My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!

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Desertpilot

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #20 on: 6 Nov 2023, 02:06 pm »
I moved the X3's to my HT downstairs and they sounded good down there but just didn't produce enough bass.  ...

Tyson, thanks for your explanation.  I was curious about your decision to sell your X3s.

I use my X3s in a home theater application as well as for surround music.  I have two SVS SB13 Ultra subwoofers in the rear of my listening space.  For music, I set the crossover at 30Hz.  I didn't want my X3s to handle very low organ notes.  For movies, I set the crossover at 40Hz.  I didn't want my X3s to handle explosions, etc..  I have never felt I was lacking in bass for either application.

OldScott

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #21 on: 6 Nov 2023, 02:56 pm »
Yep. 8)
I certainly concurr. For example I Have two sets of speaker cables that each have a msrp of over $4,000. Yet they sound as different as night and day in my set up! However, there are innumerable threads here that go on, and on, and on about how a particular speaker sounds, its good points , its bad, etc. I was just trying to get some feel for the Ultra 4 as most (but not all) seem to love the X-3.

tarheeltraveler

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #22 on: 6 Nov 2023, 09:26 pm »
Lots of good thoughts here and thanks for the music recommendations. 

And after 39 months my X3s continue to amaze me too.  I am finally totally enamored with the X3s but it certainly wasn’t simply a matte of hooking them up and saying “all done”.  I struggled getting the X3s to “bloom” with various amps and pre-amps.  But the magic just wasn’t happening.   Then my friend Michael loaned me an early Decware SET amp.  WOW!  What just happened?! I couldn’t believe my ears.  No pre-amp; DAC to amp direct.  I unhooked the Decware amp and re-connected my $8000 integrated.  Two songs later the Decware was back in my system on long-term loan.  I was in music nirvana.. until Michael loaned me an early Aric Audio 12au7 pre-amp.  Not again!  This combination offers something I have never before heard in a home stereo. My wife and I listen for hours on end.  No listener fatigue, no wishing the system sounded better.  I ended up buying a used Decware amp and Michael sold me the Aric Audio pre.  And now it’s all about the music. 
     

Daryl Zero

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #23 on: 6 Nov 2023, 10:37 pm »
Is it okay to say that my X5s continue to amaze me or is this thread numberist?

tarheeltraveler

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #24 on: 6 Nov 2023, 10:51 pm »
I can’t speak for others Daryl but I am ambinumberist.  Bring it on!

RonN5

Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #25 on: 7 Nov 2023, 02:16 pm »
I absolutely agree that there is no "perfect" speaker and the decision as to which one to own often rests on how many things does it do right...in our room with our system...and how few things does it do wrong.

To my way of thinking, the question implied as to the potential value of replacing the X3 with the X4 rests with a couple of things...which can't really be known without hearing the X4s:

1.  Does eliminating the built in amp and using the same amp to drive the whole speaker improve the tone of the bass/mid bass?

2.  Does the X4 improve upon the overall coherency as some have said they hear a slight disconnection?

3.  Is there more low bass and low mid bass slam as some have said they need a separate subwoofer to bring this out?

One of the "problems" with a really good sounding speaker is that it is hard to improve upon...and the improvements are often hard to hear.


Mr. Big

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #26 on: 7 Nov 2023, 02:56 pm »
I absolutely agree that there is no "perfect" speaker and the decision as to which one to own often rests on how many things does it do right...in our room with our system...and how few things does it do wrong.

To my way of thinking, the question implied as to the potential value of replacing the X3 with the X4 rests with a couple of things...which can't really be known without hearing the X4s:

1.  Does eliminating the built in amp and using the same amp to drive the whole speaker improve the tone of the bass/mid bass?

2.  Does the X4 improve upon the overall coherency as some have said they hear a slight disconnection?

3.  Is there more low bass and low mid bass slam as some have said they need a separate subwoofer to bring this out?

One of the "problems" with a really good sounding speaker is that it is hard to improve upon...and the improvements are often hard to hear.

I can say this my subwoofers when used using the same amp as what drives my speakers always sounded better and blended better because the same amp "signature" impacts both the main speaker and the sub, where the sub's amp gives the bass a different sound dues to a class D amp being used or even a/b amp, so I would always go passive in speakers, not to mention the hassles of a powered speaker fails and having to ship the speaker or speakers back for repair.

Early B.

Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #27 on: 7 Nov 2023, 03:16 pm »
People say all the time, "there is no perfect speaker." By whatever definition one ascribes to it, even if you had a perfect speaker, you wouldn't know it because it would always sound imperfect. Let's set aside the influences of your room, gear, treatment, hearing, etc. for a moment. Music, regardless of the source, is imperfect. Whenever you attend a live concert, there's nothing perfect about the sound. The bass is often muddy, the band is playing too loud, the horns sound harsh, etc. The point is -- enjoy whatever speakers you have by embracing the sonic imperfections because they're 100% unavoidable. It's great to read threads like this one where people are amazed by their speakers and aren't chasing the next best thing.     

Daryl Zero

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #28 on: 7 Nov 2023, 07:33 pm »
I absolutely agree that there is no "perfect" speaker and the decision as to which one to own often rests on how many things does it do right...in our room with our system...and how few things does it do wrong.

To my way of thinking, the question implied as to the potential value of replacing the X3 with the X4 rests with a couple of things...which can't really be known without hearing the X4s:

1.  Does eliminating the built in amp and using the same amp to drive the whole speaker improve the tone of the bass/mid bass?

2.  Does the X4 improve upon the overall coherency as some have said they hear a slight disconnection?

3.  Is there more low bass and low mid bass slam as some have said they need a separate subwoofer to bring this out?

One of the "problems" with a really good sounding speaker is that it is hard to improve upon...and the improvements are often hard to hear.

I know Don Sachs was salivating over the X4 Ultras and mainly because of the passive woofer. I also know I wasn't hearing the same things he was. I didn't think the 300b mono blocks were a significant improvement over the Valhalla (pricewise and soundwise). I'm pretty sure he has a specific ear for subtle differences that I wasn't hearing. I'm happy being naive or ignorant about such things and just loving what I have.

RonN5

Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #29 on: 7 Nov 2023, 10:03 pm »
One of the great joys of this hobby is NOT searching for perfection but searching for different sounds.  Just as bands sound different from night to night and venues sound different from each other...and all of it being enjoyable even though its different....just changing up the sound from time to time can bring the same joyful experience.

Rocket

Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #30 on: 7 Nov 2023, 11:56 pm »
Hi Marcus,

How about a photograph of your system.Thanks for your post.

Cheers Rod

Alain Arseneault

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #31 on: 8 Nov 2023, 12:01 am »
YES ! A photo is worth a 1000 words !
Thanks for sharing.

Double A

Desertpilot

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #32 on: 8 Nov 2023, 02:36 pm »
Hi Marcus,

How about a photograph of your system.Thanks for your post.

Cheers Rod

Sure.  Let me locate my photos.

Front three X3s.  Luckily, my wife allows this setup.  Wall to the left side.  Open to the dining room on the right side.



I have a couple more photos but Audio Circle is having an issue with my upload.

Desertpilot

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #33 on: 8 Nov 2023, 03:01 pm »
Is it okay to say that my X5s continue to amaze me or is this thread numberist?

LOL!  No "numberists" here.  Please do contribute.

jnschneyer

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #34 on: 12 Nov 2023, 10:37 pm »
I know Don Sachs was salivating over the X4 Ultras and mainly because of the passive woofer. I also know I wasn't hearing the same things he was. I didn't think the 300b mono blocks were a significant improvement over the Valhalla (pricewise and soundwise). I'm pretty sure he has a specific ear for subtle differences that I wasn't hearing. I'm happy being naive or ignorant about such things and just loving what I have.

That’s interesting, what you say about Don liking the X4 for its passive woofer, as he owned (still owns?) a pair of X5s, and one of the things he said he liked about them (one of the arguments that convinced me to go with the X5s) was how the active sub freed up the kind of amplifier he could use to power the mid and tweeter.  I suppose both things can be true: one can like freedom of amp choice the active sub allows for and also like the sonic continuity provided by one amp powering the full range.

dls123

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #35 on: 13 Nov 2023, 02:18 am »
That’s interesting, what you say about Don liking the X4 for its passive woofer, as he owned (still owns?) a pair of X5s, and one of the things he said he liked about them (one of the arguments that convinced me to go with the X5s) was how the active sub freed up the kind of amplifier he could use to power the mid and tweeter.  I suppose both things can be true: one can like freedom of amp choice the active sub allows for and also like the sonic continuity provided by one amp powering the full range.

I prefer the passive bass, yes.  The Blackbird 300b monos that Spatial will be producing at the end of November is quite another level above the 300b monos we had at the Seattle show.   The bass is astonishingly real.  You can hear the beats in the low piano strings as they fade away.  The X5 subs are nice, but they are solid state amps and they simply cannot do that.  It is the tonality...  So I prefer an open baffle with passive bass down to 30 Hz like the X4.

jnschneyer

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #36 on: 13 Nov 2023, 05:49 am »
I prefer the passive bass, yes.  The Blackbird 300b monos that Spatial will be producing at the end of November is quite another level above the 300b monos we had at the Seattle show.   The bass is astonishingly real.  You can hear the beats in the low piano strings as they fade away.  The X5 subs are nice, but they are solid state amps and they simply cannot do that.  It is the tonality...  So I prefer an open baffle with passive bass down to 30 Hz like the X4.

Is it the combination of the Blackbird 300b amps with the X4Ultra that makes the difference for you, or would you opt for the passive Ultras over the X5s regardless of the amp?  For example, would you pair the Valhalla with the Ultras over the X5s, or do you feel the tonal benefit of the passive bass is only realized with an amp the quality of the Blackbird?  I hope I’ve framed my question clearly.

dls123

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #37 on: 13 Nov 2023, 02:50 pm »
Is it the combination of the Blackbird 300b amps with the X4Ultra that makes the difference for you, or would you opt for the passive Ultras over the X5s regardless of the amp?  For example, would you pair the Valhalla with the Ultras over the X5s, or do you feel the tonal benefit of the passive bass is only realized with an amp the quality of the Blackbird?  I hope I’ve framed my question clearly.

I prefer a good competent tube amp like the Valhalla with the passive bass.  Mediocre tube amps, hard to say.  Flea watt SETs, probably the X5 with powered sub.  Depends on the tube amp.  An ST70 or clone, Prima Luna, things like that, hard to say.  My long-term experience is with tube amps farther up the food chain from those, which I consider entry-level.   A very competent tube amp sounds more realistic than that amp powering the sub to my ear.  We all have our taste.  An amp like the Blackbird?  Not even close.  This is NOT to say the X5 sounds bad!  If you were a fan of EDM or other genres of that sort, or just electric bass, then you may prefer the powered sub.  If you like to listen to acoustic bass, left hand of the piano, various percussion instruments where you can hear the effect of the skin on the drum head, how it is struck, the decay of the body of the instrument.... then the really good tube amp.   This is what I prefer to listen to and for those things I will take a very competent tube amp like the Valhalla or if you have the budget, the Blackbird is quite a step up.  This is my taste, based on my experience.  One size does not fit all....

Desertpilot

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #38 on: 13 Nov 2023, 05:13 pm »
This is an excellent conversation about the passive subwoofer of the X4 vs. powered subs on the X3/X5.  Given my situation, I doubt I would "hear" the differences.  I am very satisfied with the bass in my X3s.  I wanted to talk about the superior reproduction of vocals but since we're on bass, here are a few of my favorite cello and double bass music selections.  In my opinion, the bass comes through very realistic and lifelike.

One of my favorite cello albums is Elgar & Tchaikovsky – Cello Works, Johannes Moser, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.  Available at Native DSD: https://www.nativedsd.com/product/ptc5186570-elgar-tchaikovsky-cello-works/.  Right from the first bars of the opening track, you know you are in for a wonderful sonic experience.



Another cello album that gets a lot of play time is Dark Fire, Joachim Eijlander.  Available at Native DSD or TRPTK, both digital and Vinyl:  https://www.nativedsd.com/product/ttk0056-dark-fire/.  For me, the music borders on improvisation and almost jazz fusion.



Finally, here's a wonderful double bass and piano album, Canto Interno (The Song Within), Justyna Maj, Luis Cabrera, Sylvia Huang.  Available at Native DSD or TRPTK, both digital and Vinyl: https://www.nativedsd.com/product/ttk0072-canto-interno/



Of course, I have plenty more favorites, but these three come to mind. 

Daryl Zero

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Re: My X3s Continue To Amaze Me!
« Reply #39 on: 13 Nov 2023, 06:02 pm »
I found the Valhalla amp improved bass performance on my X5s. I was fairly stunned at this given that the woofer was driven by a different amp. I find that the bass performance of the X5s is what I want. I know Spatial went away from the active woofer as they had some issues with the plate amp but mine, so far, have been just fine. Listening to the X4 Ultras at PAF didn't make me want those speakers instead of the X5s I have.