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Article: Review | Heavenly Soundworks FIVE17


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@bobfaThanks so much for the informative review.
Hope you have a lot of fun with the FIVE17's.

It's so refreshing to see home audio catching up to Pro-audio, and adding much needed features on top.
More inputs, loudness settings for lower SPL, WAF, full frequency response etc.

On top, 
Heavenly Soundworks even offers us info on off Axis Frequency Response etc.
Kudos!

PS.
I'm known for favouring Pro-audio and specifically Genelec's co-axial SAM series, as it does better for less.
However, I'm not blind for the challenges a typical home audio user faces with incorporating Pro monitors in their system.
Here, Heavenly Soundworks along with Buchardt, Dutch and Dutch, Dynaudio and others increasingly offer "the best of both worlds".
And realistically, there should only be one world, as our needs (and ears) are generally the same.


So Kudos indeed!!!

ALAC/FLAC 16/44 - 24/192 stereo/surround on Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt ->
MacBook Pro -> Firewire -> Weiss AFI-1 DDC -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub

iPhone SE 2 -> Philips Fidelio X2 or Sennheiser PXC 550 on BT
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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Bob-

Glad you seem to have found something you are happy with. Maybe this is "it" for you.

But a couple of your comments are a bit misleading:

 

With the Kii Control, you don't usually need to manually switch inputs on the Kii Three. You use a remote control.

The only manual switching needed is if you want to use AES digital and then switch to XLR analog (or the reverse).

If you are using  digital inputs other than AES, and XLR analog inputs, no manual switching needed. Same if all your inputs are digital- no manual switching. 

The 8c sell for about $12500 a pair in the US. So not really 50% more than the HS.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, firedog said:

Bob-

Glad you seem to have found something you are happy with. Maybe this is "it" for you.

But a couple of your comments are a bit misleading:

 

With the Kii Control, you don't usually need to manually switch inputs on the Kii Three. You use a remote control.

The only manual switching needed is if you want to use AES digital and then switch to XLR analog (or the reverse).

If you are using  digital inputs other than AES, and XLR analog inputs, no manual switching needed. Same if all your inputs are digital- no manual switching. 

The 8c sell for about $12500 a pair in the US. So not really 50% more than the HS.

This has been a lot of fun. 

 

With the FIVE17 you do not need to use a remote to switch inputs the nCORE modules do it automatically.  That is what I am talking about.  Fine point...

 

You are correct on the 8C pricing I should have said 25%....

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Great review @bobfa, well done. Very detailed and informative comparisons between all the speakers.

I also had a chance to listen and compare Kii Threes and D&D 8Cs side by side and your findings are very much inline with mine.

I think I know exactly what you mean about the bass of FIVE17. I have a pair of big ATC actives and they sound just like that.  A lot of people, who are not familiar with the ATC sound, generally tend to find the ATCs to be bass shy, as they sound different. In my experience, this is not true at all, if there's enough bass on the recording my big ATCs will reproduce very accurately and convincingly.
From reading between the lines I think FIVE17s produce similar bass. I would love to hear them myself one day.
Well done again and enjoy them!

Audirvana+3.0 / Qobuz Studio / Mac Mini (256GB SSD - 16GB RAM)

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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@mevdinc I have not heard any of the larger ATC monitors.  All of these speakers have a “flavor” to them.  

 

There is so much to learn from listening to them.  The looks are part of the equation too.  A balancing act when placed in the living space of a family.  What has also been fun is working around the speakers to improve the sound quality.  

 

I think I am getting closer to the right mix of things.  At least I hope I am.

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Great review, I found it most helpful.  I used to be really into high end audio back in the 80s and 90s but I could never find that elusive  perfect combination of components. and have been out of it for almost 20 years. I'm just starting to get the bug again but all the new technologies, room correction and brands I've never heard of are very daunting. The combination of active speakers with built in AD and DA conversion as well as room correction makes these types of solutions very appealing. I just worry that this is such rapidly evolving tech that if I buy in now I'll have regrets in a short time when the next "game changer" comes along. I don't want to get back on that treadmill of buying, selling and trading in equipment that caused me to become disillusioned and leave the high end audio scene. 

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29 minutes ago, Cadguy said:

I just worry that this is such rapidly evolving tech that if I buy in now I'll have regrets in a short time when the next "game changer" comes along. I don't want to get back on that treadmill of buying, selling and trading in equipment that caused me to become disillusioned and leave the high end audio scene. 

 

I wouldn't fuss about it ... what's happening is that the products which get most things right are getting cheaper and cheaper - I would buy a unit at the bottom end of the cost range, that is satisfactory to you; and then wait til the next generation of design emerges - and repeat, 🙂. You will get excellent value for money results, and won't regret that particular purchase, when you move on.

 

It's all about designers understanding how to refine product now; they're on a learning curve, and buying a more expensive unit from them most likely won't gain much, at any particular point in time.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

The one thing to keep in mind is that all systems that sound great when purchased, don’t sound worse when new equipment is released. They are just as great on year 10 as they were on year 1. 

Chris etal.

 

 I am very susceptible to G.A.S. or maybe FOMO. I am an experimenter and I love playing with all kinds of gear.

 

 I have recently accelerated my  process of FINISHING my whole House listening system.   The first key was the music server, the second was getting all the extra gear out of the the house from closing my business.  I did go a little sideways there but I am happy with where I landed on the speakers.    I still need a DAC for the living room system and that is in the works next.

 

There is a lot in motion, what you do not see are the things that are stable.

 

I have several pieces of equipment that I have had for multiple years.  Chord Mojo,  SE535 IEM, HD800 headphones.  My little Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB DAC is so much fun.  The Meridian Explorer+ USB MQA DAC.  

 

Then there is my ROTEL amp and preamp from 10 years ago or more. They are waiting for just the right "vintage" speakers someday, and for the basement cleaning project to finish.

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The cabinet is beautiful!  I like antique furniture.  Who is the manufacturer?

RIG:  MB Pro - Benchmark DAC3 L - LA4  AHB2 | Paradigm Sig S6 Cables:  Van Damme, Canare 4S11, Lifatec optical, Wireworld and IsoTek power

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Thanks for the great review, bobfa. 

 

I've always been hesitant to invest in active speakers. I'm starting to rethink though. I've always been convinced you get the pair of speakers that give you the sound you want with the amp/pre that you want and/or can afford, then you start playing with various combos from there. In other words, you can change your amp within a brand or beyond. Guess that's now old school? With DSP, room correction, etc? You can shape the sounds as you like? No more worry about A A/B, D, tube, solid state....? 

 

I have a lot to learn. 

 

Thank you!

JJinPDX

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10 minutes ago, JJinPDX said:

Thanks for the great review, bobfa. 

 

I've always been hesitant to invest in active speakers. I'm starting to rethink though. I've always been convinced you get the pair of speakers that give you the sound you want with the amp/pre that you want and/or can afford, then you start playing with various combos from there. In other words, you can change your amp within a brand or beyond. Guess that's now old school? With DSP, room correction, etc? You can shape the sounds as you like? No more worry about A A/B, D, tube, solid state....? 

 

I have a lot to learn. 

 

Thank you!

I always had trouble matching the gear to the speakers.  It was interesting to me 30 years ago!  I have still been experimenting but at different parts of the chain.   What I am doing now is simplifying the whole design, reducing complexity, and working to make it so anyone in the house can use the system.  

 

 

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On 2/13/2021 at 10:10 AM, bobfa said:

Chris etal.

 

 I am very susceptible to G.A.S. or maybe FOMO. I am an experimenter and I love playing with all kinds of gear.

 

 I have recently accelerated my  process of FINISHING my whole House listening system.   The first key was the music server, the second was getting all the extra gear out of the the house from closing my business.  I did go a little sideways there but I am happy with where I landed on the speakers.    I still need a DAC for the living room system and that is in the works next.

 

There is a lot in motion, what you do not see are the things that are stable.

 

I have several pieces of equipment that I have had for multiple years.  Chord Mojo,  SE535 IEM, HD800 headphones.  My little Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB DAC is so much fun.  The Meridian Explorer+ USB MQA DAC.  

 

Then there is my ROTEL amp and preamp from 10 years ago or more. They are waiting for just the right "vintage" speakers someday, and for the basement cleaning project to finish.

So you are looking for a roon ready network attached DAC or planning to use the Node as Streamer? 

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Just now, Rexp said:

So you are looking for a roon ready network attached DAC or planning to use the Node as Streamer? 

None of the above.  My server has remote USB ports.  I am just chasing a USB DAC.  The Node is for services that Roon does not provide such as Spotify and a couple of others I use.  I can also use the Node with Roon.  

 

 

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Updates from the Victrola

 

 

 I am slowly getting my system under control.  I have dialed in on my strategy, the server, the speakers, and I am working on the DAC selection.  

I have been using an iPad as the control point for Roon in my system.   A few weeks ago, John Darko did a video using a touch screen display on a NUC running Windows as his control point.  That has been in my mind for a while.  I had a spare NUC in the lab that I thought might work rather well.   I wouldn't say I liked the display that Darko used, so with a little research, I found the ViewSonic TD2455.  ViewSonic has a series of touch screen monitors that have a flexible folding stand. The stand provides stable support for touching the display!

 

https://www.viewsonic.com/touch/

 

 

During the setup of the NUC, I had the idea to use it as another Audio source.  I connected the Mutec MC-3 USB to the NUC and ran the AES output to the FIVE17 Speakers, eliminating the Chromecast Audio's need.  The world of Internet Audio is now a touch away.

 

IMG_0163.thumb.jpeg.aae2ba81330d99e1749cd3e452f230d7.jpeg

 

Does this eliminate the need for the BlueSound Node 2i?  I am not sure yet.

 

 

Here are a couple of time-lapse videos demonstrating how this works:

 

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I'm missing something: why a touch screen if it across the room from you?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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