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General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

Orion- Aesthetics and Electronics

One of my personal gripes about audio, particularly high end audio, is the proliferation of behemoth speakers, some of which look like they could grace a Star Wars set or or just flat butt ugly. These speakers demand dedicated listening rooms because no one would have these speakers in their living rooms.

My other gripe about high end audio is that the typical high end store will tell you that your $20k speakers needs another $20k in amps, preamps and cables to sound good.

The Orion addresses both of these issues. By high end standards, this is a very attractive speaker. It's small compared to most high end speakers I've seen. This is not some massive speaker that is going to dominate the room no matter what you do. What struck me about Don's speakers is that you can do a lot to make them blend into the room's decor. Don's speakers are gray which matches the grays in the room. As a result, the speakers blend in with the room and don't call attention to themselves (It may cost a little more, but I'm sure SL's woodworker will make these speakers in whatever color combo you like). This speaker can fit into one's living environment. Don's wife uses the back of the speakers to hold plants!!! Some may call that sacrilege, I call it great. In the Orion, SL is making a statement that high end sound can blend in with one's living environment (Granted, the Orion's size is due to the fact it is a dipole, but the Orion makes you wonder why there aren't more dipoles on the market).

Second, we all know the standard rule of thumb: spend about 50% of your budget on the speakers and the rest for electronics. Then we spend countless hours auditioning speaker/amp combos or pick speakers and go thru the ritual of trying to find the right synergy between electronics and the speaker. SL has done most of this work for you and the electronics are downright dirt cheap by high end standards. This is NOT a $6500 speaker that needs another $6500 in electronics. The recommended amp for the Orion is around $1500 and is included in the $6500 price tag (this also show one inherent advantage of active speakers: they usually don't need expensive amps). Cabling is either included or is nominal in price: no speaker cable costing hundreds of dollars. How many questions do we see here about what cables/amps goes with this or that speaker? I know I spent years trying to discover the right driver/amp combo for my speakers.

This is a small attractive high end design that doesn't need the usual investment in associated electronics to sound great. Best of all, SL has worked out most of the synergy issues for you.

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Topic - Orion- Aesthetics and Electronics - ccd 08:17:07 09/01/03 (6)

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