Orb Audio Mod2 Build Quality
The Mod 2 System came in more boxes than I expected - though if you order just the speakers and the sub (and none of the special pre-fab stands) it would come in just two pieces. The box with the speakers was well packaged in foam with each speaker having its own cubby hole. Speaker stands, extender brackets, jumper wire, and hardware were all contained within the box. The subwoofer was packaged separately in the only box with the Orb logo on the outside.
The sub is smallish (a 12" cube), black, textured, with a grey fabric grill that is raised slightly from the surface of the sub. It is firmly attached but can be removed without fear of breakage. The sub is constructed out of ½ inch MFD and has rounded edges. Removing the plate amp from the back revealed a down firing port and internal bracing at the edges only. Surprisingly, there was absolutely no polyfill or dampening material. The amp has all the standards including speaker level inputs and outputs, a line level RCA connection, a phase switch (0 or 180), and a variable crossover (40 - 160Hz).
While it was impossible for me to take the satellites apart without risking irreparable damage to the speaker, they are a little smaller than the diameter of a CD. They are light, but sturdy, and a knock test shows that they do not contain much damping material Each speaker has two stylized and color coded compression type gold binding posts that you press in to reveal a hole for speaker wire which is held in place by spring tension. Bare wire is the only option for these posts. For the Mod 2s, the speaker wire is attached to one of the Orbs, and a provided jumper wire is used to link the two speakers in parallel, effectively resulting in a 4-ohm load. This makes for a rather tight fit and requires some finagling on your part to get both of the wires to occupy the same binding post. The jumper wire looked to be 16 gauge (the highest usable is 14ga though that would make the fit VERY tight) and was available in white or black. The manual correctly indicated that you could use your own speaker cable for the jumpers if you wish (and it was nice to see a company that didn't insist upon the use of esoteric cables for optimal performance). Each speaker has a tapped hole used to attach it to the various available mounts.
There are more than enough mounting options for these speakers and each one has its uses. The provided stands are simply composed of a single piece of metal that has a round base with a vertical post and a hole. An extender bar is provided to add a second speaker to the stand. The floor stands have a heavy (really heavy) round base with a rubber pad on the bottom to prevent scuffing of floors and an optional floor plate (essentially, a large metal square used to stabilize the smaller base) for thick carpet. Two poles are attached to the base doing double duty as speaker attachment points, and wire management (the wires are fished through). One nice feature of the floor stands is the ability to vary the height of the speakers depending on how high your seated position is. There are desk stands available which look similar to the floor stands but with no wire management or speaker height adjustment ability. Wall mounts are available but these were not included with the evaluation package.