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Old 08-23-2008   #1
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Default Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Hybrid Audio Technologies Clarus C51-2 Review

As promised, here is my initial review of the Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 set.

I will divide the review into the following sections:
1.Initial Impression,
2.Install Details,
3.Listening Thoughts

Let’s get started…

Initial Impression

When I opened the box and started inspecting the contents I found that the Clarus line is very similar to the Legatia line that was first released by Hybrid Audio Technologies (HAT). The build quality of the midbass drivers are quite nice. Cast basket, woven speaker leads, inverted surround and a paper cone. I am VERY partial to paper cones. I feel they render music the way the artist intended. The tweeters are nice also. Very small, so they should be easy to install - and they are. Now for the crossovers… I LIKE THESE CROSSOVERS ! They are very well made and would be welcome to show off in any system. The components used in the network are topnotch. You also get grills and install items…

Install Details
Well these went in my daily driver, 2001 Accord LX, in the factory locations. Midbass in the doors and the tweeters in the dash openings. The crossovers were left under the seat, for now. Power is supplied by an Xtant x603. No subwoofer is used because the Xtant’s sub channel is not functional right now… Repair is on the horizon… When the Xtant is repaired I will be using a DIYMA12 in a ported enclosure.

Listening Impressions

Here is the music I listened to during my session:
4.James Taylor “Gaia” on Hourglass album
5.Keb Mo “Grandma’s Hands”
6.Jennifer Warnes “Joan of Arc” from Famous Blue Raincoat
7.Metallica “No Leaf Clover” from S&M

Gaia
This album from James Taylor is wonderful and this cut is one the best on it. The recording is very open and spacious. I love James’ voice and the Clarus set reproduce the recording in such a true way. The soundstage is very wide and pretty deep. This set is smooth, very easy to listen to although a sub is needed for the lowest tones. Remember the set is installed in factory locations with no damping.

Grandma’s Hands
Keb Mo’s recording of this song is wonderfully simple. I felt like I was sitting on the porch of an old general store with Keb Mo while he was performing the song. So detailed and REAL ! On a good system you can hear a broomstick being used for rhythm in the background. With the Clarus set, you not only hear the broomstick you get a wonderful sense of depth. Phenomenal !

Joan of Arc
This is one of my GO TO cuts when evaluating a sound system. Jennifer’s voice is simply pure. That is the best way I can describe the way the Clarus set reproduced this recording… PURE. Or should I say Purely Beautiful. The set proved to be very powerful, able to take soft passages and build into wonderfully complex reproductions that gave me chills. When Leonard Cohen joins in his deep vocals are rendered in a visceral manner. Considering these midbass’ are only 5.25” drivers… I am highly impressed. Loving this set !

No Leaf Clover
OK up to now my musical selections have been rather “highbrow” and “elitist”. This selection represents what I love to listen to just for my ride home each day…. Metallica’s S & M album is one of my favorites. Anytime classical and metal is fused together it only brings about good things…! This selection is very complex and dynamic, the Clarus set did a GREAT job of reproducing this. As I stated earlier, the set does need a subwoofer.

My summery …
I love this set of speakers. I had the opportunity to use Hybrid Audio’s Legatia speakers and found them to be World Class, the Clarus are right there also. They are extremely detailed, smooth and have dynamic capabilities. If you want a speaker system for a daily driver or even a casual competition system… RUN don’t walk to your nearest Hybrid Audio Technologies dealer. The best system I ever used was a Dynaudio 2-way setup powered by a Butler Tube Driver. I loved that setup…. Hummm,,, now where did I put those Tube Drivers….?
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Old 08-25-2008   #2
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Great review! Thanks for taking the time to write it. The Clarus C51-2 and C61-2 sets are some of the best off the shelf component sets money can buy IMO.

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Old 08-25-2008   #3
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

I agree !

I want to put more power on them...
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Old 08-25-2008   #4
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tn_Audiophile View Post
I agree !

I want to put more power on them...
Mo power.... mo betta!

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Old 08-26-2008   #5
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask...
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Old 08-28-2008   #6
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

thanks for the review
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Old 08-28-2008   #7
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tn_Audiophile View Post
If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask...

How many watts are you running thru them?

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Last edited by CRD; 08-29-2008 at 07:38 AM..
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Old 08-28-2008   #8
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

CRD:
Roughly 85 watts...

J

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Old 08-28-2008   #9
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

How do they compare to you Dynaudio 2-ways though?
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Old 08-28-2008   #10
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

can't believe i missed this review 4 days ago.

i use legatia drivers in my car and a 6.5" clarus set in my wife's car.

i would say your review of the clarus set is spot on. great set!

curious - you say no matting... are there holes in the inner skin of the doors? if so - seal those up bare minimum and your low end should improve dramatically. you will still need a sub, but the midbass will be killer. (yes, i said KILLER midbass - even w/ the 5.25" set)

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Old 08-29-2008   #11
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Very nice components

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Old 08-29-2008   #12
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

azngotskills:

Frankly...
I love Dynaudio, always have... Compared to the Hybrid Audio set, they sound a bit lifeless...

I like the Clarus set that much... I'm considering going up the food chain to the 6" Clarus set...

J
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Old 08-29-2008   #13
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

fwiw, for fitment reasons you need to know this...

the woofer in the clarus 61-2 is more like 7".

...and i'd still suggest matting behind the woofer and sealing up the door skin before making the move up.

cheers,
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Old 08-29-2008   #14
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Thanks BennyZ !
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Old 09-01-2008   #15
 
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

I don't know if you did much research with this but would you say that on or off-axis presented a more realistic response from the clarus drivers?

Also, I believe that you said that you had used Legatia drivers before so what is your response for them better on or off-axis?

Benny or anyone please feel free to respond Thanks guys
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Old 09-01-2008   #16
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Default

i have the clarus set installed off-axis in the doors of my wife's mazda 3. did not experiment with them any other way, as i wanted to try them as they are billed - "plug and play" in the oem locations.

and they are great that way. no complaints!

the l3 mids and l1 tweeters in my car are aimed on axis directly at each corresponding ear. l8s are off axis in the doors, but they are only playing up to 150hz. as with the clarus set, i have not tried them any other way. sorry! i knew this was a proven setup, so i just went for it. i have read great things about them off axis, too, though.
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Old 09-04-2008   #17
 
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Hey benny if you see this what would you say is the better tweet the L1 or the clarus tweet. Or which is a smoother/warmer tweet in your opinion. Thanks
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Old 10-28-2008   #18
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tn_Audiophile View Post
azngotskills:

Frankly...
I love Dynaudio, always have... Compared to the Hybrid Audio set, they sound a bit lifeless...

I like the Clarus set that much... I'm considering going up the food chain to the 6" Clarus set...

J
Wow the Dyn's are lifeless? That is a pretty big statement. I would like to experiment with these drivers. I am curious now. They must perform pretty darn well for someone who loves Dyn's to say these make them sound lifeless. I may need to get my hands on a set just to try out.

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HU: Ipad mini, Amps: Brax, Speakers: Dyn Esotar2 Sub: Dyn Esaotar 1200, Processor: Zapco DSP Z8
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Old 10-28-2008   #19
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawkblk View Post
Wow the Dyn's are lifeless? That is a pretty big statement. I would like to experiment with these drivers. I am curious now. They must perform pretty darn well for someone who loves Dyn's to say these make them sound lifeless. I may need to get my hands on a set just to try out.
In stock - no waiting

http://www.12velectronics.com/servle...ln-/Categories

I don't think you will just be "trying them out" once you hear them.

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Old 10-28-2008   #20
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

I recently got to listen to a Legatia set. I find it necessary to audition anything that receives attention, especially when it's being compared to the likes of Dyn.

My personal opinion is that Hybrid's stuff trys to act more high end than it actually performs. Especially for the price tag.

There was some distortion, especially when the speakers were pushed a bit. Overall clarity was a bit clouded, among other things. It lacked dynamism, and impact. Basically, the things you look for or expect in a high end set.

Then again, they were stacked up against a Dyn car Esotec 362, a DLS 8.3i car, and a Rainbow car Cal28 tweet and 6.5 kick, not exactly easy competition. Installs varied from kicks to A-pillars, but either way, I wouldn't place the Legatia's even close to these cars, in any regard.

I would be as bold to say the Hybrid equipment fell on it's face. Especially next to Dyn equipment.

The Legatia drivers remind me more of Vifa drivers. I'd personally do a DIY build with ScanSpeak or the alike to save some coin, and yield similar or better results.

Let your ears be the judge. Luckily for me, I am able to do A/B comparisions using high end gear, which gives a more accurate experience.
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Old 10-28-2008   #21
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Which drivers were they? And what crossover points were used?

The design of Hybrid Audio's drivers are quite a bit different than most. They require quite a bit of airspace. If they are in a small enclosre, they will exibit the problems you noticed. Their wide-bandwidth can cover 7 octaves so choosing the right crossover is crutial.

The beauty of the Clarus set is that it comes with it's own passive crossover network, so it takes some of the guesswork out of the equasion.

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Old 10-28-2008   #22
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Default

The equipment was from the Legatia Pro series. Other than the L8 woofer, I don't know the other model numbers. I've never dealt with Hybrid. I had planned to do a more in depth review of the equipment, including comparative tests, crossover points, response, etc etc., but the Hybrid's seemed so easily overtaken by the other brands that I didn't feel the need.

The source was an Alpine F1. The owner of the car is experienced enough to know what he is doing in terms of crossover points, either way that wouldn't have been the problem. It's not like I felt the speakers were playing out of their range, and it isn't like they sounded bad. They just couldn't seem to roll with the big boys. In the range they did play, they lacked the same dynamics and musicality which makes high end speakers what they are.

For someone who doesn't enjoy DIY types of installs, it might be easier for them to just grab a set of Hybrid audio equipment that is pre assembled. That would be a knock in price and performance, if you asked me. It's hard to imagine these speakers having a market. The market they seem to have found is one built on hype and comparative claims to high end brands.

I would have liked to give them more time, but I feel it would be more beneficial to put them on the playing field with speakers of a lower rung.
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Old 10-28-2008   #23
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Please find out which drivers they were.

Since I have been using Hybrid speakers (about 6 months) I have not found another set of speakers I liked as much. And the judges at IASCA last year agreed. Vehicles equipped with Hybrid Audio products won more World Championships that all other front-stage speaker manufacturers COMBINED.

If that is not "Running with the big boys" then I don't know what is. I think you should give them another look. It is hard to take your opinion credibly when you don't even know what speakers you were listing to.

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Old 10-28-2008   #24
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

I could find out if it was necessary, I just don't feel it is.

I understand why you have to defend Hybrid Audio. I'm glad they have done well in competition, but that usually has more to do with tuning/installation.

My purpose of coming into this thread was to explain my listening experience with the Legatia speakers next to other brands which are supposedly of the same "caliber".

There aren't enough "3rd party" users of Hybrid who are totally unaffiliated, who have a set of Rainbow Plat's properly installed to compare them next to. A lot of users who are more budget minded upgrade to Hybrid.

You probably have defenses for miles in terms of what "other users" might have said, or the type of credible sources which have sweared by them.

Magazines, articles, your average car guy, I don't buy much into them. Usually, anything that sounds "bright" automatically sounds clearer to most folks. Hence, Dyn speakers sounding "lifeless".

At the end of the day, it's just my opinion based on my ears. You gave yours, I gave mine. Discussion over.
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Old 10-28-2008   #25
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Default Re: Hybrid Audio Clarus C51-2 Review

Enough said.

Take care.

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