Rocket Review....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThereseFontaine, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. ThereseFontaine

    ThereseFontaine Auditioning

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    Posted this a few days ago. as reading through a number of threads here looking for rocket reviews. This might be helpful....

    Received: 2 RS750, RSC200, 2 RSS300, 2 VTF-3

    The packaging was as described for the Diva’s. Please note I have never owned or heard the Diva’s. (Was considering – never worked out – ordered Rockets!)
    While the packaging was incredible…the speakers themselves are just beautiful aesthetically. They are finished in an almost mahogany satin finish on rosewood veneer. The end caps are beautifully polished…similar to a baked piano finish. Every speaker was perfectly finished without a single mar. They all matched. As the speakers look so good with their grills off – we are now having arguments on this! Okay – looks are great, the center is HUGE. We built a center “box” about 1ft over the TV and it just fits! The towers are magnificent, they have a very sleek look, one could almost say “sexy”. The surrounds are 5 sided, with a center panel of rosewood, the two speaker sides and then two more rosewood sides. They are also very heavy, although there is a mounting bracket and we were able to mount them in the drywall, carefully! Did I mention the subs? I skipped my workouts, lifting those subs and speakers are all you need to do!

    The looks are great…now onto the sound….Some caveats..Am not an “audiophile expert”, however have a strong musical background and am able to discern good, bad, great and extraordinary sound! The room that the system is in is a large rectangle (18*20) opening to another rectangle of similar size. Floors are all hard and the ceilings are 12ft. This is a very “hard” room and sounds tends to bounce and echo. While I auditioned many speakers the following are the ones that made it into the room as well as being auditioned in the audio shops. M & K 150’sand matching center/surrounds, Boston Acoustics VRM90’s – matching surrounds/center, Paradigm Studio 100’s same match up. (Used a Velodyne Sub/and Silver)

    Musically the 750’s are very articulate. Used in pure direct (off a denon 5803) instrumentation was crisp, natural and from the lowest volumes to reference level was smooth with every sound being distinct. (Music used was Vollenweider, Streisand, Pocahontas Orchestration, Andrew Lloyd Weber(Michael Crawford) – as this was used on all the auditions as I know the music well). The tonal quality was true and immaculate to the recording. After speakers were calibrated, the soundstage was full, somewhat forward and enveloping. The sweet spot for this sound stage is huge and accommodated almost all the seating; peripheral seating had very little localization effect. Vocals were clear, again natural and non-fatiguing. I define bright as somewhat shrill and high ranged (fatiguing). The rockets appear to be warm, although not overly so. Was concerned about the sound bouncing through the rooms. With a little speaker movement, achievement of “theatrical soundstage” level was done. When I finally stopped fiddling, moving speakers etc and listened to the whole orchestration, there were tears in my eyes. The sound was wonderful. I do believe that the mid range is not quite as full…I’m sure that is due to break-in and is more noticeable because the bass (yea!!) and extension everywhere else is well done. In comparison on Music, the Boston Acoustics had much the same qualities, however tended to be slightly boomy, did not have the same bass extension and the sound stage was smaller. From a music standpoint, there simply was no comparison to the M & K's, the best way to articulate that would be, natural(for the rockets) to almost a digital quality(for the M &K). Very hard on the room. The Studio’s were close and in fact, at this time felt the mid range was better. This was particularly noticeable in piano pieces. Played with some of the other modes etc, 5.1 stereo, dts and the sound was just incredible. Those rear surrounds are some of the best musically I have heard. Prefer 2 channels for most music.

    From a HT perspective… used the Red Violin, StarWars (because we love the Pod Race scenes!), Pearl Harbor and Jurassic Park. All were dvd’s we had seen too many times to mention, especially Star Wars! I need to mention the subs here, forgot to mention above how beautifully they mated with the rockets, was stunned at the musicality of them and simply LOVE my subs…nothing I have heard has come close! Okay…back to HT…obviously love bass – look at my selections!!! The rockets were wonderful musically – but they really shine in HT. Now y’all are going to pick me apart and say I didn’t like them musically, I cried for Pete’s sake, just that for HT they are superb! Left the BA’s in the dust, no more need said, Paradigms were a weak second cousin, I would say a close tie with the M & K's, with the M & K’s getting the slight edge in non musical movies. The rear surrounds are stunning in their clarity and ability to replicate a theater experience of many speakers. It’s hard to believe there are only 2. The center is crisp and images well. The sound is so enveloping, it is difficult if not impossible to localize any of the speakers. During the Pod race scenes, you literally felt as if they were going right around the room and you were there…okay a bit of a stretch, but had it been the Daytona 500, you would have felt as if you were there! In scene 41, during the Darth Maul fight, there is sub vocalization I have never heard before. On the rockets, it was as if I never had watched/listened to the whole movie before. Even the M & K’s were not comparable at this level of clarity. While Pearl has lots of boom, noticed on many systems that it was often difficult to hear the dialogue over the war – no problem with the rockets. The red violin was simply great. Now I have to go get all the movies I’ve rented and seen and watch them again!!

    Overall, I am a Rockets Fan! They are great speakers, and AV123 deserves much credit, not just for the products but also for their customer service. Steve, Sean and Mark have been helpful beyond any of my expectations and that this is coupled with an outstanding product makes me wish they sold more than audio equipment! I apologize for the long read, but wanted to give some impressions on these out standing speakers.

    Thanks – Therese
    Systems Used: 2 RS750, RSC200, 2 RSS300, 2 VTF-3, Denon 5803, Panny RP91, Sonance 1230, Onix Cable/Interconnects. HTS5600
     
  2. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Therese,
    Thanks for the review! I can't wait until I get the go ahead.[​IMG]
    Alex
     
  3. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    So Therese, how do you like your new Rockets? Just kidding. That's a nice review, and pretty says much how I feel about mine, but you are more articulate than I am. The Red Violin is one of my favorite reference discs. It has some of the most beautiful 5.1 music and really shows off the detail produced by the 750's and Bigfoot. I wish I could hear them through the 5803. That receiver is made for the Rockets. I was listening to one in San Diego a month or so ago being played through a pair of Vienna Acoustic Beethovens, and thought how good it would sound with the Rockets. I can't imagine the Pod race with 2 VTF 3's. One pretty much brings down the house, although I don't use a sub with my 750's for music very often. They seem to have enough slam on their own to suit me. I like how natural the bass is on their own.
    Thanks,
     
  4. ThereseFontaine

    ThereseFontaine Auditioning

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    Russ,
    You have to get a 5803[​IMG] It is great with the rockets, quite frankly great with almost any speakers!!! Listened to receivers and auditioned them the same way I did speakers. Don't think there is an AV shop left in AZ that I can go to with a straight face!
    Red Violin is incredible on the rockets (stringed instrumentation sounds extraordinary on the 750's). It also helps to have a receiver that adds/takes away nothing from the recording. Love the pure direct mode.
    With two VTF's you are IN the Pod Race! In fact I'm convinced I won!!!!
    Have the crossover set for 60 on music and the subs turned down a bit with music, although there is a nice mating of the bass with that of the 750's. One of my favourite features of the set up is the match between the subs and the mains. The bass is so tight and musical on the vtf-3, that when paired with the mains at the right crossover/volume it extends as if you were in acoustical sound stage listening to the music in person.
    Guess you know I like my set up![​IMG]
    SO when is a 5803 making its way into your setup????
    Therese
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Therese,

    Thanks very much for the review. A question for both you and Russ: “What other subs (other than the VTFs) did you consider?

    After reading extensively on this forum, I’m pretty sure the either Hsu or SVS would meet my needs, other than they both would not pass the WAF test. And to be accurate, likely not mine either.

    I’m considering the Adire line. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  6. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Therese,
    I am waiting on my Outlaw 950/770, and I will continue to wait until it comes. [​IMG] I must have more patience than sense. They are supposed to start shipping again on Aug 8. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and will let you know how it sounds when I get it set up.
    Lew,
    I also considered the SVS, but I prefer doing business with AV123. I have friend with an SVS 25 39 PCi, and after helping him set up and testing it out, I am very happy with my Hsu.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Russ,

    Thanks for the insight. I just wish the good doctor would have a trim option that would please my wife. While I know that it won’t change the sound (as does she), a cabinet that looked as good as the Rockets would remove decorating obstacles.

    I note with pleasure your wry stand on the Hsu/SVS comparison
     
  8. MikeAF

    MikeAF Stunt Coordinator

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    Russ,
    What did you do with your Diva's, and were the Rockets that much better that would would abandon all us Diva users? I would like to come down sometime and hear the Rockets if that's okay with you. I got tired of waiting on the Outlaw and with my first bonus ever, I bought the Anthem AVM20 pre-pro and couldn't be happier. It made my Diva's sound even better than my Pioneer Elite receiver which I thought was very good. I know you've been waiting along time for the Outlaw and I hope they start shipping soon. Hope you're enjoying our great Arizona summer.

    Mike in Chandler
     
  9. MikeAF

    MikeAF Stunt Coordinator

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    Therese,
    Sorry it did not work out for you to come hear the Diva's but you made a very good choice from all the reviews I've read about the Rockets. I hope you're enjoying the new speakers and maybe instead of going to Tucson to hear Russ's Rockets, maybe I could invite myself out to your place sometime to hear your Rockets [​IMG] It's so hot here the only place to be is on the couch listening to music or watching movies.
    Mike
     
  10. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Hi Mike,
    Oh man, you got me. It's really tough for a die hard Divan to admit he's been bested, but at least it's all in the family. I really do think the Rockets are a step up in pretty much every respect. You're more than welcome to come down anytime and take a listen. As for my Divas, I still love 'em and we have no plans to part company at this time. I'm telling you though, I've got a pile of really good speakers down here now, so I'm trying all kinds of different stuff. [​IMG]
    As for Outlaw, thanks for the encouragement. I got a little Denon 1602 to see me through, and it is a surprisingly agile little guy. I like it a lot, but it is lacking in headroom. The latest rumor has Outlaw shipping again the first week of August, but that turns out to be another "3 week" scenario. LOL.
     
  11. MikeAF

    MikeAF Stunt Coordinator

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    Russ,
    How do you get away with trying out so many speakers? My wife would go nuts! I guess I'll just have to be content with the Diva's for now, not that I'm not enjoying them [​IMG] . I let you know if I decide to come down. I know I'll be in Tucson some Friday in August for a football game and maybe I could come by before the game for a few minutes?? Hope you're enjoying your Rockets.
    Mike
     
  12. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Guys:

    What would you think of me starting up a used speaker area where you could sell your used speakers (like your Diva's) and then you could use the money to buy new speakers (ala the Rockets)?

    --Parker
     
  13. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    Excellent idea Parker.
     
  14. John*paulJ

    John*paulJ Extra

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    Perfect IDEA!!![​IMG]
     
  15. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Parker, wouldn't that be called the HT marketplace, for some reason I thought we already have one??

    or would this just be exclusive to Diva/Rocket owners??
     
  16. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    Hi Russell,

    If you don't mind, which Divas do you have, which Rockets bested them, and why?

    Do you have any insight as to what might be the better deals on offer at rocketloudspeakers.com/av123.com? There are good packages for the Rockets, and the Diva discounts don't seem so great in comparison.

    Thanks, Dan
     
  17. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Hi Guys,
    I have the 6.1's for mains, the awesome C3 center, and the 2.1's in the rear. I have avoided making straight up comparisons between the Divas and Rockets because I am such a well known Diva advocate that it seems somewhat hypocritical to jump ship at this point. The Divas are and always will be fantastic speakers. However it was inevitable that someone like Mark Schifter would try to bring us an even better product. His love of audio and his people oriented personality almost mandate that he will always be striving to improve his products for the people who have come to count on it, as well as make a buck or two in the bargain. He works tirelessly at it, and the Rockets are the current proof of that dedication. As he explained it to me, his intention was to bring us an audiophile grade speaker system that sounds as good or better than most anything else out there for a price we all could afford. I've been traveling around quite a bit this summer, and have made it a point to check out the high end stores and friend's systems, and from everything I have heard, I think Mark has exceeded his goal.
    As far as a direct comparison to the Divas, AV123 took an existing system in the Divas, and redesigned them to suit the American market place. They are big (The American Way [​IMG] ) well built, and sound better than everything else we are upgrading from. The Rockets were designed from the ground up with 1" MDF computer modeled cabinets, and the low sheen Rosewood veneer is more elegant looking than the Divas. The tonal balance is better as well, which to me means that when you start to crank them, the soundstage and imaging stay rock solid while expanding to fill the room. The Vifa tweeter while a little more forward than the Divas and not as rolled off still provides a weight and clarity to the presentation that I find addicting. The Divas have a chestiness in the midrange that the Rockets don't, and some may like that characteristic, but I prefer the clarity of the Rockets instead. If I have my Divas set up in another room, I find the same pleasure I have always found in them, but when I play them side by side now, I quickly return to the Rockets. As far as the bass goes, I always loved the bass on the Divas and I call it "party bass". It is low and loud. The Rocket bass is tighter and more accurate, with more viceral impact. I never used a sub with the Divas for music just HT, but now that I have my new Hsu sub [​IMG], I love the way it integrates with the 750's and fills in the low end a little with most music.
    I think the bottom line is that the Rockets are more of a speaker that high end owners will turn to when looking for something different and save a lot of money, rather than in the case of the Divas, a move up system that most of us were so happy to buy because we didn't think we could afford such incedible speakers for that kind of price.
    And, btw, I just looked at the package deals they have put together, and you are right, it looks like AV123 is at it again. Any way you look at it, I don't think you can go wrong.
    Thanks, and if anyone has more specific questions, I'll try to answer them as best I can. I'm not an audiophile, just a 30 year audio enthusiast, so some of the more technical stuff will have to be answered by others, or I can try and find out from the engineers. I do understand that the head engineer, Dick Pierce is planning to post white papers on the Rocket design when they are done. This stuff will blow your mind. I had no idea the time, money, and detail that goes into a project like this. They spent a year on this, and left nothing to chance.
     
  18. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Very well said, sounds like the Rockets are a solid contender. I get many audio products at 40-60% off b/c of some connections I have in the industry, but I must say, even with those deals, the Rockets make me curious. I can only get deals for myself, so I am encouraging my lil bro to get the Rockets when he has the $$.

    as far as the tweeter and highs sounding more "forward" that is fine with me as long as it isn't "ear bleed/fatiguing" forward.

    you said...

    "I'm not an audiophile, just a 30 year audio enthusiast"

    what the crap does that mean, so since you don't own $20k Revels, you can't call yourself an "audiophile"? I guess I don't really know the definition of what an "audiophile" is, so I don't call myself one either, but I would venture to guess that you understand audio more than 1/2 the rich guys out there that simply buys high end to impress the freinds. I am a huge car fanatic, but I don't own a ferarri, I don't know why the audio world is so weird in their terminology. I had a patient and we were talking about Audio and how he had a bunch of Mac gear with Quad speakers, and he asked what I had, and I told him and he proceeded to say "wow, so your an audiophile too", for some reason I am not confortable with that term either, it makes it sound like you have tons of $$ for audio equipt and a "know it all snob"???

    anyways, NICE review!!!!


    ironically, the way you discribe the sounds (mids and highs) these speakers seem to have the potential to sound more like B&Ws, verses the Divas (that simply look more like B&Ws)
     
  19. Bradley C

    Bradley C Auditioning

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    So you compared four different speakers in different environments?, and used the same music and movies to compare?, and you did this after you bought the rockets?

    Can you pull a rabbit out of a hat? Hehe I'm suprized you liked them!
     
  20. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Someone was suggesting the Vifa tweeter was metal, but it is actually "a viscous-damped fabric diaphram" I can't remember who needed this info, so I hope it's posted to the right thread. [​IMG]
    Thanks,
     

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