Actually I had to move it to today. I had difficulties getting where I wanted quickly using the transportation service and both stereo places were either renovating rooms or unpacking newly shipped items so dissapointingly I couldn't listen to specific models I wanted to listen to. I know someone was hoping for me to listen to PMC - the first place I went to had them but not connected - so I figured I would just wait toill I got to Commercial Electronics(the second store who has carried PMC for years - I go there and no PMC? WTF!! They had JM Labs and ML - but expanded their Bang and Oluffson Room which seems to take up half the store.
The forst place was Sound Plus and they carry Linn, Dynaudio, PMC, Mirage, Magnepan, Wilson. But here they were renovating the top floor - I did manage to listen to the Dynaudio 42 - I had a long listen to the 52 previously the 42 less so but this time I had more time - very nice speaker packs a good wollop and quite an open sound - The amplification cd player was allin one Linn(strange little unit with difficult front panel controls - neverless the sound was quie excellent. For what it's worth I far more enjoyed these speakers than I did the far more expensive B&W 705/Bryston 4BSST/.5 combo. Dynaudio consistantly shows me they are fast becoming IMO of course the best of the big brand speaker makers by a pretty wide margin.
I had to listen to Wilson because I have never heard them...and with a $34,000 Front end of Mark Levinson cd player and preamp with a massive Krell power amplifier in a well sound proofed room the Sophia's were quite impressive.
I have heard mixed things from people on Wilson speakers - and no they are not perfect - and considering the price of this total system I'm not sure I would be convinced to take it over what I have at far less cost(and far less impressive box sizes)...nevertheless what I really liked about the set-up was that it kept me wanting to try out another disc rather than leave irritated or bored. I kept thinking yes that is an actual instrument a piano that doesn't sound like it's straining or pingy or thin. I get the sense the speaker or system was on the dark side a bit - which is better than the reverse. Insome ways it reminded me of a bigger bass version of the Reference 3a MM De Capo but with a smoother top end than the De Capo and not quite as recessed a soundstage - I don't know the price of the Sophia but it's sure to be considerably more than the De Capo so depending your view this is either a big compliment to Reference 3a or a bit of hit on the Sophia.
I like the Sophia - a bit dark but a big robust sound - strong vocals and decay - takes a bit to get used to after my own speakers. I get the sense the top end is a bit less open in the treble region and despite the subwoofer bottom section I don't get the sense it present more bass depth.
I am of the belief a speaker should be able to do reasonably good justice to ALL kinds of music - if it can't do Aerosmith plausibly what makes one think it can do classical plausibly? Well the Wilson can - from operatic vocals or Avril Levigne rocker music to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata - something that stunk on the Paradigm Reference 100V3 and the B&W 705. The only discs that seemed to give the Wilson's trouble was the very fast fiddle work of Leahy(My personal speaker killer disc almost no system does right) - and a Rory Block disc that seemed a bit hollow.
I'd have to know what the speaker costs before I can say whether I would be totally in favour of them but regardless of cost they were highly engaging. What is the point in spending $2400.00 Cdn and $2700.00CDN on the totally unengaging uninteresting hollow and thin lacking bass and dynamics of the B&W 705 or Paradigm 100V3 when one can buy speakers with these kinds of traits for $499. As usual it's not about price it's about value and the Dane 42 which I am guessing is around $1300.00CDN seemed to have what people I presume call PRAT in a greater degree - sure it can't play too loud and sure it isn't going to hit the lowest octaves - but it seemed nimble and interesting to listen to.
I am going on Wednesday and will try to listen to some others I would like to hear Audio Note's AX Two standmount which is cheaper than the Dane 42 by a considerable margin I think ~$700.00Cdn and Linn's speakers seem to number highly.
Sorry about PMC it could not be done - I am glad they finally come in something other than Black though. I would suggest though to those _$1200-$2000.00 price range to definitely try the 42 and the 52(which I still like better) these I think would be tough to beat in this class.
Thanks for the great read RGA, you're quickly becoming one of the ears I trust most (because they seem to be remarkably similar to my own :-) ) and one of the posters I always read.
Well so far - LOL. I have several speakers I will be going over next week in mini capsule reviews - so some might get miffed at me. Others might be excited about what they can get in a mere $700.00CDN Loudspeaker.
RGA, while you are in Vancouver might I suggest you check out the Spendor speakers at Signature Audio on Cambie street. I believe Signature Audio is only a few blocks from Sound Plus. I am from Victoria ,as I believe you are as well, and I am quite interested in the new s9e speaker from Spendor. Spendor having the soft dome tweeters, as do the PMC's. Eventually I'll make over myself but I would be interested in hearing your opinions on it.
You will find that Signature Audio does not have all of the Spendors in stock.
I was in there yesterday to hear the S5E's and Quad 21L's. He also has some of the bookshelf models but nothing above the S5E.
The Spendor is a beautiful speaker, great rhythm and enough bass to satisfy me. Mids were wonderful and the top end was there but not overly so. I would imagine some might find the top end somewhat soft, depending on the system, but was certainly to my liking.
The Quads were very nice too, though not deep in the bass and slightly, and I mean only slightly, emphatic on the top.
I may be over there again in September and I'll check them out. Jack Gribble loves Spendor and Audio Note --- people who like AN speakers I tend to trust more.
Yes RGA,I have followed some of Jack Gribble's comments on the Spendor speakers but I don't think he has commented on the S9e's that I am aware of. I look forward to your thoughts on this speaker and also the PMC OB1 which is another speaker that interests me in the future sometime when you do get a chance to hear them...Dick
Have you tried Signature Audio?
They are one of my favourite hifi shops in Vancouver.
No. I'm living in Nanaimo now so it's really tough to get over there and listen. Do you know if a salesperson or owner there is named Serge? He used to work at Commercial Electronics and was my dealer there but he left to open his own shop.
No, the owner's name is Ken. They are located on Cambie.
The store is on the smaller side but is stuffed full of gear.
The back listening room has some really cool stuff.
I see that they are listed as a dealer for Hyperion speakers.
Would love to hear those.
There is a fairly new store (2 years old ?) in West Van called Yana.
The owner's name is Sergei, perhaps he is who you are thinking of.
They have some nice stuff, relaxed atmosphere.
Yana has really moved to the HT side.
Big Screen TV's and HT Receivers and the such.
They do carry Triangle speakers and Cairn & ASL components.
I've realized we have similar tastes. If you can, since you just heard the expensive Wilson's, see if you can find somewhere that has what just might be my favourite speaker of all time, The SAP J2001's to listen too. They are expensive: $17,000 USD, but they sound more expensive, not less, if you know what I mean, given the high price of some popular monstrosities.
I love those speakers too. I have the larger version -- J2001 twin (two 12" woofers) with the original, non-wooden midrange/tweeter unit.
Great sound, but I can see why they went to all the trouble of creating the wooden head. The looks of the original version is, charitably, ecclectic.
The other crazy thing about the original model is that connection to speaker cable is through a terminal strip. That means I stick one tine of my NBS cable into the strip and tighten the screw and hope nothing falls off (I'm too lazy to drill the crossover box and install a real terminal).
Vu's famous 45 push pull amps that so many people have with the J 2001's or the twins I guess. Vu says a lot of people even use them with my Spendors!! (the 1/2's). What I have heard though is his push pull 2A3 monos with the Acrosound transformers which is only 6 watts driving the spendors with ease. My wallet almost flew out of my pocket. In fact it did, but there was no money in it :)
I use one of Vu's 45 stereo amps with the Acrosound TO-330 transformers. I know of someone trying to sell one of Vu's stereo 2a3 amps with Chicago transformers. The Chicago transformers are a bit more punchy and dynamic than the Acrosounds, in these amps, but they are not quite as smooth and rich. Still this is a nice amp. Email me if you want to get in contact with the person selling the amp. The seller lives in Alexandria.
Well They certainly won't go unnoticed if I see them...but are they een sold in Canada. With all the speakers I have heard over the years I get the feeling I'm scratching a tiny surface of what's on the market. hell we don;t even get Spendor, ATC or Harbeth - and these are always raved about in Britain - I have to put up with the endless array of PSB, Energy and Paradigm - C'MON all of these are virtually interchangeable.
the sophias are about 16000, im dissapointed i couldnt get another opinion from you on the gb-1's; but isnt it amazing how much thump you can get out of those little dynaudio 42's ? they know how to build speakers but i still prefer the pmc sound..
Nick I read your comment below about sort-of being stuck with a standmount due to pets but not wanting a sub. 50hz IMO isn't going to do it because you will listen for a while and start thinking gee that would sound a bit fuller with more bass. I was there with my AN K and that speaker had a low of 36hz and Can be had for $1500.00Cdn - it has "more" bass than the TB2(metal version) - or at the very least the K 'seems' to have more bass the way it presents music.
I would find it next to impossible to buy a speaker like this not hearing it for yourself first - There is tuneful fuller bass and then there is a punchy kind even though both may have similar frequency response ratings. My Wharfedale's are rated to 40hz - but because of the way they present it they seem to be deeper than many others rated at 30hz(probably the wharfedales are a bit flabby and would be deemed less acurate but they seem to produce a bigger deeper impact.
Don't worry about not being able to hear the PMC's. I really appriciate the effort anyway.
I am still considering the PMC's. Just for the Bryston/PMC synergy factor. Plus my dealer sells them and it is nice to be able to support them.
The 50Hz stuff I was talking about was in regards to the DB1. I just thought all things being equal the DB-1 would sound better than the TB2 due the smaller driver. Faster, more detailed, less strained etc...
I am still not sure what I am going to do. I am currently still saving and considering my options. I think that the GB1 is the way to go if I can afford to due so. It would have all of the virtues of the DB-1 but it also goes down to 29Hz. I am just going to continue to save and see how things unfold.
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