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Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?

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Posted on July 21, 2020 at 14:32:59
farfetched
Audiophile

Posts: 824
Location: Cleveland!
Joined: October 13, 2010
To me, I really feel happy, as far as audiophiles can be, because I can get "that sound" we all like, the planar sound.

It is truly a destination moment when you find something that just clicks for you, and maggies clicked for me.

But does anyone live with planars and "classic" stand-mounted monitors like the LS3/5a and like? I suppose I am meaning British makes.

Just as there is a "planar sound" there is no doubt a "classic stand-mounted monitor" sound. If I could afford a second quality speaker, I would like to get a Harbeth. Tens of thousands of Brits can't be wrong, I figure.

Anyone regularly switch in and out of your systems anothr classic speaker type?



/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

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RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 21, 2020 at 16:50:37
mgv
Audiophile

Posts: 11
Location: South Carolina
Joined: May 4, 2004
I do not swap speakers regularly, but recently I bought a pair of PSB Alpha B1, a small stand-mounted speaker that is now on sale for $199 at Audio Advisor. (This speaker model has recently been replaced by other Alpha models.) I use this speaker in a secondary system, where they replaced a pair of Pioneer SP-BS-22, which is also a small stand-mounted speaker that can be bought today for $79 at walmart.com (on clearance). Before placing the PSB Alpha in its intended location, I had a small "listening competition" with family members comparing the PSB and the MMGs in my main listening system. I did not measure levels, and I do not claim that the comparison has any validity. Still, the PSB Alpha B1 is a really musical, fun, speaker! I can imagine rotating the Alphas and the MMGs for fun!

I suggest looking past the classic British mini-monitors at other small stand-mounted speakers. I understand that PSB benefited a lot from research by Dr. Floyd Toole and Sean Olive at the Canadian NRC. I think (someone may correct me) that the classic BBC mini-monitor design is older than that work. For contrast to planar sound, you may like the sound of some of these modern designs. They may also be cheaper.

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 21, 2020 at 20:28:03
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 829
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
I have a pair of 3.6Rs and a couple of pairs of Harbeths (Compact 7ES2 and SHL5) that I swap out fairly regularly. I have most recently settled on the Maggies, as they have turned out to sound much better in a smaller room than I ever expected. The Harbeths are very nice, but they don't have the step-into-it realism that the Maggies have, and nothing can beat that true-ribbon tweeter. They ARE very neutral and balanced-sounding, though.

Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 10:14:11
alfagil
Audiophile

Posts: 22
Location: So. Cal
Joined: March 11, 2002
I've had an Apogee Stage since the 90s and last year bought a pair of Totem Mani2 to try out the "stand-mounted" bookshelf speaker sound. I don't know if the totems have the "classic" sound but they do a lot of things right. I'd agree that it's a worthwhile quest to have a good planar and a good bookshelf speaker in the house. It keeps things fresh and interesting. I chose the Totems because I was already familiar with the Arro and Model1 which I both liked very much. I've never had the opportunity to listen to Harbeth speakers but if they are anything like Spendors then they should be great.

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 13:54:06
Kurtle
Audiophile

Posts: 184
Location: Salem Oregon
Joined: December 21, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
April 6, 2011
I have Maggie 1.7's and Vandersteen 1C's that get periodically rotated. I love both of these speakers, and really enjoying listening to the differences between them.

I recently bought a house, and my listening room is small. I didn't think the Maggies would do well in the room, but treating the room with absorption and diffraction has resulting in pretty good, albeit near field, sound.

A few months back I found a pair of Vandersteen 1C's on Craigslist for $200, couldn't pass them up. They do very well in this room and I really enjoy them. In the past I have owned MMG's and the current Maggie 1.7's and 3 pairs of Vandy's, the original 1's, the 2C's and a pair of 1C's that I passed the 1C's on to my sister a couple yrs ago. Although I was happy to be able to provide my sister with good sound, I always missed the 1C's so when the Craigslist deal popped up I jumped on them.

I also own a pair of A/D/S 570-2 that I picked up off of Craigslist for $100, I rotate those in occasionally as well. They are destined for a living room system in the near future. The metal grills will make them safe with our two curious kitties. I couldn't risk the Maggies around the kitties claws, and a dedicated room has its advantages, even if it on the small side...

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 23, 2020 at 13:56:41
G Squared
Audiophile

Posts: 5884
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Joined: November 16, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
LRS and ProAc Studio 3 in about a 6 week rotation cycle. I like it both ways. My front end works for both.

Is that too much innuendo?

Gsquared

 

yes and no, posted on July 23, 2020 at 20:41:32
DrChaos
Audiophile

Posts: 1816
Location: San Diego
Joined: July 13, 2009
I have Maggie 3.6r and KEF Reference One, certainly British but quite a bit more advanced than a classic monitor.

THe intent was the KR1 which has perfect objective behavior to replace the physically larger maggies. But with head to head, level calibrated, with same sub and appropriate Anthem ARC correction for each....

The Maggies were obviously better and so much more immersive. Like looking at a 2d screen vs living real life being there "Avatar style"

The KR1's are in a bedroom for background sound, and need a new home.

 

4 box speakers, posted on July 26, 2020 at 11:12:12
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 15429
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003

-Pioneer SP-BS21 Andrew Jones
-Infinity ref 3
-Triangle Comete
-KEF LS50 (sold earlier this year)



The Pioneer's were originally purchased for use as a back patio speaker but ended up in the garage at the end of Summer. Decent, cheap (I think I paid around $60 new) but for their purpose they can hold it's own. Ultimately they became my sacrifice speakers whenever I do DIY projects ie set of DIY interconnects, internal repair or upgrade to a preamp, XO, etc., Here they're perched on top of my old Apogee Duetta Sigs shipping crates back in 2014 (sigh).




The above Infinity 3's were a rescue set I picked up at a Goodwill, both in need of serious refoaming (unit on the right post-foamed). Cost per speaker: $4, another $12 for refoam kit.




the above from the Italian based company 'Triangle' are the Comete', the little brother of the more famous Celius which I could never find on the used market. A great speaker in it's own right, excellent highs, extremely revealing, currently used in a second system in the living room.




Lastly are the British KEF LS50's were also used in a second, living room system rotating in/out with the Triangle Comete. Very accurate, extremely revealing, highly sensitive enough to use a low powered tube amps. Sold them because they didn't receive much attention and I saw the market for them dwindling due to their more popular self-powered blue tooth version.

All in all the KEF and Triangles are serious speakers which deliver the goods. The 'issues' I face with both is at the end of the day they're still box speakers, meaning they're going to fire/play 'at' you rather than 'to' you like Maggies and other great Planars do. Once you're accustomed to the sound of a good planar it's hard to go back to a box speaker (at least for me anyway).

Now the Pioneer and Infinity situation is different since the listening is casual, non-critical. They also alternate with a Marantz 2238 receiver, typical for electronics of that era via a Logitec squeezebox pro. And at one point VTL tubes, and a Chinese clone Marantz model 8 tube preamp (hey I said it's for the garage ok? lol) Also thrown in there is my Nak ST7 tuner.




Regards-



 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 26, 2020 at 18:44:50
Joe Backer
Audiophile

Posts: 717
Joined: July 10, 2011
We moved to a smaller place so my ESL57s had to go and I've been living with Harbeth 30.1s for about 5 years and everything I throw up against them just falls short. They are the closest small speaker I've heard to the Quads, at least in the near field. You should buy a pair and try them out. They are like currency and re-sell easily if you don't like them!

 

tempted by the LS 50's, posted on July 27, 2020 at 14:51:07
farfetched
Audiophile

Posts: 824
Location: Cleveland!
Joined: October 13, 2010
It seems KEF put their brand name on the line with this one, being a 50th anniversary model and all. Lots of them on the used market.

I am a big fan of relatively nearfield listening because I am a relatively low-volume listener. I am gonna be in audio heaven when my LSR's arrive, and the added bonus? My BAT VK-500 amp is being repaired for free as we speak :)

I have a great uncle who is a retired electrician and repairman. He looked at the BAT and asked why I wasn't using it, I said a channel went on it and I am not in the mood to ship it to DE. He pointed his pocket flashlight over the circuit board, pulled up a chair and looked inside. "This won't take more than a couple hours, if I have the parts."

Sometimes, you get very lucky. Not only are LSR's coming in a few weeks, but I am gonna get my source-to-amp balanced system back up and running.

I've been using -- shock! -- a 25 year old Audiolab 8000a. I'm easy to please, and for what I do (I do not play my Bruckner at first-row volume levels!) I can vouch, it has its charms.

Those ls50's would sure sound neat with my trusty Audiolab I bet....



/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on July 28, 2020 at 20:42:40
mondial
Audiophile

Posts: 781
Location: S.E. ASIA
Joined: January 14, 2007
I went through 3 pairs of LS3/5a in the past ( two Rogers and 1 Harbeth ) . The Harbeth's sound the best . Drove it w/ my ARC D79B's and they sound great but w/ a lot of limitations. When I got my factory refurbished MG 3A I don't miss this mini monitors any longer , big speakers are much better specially if one have a moderately sized dedicated music room ( mine is 6 meters x 4 meters w/ a 9 feet ceiling ) . I alternate my MG 3A's w/ my Duntech C5000 Princess .

 

not a classic monitor, but, posted on August 1, 2020 at 18:20:38
wazoo
Audiophile

Posts: 4060
Location: Middle GA
Joined: December 6, 2006
Due to one of life's surprises, the layout of my room changed in such a way that I figured the 3.7s would have to go, so I bought a pair of Definitive's ST-L speakers to replace them.





I'm quite pleased with them, but I still couldn't bring myself to part with the 3.7s, which languished in their box for a few years. Eventually, I decided to sell the 3.7s and removed them to reverse some modifications, but couldn't resist putting them in my system first. That changed my mind - just can't part with them. So, I've been swapping back and forth every few months and it's like having a brand new system every time I make the change (part of the Mye stand is visible to the left of the speaker in the photo above). The weird thing is that each time I swap speakers, I am reminded how awesome whichever one I just put back in service sounds. In certain ways, each has a slight advantage over the other.

I just tore it all down (time for the annual deep cleaning) and installed a simplified 2-channel system, built around my old Marantz PM-11S1. Curiosity forced me to swap the 3.7s back into the system the next day. That 100wpc (200 into 4 ohms) drove them splendidly in a bedroom (best bass I ever heard out of a pair of Maggies) and it's up to the task in my 600sq' room, as well.





 

RE: not a classic monitor, but, posted on August 2, 2020 at 08:20:32
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 15429
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
Funny you should mention Marantz and bass, I once owned a Marantz 1040 which really only delivered 20 wpc but when I connected it to my MG1.6' it delivered GREAT bass believe it or not (with all controls in the null position)!

Specs don't reveal if the 1040 was capable of a 4ohm load (I doubt it!) but man oh man it sounded great. I should note I only ran it at mod levels no longer than 30 min at a time while my regular amp was in the shop. I did periodic spot checks on whether or not it would get too hot! (it didn't).





 

RE: not a classic monitor, but, posted on August 2, 2020 at 08:50:34
wazoo
Audiophile

Posts: 4060
Location: Middle GA
Joined: December 6, 2006
Actually, that amp was rated at 38wpc into a 4 ohm load. A friend of mine had one (as part of a complete Marantz system) and I confess to lusting after his system - I had a Kenwood integrated at the time, driving Large Advents.

Yesterday, I cranked 'Fear Inoculum' and that Marantz PM-11S1 didn't object in the least, nor did my ears. In fact, of the amps I currently have on hand, I think this one is my favorite, even though it has the lowest power rating. I really loved it with the radically modified MMGs I had in my bedroom and then the 3.7s in the same room (no longer a bedroom). I'm frankly shocked at how effortlessly it seems to drive the 3.7s in the much larger room.

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on August 24, 2020 at 19:22:27
Shakey
Audiophile

Posts: 849
Joined: March 1, 2002
I have Quad 57s. I have listened to a few Harbeths but they just didn't do it for me. I am enjoying a pair of Bache Audio Tribeca's. I hardly listen to my Quads now.

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on August 24, 2020 at 19:45:38
farfetched
Audiophile

Posts: 824
Location: Cleveland!
Joined: October 13, 2010
Those look interesting!

That is an entire other frontier I need to also keep on "the list". I've never listened to a driver of that sort, nor a speaker with that kind of sensitivity. Where do they cross over to the standard bass drivers?
/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on August 25, 2020 at 04:32:41
Shakey
Audiophile

Posts: 849
Joined: March 1, 2002
I have Quad 57s. I have listened to a few Harbeths but they just didn't do it for me. I am enjoying a pair of Bache Audio Tribeca's. I hardly listen to my Quads now.

 

RE: Anyone live w/ planars and "classic" monitors like ls3/5a?, posted on August 25, 2020 at 05:33:13
Shakey
Audiophile

Posts: 849
Joined: March 1, 2002
I believe the wide band driver covers the range from 500-8000. I copied the link and sent it to the designer, Greg Belman, so maybe he will answer.

Having had a not so good experience the last time I had my Quads restored by PK of QuadsUnlimited I sought out a box speaker I can live with. Naturally the usual suspects come to mind: Harbeth, Spendor, ProAc. At the New York Audio show in 2019, I heard Bache's smaller Lexington speaker right after hearing the Harbeth M40.2's. That's when I decided to seek out the larger Tribeca speaker.

 

absolutely!, posted on August 25, 2020 at 11:07:21
farfetched
Audiophile

Posts: 824
Location: Cleveland!
Joined: October 13, 2010
Those Definitive's look like a good ticket if space is tighter. And their prices are nice and affordable. But that's my plan! Get a second pair of something, and enjoy some variety during this Mess of a time!


/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

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