Originally Posted by thebabyparrot
I had an audio revelation.
Enter the Philharmonic Affordable Accuracy Monitors.
Despite my friend's claims- I was not expecting much. These speakers are around 200/pair sans shipping and honestly, I was just looking for a decent bedroom / PC work station near field set that was "functional".
Klipsch speaker or an Onix Reference model.
This was my own experience as well. I wasn't expecting much - I just wanted something with a decent low end to replace an otherwise outstanding bookshelf speaker in it's own right - Emotiva ERM-1's and a DIY 12" sealed sub. Dennis reassured me these would play down to 42hz pretty decently. They do - and I suspect - lower.
The only rub with the ERM-1's is they were designed with HT in mind so they only play down to 80hz and even that claim is stretching it a tad. I've had Audyssey and YPAO set them to 90hz on three different AVR's. I've owned them for 6-7 years now and hated to replace them but a 12" subwoofer in the bedroom doesn't work very well. So I get to thinking I'd sell them when it dawned on me that - hmm - this could be the start of that vinyl listening room I've planned on (I'm a card-carrying procrastinator - well I would be if I ever bothered to join that club!) for more than a few years. So here come the Nikko today and the 'new' vinyl audio room is up and running. Mild room treatment is coming... Everything sounds so damned good - the ERM-1's have that mid bass authority that is awesome. I can't believe this old Nikko sounds so good. So I decide to try the Philharmonic monitors - big mistake! Long story short the ERM-1s & sub are back in the bedroom.
My amp is a Nikko NA-690 integrated that I bought over at Audio Karma - got it just today!!! This thing has an excellent phono section. As good as I've heard in many years and I've owned a few. TT is a Marantz TT42 - nothing fancy but it sounds pretty good. I've got an unopened new Music Hall 2.2 but I think my son is getting that for xmas.
Speakers aren't the only area of audio that is better than ever, and less expensive in the process. But I have to say that nothing has benefited audio quality more than the wide array of speakers available to anyone looking for more. I've had some real turds in my many years in this hobby. How is it the Japanese made such good audio components but couldn't make a decent speaker? Many of those companies are long gone - and thats a good thing IMO! The ones left are building better speakers - finally. Turntables - electronics - it's all been for the better - and less expensive.
I remember buying a brand new Kenwood KR-6200 receiver in 1974 for $329 - it was on sale! MSRP was $429 IIRC. That's like (just guessing) around $3000 in today's money! IIRC my hourly wage was $2.90 or almost 2 weeks pay! A lot of thought went into buying that Kenwood. 45wpc! Solid state! Reliability! I happily sold the 7-8 year old Sansui 500A tube (19 of em and all of 18wpc) I had bought in 66' at the Naval Exchange in Japan - cost was $180 and NO taxes. DVD players that sound as good or better than the best CDP's of 20 years ago and for much less are common. I'm wondering about that Onkyo stereo 8050 receiver in the bedroom - will it be around as long as this Nikko has been? Doubtful but you never know. I know I won't be around to know!
When I decided to find a replacement for the ERM-1's & sub I started reading a few speaker threads and came across this Philharmonic Audio thread. Since Dennis was the designer for the Song Towers - which I'm listening to ATM (Cowboy Junkies & LeAnn Rimes coming up) buying a pair from Dennis seemed a no-brainer. Turns out it was a better idea than I had imagined. I just got done with a vinyl listening session. I played Jefferson Starship Airship - whatever ship... It's one of my better sounding LP's and wow does it ever sound good. The difference in sound quality between the AA Monitors and the Song Towers might be a scant 5%. Seriously! These are quite the speaker for the price. If I ever get desperate and need to sell off audio gear at least I'll know where to find something affordable. Five of these would make for a great sounding surround setup. With a sub or two of course.
There isn't any weakness to these speakers that I can tell. They play the audio spectrum I can hear (I'm 69) quite well. Maybe this old Nikko amp (~1980) has some magic? Or a well thought out speaker? Maybe the combination both?
Dennis - I'd love to see you take these to an audio show - set them up and put 4x the current price and see how many takers you'd get.
Seriously - if you're looking for an inexpensive and decent sounding speaker give Dennis a call. These are silly-good for the price!