GR-Research A/V-1s?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jonathan Lofgren, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. Jonathan Lofgren

    Jonathan Lofgren Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm about to purchase some speakers and I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.
    I'm a college with not a whole lot of money so I'm getting stuff in steps in order to get stuff that's a little better. I just got a Marantz SR-6200 receiver and I'd like to get a pair of speakers. It's not surround, but it's a start and it should be much better than my TV speakers.

    Here's what I'm looking for:
    I'm not too concerned about playing really loud and I don't really care about playing really low, at the price of sound quality. I'm looking for the most neutral speakers that I can find. I'm also looking for speakers that I can ultimately use as surrounds when I upgrade my front speakers, so a brand with better models than what I'm getting is good.
    With this in mind I think I'm going to build a pair of GR-Research AV-1s. If anyone has any opinions for or against these speakers, I would be very much interested in hearing them.
    I know it's best to listen before you buy, but I'm also of the opinion that the internet direct companies offer the best value.
    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Jonathan,

    A couple of things. First, I have built 3 of the AV-1s and they are my fronts (i will eventually do a pair of AV-3s and move the AV-1s to the back). I love them. They are very neutral, forgiving of electronics, and have a midrange to die for. Vocals are very natural, and lifelike.

    here is a review

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...rs-5-2003.html

    Second, you can contact Danny, and he has several pairs of the AV-1s touring the country. You get them for a week, and the only cost is shipping to the next guy on the list.

    Lastly, if you buy the kit, spend the money and get the Sonicaps upgrade. It is WELL worth the money.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I was introduced to GR with an audition of A/V-1s that a local HTF member was kind enough to bring by my place. At the time I had a 6200, and I was very impressed with them. It took me a while, but I eventually got around to auditioning a demo pair of A/V-2s, and as a result, three of them are now my front stage. I agree completely that the Sonicaps are worth it.

    A/V-2 review

    The A/V-1 kit is top contender for ruler of the bang for your buck speakers, IMO. Definitely worth trying out a demo pair, but I don't think you will be disappointed.
     
  4. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    hey John,

    Still loving those AV-2s?
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    LOL - Yeah, I had a feeling John would be responding to this one! [​IMG]
     
  7. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    Jonathon:

    You're in a very similar situation that I was in not too long ago (in college, not too much money, stereo only for the time being, new receiver, preferred sound quality over maximum volume). I had just purchased a Harman Kardon AVR-320 (mid-level receiver) and after looking at a few other speakers, ended up with a set of A/V-1s. I went for the Blackhole 5 and Sonicap upgrades and couldn't be happier. You can find other detailed reviews online, so I'm just chiming in to say "Go for it!" [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    The A/V-1s are just what you're looking for. Of course you could also consider the Adire Kit 51, which knowing their designs probably has slightly more treble output and less bass. (I have the Kit 281s and I find their tone a bit more realistic than the GR A/V-2s I listened to...)
     
  9. GilStou

    GilStou Auditioning

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    sonicaps -

    i have also been looking at the gr line of speakers for a home theater set up and am wondering what the sonicaps do and how is the sound improved by using them?

    thanks

    gil stouch
     
  10. Jonathan Lofgren

    Jonathan Lofgren Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Gil,
    Wow, this is from a while ago. First, let me highly recommend GR-research and their speakers. The speakers are of high quality and the service that Danny Richie gives you is exceptional. I suspect that if you do go with GR-research you will be quite satisfied. As to the sonicaps, I honestly can't comment on that because I don't know. I got the sonicap upgrade and I can tell you that my speakers really sound good, but I haven't heard them without sonicaps so I can't comment. I'm sorry I can't be of more help and if you have any other questions I'd be more than happy to answer them as best I can.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There's no reason to suspect that going with a different type of capacitor would result in audible differences.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Next time you are in the area, I can prove it to you, without question. In a DBT even, if you like (before beer of course). My friend has the identical speakers as mine (A/V-1s), without the Sonicaps and there's a very noticable difference between the two sets.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Will that be before or after we gut the speakers and determine the crossovers are the same and the drivers have consistent T/S parameters? G/R does have a quality control process to QC their drivers to ensure tight tolerances, right?
    Over at PartsExpress in the forums they did some blind tests with audiophile caps leading to a null result, corroborating the null statistical result that were done a number of years ago involving over a thousand people.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes, actually GR runs response curves on their drivers and hand picks matched sets for each pair of speakers (tweeters for sure, the midbass drivers he says are quite consistent). That doesn't mean the two pairs will be 100% identical to one another, but they should be close enough for government work.

    My buddy's drivers are from right around the same time period as mine (a newer version of both is available), and the x-overs are quite simply the various components (caps, inductors etc...) soldered toghether with basic copper wire. The cabinets for each are from the same builder, with the same tune.

    I installed the caps on my A/V-2s myself. While I was doing it, I compared the one that had the upgraded caps to the other one which didn't, and the difference was clearly there. I swapped each speaker back and forth on one channel, as well as ran each on either side together and separately. The difference between the two went away when I upgraded the second one. I don't think I imagined, or "wanted to believe" there was a difference. I'm not trying to BS here either, just relating what I heard. The difference is subtle, not and earth shattering "WOW, that's a whole different speaker!" kind of thing.

    You could show 1000 people who have never seen it, the Mona Lisa too. Will they all like it? Doubtful. Does that mean they are all art experts? Nope. Do they all percieve exactly the same thing when the look at it?
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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  16. GilStou

    GilStou Auditioning

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    hello jonathan, john and chu -

    thanks for your responses to my question about the sonicaps.

    but, i am still not sure what the sonicaps are supposed to do - or how they make the sound "better"?

    john, you mentioned that you could tell the differences with and w/o them installed - could you describe what that difference is?

    i plan on using the gr speakers in a home theater - do you think a person in that "type of listening environment" would notice the differences?

    again, thanks for the input.

    gil stouch
     
  17. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    The Sonicaps are supposed to be better because they cause less distortion than the normal type capacitors included in the kit, but it can't be much distortion to begin with. For the difference in cost, you could just get different speakers. It's not worth it.
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The difference in cost was $50 per speaker. I got my A/V-2s used for a great price, and even with the extra $100, I paid less than the original price.

    The difference was a slightly more reserved top end, which at first I didn't like compared to the sound before. After a week or so of listening, I found it very pleasing though. All of the crispness was stil there, but it sounded more clear.

    The most noticable improvement came in the midrange. These speakers are quite good to start with, but the caps seemed to give the speaker a bit more depth to them. The original sound was clear, but the with the caps, they sound smoother - most notable with female vocals and deep male vocals. If you were using these for heavy rock music, you probably wouldn't even notice the difference. I compared some heavier stuff before and after and the difference was not obvious, but on vocals and softer, more detailed music, the difference was very apparent.

    If you aren't going to be listening to much music, these speakers should be perfectly fine without the caps. I listen to a lot of music, and the pair I auditoned had the caps - I could tell the difference between them and the pair I bought. My buddy's setup uses no Sonicaps for HT (A/V-1s all around) and it sounds great. He did make the comment when he came over after I put in the caps: "I don't remember them sounding this good before..."

    If you have specific questions, email GR, Danny is very good about responding.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Did you buy them used John?

     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I did get them used, and more or less rebuilt the entire x-over, since the only thing retained was the wire and the foil inductor.
     

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