Please rate the Adire Audio 281

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Randolph, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Randolph

    Randolph Auditioning

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    Hi all,

    From my original post it seems no one on the list has built the Eros II or has any comments on it? Hmmm, would have thought someone had an opinion on that speaker. Well, maybe someone will brave an opinion soon.

    As I said in my first posting, I am an audiophile listener and not a home theater guy (yet). I am now wondering how the Adire Audio 281 rates among Hi-Fidelity listeners? My brother and I stopped by Adire and were treated very well by Dan, Brian, and Chris. We heard the sealed box version of the 281 and also the HE10.1. We thought both were very impressive units.

    So who owns or has test listened the 281? How would you rate them for audiophile use in home stereo? Any comparisons of the ErosII and the Adire 281 would be appreciated also.

    As always, all comments and opinions are welcome. thanks.

    Randy
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Neither the 281 or the Eros II are 'audiophile' designs. They're both 'value' designs. This means that for the relatively modest amount of money invested ($~400?), they provide the best bang for the buck.

    If you really want audiophile quality then your budget better get a whole lot bigger...............

    BTW if you want feedback on the Eros post your question to the PE board. And if you want 'audiophile' quality kits look at the 'Thor' from Madisound or some of the offerings from North Creek

    Also there are some pretty high-end DIY designs around, if you don't need the hand-holding that buying from a retail firm provides.

    Please note that I'm certainly not putting down the Adire or their products. I happen to be one of Adire's bigger fans; and have more than two dozen of their woofers, in various systems in my house.
     
  3. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Obviously "audiophile" sound or personality is subjective. Since you are looking at the Adire DIY units- I've been told from more than one Adire dealer that the HE spks are geared more towards music vs the 81's or 281's. I went with the huge ported HE12.1's. From there I upgraded the caps and resistors and added 'just' the right amount of tweak to the tweeter resistor to get my desired level of top end or brightness. (very easy upgrade) This relatively cheap upgrade made a dramatic difference and I am now convinced that no other unit under 2k-3k can match my DIY's.

    Many people will disagree with this. I like a robust, efficient sound that is often seen in metal tweets or horns. I also like my mains to reach mid to low 30's -- this way I don't need the complications of a sub.

    If I had to have a pure 5.1 setup I would prob. go with the AV2's or AV3's with a bass reflex Tempest.

    There are guys on this forum that will not consider a spk 'audiophile' quality until you get to $5k spks or much higher. Then you get into Martin Logins, Dynas, etc.

    It all depends on your desires and budget.

    Until I pass my NAPLEX I will be stuck with DIY and a sub 1k budget. [​IMG]

    What's your budget? What kind of sound are you after? This can help us recommend a kit perfect for your needs.
     
  4. Randolph

    Randolph Auditioning

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    Thanks Kyle for your post.

    I am being educated that to some "audiophile" means a graduation to a specific $$$ category. Not my meaning at all. As you discern, I meant speakers specifically capable of hi-fidelity as opposed to the more physically graphic experience of feeling the floor move or having sonic percussion's part your hair in a Matrix-style shoot-out. Both goals have their place and with a really good system I am sure the two even are complementory.

    What I want though (at this point) is a decent level of stereo reproduction of music CD's. I like jazz and classical with a romp down memory lane when I listen to old Led Zep' etc. I will be using a good quality Sansui or Carver stereo amp with 60-120 watts per channel and have a discerning ear. I also want good bass definition and reproduction down low. I play upright bass and notice that many systems loose tonal quality big-time down low. It is not such a problem usually in the mid to high range. Also, no holes in frequecy response. The bass should progress smoothly to mid and mid to hi without any thin spots.

    I also am on a budget and am perfectly willing to source components myself and do not need a lot of hand-holding. I am a hobbyist woodworker and plan to build my own cabinets and can also wire the crossovers if necessary.

    What I do lack is experience with speaker and cab design so that is the bottom line. I need a good working design and a component list. That, and I have only about $500 for components. If $500 is too low then please tell me what it will take to get me decent sound. As I said, the 281's were impressive and I think the ported version would be even better for me.

    So, based on these requirements, I am open to suggestions.

    BTY, this is the most educated and experienced list I have found on speaker design and DIY. Thanks all for the input!

    Randy
     
  5. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    I've built both the 281s (vented) and the Eros (sealed). I give the edge to the Eros, but the 281s are really great bang for the buck speakers. I use a sub with both designs, although the 281s are fine on their own. Of course, since I built the Eros sealed, you may be fine w/o a sub.

    Note also that both are rated 4 ohms, in case it's a problem.

    Pete
     
  6. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    There are a few more DIY kits you could look at but not all are as tried and tested as the above mentioned kits plus the AV3's . The Adire 281's will have a beefy low end and a great all around sound. As for the HE units I think you would need the large ported design HE12.1 for a full range application. These will get very loud (while staying clear) at low to modest amts of power. They have a distict sound and can reach down plenty low for music. The AV3's have just about the smoothest midrange and mid-low range I've heard. For $500 I really think you can achieve your audiophile sound.
    I would consider these audiophile set-ups considering some of the junk out there for $1000+.
     
  7. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Randolph,

    All of these speakers mentioned are great, but I'm really interested in how you thought the Kit281 compared to the HE10 when you listened to them. (I own vented 281s, and of course I can recommend them. Their biggest strength is probably bass quality.)
     
  8. Randolph

    Randolph Auditioning

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    Hi Michael,

    For the compact size and lower price the HE10's were very impressive indeed. I found myself looking at the single driver and wondering just how the detailed and full spectrum sound could be coming from such an unimpressive looking speaker. I felt that the sealed 281's were marginally better at delivering bass and expect the ported 281's would widen that gap a little too. The HE series is designed to be used with low power amplifiers and especially tube amps. If I were into that sort of technology I would not hesitate to base a HT system on the HE's used with a subwoofer.

    Randy
     
  9. Randolph

    Randolph Auditioning

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    PS

    I haven't been able to find a written review of the AV3's. Where can I find a couple of unbiased reviews for this speaker and maybe for the others listed above as well. Thanks.

    Randy
     
  10. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Randolph- do you have a size limitation for your spks?
     
  11. Jeff shark

    Jeff shark Extra

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    I've read a bit through here the last few months, first time posting.

    I fortunately have recently had the experience of building a set of the KIT281 ported towers. I was a bit sceptical at first, just because the price ofthe kit, compared to what is out there in the retail stores.

    I was ready to purchase a set of Paradigm Studio 40's, luckily I was talked out of it by my girlfriend [​IMG]

    I had acoustic-visions build the vented cabinets for me, I just don' have thetools to make them look nice.
    I took a week to finish them, then wired them up.

    I use them about 75% home theater, 25% music.

    As mentioned above, the low-end is surprizingly good.
    I planned on adding a shiva or tempest later on, but for my tastes, the 281's have enough output.
    The tweets were a bit bright for me for the first few hours, but after watching a few movies & listening to about 10 cd's, they became alot more laid back....
    stll very detailed though.

    As much as I loved the Studio 40's, the KIT281's are an all-round much better speaker, & cheaper as well, even without building my own cabinets!

    I am using an HK AVR7200 to power them, for the $$$, they r hard to beat.

    I unfortunately haven't heard the HE series though....
    here's my setup if you are curious.... (this is my first home system)

    sounddomain (dot) com/memberpage/171942/13
     
  12. Randolph

    Randolph Auditioning

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    Kyle,

    No specific size limitations per se. I do not want the speakers intruding into my living space much so those requiring large offsets from the wall are not good for me. I am still listening to my massive (and ancient) KLH towers with 12" woofers so modern cabs seem dainty by comparison.

    Randy
     
  13. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Wow, the sealed 281s had better bass... don't they have an F3 point of like 70Hz? Also, the HE10.1 is not a single driver speaker, the tweeter is hidden in the center of the woofer. Still a pretty impressive design... I wish I could listen to them sometime (or the HE12s).
     
  14. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    I am not sure at which dollar amount signifys an "audiophile" speaker but I have heard alot of speakers and the Kit281s were one of the best I have ever heard and owned at any price range.
     
  15. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    When people ruminate about the cost drivers it makes me curious about their other habits. Do they always buy the least expensive meal at a resturant? Do they always buy the cheapest furniture? Do they buy the cheapest beer? Do they buy the cheapest computer parts? Do they buy the cheapest education?

    The reality is that raw loudspeakers like everything else come in a very wide array of pricing. And generally speaking the higher the price, the better the quality of the driver. Tweeters for example; one can buy a small pretty crappy cone tweeter for $1.00, or literally pay $1400 a piece for a Accuton Diamond!

    Looking at the breakdown of driver pricing is funny. Take the 281 for example (please note I'm not picking on Adire) The little Audax neodome tweeter is quite nice and retails for ~$12ea. Want to move up to something more 'high-end'? Well for ~$54ea one can buy the world renoun Vifa XT-25. BTW XT-25s are used in the $10,000/pr Krell LAT-2 speakers.

    Choices like that listed above, allow someone to cherry-pick from some of the world finest drivers. They can then create a DIY speaker that's truly 'high-end', but has a relatively modest cost. And unlike electronics (CDP, DVD, receivers, etc,) the lifespan of loudspeaker can easily be 10+ yrs. So sometimes it's worth the additional investment for better drivers. That way when one buys a better DVD player, one can actually hear the improvement it provides.
     
  16. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely correct. If you had limited your music preference to jazz it would be easier but you've included bass heavy also. This takes you to a different level. A low-cost system is going to have trouble doing both. That being said you may want to look at this.
     
  17. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Randolph,

    You wont find any professional reviews of the AV-3, as it is a new design, and has not been out that long, Nov. or Dec. I think. So you will have to rely on people's opinion. I know Hank built a pair (do a search) and he loves his. He said they are one of the best music/HT combo speakers he has heard.

    I have the AV-1s and love them. There is a review of these over at the Secrets homepage, and it was very favorable.

    Good luck. All the suggestions are great, and you have lots of good advice here.
     
  18. Aaron Howell

    Aaron Howell Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, great post. I am looking to do the exact same thing, on the same budget, with very similar power.

    I also am curious, ThomasW said electronics doesn't last 10+ years. My old marantz was older than me, shouldn't my new NAD c370 last 10 years? I'm not challenging, only inquiring.

    On another note, what are people's opinions of Dan Wesnor's ella?

    I'm on a budget of $500 also, but if there is something worth an extra $200 I would.
     
  19. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    It might. The reality is that pre/pros and receivers are apart of planned obsolence. So if they don't actually wearout, they're rendered virtually useless by newer formats.

    In receivers and pre/pros the switches, volume controls and other mechanicals are what usually go first. And once the warranty has expired, given hourly repair rates, the cost to repair them is such that it's often a poor investment.

    You could easily build THIS design with you $500-700 budget
     

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