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Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy

post #1 of 4611
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to post this in case anyone is looking for speakers they would have another option to look at.

Their prices range from $1,600 to $3,000 which seems to be a very nice price range especially considering who makes them.

James

http://philharmonicaudio.com/
post #2 of 4611
I saw a blurb about these on Stereophile. They look interesting, although not nearly as attractive as Salk's cabinets (few are).
post #3 of 4611
Thread Starter 
Yeah Salks do look very nice.

It says on their site other veneers are available if desired.

For that price range though if I was in the market for speakers I would take a good look at them based on the drivers used and who makes them.

James
post #4 of 4611
the components used are nice, very high grade
post #5 of 4611
Cabinets being made by Salk?
post #6 of 4611
The speakers look to be a terrific value.

And for those looking for a significant set of measurements tied to speaker's web site, we appear to have a winner!
post #7 of 4611
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Cabinets being made by Salk?


Chu,

I only saw this with the 3 set. You could probably ping them for more info if needed.

Cabinets for the Philharmonic 3 are made to order domestically with the customer's choice of veneer.

James
post #8 of 4611
It all looks great until 85db a 2.83v.
post #9 of 4611
Thread Starter 
Why do feel that is bad?

James
post #10 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by exojam View Post

Their prices range from $1600 to $2800 which seems to be a very nice price range especially considering who makes them.

It is hard to imagine a better bargain than the "3", especially when you figure in the cost of RAAL's. The off axis measurements on the "1" are really impressive.
post #11 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by exojam View Post

Why do feel that is bad?

James

Mostly because with low sensitivity comes a greater chance for nonlinearity at SPL. I consider an 85dB average minimum SPL at the listening position, with 88db average preferable. Hundreds of watts are required for this speaker to put out dynamic SPLs over 100dB at the listening position. That's a pretty big ask. It's possible, even likely, that this speaker would be outperformed by other similarly priced speakers in HT and highly dynamic music like orchestra with regard to linearity and fidelity.
post #12 of 4611
Thread Starter 
My mains are rated pretty much the same as these and they have no problem being run off of a little QSC GX5. Listening position is about 13-14 feet away from them. They have no issues with HT or music and I would believe anything from DM would perform nicely also.

James
post #13 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Cabinets being made by Salk?

Cabinets are not made by Salk.

The Phil 1 and Phil 2 come with cabinets sourced from overseas, in black only. As someone else already said above, the Phil 3 cabinets are made to order domestically.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichaelf View Post

It all looks great until 85db a 2.83v.

I heard these speakers (both Phil 1 & 3) at the Capital Audiofest in a large room, 25 x 26 x 9 feet, with a concrete floor and walls of unknown construction, driven by a 200 watt/channel amp (Audio by van Alstine Fet Valve Ultra 350+). I sat at a distance of 15 feet or more. These speakers cannot be characterized as weak or not dynamic. I did play with the volume control and found that I could easily set them far too loud for comfortable listening.

For what its worth, other speakers designed by Dennis Murphy seem to have rather conservative sensitivity ratings. For example, the SongTower is said to have 88 dB/2.83 volt sensitivity. Yet when it was directly compared with other speakers (same room, same electronic gear, same volume knob setting), of greater advertised sensitivity (91 dB), the SongTower was found to be louder.

The Philharmonics are an outstanding value. I consider them the "poorman's" SoundScape.
post #14 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

For what its worth, other speakers designed by Dennis Murphy seem to have rather conservative sensitivity ratings. For example, the SongTower is said to have 88 dB/2.83 volt sensitivity. Yet when it was directly compared with other speakers (same room, same electronic gear, same volume knob setting), of greater advertised sensitivity (91 dB), the SongTower was found to be louder.

That could also mean that other speaker's rating is suspect.

From my listening/comparing, the SongTower rating is correct when comparing to Ascend Sierra-1 NrT's and a prototype pair Ascend Towers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

The Philharmonics are an outstanding value. I consider them the "poorman's" SoundScape.

How would compare them to the SongTowers? What about the Philharmonic-1's to the SongTowers?
post #15 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

That could also mean that other speaker's rating is suspect.

Your words, my thoughts .

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

How would compare them to the SongTowers? What about the Philharmonic-1's to the SongTowers?

They share a strong family resemblance, especially in the midrange. The Phil 1's bass goes noticeably deeper than the SongTower, down to roughly 31 or 32 Hz. The Phil 3 goes even deeper.

I really like the sound of the planar midrange driver. But it goes beyond nice tonal balance. The mid is a dipole, and the rear of the upper cabinet is open and can be variably stuffed, allowing you to adjust the balance between the front and rear waves coming off this driver. It is hard to describe, but sounds wonderful. Other than the SoundScapes, I've never heard speakers that could do this.

Electrostats, such as some Martin Logan models, are dipoles but lack the option of varying the front/rear balance. So sometimes (depending on room placement) these speakers can sound to me as if their soundstage is too large.
post #16 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

Your words, my thoughts .

They share a strong family resemblance, especially in the midrange. The Phil 1's bass goes noticeably deeper than the SongTower, down to roughly 31 or 32 Hz. The Phil 3 goes even deeper.

I really like the sound of the planar midrange driver. But it goes beyond nice tonal balance. The mid is a dipole, and the rear of the upper cabinet is open and can be variably stuffed, allowing you to adjust the balance between the front and rear waves coming off this driver. It is hard to describe, but sounds wonderful. Other than the SoundScapes, I've never heard speakers that could do this.

Electrostats, such as some Martin Logan models, are dipoles but lack the option of varying the front/rear balance. So sometimes (depending on room placement) these speakers can sound to me as if their soundstage is too large.

Given the Phil 3 & Soundscape are in a totally different price class by a factor of four, I am more interested in a comparison to the Salk Veracity HT-3 which I think base at 6K/pair.
post #17 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

Cabinets are not made by Salk.
.

Now that surprises me. Who makes the "domestic" cabinets?
post #18 of 4611
Honestly, my first thought is "how is it possible that nobody used that name for an audio products company until 2011?"

It's a great name.
post #19 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Honestly, my first thought is "how is it possible that nobody used that name for an audio products company until 2011?"

It's a great name.

First time I can recall hearing that name used for a company. Any truth DM will be offering the Kardashian option for those who prefer a larger bottom end?
post #20 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

First time I can recall hearing that name used for a company. Any truth DM will be offering the Kardashian option for those who prefer a larger bottom end?

Lol, quote of the day
post #21 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichaelf View Post

It all looks great until 85db a 2.83v.

I did not see the Ohm rating for their speakers. Are they 8 ohm? If less than 8 ohm, then the sensitivity is even lower.
post #22 of 4611
Thread Starter 
MJ,

I saw this right above the specs (about three graphs up from them actually), I am not sure if that answers your questions.

"Increasing the input to 40 watts into this nominal 8-ohm load"

On the "Philharmonic 3" page.

James
post #23 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Any truth DM will be offering the Kardashian option for those who prefer a larger bottom end?

That would be the Philharmonic 3. Not only is the bottom end larger, it goes deeper and remains tight. Once you try transmission line, you'll never go back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

I did not see the Ohm rating for their speakers. Are they 8 ohm? If less than 8 ohm, then the sensitivity is even lower.

Like many broad generalizations this kind of statement is often false. Why speculate when full data is available (for 2 models) at the website?

Philharmonic 1

Philharmonic 3

Be sure to scroll down and read it all. From the frequency vs. impedance curves (labled Complex Impedance), both speakers have about 4 ohm impedance, but they don't dip much lower. If you are not used to looking at these types of curves (most speakers makers don't publish them), they show very little swing in impedance phase degree. And wide variations in impedance phase is what usually makes speakers difficult loads for amplifiers.

These speakers are probably not difficult to drive, but I have heard them only with the amp used at the audio show, so I won't speculate. The predicted bass output for the Phil 1 is 102-103 dB at 30 watts, and about 105 dB at 40 watts for the Phil 3.
post #24 of 4611
I heard these a CapFest. Well balanced and smooth sound from my rather brief exposure.

cheers,

AJ
post #25 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post
That would be the Philharmonic 3. Not only is the bottom end larger, it goes deeper and remains tight. Once you try transmission line, you'll never go back.
Are we still talking about speakers
post #26 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul GS View Post

Are we still talking about speakers

LOL.

It's nice to see thread for these speakers. I imagine they are quite awesome.
post #27 of 4611
Gives you an idea about how much Revelator woofers cost w\\ the price diff between the 2's and 3's.
Nice drivers though.
post #28 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Gives you an idea about how much Revelator woofers cost w\\ the price diff between the 2's and 3's.
Nice drivers though.

Hi The price difference also reflects the more expensive made-to-order cabinets for the 3. Jim doesn't make these--a local cabinet shop does. But Jim wil do custom cabinets to his usual standards for a premium. I'll post that price when Jim gives me a firm estimate.
post #29 of 4611
Yeah, I figured the cabs played a part in the price but the lionshare was due to the woofers.

Dennis, I gotta tell you that these speakers have piqued my interest.
I currently have 3 sealed HT-2s but have been thinking about 3-ways for the last 18 months or so.

I use multi-subwoofers in my system and the thought of 3 of the Philharmonic 2s at that price-point is intriguing.

I like Scan-Speak drivers but I'm thinking that their advantage over the SBs would be minimal given that I would most likely be crossing over to the subs at 80hz.

With the HT-2s, I xover at 100hz.
post #30 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Yeah, I figured the cabs played a part in the price but the lionshare was due to the woofers.

Dennis, I gotta tell you that these speakers have piqued my interest.
I currently have 3 sealed HT-2s but have been thinking about 3-ways for the last 18 months or so.

I use multi-subwoofers in my system and the thought of 3 of the Philharmonic 2s at that price-point is intriguing.

I like Scan-Speak drivers but I'm thinking that their advantage over the SBs would be minimal given that I would most likely be crossing over to the subs at 80hz.

With the HT-2s, I xover at 100hz.

Well, the Scan woof is expensive--around $300 a pop. It's well worth it without a sub, but pretty much a waste if they won't be used full range. The Phil2 makes more sense as a high quality HT speaker, the Phil 3 as a stand-alone music producer.
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