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Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy - Page 118

post #3511 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoJoa View Post

Thanks Dennis.
The monitors are listed as 87 db sensitive. You said that that thd ST is much more sensitive, is that due to the lower impedance on the ST?

I'm running them with an 80 watt receiver. They get plenty loud enough.

For imaging (location of the instruments) though, you have to give them some space. I have them just over 4 feet apart and I have to be back over 8 feet to get a convincing soundstage - a wall of sound so to speak. Unless the recording is very good, I can close my eyes and pinpoint the speakers (i.e. the ribbons) from the very high frequencies.
post #3512 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci View Post

I'm running them with an 80 watt receiver. They get plenty loud enough.
For imaging (location of the instruments) though, you have to give them some space. I have them just over 4 feet apart and I have to be back over 8 feet to get a convincing soundstage - a wall of sound so to speak. Unless the recording is very good, I can close my eyes and pinpoint the speakers (i.e. the ribbons) from the very high frequencies.

Well, you're asking a lot of a speaker if you expect it to throw much of a soundstage 4 feet apart. They really weren't designed to be computer monitors. The crossover is optimized for a listening distance of 3 - 3.5 meters. That's where the woofer and tweeter will be exactly in phase and the response the flattest. The new monitors are designed the same way.
post #3513 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Well, you're asking a lot of a speaker if you expect it to throw much of a soundstage 4 feet apart. They really weren't designed to be computer monitors. The crossover is optimized for a listening distance of 3 - 3.5 meters. That's where the woofer and tweeter will be exactly in phase and the response the flattest. The new monitors are designed the same way.

Oh well. Gotta work with what space I have.
post #3514 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Most of the recent sales have been 2's. I did ship out 2 pairs of 3's recently, but they're going to the Philippines and Malaysia. On boats. So I wouldn't expect any owner pics of those real soon.
Philippines here, couple of mountain passes and bad roads away from Manila, lucky the packaging was top notch. I've been listening to the 3's for almost a month now, let me share my impressions.

My first marvel was obviously the completeness of sound. Listening to them makes me very happy.

First impression: musicality. Those enormous cabinets make me think of the soundboard of a piano or a guitar. Just a simple guitar or lute recording sounds much more complete. To hear Ted Hawkins strumming and singing is like having him here in the room. One of my favourite albums is Birth (1969), by The Peddlers (now only available on the How Cool is Cool collection). Hammond, bass and drums. There's a track, Lockshen Pudding, that I used to dismiss as the obligatory track for soloing, which many albums had around 1970. I used to skip it. But now it's a joy to the ears, because I hear the full musicality of the drums.

Second thing: dynamics. I like the many songs Emma Kirkby recorded with Anthony Rooley on the lute. But listening used to be a bit frustrating because if I set the volume on a level to listen to the voice, it was hard to hear the lute. Not anymore.

And then clarity, detail. I used to prefer the sound of my headphones (AKG Q701). I use the headphones much less now.

I read somewhere that those 'big fat dots' are made of sorbothane, so I got 2 sheets of 5 by 5 sorbothane for $30 at Amazon, I put some plastic below it because I read it can stain the surface. It's even possible to slide the speakers on the wooden floor a bit to experiment. I took out most of the polyfill from the right cabinet, because there's plenty of room on the back. Left a bit more in the left one, since there's a cabinet 3 feet behind the upper cabinet.

My set-up: computer, ethernet cable to squeezebox classic. Coax to Van Alstine Vision DAC/preamp combination. RCA to Crown XLS1500 (thanks again Monkish54 for the recommendation. Sound is very clear and even if I put my ear to it I can't hear any fan noise). I'm no connoisseur of DAC's, my only experience was to audition a Moon 300D and a Dacmagic in a hifi store. The Moon impressed me with tight bass, but left me wanting in precision of mids and highs. The Vision DAC is more all round to me, very nice, and does a good job on the soundstage; and I got a preamp in the bargain for less than the price of that Moon. Only disadvantage is low gain from the preamp when you go through the DAC; and while you can connect a headphone and I even get some soundstage there, there's no separate volume control for the headphones so I can't use it simultaneously with the speakers, which would be way too loud.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avdigger View Post

(2) Now I found I have more demands on the record quality of the source CDs. Good recordings sound much better thru Phil2, and bad recordings sound worse than before. I guess this is so called accuracy of speakers.
Sure, there is music I will listen to in another room. But I wanted more detail so that's a price I'm happy to pay. There's also music that disappoints because the lows are lacking. Example: John Hiatt's 'She loves the jerk', great little song but there's no resonance of the guitar in the recording so it only comes from the upper cabinet. You get spoiled with speakers like this.

How I got to these speakers:
In 1975 I bought a Rotel RX-802 receiver, which is a gem. I paired it with Ultralinear speakers which I bought 2nd hand from a friend. Not bad, certainly not the best. Been listening happily ever after with a pair of Wharfedales on the back (the Rotel can simulate quadrophony), I was too busy working to bothered about details of speaker placement and such. Until last year, the Rotel's volume control needs replacement which I still need to hunt for, I bought an Outlaw RR2150 receiver (which turns out decent but way overhyped in the reviews) with Outlaw bookshelf speakers with the plan to get a subwoofer later, and those headphones. Then I started noticing things through the headphones that I didn't hear through the speakers, and I got curious. Would there be speakers that could give me that much detail? Probably not, but you never know. The guy who recommended the Outlaw uses them with Axiom M80. Best review about those I found here
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/1102/axiomm80ti.htm
Ah, Newtronics, out of production, I found a pair for sale in Europe but had no way to ship them here. Reading around about other speakers I got to the Salk songtowers, many happy owners and I saw you can get them with RAAL tweeters at a price. Ah, read about it, that's it! And by searching those I stumbled on the Philharmonics and couldn't believe what I saw. I asked Dennis for a pair of 2's. Then I showed my wife what I was doing and she declared me crazy. Those black monsters, in this room? I said we can have the painter spray them, tape off the speakers. Crazy again, you better get those with the veneer. And well, I wouldn't mind all that extra bass and now that they're here that sure is bliss. No thought about subwoofer at all (I'll get one later to pair with the Outlaws and Ultralinears, driven by the Rotel in an open terrace room).

Choosing veneer was a bit hard, whenever I saw something I really liked it turned out to be really expensive. So I went for standard, flat cut cherry. It's very light for cherry but it will probably get some tan over time.





will tidy up those cables later smile.gif
post #3515 of 4611
^ Looking real nice!
post #3516 of 4611
Hi. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to post your impressions and set up. I get e-mails from happy customers, but very few are inclined to share their thoughts on the audio boards. And I'm very relieved those puppies survived the journey to whereever you are. The cherry will in fact darken. My personal maple 3's where almost an off-white when I got them, but now they have a very rich honey patina. I didn't notice any diffuser pads on the tweeter. Are you using one or both? It's all a matter of taste, but without any in place, the tweeter will run 3-4 dB hot at the tope end. Thanks again Kezebees!
post #3517 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

I didn't notice any diffuser pads on the tweeter. Are you using one or both? It's all a matter of taste, but without any in place, the tweeter will run 3-4 dB hot at the tope end. Thanks again Kezebees!

They are there (both) in the picture. Time to get a new monitor my friend, or maybe calibrate the one you have. smile.gif
post #3518 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

They are there (both) in the picture. Time to get a new monitor my friend, or maybe calibrate the one you have. smile.gif


Hmmmm. They're kind of ugly. I think I'll set my monitor back to where it was.
post #3519 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Hi. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to post your impressions and set up. I get e-mails from happy customers, but very few are inclined to share their thoughts on the audio boards. And I'm very relieved those puppies survived the journey to whereever you are. The cherry will in fact darken. My personal maple 3's where almost an off-white when I got them, but now they have a very rich honey patina. I didn't notice any diffuser pads on the tweeter. Are you using one or both? It's all a matter of taste, but without any in place, the tweeter will run 3-4 dB hot at the tope end. Thanks again Kezebees!

Since I have a pair of Phil 2s ordered, can you guys explain the diffuser pads. I assume from the pic that you are talking about the black rectangular pads at the top and bottom of the tweeter.

Thanks,

Mike
post #3520 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

Since I have a pair of Phil 2s ordered, can you guys explain the diffuser pads. I assume from the pic that you are talking about the black rectangular pads at the top and bottom of the tweeter.
Thanks,
Mike

From RAAL's website:
Quote:
FOAM DEFLECTOR PADS: Wide angle polar response is of great importance for the natural reproduction, therefore using the larger ribbon drivers bares a problem, since they are showing very intensive “beaming” of high frequencies, as they are line sources far bigger than the wavelengths of high frequencies in audible range. For model 140-15D, we found the solution for that problem in using the specially shaped foam pads in front of the ribbon. The dispersion pads are working as an acoustic lens, by slowing down the velocity of sound and thus shaping the sound wave front from cylindrical to spherical. The parasitic effect of partial sound absorption is inevitable, but acceptable. The pads are magnetic and they can slide on the front plate. By adjusting the distance between the pads, sliding them toward or apart each other, it is possible to shape the on-axis linearity vs. wide angle vertical polar response. In this way anyone can adjust the high frequency output by his-hers own liking. If the pads are completely removed, 15 kHz on-axis response is increased in level of about 7 dB.
post #3521 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Hmmmm. They're kind of ugly. I think I'll set my monitor back to where it was.

LOL - you crack me up!
post #3522 of 4611
About those foam pads, Dennis wrote me that "you should be able to choose a balance that will suit your room and tastes". Yes I use both, my room is still too 'bare' and they really help. At the same time, the room seems much less problematic with the Philharmonics than with the previous Outlaws (which I had standing at about the same places on speaker stands). I really like those manual possibilities for adjustment.

I wonder though if it will be easy to find a replacement for those pads in say, 15 years time, when the foam wears out.

About reviews, it's weird there are almost no professional reviews of these speakers around. Anyway, after that last receiver I look around much more for user experiences when weighing a choice.
post #3523 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by kezebees View Post

It's weird there are almost no professional reviews of these speakers around.

I wish Audioholics would review them!

OTOH, it doesn't much matter as Dennis posts all the measurements we could ask for. As for subjective reviews (AKA the part of Stereophile's reviews I care nothing about) there are plenty of reviews here on the forums.

The only reason I want an Audioholics review is to increase exposure. Although, anyone with a decent budget asking for speaker advice on Audioholics forum has probably been told about Philharmonic audio.

The 2s still around, Dennis? biggrin.gif

Any reason I shouldn't hook my Philharmonic 2s up to my Behinger EP4000, Dennis? I'd sure have a lot of headroom! 950 watts per channel (RMS) into 4ohm both channels driven. They used a 1% THD sine wave to test power. I hope at the 7 watts (RMS) I draw the THD is lower.
post #3524 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by kezebees View Post

About those foam pads, Dennis wrote me that "you should be able to choose a balance that will suit your room and tastes". Yes I use both, my room is still too 'bare' and they really help. At the same time, the room seems much less problematic with the Philharmonics than with the previous Outlaws (which I had standing at about the same places on speaker stands). I really like those manual possibilities for adjustment.
I wonder though if it will be easy to find a replacement for those pads in say, 15 years time, when the foam wears out.
About reviews, it's weird there are almost no professional reviews of these speakers around. Anyway, after that last receiver I look around much more for user experiences when weighing a choice.

Hi It's really not so weird. The Big Boy reviewers only touch product that's sold through dealers. And I'm an awfully small operation for Audioholics to consider. I'm not trying to make a big splash--I couldn't handle the volume if I did get a lot more publicity. I may follow a different busines model for my tower model when it gets finalized. But the Phil 3 will remain a speciality item. You're worried about replacing those tweeter pads in 15 years? Wait until you try and collect on the speaker warranty in 15 years when EVERYTHING wears out.
post #3525 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

I wish Audioholics would review them!
OTOH, it doesn't much matter as Dennis posts all the measurements we could ask for. As for subjective reviews (AKA the part of Stereophile's reviews I care nothing about) there are plenty of reviews here on the forums.
The only reason I want an Audioholics review is to increase exposure. Although, anyone with a decent budget asking for speaker advice on Audioholics forum has probably been told about Philharmonic audio.
The 2s still around, Dennis? biggrin.gif
Any reason I shouldn't hook my Philharmonic 2s up to my Behinger EP4000, Dennis? I'd sure have a lot of headroom! 950 watts per channel (RMS) into 4ohm both channels driven. They used a 1% THD sine wave to test power. I hope at the 7 watts (RMS) I draw the THD is lower.

Gene said he would review just about every speaker sent to him (speaker company pays round shipping).

So the question is, is there a pair of Phil3 that could be shipped to Gene with shipping expenses?
post #3526 of 4611
I've got a pair of 3's sitting in their boxes at my mother's house in Memphis waiting for me to move but they've got upgraded crossovers and I don't really want to cough up $400 to ship them to and from Audioholics.
post #3527 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

I've got a pair of 3's sitting in their boxes at my mother's house in Memphis waiting for me to move but they've got upgraded crossovers and I don't really want to cough up $400 to ship them to and from Audioholics.

That is the problem - no one but the big rich speaker companies are willing to pay for all that cost.


AH would certainly not pay to review someone's speakers.

Stereophile won't even do it if you paid shipping unless your speakers are sold at dealers across the country.

Too bad your speakers are not in Florida near Audioholics. biggrin.gif
post #3528 of 4611
Plus, my 62yr old mom might have a difficult time shipping those monsters...
post #3529 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

Plus, my 62yr old mom might have a difficult time shipping those monsters...

Yah, just a little bit. biggrin.gif
post #3530 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

Plus, my 62yr old mom might have a difficult time shipping those monsters...

Well, a 68-year-old economist packed them up. And it looks like it. Another reason not to send them to Gene.
post #3531 of 4611
U......R......so Funny!!biggrin.gif
post #3532 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

That is the problem - no one but the big rich speaker companies are willing to pay for all that cost.
AH would certainly not pay to review someone's speakers.
Stereophile won't even do it if you paid shipping unless your speakers are sold at dealers across the country.
Too bad your speakers are not in Florida near Audioholics. biggrin.gif

I'd do it in a heartbeat.....if I had an extra $400. Although mine don't have the upgraded cross. Maybe in a few months..............biggrin.gif
post #3533 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz092888 View Post

I'd do it in a heartbeat.....if I had an extra $400. Although mine don't have the upgraded cross. Maybe in a few months..............biggrin.gif

Hi There may be some confusion on the "upgraded" crossover. Mr Little Jeans (there must be a story behind that name, and one I probably don't want to hear) asked me to replace the stock resistors and tweeter caps with more expensive versions. All of the values were the same, so it was just a matter of whether component cost could translate into better sound. As always, I compared his speakers with my stock 3's using my instant A-B switching preamp. On really complex music at very high volume, I thought maybe the Little Jeans speaker sounded a little cleaner. The test wasn't blind, and what I heard, or thought I heard, could have just been due to normal component tolerances. I did make a very small running change in the 3's midrange crosover awhile back to produce flatter response very far off axis horizontally. But quite honestly, I couldn't hear any improvement, and I've gone back to the original crossover. A speaker's sonic signature is shaped by early arrival sound waves. A couple of dB difference in the upper midrange response at 70 degrees off axis just doesn't amount to anything audible. After considerable experience with a well-known "controlled directivity" speaker, I"m more convinced than ever that you don't need to resort to wave guides or other special design features to achieve accurate sound.
post #3534 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

After considerable experience with a well-known "controlled directivity" speaker, I"m more convinced than ever that you don't need to resort to wave guides or other special design features to achieve accurate sound.

So true - I totally agree.
post #3535 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

flatter response very far off axis horizontally.

Off axis, indeed. I think Dennis needs to brag a little. My new Phil 2's have a razor flat on-axis response (using the diffuser pads, btw), shown in the first graph. And for the fun of it, he ran a performance graph from 85 degrees off-axis!! Check this out (second graph). This is just awesome. (Intermediate off-axis measurements are equally as impressive, of course.) The last picture is where the (Christmas-decorating-fiend-wife) and I finally got them set up today. Review to follow in a few days after familiarizing myself a bit more with their delivery.





post #3536 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Mr Little Jeans (there must be a story behind that name, and one I probably don't want to hear)

Just a character from my favorite movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

After considerable experience with a well-known "controlled directivity" speaker, I"m more convinced than ever that you don't need to resort to wave guides or other special design features to achieve accurate sound.

I would love it if you could design a musical high efficiency speaker even if it was a DIY design.
post #3537 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post


I would love it if you could design a musical high efficiency speaker even if it was a DIY design.

There are plenty of those! biggrin.gif
post #3538 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

I would love it if you could design a musical high efficiency speaker even if it was a DIY design.

I would really like that too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

There are plenty of those! biggrin.gif

He said musical, as in portrays music accurately. biggrin.gif
post #3539 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

There are plenty of those! biggrin.gif

And there could be one more if a certain woofer would arrive.
post #3540 of 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

And there could be one more if a certain woofer would arrive.

And that woofer is....

...and the tweeter it is paired with is....

...and is it a 2-way or a 3-way....

Just fishing
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