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Review of Rocket RS750s from a complete non-audiophile (LONG).


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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Alex_C

Alex_C

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 123 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2003

Posted December 04 2004 - 12:50 PM

I thought I’d take some time to share my experience searching for speakers and tell you how the journey ended with a pair of Onix Rocket 750 Sigs. Please keep in mind that I’m no audiophile and I don’t qualify as an expert in anything related to music or audio. I’ve been listening to and enjoying music and stereos for many years but I lack the technical knowledge and experience to objectively review a speaker and, until recently, I lacked the funds to even listen to good speakers. I’m just sharing my thoughts, misguided as they may be. I currently listen to music through a 15 year old Onkyo receiver and CD player with equally as old Bose 301 bookshelf speakers. Yes, Bose. Stop laughing. C’mon seriously.

I should also start by saying, “My name is Alex and I’m a researchaholic.” I have this problem. Before I purchase anything of value I research it to death. Yea, that sounds like it could be a good thing but I will actually become obsessed with the research until I’ve found the absolute best product for the best price for me. Purchasing speakers was no exception. For the last two weeks I’ve been staying up late absorbing everything I can find (and understand) about speakers in my price range ($1,000). You’ve probably seen my posts on multiple forums where I struggle with even the most elementary audio terms. I’ve read hundreds of posts, dozens of articles and badgered quite a few salesmen . . er. . salespersons. I’ve learned a lot and now I probably know just enough to make me dangerous.

In my travels around Pittsburgh, I was able to listen to speakers from Paradigm, Phase Tech, Meadowlark, Von Schweikert, Acoustic Energy, PSB, B&W and Boston Acoustics. No doubt, they are all great speakers. But none of them gave me exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a nice smooth speaker. I didn’t like what I’ve heard called a bright speaker. Perhaps I’m sensitive to the highs but I hate it when a speaker creates the feeling of an ice pick poking little holes in my ear drum. Ok, I’m being dramatic. But you get the idea. Most of the speakers I listened to seemed to be a little bright; some were brighter than others. I’m not going to go into which were the brightest or smoothest or warmest or whatever. I’ll just say there a lot of great speakers out there but I just couldn’t find the speaker that was right for me.

After not finding what I liked, I took the advice of several people and began looking into Onix Rockets. These speakers can only be bought online from AV123. At first, I thought “What a dumb idea. How can you listen to the speakers?” But then I heard about their return policy and I thought, “Wait. I can have the speakers sent to me, I can listen to them for a month on my own stereo, in my own home and if I don’t like them I can just send them back?” Get out!

I was running out of speakers to audition. So, I decided I should listen to the Rockets. The RS750s seemed to be a good choice after reading a number of very favorable reviews. However, I only wanted to spend $1,000 and the RS750s were $1,500. Disappointed! But, much to my excitement I found that b-stock RS750s could be had for $1,000! Then I got the news that b-stock items can’t be sent back. Disappointed! I couldn’t listen to them.

I was saved by BigCigar (Craig) when he offered to let me listen to his set. He lives about 2 hours north of me. I figured what the heck, I’m free Saturday. I made the trip this morning and met up with BC at his house. First off, BC is a great guy. He made me feel very welcome and he talked about speakers and stereos in way even the greenest newbie could follow. He showed me his multiple systems. I was like a kid in a candy shop. After he showed me the speakers he left my wife and me in a room where we could listen to the speakers to our heart’s content.

I brought three CD’s with me for the demo: Al Di Meola, The Police and The Dave Matthews Band. I know, my listening tastes aren’t the most diverse. Although I played each of them, I didn’t really need to. I knew the speakers were perfect for me within 30 seconds. WOW! They were smoooooooth. The highs were all there but they didn’t attack me like a rabid dog. I heard things in the music I’d never heard before. I could almost see the drummer tapping the ride cymbal while stomping the bass drum to a funky beat. The bass was super tight and plenty low. And wow, these speakers filled the room with sound. I couldn’t even tell where the sound was coming from. It was just all around me. Since I’m new, I don’t know all the terms to describe the sounds so it is difficult for me to articulate all the nuances of the speakers. Let me just say, they were awesome! I was so happy. My journey had ended!

Although I’m only going to be listening to these speakers on a two channel system, BC allowed me to listen to them as part of a surround system. He put in the ice scene from the DVD Titan A.E. Wow! It felt like I was in the ship! Watch out for that ice! Duck! It was the kind of scene and sound that just made me smile. BC probably saw me nodding my head as each ship thundered across the screen. It was a real treat. Without a second of hesitation I told BC I’d take them. I had to have them. I found exactly what I was looking for.

It is now several hours later and I’m in my office listening to all the CD’s I have. It’s like listening to them for the very first time! Sure, some could say that any speaker would be better than my Bose and that the 750’s might not be that great. Well, all of the speakers I auditioned were better than the Bose speakers. Through the process I came to understand how the music is supposed to sound. And although the other speakers were great, only the Rocket RS750s had the perfect balance of highs and lows that I was looking for.

Lastly, I have to talk about the physical attributes of the speakers. I’ll start with the box they came in. The speakers are double boxed, covered in a pure white cotton “sock” and come with a pair of similarly white cotton gloves for handling. Cotton gloves for handling. Huh? These guys actually care about how I treat the speakers? Wow. I remember details like that when I go shopping again.

The speakers themselves are absolutely gorgeous. None of the other speakers I auditioned looked anywhere as beautiful as these babies. The wood appears to be of the highest quality and the gloss end caps shine with a mirror-like finish. And these things are solid. A nice rap on the side and I could tell these were made of a nice solid wood. The heavy weight (ugh) of the speakers lends further credence to the quality of the wood used to encase these speakers.

Like I said before, I’m just a newbie in the audio world so take my opinion for what you think its worth. All of this is completely subjective. I didn’t do any scientific tests, I took no measurements and there were no fancy machines with names that ended in –ometer. I just listened to the speakers and found the one I liked. As has been said before, your mileage may vary. I couldn’t be happier. For me it’s been all pluses. I haven’t found any minuses yet. The only one I can think of is that they might be too nice to be sharing the same house with a Great Dane and an English Mastiff. Read: Drool. I give the sound a 10, the appearance a 10 and my wife gives the WAF a 10. Please, take these speakers for a test drive and let me know how you like them. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Nhan_H

Nhan_H

    Second Unit



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Posted December 04 2004 - 08:53 PM

Congrats, Alex. Glad you found something that you like.

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   frank manrique

frank manrique

    Supporting Actor



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Posted December 05 2004 - 05:40 PM

Alex,

You might like to check my "review" of the Rocket RS 750 Signature Edition loudspeakers right here in HTF (do a search from my profile). Perhaps you'll find it of some value... Posted Image

-THTS

"...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Max F

Max F

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Posted December 06 2004 - 01:06 AM

Nice write-up!

I wish you would have listened to some Monitor Audio speakers. I'm also very sensitive to the highs of some speakers (e.g., Polk Rti series which hurt my ears). I finally found the sound that I really liked when i heard the Monitor Audio brand which was similar to B&W but with more detail (at least on my limited sampling). I fell in love with the Silver S2 bookshelves although they were out of my price range. I ended up with the Bronze B4s (floorstanders) which i love (bought the floor models for cheap). Plus, the Silver series is pretty refined (nice for jazz and classical) and i would probably feel bad playing Slayer or Black Sabbath through them. I love playing that stuff (and jazz) through my B4s though.

I think you made a great choice though. I would probably really like the sound of the Rocket Sigs too. I just would have been interested in a comparison of the two brands. Posted Image