X3's are here! Unboxing, setup and Initial listening impressions

motorcitym3, rm86350, Rusty Jefferson and 4 Guests are viewing this topic. Read 5107 times.

Desertpilot

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As mentioned by others here, the X3s will sound suddenly magical one day when they’re broken in. I’m amazed at mine every time I listen to music. The bass is spectacular, as is the overall soundstage. Clayton really knows how to produce a superlative speaker.

Hi Ken.  How long have you owned the X3s?  Just curious.

Marcus

Desertpilot

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Hey, sorry I've been lax in replying here - I had sinus surgery on Tuesday and it kind of kicked my butt.
...Today I'm somewhat feeling back to myself, so time for some updates/replies!

Tyson, My heartfelt sympathy.  I've been plagued with severe sinus infections every few years.  There is no medical solution.  So, I go through a huge bottle of Aspirin (three tablets every three hours to keep the headaches at bay) over a two month period.  Truly miserable.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Thank you for your expert thoughts on your X3s.  I would like to write a review as well (but using the X3s in a multichannel configuration).  I look forward to your review.

Marcus


Tyson

Tyson, My heartfelt sympathy.  I've been plagued with severe sinus infections every few years.  There is no medical solution.  So, I go through a huge bottle of Aspirin (three tablets every three hours to keep the headaches at bay) over a two month period.  Truly miserable.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Thank you for your expert thoughts on your X3s.  I would like to write a review as well (but using the X3s in a multichannel configuration).  I look forward to your review.
Marcus

Heck yeah you should do a review!  The fact that you're multi-channel and running 3 of the X3's in front will give it a value that no other review will have. 

Re: the surgery, yeah I had polyps that had to be removed, a deviated septum that had to be broken and re-set, as well as a lot of structural tissue that was malformed and not letting air pass the way it should, and that all got removed.  Of course my default setting is to never actually give myself a break but I really was forced to over the past few days.

dynaflo

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Tyson, My heartfelt sympathy.  I've been plagued with severe sinus infections every few years.  There is no medical solution.  So, I go through a huge bottle of Aspirin (three tablets every three hours to keep the headaches at bay) over a two month period.  Truly miserable.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Thank you for your expert thoughts on your X3s.  I would like to write a review as well (but using the X3s in a multichannel configuration).  I look forward to your review.

Marcus
I had sinus surgery that sounds similar to what Tyson had years ago.  Definitely not an easy recovery.  But what really changed my life and has virtually eliminated my frequent sinus infections is nasal rinse.  I do it twice a day every day without fail and it has made a world of difference for me.

Ozspace

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Ozspace, you are most welcome.  Just as a tease, suddenly today, after owning my X3s for 6 months with a few hundred hours on them, they sound noticeably better than ever.  I'm not kidding.  Generally I do not notice subtle changes.  So, for me to notice a big change (for the better) is saying something.

Tyson - I'm looking at you six months from now.  I can't wait to hear your thoughts (LOL).

Marcus
I am going to have to stop reading these threads - the X3s sound brilliant.

Marcus, I think that I read that you like classical music as one of your music choices.
Can you do me a favour?
Can you see if you can get any Julia Lezhneva singing Handel (or similar) off Qobuz/Tidal or similar and tell me your thoughts on how she sounds on the X3s? Especially any recording done with Il Giardino Armonico on Decca.

If I can't hear them (X3s) myself, I think that her voice, heard/assessed by someone like yourself and Tyson (and any other X3 owners who like classical) would tell me a lot about the speakers capabilities.

All the best,
Paul.
 

doggie

Can you see if you can get any Julia Lezhneva singing Handel (or similar) off Qobuz/Tidal or similar and tell me your thoughts on how she sounds on the X3s? Especially any recording done with Il Giardino Armonico on Decca.

I have X5's so you can file this information or not. AFAIK the X5's are the same as the X3's except for the size if the bass driver. I would think that they would sound identical from the human voice and up

I listened to Julia Lezhneva on the album that you mentioned via Roon/Qobuz. I did not know about her. What a stunning voice! Such control. I have never heard anyone that could hold a note that long.

Yes. She sounded great on my X5's. Once well broken in I think that the X series excels at reproducing the human voice.

Ozspace

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I have X5's so you can file this information or not. AFAIK the X5's are the same as the X3's except for the size if the bass driver. I would think that they would sound identical from the human voice and up

I listened to Julia Lezhneva on the album that you mentioned via Roon/Qobuz. I did not know about her. What a stunning voice! Such control. I have never heard anyone that could hold a note that long.

Yes. She sounded great on my X5's. Once well broken in I think that the X series excels at reproducing the human voice.
Many thanks for your reply.

Yes she has a great voice, and I thought that she would sound great on the X series, so your thoughts are very much appreciated.

I haven't heard from Clayton at this stage, and I won't disturb him on his weekend, so I can only hope that he will be willing to send a pair of his speakers to Australia.  After Capitolfest, I imagine the waiting list for Spatial Audio speakers is only getting longer.

All the best,
Paul.

Tyson

I am going to have to stop reading these threads - the X3s sound brilliant.

Marcus, I think that I read that you like classical music as one of your music choices.
Can you do me a favour?
Can you see if you can get any Julia Lezhneva singing Handel (or similar) off Qobuz/Tidal or similar and tell me your thoughts on how she sounds on the X3s? Especially any recording done with Il Giardino Armonico on Decca.

If I can't hear them (X3s) myself, I think that her voice, heard/assessed by someone like yourself and Tyson (and any other X3 owners who like classical) would tell me a lot about the speakers capabilities.

All the best,
Paul.
 

I'm also about 70% classical in my listening and since I got my Super 7's (and now X3's) I'm a really big fan of soprano voice.  Why?  Because these speakers do them so well.  Which is very rare.  Most speakers suck at nailing classical soprano voice, either being too damped and draining the life of the performance, or being to harsh/bright and just becoming unpleasant when the singer really leans in to the notes. 

That's not a problem AT ALL with the X3's.  In fact, they eat it up and come back for more!   Vibrant beauty?  Yes!  Room filling sustained passion?  Yes!  Incredibly human sounding?  Yes!  Overload problems?  No!  Any stridency or harshness at all?  No! 

huric9

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They look great.  I hope they sound good.  I'd like to hear your comparison to your Klipsch speakers.

Ozspace

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I'm also about 70% classical in my listening and since I got my Super 7's (and now X3's) I'm a really big fan of soprano voice.  Why?  Because these speakers do them so well.  Which is very rare.  Most speakers suck at nailing classical soprano voice, either being too damped and draining the life of the performance, or being to harsh/bright and just becoming unpleasant when the singer really leans in to the notes. 

That's not a problem AT ALL with the X3's.  In fact, they eat it up and come back for more!   Vibrant beauty?  Yes!  Room filling sustained passion?  Yes!  Incredibly human sounding?  Yes!  Overload problems?  No!  Any stridency or harshness at all?  No!
I really appreciate getting your feedback Tyson.
After a lot of research into different O/B speaker manufacturers, and then following whatever I could find on Youtube etc about Spatial Audio I then "found" the AudioCircle threads about the current models.

That was the finisher - after reading Desertpilot, Doggie and others, your thread which started with you unboxing your new X3s followed by your recent  impressions was the clincher.....that was me done. Search over. Final decision made.  Spatial Audio it is (if possible).

I will be terribly disappointed if Clayton does not ship to Australia. Hopefully he does, and I can complete an order in the next couple of days as soon as I know the transport costs.

I have put Julia Lezhnova on my old speakers to listen to, while I am typing this message.  She sounds really good on my (very) old B&W Matrix 3s. I can only imagine how good she would sound on your X3s. Fingers crossed that some time early next year I will be logging my impressions of my own new X3s.

All the best,
Paul.   

Tyson

I really appreciate getting your feedback Tyson.
After a lot of research into different O/B speaker manufacturers, and then following whatever I could find on Youtube etc about Spatial Audio I then "found" the AudioCircle threads about the current models.

That was the finisher - after reading Desertpilot, Doggie and others, your thread which started with you unboxing your new X3s followed by your recent  impressions was the clincher.....that was me done. Search over. Final decision made.  Spatial Audio it is (if possible).

I will be terribly disappointed if Clayton does not ship to Australia. Hopefully he does, and I can complete an order in the next couple of days as soon as I know the transport costs.

I have put Julia Lezhnova on my old speakers to listen to, while I am typing this message.  She sounds really good on my (very) old B&W Matrix 3s. I can only imagine how good she would sound on your X3s. Fingers crossed that some time early next year I will be logging my impressions of my own new X3s.

All the best,
Paul.   

Oh man, I've heard those speakers before and you are in for a treat, the X series is a big step up over what you are hearing right now.  Not that your speakers are bad in any way, but the X series is truly world class.  Best of luck with the shipping questions!

Ozspace

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Oh man, I've heard those speakers before and you are in for a treat, the X series is a big step up over what you are hearing right now.  Not that your speakers are bad in any way, but the X series is truly world class.  Best of luck with the shipping questions!
I have some Quad ESL 63s, but after multiple ongoing issues with arcing panels, despite being looked at by a quality tech guy on several occasions (and spending quite a bit to try to get them going properly) I gave up and went back to the B&Ws.
The Quads didn't like the humid days we can get where I live, which was a pity, because my wife and I loved the open, "non-box" sound of the Quads.

My hope, and understanding (from reading what you guys are saying) is that the X3s will give us the open sound of the Quads in the treble and mid, plus a whole lot more in other areas where the Quads have a little less "authority". Plus of course, the X3s are a modern design using the best components/technology available etc.

Just read a thread from a happy owner in the Ukraine, so hopefully Australia won't be a problem.

It's interesting - there is growing interest down this way in O/B speakers, so fingers crossed. 

Tyson

I have some Quad ESL 63s, but after multiple ongoing issues with arcing panels, despite being looked at by a quality tech guy on several occasions (and spending quite a bit to try to get them going properly) I gave up and went back to the B&Ws.
The Quads didn't like the humid days we can get where I live, which was a pity, because my wife and I loved the open, "non-box" sound of the Quads.

My hope, and understanding (from reading what you guys are saying) is that the X3s will give us the open sound of the Quads in the treble and mid, plus a whole lot more in other areas where the Quads have a little less "authority". Plus of course, the X3s are a modern design using the best components/technology available etc.

Just read a thread from a happy owner in the Ukraine, so hopefully Australia won't be a problem.

It's interesting - there is growing interest down this way in O/B speakers, so fingers crossed. 

Imagine the open sound of the quads combined with the dynamics and liveliness of a great horn based speaker and then add in bass that's stronger and more detailed than your B&W speakers and that's pretty close to what the X3's do. 

Ozspace

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Imagine the open sound of the quads combined with the dynamics and liveliness of a great horn based speaker and then add in bass that's stronger and more detailed than your B&W speakers and that's pretty close to what the X3's do.
That will do me perfectly!!

Mr. Big

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I also owned Quad ESL 63 totally rebuilt by Electrostatic Solution from the power supply up. Nothing was left not upgraded, and I loved them and still do, but my M3's give me 80% of what the Quads could plus the unlimited dynamic range at sane levels without being concerned about the panels arcing, the Quads are untouched in many ways and they put many current $$$$$ speakers to shame, but having said that I still have my Saphhires M3's and enjoy them very much once they got some use on them and who knows they may continue to get better,

DBT AUDIO

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Re: X3's are here! Unboxing and setup
« Reply #55 on: 14 Nov 2021, 04:11 am »
Are you saying you keep your X5's at 95% bass or a separate subwoofer?
geerock, I set my X5 subwoofers at about 95%, not a separate subwoofer.  I do have a 12" sealed subwoofer made by Sunfire, but I use that for my surround sound setup.  If I decide to add a subwoofer to the X5's, it will be an OB subwoofer.

DBT AUDIO

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Tyson, my buddy just sent me the link to the Musical Paradise website today.  He wanted to get my thoughts on the DAC and I couldn't give any opinions as I never heard of it until today.  So, I would like to get your impressions of the Musical Paradise DAC paired with your X3s. 

Thanks in advance!

Tyson

Tyson, my buddy just sent me the link to the Musical Paradise website today.  He wanted to get my thoughts on the DAC and I couldn't give any opinions as I never heard of it until today.  So, I would like to get your impressions of the Musical Paradise DAC paired with your X3s. 

Thanks in advance!

I got mine with all the upgrades so I can speak to the fully upgraded latest version (the Mk3).  It's phenomenal.  Looking at the size of it, the design choices, the quality of the parts and the overall performance (including excellent measured performance on my friend's test bench), it should really cost much, much more.  If I someone were to send it to me blind, ask me to demo it and guess the price, I'd say $5k at least.  I can't believe there's not more buzz about this thing out there.  Oh well, maybe that's good, if it got too hot, the manufacturer might raise his prices, haha.

One thing - I just use it as a DAC, I don't use the volume control on the front (these are usually just an afterthought on DACs anyway), and I also switched over from the 6922 tubes that come stock to the 12BH7 tubes which you can run if you flip it over to 12v tube operation (there's a clearly labeled switch to do this on the inside).  The 6922 is a decent tube but the 12BH7 is much better, IMO.  In fact the 12BH7 is the closest I've ever heard a 9 pin tube sound to a 6SN7 (my favorite signal tube). 

Rusty Jefferson

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.....The 6922 is a decent tube but the 12BH7 is much better, IMO.  In fact the 12BH7 is the closest I've ever heard a 9 pin tube sound to a 6SN7 (my favorite signal tube).
This sounds like an interesting dac, I'll have to look into it. Does it accommodate any 6/12 volt Noval tube?

The 12bh7 doesn't sound anything like the 6sn7 to me (in a preamp). The 12bh7 has the more classic euphonic midrange and softened treble many like (or need). The Noval 9 pin equivalent to the 6sn7 is the 6cg7 if you can use it in your dac, and in a preamp I have that can use either, they do sound similar.

geerock

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I got mine with all the upgrades so I can speak to the fully upgraded latest version (the Mk3).  It's phenomenal.  Looking at the size of it, the design choices, the quality of the parts and the overall performance (including excellent measured performance on my friend's test bench), it should really cost much, much more.  If I someone were to send it to me blind, ask me to demo it and guess the price, I'd say $5k at least.  I can't believe there's not more buzz about this thing out there.  Oh well, maybe that's good, if it got too hot, the manufacturer might raise his prices, haha.

One thing - I just use it as a DAC, I don't use the volume control on the front (these are usually just an afterthought on DACs anyway), and I also switched over from the 6922 tubes that come stock to the 12BH7 tubes which you can run if you flip it over to 12v tube operation (there's a clearly labeled switch to do this on the inside).  The 6922 is a decent tube but the 12BH7 is much better, IMO.  In fact the 12BH7 is the closest I've ever heard a 9 pin tube sound to a 6SN7 (my favorite signal tube).



Now you guys are talking!  I've had my MP DAC with the AKM4497 chipset since the new Mk3 came out.  Switched to Vcap ODAMS and had NOS Telefunken 6922 in the signal chain and a NOS Phillip's 5u4g as the rectifier.  It's a giant killer if there ever was one.  But I just recently got the tube adapters so I can use 6sn7's as signal tubes and bought Linlai elite series E6sn7's and that may be the finest 6sn7 tube I've ever heard.  Maybe the Shuguang Dawning series is right there with it but you simply cant find them anymore although I do have a quad of them in my Don Sachs pre. 
Anyway, the DAC is a killer piece.  You can tube roll until rapture and can even change out the caps with no soldering.  Also it can handle up to and including DSD512 and upsampling to amazing levels.  Garry, the head honcho at Musical Paradise, definitely knows how to design a piece of audio equipment.  I've tried a couple DAC's since I bought this piece and both times it was no contest.  And both those units were far more expensive.  The MP is a keeper.