What is your take on Def Tech XTR60's?

I just purchased 3 XTR60's for my front, center and left speakers. They joined my Mythos Gems for left and right surrounds and all are hooked up to my Denon AVR 590 Reciever. I have a lame Boston Acoustic Best Buy sub that will get kicked to the curb for a SC Reference sooner rather than later.

So far Im impressed with the clarity and sound from the XTR60's. Bought it because I heard such good reviews from other sites. However Im curious to know what hardcore audiophiles think of them and what would they consider an upgrade to these speakers for music or HT.
Don't know those speakers. I used to own the Mythos ST a few years back. Philes think little of the brand or their performance. Thus your lack of responses. If you like them that is all that matters.enjoy!
Wow really? Well thanks for your honest reply Foster_9. That sucks.

Its sad if its a matter of name brand and not its merits if its being panned. Im really wondering what would be an upgrade because as I said Im a budding audiophile and really want to refine my ears not my ego. I hate the snob factor. Just want honest opinions based on fact not emotional attachment to a name brand. Oh well, I guess you cant get away from peoples need to feel superior with silly things like this. You get tons of this on car forums lol. Really takes away from the joy of the hobby if you let it get to you.

Oh well, I guess Ill have to find a high end store in Manhattan and go listen for myself.
I have not heard your particular model, and its been a while since I heard ANY Definitive Technology speaker, but, the speakers I did hear sounded very good for the money.

It is also not correct that all audiophiles shun the brand. The high end magazine The Absolute Sound gave one of their tall floorstanding models a rave review and it is regularly listed among their recommended components.

I wouldn't worry too much about what others think.
Thanks Larryi. Im not too worried about others irrational opinions. Its the honest, non biased opinions from audiophiles with properly tuned ears that Im looking for. Now I know that may mean the XTR's are garbage and Im good with hearing that but at least I was looking for some constructive criticism and maybe being pointed in a better direction. Isnt that what a forum is all about?

Thanks for the info on the magazine. Ill look it up and see what their recomendations are.
I've heard them and I own the older floor standing BP7004's with the built in powered subs. There is a lot of ignorance about speakers of this type and here's why:

1) Most people only hear them at a "Best Buy" type store with a receiver in a poor setup.
2) Many people expect mass produced speakers of this type to be automatically undeserving of serious auditions.

My "high end" audio system is Merlin TSM-MXr speakers powered by a Manley Stingray II tube amp along with a Rega DAC and Cardas cables. The Def Tech system is part of my large dedicated theater room.

As an experiment I connected my Manley Stingray II amp to the Def Tech speakers and guess what? They sounded pretty darn good. No, they could not match the Merlins, but the Def Techs were lively, engaging and presented a full range sound that was very pleasing. The expensive tube amp reined in the metal tweeters and the sound was quite "high end."
I've heard other Def Tech speakers pull this off and I generally think they're underrated. You do give up a certain degree of resolution, continuousness and tonality, but the gain is major impact and scale.

As for your speakers, they don't have the power of the big floorstanders, but they do well with scale. Mated with good amps and sources they can sound much better than many golden eared audiophiles would care to admit! They play loud and are capable of great dynamics. Todays speaker technology is pretty good with good sound found in systems and price points previously experienced only among the more elite designers. A lot of good speaker technology has trickled down to your Def Techs to be sure.

With a good Denon or Marantz HT reciever you can get "good" sound from your Def Techs, but a serious two channel amp will easily elevate them to a higher level. Don't worry too much about it an enjoy the music and movies!


Well thank you Robert. That is the kind of reply I was hoping to get. I have a Denon AVR 590 powering it with no pre-amp. Im not well versed in the hooking up of these other components but Im planning on picking up a Marantz AV 7005. The Denon is rated at 75 watts per while the Marantz is 125 watts per. It sounds as if the Denon cant drive the speakers fully. Volume gets cut at about -12 and the speakers sound like they can take a whole lot more, especially considering they are rated to 200 watts.

So the Merlins would be a great upgrade to these speakers per your post. Ill have to put them on the list when Im ready to spend that kind of money..Thanks again Robert for taking the time to educate an up and coming audiophile....

I agree that Robert gave you some good advice. There are so many unavoidable cost cutting compromises made with home theater receivers that make it hard for such products to deliver topnotch stereo sound. For example, really good attenuators (volume control) cost a lot of money. A 7.1 receiver has to have a minimum of eight attenuators to the two needed for a stereo device.

How much can attenuators cost? A friend of mine tried to get an Alps RK50 attenuator for a DIY project. The US distributor was willing to drop his price to $800 each if he bought a minimum of 50.
Thanks again for your reply Larryi. with what you wrote do you think the Marantz AV 7005 reciever would be a good choice?
I haven't heard the Marantz receiver. I generally find that Marantz makes decent sounding gear for the money. I have not been that thrilled with anything Denon makes. Their audio gear generally does not sound that good to me, and their video gear is so ergonomically trying (I own a Denon Blu-ray player that drives me crazy).
05-04-12: Snakebitten
Im not too worried about others irrational opinions.
Yet, you asked for people's take on the speaker.Who's to say which opinion is rational and which is not?

Its the honest, non biased opinions from audiophiles with properly tuned ears that Im looking for.
No such thing as an "unbiased" opinion my friend, sad but true. Especially from,as you put it,audiophiles with properly tuned ears.

Thanks for the info on the magazine. Ill look it up and see what their recomendations are.
This is probably the last place to be looking for an "unbiased" opinion.

These are just my "unbiased" opinions on the matter, nothing more!!!!!
Tpreaves thanks for your reply. I know where you are coming from and I agree to a point. When I wrote honest opinions I meant in regards to actually hearing the XTR's vs what they went with and giving their honest opinion if its good or not. Maybe they owned one or went and listened to it and may have a rational conclusion, of course based on their likes, which may be different than mine. Point is they heard it or gave it a try.

A biased person would not even buy a DT or even listen to it since its beneath them, hence those are not the opinions I'm looking for. I'm not looking for blind, fanboy opinions.

As you can see from some of the comments I valued like Robert's and Larryi's they both gave me some info that was constructive. Robert actually had experience with some DT's and mentioned his Merlins are better. So you can get constructive, reasonably unbiased opinions. There are people out there that can step back from the ego, brand loyality etc and give a useful reply. This is what Im looking for. Is it totally unbiased? No, but it is much more informative than a fanboy post and will help me refine my choices as they are more experienced then I am in this hobby.

I will be listening to some Merlins, and Snells in the future based on some fairly unbiased, good reading on this site.
Larryi thanks. Lol. Yeah the Denon ergonomics is very trying. You should check out there remotes. Horrible. But the AVR 590 is what started me on this path. Im ready to move on to something much better. Ive been reading about the Marantz AV 7005 on here and another site and it seems some really like them. I cant afford the highend stuff that I know is much cleaner and clearer but Id love to get "close". What would you reccomend I consider before making a reciever purchase?

The Marantz won't be all that different from the Denon. Though they both have their fans they generally occupy the same slot so far as quality goes. If you want to gain some advantages consider adding a power amp to your current receiver, which I assume as pre-outs. Later on you can look into a HT processor or even a separate pre-amp for dedicated two channel music.

A good example might be to order a good 3 channel power amp at this stage, then upgrade to a good pre-processor later. My inexpensive Emotiva UMC-1 partnered with an Emotiva, Rotel, Odyssey or Parasound amp (new or used) will sound better than any receiver and add to your enjoyment.

Thanks for the advice Robert. I will look into it as soon as possible. From what you said it sounds like I can save the money for the Marantz and just add a preamp to boost the power output. That will drive the DT's much better than the Denon or Marantz by themselves I gather.

Since the speakers are rated at 30-200 watts then I imagine the amp I purchase should be rated at no more than 200 watts right?

Also I have a 5.1 surround sound setup. DT's all around except for the sub. I gather the 2 or 3 channel amp would only power the right/left speaker or right/left/center respectively?

Thanks much Robert in advance.
Just looked at the Emotiva UMC1. Its a nice piece indeed and affordable...Hmmm
Wow. Just looked at the Emotiva XPA-5 along with the UMC1. The Marantz I was going to buy would have costed me $1600. For less than that I can get these two Emotiva units and have even better power output and clarity. Thank you for suggesting this Robert. I think Im going to go down this route instead.
The UMC-1 is a great processor, but it was plagued by firmware issues for quite a while. I bought mine after that all died down and it replaced a Onkyo processor that cost 3 times more.

The UMC-1 matched the Onkyo for HT duties and sounded better in two channel mode for music, so I find it to be a homerun. Emotiva is about to release a much more expensive unit in about 1-2 months.

Adding an amp to your reciever will give you more power and perhaps some perceptable sonic improvements, especially for dynamics. But the pre-amp section of your reciever will still control much of the sonic character. Having owned several good recievers from Marantz, Outlaw, and Denon my experience is that they run out of steam easily.

The Emotiva stuff is pretty good, but audiophiles have usually considered it better suited for home theater usage. With that said I have on many occasion used the Emotiva amps and UMC-1 for 2 channel music and I think it does a very nice job, certainly better than any receiver I've owned.

It does not compete with my Merlin/Manley system, but that cost over 15K on it's own.

I have a studio apt so I cant add too much audio equipment as room is limited. My a/v equipment is stuffed in one of my closets. Hence why I was looking at replacing the receiver and not adding too much bulk. I will add the amp to the receiver as you suggested as the Denon does run out of gas at high volumes and shuts down. Ill have to take baby steps I see before I get to where I want to be sound-wise.

Thanks for your advice and recommendations. I have so many questions but I think Ill hunt down the answers instead of being a pain lol.

BTW I just looked at your system. My goodness. That is a home theater/audio heaven. Very very nice.
My own experience is that I have never heard any Def Tech speakers that don't make me want to run out of the room. The highs are piercing, etched and bright, to the point of pain, and drowning out frequencies just below the treble. That said, I have winced when hearing these, but right next to me was someone who thought they sounded terrific. I tend to be very sensitive to any emphasis or distortions in the upper-mids and lower treble. Others are less sensitive. I think that's probably why they are so polarizing. To be fair, I never heard them with really top flight electronics, but rather the mid-fi stuff they usually get paired with, based on their price. Note that the glowing reviews in the press come from reviewers hooking up Def Techs to very good reference-quality electronics.
Thanks for that Bondmanp. Yes the highs are piercing and brite as you say. It does overpower the midrange. Im currently looking to see what the best amp/reciever combo I can find. Im looking into the Marantz av 7005 since it has balanced preouts and will support 5.1-7.1 and also 2 channel. Looking at pairing it with an Emotiva XPA-5 200 watt amp or something better. I dont expect to get it right the first time as I cant plunk down the cheese for the high end stuff. But Ill try to improve a lot on what I have now which is not close to audiophile. Ive heard some say the DT's can be audiophile if driven by the right equipment so they will stay for now.

The Denon AVR 590 powering it just doesnt cut it even to my novice ears. Just not powerful enough to drive the speakers and the soundstage [if Im understanding the terminology correctly] isn't reaching where I sit to listen, even after running Audyssey. So Im going to take it slow and learn along the way until I can get up there with some of you guys equipment-wise.

Money is a factor for me. Are DT's considered lo-fi or mid-fi? Is such designations based on ability or price?

Don't put much into what you read here. Few of the folks on these boards have heard Def Techs with correct gear. As I said, when powered by higher end stuff, especially tubes, it's a whole new ball game.
Naturally most folks power them with lower end amps and this only exposes more problems. I've played my Def Techs with the Manley amp and flat-out shocked my audiophile friends. It proves how important good amp & pre amp stuff really is. Cables, source and the room they're in will play a BIG part in the sound as well. Are Def Techs bright? Yup! Can this be tamed and can they yield good sound? Absolutely. They will also be insanely dynamic and loud for HT use and that's something my high end Merlin speakers can't manage. You pick the right tools for the job, right?

As usual thanks Robert. You are right. Right tool for the right job. What would you recommend I get for a pre/pro and amp? Doubt I could swing both a Manley tube amp and pre/pro at the same time right now. Just dont have the budget for it...yet.
I own Def Techs for theater setup... I have never heard any sound good enough for dedicated 2-ch music.
I appreciate your opinion Audiofreak but Ill decide for myself if that is the case for my ears once I get a proper pre/pro and amp hooked up to it. I am at a learning curve now and Ive from a few Audiophiles, on here and off, that say other wise. So I kinda want to see for myself since I did plunk down the money for them.

I will definitely upgrade in the future but Id at least like to know what good mid-fi sounds like so I can really appreciate the high end stuff when I get around to it.

Appreciate your perspective but please tell me what you have hooked up to your DT's.
Running an older Denon HT receiver. For a theater setup, you already have good enough gear.... the speakers will make a bigger difference.

Notice something here? The people making the comments aren't mentioning the associated gear or even the exact speakers. It's less than likely that these folks tried the Def Techs with better amps and a Denon receiver is AT BEST a mediocre way to listen to music. Virtually any receiver is going to be a very weak link.
As I've only powered the Def Techs (and not your exact model) with a small group of amps I could advise you, but the Emotiva stuff is not a bad start. You might also look into some used stuff from Parasound and Rogue. Rogue gear does quite well taming the highs of the Def Techs like the Manley.
With all of that I find that the Def Techs can sound pretty good with my Emotiva stuff and be fun to listen to. Audio snobs need not apply, but music lovers will be fine. It's great fun to crank up the Def Techs. Yes, for "serious" listening my Merlins and tubes are warmed up, but I don't always want to be serious!

It's about the music and what you have is just fine for a start.


So you have just a Denon receiver driving your DT's...That seems to be the limiting factor for the speakers from what others like Robert who has DT towers have said. A better setup with these DT speakers would be a pre/pro and amp capable of driving the DT's. I will find out when I pick up a proper pre/pro and amp combo. My Denon at 75 watts cut out video or audio when I try to push the speakers. Id like to at least drive these speakers to their potential before panning them. My Denon is clearly not up to the task for music it appears.
Funny... I am using three ProCenter 2000's across the front, sounds just fine and DT recommends crossing them over anyway.... so I am using like 20 watts to drive those super effecient speakers. Why would I buy a pre/pro combo? Not needed. DT's will never sound good with music, sorry.
Yes I'm noticing that Robert. I will look into the Rogue and parasound options you mentioned as well. Im going to take my time on this and be very deliberate with the pre/pro and amp purchases. For now I will stick with the DT's until I become better aquainted with my ears and musicality of the components. Gotta crawl before you walk :)

The Merlin and Manley combo will definitely be a consideration for me in the future. Every review Ive seen speaks highly of that combo. Also the Maggies.

Audiofreak thanks for your imput. I think Ill try and make the DT's work to there potential before I cast judgement. Everyone is different so it wont please everyone.
Audiofreak, those Pro 2000's do not sound like XTR60's or my BP2004's for that matter.

So far as I know they were designed to be a low end model from Def tech. But if you haven't powered them properly I don't see why you are even commenting. To evaluate a speaker, from the cheapest to best, you need to learn to match gear.

In that direction I also own a pair of Martin Logan Motion 4's with a Dynamo sub. Cheap stuff for my upstairs TV and music. With a Denon receiver the sound is fair at best and not very musical. But switch over to the little Jolida tube amp and the system sings.

I am using Sonus Faber Cremona towers, LINN Akurate DS, a pair of REL Storm III subs and Primaluna tube monoblocks, along with Audioquest speaker cables, LeeLoss powercords and Nordost IC's for my music system. I care much less about the theater system and put way more of my money into my music system. This is why I have a Denon receiver and the three DefTech centers. I bought the Denon from a guy for $90 (he paid over $1,200 originally when new) because he was too dumb to realize that the newer Denon he bought that had HDMI switching will likely sound worse than the one he was selling to me - all to get HDMI switching (stupid), just hook the HDMI direct into the TV. The three DefTech ProCenter 2000's were free from a friend. And then I use a PS3 for DVD, games and bluray. I would never seriously listen to music on this mediocre system.... this is why I have a separate music system. My point is this: Definitive makes a decent overall speaker, mostly competent for THEATER setups, NOT FOR MUSIC.
Audiofreak how can you come to the conclusion that DT doesn't make speakers for music when all you have experience with is their lowend "THEATER" speakers? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Thats like me buying a low end video card from nVidia thats not for gaming and then pronouncing to the world that nVidia is not the company to buy from for serious gaming.

You should have said the Pro 2000 aren't for music instead of saying across the board that DT speakers aren't for music. You dont have the experience to say that and be taken seriously just by virtue of what you revealed about your setup and equipment.
Actually.... I have heard many DT speakers... they are not very good MUSIC speakers.... they are just fine for HOME THEATER. That is how I came to that conclusion.
Audiofreak this is the internet and anyone can say anything. All I can go by is what you wrote. You started out by saying this:

"I own Def Techs for theater setup... I have never heard any sound good enough for dedicated 2-ch music." This was specific and you refered to your Pro 2000's. If you had experience with other DT's you would have said so initially imho.

Now your are saying "Ive heard many DT speakers...etc" in your last post, when I took you to task about your "expertise" in DT's. Especially when we consider what you are driving your low-end Theater speakers with.

You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to my opinion that you are not a good source for an educated/constructive critique on DT's. But thanks for your reply.

I will upgrade these XTR's in the future to be sure. But Im going to give them a chance with the right equipment before I do. Im still learning.
I have heard many DT speakers (and subs)... they are really great "Bang for the buck" speakers for theater, but that is where it ends. The subs are actually really good - better than most, but still for theater. I mean, they are no JL Audio, but at the prices we are talking, they are better than most.

One thing you will learn: A speakers that sounds really good for music (2-channel) will almost always sound good for theater, but almost NEVER the other way around.

If you are happy with DT speakers, great... save your money and buy gold then.
Ok that adds some depth to what you have said before. BTW I dont mind if someone bashes the DT's. Im not married to them at all. Id just prefer constructive responces over just arbitrary bashing with no real experience with the speakers or the speakers hooked up to good equipment.

Hmmm...So music specific speakers will work better for both music and theater....Why dont mfg's then just make musical speakers and leave the theater speakers off the table then? I guess they use the low budget speakers for home theater app I guess. Make money both ways since most people can afford say a Pro 2000 than pony up for Maggies or some other high end speakers like you have. ..

Ill have to look into this further. I listen to music more than movies lately so I wouldn't mind centering my system towards music, both multi and two channel.