|Leon Horizon LCR-515-A On-wall LCR Speaker|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers On-wall Loudspeakers|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Thursday, 01 March 2007|
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Music and Movies
I first turned to some audio with the Allman Brothers Band’s Eat a Peach (Mercury/Universal). The opening song “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” is a classic track full of slide guitar and piano, with loads of dynamics to reproduce. The Leon LCR-515-A reproduced the slide guitar with a chesty sound, and the lower midrange and upper bass had a boxy and hollow nature to them. The highs were clear and smooth, but the lower end of Gregg Allman’s voice exhibited the same shortcomings as the slide guitar. Moving onto “One Way Out,” I found a similar quality to the sound.
I integrated a subwoofer in an attempt to ameliorate this issue, but even crossing over the sub at 250 Hz failed to offload the problematic frequencies from the LCR speaker. When I turned up the volume, the sound compressed and the boxy nature of the sound increased. There was little spatial separation, no matter where I positioned myself or how I altered the angle of the speaker on the wall. I rechecked the connections to the speaker, which were correct, and carefully tested each individual speaker (L/C/R) to insure each was working properly; all drivers in all speakers were functioning correctly. “Melissa” was less demonstrative of this issue than the other tracks on this CD, but still sounded hollow. The highs were clear and had only the slightest of edge to them, but the lower end again had the boxy characteristic I found earlier.
Not to let a single album sway me, I turned to Keb' Mo’s Just Like You (OKEH/Epic) on SACD to see if the LCR-515-A just didn’t agree with Southern rock. When I cued up the first track, “That’s Not Love,” I found a similar though less pronounced sound to the guitar. Keb' Mo’s voice sounded much better than I had heard from other pieces, though it was still somewhat hollow, especially at higher volumes. With “Perpetual Blues Machine,” I found a song that had a timbre that fit this speaker system. This song sounded better than anything else I listened to with this speaker. The guitar was lively and the speaker handled the range well. Keb’s voice had the least bit of the boxy sound I had grown accustomed to, but was subtle and pleasant to hear.
Moving onto movies, I employed the godawful film (but fantastic demo) xXx (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment), one of my favorites for testing systems, on Blu-Ray. The opening scene has amazing dynamics and shifts from front to back, right to left, that are hard to find in a video and equally hard to duplicate. While I expected no sensation of front to back from an LCR, I was unimpressed by the lack of left to right transitions afforded me by the Leon LCR. The end of the scene with Yorgi blowing out his flaming absinthe was unfortunately flat and uninvolving. Further scenes continued to demonstrate the lack of separation I noted above.
I tried Underworld: Evolution (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) to further test the Leon LCR 515-A. The opening scene’s dialogue was clear and easily discernable, but Kate Beckinsale’s voice still exhibited the hollow timbre I found in most of my listening tests, sounding as though she was in a cave. However, the timbre I fault so in the vocals worked well with the bullets, crashes and grunts of the werewolves, making them seem larger than life.