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Orb Audio

 

MarcoEsquandolas
Unregistered guest
Anyone have experience with this company? I heard one of their systems over the holidays and they are really an incredible sub/sat system. Way better than anything I've heard. I think the system I heard was only $699 and it blew away a lot of $2,000 systems I've heard. They are round, metal speakers and a really cool looking compact sub. They sell direct on the internet at www.orbaudio.com and the business model looks interesting. Anyhow, just wondering if anyone has experience with them...I called them yesterday and spoke to them for a while and they seem to pretty on top of things, but independent opinions never hurt.
 

New member
Username: Discoshrew111

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2004
The speakers are amazing, my friend. Strange set of coincidences led to me even finding out about them, but I picked up a Mod1 system a few months ago and upgraded to a Mod2 for Christmas. They are really high quality, both in terms of performance and craftsmanship. They really do sound like big bookshelf speakers. They hit the highs very well, the sub is totally tight and musical, and there is no midrange hole that I hear in a lot of sat/sub systems. They fulfill three basic requirements quite well: amazing imaging, very very full sound, and tight musical bass/no booming. I was going to spend a lot more than I did, and I'm glad this company crossed my path. In fact, I wound up upgrading to Mod2 in my front channels and getting these beautiful stainless steel stands that they sell, all for a lot less than I was going to spend. I can't comment on long term durability, because I've only had them a few months, but they seem to be very well constructed, all steel on the satellites, and gold plated binding posts. The sub is heavy and looks like it will hold up, too. For those looking for a complete system, they sell a full-featured JVC DVD/Receiver with the Mod1 system for under $1,000. It makes you wonder why so many people are buying those Bose systems for double and triple.
 

MarcoEsquandolas
Unregistered guest
Anyone else?
 

nelsant
Unregistered guest
Hi! I'm interested about Mod1, but since I live in Portugal, it's a little dificult to buy them. They only accept Visa (international buyer) over phone, but i would like something more trustable. Did any one outside US bought something to them and get happy?
 

Johnny99
Unregistered guest
I purchased a Mod2 system a couple of months ago and posted a review on audioreview.com. I loved them at the time, and now that I've had them for a while I can definitely say they are great speakers. I can hear details in music that I've never heard before, and so many people tell me the same thing when they hear them. The imaging is phenomenal, too, and I really like the tight bass of their Super Eight subwoofer. I've never heard a sub/sat system that blends as well as this one, and I've heard a lot of them. They could definitely be charging a lot more for these.
 

Monologue
Unregistered guest
I heard these speakers this week and they really changed my mind about sat/sub systems. The imaging is really out of this world, as someone mentioned above. I'm hearing details on my CDs that I've never hear before. They are super clear, too. Totally worth checking out. They are great for theater, too...just watched Seabiscuit and the thundering hooves were awesome. The speakers are made from steel and the build quality is like nothing else I've seen in years. Really sharp looking. Get the polished steel if you have the extra $$.
 

Anonymous
 
I have not heard them, but I would note one real problem for most people--the Mod2s are 4 ohm speakers, meaning they would be a problem for most receivers. I don't know about the Mod1s as their website is pretty sparse on details. Interesting concept, though.
 

New member
Username: Discoshrew111

Post Number: 8
Registered: 01-2004
I don't think 4 ohms would be a problem with a small driver like that. I haven't had any problems yet and I'm pretty sure my receiver says nothing about 4 ohms. It doesn't run hot, and there is no clipping. I can't really think of anything else to look for. I play the speakers at very loud volumes, for hours at a time, and haven't ever noticed anything problematic. I'm no technofile, but my understanding is that after a month of heavy use, I would have noticed something. They sound noticeably clearer and better overall than my last 2 sets of speakers with the same receiver.
 

Johnny99
Unregistered guest
I have had the Mod2 running off of my 100 watt Onkyo for a while now and have never experienced any problem. I play at loud volumes and have had plenty of extended periods and the amp has never clipped, gone into protect or even gotten hot. I called the company after reading the post about 4 ohms and they confirmed that the speakers work fine even with receivers not rated that way, due to the very high efficiency and small size of the driver they use. I also have a friend that purchased a Classic Two and is running it with an old Sony 2 channel receiver and having no problems.
 

New member
Username: Terminator

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2004
Can you tell me how tall is Mod2? Is it less than 10"?
 

Johnny99
Unregistered guest
About 9"
 

Anonymous
 
Anyone else have these and have an opinion?
 

Unregistered guest
Hi!
My previous speakers were Mission 773 (front), 771 (surround), 77C (center), and I have no regrets! I kept my Mission sub 7AS1, I lke it a lot. Also, with shipping, coustoms and duties, the Orb sub was very expensive. Now I have Mod2 (4ohms) on front and center channels, and Mod1 (8ohms) as surround. They are working with an Onkyo receiver (5x100W 6-8ohms), and they sound great! I must say I have a hell of a sound to music and movies, I have more free space, and some money!!! Pure and neutral! It's the first ORB speakers set on Portugal!
 

Unregistered guest
Is anyone using the Mod2 as a 7.1 system? What size rooms? How is the bass in a large room? Has anyone tried 2 bass units?
 

Monologue
Unregistered guest
After posting my review above last month, I went out and bought a stereo system from Orb, with two subwoofers. I originally heard the Mod2 speakers in a 7.1 setup (with one sub), so I can kind of answer your question. When I bought the system with two subs, my friends thought I was crazy, but I'm pretty particular, and my amp has outputs for left and right subs, so I thought why not? At the time, the company said I was only the 2nd or 3rd person to go with two subwoofers, so maybe I AM crazy. My room is about 18 x 28 (12' ceilings). As I mentioned, I actually originally heard the speakers in a Mod2 7.1 setup and was quite impressed, so I bought the Classic Two (I don't use the system for home theater). That room was bigger than my room and only had the single subwoofer. What was most interesting to me at the time was how full the sound was from these small speakers. I think part of it has to do with the fact that the subwoofer is very good and powerful, and part of it has to do with the fact that the satellites can play pretty low (so, for example, the satellites pick up some bass even in the rear channels, and you can have a "bass" sound come from the left rear channel even if the sub is by the right front channel). Other systems that I've listened to simply could not fill the room with tight bass the way these small speakers and sub can. As others have mentioned, they are extremely clear and accurate, too, with superb imaging. I know if you wanted to get 2 subs and a 7.1 system of equal quality through normal retail stores it would cost you a lot more than the Orb system. If I were you I'd maybe try one subwoofer first, although you could take the leap like me and jump right into two. I've always preferred the sound of two very very good 8" or 10" subwoofers to one larger, boomier sub. In fact, I should probably make this disclaimer -- I like tight, accurate bass since I listen mostly to music, and have a particular disdain for "boomy" bass and subs. So, my opinion is based on that preference of mine.
 

Monologue
Unregistered guest
I forgot to mention that they automatically took $100 off the price of the 2nd subwoofer in my system, so if they don't offer, ask!
 

New member
Username: Pevian

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
I've been speaking with a representative at Orb, and I'm blown away by the knowledge, as well as the friendliness and professionalism (a trait many companies seem to have forgotten recently).

Has anyone used the wall mounts for front and rear? Will the sound project correctly if I place a speaker (probably a Mod1 for now) in each corner of the room (14'x19')? I use my system mainly for home theater, but also enjoy some nice, loud music occasionally! Thanks...
 

Monologue
Unregistered guest
You will make some tradeoffs by placing the front speakers above ear level like that, but it will still sound good. Ideally, speakers would be mounted about ear level, but most people buy small speakers for convenience and to mount them just like you. If you mount the 4 speakers in the corners, you will lose some stereo imaging, but will gain a little bass by mounting them on the walls. And, if you are using mostly home theater, stereo imaging is less important. However, for the center channel, definitely do whatever is in your power to keep the center channel as close to the TV as possible. Mounting it up high will lose the eye/ear connection needed for dialogue.
 

Monologue
Unregistered guest
To add to my post -- what did you mean by corner? The best overall performance would be to fight the urge to mount the speakers exactly in the 4 corners and at least get the front speakers mounted on the front wall, facing forward. If you are just using the rears for surround, putting them up in the corners won't be that much of a sacrifice. But, placing the front 3 speakers on the front wall, even if you put them higher than optimal, will probably be better than putting the left and right exactly in the corners. So, if that setup works, it would be a good compromise, but if your layout dictates a specific setup, the 4 corners would probably still make lots of very loud, clear music and sound, I just don't know what affect it would have on imaging.
 

New member
Username: Pevian

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
Thanks Monologue! That makes sense about not placing the front speakers directly in the corners of the room (I don't have them there with my current setup, so why would I when I change?)
 

Unregistered guest
Monologue, what would I look for in an a/v receiver that could support 2 subwoofers?
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
Finally broke down and registered :-) Anyhow, I'm using a stereo receiver, so the wiring is pretty straightforward...left speaker out to subwoofer high level input, connect left satellite to subwoofer left high level output. Repeat for right side. Home theater setup for surround is a bit more complicated. I'm sure there are several a/v receivers that have RCA outputs for dual subs...the only one I'm aware of is the Onkyo 989. You could also, I suppose, just connect your front left and right speakers and 2 subs the way I have mine set up for stereo (w/ one subwoofer in the middle of each connection) and connect your other speakers (center and rear) to the receiver. That is a more theoretical solution than practical one, though, because by putting the subs in the path of the left and right front speakers, you tie them to those speakers and every time you adjust the volume of the speakers individually, you are also adjusting bass output. Plus, I don't know how the speakers would sound in comparison to the 3 that weren't running off the sub. Someone here definitely knows how to do that better than I do, although the easy and definitely correct answer is to find an a/v receiver w/ dual sub outs like that Onkyo.
 

Unregistered guest
I am creating a music/theater "room" in my basement. I am in the process of finishing the surround set-up. As of now, I planned to mount the front & rears on the celing. I kind of took the 4 corner approach, but my room is only 12' wide. Comments? Anyway, what I am really interested in is the JVC 500 watt DVD/receiver. Is it a smart option? What kind of features does the DVD have? Would a straight 500 watt receiver and newer DVD player be a better option taking into consideration quality and price?
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
That approach should fill the room with sound. As for the JVC, who knows...it looks good on paper: progressive scan, 100 x 5, lots of inputs and outputs (rare for an all in one). My inclination is that separates will be better, but that's just a guess w/o seeing the unit and getting to play with it. I think there is quite a degree of parity when you are in that price range, so who knows. At the very least, it will probably be a lot better than what comes with HT in a box systems, etc. Don't stress out about the speakers in the corners, if you are buying small speakers to make them disappear, that is a priority for you. It's a tradeoff -- design in the room vs. trying to achieve audio perfection. You will perhaps lose some imaging, but unless you heard the speakers a different way you probably would never notice. In a small room, those speakers will be quite good and loud. That being said, if you are a purist, you would want to use floor stands for the front speakers or at least mount them on the wall lower down. But we all have to design our homes for more than just a/v, or do we?
 

Dan Lauer
Unregistered guest
Does anyone out there know the model # of the JVC all in one unit offered in the orb package? I would like to check out the features on the JVC web site. What is the technical low down on 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1? I am not a true tech. What are you refering to?
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2004
RX-DV31SL according to their website. The JVC is a 5.1 system, which means 5 surround speakers and a subwoofer (speakers are front left, center and right, and rear left and right). 6.1 adds a center rear and 7.1 gives you more separation between sides and rear (the speakers in a 7.1 are the same 3 front speakers and then left and right side/rear and left and right rear). So, a 7.1 system has side speakers firing across the side/rear of the room, and rear speakers firing forward. My personal opinion is that 5.1 is sufficient and that there is not much of a difference. Plus, not too many things are encoded in 6.1 or 7.1 yet, and 6.1 and 7.1 also mean you have to buy more speakers :-) The bottom line is that they are all surround sound and that 5 speakers is probably enough for most people in most situations.
 

nelsant
Unregistered guest
Hi!
About the wall mounts: you may hear some strange noises on the speakers with some voice frequencies. I had this problem with Mod2 on front channels, but the strange noise wasn't from the speakers. My wall is irregular due to a paint effect. So, with music vibrations, there was a noise.
Try to put a little bit of round rubber between the wall mount and the wall. It will absorves the wall imperfections and vibrations, cancelling the noise. This isn't a wall mount deffect. My surround's Stud 30º are on smooth wall, and there isn't any kind of noise. The real problem is the wall surface. It may happens with any kind of wall mount.
 

bes1963
Unregistered guest
Has anyone compared the Mod2 to Atlantic Technology or Aperion?
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-04
I haven't compared them side to side, but I've heard Aperion and I prefer the performance and size of the Mod2 system.
 

Sparky
Unregistered guest
I just purchased a mod2 system. I am running the system on a Pioneer VSX-D711. So far so good. The spearkers seem to be constructed very well and sound great so far. I was able to put the speakers approximately 3 feet from the wall. This seemed to help the imaging a lot. Assembly was pretty straight foward. The people at orb have been very willing to talk to me and answer all of the questions I had.
 

Unregistered guest
I just found out about the Orb. Most of the posts here have MOD2. I plan to place speakers on my dresser under my plasma which is 8" above the dresser. So, Mod2 would not work. Does Mod1 sound equally as good. What is the advantage of Mod2 over Mod1 except for more power handling and output?
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 8
Registered: Feb-04
Power handling and output are the only advantages as far as I can tell. I've heard the Mod1 and they sound great and they play louder than is comfortable to listen to. You can assemble the Mod2 horizontally, if you really want them and they fit that way. How big is your room? I would call them up or email and ask about whether the Mod1 is appropriate for your room size.
 

New member
Username: E268

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-04
Thanks for your response. My room size is 14x18x9(H), with speaker placed closely against the wall on top of dresser on the 14' side.

Will there be problem with too close to the wall (not corner)?

Also, I have been considering Energy Encore (I need small speakers for WAF). Putting price aside, which is better, Encore or Orb?

Thanks.
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 9
Registered: Feb-04
I think Mod1 are fine for that room size. The speakers will pick up a little bass on the wall, so no worries there. As between Energy and Orb, they are both good speakers. However, I'm a big fan of Orb. They are smaller in size and much nicer in design, so the WAF is taken care of. At the same time, they are really big on sound, so you are taken care of as well. The build quality is top notch, too, and they look like they should cost a lot more $$. Pretty much everyone that comes to my home comments on how nice the Orbs look and, once they hear them, how ridiculously good they sound.
 

New member
Username: E268

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-04
Thanks for the reply. I really like it on paper. I looked into the details and pricing. After converting $799 (brush steel) to Canadaian dollars, and also paying for custom clearing agent fee (a ridiculous 20-30%), I estimate it will come to $1200CAD which is not much cheaper than Energy Encore. The good thing is the 30 day return which really gives a good trial period. I can only get 7 days trial with the Encore. Oh, decisions, decisions.
 

New member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 10
Registered: Feb-04
Audio decisions can be painstaking to make, but with each having a MBG, that takes some of the risk out of the deal. Either way you choose, report back. Also maybe call Orb and see what they know about shipping to Canada, maybe they can figure out a way to reduce that fee.
 

New member
Username: E268

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-04
Well, I decided to buy the Energy Encore. Went to the local store, and auditioned Encore and also KEF KHT2005.2 (the egg). They both look great and sounded "bright". I took the Encore home and tried it for a few days and returned them to the store, because after a while of listening, the mid level started to bother me, and the low level (100-400) is not enough. Using my new Yamaha RX V2400, I can adjust mid level to my liking (with the built in Graphic equalizer), but I cannot make the low level (100-400Hz) any better. So, I returned them to the store. I am now using my old speakers (Celestion DL8 for front, and Mission for centre, and Sansui for rear, annd a new Velodyne CHT-8). The V2400 corrected most of the sonic differences so that I can only hear the differences while setting it up (and listening carefully). I think, I'll be happy with this set up for a long while before venturing out for new speakers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 23
Registered: Feb-04
Sometimes the right answer is sitting right there underneath your nose!
 

jygolfs
Unregistered guest
Need some help out there. I am thinking about buying the orb speakers, but am a little worried that they will not be able to stack up to what I am using now. What I have now are the Klipsch Forte 2's and they can handle the power, but can the orbs handle the power and also sound good? I understand that I may give up some sound, going with a sattellite speaker vs a floor standing.
 

New member
Username: E268

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-04
Each person has their own taste for speakers. They can handle the power but whether they would sound good depends whether you like mellow or bright speakers. Since Orb has a 30 day guarantee, you should get it and try it out at home.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 24
Registered: Feb-04
The Orbs are incredibly full sounding for their size, it was really a lot more than I expected. I'd call Orb and ask them how they stack up against the Fortes or whatever other questions you have. I found them to be very knowledgeable and honest about their product and it's not just some order taker that answers the phone, it's people that know what they are talking about. I think you will be surprised to find that a good sub/sat system can deliver superior imaging and tighter bass than some bigger speakers.
 

Unregistered guest
Okay Guys -

I just sprung for a new set of Orb speakers. I've been speaking with Ethan at Orb who has been very helpful so far - even gave me his thoughts on the Receiver I was thinking of ordering.

I ordered 3 Mod2s across the front and 2 Mod1s for the rear channels (for a 5.1 setup)

I'll let you all know what I think after I get them setup. I can tell you that the pre-sale customer service has been outstanding so far.

Pics and more comments to come after I get them 'auditioned' in my home with entire brand new system.

If anyone else has anycomments on this company/product I'd love to hear from you.
 

mbh
Unregistered guest
Has anyone compared the orb speakers with the micro nuclues by Anthony Gallo? I know the Gallo speakers have been around for several years and have had good reviews in audio related magazines.
 

Sulis
Unregistered guest
I've demoed the Gallos, which left me slightly unimpressed. I found the sub a bit woofly (if you know what I mean), and they lacked clarity in the centre channel. However, the WAF was strong.

I'm very tempted to try the Orbs - I figure 3 doubles for the left centre right and 2 singles for the rear (if I can get away with only singles for left and right I can always use the other 2 for a second room as satellites).

Living in the UK means that the shipping will be a whack if I don't like them, but the exchange rate isn't bad at the moment and they're a hell of a lot cheaper than the Gallos...
 

rave
Unregistered guest
I heard the Orb's the other day at a friend's place and I don't think you will be complaining about the clarity. The detail coming from these speakers was superb, and the clarity and realism was a lot greater than a lot of other, more expensive speakers that I've heard. As you mentioned, the WAF seems to run in favor of smaller speakers, so maybe there is finally a good middle ground with small speakers that sound full and clear. He had the same setup you are looking at - Mod2 in front, Mod1 in the rear. If you want to reduce shipping costs, I'd ask them to ship via US Postal service, if possible. Based on my past experience, it's a lot cheaper than the other companies and still gets to the UK in 5 days or less. You also might just consider buying satellites and finding a good subwoofer locally. I'd imagine the subwoofer is most of the shipping cost.
 

New member
Username: Jvprice64

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-04
BOUGHT 2 DAHLTON 2500 SPEAKERS IN OCEAN CITY FROM 2 GUYS IN A WHITE TRUCK FOR $230.00 DOLLARS. SHOULD HAVE KNOWN IT WAS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE. OH WELL YOU LIVE AND LEARN COULD OF BEEN 500.OO DOLLARS.
 

Sulis
Unregistered guest
Thanks for the tips, rave. I'll certainly go for the US Post option once I swing this purchase past Er Indoors. I know what you mean about the sub, but I like the sound of this one - we don't need earth-shattering bass (indeed, in an old house it would be a nightmare), so taughtness and coherence are what we're after. I also feel that the 2 have been designed to complement each other - if I didn't like the sound, I could never be sure that it was because I wasn't using the right sub... given that I don't have to pony up for the Gallos, I think I can afford to ship the sub!
 

DannyT
Unregistered guest
any more reviews of the Orbs?
 

Orbit
Unregistered guest
Hi,

Some of you here have mixed and matched the mod1 and mod2 speakers. Did you have any problems since the impedances are different (8ohms and 4ohms)?

Did you buy your speaker cables from Orb audio too?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Monolgoue

Post Number: 33
Registered: Feb-04
I have the mix & match system, there is no problem with impedance at all. With a home theater receiver, you might find it necessary to adjust the volume of the rear speakers a little higher, but they are obviously timbre matched perfectly to the Mod2 in the front. The guy at Orb told me the mix & match system was their most popular system, so I imagine people are pretty happy with it. As for cables, I think their prices and quality look fine, but you can probably find similar deals locally. The cables on the site look pretty basic, but decent. So, tt's probably just a matter of convenience if you are just looking for basic cables. If you are looking for premium cables, you will probably have to find them elsewhere.
 

S. David
Unregistered guest
I replaced my Fortes (gave them to my son) with the Orb Classic Two system and recently upgraded to a full 7.1 HT system. I know it sounds crazy, but the Classic Two had better bass and much better soundstaging and clarity than the Fortes. We redecorated and I thought I was going to take a major loss on sound quality when I got rid of the Fortes, but I have to say that after having had the Orbs for a few months and having had the chance to really stretch them out over a variety of source material, they have superior performance than the Fortes. The clarity and accuracy of human voices is really outstanding and somehow my system now has more bass than ever, despite the fact that I literally got rid of several cubic feet of cabinet. I never would have tried these w/o the good reviews I read and the Money Back Guarantee, but I'm definitely glad I did.
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