Thinking of upgrading to the e:XL-C2 center speaker. Questions.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have the following speakers in my home theater set-up:
    Energy e:XL 16 bookshelf speakers as mains and surround
    Energy e:XL-C center speaker
    Energy e:XL-S10 10" subwoofer
    I am thinking of upgrading from the e:XL-C center speaker to the e:XL-C2. The reason being that I feel the e:XL-C is lacking, especially for multi-channel music. I have gotten this impression listening both to DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD. I also feel the e:XL-C2 is a better match for my system. The e:XL 16s have a 6.5" driver, while the e:XL-C has a 5.5" driver. The e:XL-C2 has a 6.5" driver like the e:XL 16s. Basically, the e:XL-C is modeled after the e:XL 15s. Unfortunately, the e:XL-C2 was not available when I bought my Energy speaker package in April 2000. Now, I am thinking I should upgrade.
    Do you feel the e:XL-C2 will provide a significant improvement over the e:XL-C? Also, Sound Pros ( www.soundpros.com ) has the e:XL-C2 for only $265, which I am sure is much cheaper than my local brick-and-mortar store. I've ordered from Sound Pros before with no problems, but they are not an authorized Energy dealer, which concerns me a bit. I live in Delaware. Is it likely that I will find a brick-and-mortar Energy dealer that will come close to Sound Pros' price? The other concern I have about upgrading to the e:XL-C2 is that I will probably be stuck with the e:XL-C. It would probably be hard to find someone who just wants a center speaker. Suggestions on what you would do would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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    [Edited last by KeithH on October 22, 2001 at 11:34 PM]
     
  2. Han

    Han Second Unit

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    Firstly, "stuck with the eXL-C", probably not. They can be sold via eBay or wherever. It's just whether at the price you would hope for or not is the question.
    The eXL-C2 is a nice center speaker for a small to medium sized room. Mine is in a set with eXL-26s (same drivers) for mains and eXL-Rs for surrounds. To tell you the truth, as far as matching timbre, it's not going to make that much of a difference going from a C to a C2. Both should match the eXL system very well.
    What you get with the eXL-C2 is a fuller sound for the center channel, which is important since, IMHO, the center is the most important speaker. And more power handling, which is no big deal, since I run a 5x200W amp into these things with no problem (but not at full volume), and the whole power handling thing is a different topic anyway.
    So to stop myself from rambling...
    -Tonal matching is a little better with the eXL-C2 but it should already be good with the eXL-C.
    -Center channel voices are easier to hear on the C2 because I don't have to strain as much or turn the volume up for the center channel as I would with the C.
    -If you have good bass management for SACD and DVD-Audio, then music shouldn't sound much different between the two center speakers. But if you don't, then of course the eXL-C2 will be a little better because it goes lower down the frequency range.
    -Since you don't have a cheap local store, see if you can find an online store that has a good return policy in case of bad luck. I got mine from www.world-exchange.com for $249.
    -Bottom line, if you can afford it, the upgrade is worth it. This isn't a hugely expensive center, but sounds like it when supplemented with a good sub (most centers have to be anyway).
    BTW, if you're wondering, I have tried the eXL-C2 with 15s and 16s as well. It matches great.
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Han, thanks for the in-depth reply. Much appreciated. I have bass management controls with my Sony ES receiver for DVDs (Dolby Digital and DTS) and with my Sony ES multi-channel SACD player. However, my Technics DVD-Audio player lacks bass management, not that this has been a problem for me thus far. In any event, I was thinking that the e:XL-C2 would simply improve the sound of vocals in multi-channel music over the e:XL-C, whether or not there are bass management controls.
    Thanks for the world-exchange.com tip, but I am bit leery of their plethora of "Certified Mint" products. I would be more comfortable ordering from soundpros.com. I bought a Sony ES minidisc player from soundpros.com back in June and had no problems whatsoever with them. What it comes down to is whether I can sell the e:XL-C first. I don't want to buy the e:XL-C2 and have the e:XL-C lying around.
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  4. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    Hey Keith,
    I found an auction on ebay that has your center for sale. There's still 5 days left but you might want to check it out at the end to give you an idea on how much you can get for it.
    Here's the link http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1287031746
    BTW, are you using the totems with the new 555ES or are going to stick with the e:XL 16?
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Greg, thanks for the eBay link. Much appreciated. I'll track that auction. As for the 'C555ES, I am running RCA cables from the stereo analog outputs to the NAD stereo amp and Totems for CDs and stereo SACDs and RCA cables from the 5.1-channel outputs to the Sony A/V receiver and Energy speakers for multi-channel SACDs. That gives me the best of both worlds given that my home theater systems is only O.K. for stereo music.
    If interested, I'll give you a demo of the 'C555ES at some point since you expressed interest in an SACD player.
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  6. Chris M

    Chris M Second Unit

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    Well, this is definately informative. I was thinking of just getting the e:XL-C to match with my e:XL-26's, but I'm now thinking of the C2. Also, my room doesn't exactly have side walls, as such I don't think di/bipolar speakers are a good option, would you recommend the e:XL-R's (bi/dipolar) or the e:XL-15/16's?
    Thanks,
    Chris.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chris, I don't profess to be an expert in this area, but I'll share my experience. When I was shopping for my Energy e:XL surround-sound speaker package last year, Marc Hallam at Audioshop in Ontario told me to go with the e:XL 16s as surrounds over the e:XL-Rs for Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks. He said the e:XL-Rs are fine for Dolby Pro-Logic. Maybe others can comment on this further.
    Unless you do get the e:XL-Rs, I would get the e:XL 16s over the e:XL 15s for surrounds. For one thing, the e:XL 16s are better speakers and are not that much more expensive than the e:XL 15s. Secondly, the e:XL 16s are timbre-matched with your e:XL 26s since they have the same aluminum dome tweeter. The e:XL 15s have a different tweeter.
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  8. Han

    Han Second Unit

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    Chris M,
    Since I've had or have all three of the small eXL models, I'll give my 2 cents...
    My old house (currently parents' house), the home theater room is connected to the kitchen behind it with no walls. Therefore, I almost absolutely had to get directs for rears. I got the 15s because the store I went to back then didn't have 16s, and I didn't know better. [​IMG]
    Having said that, if you're deciding among the three, you might as well rule out the 15s, because the 16s and Rs don't cost that much more. (IMHO, if budget is so tight that a person has to go with the 15s instead of the 16s or Rs, then maybe priorities should lie elsewhere than home entertainment.)
    With my current house, the home theater room is much smaller, and the back couch is right next to the surround speakers. Directs would be totally distracting, so I have eXL-Rs there. There's a few feet of space in front of the back wall to bounce sounds off of, and the right side also has a wall. The left side is open, but to tell you the truth, things sound just fine and balanced in the rears. An SPL meter also confirmed this. These aren't main speakers where wall dimensions and spacing from walls is crucial in dipoles/bipoles. So to me, the choice of directs vs. dipoles for surrounds really just came down to seating distance from the speakers.
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have a question that is a bit off-topic. Since I started this thread, I have license to change the focus at will. [​IMG] Anyway, with regards to direct-radiating speakers versus dipoles for surrounds, should the criteria used to make a decision for movies also be used for music? In other words, if one's room configuration (size, presence or absence of a wall behind the surrounds, etc.) would suggest that dipoles are the best choice for movies, would they work well for music in the same situation? Should a different set of criteria be used when choosing surrounds for music? Also, is it possible for a given room that dipoles will work better for movies, but direct-radiating speakers will work better for music? Finally, and really the crux of the issue here is, do dipoles work well as surrounds for music?
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  10. Han

    Han Second Unit

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    I can't answer all those questions, Keith, since they're mostly a matter of preference. As far as having dipoles as surrounds for music, it's fine for me, and haven't heard any of my guests say, "I can't stand the way that's sounding!"
    As far as one type working better for movies and another for music, it goes a little beyond that from what I'm extrapolating from the 10.2 article in this month's Home Theater Magazine. Tomlinson Holmann(sp?), in his 10.2 demo environment, switched between directs and dipoles depending on type of material (accuracy vs. envelopment) rather than type of entertainment (music vs. movie).
    Dunno, I probably didn't answer anything. [​IMG]
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    No problem, Han. Thanks anyway. I'm not sure if anyone can answer my question. There is probably no right answer, as it probably comes down to personal preference.
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  12. Haywood

    Haywood Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith I am using the same set up as you. 4 e:xl 16's and a e:xl c. I have listened to the c2 and really didn't notice that much of a difference. When I asked Energy about the two they said that the c2 would be better for the e:xl 26 and up. I would have to agree with Energy, this upgrade would not really be worthwhile unless you got some extra money to spend. I've found that adding an external amp with more power to the e:xl c was more helpful, it really opened up. Give it a try
    Later Haywood [​IMG]
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