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Speakers > Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy
Mudslide's Avatar Mudslide 07:51 AM 06-19-2014
Dennis, any word from the field on the new Pio/Affordable Accuracy tower speakers?

Dennis Murphy's Avatar Dennis Murphy 08:38 AM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslide View Post
Dennis, any word from the field on the new Pio/Affordable Accuracy tower speakers?

You're up early, Mud. Thanks for asking. I finally got the stock 52's in last week, and I'm starting into the mods. I haven't got them up on the site yet, but I will in a day or so.
Slinkee's Avatar Slinkee 11:55 PM 06-19-2014
Hi Dennis,

I was curious if anything special is done when designing a crossover for a speaker that would be placed near a wall.

Also, are transmission line cabinet designs the only school of thought for designing a speaker that would live close to a wall?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Dennis Murphy's Avatar Dennis Murphy 11:14 AM 06-20-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slinkee View Post
Hi Dennis,

I was curious if anything special is done when designing a crossover for a speaker that would be placed near a wall.

Also, are transmission line cabinet designs the only school of thought for designing a speaker that would live close to a wall?
Thanks for your thoughts.
I've discovered that, all else equal, placing a speaker right up against a rear wall will make very little difference in the baffle step, and therefor not really require an adjustment in the crossover's baffle step compensation. If, however, the speaker is placed not only in close proximity to the rear wall, but also close to a side wall, that corner placement will probably cause boomy bass, and there's nothing to be done about that in terms of the crossover. If the speaker is flush-mounted in a wall, them the crossover does have to be modified to pretty much eliminate the baffle step compensation. A rear-ported bass-reflex cabinet should not be mounted very close to the rear wall. TL cabinets are less problematic in this respect, but a sealed design would be the least problematic, followed by a front-ported TL or bass reflex cabinet.
Slinkee's Avatar Slinkee 11:30 AM 06-20-2014
Thank you for the insight.
Questhate's Avatar Questhate 02:21 PM 06-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiagofm View Post

Hey guys -- anyone know where I can get some rolling trolley/cart/stands like the ones under these Phils? Seems like a great idea to make your Phils more transportable.
Mudslide's Avatar Mudslide 04:55 PM 06-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post
Hey guys -- anyone know where I can get some rolling trolley/cart/stands like the ones under these Phils? Seems like a great idea to make your Phils more transportable.
I don't know where you can 'get' them. They are easy as pie to make. Cut (or get someone to cut) to size a block of 1" wood or laminated plywood, paint it, and buy - then screw in castors. It looks like rubber furniture cups are used that allow the bottom of the speaker to stand off/isolate from the base.
Questhate's Avatar Questhate 05:14 PM 06-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslide View Post
I don't know where you can 'get' them. They are easy as pie to make. Cut (or get someone to cut) to size a block of 1" wood or laminated plywood, paint it, and buy - then screw in castors. It looks like rubber furniture cups are used that allow the bottom of the speaker to stand off/isolate from the base.
Hmm, that's a good point. I'll try to make some this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.
Questhate's Avatar Questhate 11:59 AM 06-27-2014
So today is my birthday. Today is also the day that I took delivery of some Philharmonic 3's. Happy happy joy joy.

I was the beneficiary of ADTG purging his collection of speakers and got a pair of Phil 3's at a great price. I've always had my eye on these Philharmonic speakers, ever since a friend of mine told me these were the only speakers he had heard that "disappeared" and transported him to Davies Symphony Hall. I actually put down a deposit on a pair of 3's from Dennis at the end of last year, but then had some issues come up in my life that forced me to reluctantly ask Dennis to cancel my order. He graciously obliged, but I always had it in the back of my mind to get a pair someday.

I'm coming from a pair of Magnepan 1.6's so it will be interesting to rediscover my music collection with some speakers that can reach down to 20hz. I recently moved to a place where the living room is much smaller (terrible room for the Phil 3's, but I couldn't pass these up), so it will be a bit tricky to dial in the placement. I may have them up against the front wall, or very close to it, and will be sitting maybe 6-8 ft back from the speakers. I understand that filling in the upper cabinet with stuffing and some slight toe-in will be the way to go, but I'll experiment and see how things shake out.

Anyway -- I'm super excited and looking forward to a weekend of music.
Dennis Murphy's Avatar Dennis Murphy 01:27 PM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post
So today is my birthday. Today is also the day that I took delivery of some Philharmonic 3's. Happy happy joy joy.

I was the beneficiary of ADTG purging his collection of speakers and got a pair of Phil 3's at a great price. I've always had my eye on these Philharmonic speakers, ever since a friend of mine told me these were the only speakers he had heard that "disappeared" and transported him to Davies Symphony Hall. I actually put down a deposit on a pair of 3's from Dennis at the end of last year, but then had some issues come up in my life that forced me to reluctantly ask Dennis to cancel my order. He graciously obliged, but I always had it in the back of my mind to get a pair someday.

I'm coming from a pair of Magnepan 1.6's so it will be interesting to rediscover my music collection with some speakers that can reach down to 20hz. I recently moved to a place where the living room is much smaller (terrible room for the Phil 3's, but I couldn't pass these up), so it will be a bit tricky to dial in the placement. I may have them up against the front wall, or very close to it, and will be sitting maybe 6-8 ft back from the speakers. I understand that filling in the upper cabinet with stuffing and some slight toe-in will be the way to go, but I'll experiment and see how things shake out.

Anyway -- I'm super excited and looking forward to a weekend of music.
Congrats--you scored probably the nicest cabinets Del ever did. It will be interesting to see how the 3's do in that room. Obviously not the ideal location, but you never know. Did ADTG give you the demo CD? The first cut should tell you whether you're realizing the full bass potential.
ahblaza's Avatar ahblaza 06:40 PM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post
So today is my birthday. Today is also the day that I took delivery of some Philharmonic 3's. Happy happy joy joy.

I was the beneficiary of ADTG purging his collection of speakers and got a pair of Phil 3's at a great price. I've always had my eye on these Philharmonic speakers, ever since a friend of mine told me these were the only speakers he had heard that "disappeared" and transported him to Davies Symphony Hall. I actually put down a deposit on a pair of 3's from Dennis at the end of last year, but then had some issues come up in my life that forced me to reluctantly ask Dennis to cancel my order. He graciously obliged, but I always had it in the back of my mind to get a pair someday.

I'm coming from a pair of Magnepan 1.6's so it will be interesting to rediscover my music collection with some speakers that can reach down to 20hz. I recently moved to a place where the living room is much smaller (terrible room for the Phil 3's, but I couldn't pass these up), so it will be a bit tricky to dial in the placement. I may have them up against the front wall, or very close to it, and will be sitting maybe 6-8 ft back from the speakers. I understand that filling in the upper cabinet with stuffing and some slight toe-in will be the way to go, but I'll experiment and see how things shake out.

Anyway -- I'm super excited and looking forward to a weekend of music.

Do you know if he is selling anything else?
Cheers Jeff
defmoot's Avatar defmoot 07:03 PM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post
I was the beneficiary of ADTG purging his collection of speakers and got a pair of Phil 3's....
Questhate gets some love!
charmerci's Avatar charmerci 09:20 PM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahblaza View Post
Do you know if he is selling anything else?
Cheers Jeff
I forgot where I saw it (on another forum or thread) but he said he would. Contact him.
ahblaza's Avatar ahblaza 09:41 AM 06-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
I forgot where I saw it (on another forum or thread) but he said he would. Contact him.
I did and he still has some Kefs and Focals I believe, thanks.
DyedBlue 12:52 PM 07-01-2014
Hi All: Since there is no place on the Philharmonic website to place a review, is it cool to do it here? I wanted to place a review of the Philharmonitors, since unlike other brands (like Ascend), I don’t see a high volume of reviews for this speaker and I thought it might be helpful for those shopping around in the under-1000.00-category. I’m not an audiophile, in the technical sense. But I love to listen to well recorded music played faithfully. Excuse me if I don’t follow the conventional audiophile jargon in my description.

I use the Philharmonitors in a modest two-channel system consisting of:

NAD C370 Int Amp (120 watts per channel)
NAD C 541i CD Player
1980 Aiwa Linear Drive Turntable
Gram Amp 2 Phono pre-amp

I enjoy listening to vinyl (obviously), as available, and listen to a wide range of music from A (Arvo Part - modern classical composer) to Z (Zeppelin). Just depends on mood.

My only other recent experience with fine sounding speakers were a pair of Ascend 170 CBMs (original version), which I owned for 10 years and was thoroughly satisfied with. Way back in 1980 I owned Chapman 3-ways from Seattle, but can’t recall how they sounded. Well, my beloved 170s now reside elsewhere and I needed replacements.

Impressions of the Philharmonitor:

Bass: "Let me turn off the sub…dum, de, dum, dum...Wait, I don't have a sub on this system. What?" The bass isn't just "useable" down to 42Hz (as described on the website), it's tight, clean, punchy and authoritative! I felt my floor vibrate on Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Dream of the Witches Sabbath. The tympani drums were explosive. On R.E.Ms Murmur, no particular song, turn it up. The bass amp is in the room and the notes sound authentic and you’re immediately in the groove; and those kick drums slam your gut. How about Holy Cole's CD Don't Smoke in Bed; the upright bass hits a low note that, again, I felt through the floor. I know my experience listening to HiFi speakers is limited, but the bass extension is impressive for a bookshelf-type monitor. I don't know what I'm missing by not using a sub, but for my listening pleasure, it doesn't matter. Again, tight, clean, punchy and authoritative.

Mids/Highs: I group these together because I don’t know where the cutoff is relative to what I’m hearing, but I have a feeling they interact closely. The vocals are not as prominent as what I’ve been used to hearing, but I like what I’m hearing. They sound natural, not over emphasized. The tweeter softens the emphasis of the ssssss energy, which I like. For instance, Diana Krall on “All or Nothing at All” (Love Scenes), the ssss energy of her voice has vanished and she sounds more relaxed and natural. But this tempering of the ssss energy does not detract from the tweeters ability to reproduce realistic cymbal crashes or the sense of air around instruments. When Martin Sexton is strumming his steel string guitar on Black Sheep, images of the strings themselves pop into my brain and I "feel" the strum. The sound of the Phils is very open.

Imaging/Soundstage: The soundstage is deep, no question. The music projects from the back walls of the room, not from the speakers. And this goes for all forms of music. The speakers give the illusion that they have nothing to do with the music I'm hearing; they are just objects in front of the stage. Thus, the speakers disappear. The soundstage width seems to vary with the material I listen to and my distance from the speakers. From my normal listening position of under 9 feet, the width of the soundstage is just beyond the speaker spread, but if I can get back to 11-12 feet (small room), the soundstage broadens noticeably.

Summary: Open, with great bass extension, balanced and natural sounding highs and mids. The speakers surprise me with how they can play rock. It’s easy to be impressed with how refined speakers reproduce jazz or folk. But the Phils rock. Play “The Name of the Band is Talking Heads” (2-CD Live) and play it loud. Your room is now the stage and you don’t cringe from the “wall of sound” effect or sizzling highs. Effortless and clean. You are now head banging.

I’ll end with a “Thank You” to Dennis for his wonderful sounding speakers. -DyedBlue
Saturn94's Avatar Saturn94 07:06 PM 07-01-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by DyedBlue View Post
Hi All: Since there is no place on the Philharmonic website to place a review, is it cool to do it here? I wanted to place a review of the Philharmonitors, since unlike other brands (like Ascend), I don’t see a high volume of reviews for this speaker and I thought it might be helpful for those shopping around in the under-1000.00-category. I’m not an audiophile, in the technical sense. But I love to listen to well recorded music played faithfully. Excuse me if I don’t follow the conventional audiophile jargon in my description.

I use the Philharmonitors in a modest two-channel system consisting of:

NAD C370 Int Amp (120 watts per channel)
NAD C 541i CD Player
1980 Aiwa Linear Drive Turntable
Gram Amp Phono pre-amp

I enjoy listening to vinyl (obviously), as available, and listen to a wide range of music from A (Arvo Part - modern classical composer) to Z (Zeppelin). Just depends on mood.

My only other recent experience with fine sounding speakers were a pair of Ascend 170 CBMs (original version), which I owned for 10 years and was thoroughly satisfied with. Way back in 1980 I owned Chapman 3-ways from Seattle, but can’t recall how they sounded. Well, my beloved 170s now reside elsewhere and I needed replacements.

Impressions of the Philharmonitor:

Bass: "Let me turn off the sub…dum, de, dum, dum...Wait, I don't have a sub on this system. What?" The bass isn't just "useable" down to 42Hz (as described on the website), it's tight, clean, punchy and authoritative! I felt my floor vibrate on Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Dream of the Witches Sabbath. The tympani drums were explosive. On R.E.Ms Murmur, no particular song, turn it up. The bass amp is in the room; the notes sound authentic and you’re immediately in the groove. How about Holy Cole's CD Don't Smoke in Bed; the upright bass hits a low note that, again, I felt through the floor. I know my experience listening to HiFi speakers is limited, but the bass extension is impressive for a bookshelf-type monitor. I don't know what I'm missing by not using a sub, but for my listening pleasure, it doesn't matter. Again, tight, clean, punchy and authoritative.

Mids/Highs: I group these together because I don’t know where the cutoff is relative to what I’m hearing, but I have a feeling they interact closely. The vocals are not as prominent as what I’ve been used to hearing, but I like what I’m hearing. They sound natural, not over emphasized. The tweeter softens the emphasis of the ssssss energy, which I like. For instance, Diana Krall on “All or Nothing at All” (Love Scenes), the ssss energy of her voice has vanished and she sounds more relaxed and natural. But this tempering of the ssss energy does not detract from the tweeters ability to reproduce realistic cymbal crashes or the sense of air around instruments. When Michael Sexton is strumming his steel string guitar on Black Sheep, images of the strings themselves pop into my brain and I "feel" the strum. The sound of the Phils is very open.

Imaging/Soundstage: The soundstage is deep, no question. The music projects from the back walls of the room, not from the speakers. And this goes for all forms of music. The speakers give the illusion that they have nothing to do with the music I'm hearing; they are just objects in front of the stage. Thus, the speakers disappear. The soundstage width seems to vary with the material I listen to and my distance from the speakers. From my normal listening position of under 10 feet, the width of the soundstage is just beyond the speaker spread, but if I can get back to 11-12 feet (small room), the soundstage broadens noticeably.

Summary: Open, with great bass extension, balanced and natural sounding highs and mids. The speakers surprise me with how they can play rock. It’s easy to be impressed with how refined speakers reproduce jazz or folk. But the Phils rock. Play “The Name of the Band is Talking Heads” (2-CD Live) and play it loud. Your room is now the soundstage and you don’t cringe from the “wall of sound” effect or sizzling highs. Effortless and clean. You are now head banging.

I’ll end with a “Thank You” to Dennis for his wonderful sounding speakers. -DyedBlue
Nice review. Thanks.
DyedBlue 10:29 PM 07-01-2014
Hi Saturn94 - It was my pleasure, surely. In a way, it was kind of a long-winded Thank You note to Dennis for enhancing my music listening pleasure immeasurably. Not that I would gain anything from this, but I wish more Philharmonitor owners would post their reviews too, to help spread the word. I believe these speakers are true sleepers and deserve to be auditioned and praised more widely. I’m loving their sound more and more each listening day. –DyedBlue
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 02:08 AM 07-02-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by DyedBlue View Post
Hi Saturn94 - It was my pleasure, surely. In a way, it was kind of a long-winded Thank You note to Dennis for enhancing my music listening pleasure immeasurably. Not that I would gain anything from this, but I wish more Philharmonitor owners would post their reviews too, to help spread the word. I believe these speakers are true sleepers and deserve to be auditioned and praised more widely. I’m loving their sound more and more each listening day. –DyedBlue
It does seem that Dennis' speakers have that affect. Congrats!
draco159's Avatar draco159 11:47 AM 07-14-2014
Hi everyone! I spoke with Dennis and ordered a set of the new Affordable Accuracy Towers.


I had originally been on the list for the bookshelf version, and that was quite alright with me, but I kept finding myself wanting towers eventually.


Well I caught wind of these after visiting this thread after a long break from home audio, and couldn't resist!


Currently I have no home audio setup, even on the computer, so this will be a nice change! A review will be coming once I get everything setup too.


I will just have the towers and a Denon E300 I ordered this morning.


Cannot wait to listen to them and a big thanks to Dennis and his answering of my numerous emails!
Warner2Bruce 01:34 PM 07-14-2014
How much are the modified AJ Pioneer 52 towers? Feel free to pm if you prefer.
Dennis Murphy's Avatar Dennis Murphy 01:56 PM 07-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warner2Bruce View Post
How much are the modified AJ Pioneer 52 towers? Feel free to pm if you prefer.
They're $275/pr. Shipping can get pretty substantial if you're very far from the East Coast.
awarsoca's Avatar awarsoca 02:10 PM 07-14-2014
Only spent a day with my Affordable Accuracy set and am loving it. I was limited by WAF and these fit the bill. Dennis was great to work with. I had surrounds done as well.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
ahblaza's Avatar ahblaza 06:37 PM 07-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
They're $275/pr. Shipping can get pretty substantial if you're very far from the East Coast.
Dennis or Alex, is there any available info about what went into the mods of the 52s?
Cheers Jeff
Dennis Murphy's Avatar Dennis Murphy 06:59 PM 07-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahblaza View Post
Dennis or Alex, is there any available info about what went into the mods of the 52s?
Cheers Jeff
The mod substitutes the same Vifa tweeter used in the monitors. I've added circuitry to the midrange to roll it off faster and allow more of the lower treble to be provided by the Vifa tweet, which is much cleaner than the stock tweeter. The tweeter circuit has been completely redone to optimize the crossover for the Vifa. I've also added some sound treatment to reduce any longitudinal resonances, but that probably has a very minor effect.
Mudslide's Avatar Mudslide 09:24 PM 07-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
They're $275/pr.

That price is amazing. Apparently Dennis has continued his habit of nearly donating his time to the audio world. Someday in the future I hope he actually makes some dough on his speakers.


ahblaza's Avatar ahblaza 11:45 AM 07-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
The mod substitutes the same Vifa tweeter used in the monitors. I've added circuitry to the midrange to roll it off faster and allow more of the lower treble to be provided by the Vifa tweet, which is much cleaner than the stock tweeter. The tweeter circuit has been completely redone to optimize the crossover for the Vifa. I've also added some sound treatment to reduce any longitudinal resonances, but that probably has a very minor effect.

Dennis you are a true Gentleman, to offer this kind of performance with the asking price of $275 the pair is unheard of, Bravo to you my friend.
Cheers Jeff
Gmash's Avatar Gmash 06:01 PM 07-15-2014
I'm curious about the reasoning behind replacing the bookshelves with the floorstanders. If the original purpose was to have some inexpensive surrounds to go with the big Phils, floorstanders are not optimal for surrounds.
awarsoca's Avatar awarsoca 06:08 PM 07-15-2014
Some of the folks on a budget (like me) want an improved bs-22. Dennis crated a set of bookshelf fronts and center for me and then did another set for surrounds. Doing the FS is just another way to budget the fronts and maintain some quality

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
Dennis Murphy's Avatar Dennis Murphy 06:20 PM 07-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmash View Post
I'm curious about the reasoning behind replacing the bookshelves with the floorstanders. If the original purpose was to have some inexpensive surrounds to go with the big Phils, floorstanders are not optimal for surrounds.
Where did you get the impression that the towers were to used as surrounds? I just added the towers to the list of options for mains. I'm still offering the 22's for use either as surrounds or mains.
Gmash's Avatar Gmash 07:08 PM 07-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
Where did you get the impression that the towers were to used as surrounds? I just added the towers to the list of options for mains. I'm still offering the 22's for use either as surrounds or mains.
Oh, I thought you had discontinued the 22s. That's why I was confused. I bet a full set with the 52s up front would sound great.

I hope I'm able to try out the Slims Jr's or the Philharmonitors eventually. All of your products seem to offer a lot of value for the money. Especially the Affordable Accuracy line.
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