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Old 02-27-2010, 05:18 AM
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JSV JSV is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 252
Default Can this be the ultimate speakers?

Meet the Orion speakers:



Open baffle (boxless) design, active crossover, an engineering that goes against most, if not all of the esoteric audiophile mentality, requiring no fancy "snake oiled" cables (the engineer who designed these speakers uses wiring he bought at Radio Shack), no fancy source, and no fancy preamp to get superior sound.

However, a power amplifier suitable for the Orion speakers might be considered "fancy" because you need 8 channels to drive a pair of Orion speakers. That's the thing about open baffle with active crossovers: each driver has his own channel. (each Orion speaker has two woofers, one midrange and one tweeter)

According to this review from theaudiocritic.com, these 60 lbs speakers are better than ultra high-end audiophile speakers weighting as much as a concert piano, costing in the range of 100 000 dollars a pair. I trust theaudiocritic.com because unlike many other audiophile publications, they review audio products in an objective, measurable and accountable way.

The Orion speaker set is still expensive, but still within reach for most of us. A custom-made set ready to use is 8200 dollars, but you can order the plans for 300$ and spend around 3000$ of material if you can invest some 50 hours of your time to build them yourself. Add to this the cost of a decent source, decent preamp and a multi-channel decent power amp. The designer recommends this 500$ preamp and this 2500$ 12 channel power amp Although you only need 8 channels for the Orion speakers, you still have four spare channels to drive subwoofers and/or surround speakers with the recommended power amp.

So for as low as around 7000$ (if you build the speakers yourself) you can have a true audiophile stereo system that supposedly equal or even beat the most expensive "esoteric" audiophile setup (esoteric means here that there is no limit on the cost, such systems can easily cost half a million dollars!)

I am not yet sure what to think about it, and would like your opinion about these speakers if you have ventured yourself into audiophile territory.

However, I do like the approach of the guy who designed these speakers, having the set goal of providing the best possible speakers for the lowest possible cost. His website has many interesting informations about acoustics and speaker design, well worth reading.

Find all about it here:

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/
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Last edited by JSV; 02-27-2010 at 05:36 AM.
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