• 07-28-2007, 01:35 PM
    GMichael
    My review of the Onix Strata Miniís from AV123.
    My review of the Onix Strata Miniís from AV123.

    As promised.

    My first impression was that these things are heavy, very heavy. (94 pounds each, but over 315 pounds together when shipped) It works out to over 60 pounds of packaging for each speaker. Itís a good thing that the driver helped me with them. I would have never been able to get them up the stairs myself. So then, I remove the crates. Then I removed the box, then the other box, then the formed packing, rubber like Styrofoam, then the soft cloth that both speakers were wrapped in. Oh look they sent me soft white gloves. I presume these are for moving them around. So now, to the speakers themselves. OMG are these things beautiful. Strike that. Not just beautiful. Make that stunningly beautiful! Throw in a few more experlatives that this simple minded guy canít think of and it still doesnít cover how fantastic these babies look.
    This seems like a good place to state what equipment I am using. Itís a Yamaha RX-V2500. Just a receiver but does make it to 130 wpc with no problems. All music was listed to in Pure Direct mode. This means, no sub and no processing. The CD-R is a Yamaha CDR-HD1300. All music was played back from its internal hard drive. Movies & TV were direct from the local cable company.
    I get them set up. Nothing special just put them where the Infinities used to be. Turned on the receiver and CD-R and played away. The Miniís were set to the recommended starting point of Ĺ power to the powered woofers crossed at 80Hz.
    The first thing I noticed was that the highs were not as bright as the Infinities. I was shocked seeing as the Infinities have a sharp roll off at 14 kHz and the Miniís have about a 3db hump from 15k to 20k. As perplexed as I was, I still moved on. I played Chicagoís Greatest Hits and was very disappointed. The mids sounded like there was a sheet of plastic over them. Where were my highs? How can this be? These things cost 4 times as much as the Infinities! Please say it isnít so. I thought, "This is my last upgrade ever."
    I turned it all off. Moved them from 14Ē from the back wall to 26Ē away. Then I turned the base output down to ľ. Turned on the receiver and recalibrated the whole 7.1 system, resetting all EQís to flat when done. These actions helped, but I still wasnít happy with the sound I was getting. I left the system running at -30db while I ran a few errands. It took me about 2 hours to get back. They seemed to be opening up a bit. Hope began to return. Maybe I WILL keep these after all. The mids were sounding clean and clear. The imaging was better than the Infinities ever gave me. Then I grabbed the camera to take a few pics. Took a few with the covers on, and then pulled them off to get a few more. WHOA! What the heck? Put them back on & pulled them off again. The sound was night and day. Suddenly all the highs were there. The thrill was back!
    I put in Phil Collinís Greatest hits. His voice was crisp and clear. Base was punchy and tight. Not over powered at all, but plenty of it. I started to get into the music. So much so that I forgot to take notes during most of them.
    I had to turn up the volume a little more than I used to, to get to the same level. But the Yammie didnít seem to mind one bit. NO SOUND WAVES WERE CLIPPED IN THE MAKING OF THIS REVIEW.
    Next up was a movie. The Fantastic 4 just happened to be starting on one of the HD channels. This was a good chance to see how well they integrate with the rest of my 7.1 system. So, switch from Pure Direct to good old DTS (EX or ES?) mode. They matched well with the rest of the Infinities (Primus 150ís & C25). I set the MKIII 15Ē Titanic sub to be crossed at 60 Hz and left the mains at full range. (Picked ďbothĒ for base output) I was impressed with how well I could hear the dialog without turning the volume up to high levels. It seems like a match made in heaven for a ďcalibrate by earĒ guy like me. I promise to pick up a db meter soon and do it right. But the movie sounded great. Well, up until the cable went out. We had major T-storms last night. Oh well, had to put on more music. Poor me. (Back to Pure Direct)
    Played more Phil. Groovy kind of love, Hold On, Take Me Home. The drums sounded perfect.
    Then Genesis: His voice seemed to hang in the air like a ghost walking around my room. ďDid he just turn his head there?Ē Oh man is it clear. More than just clear. More than just smooth. Itís an eerie feeling like I wasnít alone in the room.
    The next morning; I put on my wifeís favorite cable channel, soft rock for a couple hours. Then, Popís favorite, the country cannel. I think I could learn to like them now. Too bad that Pure Direct wonít work for the cable music. Iíll have to read my manual to see what Iím doing wrong there.
    Back to the CD-R and Pure mode. Bostonís Amanda seemed to envelope the room. The Eagles sounded better than ever. Kansas Leftoverature reminded me why I like that CD so much. But I got lost in the moment and forgot to take notes. Then some Stone Temple Pilots. Yes, Close to the Edge. The highs, the lows, the voices, the instruments, all sound very natural. Nothing is missing, and nothing overpowers the others. How many times can I say that they are clear and accurate?
    Then I put in Jefferson Airplane & Air Supply. More of the same results. Aerosmithís Dream On had all the excitement I remembered and more. How about some Ozzie? No More Tears rocks! I could hear every click and tick of the music box on the opening track. Ozzie offering the little girl some candy made me want to run to the schoolyard to pick up my little girl. And I donít even have a child!
    Next up, Nora Jones. WOW! Can I say smooth again? I could tell when she was smiling. This is crazy.
    OK, now comes the RUSH. CD number one is to be played loud. As I recall, the original LP said, ďFor best results, play at maximum volume. So I turned it up to -10db. I was not disappointed. When Working Man came on, I was yelling, ďGo Alex, go!Ē
    Then Billy Joel, The Stranger. The piano sounded better than Iíve ever heard it.
    Deep Purpleís Smoke on the water. Foreignerís Hot Blooded and Cold as Ice, The Cars, Pat Bennitar, Styx, Steve Miller, and Led Zeppelin all sounded fantastic. I have a whole new appreciation for Spira Gira as well.
    So, all and all, Iím very happy. Looking forward to the HT package to come out.

    So there it is guys and gals. Talk later. More listening to take place now.:ihih:
  • 07-28-2007, 02:06 PM
    GMichael
    5 Attachment(s)
    Oh, that's right...
    You wanted pics. I hope they come out alright.
  • 07-28-2007, 02:08 PM
    GMichael
    5 Attachment(s)
    They didn't come out too bad. Here are a few more.
  • 07-28-2007, 02:10 PM
    GMichael
    5 Attachment(s)
    Still more to come.
  • 07-28-2007, 02:12 PM
    GMichael
    5 Attachment(s)
    Had enough yet?
  • 07-28-2007, 02:13 PM
    GMichael
    3 Attachment(s)
    One last set.
  • 07-28-2007, 02:15 PM
    basite
    whoa, those speaks are shiny :)

    glad to hear you like them, thanks for the nice review you made there and may they bring you countless hours of joy :cornut:

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
  • 07-28-2007, 02:53 PM
    JohnMichael
    I can not get the photo's to open. They are unavailable to me. Suck! Mike unless speakers are voiced to be used with the grille cloths on they must go. The only speaker I ever owned that sounded right with the covers on was Bose 201s.

    I am glad you are pleased. When you buy something based on the opinions of others it is risky. I bought my new speakers on a whim while shopping for more expensive speakers and getting tired of the attitude. I of course did not invest as much as you but I know the joy of being pleased with your choice. I also know the joy of greater resolution and the music more true to life. Sounds like you made a good choice and invested wisely.

    Keep us posted as they break in, in the weeks to come. You may also find you will notice a difference in speaker cables.:idea:
  • 07-28-2007, 03:09 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    What can I say GM,

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Glad your pleased, I know the feeling well. Cheers

    Actually I can say something, they're hard to see with the pink paint :prrr:
  • 07-28-2007, 03:26 PM
    kexodusc
    GM, great to hear you're happy with your new toys. I felt the same way with some of my own gear in the past. It's not everyday we get new speakers, and there's a certain giddiness we all sorta get when we do. Enjoy these first few days.
    Damn, those are some pretty haut-parleurs (I'm in Montreal now and practising my french). Real pretty. Getting that rosewood finish with such a gloss ain't easy - trust me - I've tried, and tried, and tried.... Needless to say, I have a special appreciation for the work involved - those are not your typical assembly line speakers. I believe I read way back that av123 gets a woodshop/factory in South America to do a lot of their finishes. Them South Americans know their way around wood!

    I'm impressed with av123, IMO they offer the best sounding budget speaker in those little XLS bar none - Ascend and Axiom don't quite match the performance at higher prices - this coming from someone who owns product from 1 of the above. I hear they're great to deal with which goes a long way.

    It's great to see another entrant into the industry with some models that make a splash (however minor). When the bar in value and performance is raised, we all win.

    And might I say, damn fine choices in music to put those beasts through their paces. :D

    Not surprised that the sound took awhile to open up - I've taken measurements on some of my own drivers - big noticeable differences as late as even 30 minutes of 90 dB music. I'm sure it takes longer for them to completely conform to spec.

    Okay...I gotta say it...who picked the wall colors in your room, you or your wife??? :D
  • 07-28-2007, 03:26 PM
    SlumpBuster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Too bad that Pure Direct wonít work for the cable music. Iíll have to read my manual to see what Iím doing wrong there.

    I have the RX-1500. Make sure you have an analog signal going from your cable box to the receiver. If you only have a digital signal going in, pure direct will not recognize it, as you will be bypassing the Yammie's DAC.
  • 07-28-2007, 03:46 PM
    Feanor
    Congradulations, GM
    They look great and I'd love to hear them. Nothing like new toys, of course. :thumbsup:

    I'm looking forward to further you reviews as the burn in and you get used to them. I'd like to believe their great: they have lots of good "stuff" and would seem to promise great value.
  • 07-28-2007, 03:57 PM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I can not get the photo's to open. They are unavailable to me. Suck! Mike unless speakers are voiced to be used with the grille cloths on they must go. The only speaker I ever owned that sounded right with the covers on was Bose 201s.

    I am glad you are pleased. When you buy something based on the opinions of others it is risky. I bought my new speakers on a whim while shopping for more expensive speakers and getting tired of the attitude. I of course did not invest as much as you but I know the joy of being pleased with your choice. I also know the joy of greater resolution and the music more true to life. Sounds like you made a good choice and invested wisely.

    Keep us posted as they break in, in the weeks to come. You may also find you will notice a difference in speaker cables.:idea:

    Check here for pics.
    http://av123forum.com/showthread.php...d=1#post403597

    Thanks John.
  • 07-28-2007, 04:02 PM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    I have the RX-1500. Make sure you have an analog signal going from your cable box to the receiver. If you only have a digital signal going in, pure direct will not recognize it, as you will be bypassing the Yammie's DAC.

    I thought of that. But how will I get the 5.1 signals when watching the HD channels? Unless.... Does the box have 5.1 analog output too? I'll check!
    Thanks....
  • 07-28-2007, 04:05 PM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    GM, great to hear you're happy with your new toys. I felt the same way with some of my own gear in the past. It's not everyday we get new speakers, and there's a certain giddiness we all sorta get when we do. Enjoy these first few days.
    Damn, those are some pretty haut-parleurs (I'm in Montreal now and practising my french). Real pretty. Getting that rosewood finish with such a gloss ain't easy - trust me - I've tried, and tried, and tried.... Needless to say, I have a special appreciation for the work involved - those are not your typical assembly line speakers. I believe I read way back that av123 gets a woodshop/factory in South America to do a lot of their finishes. Them South Americans know their way around wood!

    I'm impressed with av123, IMO they offer the best sounding budget speaker in those little XLS bar none - Ascend and Axiom don't quite match the performance at higher prices - this coming from someone who owns product from 1 of the above. I hear they're great to deal with which goes a long way.

    It's great to see another entrant into the industry with some models that make a splash (however minor). When the bar in value and performance is raised, we all win.

    And might I say, damn fine choices in music to put those beasts through their paces. :D

    Not surprised that the sound took awhile to open up - I've taken measurements on some of my own drivers - big noticeable differences as late as even 30 minutes of 90 dB music. I'm sure it takes longer for them to completely conform to spec.

    Okay...I gotta say it...who picked the wall colors in your room, you or your wife??? :D

    Thanks Kex,

    Yeah, I like them very much. And that guy Mark over there seems very nice.

    I picked the living room color. But it's not really as pink as it looks in these pics. They are much darker into the maroon. But they do have a pinkish tint. I needed dark for the projector to work it's magic.
  • 07-28-2007, 04:16 PM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    They look great and I'd love to hear them. Nothing like new toys, of course. :thumbsup:

    I'm looking forward to further you reviews as the burn in and you get used to them. I'd like to believe their great: they have lots of good "stuff" and would seem to promise great value.

    Thanks Feanor. Stop by anytime.

    I'm sure they have more oppening up to do. Only have about 19 hours on them so far.
  • 07-28-2007, 04:18 PM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    What can I say GM,

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Glad your pleased, I know the feeling well. Cheers

    Actually I can say something, they're hard to see with the pink paint :prrr:

    Tanx,

    I'll have to take some pics without the flash so you guys can see the real color of these walls.
  • 07-28-2007, 04:32 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael


    Mike, hey friend I wanted to see the speakers and the link I clicked on just had a picture of a girl in a bikini. You know I am not happy.
  • 07-28-2007, 06:24 PM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Mike, hey friend I wanted to see the speakers and the link I clicked on just had a picture of a girl in a bikini. You know I am not happy.

    That's just my avatar. Give the other pics a minute to load. They're there. I swear.
  • 07-28-2007, 06:45 PM
    SlumpBuster
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    I thought of that. But how will I get the 5.1 signals when watching the HD channels? Unless.... Does the box have 5.1 analog output too? I'll check!
    Thanks....


    Nope. You should only need two cables connecting your cable box to the receiver. The digital 5.1 (and any digital 2.0 for that matter) will travel via a coaxial digital cable (I'm not aware of any cable boxes that have an optical digital output). Then just a regular RCA left/right cable for the analog signals. You won't need 5.1 analog since that will go through the digital coaxial. Then on the cable input on the back of the receiver you will hook up the analog. The digital coaxials are off the the right side of the panel. The reciever will automatically detect digital 5.1 signal if it is present and favor that signal. If you switch to pure direct, it will then favor the analog signal.

    Of course, the 2500 has very good DACs. Mine has better DACs than my CD player or (presumably) my cable box. So you may want that digital signal going in rather than the analog.

    In any event, getting new speakers is a good occasion to break out the owners manual and re-acquaint yourself with an old friend.
  • 07-28-2007, 06:48 PM
    SlumpBuster
    Oh, and before I forget... Air Supply?!?! Really?!?! That is almost as bad as my complete Juice Newton collection. You remember Juice - Just call me angel in the moring. Seriously, I use Juice Newton as good test/break-in material. So I guess Air Supply is okay.
  • 07-28-2007, 07:09 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    That's just my avatar. Give the other pics a minute to load. They're there. I swear.


    I found them on page 3. Nice speakers but I noticed you have friends on other web sites. Turns back to Mike and pouts.
  • 07-28-2007, 07:51 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    ..... (I'm not aware of any cable boxes that have an optical digital output).....

    FYI, my Motorola DCT6200 has both RCA digital and Optical outs. But then I'm in Canada
    so we may have different equipment up here.
  • 07-29-2007, 02:39 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    Oh, and before I forget... Air Supply?!?! Really?!?! That is almost as bad as my complete Juice Newton collection. You remember Juice - Just call me angel in the moring. Seriously, I use Juice Newton as good test/break-in material. So I guess Air Supply is okay.

    I hear ya. But the wife loves them. She's into all things that are lovey dovey. Maybe today I'll get to play some Barry Mannillo (sp).
  • 07-29-2007, 02:45 AM
    GMichael
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I found them on page 3. Nice speakers but I noticed you have friends on other web sites. Turns back to Mike and pouts.

    I have new friends and old friends. The new friends are silver. The old friends are gold.

    Here, these will make you feel better.