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Electrostats
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Topic Rating: +1 Topic Rating: +1 (1 votes) 
November 25, 2017
6:56 pm
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Darrenv1070, we have similar musical taste.  Love Paradigm’s Personas myself after going through many others including B&Ws, GoldenEars, Focals, Neats, Harbeths, Spendors and Revels.  Go with whichever speakers your ears and gut tell you are best.  Lastly, Paul’s advice on a pair of subs is highly recommended.

Hobbies: Riding Motorcycles & Music Aficionado HiFi: PS Audio - DirectStream DMP & DAC, BHK Sig. Pre & 250 Stereo amps, P10 Regenerator, 5 Noise Harvesters, 2 Power Port Classics & HDMI cable; Paradigm - Persona 3F speakers & Prestige 1000SW subwoofers; Kimber - Hero HB & CU XLRs, Bifocal XL Speaker, PK10 Ascent RH Power Cables & Salamader - Synergy S323 Twin stand

November 26, 2017
6:26 am
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Certainly no substitute for listening, especially when it comes to speakers.  We all hear differently, both measurably and by exposure/training, etc.

Personally I have never heard a ML I liked (apologies, ML fans!).  Both in peoples homes and at shows.  Including recent Axpona showings of the Big ‘uns that many were raving about – made me want to run from the room (and I sat in the sweet spot for a while).  I also usually find Focals and B&Ws overly bright.  But that’s me and my hearing.  Yours is the only opinion that matters.

What sort of surprises me is how it seems like there’s more general agreement about what a good TV picture looks like than audio.  Though I’m sure if you ask videophiles, they would have more diverse opinions.  I’m a videographer for a living, so when I walk into a TV store, NONE of the TVs look good, because they’re all set up to compete with each other in terms of brightness and contrast.  A properly calibrated TV or monitor would literally seem pale in comparison.  I feel like that’s the sort of thing that’s going on at shows and in showrooms a lot with audio – make it “impressive” – “ooo, listen to all that detail I never noticed before….”itwasntme_gif

P3, DirectStream Memory Player via I2S (AQ Carbon) or Bill Ernst-modded Mac Mini running Roon via galvanically isolated USB chain (or ethernet to Bridge II) to DS Junior, Transparent Ultra XLRs, DEQX HDP-4, Transparent Ultra XLRs, Hypex nCore 400-based amp, Harbeth SHL5+ or Quad 988's with JLAudio f112 subs.  Analog:  VPI Scout, JMW 9 arm, Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC, VTL TL 2.5 Phono analog to DEQX, or PS Audio Phono Converter, I2S to DS Jr.  Surround: ARCAM AVR 600, Oppo 105, ACI Sapphire XLs, JL Audio subs.

November 26, 2017
8:09 am
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MA

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I did find the Focal Sopra N2 to be less than impressive. Bright, and not much bass.

 

I am good in the bass department. I run a JL Audio F113v2 pair from a JL Audio CR-1 sub controler from my BHK preamp. Killer control, and the CR-1 didn’t effect sound from BHK at all from what I heard.

November 26, 2017
4:05 pm
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Let me say. I also OWN the ML Odysseys. The concept of arcing or not getting loud is a completely foreign concept to this brand. The 15a is 2 designs up from mine. I suspect they are incredible. What led me to the mags was what I thought would drive me away – which was the bass. Planar bass is pretty sweet if you get a panel large enough. Saying that, I would never disparage anyone from getting a 15a. :). I would love to hear them some day. 

And yes what Howard said is true  . I would bet the Maggie’s are the most room sensitive speaker out there. I had a lot of flexibility for them.  That is good and bad. Good because it gives you a lot of flexibility to Taylor the sound just based on movement of the speaker. Bad because if you can’t get it right in your room then results are sub-optimal.   Good because the bass is a planar as is the rest of the speaker so it lends itself to realism. Bad because it isn’t chest thumping bass. You just gotta listen. If you are thinking about the 15a – you gotta listen to the mags at least out of curiosity and I do think Overture has them both. 

November 26, 2017
6:05 pm
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MA

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Thank you for all the info and insight. Overture is over 5 hours drive for me so that’s too far.There maybe a dealer near Boston. Waltham ( Goodwin )? I will see what they sell.

December 2, 2017
6:30 am
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MA

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Due to budget and impatience I decided to pick up a PBS Imagine T3 pair. Should arrive early next week. Will post my feelings once set up and broken in a bit. Good reviews tho. Should be a decent upgrade to my Def Tech Mythos ST-L I am currently using?

December 4, 2017
1:24 pm
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I used to own quad esl63’s with the full Crosby mod.  I loved them but as other have found the panels break and I didn’t feel like continued expensive repairs. 

If I were to consider a stat speaker today it would be a SoundLab.  They put every other stat I’ve heard to shame, in dynamics as well.  I’ve heard various models and sizes over the years and have always been impressed.

There is a brand new series that is smaller, that Is supposed to be amazing.  

I wish I had a dedicated room to add a pair. perhaps someday I will.

No offense to anyone here but at several shows I have heard Martin logans presented by the factory.  I’ve heard The neolith and another new hybrid in about the $20k range.  I am always shocked that They think it sounds good.  A friend identified problems in less than 30 seconds and wanted to leave the room immediately.

I heard Sanders in a less than ideal situation at a show at was not impressed.

Again – anyone considering stats (that have they space to let a dipole design like that breath – placed well away from the walls) fly if necessary to a dealer to hear soundlabs. It’s a shame they are not shown more.

My current speakers – TAD’s – designed by Andrew Jones who loves and own quads bear a bit of a sonic resemblance.

I’ve even added electrostatic super tweeters on top- so I feel like I have a bit of that great stat sound quality and with the BHK 300’s – they sound better than any other amp I’ve had on them.   

December 4, 2017
2:10 pm
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Emailists, I have no doubt the Soundlabs are awesome and would love to listen to a pair. But I think if you are going to make determinations of a speaker’s quality based on show conditions, then you are going to be wrong. A lot. 

Electrostats are highly sensitive to room and setup. They actually aren’t as sensitive to near sidewalls as they are to distance from the wall behind them. Martin Logan’s do best, in my experience, about five to six feet out from the wall behind them, with diffuser panels on that wall to diffuse the rear wave of the speaker. The room also needs a fair amount of bass trapping to get the best sound out of the hybrid speaker’s woofers. Set up correctly, in a good well-treated room, driven with quality upstream components, they are an amazing speaker. 

Perfectwave Transport => DirectStream DAC => Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS2 preamp => Conrad Johnson Premier 140 amp => Martin Logan Summit speakers; PS Audio P-10 power regenerator

December 4, 2017
3:35 pm
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MA

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Damit, there is a Soundlab dealer in CT, about 1.5 hours from me. I’ll swing by on Wednesday! Too bad I ordered up the PSB’s so quick! LOL. No maybe down the road, as the Soundlab’s retail price past my current budget. I upgraded a lot of my gear this year. It’s gotta wait now until summer!

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pmotz
December 4, 2017
4:52 pm
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Avadia said

Electrostats are highly sensitive to room and setup. …  Martin Logan’s do best, in my experience, about five to six feet out from the wall behind them, with diffuser panels on that wall to diffuse the rear wave of the speaker. The room also needs a fair amount of bass trapping to get the best sound out of the hybrid speaker’s woofers. Set up correctly, in a good well-treated room, driven with quality upstream components, they are an amazing speaker.   

Yep, agreed!  This year’s RMAF was the first show where I actually liked what I heard out of ML’s show demonstrations.  I have owned a pair of Summit X’s for a little over three years and have heard them in an extremely well designed listening room at Overture AV, and in 4 residential settings as I moved around prior to retirement.  In each case, different room = different speaker.  And not just a little bit different, either.   Waaaay different.  With an indifferent setup, they can be truly horrible.    If I hadn’t heard them first at Overture, I would have had no idea what they were capable of and would not have touched them with a 10 foot barge pole.

That said, they are not perfect, and there are trade-offs.  There are designs that can be plopped into a room with less thought to setup, but those would have cost me multiples of what the M-L’s were going for.  Yes, they can be a bit fiddly to set up, but sheer exasperation lead me to the discovery of Room EQ Wizard (www.roomeqwizard.com), and purveyors of reasonably priced room treatments (GIK and ATS Acoustics).   My pair has “taught” me more about room acoustics than I could ever have imagined as I worked to get them sounding like the showroom.

Front End: PS Audio PPP feeding Pass Labs XP-30, PS Audio PWT, PS Audio DSD, Aurender N100h streamer/server. Analog: VPI TNT Jr/ET II air bearing arm / Dynavector 17D3 / Bright Star isolation base (yep, definitely vintage) into Pass Labs XP-15. Amplification: Pass Labs XA160.8's direct to mains. M-L Summit X speakers. Wiring: Hero interconnects (balanced), MIT Matrix 28 speaker cables, Cardas Clear 2x USB cable. Various power cables from PS Audio and Pangea. Various room treatments from ATS and GIK.

December 4, 2017
6:21 pm
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FWIW I agree with emailists.  I really liked the SoundLabs (and have heard them sound great at multiple shows and a few times in people’s homes.)  MLs never sounded great to me at the local dealer (no matter how he set them up) nor at shows.  I do agree that you don’t learn anything at a show when the room sucks, but conversely if a room sounds great it’s telling.

December 6, 2017
6:09 am
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Darrenv – If you liked the Mythos, you should find the PSBs a significant improvement.  As long as you also like towers – and with your subs you should be able to hurt yourself (in a good way).  No worries about having to put them WAY out into the room or breaking them, but a very different thing than stats.  If you’re not focused on classical, you should be happy – not that the PSBs will not do that well.  You should certainly be able to get big dynamics going.

But hang on, here – you started this thread about buying stats! ; )

P3, DirectStream Memory Player via I2S (AQ Carbon) or Bill Ernst-modded Mac Mini running Roon via galvanically isolated USB chain (or ethernet to Bridge II) to DS Junior, Transparent Ultra XLRs, DEQX HDP-4, Transparent Ultra XLRs, Hypex nCore 400-based amp, Harbeth SHL5+ or Quad 988's with JLAudio f112 subs.  Analog:  VPI Scout, JMW 9 arm, Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC, VTL TL 2.5 Phono analog to DEQX, or PS Audio Phono Converter, I2S to DS Jr.  Surround: ARCAM AVR 600, Oppo 105, ACI Sapphire XLs, JL Audio subs.

December 6, 2017
3:34 pm
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MA

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I did. But since many fine folks have chimed in, I have decided maybe stats are not the best for me. Thank you all!  I think maybe wait now for PSA to see how their upcoming towers fair!

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