So I have had them for a month now and being in lockdown they have had a lot of use, here are my thoughts.
Source: Rega RP6, Sonos Port into SN DAC, Apple TV
Amp: Superaint 1 with Hicap
Second (office system): KEF LSX on stands with Tidal (I reckon these are the future)
Why did I replace? I was sick of looking at the speakers (I am honest!) and the Orange L100 totally grabbed my interest, plus the wife loved them.
Old speakers: Spendor s5e and REL Stampede Sub. Mini overview: super smooth sounding speakers, never ever sounded bad with anything, I really had no issues with the sound, great at lower volumes and never begged to be loud. In hindsight, maybe lacking some dynamics
Demo of L100: Minimal. Price paid VERY competitive.
Music tastes: Trip-hop, acoustic guitar, female singers, electronic. Generally bassy and chilled.
So how do they sound? Let me do my best without too much Hifi jargon.
From the outset, they sound huge. Soundstage is massive, I haven’t really experienced this before with music coming far to the left and right. My room is about 10m x 5m, previously the music came from the hifi area, now it fills every cm of the room. You absolutely feel like you are in the music. Downside – even at the same volume levels, it seems to be more difficult to have a conversation – this is hard to explain, almost a live sound/feeling. I even got the db meter out and compared to the LSX, same listening level and a totally different experience. They always sound louder than they are and always sound better just a little bit louder. Spendors never reacted like this.
You can also feel the music, and I don’t mean thumping bass. It raises the hairs on your arms – maybe down to the fact it is moving so much air in comparison? No idea but it does.
Bass, in my OP I eluded to a concern about a lack of bass extension. My Stampede could reproduce 20hz with a sealed 8 inch enclosure (and I’ve tested this). L100’s 40hz with 2x 12 inch ported units (also tested). But I am not missing it at all, as per above – you can feel it a lot more now – not just audible. The bass is also tauter and faster and sounds pretty fabulous.
Speed/dynamics/urgency. I was expecting something a bit lazy tbh – which would have been fine with my style of music . This was just perception based on old school boxes and honking great 12 inch drivers, reggae sound system style. But no, they are as dynamic and snappy as anything I have heard – together with the feel they create it is quite an experience. My wife keep commenting how it just makes her foot tap.
Build quality – no complaints, big walnut boxes, weigh about 30kg each on the JBL stands. Directly in front they sound better slightly angled in, but I found this sounded a bit muddled in other parts of the room which was solved having them straight. I even had a play with the dials, god forbid – no major change off standard for me.
TV/Movies – quite immersive, with the S5e I also ditched my AV2/NAP175, centre and surrounds, which I am not going to claim that stereo can really compete – perform really quite well. The boys (3&5) haven’t complained about the 100hrs of paw patrol they have watched. Oh and you have never seen a 5yrs face light up in the way his did when we heard Nirvana for the first time
In short, they look fantastic, sound quite incredible though a little in your face and totally rubbish at background music.