from the B&Ws for instance in the studio did not suit me well at all at home over time as the highs were so high for my taste that they started to needle me and induce listening fatigue after while. As far as brightness goes, in order with most bright first by my ears I would grade in order: 1. B&W 800 series (most bright & needling to me - you may have trouble EQing this out), 2. the Dali Helicon Series (beautifully open with the ribbon tweeter and almost bright but not annoying - even then this can easily be adjusted to taste with an EQ), and then 3. the Onix Reference speakers closely followed by 4. Dynaudio which is closely followed by the 5. Polk LSIs which by now are very mellow.

By the way, pairing of two sets of speakers in the manner mentioned above can be done with any brand of your liking or with a floorstanding and monitor mix. However, the relatively lower priced but high quality audiophile Onix Reference speakers allow you to do this and still have superior sound over almost any single pair of monitors and perhaps at a savings of up to thousands of dollars less than the single pair.

Also, note that Onix now has a new series of speakers which at least on paper by components should be awesome which is called the Strata. Take a look at it. They had a speacial awhile back pairing them with some Reference 1s which would be out of this world. Ask them if they can match the special if you are inclinded in that direction. Meanwhile, I am in love with my two pair of of Onix Reference 1s monitors in Rosewood teamed up with my compact, and musical Rocket ULW 10 sub and well made Rotel RX-1052 receiver and old Harman kardon EQ8 (at least 10 bands is needed for good results). I am playing my music through a Rotel RCC-1055 5 disk player. I compared it to the famous single disk Rotel RCD-1072 and could tell very little if any difference. I am sure in the long run that the single player is more reliable but this couch potato finds the multiple disk player fun to use.

I hope some of you looking for a wonderful sound system have found this info helpful. After all is said and done, relax and enjoy the music! Oh, I didn't mention that your music can also be greatly enhanced by a beautiful woman and some good wine. That much I am sure you already know!
Since posting this I have purchased some Merlin MMs and Dynaudio Focus 140s. I found them by my ears both to be better than AV123 Ref 1s. The Merlins at twice the price do not suffer from the occasional tendency toward harshness that the AV123 Ref 1s do and are magically open and sweet with a wonderful midrange and tight accurate bass. The Dynaudio Focus has a different sound. It is heavier in the bass with a bold presence there and not quit as revealing in the treble as the Merlins and a little smoother and layed back, have a nice forward midrange occupied by some of the bass, but are a little more Dynamic for hard playing rock where the Merlins still excell in Rock, seem to pull ahead in sound with Jazz, Vocals, and Instrumentals.

Which is better is purely a matter of what kind of sound you like to hear and what kind of music you routinely play. Both are some of the best monitors I have ever heard. I give the edge toward the Merlins in overall sound (B&W killers in fact) unless you have a primary diet of hard rock, then the preference goes to the Focus in my opinion. However, I have talked to people who play primarily rock who prefer the Merlins. Apples and Oranges. Listen and form your own opinion. What neither has is the metal dome tweeters of the B&W series which can start to needle you with harshness and listening fatigue over time.