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#79695 - 05/17/08 07:45 AM Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase
Kubrickfan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 46
Loc: So. Calif
I upgraded from my tried and true 25 year old Kenwood receiver and jumped into the world of separates and surround sound 5 years ago. The honest and objective comments that were allowed on this list gave me confidence when they helped me select the Outlaw 950 and 770. This ‘leap’ allowed me to enjoy surround sound but I rushed into adding surrounds, center and rear speakers to complete the experience. My ESS AMT-1B speakers were my long time solid stereo sound providers. These full range towers with unbeatable Heil air-motion transformer were the sonic amazement of friends since they were purchased in 1975. To add the surround aspect I let the Bose marketing machine steer me into the Acoustimass dual cube sets for my surrounds and a Bose VCS-10 center speaker. Please don’t let this confession of Bose speakers loose you or worse yet what I finished my 7.1 system out with, Realistic (yes Radio Shack) bookshelf speakers. At the time the ESS speakers were for stereo music and the surround speakers were for movies. I also eventually added a Sony SAWM40 subwoofer to help the satellite speakers. For movies, I was adequately entertained but realized that each speaker region (ESS Pairs, Bose pairs, Realistic pairs and the center channel) had its own sound and limitations. Concert DVDs started bringing out the major limitations of the non-ESS speakers in my setup. DVD-Audio/SACD surround discs made it extremely obvious. Then my wife gave me the directive to get rid of the large ESS towers, “because surely technology has developed much more efficient speakers in bookshelf models that can replace your 30 year old dinosaurs.” I auditioned speakers in audio specialty stores but never felt they were a true test compared to the ESS or my own listening environment (35’ x 15’, raised ceiling room). I did know the matching timbre of quality speakers would make a major difference in the sound experience. Just before the New Year I placed my ‘test order’ (planned 30 days testing and then send back) for the following: 5ea – Cherry LCR, 2ea – B-Stock Cherry BLS and 1ea – LFM-1EX.

I requested the entire set arrive together when the LCRs were finally released. A shipping glitch had the LFM-1EX and BLS pair arrive a good week before the LCRs. Not being patient with new toys I went straight to disconnecting the ESS speakers and placing the BLS speakers as my front mains even though their intended landing place was as my new rear speakers. The first test was without the LFM-1EX and I was noticeably missing my ESS 12” woofers. I then added the LFM-1EX. My first reaction was the LFM-1EX easily out performed the dual woofers of the ESS speakers and was instantly a major ‘win’. The Sony sub hasn’t been turned on again (looking back the Sony didn’t perform at all in comparison to the Outlaw LFM-1EX). The combined performance of BLS and LFM still wasn’t an equal replacement to the ESS speaker experience. While the BLS and LFM sound was warm and clear at all volumes, the ESS high end is amazing and was missed. Then the LCRs showed up. I moved the BLS speakers to their rear positions and installed the LCRs as my full three fronts and two surrounds. My first impression was that I did notice the slight loss of the lower end capability provided BLS speakers with their rear port. This more limited bass was only apparent while standing close to the front sound stage or listening at very low volume. My normal listening position is about 20 feet back from the front stage. The BLS were B-Stock and seemed to have been broken in while the LCRs needed the break-in time. You cannot underestimate the breaking-in period. It is like holding an eagle tight in your arms and then letting it fly free with its wings fully extended (Ok maybe that is a bit much but you get the picture). I know this is long winded but I thought understanding what I transitioned from was important. I have had this Outlaw speaker setup since February (no, I didn’t send them back). I was tired of so many DVD-A titles not being recognized and the inferior sound of SACD titles on my ancient first generation Pioneer dual DVD-A/SACD player so during this time I also purchased an Oppo 980H (a very satisfying upgrade). The ESS, Bose and Realistic speakers have been permanently removed. My initial testing was to throw as much music as possible at these speakers because I’m sorry but movies just don’t challenge all the surround speakers. I played allot of DVD-A and SACD but also included CDs played back in 7 channel Stereo. The DVD-A & SACD tiles are limited to my LCR/LFM 5.1 speakers because of the analog output requirement. I was impressed with the much larger soundstage created with these new Outlaw speakers. The front soundstage transitions are virtually invisible across the three speakers for movies and music with the sound traveling back and forth without any tonal variance. The surround music completely engulfs the listener. Sound transitions from rears to fronts, or anywhere in between occur with no effort or change in tone. The sound stage size is so enormous now that what used to be isolated projection from my speaker locations is now one solid room of sound. I have also found that all the other old speakers, including the ESS, were very deficient at lower volumes. I find myself (and now my family too) enjoying music more frequently because a clean, full depth low volume can be enjoyed while still being able to easily hold conversation. I was always pushing the volume envelope with the old speakers because I knew the old speakers were not performing at their full potential until turned way up. The Outlaw speakers have the ability to push the volume envelope and show no sign of ‘cracking’. The Outlaws stretch out and play beautiful music at high volume. This was a little surprising for bookshelf speakers to provide such a strong, clean, punch. I have had these at such high volume that I didn’t realize the loudness until a family member started talking to me and I only saw their lips moving. The other side is that I am ‘dedicated listening’ to music much, much more now. ‘Dedicated listening’ is not ‘puttering’ around the house taking care of ‘to do’s’. I read, work or whatever but staying in the listening sweet spot. I have also found that movie listening has been greatly enhanced. No matter how much I adjusted the old speaker calibration I would still have the system overpower the room during movies when music or excitement started up and the ESS speakers kicked in. Now I have a more consistent sound experiences with greatly improved audio nuances (surround enhancements) during movies. The big question is do I miss my ESS speakers. The answer is yes and no. Overall with the wonderful “walls of sound” (and I should say a very rich full sound) has improved the quality substantially. If I were someone that listened to only two speaker stereo and with the volume turned up then I would still have to vote for my ESS towers because they offered a bit more range then two LCRs and a LFM. My preference is multiple speakers filling the room with sound even when playing stereo source material. Many others do not share that opinion and I would recommend they stick with their monster tower stereo speaker systems. I know someone on this list has ESS towers all around his room. That would have worked wonderful for me as well except I prize my marriage much more then that. I don’t miss the Bose or Realistic speakers in the least. I honestly thought the Bose speakers did OK until I replaced them with LCRs. They had no depth or sound field at all. The center channel is a great improvement. Looking back the Bose surrounds sounded like PA speakers and truly didn’t have sonic quality. Even the softest guitar strum in the LCR surrounds is beautiful.

This was a descent investment in speakers for me but I have increased my daily enjoyment three fold. I have also increased my DVD-A & SACD audio library to keep pace with my reborn music listening enjoyment. Something has to be said about the speaker quality when the total listening experience improves as much as mine has. I’m very glad my wife insisted on the speaker changes (but please don’t let her know I admitted that).
_________________________
Marantz AV7702mkII, Outlaw 7220, ,7ea-Outlaw LCR (2ea.- L/2ea.- R/C/SR/SL),Outlaw 7125 for 4ea-Outlaw LCRv2 (Atmos ceiling),Outlaw Ultra-X12 & LFM-1EX Subwoofers,BR/DVD Oppo BDP-103,BDP-83SE, Samsung 65" OLCD, Sofabato remote - Whole house audio via two (2ea) 7125s.

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#79696 - 05/17/08 03:07 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Great first post, Kubrickfan!
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gonk
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#79697 - 05/17/08 05:40 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase
Retep Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 266
Loc: Tauranga, New Zealand
Kubrickfan-

I can only imagine going from a mixed surround system to a matched would make quite a difference. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience.

How many wives insist on speaker changes??? Ha!

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#79698 - 10/24/08 09:15 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase
jamst174 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 26
I was thinking about going with the BLS and an LCR for the front...it sounds like I should go with 3 LCR's? A compromise might be to start with the BLS and move them to my rear surrounds when I get the cash? It also sounds like I shoudl consider an LFM-EX to replace my kit built subwoofer?
_________________________
Home Theater Setup
----------------------------------
Samsung LN46A650 LCD
Marantz Model SR5005
Outlaw Model 7125
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray
XBox 360 Elite
3 Outlaw LCR's
2 Outlaw Bookshelf Speakers
1 Outlaw ECS-10
Salamander Synergy S40 AV Cabinet

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#79699 - 10/24/08 10:28 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase
butchgo Offline
Desperado

Registered: 06/22/07
Posts: 369
Loc: Southern Oregon coast
I am going to add 2 more LCR's when I can.
When I added the LCR to my system I could not believe the immediate difference it made. smile
I upgraded from a Polk CSi5, which isn't too bad of a center channel speaker, but it was no match for the LCR.
I was so impressed by the clairity of the dual 5-1/4" drivers that I thought I would try two of the Emotiva ERM-1's to replace my Polk RTi10's just to see what they would sound like.
These are very nice little speakers but not in the same class as the LCR's.
You cannot go wrong with the LCR's.
_________________________
Epson 3500 3D projector
93" Carl's Place Flexiwhite DIY screen
Outlaw 976 Pre/Pro
Outlaw 7500 for LCR & L/R surrounds
1- Emotiva Mini X-A100 for rear surrounds
2- Outlaw LFM-1 EX subs
Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray/DVD/SACD player
Outlaw LCR (Snell Labs) for center channel duty
Tekton Lore monitors L/R
4- Emotiva ERD-1s surround speakers
Monster HTS3600MKII power center

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#79700 - 05/24/09 11:46 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase
Kubrickfan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 46
Loc: So. Calif
It has been a year since I posted my experience in this thread of going from large fronts and assorted surrounds to the Outlaw LCRs, BLS and LFM-1EX. It seemed like a logical time to provide an update and conduct a test. I had a rare day to myself and the day before had been chores of plenty around the house.

Since powering up the Outlaw speakers I have never looked back. I should first correct that my ESS speakers are the bigger brothers to the AMT-1B and the label on the back shows Fortura Soveriegns with frequency rating of 27 Hz to 25,000 Hz. I have held onto the ESS speakers and I'm just now getting ready to sell them before we move. I know I have been hesitant to try the ESS speakers again for fear that I may miss the old much larger size arrangement. I couldn't sell them without trying them out again.

I spent the morning calibrating and noting the different speaker settings for a good fair match up. I then started the duel with a variety of music styles. From the first song comparison a big smile came over me as the Outlaw LCRs honestly surprised me. The LCRs hands down were much brighter but at the same time showed more warmth (almost sounds contradictory). I put this comparison off for so long expecting a much different outcome. What a pleasant surprise. "Really honey, I'm finally selling the old big speakers." At least now I can do it without shedding any tears.
_________________________
Marantz AV7702mkII, Outlaw 7220, ,7ea-Outlaw LCR (2ea.- L/2ea.- R/C/SR/SL),Outlaw 7125 for 4ea-Outlaw LCRv2 (Atmos ceiling),Outlaw Ultra-X12 & LFM-1EX Subwoofers,BR/DVD Oppo BDP-103,BDP-83SE, Samsung 65" OLCD, Sofabato remote - Whole house audio via two (2ea) 7125s.

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#85403 - 12/29/10 05:55 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase [Re: Kubrickfan]
dwmayo1 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Buffalo, NY
when considering the outlaw speakers, why would one elect to go with BLS for fronts instead of LCR? Size restraints? Pricing?
just curious...

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#85411 - 12/29/10 10:19 PM Re: Silent Long Enough on My LCR Purchase [Re: dwmayo1]
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
I went with the Bookshelves because they were smaller (which appealed a lot to my wife), less expensive, and had lower frequency response (side effect of being ported rather than sealed). As long as you aren't going to have clearance issues with the rear ports on the Bookshelves, I think they make great front channels. In my case, they need to be a good distance away from the wall anyway because of my room layout, so the ports have plenty of breathing room. The LCR's, on the other hand, can be wall-mounted without issue because they are sealed.
_________________________
gonk
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Reviews: Index | 990 | speakers | BDP-93

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