Friday, October 9, 2015

Micca MB42x MK III review: Late to the party but I still showed up!

Micca MB42x MK III
Late to the party but I still showed up!

For a little more than a year, the Micca MB42x has been the cheap/budget audiophile darling. Plenty of good user and a few good technical reviews have established these speakers as a solid option for those wanting to take their first step in to good sound reproduction. Having spent time just about every other speaker in the same category it was high time I got myself a pair to see what the hype has been about.

I picked up the newest revision of the speaker the the MK III, the cross overs have been improved to 18db per octave slopes, over the previous 12db per octave and all the drivers have been stamped with MK III on them (though I don't know if the drivers have actually changed at all). 

How do they Sound?

In some ABX testing with the Infinity Primus p143, the Micca's compared very favorably. At times it was very difficult to find a marked difference between the two speakers. The most obvious plus for the Micca's is able to play lower. Though none of the Primus bookshelf speakers are bass monsters. But when there was a lot of energy being played in the 1-4khz band it wasn't all that hard to tell that something was off with the Micca's. Not necessarily bad, or distracting, but different and thus not as "right" as the Infinity's do it. The good news, that it's a relatively gradual hump so it's not a smack in the face, more like a gentle reminder that these are still very budget minded speakers.

While not a rail flat playing speaker, The Micca's are solid performers for the price point. Though it seems that that price point keeps creeping up with their popularity. At between $70-$90 I think these are good options. But if the Micca's ever get back into the $100 range (they are $94.12 with Amazon Prime as of this writing), as they did when the apparent switch to the MK III happened, I think people will be better served by going to the $120+ range of the Pioneers and Infinity's.

Here is the resent price history of the Micca's

I was pleasantly surprised that the Micca's lived up to the hype they have enjoyed the last year or so. If you already have them, I wouldn't upgrade unless you were looking to spend $150 or more, or you needed something bigger/louder.

If you are still deciding on what you want, then overall the Primus p143 is a flatter playing and measuring speaker and much better built. But the Primus also cost about 50% more unless on a deep sale.


Close mic driver measurements 

Starting with the port measurement (RED), this little speaker plays pretty low for it's size. Looks to be tuned about 50 hz or so. Even being 2+ feet from a rear wall, it plays lower than the Infinity p143 with it's short little front port.

The Midrange driver (BLUE) does a pretty solid job, There is a little bit of elevation and jaggedness from 1-1.5khz; which doesn't seem to be too offensive in the close mic measurements but does appear to grow a bit in amplitude in the 1m measurements. This rough patch is followed by a sharp drop followed by a slow roll off.

It looks like drivers are crossed over at 3khz, and the tweeter does a good job of being pretty flat with the grill removed (PURPLE).

1m outdoor and gated measurements, overlayed with drivers.

Overlaying the 1m outdoor and gated measurements (should be accurate to ~600hz) with the close mic measurements. Shows smooth broad hump from about 700hz-2khz, with it's peak matching the roughness out of the woofer, and some of the port noise, though I think that is coincidence. That hump falls back down a bit, at the same point where the woofer has it's notch, and then another bit of a peak at the cross over point. The woofer seems to be pretty capable on the low end, but I think that issues that to exist are related to the woofers upper end response.

Micca MB42x MK III 1m Horizontal axis measurement

The Micca's do a pretty solid job at maintaining good dispersion out to 30 degrees off axis

Micca MB42x MK III 1m Vertical axis measurements

The Micca's appear pretty typical in their vertical axis measurement with a big nasty null that starts at the crossover point.

Micca MB42x MK III vs Primus p153

Micca MB42x MK III vs Primus p153 level matched @ 100hz

This isn't a perfect apples to apples comparison. I thought I had remeasured my p143's when I took the measurements of the Micca's (and a bunch of others), but I seemed to have only saved the measurements to the larger Infinity Primus p153. 

No changes were made to the source or amp, speakers were switched and mic highlight was adjusted to the tweeter.

The p153 plays louder (though not any lower as seen in the level matched graph) in the mid-bass and lower mid-range area which help flatten our the frequency response, doesn't have any hump at 1k, but it does have a bit of elevation past 8k which might makes them a bit bright for some.

So again not an apples to apples comparison, but the p143 shares enough of the same qualities with the rest of the Primus line that some insight can still be gained.

I'm glad I finally got to hear the hype on these little speakers. They sound nice for the price, play pretty deep, look good enough, and are well built. 

Anyone who already has them should feel confident in their choice. If digital EQ is your thing, then they take to that very well and you can get some very impressive results.  

I still like other speakers better, but they are also just a bit more expensive.

I am a little concerned about the price creeping higher and higher though. They are bordering on $100 right now, and at that's getting close to Pioneer and Infinity territory, and depending on your audio preferences I think either of those are a step up form the Micca's.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monoprice Premium 5.25 Bookshelf 10532 Speaker Review

Monoprice Premium 5.25 Bookshelf 10532 Speaker Review

Monoprice has always been known for exceptional values on tons of audio products. It's many enthusiasts go to retailer for all things wire, cable, cord and connection related. Monoprice has also had some surprise winners in their small home theater in a box systems (9774), that even got them in a little bit of hot water for being a little too similar to the Energy Take Classic system.

One of my first attempts at a speaker review compared the Dayton B652 and the Monoprice 8250. In that situation the Dayton was the ultra budget victor. But now Monoprice has come out with the 10532 bookshelf speaker (and a matching 4 inch sibling) which retails for about $80. That looks to try and compete with the likes of Pioneer, Infinity and Micca. 

It's a good enough looking black box. Seems to be very well built for the price. Heavier than the Pioneer BS22, pushing Infinity p153 weight. Drivers look fine. But the edges on the left and right side concern me. It seems ripe for diffraction issues. Port and terminal cup looks like it was taken right from the BS22

Grills look sonically terrible. With a lattice work that covers the whole tweeter. There is a measurable differences without them on. I wouldn't used them. But the cross over looks ok and are more complex than many others at this price point. See the full album for details.

Here are the normal close mic driver measurements and outdoor @ 1m gated measurements. 

Port is probably tuned to the 60hz range. 

I was initially pretty excited to see how fast the woofer drops off past the cross over point. However there remains a pretty large spike from what I would attribute to cone break up at 4khz. This peak is audible and see in full range measurements. 

The tweeter response is the oddball here, it reaches it's output peak at 5khz and then falls off pretty early. This is "dark" sounding speaker for sure. Not particularly airy or detailed sounding. 

From about 100hz - 3.5khz the speaker plays pretty flat and neutral. But that cone break up spike remains noticeable to the ears. If it would be EQ'd out or if a xover change could notch it out  then I think the mid range driver would be pretty ok.

However the early roll off of the tweeter darkens and dulls the sound. Not much in the way of "sparkle" going to be happening here. The terrible grill really accentuates this killing everything after 8khz.

Gated 1m outdoor On/Off Axis measurements

Nothing particularity exciting of the off axis responses. Seems to roll off pretty predictably despite the lips on either side wall. Getting below the woofer and tweeter causes a large null at the at the cross over point.

Matched in REW @ 600hz where the measurements begin to be effected by ground reflections.  

I really wanted to like these, they look good enough, they are built as well as speakers 2-3x as much. 

But for me, that tweeter that rolls of so early makes these a very dull and uninspiring speaker. The easiest way to describe these, would be as, this is what people think the Dayton B652 sounds like until they hear the Pioneers or Infinity’s. Even though they are priced to compete with the Micca's, they don't beat them by a long shot. If you are stuck with $80ish dollars to spends I would look to the Infinity p143 (when on sale), Micca MB42x, and Insignia NS-SP213 (if you are also planning to use  a subwoofer) 

While they are not offensive, though notching out the cone break up would go a long way. And while they are worlds ahead of the Monoprice 8250 speakers (which make Dayton B652's sound good), they don't keep up with the likes of the Infinity's, Pioneers or even the IMO underappreciated Insignia bookshelf found at Best Buy.  

While I'm not much of a speaker builder or modder myself. If you had expendable cash, I think these might make for good platform to build on top of.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Pure Acoustics Supernova S Bookshelf Speaker Review

Pure Acoustics Supernova S Bookshelf Speaker Review

Sometimes it's almost a race to review the next cheap, probably terrible but possible hidden gem of a speaker. I had never heard of Pure Acoustics before starting this hobby, but over the last year or so I noticed them on Parts Express ( and Amazon ( sporting pretty reasonable prices and generally positive user reviews. The Parts Express reviews where especially interesting to me since it's a retailer all about DIY speaker building.

In trying to do some research on the brand I couldn't find much. Some people likened them to an "American Fluance" ( Other's thought they would be terrible. I've even read posts stating the Roy Allison, founder of Acoustic Research, had a hand in the design of the Supernova line. (

So when I decided to pull the trigger on a pair, I was crossing my fingers that I found another reasonably priced gem. Unfortunately, I don't think I’ve found that. Let's go into more detail below.

Full Disassembly Album
Complete Measurement Graphs and Comparison Album

The speakers themselves are good looking enough. Not much to see, a black, wood grained printed vinyl box. There is some slight curvature to the side walls, but it is cosmetic only, the internal dimensions are rectangular with flat sides. Taking the rather massive MDF grills off reveals something a little nicer looking. A gloss black front, contrasted by a good sized tweeter with large wave guide. Woofers are an orange-ish copper in color. While its more dressed up than a Pioneer BS22, I thought it looks like a cheap speaker trying too hard to look like something it's not.

To the rear is a pretty standard 5 way biding posts, rear port and wall hanging mount.

I found the screw tops to the binding posts need to be unscrewed nearly all the way to reveal the holes if you are using bare wire. That's a bit annoying. Since they are rear ported, wall hanging mount probably isn't the best idea of getting the best SQ possible is your goal.

There seems to be some confusion of what the actual ohm rating on these speakers are. There is conflicting information if they are 8ohm or 4ohm. I went to buy DMM from Harbor Freight, and like most Harbor Freight stuff it didn't work. But from my measurements and direct comparisons with the Pioneer BS22 and Infinity Primus p153, the Supernova S didn't measure as though it was drawing more power from the amp. So I'm going to guess, that these are 8ohm nominal.

There are many similarities in general frequency response below 1khz. I imagine due to floor reflections. However you can see that the Pure Acoustics has both the lowest volume output in the in the lower octaves AND the nearly reaches the output of the Infinity Primus p153 in the upper octaves. It makes for a very lopsided response graph.

In my time listening to them, I immediately noticed midrange output that was giving every voice a tunnel like quality to it. There is also some major elevated tweeter output (+10db from ~7khz to ~15khz at close mic measurements, ~+6db at 1m measurements) causing some pretty extreme sibilance with just about any hard S sound. This has been the first time it was some obvious to me. Snares/high hats are all just in your face and distracting. I don't think the midrange in playing full range, but it had obvious audible output till about 9khz. Maybe as an attempt to help combat the huge peak in tweeter output. Regardless, it’s doesn’t seem to be helping. And if it actually is, then there are some other design choices that should have been rectified before extending the output that far was the chosen solution.

The very basic cross over. Who knows what it's actually doing

Let's look at the individual driver and 1m measurements. 

Individual drivers close mic measurements. 

Individual drivers close mic measurements + 1m outdoor measurement

Indoor vs Outdoor 1m measurements 

In addition to the elevated and harsh tweeter, there is a major lack of bass. Now, I do my listening with the speakers pretty far away from any rear walls, so that may contribute to that slightly. But speakers like the Pioneer BS22 or TEAC LS-H265 have no problem making plenty of bass in the same room. I have reviewed and enjoyed speakers that were weak in the bass department (Insignia NS-SP213), but did a lot of other things well enough instead.

The combination of the way too loud tweeter and the extreme lack of bass make for a combo that is pretty hard to listen to.

In some of the less measurable areas, I found the sound stage to be pretty narrow smeary mess. The audio is very contained to the edges of the speaker cabinet. There isn't anything going on that helps envelope you in sound or make the audio feel bigger than the speaker locations.

Kissing Cousins?

In a possible random coincidence, /u/strategicdeceiver posted his review of the Fluance sx6. I immediately noticed some strong similarities between his measurements of the Fluance and my measurements of the Pure Acoustics. While I have not heard the Fluance, if the similarities in these measurements carried over into other the rest of the audio experience, then the Fluance would also be severely lacking speakers.


I don't think that it will take Force powers to tell you to "Move along, move along". I can understand the positive praise from Amazon, as most reviewers are not very technical or have experience with many other speakers. Even known crap tends to have high marks there. But I am very surprised that the Parts-Express reviews would also be so high.

If you are looking to speakers in the $120 range there is no reason to put these on your short list. Skip right past these and look to the Pioneer BS22 or the Infinity Primus p153 depending on your audio preferences.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Home Theater Direct HTD Level 2 Bookshelf Speaker Review

Home Theater Direct HTD Level 2 Bookshelf Speaker Review

I’ve wanted to review a Home Theater Direct product for a while now and when a deal on them came up I couldn't resist picking up a pair of HTD Level 2's. As one of the more popular direct internet speaker retailers, the whole line has been well received. Their Level 3 speakers with their ribbon tweeters being considered some of the best speakers in their price point.

So how does the comparatively Plain Jane HDT Level 2 stack up against some of the more mass market speakers? I compared the HTD's with both the Pioneer BS22's and the Definitive Technology SM45s. Both are easily available speakers just above and just below the price point of the HDT Level 2.

Before we look at the graphs and talk about how they sound, let’s take the HTD Level 2 apart and see what's it's made of.

Side by side with the Pioneer BS22  
It's a bit shorter than the BS22 and significantly heavier. Build quality is no joke on the HTD Level 2

The rear and terminals 

Tweeter Removed 
Not all that interesting. Uses a small neodymium magnet. 

Mid range removed 
Not very interesting, the driver is listed as 6 ohms. I couldn't find anything regarding the part number

Good amount of stuffing for a budget speaker 

What is this? That’s part of the port. These are slot/transmission line ported.

The crossover 
Look at all those resistors. What does it all mean!

Internal bracing
Starting to make sense as to why this is so heavy.

As you can see, construction is top notch. I don't know anything about xover building, but it is big, and bigger is better right? Maybe someone can tell us more about it.

Close Mic of Individual Drivers 1/12 Smoothing

The HTD level 2 does not appear to be ported all that low. About 80 hz by the close mic measurements. There is also some pretty large spikes centered at ~400hz and ~850hz. I believe that these will be seen later in the 1m measurements.

The grill isn't too bad. It tames the output a little bit; but at 1m or greater distances it doesn't have much effect. They are pretty transparent overall.

Drivers @1m 1/12 smoothing 

In this instance of measurements there is a deep but narrow null at 400hz. I experienced the perfect inverse of that in a previous measurement. I'm going to conclude that both the null and the spike are somehow due to the spike in the port response. 

The bumps at ~850hz and 1.2khz match pretty well with the close mic measurements of the mid range.

The difference between tweeter response with and with the grills becomes pretty negligible

Full speaker @ 1m with port overlaid 1/12 Smoothing 

Trying to show if there is any relation to the point noise and some of the peaks and dips in the 1m graphs.

The 400hz peak coming out of the port does line up with both the peak and dip seen at 1m and the peak at ~850hz. And possibly even the peak from ~1.2-1.8khz

As seen later, when smoothed to 1/6 db per octave these are a +/- 3db speaker. Though it's a wavy one.

Off axis Responses 

Horizontal off axis response 

Horizontal off axis responses, overall it stays pretty consistent until you break past 20 degrees off axis.

Vertical off axis response 

Vertical off axis responses. Getting even a little bit above the tweeter makes things ugly right at the xover point. Being below the tweeter doesn't have nearly the negative effect.

Comparison With Competitors 

HTD Level 2 Bookshelf speaker: Comparison 1/3 octave smoothing 
Here we are comparing the HTD Level 2 with a number of other common popular bookshelf speakers.

Level matched @ 100hz

HTD Level 2 = BLUE
Def Tech StudioMonitor 45 = RED
Pioneer BS22 = GREEN
Infinity Primus p153 = PURPLE

HTD Level 2 vs Pioneer BS22 

HTD Level 2 vs Def Tech SM45

HTD Level 2 vs Infinity p153 

TL;DR and How Do They Sound?

The HTD Level 2's are a great looking basic black speaker. Build quality is exceptional, these are literal tanks that make music and if matte black or any other wood grain finishes are something you like then they will look great in your room. As far as performance is concerned, they are a +/- 3db speaker (at 6db per octave smoothing at least) but it's a pretty inconsistent 3db's.

The HTD Level 2 is not a bad speaker (I'm looking at you Pinnacle BD 500), there are no overtly distracting issues, and overall they are enjoyable enough.

But they don't stand out in the crowed, I was not wowed by either objective measured accuracy or their subjective fun.
At times they sounded very similar to the Pioneers, so if you have Pioneers already I don't think the HTD level 2's much of an upgrade. If you are looking between the two, the Level 2's can be a touch more exciting if there is a lot of activity in the areas of the frequency response that are boosted a bit, (700hz-1.5khz or anything after 8khz) but it never seemed to be a consist difference.

I found the Definitive Technology SM45's to be both a slight more accurate speaker for most of the spectrum, though the last octave might not be for everyone as it is elevated though never harsh. But more importantly the SM45 were a far more fun speaker, throwing a huge bright sound stage that just grips you into the music.

Overall I’m not sure how the HTD Level 2 fits into anyone’s go to recommendation of a good budget/entry level speaker. While a good speaker itself, the Pioneers can be had for much less, and are a much smoother and accurate speaker, though mellow in the treble area. The Definitive Technologies can be found for just slightly more money and equal the HTD’s in construction and IMO best them in performance in every way. And while not directly talked about here, the Infinity Primus line remains a great and my personal favorite budget option as well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pinnacle BD 500: REDUX

Pinnacle BD 500: REDUX
It has been almost exactly a year since I posted my first review and comparisons of the Pinnacle BD 500's. At that time I liked them well enough, but found them to be missing something when compared to the Definitive Technology SM 350 (which I still think is a great and exciting to listen to speaker). In the last year I've learned a lot and gotten better at measuring and listening. So one year later why not revisit and see if I still feel the same.
I have been a big fan of Pinnacle and currently run the larger BD 2500 towers, BD 750 bookshelf and BD 700 center speakers in my home theater. (Someday I'll get a review of at least the BD 750 bookshelf speakers.) With the incoming Dolby Atmos standard I wanted to prepare to use it by getting a few pairs of matching of Pinnacle BD 500 bookshelfs to use as ceiling mounted speakers. The BD 500's share only the tweeter with its larger sibling bookshelf speakers (BD 750/650), but I was hoping for some relative similarly in sound.
I bought this pair second hand, and I believe them to be an earlier revision to the series II that I bought on Woot previously. While the cones of the mid ranges look the same, they mount differently, the baskets are different, and magnets appear to be also. I don't have the tools to test TS parameters to verify any further. Tweeters are lacking what looked like a heat sink on the back of the magnet that my original one had, and the crossovers are also different. To that end, without getting another pair and with nearly a year between this and my last experience with them; this isn't a perfect revisiting of that previous review.

The Pinnacle BD 500 remains a good looking little black speaker. If you are in to the high gloss look, these easily match and beat the Definitive Technology SM 350 and TEAC LS-H265. The finish is thicker than just paint, having seen one the finish crack after a pair of BD 500 OW's fell from their mount, the finish itself is probably 2mm thick. It's very nice.

Here is the cross over

Here is what Sound and Vision got when they reviewed a Pinnacle BD based 5.1 system. The BD 500 is the red trace.

As you can it's got some nice waves to it. How close did I get to replicating that? Pretty close.
Below are the close mic measurements. 

Something different and bad seems to be going on with this crossover design choices. Pinnacle lists the X-Over point at 5 kHz. From the measurements it looks like the midrange is crossed over at 5khz, but the tweeter is crossed over at 2 khz. As seen in the 1m measurements. I think that this overlap maybe responsible for the excessive null between 2khz and 5khz
Below are the @1m measurements. Both individual driver and full speaker.

Below is a comparison with the Pioneer BS22 @1m

I used the Pioneer as my main comparison speaker. They are common, and pretty good for the money. Thought a bit warm and can be muddy. The Pioneers are clearly the superior speaker here. The grills remain a killer, but we are acceptably flat from 400 hz on.
Listening impressions
While nothing is particularly harsh sounding, something always seems missing when listening to music on the Pinnacle BD 500's. Voices are very forward.
This isn't meant to be a direct comparison between the Pinnacles and another pair of speakers, but I used the much loved Pioneer BS22's for any AB testing. The Pioneers are not perfect, but they are a great budget choice for many and very easily found online and in retail stores.
The Heavy - Short Change Hero
For anyone who has played Boarderlands 2 you already know this song. A slow, melodic song, thick with guitars and bass. When the song breaks from it's slow, The Good The Bad and The Ugly esq into at the 1:24 mark, all the impact that should be associated with it is lost. Kelvin Swaby has a wonderfully unique voice, and while for the most part it seems to be reproduced well enough, at times it's the lower regions have been sucked out and are missing.
Petey Pablo - Part 2
I've always like this song, and I've used it in the past because of Petey's deep gravelly voice has been easy to get wrong in other speakers (JBL Loft 30). When nothing else is going on the Pinnacles seem to do that well enough during the intro. Once the main part of the song starts it is a whole other story.  Again, it is still Petey, but now he is well behind some really loud high hat ticks, and a xylophone or something. The level of treble become very over baring quickly here. I can imagine this being problematic to any 2000's rap track.
 Justin Timberlake - Suit & Tie
The oddball song of the group. At first I wasn't sure I hadn't switched back to the Pinnacles. Everything sounded ok at first. There was reasonable and clean bass. But even though Justin Timberlake's singing voice is a bit higher than many, soon you could pick up where it's fullness was lacking and even the first time I could pick up on anything being truly harsh sounding. When Jay-Z has his verse, it is noticeably thin doesn't carry the weight that it should. But even on the Pinnacles, the sound was still enjoyable and in some ways better than the performance of the Pioneer BS22's, which much cleaner, less muddy bass, though not as deep.
 Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
If you don't love this song then you're no one I want to know. A classic rock song, that should be on everyone quintessential 80's play list. I don’t think there is a lot going on in the upper registers here. So the increased tweeter output wasn't much of a factor here. But there is a distinct lack of fullness in the Billy Idol's voice, a little like it's coming out of a tin can. The eclectic guitars are also underwhelming.
Five Finger Death Punch - House of the Rising Sun
Up to this point, in every song I listened to you can at least hear the instruments. Maybe they were too bright, or too mellow, but at least they were there somewhere. In House of the Rising Sun, they are just straight up missing. One of the guitars (the deeper, probably drop D tuned one) is just gone. Not represented at all. Strange to hear such a major difference to the whole song, more than just what's emphasized and what's not.
I could continue with a list of a dozen more tracks, but the overall results are similar across the gamut.

I wanted to really like the Pinnacle BD 500's. They were one of the first non big box store speakers I tested and at that time and thought they compared pretty well. I do run a 5.2 Home Theater consisting of the all big brother speakers in the Black Diamond line and have been very happy. They are a HT speaker though, and aren't board flat, but have a pretty gentle upward trend that makes them exciting but not offensive.  
But I would avoid the BD 500's, I have learned a good bit since I last reviewed these speakers and can no longer have them on a list to recommend to people. Much better speakers are more easily accessible and can be had for less. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Budget Battle: The Sequel: Pioneer BS22, Infinity Primus p153, Micca MB42X-C, Teac LS-H265, HTD Level 2, Def Tech SM 45: The 1 Meter Measurements

Budget Battle: The Sequel: Pioneer BS22, Infinity p153, Micca MB42X-C, Teac LS-H265, HTD Level 2, Def Tech SM 45:    The 1 Meter Measurements

The Pioneer BS22 is probably the most well known and "the standard" for budget audiophile products; and will acts as such for the following comparisons.

In all the following comparisons, the measurements are new with no change in amp/computer settings or volume. Mic was adjusted to tweeter height for each speaker. This should give a good approximation of relative efficiency. Graphs is in 2db increments.

Pioneer BS22 @1m no grill 1/12 smoothing

The Pioneer BS22 plays very flat throughout the entire audible range. But after 3khz, output is about 3db lower than everything else. Giving very smooth but subdued output on from the tweeter. I don't find the Pioneers to be an exciting speaker.

Pioneer BS22 vs Infinity Primus p153 @1m 1/12 smoothing

The Infinity Primus line is my personal favorite budget offering. Built like a ton of bricks. More efficient, brighter, very flat out to 6khz, where it hits a steep but pretty narrow dip. They make a huge sound stage. The upper most registers might be a tad bright for some though.

Pionner BS22 vs Micca MB42X-C @1m 1/12 smoothing

I don't have the standard Micca's. I got on the Micca MB42X-C hype-train when they were released and I haven't done much with them. I did use one as a replacement center channel speaker (as it's marketed as), I had no complaints and it worked well in that respect. However in vertical orientation as a main channel speaker. I don't find the MB42X-C to be all the hot.

The huge hump 900hz to 3khz is very audible and distracting. Without the grills there is also a large hump between 4.5khz and 8khz. I don't know if the eq file by /u/strategicdeceiver, but from his measurements of the standard Micca, these look like they would be similar.

Regardless of your version of the Micca, if you are not using any EQ.  Keep those grills on.

Pionner BS22 vs TEAC LS-H265 @1m 1/12 smoothing

I like the TEAC LS-H265 a lot at $90. I don't like them as much at $150 which is closer to their going price now. Build quality on the TEAC's is Dayton B652 level, so not very impressive for the current price. But they seem to do things well enough to be enjoyable and exciting. But not so accurate. 

Pionner BS22 vs HTD Level 2 @1m 1/12 smoothing

The HDT Level 2's are going to be my next full review. Great looking speakers, dense and heavy, anything speaker build like a ton of bricks. 

I haven't seen any published measurements on them so there isn't much to go by. In my A/B testing with the Pioneers, they sounded remarkably similar. With just a touch more brightness or "sparkle" for lack of a better term. I enjoyed them, but it is hard to call them better than the Pioneers.

Measurements were not as flat as I was expecting or hoping for. In the upcoming weeks I will investigate these further. 

Pionner BS22 vs Def Tech SM45 @1m 1/12 smoothing

With a new house and room, I brought back out the Def Tech SM45. I could not get these things to measure or sound good in my previous location. I'm chalking it up to just an incomparable room.

I didn't do any listening AB test this time around, but I was able to get measurements pretty close to Stereophile

All the speakers overlayed and level matched @100hz 1/6 smoothing

All the speakers overlayed and level matched @1000hz 1/6 smoothing

All the speakers overlayed 1/12 smoothing

It is very apparent that these all measure almost identical until about 400hz. Most likely due to room issues than anything else.

All the speakers, as they measured with no adjustments. The Infinity's are the most efficient of the bunch but a good amount. You can really see the exaggerated humps in the Miccas. The big ramp up out of the Def Tech tweeter.

All the speakers overlayed 1/3 smoothing
It is very apparent that these all measure almost identical unto about 400hz. Most likely due to room issues than anything else.

Showing in 1/3 smoothing to make things a little easier to see. This should still show some of the major performance differences and flaws within the group.

All the speakers, as they measured with no adjustments. The Infinity's are the most efficient of the bunch but a good amount. You can really see the exaggerated humps in the Miccas. The big ramp up out of the Def Tech tweeter.