"Defining A Natural High Definition Listening Experience?"
This is what I will attempt to do in this my critiquing of this amazing Monitors.
Not too long ago Dennis Murphy retired and had planned a group of "retirement speakers", the Philharmonic 1, 2 and 3 and viola....Philharmonicaudio.com was born!
The 1 & 3 were a big hit at CAF by many who attended, Capital Audio Festival. I was there and the listening room was busy the entire time I was there.
A "first" impression by John Atkinson from Stereophile realized what a bargain the Philharmonic 3s were.
Then, there was a request for a monitor, (not surprised), then the birth of the Philharmonitor 1, which was received quite well.....as mentioned below by the happy owner, don't think he would mind.......
"I finally had a chance to hook up the bookshelves. After a lengthy
break-in period and dialing in the sub and such, I must say I am very
impressed. I don't have the jargon to say explain what I am hearing. But
words such as: neutral; a very deep sound stage; fast and dynamic;
engrossing and just flat out musical is what keeps swirling around in
my head. Can only imagine what your floor standers must sound like....
The performance outweighs the cost"
I was very interested in these so, Dennis recommended a larger enclosure as I needed more bass and thus the Philharmonitor 2 was born!! The cabinet used was the Dayton 2 way curved gloss black from Parts Express .75' and will house the Seas Prestige ER18RNX Reed Paper Cone Woofer and the Fountek NeoCd3. Dennis will correct me if I am wrong. And, seems to me the most important ingredient is the meticulously created/designed crossover, which I believe is the basis for these Philharmonitor 2s outstanding audio performance.
Some music I listen to that impressed me, but first......what drives them..... My equipment is simple in the office area where the monitors are powered by.....a Musical Paradise MK2 Tube Amp 6.5wpc ...... HRT Music Streamer II+ DAC, Simplyphysics RCA cables and Asus Desktop CM6850, with Comcast as my provider. I stream Pandora, Grooveshark.com and onboard listening with the Jriver Media Player, which I highly recommend. I listen mostly to FLAC recordings.
"Somewhere Within" by Joe Bongiorno, starting with Piano, really nice with these monitors. The Founteks really shined, clean, precise and airy. Loved those ringing piano cords with no distortion that I could hear. Piano and violin is always an issue with me as most of the time, it just didn't sound clear and clean, but distorted. NOT with these, though.
"Ceremonial Fanfare" Trumpet and Trombones by Copeland. Very majestic, grand fanfare. The dissident, erie/airy notes produced by the trombones create great variation in this song and the forward trumpets bring on the chills. Both the Fountek and the Seas performed meticulous feats with this score. I love it.
"Bass Machine" by Techno Bass, very nice, clean solid low notes by hey these are not small monitors, they're huge and sound more like towers to me anyway, with the BIG sound/soundstage they produce.
"05 Basscadet" by Autechre, thump, thump....chicca Chang, plenty of every kind of squeaks, tings and tangs. The Fountek loved this and the Seas just deliver soothingly smooth and tight bass.
"Lowride", also Autechre, bold bass, nice, "where's the sub", one might say. But, not overpowering or earthshaking, but a good balance without the adjustments and quite enough without that "big bad bass" going on. Monitors being about 12" from the walls and 9' apart.
"Mechanism", by Lior Magal, Soundstage witht he Tube Amp and the MSII+ is just stunningly huge. Seems it's a good match for the monitors, thump, thump, such a "joy to enjoy", so much big, bold, clear sound even at the 9:00 volume position.
"Hallelujah" by Instrumental, Kind of like Kenny G's solo instrument that he uses, as it leads into this very laid back instrumental version, beautifully done and executed by these speakers.
Well, at this point maybe I should mention the room size which is approximately 11.5' X 11.5' 9' ceilings with carpet....(pic included).
Dennis has another winner....IMHO! Another pair of monitors....without flaws, dunno, but probably flawless to me would recommend with hesitation if you are looking for an incredible set of monitors for 2 channel listening with out a sub. They can handle just about anything and produce just about everything........beautifully.
There were issues with the 2 Genelax Gold Lion tubes, so they were removed and the stock tubes replaced them. At my surprise the Philharmonitor 2s didn't even notice....Ha Ha!!!! Instead they continued to astonish me with solid clean quality I know I will enjoy in the years to come, without a doubt.
I believe to me and my ears, the Philharmonitor 2s offer all the ingredients for the best audiophile, musical experience that other speakers lack in one form or another of all the ones I have heard, except a few.
The Philharmonic line of speakers have truly satisfied my audio needs. My journey was hard as there are other speakers that I could live with and almost did, but I am very happy I waited for Dennis' line and they "will" truly be classics some day. I also own the Philharmonic 2 floor standers too.
Just a thought, I believe I could have been very happy with the Philharmonic 1 too, as the Fountek really does a smooth job with the highs in the violins, piano notes and trumpets!
Congratulations Dennis Murphy for a job well done and thank you for my great speakers.