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Got my Fluance speakers today...

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by TommyWMedford, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. TommyWMedford

    TommyWMedford Stunt Coordinator

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    They arrived at noon today, double boxed, with a lot of tape. It took me about 5 minutes to get them unpacked. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with their appearance. A little cheap looking, kind of like the "furniture" you'd buy at Walmart. They don't look terrible, by any means, I was just expecting a little more, but considering I only paid $260 for 5 speakers, maybe I was expecting a little too much. Besides the finish, these speakers look surprisingly solid, and very heavy, the floorstanders anyway. Without the grills, they're pretty decent looking speakers. I had them delievered to my mom in law's house, since I'm here during the day taking care of my sister in law's kid, so I had to pack them up in the car, and drive a block to my own apartment. It took me about 10 minutes to set them up, and get them placed right. I have the fronts 33 inches from my TV, and a foot away from the wall. I placed the surrounds on cheapie stands from Walmart, had to attach them using the keyhole mount, and then I set the center speaker on top of the TV. I made sure everything was connected properly, made sure the settings were correct on the receiver(small for all the speakers) with all the bass going to the sub. I popped in my trusty "Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Version DVD and watched the first 10 minutes, and I was quite surprised. More like blown away, really. These speakers sounded excellent, especially the center. Dialogue was much clearer, and there was more detail in the sound, compared to my Polk CS245i center, which was more expensive, by the way, and a lot bigger. Surround effects were really convincing, and the sound was a LOT bigger than the crap KLH speakers I was using(I know, I know. They were mine, but I sold them to my sister in law a long time ago, and she let me borrow them to use as surrounds until I got the Fluance's). Now keep in mind, I still have 5 hours to go before they're properly broken in, and I was listening to them at low-medium volume levels. After 5 hours, I'm going to watch "Fellowship" in its entirety, as well as "Attack of the Clones", and maybe "Signs". I'll let everyone know how it turns out. Take care.
     
  2. TommyWMedford

    TommyWMedford Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, well, they've had time to break in. Once again, I used my Fellowship disc(didn't watch the whole thing, just bits and pieces, as I did with all of the movies I tried), and overall, the sound was very impressive. The center lacked "impact", as it didn't seem to have enough bass. Male voices sounded a little "thin". This is about the only thing I could find wrong with the center speaker. Besides that, it sounded really good, with plenty of detail. The second thing that bothered me was with the T2-Extreme Edition DVD. During the freeway chase, when the T-1000's chopper went under the bridge, the surrounds went into full throttle, and I heard a little bit of distortion from the left surround. The volume was set at about 10db below reference. I immediately lowered the surround levels on the receiver by 2db, and lowered the main volume a little bit, played the scene over, and the distortion was gone. With the surround speakers' size, that should have been expected. Now onto Attack of the Clones. Impressive. Most impressive. Soundwise, this is a great DVD. I can't say the same for the video, though. Some love the all digital picture, but it just seems two dimensional to me, and the images are way too soft. I much prefer film. Anyways. The speakers did a nice job handling the dynamics of the soundtrack, especially at the end. Explosions rang out left and right, and it sounded as though they literally in the same room. Awesome stuff. So far, the only problems I had were with the center's lack of bass output, and the wee bit of distortion in the surrounds. The distortion problem was easily overcome by simply lowering the surround levels on the receiver. Not much can be done about the center speaker, though, but it's hardly something to worry over. It sounds great compared to most budget center speakers, and it carries a lot more detail when compared to my Polk center. The only major thing that bugs me, however, is the look of these speakers. At first, it didn't bother me too much, but after a while, it really started to get on my nerves. I don't think they look as good as they do on Fluance's site, and if my wife knew they looked this bad, she wouldn't have let me get them. Heck, I don't know if I would've got them if I had known. But, I'm going to have to overlook this, since they sound so good. I really am impressed with the sound, especially at this price point. Here's what I'd rate them:

    Sound..............A-
    Build quality......B
    Looks..............C
    Value..............A-
     
  3. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Tommy,

    For $260 (even if it were the front pair) you can't expect much in the way of cabinetry. Just about any speaker in this price range is going to have the standard, cheap particle board cabinets with ugly vinyl finish on them.

    If you're happy with the sound I think you got a great deal for what you spent.
     
  4. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

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    Did you set them up using an SPL meter and a setup disc? This might help a couple of the issues that you mentioned and it will make a BIG improvement in your setup. Enjoy your new speakers!
     
  5. TommyWMedford

    TommyWMedford Stunt Coordinator

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    I think I got a good deal, too. I'm thinking about going with their bipolar surrounds whenever I have the money. I think they're great speakers, even if they had costs twice as much. I did use my SPL meter, but not my setup disc. I just used the internal test tones on the receiver. Guess I was being lazy lol.
     
  6. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Tommy,
    I noticed a little bit of distortion on Fight Club from the surrounds once. The scene when he is imagining the plane exploding in midair. The sudden huge jump in volume seemed to have a little distortion. Fight Club is a very dialogue driven movie, so the volume was very high when the noise suddenly kicked in. Definitely above reference level (I think the volume was 75ish on my Onkyo). So the sound explosions/wind, etc was very loud (I jumped for the remote, it was so loud - its been a while since I saw it, and didn't expect it). I watched SWepII as well, it sounded awesome. Waiting for the TTT DVD this month. I was also impressed with the Matrix.

    My speakers were calibrated with the SPL meter and the receiver test tones. I will pick up DVE or Avia next month. I can't really judge the center channel - I'm used to my crappy Zenith 27" built-in speakers, and it is MUCH better than that.

    As far as the appearance, they're OK. I have a black-and-silver (steel) entertainment center, so the black speakers look OK. I'm not very picky though. One of the "Fluance" labels on one of the surrounds is a little crooked, though [​IMG]
     
  7. TommyWMedford

    TommyWMedford Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched the second part of the extended Fellowship DVD earlier this evening, and I was hugely impressed with the Balrog scene. I still have the surround levels at -2db, and I haven't heard any distortion, and I was playing it pretty loud, too. I may just replace them with my Polk R15's for the time being, though, until I can get a pair of their bipolar speakers. Just to be safe. As small as the center speaker is, I keep expecting it to get distorted as loud listening levels, and so far, it hasn't. It sounds really clear and detailed, yet still lacks a some punch. It does tend to get a little scratchy at very loud levels, but then again, every center speaker I've listened to, has done that. About their looks, I am starting to get used to them finally. lol.
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    From what I have read, you should probably just leave the surrounds as is for timbre-matching reasons. If you haven't had the problem again, I wouldn't worry about it. I haven't heard any distortion again myself.
     
  9. TommyWMedford

    TommyWMedford Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I know. I've been listening to the speakers pretty loud lately, and there isn't any distortion. I may be able to get a pair of their bipolar speakers sooner than I thought, though, so I'm going to jump on it.
     

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