|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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Flat panel TVs are all the rage these days. Their large displays, affordable prices and ability to hang on the wall allow you to free up precious floor space without compromising on video. Adding equally impressive audio to a flat panel has its problems. Leon Speaker Corporation has a solution. Founded in 1995, Leon designed the first LCR speaker in 2000; they make speakers designed to match any flat panel TV in size, shape and color. They use quality drivers and offer multiple options to suit your taste and situation. The Horizon line-up of LCR (left, center, right) speakers designed to mount above or below your display is available for displays 32 to 65 inches in size. The speakers come with three- to six-inch bass drivers, depending on your wants and needs, and in a standard or audiophile “A” designation, which utilizes higher-quality bass drivers. I received Leon’s Horizon LCR 515-A, with adjustable wall-mount bracket, for review. This retails for $2,295, which is somewhat pricy, considering the current offering in the on-wall speaker market at this time.
This speaker uses Morel tweeters and Peerless HDS woofers modified by Leon to work in the narrow cabinet. Leon has electronically angled the sound plane 15 degrees out from center to aid with separation. The speaker is made of solid MDF and internally separated into three cabinets, each individually sealed off. Sturdy gold-plated binding posts are present on the rear for all three channels and bi-wiring is available as an option. The speaker I received measured 40-and-one-eighth inches wide by four inches deep by seven-and-one-eighth inches tall. A variety of mounting hardware is available directly through Leon.
The speaker and wall-mounting bracket came packed in a single box, secured in plastic covered foam. Due to the custom sizing of the Leon speakers, my review sample was packed with extra paper to fit the box snugly. I quickly unpacked the speaker and wall bracket supplied with it. The LCR 515-A came finished in the same color as my Panasonic plasma. Close inspection revealed a slightly different texture than the plastic of my plasma’s case, but once mounted, it looked to be a perfect match. The grille cloth is also matched to the TV and is housed on a frame held to the front of the speaker with rare Earth neodymium magnets that securely hold it in place and don’t require Leon to damage the cabinet structure. My speaker’s grille cloth was slightly crooked on the frame, especially at the corners, and this irregularity was visible from my viewing position, especially when the Florida sun shone across it.
The Leon LCR 515-A has two rubber-headed bolts sticking out of the top rear of the speaker. These have locking nuts on them to secure the distance from the wall settings once finalized. Two similar bolts with wider rubber pads on them are on the lower rear to balance the speaker. The top bolts drop into a horizontal groove in two adjustable plates on the wall-mount bracket that allow an inch or so of lateral movement to assist with vertical alignment. The plates can also be adjusted vertically from below via long Philips head screws to set the height and level of the speaker once it is in the mount. If you are planning to mount the bracket on the wall above your TV, these adjustment screws will be inaccessible once the TV is mounted.
The speaker mount comes with minimal but adequate directions. I measured off the center point of my plasma, then down four inches, and marked off where I was going to set the mount. The wall mount has wide tracks for attachment, making it easy to secure it to at least one stud. I mounted this speaker on the outside wall of a concrete block house, so I was only able to find one board suitable for securing it. Rather than using Tapcons into the cement, I used four 50-pound drywall anchors. I marked off four sites near the edges of the bracket and one over the lone board I found. I then pre-drilled for the drywall anchors and loosely secured the mount. I tightened down all the screws with the included rubber padded washers after one final leveling, connected my left, center and right channel wires that previously ran through my wall from my Denon AVR4306 receiver to the corresponding gold binding posts, and the speaker was ready to hook onto the mounting bracket.
Once my speaker was in the mount and raised to what turned out to be the maximum allowable height adjustment, which gave the best look for my eyes, the depth of the speaker and TV no longer lined up. Two more adjustments of the bolts on the rear of the speaker and it lined up perfectly. I would have been more efficient had I used this system before, but I suspect most people with any mechanical ability will be able to handle this installation, and installers should have no problems at all. All in all, I was done with the install in about an hour. I ran the Leon LCR for a hundred hours, then, after a discussion with Jeff Gordon, Leon’s CEO, raised the volume to somewhat high levels to fully loosen up the rather stiff bass drivers. It was time for some critical listening with my Philips DV-963SA for CDs and SACDs and Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player for movies.