LX MINI...Yes?? No??

Ok guys help to decide. I have been wanting to try some LX Minis for awhile now but have been hesitant. A lot of hype, it seems, out there on these. Like there something fantastic or completely new. Not sure what to think. Would like to here from some people that have tried them. Main issue is I wonder if they will sound like small bookshelves. I have been using Maggies for about 7-8 years now and they are a big sound. Let me know if it's worth pursuing.
 

tomchr

Member
Paid Member
2009-02-11 12:58 am
Calgary
www.neurochrome.com
Good question. The LXmini will set you back around $500 in materials plus a weekend's worth of work. A pair of KEF LS-50 can be had for maybe $750-800 on sale. Controlled directivity of the KEF vs omni+dipole for the LXmini.

My main speakers used to be the LXmini. They were a significant step up from the KRK R6 bookshelves/monitors they replaced. I used Baltic birch 13-ply plywood for the wood bits and fashioned some Delrin risers to hold the tweeter tube on the LXmini. I like how they turned out. Most who heard them, including me, were amazed by how good they sounded. I certainly found them much better than a typical bookshelf speaker.

That said, I think the power response in the LXmini could be better, but with a good amp, the LXmini can certainly shine.

I now rock a pair of KEF R700 that I found on closeout at a good discount. Comparing those to the LXmini is like night and day, but the KEF are also considerably more expensive. That said, you can have a lot of the R700 by getting the LS-50, which isn't that much more than the LXmini.

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs.

That said, if you're interested in building the LXmini and would like to use my Delrin risers for the tweeter tube, I still have a few left that I'm willing to part with. PM me if interested.
Also, my Modulus amps are excellent for the LXmini. Mine were driven by a 4-channel Modulus-86. I'd probably go Modulus-286 on the 4 Ω driver if I was to build the amp again.

Tom
 

Attachments

  • LXminiFamily.jpg
    LXminiFamily.jpg
    494.3 KB · Views: 772
  • LXminiFront.jpg
    LXminiFront.jpg
    254 KB · Views: 759
  • LXminiSide2.jpg
    LXminiSide2.jpg
    257.2 KB · Views: 753
Tomchr, so I'm looking at these for there omni design and if that makes them something special. If you compare them to just standard bookshelves as point sources basically then I'm not interested. I understand them to be excellent at imaging. I would also use them with a 8-10" sub to fill out the low end.
 

tomchr

Member
Paid Member
2009-02-11 12:58 am
Calgary
www.neurochrome.com
Tomchr, so I'm looking at these for there omni design and if that makes them something special. If you compare them to just standard bookshelves as point sources basically then I'm not interested.

I'm not quite sure how to interpret that. Why would my point of comparison drive your interest in the LXmini?
The KEF LS-50 is not a "standard bookshelf" by any stretch of imagination. It's a controlled directivity speaker. You can convince yourself pretty easily of this by typing "KEF LS-50 directivity measurements" into Google.

Also, all speakers will be omnidirectional at low enough frequencies where the speaker is acoustically small. What I think makes the LXmini a bit unique is that it goes from omni in the bass to a dipole mid/tweeter. Unlike, say, the LX521.4 that is dipole in the bass as well.

I understand them to be excellent at imaging. I would also use them with a 8-10" sub to fill out the low end.

The LXmini does certainly image much better than your typical bookshelf speaker (I know, I used that term again!!) That said, the imaging of the R700 is much, much better. The imaging of the LX521.4 is a bit worse than the R700, in my view/experience.

If you do add a mumble box to the LXmini, I suggest looking at Davey's Sub on OPLUG. It's a dipole sub based on a long-throw 10" (I think) driver. Pretty nice.

I doubt you'll find a better speaker at the $500 price point of the LXmini. That said, I think better speakers can be had if you're willing to spend a few hundred more (and get over your small box = bookshelf aversion :)). This also assumes that you either a) don't put a value on your time or b) enjoy building speakers.

As for the controlled directivity vs dipole: It's basically two ways of accomplishing the same goal. The dipole speakers emit no sound to the sides (-> no wall bounces) and "good sound" front and back. When placed correctly, you can make your ear/brain combo ignore the reflections of the back wave. Thus, you mainly hear the direct wave from the speaker.
A controlled directivity speaker is designed such that it mainly emits sound within a cone that's typically ±60º laterally and maybe ±30º vertically. As result, if you're within this cone, you'll hear good sound.

The LXmini amps don't have to be the same. They don't even have to be the same gain, though that does make things easier. You can always make up for gain variations in the digital XO. If you're planning to use the analog XO, you're better off with all amplifier channels having the same gain.

Tom
 
Last edited:
Ok thanks. That is much more info for me to go by. Really looking for a speaker project that is a little out of the ordinary. I have many other speakers laying around so not like the last speaker I will ever own. So I already have the minidsp. So if you buy the instructions does it come with the algorithms for the mini? Do you just hand program them?
 
Ok thanks. That is much more info for me to go by. Really looking for a speaker project that is a little out of the ordinary. I have many other speakers laying around so not like the last speaker I will ever own. So I already have the minidsp. So if you buy the instructions does it come with the algorithms for the mini? Do you just hand program them?

You download the minidsp settings from the Linkwitz support page. You can also (on the dedicated forum) find plans for simple 10" sealed-box woofers to fortify the low end.

The speakers are very nice. Mine are not currently being used, but I found a deal on some Synergy speakers that I could not pass up.
 

cconger

Member
2013-08-09 8:39 pm
If you are used to Maggies you may well love the LXminis.
IF you do not listen super loudly and IF you can properly integrate a decent sub or two and IF you are willing to carefully set them up then the LX minis are very close to the best speakers many have every heard.
I would say they are on par with Revel Studio IIs though they sound a lot more like real non amplified music to my ears. I have the KEfs mentioned and have given them the same care and feeding they sound very good but not like live music.

To put this simply when you get it even close to right the speakers pretty much cease to be there. You hear only music that appears as close as the plane of the speakers and as far back as maybe 15ft. It also extends beyond the sides of the speakers by maybe 10ft in my room. On many recording you also hear height. There is little to no sound identifiable as coming from the speakers- pretty mind blowing to me.

Most other good speakers sound very HIFI, impressive, but less like real music.
I listen to live un-amplfied music weekly as a reference. This both classical as well as acoustic folk and country.
Now that is a lot of IFs I know, but if you are able to do this you will be incredibly well rewarded.

Tom is right about subs that are not correct integrated can be called mumble boxes. Also true of many speakers with big woofers. This is the case MOST of the time.

To do it right is not trivial. Takes me about there months of measurements and listening to get it right. Most rooms require some Low frequency treatment AND all require careful EQ.

One final comment, bi-amped speakers seem to put a lot fewer demands on power amps and cables. While on a normal passive xover speaker i can easily hear differences in amp/ speakers/cables but on the LXmini speakers the differences are very subtle. Even an inexpensive Emotiva 4 channel or greater works great.
 
Last edited:

cconger

Member
2013-08-09 8:39 pm
You can start with the setup the owners manual gives a link to BUT they will not sound anywhere near as good as the can sound. Many of the initial equalizations given are not correct for the 3 pairs of speakers I have helped to set up. Specifically the EQ above 10KHz is totally wrong.
That is a big reason for the comment Lojzek makes. But start as the manual describes then go to the forum tubesguy suggests. There is special section for owners only that has lots of good ideas.

Once again these are not speakers for someone who just wants to hook them up and listen.
I am a speaker/ designer builder since the late 60's. i have designed about 35 unique pairs of speakers. I am a EE by training. I get as much fun out of deigning and optimizing system as I do listening to music.

You can find people who will let you listen on Linkwitz.com. If you happen to be in CA listening sessions are held 4-5 times per year in Linkwitz old home! These are hosted by Siegfrieds widow and by Frank, a very nice fellow from Germany who has taken over the business and offers the LX in both kit and built forms.
 
Last edited:

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
The one with the Seas SL midbass. The little fullrange still wasn't great (over-damped), but overall I preferred the result of the monopole vs the LX mini's open (and larger) fullrange driver.

I always thought he went in the wrong direction. Should have been high freq.s as omni and as you move down the midrange: dipole (through to the bass).
 

comickitkit

Member
2013-12-03 11:52 pm
I am building Pi3-->I2S-->FIFO-->I2S-->minisharc-->I2Sx3-->FIFOx3-->IanDACx3
All lifepo4 batteries supplies and streaming from TIDAL and ROON (Intel NUC) to LXmin with Sub.

my 2 cents (even myself don't believe before try): I added capacitance multipliers on Router and internet box provided by service provider. The sound quality improved. People may say the computer, router only playing role for 0101 signal, better power supply will not change digital signal. But to skip all switching power supply on my system is quite good way to improve sound quality.

Lxmini experience: very good bass and stable sound image. Don't hesitate to buy a better amp for 4 or 6 channels. If the listening room get big enough for LX521 breathing , go straight to it.
 
Last edited:
What I think makes the LXmini a bit unique is that it goes from omni in the bass to a dipole mid/tweeter.

The speaker response is omni at lows, transitioning to monopole at highs with transitioning cardioid in between.
There is no dipole behaviour when both the drivers combine. The 6khz rear response mentioned by SL is a very small bandwidth and sufficiently down down as compared to front radiation.