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Status Acoustics Titus 8T Set-Up & Sound Quality

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Status CarryLet me reiterate that it took four of us to haul the 8T speaker system up my flight of steps to the Audioholics Showcase Theater Room - and that was moving them as separate pieces with the bracket attached to the bass module. Assembling the 8T system once moved upstairs was pretty easy. By laying the system on the floor, we bolted each satellite speaker to the bracket of its corresponding bass module and then lifted it up from the ground from the top. A speaker this heavy and massive needs no outriggers or feet but we placed 2” vinyl discs under the bass module so it would be fairly easy to move the speaker system into position.

We placed the left/right speakers about 3 1/2ft from the back wall and 10ft apart with the primary seating area about 13ft away. We found only a modest amount of toe-in was needed for these babies to really work their magic in my listening space. In fact, I’d guesstimate it was about 10 degrees of toe-in that did it. From the seated position, this also made the connection bracket disappear giving the illusion that the satellite module was floating above the bass module. Very cool effect!

We tested the Status Acoustics 8T speakers with all of the best gear available to us. We broke this into two separate systems with the dedicated two-channel system consisting of a Marantz PM-11S2 Preamp, Pass Labs X350.5 two-channel amplifier, a Marantz TT-15S1 turntable and analog balanced outputs of the Oppo BDP-95 Universal Blu-ray player as the sources. The second system consisted of the Denon AVP-A1HDCI A/V processor, Denon POA-A1HDCI multi-channel amplifier, Classe CT-2300 two-channel amplifier and the Oppo BDP-95 Universal Blu-ray player via the HDMI output. Speaker cables were all Kimber 8TC and interconnects were Bluejeans Cable 1694 COAX and balanced cables. The listening space is a 6,000 ft3 room that is moderately acoustically treated, courtesy of Auralex Acoustics.

Status Assemble

Assembling the Status 8T System

The Status 8T system had to be assembled face down.  Once the bracket was secured on the bass and satellite modules, we lifted them up from the top and slid them into position.

 Status_System.jpg

Status Acoustics 8T & 8C Speaker System installed in Audioholics Showcase Theater Room

 

Listening Tests

LP: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (180G)Miles.jpg

Despite this being a recording from 1959, “Kind of Blue” is recognized as a benchmark for vinyl even by today’s standards and is the best selling jazz album of all time. Accompanying Miles are jazz legends such as Bill Evans on piano and John Coltrane on tenor saxophone. This album is based on modality and was recorded live in the studio with little to no rehearsal, making it almost entirely improvisational. Track #1 “So What” sets the tone for this album, which is just a feel-good laid back aura that is best accompanied by a good glass of red. Jimmy Cobb’s cymbal brushes were delicate and airy while the back and forth between Miles on trumpet and Coltrane on sax was exhilarating. It was hard to believe such an old recording on vinyl had so much dynamic range, seemingly more so than the majority of CD’s recorded today. The Status 8T system produced true to life SPL and realism on this recording. Closing my eyes, I really felt like I was in a jazz cellar in NYC listening to this sextuplet grace me with their phenomenal performance. Track #2 “Freddie Freeloader” is my favorite song on the whole album. It just oozes coolness and if you’re foot isn’t tapping on this tune, someone needs to check your pulse. Bill Evan tickles the ivories with a surgeon’s precision. I got instant goose bumps when Miles’ trumpet kicked in. I just couldn’t get over how authentic and vivacious it sounded, especially when Coltrane answered back in his solo. I was truly getting that “better than being there” experience found only from properly setting up and pairing the very best electronics and loudspeakers in a great sounding room with exceptional source material. The Status 8T speakers were born to play Miles and I felt him smiling down at me at times during my listening session.

the Status 8T system reproduced true to life realism

LP: Richard MarxMarx.jpg

I’ve always liked hearing Richard Marx songs on the radio, but never purchased any of his albums because I felt his stuff was a bit too poppy and overplayed. When my wife bought the LP version of his self titled album, I figured I’d give it a shot. I was pretty floored not only by the musical content of this LP, but its sound quality. Side 2 contained songs rarely (if ever) played on the radio and they were much harder hitting than his more well-known radio pop songs. Track #5 “Have Mercy” starts out with some great drumming and a catchy hard rock guitar theme. This song just rocks and begs to be played loudly. Richard’s voice came through very vibrantly and the band just sounded excellent together. This is power rock at its finest and something hard to find today from mainstream music. Although it sounded a bit edgy at high listening levels, it was never fatiguing or overly bright. In fact, I recently went to his solo concert in Clearwater Florida and heard the same tonal characteristics in the upper midrange from his voice. In comparison to the live performance, the Status 8T system was recreating a true to source reproduction of Richard’s vocals. I felt like I was thrust into a live performance with the music enveloping me, despite the fact that I was listening in two-channel. Track #6 “Remember Manhattan” produced a big WOW effect for me. I didn’t know vinyl could produce so much deep and enveloping bass and certainly not from an album like this. But here I was engulfed with chest pounding bass providing the framework for this awesome song. Energetic, bold, lifelike, the Status 8T system powered by the Pass Labs amplification was pure perfection. If you’re not a Richard Marx fan, I can assure you will be after hearing the entire second side of this album. Check it out!

SACD: Rebecca Pidgeon - The Ravenpigeon.jpg

Although Rebecca Pidgeon’s lyrics are a bit obscure, this is a sonic gem produced by Chesky Records and recorded by Bob Katz. In my opinion, getting the critical midrange correct in a loudspeaker system is often the most challenging and neglected task. Some manufacturers just don’t understand that if female vocals don’t sound right, than the speaker will never sound like a convincing reproducer of music. Track #3 “The Raven” showcased Rebecca's angelic voice. The Status 8T reproduced concise resonance cues giving me a great mental picture of the piano playing in a room with wooden floors. You could hear the microphone pick up of background noises distinctly thanks to the exceedingly revealing nature of the Status 8T system. The vocals didn’t sound like they were boxed in like I’ve typically heard on other loudspeakers. Instead, her voice just poured out into the room as if she was standing front and center. There was no hint of chestiness or cupped hands like I’ve heard on so many other speakers playing back this SACD. Track #5 “Grandmother” is a really weird song but it kinda grows on you with each listen. Rebecca seduces you with her vocals and the 8T’s showed off the range in her voice unlike I’ve heard with any other speaker system. The piano emanated so much warmth and presence in the room that just didn’t sound like it was being played through a speaker system. Track #12 “Spanish Harlem” is not only my favorite track on this record but it’s also my favorite version of this song. This song put forth a very three-dimensional soundstage wider and with more depth than I ever remembered hearing. I was amazed by the tonal consistency of Rebecca’s voice when I moved my head side to side. The Status 8T system provided very uniform and even coverage to my entire listening area. I didn’t just need to sit in a targeted sweet spot to get great imaging and vocal clarity. Wow!

Grover.jpg

the immediacy of the percussion and depth of the bass was epic

SACD: Grover Washington JR – Prime Cuts

I’m not even sure how I acquired a copy of this rare SACD but it’s a sonic masterpiece and a must have in your collection if you’re serious about sound and a jazz aficionado like myself. Track #1 “Take Five” has a lot of stuff going on at once, including a deeply rich bass track. Grover’s saxophone came through with pristine clarity while the percussive effects popped out into a very three dimensional landscape. I felt as if the music emanated all around me like I was listening to a multi-channel recording. How the 8T system was able to pull this off was quite magical.

Track #6 “Summer Nights” bore a similar resemblance to “Pyramid” from another great album called Close Up by David Sanborn. I loved the ping pong effect of the percussion instruments between the speakers. The bass modules of the Status 8T system was just pumping out clean deep bass perfectly blended into the rest of system into a very cohesive soundstage. You could hear the triangles slowly decay instead of just sharply fading away, which would otherwise be lost on lesser-designed gear.

SACD/ Blu-ray: Jienat - MiraBD_Jienat.jpg

This recording has become a multi-channel benchmark for us at Audioholics, but it also has an incredible two-channel layer that is equally impressive. I caution anyone to use the volume control sparingly when playing this disc on their systems as it has extreme dynamic range which most speaker systems are incapable of reproducing at reference volume levels. The vocals were pinned dead center in Track #1 “Sissel” as if I had my center channel engaged. The bass was thunderous and the stereo separation seemed to extend well beyond the width of the speakers. Track #6 “Fredrik Albert” showed off the system's fabulous transient response. The immediacy of the percussion and depth of the bass was epic and not something that can fully be conveyed in writing without actually hearing or feeling for yourself. Even in the two-channel recording of Track #4 “DanceHall”, you’re enveloped in the middle of the room with singers all around you. The percussion was full of life and vibrancy that you rarely ever hear in any recording. Most playback systems are incapable of reproducing the dynamics of this album, but the Status 8T system did this with utter ease. Towards the end of the recording, the electric bass kicked in which literally blew me out of my chair as I was belted with sustained tactile bass that was not only heard but rattled the core of my bones. This disc allowed me to test the limits of my amplification and my hearing because under no circumstance was I able to detect loudspeaker compression or distress. In contrast, the Status 8T’s just begged for more power; something I hoped to oblige in the near future.

CD: Dire Straits – Brothers in Armsdire-straits-brothers-in-arms.jpg

As far as mainstream music goes, this 25+ year old recording from Dire Straits is still, in my opinion, one of the finest sounding recordings available on CD. Plus, Tony Levin guest appears on bass which is always a good thing in my book. Originally mastered digitally, this recording lacks compression and thus sounds very analog in nature as a result. Track #4 “You’re Latest Trick” put me in a tranquil mood right from the start, allowing me to hear the more intimate side of the Status Titus 8T system. The trumpets popped out while the electric piano remained in the background. The cymbals were very airy and spacious. Vocals were anchored dead center and although there is so much going on in this track musically, the Status 8T’s were easily able to resolve every detail with more conviction than I’ve heard from any other speaker system. The Status 8T system really shows off the fabulous acoustical guitar work of Track #5 “Why Worry”. I was in such a lucid state that I must confess I didn’t remain fully conscious though the end of the song. Instead I just floated along basking in an audiophile psychosis. Track #6 “Ride Across the River” woke me up placing me in the middle of the Serengeti Jungle. The realism had me convinced I needed to apply a healthy dose of insect repellent to avoid getting bit. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but the experience was pretty mind numbing. The bass was snappy and tight while the electric guitar just punched into my cranium. I honestly didn’t realize this song has so much depth and detail in the bass department until I heard it on the 8T speaker system.

CD: Michael Franks - Burchfield Nines franks.jpg

I wanted to hear the delicate side of the Status 8T system so I broke out some classic Michael Franks music. Track #1 “When the Cookie Jar is Empty” Michael's voice had no hint of chestiness or containment. Instead he was just there singing to me just like a live unamplified performance with the electrical guitar panned to the left speaker. Steve Gadd’s bass drum sounded nice and damped as if he removed the back head and stuffed it to give that nice thump sound. Track #2 “A Robin Song” showcased how neutrally the Status 8T system could convey vocals. There was such an immediacy and richness to the vocals and brass instruments that I’ve never heard in any other speaker system regardless of price. The saxophone seemed to just implant itself into the left side of my head. The cymbal reproduction of Track #3 “Wrestle a Live Nude Girl” was immensely transparent. Again I was loving the thump of Steve Gadd’s bass drum and basking in sonic nirvana while pondering how cool the title of this song was….not as cool as the actual song I can assure you. A bit obscure perhaps, but this music is timeless. Track #4 “Burchfield Nines” is a slow kinda downbeat song but patience rewards with a beautiful melody and some great instrumentation. You’re showered with triangles that just slowly dissolve into the room along with clanking percussion sounds reproduced with pristine clarity from the wonderful beryllium tweeters. The trumpet just radiated outwards with a sense of realism and warmth difficult to adequately convey in words. This is just something you’d have to hear to appreciate.

I listened to this CD with my wife present and asked her to put her thoughts in writing as follows:

The xylophones and triangles chimed swiftly with emanating voices that were very natural and organic. Excellent clean vocals and reverb gave the ‘air’ of sensuality, but calm finesse. Bass was tight and pleasant to the ears with a very realistic and live feeling as if the artist was romancing you with their vocals and instruments. Differentiation between the instrumentation was easily heard without losing its smoothness. Wind instrumentation had a particular nice reverb, and was very smooth and dispersing swiftly around you, never sounding fatiguing even at louder listening levels.”

Blu-ray: Animusic HD, Tron Legacy, & Avengers

 Animusic.jpg     tron legacy.jpg     avengers.jpg

Blu-ray: Animusic HD, Tron Legacy, Avengers

While the focus of this review is for two-channel applications, I thought it would be good measure to briefly discuss how the Status 8T system also handled home theater as well. I cued up two bass intense movies and one music blu-ray running the 8Ts as full-range with the sub/LFE routed directly to the speakers. No additional powered subwoofers were used to supplement the bass.

the trumpet just radiated outwards with a sense of realism and warmth difficult to adequately convey in words...

Animusic HD is a great demo disc chock full of great music choreographed to clever computer animation. As an avid ELP fan, “Cathedral Pictures” is a particular favorite of mine. Listening to full-scale pipe organ music blasting throughout the room was simply sensational. This type of recording is murder for a tweeter but the beryllium drivers handled it with ease and finesses free from any artifacts or graininess. I heard phenomenal surround envelope between the Status 8T towers and my RBH 66-SE/R and SI-640/R surround speakers. Panning between the front three speakers was very uniform as the Status 8C center channel was providing a very good timbre match to the 8T towers. Expect a dedicated review of the 8C center channel to follow.

Tron Legacy was a smorgasbord of visual and sonic delights. The deep tactile bass during the fight scenes had me pinned to my seat just basking in bassaholic euphoria. These scenes captivated me in a way that was surreal, feeling as if I was in a high powered futuristic nightclub minus the cheesy men soliciting women for a dance, or the smell of bad liquor mixed with cigarette smoke and body sweat. I honestly couldn’t believe how well extended and full the bass was all around my room without using any active subwoofers or EQ’ing.

I felt as if I were caught in the middle of the battleground of the opening scene of Avengers when Loki stole back the Tesseract causing the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. installation to implode. The Status 8T system was proving to me it was equally at home handling critical two-channel or multi-channel applications.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

haraldo posts on October 13, 2013 16:52
Rich Davis, post: 993231
I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?

The best way to measure speakers is probably in an anechoic chamber but the cost is prohibitive as in order to get good results way down in frequencies size of wedges and size of room must be enormous, I don't even comprehend what the cost is but it's probably way out of reach. lacking anechoic chamber, the outdoor testing is the only way to reliably measure a speaker I reckon, unless you want to measure the room modes and other influences of the room.

I guess Vandersteen Audio has facilities like this and for sure also Dunlavy Audio Labs used this as John Dunlavy could measure his speakers reliably in an anechoic chamber down below 20Hz…. I really don't see why Audhioholics should go the the step of putting so much money into this…. I believe what they do is industry leading and way better measurements than say… what they do in Stereophile, which is indoors at 50", many speakers don't integrate properly at such a short distance…. if Stereophile measures at bigger distance then room influence would take over…. There's been a wave of criticism from some manufacturers about this way of measuring, claiming that it just doesn't show reliably performance of some large array speakers…… I am not saying that it's this way or the other but just referring to what's been written and stated around Inet…

I reckon outdoors is way way better, Audioholics is the benchmark
gene posts on October 13, 2013 16:00
Rich Davis, post: 993231
I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?

I'll give you the benefit of a doubt seeing how you're a new member and obviously lacking in knowledge on measuring loudspeakers.

This speaker was measured both outdoors (for accuracy) and indoors (to see how they integrated into the room). The outdoor measurements most closely approximate an anechoic environment by removing all echos but the floor. A speaker this large would be difficult to measure anechoically even if we had access to a chamber due to its sheer size and capabilities down below 100Hz.

Outdoor measurements (aka, GP) are the best way to measure subwoofers which is not only an industry standard but it's also what we do. It has the advantage over anechoic since most anechoic chambers are too small and/or have insufficiently sized wedges to produce accurate results below 100Hz.

Hopefully you will will read up more on the subject matter before making such insulting and ignorant postings in the future.
fuzz092888 posts on October 13, 2013 15:12
Rich Davis, post: 993231
I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?

Outdoor testing is a perfectly viable way of gaining near anechoic measurements so long as you account for outdoor factors and don't test where it's noisy or on a windy day, gate your measurements appropriately, etc. If you don't know how to properly test speakers (based on your last sentence) then how can you criticize others on how it's being done? Besides, comparing being at an outdoor concert to what is being referenced is just silly. If you can't see why, then I'm not sure what to say.

As long as the cables aren't defective and are competently made they should perform near identically to higher priced cables. Although if you're buying these speakers I doubt you have any issue paying for Kimber Kable or the like.
Rich Davis posts on October 13, 2013 14:46
Why is there a test performed outdoors?

I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?
BoredSysAdmin posts on August 30, 2013 10:57
Weird, I clearly remember posting one of the first posts on this thread something like this: “Too bad Kimber cable interconnects weren't mentioned at all in the article” clearly referring to reoccurrence of Kimber brand 6 times on a single page.

Now I can't find that post anymore. hmmmm……
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