Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy - Page 61 - AVS Forum
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Eternal Velocity View Post

Prior to the GTG, the most common description of the Philharmonics I had read was along the lines of "They disappear like nothing i've ever heard". All of a sudden you get to "These speakers didn't disappear very well"?

Disappearing is itself one form of "imaging". It's best described as mono imaging, which translates to stereo imaging.

While mostly disappearing can happen as a result of really good imaging, one person noticing the speakers are not disappearing wouldn't indicate a speaker is missing its midrange to me. Also, I don't recall anyone describing these as disappearing. Did a quick search of the thread on disappear and didn't see the word used that way to describe the Phil's either though I could have missed it.

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Originally Posted by d_m1010 View Post

I wouldn't say my pair 'disappears' but they sound pretty good.

I've never owned a pair of speakers that completely disappeared and have always taken such pronouncements with a grain of salt. Speakers include Magnepan MG1's, 3A's, 1.6R's, 3.6R's, Revel F12's, M22's, F32's, JBL PT800's and JTR T8's.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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Old 04-26-2012, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post


I've never owned a pair of speakers that completely disappeared and have always taken such pronouncements with a grain of salt. Speakers include Magnepan MG1's, 3A's, 1.6R's, 3.6R's, Revel F12's, M22's, F32's, JBL PT800's and JTR T8's.

When I listened to the S-1EX & Salon2 it was as if they had disappeared. Maybe not 100% but i'll take a good 97%-99%.

Maybe ADTG can say more about the Salon2 since he owns them and I do not. :P

Just my .002

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:02 PM
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I don't know if this has been answered before in this thread, but could someone please tell me if the Philharmonic 1s/2s can be placed flush against a front wall and not suffer from quality deterioration? Also, do they need to be pointing inward at the middle listening position, or is the sweet spot wide enough to allow the speakers to be looking straight back without being aimed inward? I will be listening from approx. 8ft away. From a pic in the gallery on the site it seemed like there are no holes/ports in the back that would suggest to this amateur that it would be OK to shove 'em far back, but then again I could have been looking at a custom/concept pic and I think I read somewhere that placement may be important. I have very limited space, so the 3s are out of the question and while the 1s/2s would still be a bit too big flush against the wall I would try to live with it if it meant no sacrifice in quality. Although e-mail response is lightening quick at Philharmonicaudio, I figured I'd open this question up to multiple opinions/replies. Thank you.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:14 PM
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Folks, I cannot explain why the measurements look good but the sound wasn't. We actually stopped to measure the speakers because the sound wasn't right to our ears (TJHUB's and mine). I just assumed my 12 foot wide room wasn't large enough to let the Phil 2's breath, but we heard the same "issues" at the GTG. I don't think a complete lack of midrange on the one speaker would have gone un-noticed, so I wonder if the wire was loose and wasn't making proper contact at all times, and then it finally snapped completely loose either after the GTG or during shipment back to Dennis. I'd like to think I would have have noticed a speaker with zero midrange output, or at least one of the attendees of the GTG. Due to this I can only theorize that contact was being made at certain times but not others, and the wire ultimately broke loose at some point. Either way, I want to hear a working pair of Phil 2's or 3's ASAP! Could someone in Wisconsin please buy a pair so I can invite myself over for a real listen?

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Folks, I cannot explain why the measurements look good but the sound wasn't. We actually stopped to measure the speakers because the sound wasn't right to our ears (TJHUB's and mine). I just assumed my 12 foot wide room wasn't large enough to let the Phil 2's breath, but we heard the same "issues" at the GTG. I don't think a complete lack of midrange on the one speaker would have gone un-noticed, so I wonder if the wire was lose and wasn't making proper contact at all times, and then it finally snapped completely lose either after the GTG or during shipment back to Dennis. I'd like to think I would have have noticed a speaker with zero midrange output, or at least one of the attendees of the GTG. Due to this I can only theorize that contact was being made at certain times but not others, and the wire ultimately broke loose at some point. Either way, I want to hear a working pair of Phil 2's or 3's ASAP! Could someone in Wisconsin please buy a pair so I can invite myself over for a real listen?

You're welcome at my place, Nuance.

Might be a long drive to LA, though.

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnyBGood View Post

I don't know if this has been answered before in this thread, but could someone please tell me if the Philharmonic 1s/2s can be placed flush against a front wall and not suffer from quality deterioration?

From what I've read and remember hearing from Dennis this is not a problem. It's more of an issue when close to side walls if memory serves.

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

You're welcome at my place, Nuance.

Might be a long drive to LA, though.

Or up near Ottawa.

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Well, I just spoke with Nuance. I still can't explain the measurements he took. All I know is that the sound I heard when I hooked up the 2's out of the return boxes exactly matched his description of the sound in his room. As I explained to him, if you use a good speaker along with a speaker with less presence and range, the good speaker will dominate. The stereo pair still won't sound as good as they should, but some people might not think there was anything wrong even though one of the midranges was completely MIA. They might just think they sounded like "one of those warm British speakers." So it wouldn't be a Eureka moment where everyone went running over to the speakers to see what was wrong. This would be particularly true of the Phil's, because the woofer runs up to 600 Hz, so there was still a lot of midrange information in the mix. In any event, azb120is coming over Sunday to hear them. I'll play them fixed, and with one of the midranges out, and he can give you his reactions.

Thanks Dennis. I look forward to reading azb120's reaction to that experiment.

I'm glad the problem was discovered. If not investigated, the results of the GTG could potentially hurt sales. I'm sure I wasn't the only one following the GTG thread, who had heard the Phils before, that was puzzled by some of the feedback.

I guess one lesson learned for future GTGs is to verify the speakers/drivers are functioning correctly (this is NOT a criticism of how the GT was handled).

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by d_m1010 View Post

From what I've read and remember hearing from Dennis this is not a problem. It's more of an issue when close to side walls if memory serves.

That's correct. Even if you shove the bass cabinets flush againt a rear wall, the back of the upper cabinets will still be 1 foot out from the wall. And the termination of the transmission line is on the top of the bass cabinet, not the rear, so it would not be firing directly into the rear wall. The Phil's should be aimed straight ahead. There is no need for toe-in. Like any speaker with strong bass response down to the lower 30's, you don't want to place the Phil's near a corner. That will boost the bass and make for a very heavy sound.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Well, let's see if I have a good answer. The upper module is about one foot shorter than the bass module (the back of the upper cabinet is actually sloped, so the distance varies from 10" to 13"). That means you could slam the bass cabinet smack against a wall and still leave some breathing room for the rear wave. That's not optimal, but it wouldn't be a show stopper either. You would still get some added depth and ambiance from the backwave. I have my bass cabinets about 1.5 ft from the rear wall, and that's plenty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnyBGood View Post

I don't know if this has been answered before in this thread, but could someone please tell me if the Philharmonic 1s/2s can be placed flush against a front wall and not suffer from quality deterioration? Also, do they need to be pointing inward at the middle listening position, or is the sweet spot wide enough to allow the speakers to be looking straight back without being aimed inward? I will be listening from approx. 8ft away. From a pic in the gallery on the site it seemed like there are no holes/ports in the back that would suggest to this amateur that it would be OK to shove 'em far back, but then again I could have been looking at a custom/concept pic and I think I read somewhere that placement may be important. I have very limited space, so the 3s are out of the question and while the 1s/2s would still be a bit too big flush against the wall I would try to live with it if it meant no sacrifice in quality. Although e-mail response is lightening quick at Philharmonicaudio, I figured I'd open this question up to multiple opinions/replies. Thank you.

So other than the answer from d_m above heres an answer from the man himself. It should also be noted that the exact affects of placement, i.e. ideal placement, will be unique to your room. In general these speakers have been seen to be pretty easy to place and while ideal placement may not be possible, they are more forgiving than many speakers as to where you can place them and still experience excellent sound. Things like distance from the rear wall, side walls, toe-in, etc will be up to you to experiment with in your room, but the above guidelines should give you a pretty good idea about if they're going to work for you or not.



EDIT, shucks Dennis answered before I could quote him. Sneaky sneaky
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

.....Now that is great advice. The only problem is when it turns out to be ABBA or something similar. I am still incredulous at some of the tracks folks want to hear, so see if the speaker "sounds good" to them. I have no clue what a "good" reproduction of Mama Mia is supposed to sound like, no such reference event exists in my acoustic memory, but to each their own.
I'll usually allow one such track before I hit the stop button......
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Hey, I resemble that remark (yes, I like ABBA)! I guess I was really pushing it last year at CAF when I asked you to play a Billy Joel track. Actually, the recording quality of ABBA's last album, The Vistors, is very good.

When I was auditioning speakers at Dennis' place, I played all kinds of music (naturally with varying levels of recording quality) including ABBA. I'm grateful he didn't kick me out of the house!

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Old 04-26-2012, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by d_m1010 View Post

I wouldn't say my pair 'disappears' but they sound pretty good.

I find that the "disappearing act" is very recording dependent. I found this true of both the Phil 2 and Salk HT2-TL I was auditioning at Dennis'.

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Old 04-26-2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Folks, I cannot explain why the measurements look good but the sound wasn't. We actually stopped to measure the speakers because the sound wasn't right to our ears (TJHUB's and mine). I just assumed my 12 foot wide room wasn't large enough to let the Phil 2's breath, but we heard the same "issues" at the GTG. I don't think a complete lack of midrange on the one speaker would have gone un-noticed, so I wonder if the wire was lose and wasn't making proper contact at all times, and then it finally snapped completely lose either after the GTG or during shipment back to Dennis. I'd like to think I would have have noticed a speaker with zero midrange output, or at least one of the attendees of the GTG. Due to this I can only theorize that contact was being made at certain times but not others, and the wire ultimately broke loose at some point. Either way, I want to hear a working pair of Phil 2's or 3's ASAP! Could someone in Wisconsin please buy a pair so I can invite myself over for a real listen?


There is absolutely no way a driver not playing would get past Nuance or myself. I heard very specific things that Nuance verified with measurements. At one point, I verified that all the drivers were functioning and sounding the same. I didn't do this for any other reason than I wanted to hear what the midranges, and bass drivers were putting out for sound.

Any Salk owner loves Dennis Murphy. We all believe him to be a genius, and I get to enjoy his work almost every day. Hearing issues with the Phil 2's only brought up a discussion between Nuance and I that something must be wrong. All I know is that there is no way a driver was MIA. Twenty some audiophiles in one room wouldn't miss it either. Sorry, just not going to happen.

I too would like to hear a pair of Phil's that are known to be working perfectly. I am more than curious.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

I find that the "disappearing act" is very recording dependent. I found this true of both the Phil 2 and Salk HT2-TL I was auditioning at Dennis'.

I was just listening to Diana Krall Live In Paris and I'd have to say that was as close to 'disappears' as I get.

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Old 04-27-2012, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post


I've never owned a pair of speakers that completely disappeared and have always taken such pronouncements with a grain of salt. Speakers include Magnepan MG1's, 3A's, 1.6R's, 3.6R's, Revel F12's, M22's, F32's, JBL PT800's and JTR T8's.

FWIW, the only time I have heard speakers disappear (I assume we are talking imaging) was at a HAA 2 course with Genelecs. It took a lot of positioning and some room treatments to get the imaging just right. Some really experienced people were making very small moves of the speaker. It can happen, but it is not easy to get right and it generally is in a fairly small listening area. That said, it is only going to be apparent on certain recordings. We used Jazz at the Pawnshop and the soundstage seemed perfect. It is the depth of the image that is really impressive.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

There is absolutely no way a driver not playing would get past Nuance or myself. I heard very specific things that Nuance verified with measurements. At one point, I verified that all the drivers were functioning and sounding the same. I didn't do this for any other reason than I wanted to hear what the midranges, and bass drivers were putting out for sound.

Any Salk owner loves Dennis Murphy. We all believe him to be a genius, and I get to enjoy his work almost every day. Hearing issues with the Phil 2's only brought up a discussion between Nuance and I that something must be wrong. All I know is that there is no way a driver was MIA. Twenty some audiophiles in one room wouldn't miss it either. Sorry, just not going to happen.

I too would like to hear a pair of Phil's that are known to be working perfectly. I am more than curious.

All I can report is what I found. And also that when the wire was resoldered, the speakers had exactly the same sonic signature as any other speaker I've designed. There was nothing at all different in the midrange voicing over octave-to-octave balance.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

All I can report is what I found. And also that when the wire was resoldered, the speakers had exactly the same sonic signature as any other speaker I've desgined. There was nothing at all different in the midrange voicing over octave-to-octave balance.

When I visted Dennis's home and listened to the Phil3's, Dennis did some quick level matched switching between the Phil 3's and some MBOW's he had on hand. Correct me if I am wrong Dennis, but you compared these with a bass cutoff correct? The striking thing was not how different they were but how similiar. The only difference was slightly more air to the top end and more depth (I assume because of the open rear). I beleive you would find all of Dennis's or Jim and Dennis speaker's to have a very similiar sound (with the exception of bass and depth of image). I sure wish I had one of those switching gizmos.

All that said, I think bass is very room dependent. It can IMHO, have a direct impact on the apparent midrange and really the entire spectrum. When I first got Songtowers, my first reaction was that they were cleaner than the HT-3's I had; however, over time I beleived it really was that there wasn't as much bass in the Songtowers and that I didn't have the bass just right for the HT-3's. I was very impressed with how Terry had integrated the subs with his Salk's. When done correctly, I think it opens up the midrange, even though in reality there is no difference in the midrange drivers. Hope that makes some sense.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

When I listened to the S-1EX & Salon2 it was as if they had disappeared. Maybe not 100% but i'll take a good 97%-99%.

Maybe ADTG can say more about the Salon2 since he owns them and I do not. :P

Just my .002

The only thing that disappeared was my wallet.

Everything disappears when I close my eyes.

No seriously, the Phil3 images very well. I would agree to the opinions that they "disappeared " in the room.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The only thing that disappeared was my wallet.

Everything disappears when I close my eyes.

No seriously, the Phil3 images very well. I would agree to the opinions that they "disappeared " in the room.

LOL, You crack me up.

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:50 PM
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Believe it or not, these little desktop speakers I use as monitors (Mordaunt Short) at $250 a pair disappear. I don't think this is exclusive to high end speakers. They're great, but I sure wish Dennis had time to perform custom modification of crossovers, as I'm sure they can be better.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The only thing that disappeared was my wallet.

Everything disappears when I close my eyes.

No seriously, the Phil3 images very well. I would agree to the opinions that they "disappeared " in the room.

Yeah, I have the same problem, when I close my eyes!

The Phil2s also, just listening to a SACD jazz album one of the 5 samplers I ordered through amazon and the 2s really seem to have no "point of sound" directly from each speaker.

I agree they image very well among other things!
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I was very impressed with how Terry had integrated the subs with his Salk's. When done correctly, I think it opens up the midrange, even though in reality there is no difference in the midrange drivers. Hope that makes some sense.

That makes perfect sense Randy, too much bass tends to have a way of overwhelming the other freq's and masking/drowning out their sound.... I have found that very clean drivers such as the LMS's do this to a lesser degree, but it can still be detrimental if the subs are run too hot...

Terry is extremely meticulous about setting up his gear, measuring constantly to get everything just right and I commend his dedication to this. He spends more time at it then most people would.... His system sounds spectacular IMO and have never felt or detected a hint of anything being off.... I'm glad he took my direction and made the move to get the LMS's for his system, and took those boxes off my hands to make it happen...
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The only thing that disappeared was my wallet.

Everything disappears when I close my eyes.

Now that's just hilarious!
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

When I visted Dennis's home and listened to the Phil3's, Dennis did some quick level matched switching between the Phil 3's and some MBOW's he had on hand. Correct me if I am wrong Dennis, but you compared these with a bass cutoff correct? The striking thing was not how different they were but how similiar. The only difference was slightly more air to the top end and more depth (I assume because of the open rear). I beleive you would find all of Dennis's or Jim and Dennis speaker's to have a very similiar sound (with the exception of bass and depth of image). I sure wish I had one of those switching gizmos.

All that said, I think bass is very room dependent. It can IMHO, have a direct impact on the apparent midrange and really the entire spectrum. When I first got Songtowers, my first reaction was that they were cleaner than the HT-3's I had; however, over time I beleived it really was that there wasn't as much bass in the Songtowers and that I didn't have the bass just right for the HT-3's. I was very impressed with how Terry had integrated the subs with his Salk's. When done correctly, I think it opens up the midrange, even though in reality there is no difference in the midrange drivers. Hope that makes some sense.

I think you 100% correct with your statements. I find that my Salk's midrange does sound cleaner when I'm not asking the mid/bass drivers to provide all of the deep bass. I suppose it's just simple physics and lower distortion, but who cares, it just works. I personally can't listen without EQ'd subs in my room. I've tried all too many times to get away from subs, but what I have now is the best I've ever had.

And thanks for compliment Randy, it's nice to know someone else appreciates all the effort I put into integrating my subs for 2-channel music.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

There is absolutely no way a driver not playing would get past Nuance or myself. I heard very specific things that Nuance verified with measurements. At one point, I verified that all the drivers were functioning and sounding the same. I didn't do this for any other reason than I wanted to hear what the midranges, and bass drivers were putting out for sound.

Any Salk owner loves Dennis Murphy. We all believe him to be a genius, and I get to enjoy his work almost every day. Hearing issues with the Phil 2's only brought up a discussion between Nuance and I that something must be wrong. All I know is that there is no way a driver was MIA. Twenty some audiophiles in one room wouldn't miss it either. Sorry, just not going to happen.

I too would like to hear a pair of Phil's that are known to be working perfectly. I am more than curious.

I wonder if the loose wire could have strayed to somewhere it wasn't intended that would still result in output from all drivers but not as designed?

Marvin (present, but not a qualified audiophile)
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:00 PM
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I've had speakers that disappeared. Put them in storage along with a lot of other things between moves. When I came back to get them after moving, they had disappeared, along with everything else.

On a different note though, the recordings do make a big difference. I've heard recordings where the mixer literally placed certain things solely in one or the other speaker. It really limits the soundstage when they do that. On the other hand, I've heard quite a few good systems with the right recordings, where it was difficult to pinpoint the source of the sound as emanating from the speakers.

There is something to be said for speakers that radiate towards the back (as well as front) though, as properly setup, they can produce soundstages that have amazing depth and realism.

I recall my Dad's old setup as my first recollection of jaw dropping sound. On one particular record, the imaging and soundstage was so precise, I would have sworn that if I had a bag full of golf balls at my side, I could have lobbed the balls one at a time with my eyes closed and bonked the lead singer and each member of the band on the forehead one by one. They were distinctly placed in the 3D soundfield and the soundstage extended beyond the front wall. With my eyes closed, it sounded as if the band was about 5 feet further back than the front wall.


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Old 04-27-2012, 04:01 PM
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For what it's worth, I have gotten my speakers to "disappear" to various levels. There seems to be many factors involved, and not all of them are related to the speakers themselves. It's complicated to say the least. However, I have never heard a speaker completely disappear for all tracks and all frequencies. Still, it is something I strive for.

When I heard the Phil 2's in Nuance's room, I was thoroughly impressed with the perception of depth in the sound stage. I wasn't able to listen enough to determine if the effect came off as realistic or not, but it sure sounded great. I'd need to spend some time with them to really know. Too bad there seems to have been an issue with them not performing up to what they're capable of...
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:05 PM
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When I heard the Phil 2's in Nuance's room, I was thoroughly impressed with the perception of depth in the sound stage. I wasn't able to listen enough to determine if the effect came off as realistic or not, but it sure sounded great.

And that's the thing. I can't get over how great they sound. It isn't something specific, but they are simply intoxocating.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:24 PM
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I hate you guys! :P

HAVE:

Receiver: Marantz SR6004
Speakers: Philharmonic 2; TagMclaren Calliope; Pioneer BS-22
Sub: W15GTI MKII (Tuned to 20hz; 300 liter enclosure) X 2
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:51 PM
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I hate you guys! :P

And I hate you too.

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