Harbeth Monitor 30.1
$ 5695-6295 (depending on finish)
The ideal compact 2-way speaker method PS has heard, the 30.1 boasts higher neutrality, superb resolution, and a matching of drivers with respect to sonic character that is equaled by only a tiny handful of numerous-driver dynamic loudspeakers. Speaking with a single voice in a way reminiscent of Quad ESLs, it is also of related vanishingly low coloration and distortion, higher transparency, and sheer musical authority, with an totally ravishing midrange. You can listen to it with no fatigue for actually hours on finish.
$ 5800 (stands $ 850)
The X-1 may be the smallest loudspeaker in the Raidho line, but its sound is something but. With the same tweeter discovered in Raidho’s mighty $ 220k D-five, the X-1 gives a stunningly lovely midband and treble, with an ease, delicacy, and refinement rarely heard in this category. The very modest (4″) mid/woofer has limited excursion, bass extension, and dynamics, producing the X-1 ideal suited to smaller sized rooms. A giant-killer above 100Hz.
Dali Rubicon six
The objective of the 5 model Rubicon Series was to bring Epicon-like performance to a sweet-spot price tag. Mission accomplished. The 2.five-way R6 exemplifies a ripe, wealthy sound with outstanding upper-octave delicacy, thanks to the excellent hybrid dome/ribbon tweeter configuration—a Dali mainstay for years. Blessed with considerable slam, it has a bold, effortless, near-full-range sound that can be a bit plummy in the midbass. All issues considered the R6 tends to make a excellent musical statement in its segment.
Emerald Physics EP2.three
The EP2.3 (formerly the CS2.3 II) delivers the most precise imaging and very best soundstaging PS has heard anywhere, actually holographic. Dynamic variety is very wide, the midrange rich and open, and the bass substantial, though shy in the bottom-most half-octave. Orchestral music is notably spectacular, but all music is reproduced superbly with a tonal balance that is organic and neutral. The technique requires 4 channels of amplification, two for the bass drivers and two for the coaxially mounted midrange/treble module. Sensitivity is higher adequate to eschew sheer wattage in favor of top quality. Although the 2.3 is very transparent, these for whom the last degree of detail is major could wish to appear elsewhere.
Maggie’s 3-way, correct-ribbon/quasi-ribbon planar 3.7 effectively addresses 3 troubles that have long plagued “true-ribbon” Maggies: the seamless integration of that ribbon the retention of detail and dynamic variety at fairly low volume levels and the reduction of “Maggie grain.” The solution of these problems combined with the renowned virtues of correct-ribbon Magnepans produces what is, in JV’s opinion, a greatest get. Be conscious that the 3.7i’s are big, power-hungry, and restricted in low bass and ultimate SPLs.
Spendor’s neo-classic 48″ tower is superbly completed, and sonically offers up-front power, near full-range frequency response, and high dynamic potency. On balance and to the D7’s credit, it sounds much closer to a true three-way than to a two.five-way in that it maintains a close to continual level of tonal stability and dynamic drive via the midband—a feat that most 2.five-methods struggle to accomplish. It is the uncommon loudspeaker at any price that touches all the bases for each set of ears, but the reasonably priced D7 comes extremely close in a lot of areas.
Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand SE
Refined, luxurious, and lovingly hand-constructed in Europe, the Austrian-made BBG is 1 of the highest-worth elements RD has run across. Very detailed and possessing a convincingly 3-dimensional presentation, the BBG conjured photos that had been stable across the soundstage with more than a hint of vertical imaging details thrown in for good measure. Bass was fast, tight, tuneful, pitch-best, and properly-integrated into the speaker’s all round frequency balance.
Audio Physic Classic 30
$ 6000–$ 7000
The Classic 30, a three.five-way bass-reflex design, has the sheer enthusiasm of an extrovert. No require to baby this elegantly streamlined floorstander—it produces clean, dynamic, and alarmingly high output levels without having losing its meticulously crafted voice. It’s a loudspeaker capable of the intimacy, transparency, and coherence of a fine two-way compact, coupled with the exuberance and power of a multiway that doesn’t shrink from the wide dynamics and deep-bass challenges of huge music.
Reference 3A Taksim
Reference 3A’s latest loudspeaker model is priced at a point exactly where you’d have to devote a lot a lot more to improve upon its numerous virtues. This two-way design attributes the “hyperexponential”-shaped mid/bass driver introduced by the company’s founder half a century ago and constantly enhanced upon since. This mid/bass unit is capable of exceptional linearity and dispersion, which translate into wonderful detail and tonal realism. A beryllium tweeter is implemented practically without having the use of a crossover, protected from low frequencies and higher power by a single non-inductive capacitor.
$ 6995 (stands, $ 739)
Alan Shaw’s new Harbeth SuperHL5plus is one particular of the most stunning-sounding speaker systems reviewer Paul Seydor has heard because the original Quad electrostatic, with the exact same musicality and naturalness of the Quad, and a truly extraordinary best-to-bottom coherence evinced by handful of dynamic speakers of any type. The principal deviation from absolute neutrality is a slightly forgiving high quality throughout the presence range yet, the speaker in no sense lacks presence or lifelike vitality. The midrange is drop-dead beautiful, the best finish sweet and detailed. In sum, a reference-caliber element that usually sounds like music.
Larsen Model eight
The Larsen Model eight speakers are uncommon amongst floorstanders—they are made to be placed against the wall, with the wall and floor used as element of the acoustic design, rather than as one thing to be avoided. This approach to producing sound in rooms grew out of work of the late Stig Carlssen (with whom designer John Larsen worked) decades ago, and the principles stay valid. The profound understanding of how speakers and rooms interact embodied in the design and style leads to an unusually convincing presentation of music of all sorts, each modest-scaled and large. Unusual but excellent.
PSB Think about T3
Paul S. Barton’s current flagship solution is an exceptional value—a beautifully created complete-variety loudspeaker that, at a fraction of the cost, holds its own with the most heroically engineered transducers on the marketplace. The five-way T3 is a hugely versatile speaker, developed to perform at its ideal in a wide variety of rooms, thanks to the flexibility of its three woofers. Due to the fact of its voicing and energy-handling capability, the Picture T3 is a great rock ’n’ roll speaker, but it also has the tonal finesse and spatiality required to admirably serve classical music and acoustic jazz.
Joseph Audio Pulsar
What’s special and maybe even distinctive about these 2-way, bass-reflex compacts is their potential to combine all the greatest sonic qualities of a excellent mini-monitor with these of a bigger speaker. With a midrange purity that equals ribbon and electrostatic styles, and the dynamic weight of a larger speaker, the Pulsar is the closest factor to that not possible dream of a small speaker that can produce the SPLs of a a lot bigger transducer without having sacrifices in inner detail or harmonic purity.
Vandersteen Treo CT
A loudspeaker of uncommon musicality and precision. Building upon the R&D that went into the flagship Model Seven, the 4-driver, medium-scale Treo CT conveys a single-driver-like coherence that immerses the listener in the really moment the recording was captured. It combines uncanny image specificity, color, and texture with an enveloping sense of air and immersion. At least some credit should go to the Model Seven-derived CT (carbon tweeter), which is as transparent and open as it is extended. Basically a passive version of the Quatro Wood CT, the Treo could not have quite the significant bass slam of that model, but you hardly miss it due to its excellent pitch definition.
For $ 8k you get a nicely developed and voiced speaker capable of satisfying your every single musical need, be it rock, classical, jazz, blues, or Katy Perry. These speakers are versatile, dip deep into the low finish, offer terrific soundstaging and imaging, and do all of this for not a lot of cash. A “must-audition” for any person buying in the sub-$ 15k category.
$ 8750 (plus $ 495 side-firing tweeter choice)
This unusual design—with compound electrostatic elements flanked by dynamic woofers above and below—offers an extraordinary sonic experience. A controlled horizontal pattern, a vertical pattern that basically eliminates early floor reflection, and extraordinarily low distortion all combine to give a really pure sound. With woofers and electrostatic components set ideally, in-area response is exceptionally flat and the sound virtually perfectly neutral. Bass is surprisingly extended for a speaker of moderate size. Optional side-firing adjustable ring-radiator tweeters generate a much more “spacious” sound.
The Montis is state-of-the-art in all the regions exactly where electrostatics shine: supremely smooth and organic tonal balance (slightly forgiving in the 2k-4kHz variety), with a transparency that rivals PS’ reference Quad ESLs, a dynamic variety that is fairly beyond the capability of any Quad, and for that matter any other ESLs of his knowledge, and an capacity to reproduce vocalists, instrumentalists, and ensembles to life size. By any reckoning this is a really great speaker program capable of supremely satisfying reproduction of all kinds of music.
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