Upgrading within the Energy e:XL line?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Hunt, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    Give me some opinions people:
    I currently have e:XL 16's for mains, e:XL C for center, e:XL R's for rears, and an e:XL S8 subwoofer hooked up to a Denon 3801.
    I'm pretty happy with this setup, it's been great and I love the sound I get from it, but I would like to upgrade to floor-standing speakers in front and add that precious center rear channel.
    My plan was originally to get a pair of e:XL 26's for mains, move the e:XL 16's to L+R surround and use the e:XL R's for center surround. In my search for a good deal I find I can get the e:XL 26's from a local dealer for about $570, which I think is a pretty good deal. The salesmen also informs me that I can get e:XL 25's for $365 which seems like a phenomenol deal to me. Is it worth me doing this? Would I notice a huge difference between e:XL 25's and 26's?
    I also contemplated upgrading my e:XL C to an e:XL C2, but I'm not sure that's worth the money either.
    Help! I'm trying to spend money again!!! AAaaaggh!
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff, I can relate to your situation. I have the following set-up in my home theater:
    e:XL 16s as mains
    e:XL 16s as surrounds
    e:XL-C center channel
    e:XL-S10 subwoofer
    I am looking to upgrade the e:XL-C to the e:XL-C2 and will probably do this very shortly. Also, I was using a pair of e:XL 16s in my second stereo system, but I replaced them with e:XL 25s about a month ago. The e:XL 25s are much better than the e:XL 16s for music. I found the bass and mid-range to be muddy with the e:XL 16s in comparison to the e:XL 25s. Everything opened up very nicely with the e:XL 25s. Is $365 for a new pair of e:XL 25s? If so, that's a steal. I got a new pair from my local brick-and-mortar dealer for $500. By the way, I bought them in rosewood, and they are sweet-looking.
    Before buying the e:XL 25s, I compared them to the e:XL 26s at two dealers and got very different impressions. At the first dealer, I thought the e:XL 25s were much better than the e:XL 26s. The salesman at the time told me that most customers he encounters prefer the e:XL 25s. The e:XL 26s had were muddy and no focus. At the second dealer, I felt the two speakers were much closer in sound quality, with the edge going to the e:XL 26s. In the end, I went with the e:XL 25s. For one thing, I had a budget of $500 for speakers in my second system, and the e:XL 26s priced at $675 at the dealer I eventually bought from obviously exceeded my budget. This is one of those rare times that I stayed within budget. [​IMG] Another reason I went with the e:XL 25s is that I got a good impression of them at both dealers, whereas I had a bad experience with the e:XL 26s at one dealer. So, I didn't really know what to make of the e:XL 26s. In the end, I feel as though I made the right decision given the sound quality and price.
    Listen to the e:XL 25s and e:XL 26s and see which you prefer. Best of luck.
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  3. Bruce Abar

    Bruce Abar Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff you will notice a huge difference from the exl16's and the exl25's, if you are happy now, with exl25's you will be doing cartwheels! You will not notice a big difference in the exl25 and exl26's. I would stick with the exl25's and save your money up for a larger sub, the exl12 sub will give you the greatest improvement over all if you are into HT.
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    http://bruceabar.tripod.com/theabarshometheater/
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bruce, I appreciate your reply. You made me feel good about not only replacing the e:XL 16s in my second stereo system with the e:XL 25s, but also about choosing the e:XL 25s over the e:XL 26s. It's always nice to hear an opinion that matches one's own observations. [​IMG]
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  5. Bernard L

    Bernard L Stunt Coordinator

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    I also tested the XL25 and XL26 just for fun at one of the local shops.
    had it attached to the same receiver and placement is almost identical for both sets of speakers.
    end result from direct comparison... XL25 seems to be much cleaner, but XL26 has a far greater soundstage.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bernard, as I stated in an above post, I found the e:XL 25s to be much cleaner than the e:XL 26s at one dealer. The e:XL 26s were muddy. At a second dealer, the two speakers were much closer, but I believe the e:XL 26s gave a slightly better soundstage. For example, the e:XL 26s gave a bit more reverberation in voices and instruments from the recording studio on certain recordings to give a more three-dimensional soundstage. Still, the e:XL 25s were quite close and the better value to me.
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  7. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, thanks for the responses guys. I'm really hoping this could be a cool Christmas present or something. I've been dropping hints on the wife in a not-so-subtle fashion.
    I'm going to try to get out there and listen to them both, but after this, I'm leaning towards the 25's. If I do that, maybe someday I can spring for a 12" sub.
     
  8. Lon_Coleman

    Lon_Coleman Agent

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    I am in the exact same situation.
    I have the 16's as mains, the e:XL C center, and the e:XL R's for the rears. I am also going to be adding the e:XL 25's.
    I have one question about this post. You never address whether or not it was worth upgrading the e:XL C to the C2.
    Would this be a major improvement?
     
  9. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    As I understand it the real goal behind upgrading to the e:XL C2 is to get a better match to the mains.
    All of the e:XL line have the same tweeter (15's aside), so that isn't really a factor. Then the only factor is woofer size:
    e:XL C - 11.4 cm
    e:XL C2 - 14 cm
    e:XL 25 - 14 cm
    e:XL 16 - 16.5 cm
    e:XL 26 - 16.5 cm
    Soooo, by that reasoning it would be a good idea to upgrade the C to a C2 in any case (if you can afford to), but does it mean that 25's and C2 are a superior match?
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I am looking to upgrade the e:XL-C to the e:XL-C2 because the e:XL-C2 is considered to be noticeably better and because it has the same size driver as the e:XL 16s I use as my mains (6.5"). The e:XL-C has 5.5" drivers.
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  11. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith, I thought the same thing, but when I looked on the Energy website I got a different story. The numbers I posted are pulled directly from there, in inches they'd be approximately:
    e:XL C - 4.5 in
    e:XL C2 - 5.5 in
    e:XL 25 - 5.5 in
    e:XL 16 - 6.5 in
    e:XL 26 - 6.5 in
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff, I guess I was wrong. I had read that the e:XL-C2, the e:XL 16, and the e:XL 26 had the same size driver (6.5"), while the e:XL-C and the e:XL 25 had the same size driver (5.5"). I have not taken the covers off my e:XL-C, e:XL 16s, or e:XL 25s to look at the drivers. Your information is helpful. Still, I have read many times that the e:XL-C2 is much better than the e:XL-C, and I would expect the e:XL-C2 to be a better match for the e:XL 16s than the e:XL-C based on relative driver size. It too bad Energy does not make a center channel speaker with the same size driver as the e:XL 16s and e:XL 26s. Maybe it isn't necessary?
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  13. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sure you're right, the C2 is reputed to be a better center channel in all ways. I had heard the same things you had, and was plenty surprised when I went to Energy's website and saw those numbers.
    After seeing those numbers is when I began to wonder if the C2 and 25's would be the ideal match. Does anyone have that setup?
     
  14. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    IMO, you would get the most improvement from upgrading to a great sub like the SVS 25-31PC ($669) or Adire Dharman ($522). Also, a great sub will make it so that you don't need tower mains IMO.
    I think you should buy a great sub first, and then get another pair of e:XLRs or e:XL16s. This plan would be cheaper in the long run, and just as good, again IMO.
    If you get the sub first, you could then audition the towers and test for yourself whether you need them or not.
     

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