Optimus Pro LX5 Floorstanding Speakers

Pro LX5

5-in woofer, 2 4-in top mount dipole tweeters

User Reviews (112)

Showing 1-10 of 112  
Gary A Truex   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 21, 2008]
Strength:

Everything!
Great soundstage, clarity, no mid-bass booming

Weakness:

None

While getting to move, I was cleaning out the closet and got to looking two pair of damaged bookshelves gathering dust.
The Pro LX-5's woofer surrounds had rotted out and the cleaning lady's toddler had poked his fingers into the mono-pole tweeters of the Aura Sound LSB-527M's.
So, I thought, why not make one pair out of two?
The first hybred was done by mounting the LX-5's dipoles on the Aura's.
Nice sound, but somewhat insensitive without much dynamic quality.
Then the other way.
I had already lined the the LX-5's cabnet with Dynamat and I stuffed the poly from the Aura's in the small LX-5 enclosers. The Peerless woofers required some trimming to fit, but the cross-over screwed right in.
BINGO!!!
The results were mind-blowing! The sum of these parts are way better than either of the two original speakers.
I am croossing them over at 100Hz with the ports open and they play loud and strong down to my sub(X'ed at 80 Hz).
The purpose of this review on the now defunct LX-5(and other varients), is to prod others who have some lying around, is to do the mods listed here in the archives.
I don't think the Peerless woofers I'm using are available and wouldn't right for Larry Van Wormers cross-over anyhow. But with the correct Sea's woofer. these little 'diamonds in the rough", can become true gems.
My friends are truely amazed that such a Big Soun d can come from such small packages.

Similar Products Used: AR-6's
Infinity's with the Emit tweeters
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rhkwon   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 30, 2005]
Strength:

Awesome for HT. Simply the best for HT. And excellent for 2 channel, once biwired and properly placed.

Weakness:

Boominess if not hooked up/tuned correctly. Heavy heavy heavy!

OK boys, I bought these about a year ago and had always wanted one ever since reading Julian Hirsch's review in Stereo Review. He raved and raved about the speakers. I finally was able to find and buy a pair. Well, for over a year I found the speakers to be horrible for 2 channel but awesome for HT. The fact that I had a very small living room did'nt help matters. For 2 channel, the bass was boomy, the highs were very soft and the midrange was lacking. It was too the point that I dialed the bass down on the receiver to the 0 and dial down the sub levels just to clean up the boominess. I had them hooked up to a 1997 Yamaha HT receiver. Even after hooking them up to an old NAD 7600, they still sounded awful. Well, the secret to making these babies do what they are supposed to do is to bi or even tri wire them. I went the biwire route and man the difference is between night and day. Gone is the boominess. The highs are much clearer and crisper and that awful muddiness is gone! I am so ecstatic. I was at the point that I thought I might just sell these off but now I know what Julian Hirsch was talking about. Still, I don't know how he could rave about them because he had them hooked up the normal way to a regular receiver. Regardles, hook these up with the subs facing outward, give them plenty of space away from the walls, place them far apart and BIWIRE these suckers and they will reward you!

Similar Products Used: McIntosh older speakers.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
rhkwon   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 13, 2004]
Strength:

linaeum tweeter obviously

Weakness:

no bass, no midrange, flat response.

After reading all the reviews I thought I had to give these a shot. Well, I don't think these speakers live up to all the rave reviews. The tweeter is nice but there is no bass, no midrange and overall the sound seems weak. It seems like these speakers need lots of power. The soundstage the tweeters produce is very nice. It was quite thrilling to hear them for the first time. Very airy quality to them. However, after a while, you begin to notice how flat the speaker sounds. Anyway, in its oem state, it is just a so so cheap speaker. Does'nt really sound that much better than the pro77's.

Similar Products Used: def techs, mcintosh ml1's, xr6, nht
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
stephenj   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 04, 2003]
Strength:

Size, reasonable build quality, simlicity, value, treble.

Weakness:

Limited bass, can lack depth (but plenty of width)

Amazed at these little speakers, especially at the price. Sure they have limited and honky bass and a rather jagged midrange but the treble can be exquisite. Nothing else I have heard in their price range ever came close. So I have tried to modify them along Larry van Wormers reccomendations. First step was to change the stock bass unit for a SEAS MP14RCY - result; much smoother but NO BASS WHATSOEVER below 250Hz (units tested by suppliers and fr measured on their rig). I am now loathe to even tackle the crossover mods. I've read on this site that others have done exactly what I have done and others modified the crossover too. Has anyone had a similar experience ?

Similar Products Used: Nothing really similar but have run Quad EL57s, Maggie 2.5rs and now an elctrostatic hybrid, Cadence Aninas.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Douwe de Vries   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2003]
Strength:

very good at medium and high frequencies. after modding comparable with Quad's

Weakness:

bass. needs a sub

I bought two of them 3 years ago for $50 each when my quad's died. (the quad's lived for 20 years and at that time i didn't have the money to buy Quad's again.) Modified these heavily. (Larry van Wormers mod, better wiring, better damping, crossover outside the speaker in aseparate box, plugged ports, removed the grills and put a felt pad under the tweeters (total of $70 a speaker) . Combined with a good sub these are excellent speakers.(I use the Audiopro B2.27 ). with Quad 33 amplifier it's an amazing sound. Bought another 4 for multi-channel (SACD) system. Have to mod these to , but it is worth it!!!

Similar Products Used: Quad ESL55, Yamaha ns-w1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
davidsky   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 19, 2003]
Strength:

Sweet,detailed sound with high frequency instruments.(violin,harmonica,sax) Cheap price

Weakness:

Muddy,confused sound with mid and low frequency instruments (acoustic guitar,orchestras)

Mediocre speaker with some excellent qualities. Very low price for it's sound. To give an example of its sound; Solo violins, harmonica, electric guitar, female voices all sound exquisite. Acoustic guitar, large orchestras, deep male voices all are horrible. This is due to a tweeter that is worth being on a >$1000 ea speaker and a woofer and enclosure design that belong in a crappy boombox.(To be fair it is the best built speaker at Radio Shack). Good at reproducing voices in movies. No bass response at all. Definitely need a sub.

Similar Products Used: Boston Acoustics A60
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
vrogers   AudioPhile [Dec 30, 2002]
Strength:

Detail and imaging.

Weakness:

Ported enclosure

After several years of reading the rave reviews of these speakers, I decided to purchase a pair. Making the trip to my local Radio Shack revealed that the Pro LX-5 was no longer available and the current model Pro LX-550 has taken it's place. Fair warning - right out of the box the pair I purchased sounded horrible and required a break in period of about 40 hours. The lower midrange/upper bass had a congestion that skewed imaging and made familiar vocalist sound foriegn. I broke the speakers in by running them full range (without sub) at moderate volume levels while I was at work. After a full week, the imaging started opening up and the midrange was not so congested and colored. I have now had the opprtunity to live with these guys for about 90 days and use them with all kinds of source material. I've also used them with tube and solid state amplifiers (NAD C270 and 2 AVA Super 70's bridged). You can listen to these speakers and follow each instrument thoughout the recording. Not a small feat for a $75ea speaker. The image is open and wide, but isn't as deep as some. Sometimes these little guys will exhibit a midrange coloration I can only describe as "canned". I believe this is due to the plastic baffle, aluminum enclosure, and front port (maybe an inch deep into the enclosure). Using them without a subwoofer seemed to make this coloration more pronounced. Tube amplification, known for it's warm midrange did not help. The main weakness of this speaker is the ported enclosure design. I think it could be improved with dampening materials, but I doubt it could be improved over a sealed enclosure with an appropriately matched 5" driver. I find it difficult to believe that the engineers would trade off an uncolored midrange for the questionable low frequency extension offered by a ported 5" driver! I think this speaker offers terrific value to the price, and I've auditioned other speakers at 3 times the price that do not offer the detail and imaging of these. In a side-by-side comparison with a pair of 15 year old Spica TC-50's they did remarkably well, but the midrange colorations prevent them from offering true "high end" performance. Opening the cabinet revealed a 6db/oct high and low pass x-over circuit of good quality. Dampening foam was on one side and the back of the cabinet. Hookup cable was modest and used spade connectors. Modification plans: Hardwire good hookup wire and stuff cabinets with audio wool.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Mark   AudioPhile [Jul 19, 2002]
Strength:

The Optimus LX-5 is a good bargain speaker for the "sale" price of $150 a pair, or less if found used. A person with limited resources could listen to these for years with enjoyment and learn a lot about music while saving to buy something better.

Weakness:

Here's the rub: as with all "bargain" speakers, they sound best with good electronics feeding them. I tried them last night with a Sony CD player, a B&K Pro 10 preamp, and the venerable old B&K ST-140 stereo amplifier, and the Optimus LX-5 speakers sounded terrific! However, most people will probably try to drive them with an inexpensive receiver, and the LX-5's are just good enough to make a cheap receiver sound truly awful.

I picked up two pair used, along with their Center Channel speaker, for a little over $200. Surprising quality for the price. Yes, the Linaeum tweeters are excellent for under-$500 speakers. The bass response is better than expected. In a direct comparison with Polk Monitor 4's (from the mid-1980s), the LX-5 easily sounded better overall and more articulate, which was not what I expected.

Similar Products Used: Proac Extended Bass Studio Speakers, Vandersteen 4's, Genesis III's, Rogers Studio 1A's, Rogers LS3/5A, Polk Monitor 4, Polk Monitor 5 (priced from $200 a pair to $6300 a pair -- not exactly a fair co
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jay   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 17, 2002]
Strength:

That super tweeter, modest price, good build quality.

Weakness:

Sloppy crossover, dull, mismatched woofer, having a front port in attempt to gain bass when case is too small for woofer in the first place, ugly out-of-proportion industrial appearance, dumb RCA label.

Being bored with my "house brand" JBL L-100 knock-offs, I decided it was time for a change to a modern sub/sat combo. On the strength of many reviews and recommendations, I went to RS and listened to the Lx-55's. They didn't sound good but I chalked that up to their being on the bottom shelf next to the floor in a busy store. I bought them anyway, along with an SW-14 sub in the Spring of 2001 when RS (in my area) had run out of the older label and began getting in products with the RCA label. Upon getting them home, I set them up and realized immediately that I had made a mistake. They just didn't sound good. The lows and mids were dull and awkwardly voiced. The sub, which crosses over at 250 hz interferes and smears the low end further. Some of this could be abated by turning up the volume. These definitely sound better louder, although that wasn't always an option in my two room apartment. The 5 in. woofers were not realy up to my long, narrow listening room. I thought that they would sound better after "breaking-in". They didn't, so I don't believe in "breaking -in" anymore. If they sound crummy off the bat, they always will! Even so, there was a bright spot, that superb tweeter. It sounded so clear and lovely. I thought it pealed, like a bell, when the music called for it. Not knowing, nor being told of RS's return policy, I thought I was stuck with them. After living with them for the better part of a year, I ran across Larry Van Wormer modification site. He recommended extensively modifying everything but the tweeter, which if followed would effectively double the price of these speakers. I didn't want to do that, but did do two of his cheap and easily reversible tweaks--stuffing the cabinet with polyfill and plugging the port. This made a great difference to my ears and would recommend it as a good $3 start to fixing what ails these speakers. In short, I would say that the strength of these Lx-55's begins and ends with that super tweeter. The rest is just plain mediocre Ratshack. I've often wondered why RS didn't make a bigger speaker with a 6.5 in woofer and Linaeum tweeter in a proper case....something like an upsized Minimus 7. THAT would really show what a good, inexpensive bookshelf speaker could be. As they are though, there are better budget bookshelves out there.

Similar Products Used: Ratshack Minimus-7's, NHT Zero's.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Greg   AudioPhile [May 31, 2002]
Strength:

Large, dynamic, spacious sound from a relatively small enclosure.

Bought a pair of LX-55 for the clearance price of $50 each (regularly $150), expecting only about as much as I'd read about them in Stereophile: High-end quality mid & treble, though not much in the bass department. Well, imagine my surprise when I heard bass like I'd never heard from a 5" woofer (using a 2-foot run of 12g wire and a 10w mono tube amp for each speaker probably helps)... This is a spare system in my home office, and I'm thinking it belongs in the livingroom - rich, full, lifelike sound from about anything I play throught this setup... Ok, now for the reason I'm entering this "review"... I brought home a pair of the LX-55's replacements, the LX-550, with the new Kevlar woofer (on sale for 1/2 price; $75 each). In comparing the two, I found that the 550 seems to have a bit more zip in the treble, and a bit more boom in the bass, neither which has improved this speaker in any way - as a matter of fact, it simply does not sound as neutral and lifelike, but more atuned, I'm afraid, to its primary intended audience, home theater installations. This makes sense I guess, due to what I had read concerning the LX-55's limited power-handling capability and its tendency to distort during loud bass passages, both items improved upon with the Kevlar woofer in the LX-550, but some of the predecessor's finesse has been subtracted as a result. It's still quite a speaker for $75, but I do think a step backwards was taken in terms of overall sound "quality"...

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 112  

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