Archive for category Home Theater Audio System
Also, I don’t think this is accidental. Every time I found myself wanting a bit more fury from the Q Acoustics system, I was soon revelling in just how well it gets on with everything else. As an array mainly designed for living room setups, it’s likely to see daily use. Useful, then, that broadcast TV is unfailingly a crisp, clean, and well-balanced listen. It’s particularly strong at generating a decently immersive experience from a stereo feed, with dialogue from the centre channel clear and tonally accurate.
Looking back at a previous review of a 7000i package, it’s clear that much hasn’t changed about Q Acoustics’ top-flight sub/sat range. As before, I’m struck by how effective this is used in 2.1-channel guise. Listening to the newly released Lies Are More Flexible by Icelandic electronic duo GusGus (Qobuz, CD-quality FLAC) proves immersive and genuinely musical in a way that many 2.1 systems struggle to match. It’s the kind of performance that gets your foot-tapping and embracing the content, rather than worrying if levels are set correctly.
“As much as I enjoyed music on these speakers, movies really made them come to life. With the recent release of Avengers: Infinity War, I’ve found myself revisiting many of the previous Marvel films for a refresher on the backstories of various characters. When I popped in Iron Man 2, a film that pits billionaire superhero Tony Stark against a ruthless Russian physicist, The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack wasted no time in supplying demo-worthy material, with Iron Man leaping from the back of a military transport as AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” exploded across the soundstage. When a payload door slowly dropped, explosions filled the room as Iron Man vaulted through a pyrotechnic display. With my Anthem AVM60 preamp/processor set for an 80-Hz crossover, the seamless handoff between the main speakers and subwoofers created a full-bodied presentation at multiple listening positions. For example, when Iron Man engaged a crowd, his booming speech, and the reverberation of the crowd’s raucous applause through the room, provided a convincing illusion of being a participant in an actual event. ”
“It’s also a film that makes creative use of dynamic range, because when someone (or something) does make a noise, my God you know about it. The transient response of these speakers is incredible, viscerally delivering the scares as the soundtrack suddenly goes from relative silence to very very loud. The tendency of sound designers Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn to add plenty of low-frequency heft to these moments for greater impact finds the X12 in fine form – it handled the dynamic beats with ease, establishing a solid foundation and carefully locking in with the other speakers.
Dunkirk and A Quiet Place aren’t big on dialogue but when I moved on to Whiplash (Blu-ray) the abuse that J. K. Simmons hurls at Miles Teller is projected with spiteful precision. The main reason I chose this disc, though, was to ensure the IW150s had retained M&K’s musicality as well as its transparency. I quickly had my answer, thanks to a system that’s tighter than a syncopated jazz quartet, carrying off every high hat, cymbal and snare drum with excellent timing.”
The R3 stand-mounted speaker ($2,000 per pair) is a 3-way, rear-ported design that combines the new 12th-generation Uni-Q with a 6-inch bass driver. The R Series also includes three floor-standing speakers, starting with the R5 ($2,800 per pair). This slim tower uses the same Uni-Q, but replaces the single 6-inch bass driver with a pair of 5.25-inch drivers in a D’Appolito configuration. The larger R7 floor-stander ($3,800 per pair) is similar, but with twin 6-inch woofers. The flagship R11 speaker ($5,000 per pair) contains four 6-inch woofers, two above and two below the central Uni-Q driver. The new R Series offers just one center-channel speaker, the R2c ($1,200 each), which places a Uni-Q between a pair of 5.25-inch woofers. Lastly, the R8a ($1,400 per pair) is designed to play two roles. Mounted to a rear or side wall, the R8a performs rear-channel duties for surround sound. But it can also be placed on top of other R Series speakers, becoming an upward-firing Atmos speaker. Unlike the previous R Series, the new lineup doesn’t include a dipole surround speaker, nor is there a new R Series subwoofer. The previous R Series also included a second (larger) center-channel option, and a small two-way bookshelf speaker. Despite these omissions, the new R Series certainly looks appealing, and will almost certainly deliver excellent performance.”
“The system maintains its clear and cohesive presentation with things like Sky’s deranged (but weirdly watchable) Britannia; is a satisfying listen late at night with the volume dropped low; and turns in a decent presentation with music too. That well-judged handover between satellites and woofer ensures an impressively fulsome delivery of Kraftwerk’s Aero Dynamik (FLAC, 3-D The Catalogue), with its bassline rolling along nicely with no sense of overhang or delay, nor any obvious feeling of there being three speakers rather than two.
With the more considered and relaxed Losing to You by Stars, the DX-2 delivers the vocal centre of the song with surprising scale and genuine realism, given the dinky nature of the satellites. As with film use, you can push the speakers to run out of headroom, but the sub remains as unburstable as ever.
This 2.1 performance naturally isn’t as refined or largescale as that of a pair of floorstanding speakers, but it is achieved while taking up an awful lot less space in the room. And it’s more than good enough to balance some stereo listening along with multichannel.”
Audiophiles for decades have argued about the relative merits of ported versus sealed subwoofers, with ported subs typically delivering lots of output, and sealed models trading some of that efficiency for tighter, more extended bass. The Brisance 12 is neither of these; it uses what Tekton refers to as a Tesla valve to vent the enclosure. Alexander describes this patent pending design as a set of restricted flow vents, which he feels combines the benefits of both sealed and conventional ported designs. Three relatively small rectangular openings can be found on the Brisance 12’s back, but instead of a port tube extending into the enclosure, there’s what appears to be a sculpted form made from rigid high-density foam located inside the openings.”