X3 vs X5

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USA414

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X3 vs X5
« on: 13 Jan 2020, 01:55 pm »
Hello,

I'm in the process of finishing my basement and creating a dedicated listening/media room and came across this site while researching the X3/X5 open baffle speakers. I'm just in the planning phase at this point, but most likely looking to pair up a set of X3's or X5's with a Hegel H390 integrated amp as most of my content is stored/streamed digitally at this point. I've read great reviews for both the speakers and amp, but also wanted to check in here as I'm sure many of you here have already been down this road and might be willing to share some of your personal thoughts/experiences.

So I guess my biggest question would be for a room that will be roughly 230 square feet or 1,840 cubic feet (8' ceilings), would the X3 or X5 be better suited for that space? From what I've read here, it seems like the X5 might be but I want to make sure I won't loose any low end impact as I do not want to run separate sub woofers. That being said I see that the frequency response is listed as being the same between the X3 and X5 (I believe down to 25Hz). In any case, I was just wondering what difference in sound I would expect to hear between a pair of X3's and X5's in that size room?

My other question was whether anyone here had paired up a set of X3's or X5's with a Hegel integrated amp? I know these speakers are very efficient and don't require a lot of power, so I was initially looking at using an H120 or H190 as opposed to the H390. I'm targeting the H390 mostly because of the higher quality DAC as well as having the ability to drive a wider range of other speakers if I wanted down the road.

Thanks in advance!

John

bbybaudio

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jan 2020, 03:24 pm »
John, I went with the X5s based on my room size, 22.5 X 15.5 by 9. Speakers are on the long wall, 3.5 ft away from wall. Clayton felt the X3s would work fine in this space. I can tell you the X5s go down to 25 Hz as I tested using John Atkinson's Stereophile Test CD 2, which runs frequency warbles from 20 Hz.- 20 kHz. I have not wanted more bass at any time since getting the X5s. I believe at 250+ hrs on the speakers I finally dialed in the subwoofer and speaker positions. While the X5s sounded fantastic at 125 hrs break-in, they are much better now, especially the subwoofer. Clayton can provide a more definitive answer on differences in the 25-90 Hz range, which is what the subwoofer covers, between the X3 and the X5.

USA414

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #2 on: 13 Jan 2020, 03:38 pm »
Thanks for your response! I have a feeling the X5 will probably be where I wind up based upon the size of the room. And while I'm sure this isn't an apples to apples comparison, I know I've had several HSU subs varying between 12-15" in size and the 15" models always seem to have better low end, but the 12" one's seemed faster/more "musical". Again, I realize this has nothing to do with the X3 vs the X5 but given my experience, that's what stood out in my mind since that's the primary difference between the two speakers.

John, I went with the X5s based on my room size, 22.5 X 15.5 by 9. Speakers are on the long wall, 3.5 ft away from wall. Clayton felt the X3s would work fine in this space. I can tell you the X5s go down to 25 Hz as I tested using John Atkinson's Stereophile Test CD 2, which runs frequency warbles from 20 Hz.- 20 kHz. I have not wanted more bass at any time since getting the X5s. I believe at 250+ hrs on the speakers I finally dialed in the subwoofer and speaker positions. While the X5s sounded fantastic at 125 hrs break-in, they are much better now, especially the subwoofer. Clayton can provide a more definitive answer on differences in the 25-90 Hz range, which is what the subwoofer covers, between the X3 and the X5.

Tyson

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jan 2020, 04:42 pm »
You can't compare an OB woofer to a sealed box woofer.  The OB (when well done) is in a different class re: musicality, detail and speed.  The 15" is the way to go, IMO.

deadhead

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #4 on: 13 Jan 2020, 06:34 pm »
John,  I live in NJ as well and should be taking delivery of a pair of X3's sometime in the next two weeks.  My room is approximately 24x16x8.5.  Clayton felt with my using the speakers along the short wall I'd be better off with the larger drivers.  The cost differential wasn't significant enough to make it a difficult decision.  He's going to run them in for me for a few days and I've changed my setup to all SS for the break-in period.  Once they're sounding as they should you're more than welcome to come and hear them.

USA414

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jan 2020, 07:07 pm »
Thanks, I really appreciate the offer! My room will be approximately 18.5'x12.5'x8' with the speakers most likely along the longer wall so that may or may not impact whether the X3's or X5's are the way to go. At the end of the day I wouldn't mind spending a little more on the X3 either, I am just trying to make sure there's enough adjustability in the on-board amp to dial things back if necessary so the X3's don't wind up overpowering the room.

John,  I live in NJ as well and should be taking delivery of a pair of X3's sometime in the next two weeks.  My room is approximately 24x16x8.5.  Clayton felt with my using the speakers along the short wall I'd be better off with the larger drivers.  The cost differential wasn't significant enough to make it a difficult decision.  He's going to run them in for me for a few days and I've changed my setup to all SS for the break-in period.  Once they're sounding as they should you're more than welcome to come and hear them.

Tyson

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #6 on: 13 Jan 2020, 07:23 pm »
Thanks, I really appreciate the offer! My room will be approximately 18.5'x12.5'x8' with the speakers most likely along the longer wall so that may or may not impact whether the X3's or X5's are the way to go. At the end of the day I wouldn't mind spending a little more on the X3 either, I am just trying to make sure there's enough adjustability in the on-board amp to dial things back if necessary so the X3's don't wind up overpowering the room.


X3's will be great in that room. 

USA414

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #7 on: 13 Jan 2020, 07:26 pm »
Thanks, that's what I'm hoping!

X3's will be great in that room. 

Tarheel

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #8 on: 13 Jan 2020, 07:28 pm »
I have the M3 Turbo in my music room 16x23x9.  My lady friend has a rather small listening area and it is almost a cube 14x14x16 vaulted ceiling.  Because of the possibility of reverb/echoes the AMT treble should help tame that according to Clayton.  Clayton recommended the X5 for the smaller room but we can always swap with the Turbo S if needed.
When I asked him if the X5 would dig as low he said yes.....just a smaller foot print.  He also said the X5 is a game changer over the M3s.

Shakeydeal

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #9 on: 13 Jan 2020, 07:29 pm »
The only adjustment on the bass amp is gain. Clayton has loaded a xover profile already. You should be fine with that as your only parameter to control since open baffle bass interacts so little with the room. My room is a little bigger than yours and I opted for the X3. If your budget allows you should probably go that way too. If you don’t you’ll always wonder if you should have. That is my advice.

Shakey

SoundSound

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #10 on: 3 Mar 2021, 07:48 pm »
My biggest question for you, dear experts, would be for a room that is roughly 24 x 12 feet (288 square feet or 2,304 cubic feet), would the X3 or X5 be better suited for that space? Speakers will be placed along the shorter wall (with a picture window, if that is important...) about 3 feet from it with 8 feet distance between the speakers, and about 8 feet listening distance. :)

97dB sensitivity is really high, should I worry about hearing any system noise at such a high level? My upstream electronics: PASS Labs XA30.5 power amp and XP-12 preamp.

@USA414 noted "At the end of the day I wouldn't mind spending a little more on the X3 either, I am just trying to make sure there's enough adjustability in the on-board amp to dial things back if necessary so the X3's don't wind up overpowering the room." Shakey, you mentioned "The only adjustment on the bass amp is gain." Could you please explain how this works and how effective it is? :)

If I may inquire, @USA414, what model have you ended up with? Happy with the SOUND? :)

morganc

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #11 on: 3 Mar 2021, 11:43 pm »
My room is about the same size as yours and I have the X-5, though I would not mind more bass, so if the X-3 is in your budget I would go for it as you can adjust the bass easily if you find it is too much, just turn the amp down. 

morganc

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #12 on: 4 Mar 2021, 02:01 am »
Or get the X-5 and subs. Clayton is working on a new sub now and you can always evaluate the bass first and add a sub later.

glynnw

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #13 on: 4 Mar 2021, 04:34 am »
I am using a pair of X-5s with a pair of GR Research open baffle servo subs.  I can remotely mute the subs and compare to X-5 alone.  Not really a big difference - more really deep bass (when it's there) but on most rock music not much difference.  I liked that the height of the X-5 tweeter was close to my ear height. and visually, I prefer the X-5 to the X-3.

morganc

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #14 on: 4 Mar 2021, 05:58 am »
I’m doing the same thing Glynn. The difference between the subs vs the internal sub in my space is more notable on movies with deep bass and when I crank up the music.

TomS

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #15 on: 4 Mar 2021, 01:07 pm »
... I liked that the height of the X-5 tweeter was close to my ear height. and visually, I prefer the X-5 to the X-3.
This is the same for me, X5's here, plus the X5 baffle is 3 inches narrower, good for OB. In my 17x19x8 room I find no need for subs at all and I can tend to listen fairly loud on occasion. The X3 and X5 have the same bass extension on paper, -3db @25hz so in theory there is perhaps some output to be gained.

SoundSound

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #16 on: 4 Mar 2021, 08:53 pm »
What a great forum where experts are always willing to share their knowledge, and help a total stranger! Thank you very kindly guys! :)
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My room is about the same size as yours and I have the X-5, though I would not mind more bass, so if the X-3 is in your budget I would go for it as you can adjust the bass easily if you find it is too much, just turn the amp down.
Yes, the X3's are within my budget (and in this case I will have dual subs integrated perfectly into my setup), but I still do not understand (sorry guys...) how I can adjust the amp output. Is it equipped with a dial or a switch or what...
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Or get the X-5 and subs. Clayton is working on a new sub now and you can always evaluate the bass first and add a sub later.
What is required in order to integrate dual subs into my setup, please? As I mentioned earlier, all I have to work with is an entry-level PASS Labs XP-12 preamp (https://www.passlabs.com/products/xp-12/)...
Any info, even preliminary, on the new sub from Clayton you could please share with the community? Specs, price, availability timeframe, anything...
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I can remotely mute the subs and compare to X-5 alone.  Not really a big difference - more really deep bass (when it's there) but on most rock music not much difference.
Glynn, any chance you could please check your setup with classical symphonies, grand piano (my "litmus paper" for music reproduction) or opera? Would you say the X5's alone are up to the task?
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visually, I prefer the X-5 to the X-3.
Aesthetically, I would much prefer the X2's... The problem is I was unable to find any specs: looks like they are out of production, unfortunately. I wonder if it is true the 15″ driver used in the X2's indeed reaches down to 18Hz... Any experts in the community who could please shade some light here? At about 10K the X2's are quite expensive for me, but if they really SOUND right, I would have considered them... Out of luck with the X2's, sadly...
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I’m doing the same thing Glynn. The difference between the subs vs the internal sub in my space is more notable on movies with deep bass and when I crank up the music.
At my listening position I seldom exceed 90 dB SPL (not sure about the peak levels...) almost never "cranking up" the volume (live in a small condo), but when the music material demands for the bass output (pipe organ, e.g.),  I would like to be able to reproduce if faithfully. Any chance you could please perform the test I asked Glynn about and report back? What sub(s) are you using?
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This is the same for me, X5's here, plus the X5 baffle is 3 inches narrower, good for OB. In my 17x19x8 room I find no need for subs...
Tom, could you please elaborate a bit why it is better for OB to have a narrower baffle? This actually can be the deciding factor in my dilemma. And another important observation: your room is even bigger than mine, and you do not have the need for subs. May I please inquire if it will be possible for you to conduct "my music test" and get back with the results?
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The X3 and X5 have the same bass extension on paper, -3db @25hz...
It is posted on the website "Frequency Range: 25Hz-22kHz (typical in-room bandwidth) +/- 3dB". Could somebody please explain what exactly the ''typical in-room bandwidth" term means? What is the correlation with anechoic chamber measurements? Would it correspond to, let say, 35Hz at -3dB anechoic? As you can tell, I am not Guru, and do need your help badly indeed, dear experts.
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97dB sensitivity is really high, should I worry about hearing any system noise at such a high level?
Could somebody please check if it is an issue indeed?

glynnw

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #17 on: 4 Mar 2021, 09:44 pm »
My dual subs are run off a DSpeaker Antimode thingie - gives me independent volume control and really makes setting the subs up easy.  I don't have any grand piano or opera discs handy but I am sure the X-5s will do well with such. They make everything I have sound good.

JTF

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Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #18 on: 4 Mar 2021, 10:37 pm »
I have X5s in a ~13 x 22ft room, which is also open on one side. Initially I was a little disappointed with the bass, but this was before I worked on the room (new house). I've since treated the room, bass traps etc., and I don't feel like subs are needed. The subs in the X5 and X3 can be controlled with the gain dial on the built in hypex amp. Clayton programmed the amps to have a limited range, at first I had them maxed out but after the room treatment I've now got them set somewhere in the middle. I haven't had any problems with the sensitivity and noise, but I guess that'll depend on your expectations. I expect to get a little noise with some of my tube amps, as an example, but it's not audible unless I put my ear to the amt or woofer.

morganc

Re: X3 vs X5
« Reply #19 on: 5 Mar 2021, 12:31 am »
Your pass labs gear will be dead quiet. 
You can adjust the bass on the speakers easily with a manual adjustment on the rear of the speaker.
I do not have any Of the specs on the Spatial Subs nor the price but I’m sure Clayton would be happy to answer that for you. 
What’s your favorite piano piece or orchestra?   I’ll happily run the test for you and I’m confident that in a condo you’ll have plenty of bass without subs!  I mostly got the subs because I sometimes go overboard :).
I’ve owned many speakers. I think the X-3 is better than the old X-2’s but that is not based on my direct comparison. Again Clayton can answer that for you and is as honest of a guy as you will ever meet in this industry.