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ERRx Review (Read 3129 times)
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Posts: 953
ERRx Review
11/28/17 at 02:28:51
My journey with the ERRx’s (so far)…  

First things first, Bob made these ERRx’s in highly figured walnut and they are beautiful.  In general, the speakers are on the smaller side, are easy to move around and can perform a disappearing act in the room, which is nice because I don’t have a dedicated listening room.

Taking a step back, my journey with low power, “high” efficiency speakers started with a SuperZen CKC and a pair of MG944’s.  Since then I have acquired a Zen Mystery amp and the ERRx’s.  I will reference the MG944’s throughout, because they are a reference (for me).  

It’s worth mentioning that the ERRx speakers take a bit of time to warm up.  In general I’d say 20-30 minutes.  I don’t notice this long of a warm up period with the MG944’s.  

There are two sets of speaker terminals on the ERRx’s.  The speakers ship with a 5watt/15 ohm resistor connecting the bottom and top speaker positive terminals to attenuate the tweeter.

In my opinion, the speakers should ship with (or separately) resistors of different values (e.g. Madisound Wirewound 15 ohm, 8 ohm, 4 ohm, 2 ohm, 1 ohm @ $0.35/each).  Getting the resistor dialed in for your room/ears is critical to the long-term enjoyment of these speakers.

Through experimentation, lower resistance was necessary to match the detail of the MG944’s.  I believe that reducing the attenuation of the tweeter solved what I would refer to as a slightly ‘cupped’ or ‘hollow’ sounding midrange.  This was particularly noticeable (and nagging) to me on vocals (e.g. Ray Lamontagne).  

While I currently have the speakers singing with 2 ohm resistors, I think resistor value is dependent on everything (room, room treatments, upstream equipment, subwoofer, etc). I haven’t settled on a resistor yet, but I have made significant progress. Once I feel confident in the resistor value I will likely experiment with higher quality resistors (e.g. Dueland/CAST).

I had Bob replace the Clarity Caps with Mundorf Silver & Oil capacitors and there is a chance those giant Mundorfs are still breaking in.  I have lost track of hours played as I have been switching between the ERRx’s and MG944’s.    

For the record, I REALLY wanted these speakers to just sound awesome wherever I placed them, providing holographic imaging in my asymmetrical room.  Ok, back to reality.  While radial speakers may be more forgiving of less than ideal rooms, I still found it necessary to experiment with positioning (distance from front wall, side walls, etc).  

For example, I was initially having problems with slightly ‘booming’ bass.  Moving the speakers closer to the front wall helped get the bass sounding much better in my room (counterintuitive, yes, but there are no equations for my room Wink.  I have and kept my GIK Soffit bass traps in the front corners of the room because I couldn’t find a sound I liked without them.  I may experiment further with an absorber free space in the future, but for now I have both the sub and speakers dialed in with the bass traps in place.

I ended up with the speakers placed closer together than typical to create additional distance from the side walls.  With these radial speakers, having the speakers closer to each other doesn’t seem to negatively impact SS width.

In summary, after working through the above, I feel like I am in a good place.  Instrument timbre sounds natural to me (more natural than the MG944’s).  Dynamics are very good.  Detail is now similar to that of the MG944’s and the speakers disappear (when the mix calls for it), projecting a very large soundstage.  And maybe most importantly, the speakers are very musical, so lots of toe tapping!   I don’t spend as much time in the sweet spot these days, but I am getting great sound around the room.  

There might be a perception that these speakers don’t rock and that isn’t my experience.  I listen to a wide variety of music, including electronic/dance.  I also produce my own dance music and enjoy checking mixes with the radials.  YMMV.

I was thinking recently that I wanted to upgrade to a pair of HR-1’s, but I think I’m going to continue experimenting with the ERRx’s in the short term.  Overall, I’m feeling like I have made a lot of progress and I’m looking forward to continuing the journey.

That’s it for now…
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