Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy - Page 281 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #8401 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post
The price is $1,850/pair and this includes shipping to the mainland USA. The pictured cabinet was sourced from China and from the same supplier that Dennis was using for some of his designs. Current production is here in the USA for all of our cabinets and we no longer import any cabinets.

As far as the pricing of the parts the BMR doesn't use the Revelator woofer and has the less expensive Scan-Speak 18W8545. The SB Acoustics woofer utilizes more current engineering and was designed by former Scan-Speak engineers. It costs less because of where it's made (Indonesia) by a highly vertical-integrated company with large scale production abilities. If the same driver was produced in Denmark by Scan-Speak the cost would be much higher. The Filarmonica's midrange cost is twice as much as the BMR midrange and the tweeter similar in cost to the RAAL (the latter depending on the quantity purchased).

As for the true bass extension if you look at the Audioholics ground plane measurement of the BMR and the nearfield curve for the Filarmonica you'll have a good comparison. Both measurement methods work well and don't include room gain. I never quote in-room numbers because every room is different; in addition, you have issues with a low signal-to-noise ratio giving inaccurate results.

Since we all seem to agree much of the labor and cost is in the cabinets, maybe Rick could put together a Kit for the BMR or something close? Not sure what his relationship with Dennis is. That would be a nice option to get the performance into more peoples hands that may have limited disposable income.
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post #8402 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56 View Post
It's amazing to me how some people think questioning a significant increase in the price of a product equates to an attack on the free market system.
Bluesdaddy, again, I get your point and agree to a certain point...for me, it comes down to these factors:

-Dennis had them price at 1350/pr for NO PROFIT...so add at least $4-500 bills for profit (that number may be low).

-Salk is going to use non prefab, hand made cabinets, whether they are custom finishes or not so add 500-600 dollars for made from scratch cabinets and that number may be/almost certainly low. The last cabinet that Dennis talked about purchasing from Part Express before they quit selling it was 350/pr for prefab/prefinished. And he talked about a fair % of them coming broke and not usable. I would guess that number x 3 for custom made cabinets... (so ~$1000- the 350 or so Dennis was paying).

-Veneer have apparently doubled in price in the past 12 months and even custom piano black or white finishes, as we have discussed in this thread, take hours of work and many days to complete. I would guess a nice paint finish will cost $200 and veneers $400.

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post #8403 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by LADIY View Post
First I thought we were all moving on from the bickering? Guess not as you keep fanning the flames. Meanwhile, You are making the classic strawman argument. I don't think anyone here said a small profit was not ok. Where did you get that?

The price of the speakers went from $1350 to 2400. How much profit is there in that? I don't know but if you are any good at your processes and manufacturing then it isn't 5%. But I don't care if it is 5% or 50%, I wont be paying $2400 or $2600. I have yet to see one person admit that they would be purchasing at $2400 or $2600. If it is such a great deal then put your money where you claims are and buy a pair. I noticed several people here wanted to buy one of those last 15 pairs off dennis at $1500 shipped and they are gone like hotcakes. Just go ahead and get them for $2600.

Furthermore, it makes no sense to talk about a commercial product(and yes the BMR is a commercial product) without the trade off between performance and price. Value is the most important thing. Its a great little speaker and like I said if the sale from my friend that is selling his falls through then I will get the Vigore Kit from Selah.
What this arguement ignore is two things:

-Profit margins need to be like 30-40% or greater, as you have seen from post by Jim Salk, David F and Rich G. Lets round up and say that anyone wanting to sell the BMR EXACTLY as Dennis made it, with prefab cabinets and crossovers (My early version had a custom crossover design), then 450 dollars HAVE to be added for anyone to make this speaker and still make at least some money...

-Salk Sound makes its own cabinets and will be selling you a custom Salk cabinet. As I said it a reply to bluesdaddy, the cabinets before the last design that Dennis was using were from part Express and those cabinets were 175 each, so adding 350/pr to the cost. The latest prefab cabinets Dennis was using was more expensive, but Dennis never told us how much (and he did tell us that a sign % arrived at his house broken). I don't think there is any question that a custom made cabinet will add 400 dollars in cost, not including finishes. Add 200 dollars for finishes, more for Veneers. So now you have your 2400/pr or 2600/pr cost!

Btw, I did offer to buy one of Dennis last few and he told me they were sold. At the end of the summer, I will purchase a pair from Jim Salk and I will get the spectacular looking custom veneers! Those are OH WOW!Now, whether you value a nice, home made built cabinet is up to you, as everyone knows, it won't make the speaker sound better...but it is like a work of art.
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post #8404 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LADIY View Post
Since we all seem to agree much of the labor and cost is in the cabinets, maybe Rick could put together a Kit for the BMR or something close? Not sure what his relationship with Dennis is. That would be a nice option to get the performance into more peoples hands that may have limited disposable income.
This is about as close as you can get, save for the BMR midrange driver!

http://www.selahaudio.com/filarmonica
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post #8405 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
This is about as close as you can get, save for the BMR midrange driver!



http://www.selahaudio.com/filarmonica

What’s with cheap midranges performing so well?

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #8406 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 10:10 AM
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This will be very interesting to watch this one and see what happens.

I heard these for the first time Sunday at AXPONA in Wendell's secret room (544) that wasn't part of the show. I was completely floored when I heard what you get for $650. Even at $2,000 I would have flipped.

I quickly texted my friend who went with me from C-bus to Chicago to get the hell up to room 544. He has what is now nearly a $700,000 system so I expected that he wouldn't be at all impressed. He flipped too. He ordered them as soon as he got home, but I waited until the next day to order and by then it took three days to get through.

Ok, neither of us was in the market for any more speakers as good gawd I already had eight pair. Now for the 9th. So he got two people who otherwise wouldn't have bought anything.

I'm very familiar with Magneplanar given that I've owned those speakers off and on for nearly 50 years, but I wasn't in the market for 3.7s or anything else. In my case and my friend's he didn't cannibalize sales of something more expensive because we wouldn't have bought anything.

Although it wasn't Magnepan's room, I did hear the 3.7i at the show and they were ok, but I much preferred what I heard from the LRSs. If I was in the market, I would have bought the LRSs over the .7s, 1.7s and 3.7i so therein lies the danger of cannibalizing some of his product line. Maybe Wendell just 'got lucky' with his setup or maybe they truly are that good. I'll see in a couple of weeks.
This is an excellent post and a reminder to everyone that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get good sound. There are no magic audiophile electrons or magic audiophile physics. This applies to speakers, electronics and cables.

"I was completely floored when I heard what you get for $650. Even at $2,000 I would have flipped."

Priceless. I love it.

In the audiophile world, ignorance truly is bliss. Save your money.
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post #8407 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
What’s with cheap midranges performing so well?
maybe it's the x -over ?.. i have heard some $3-500 speakers that sound pretty good

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post #8408 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 10:37 AM
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Bluesdaddy, again, I get your point and agree to a certain point...for me, it comes down to these factors:

-Dennis had them price at 1350/pr for NO PROFIT...so add at least $4-500 bills for profit (that number may be low).

-Salk is going to use non prefab, hand made cabinets, whether they are custom finishes or not so add 500-600 dollars for made from scratch cabinets and that number may be/almost certainly low. The last cabinet that Dennis talked about purchasing from Part Express before they quit selling it was 350/pr for prefab/prefinished. And he talked about a fair % of them coming broke and not usable. I would guess that number x 3 for custom made cabinets... (so ~$1000- the 350 or so Dennis was paying).

-Veneer have apparently doubled in price in the past 12 months and even custom piano black or white finishes, as we have discussed in this thread, take hours of work and many days to complete. I would guess a nice paint finish will cost $200 and veneers $400.
We don't know what the profit margin is, but...… If you are saying net profit margin needs to be 40% then no very few businesses have that type of profit margin. If you are saying gross margins at 40%, then maybe. Nice prefab cabinets shipped from china aren't free. If it costs Salk or anyone else that much more to make cabinets than china, then maybe they should just do finishes. I would think an American producer could be somewhat competitive or they should outsource it. Also not sure why I want to pay more for a "hand made crossover" vs what dennis had automated. Arent they the same thing functionally?

Anyway, we have all covered this topic and I think we all should just agree to disagree. Like I said, I cant pay 2400-2600 for it. It is my opinion most people here that own these are happy to own them at 1350-1500 but few would pony up 2600. Until you pony up 2600 then its theory.
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post #8409 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
What this arguement ignore is two things:

-Profit margins need to be like 30-40% or greater, as you have seen from post by Jim Salk, David F and Rich G. Lets round up and say that anyone wanting to sell the BMR EXACTLY as Dennis made it, with prefab cabinets and crossovers (My early version had a custom crossover design), then 450 dollars HAVE to be added for anyone to make this speaker and still make at least some money...

-Salk Sound makes its own cabinets and will be selling you a custom Salk cabinet. As I said it a reply to bluesdaddy, the cabinets before the last design that Dennis was using were from part Express and those cabinets were 175 each, so adding 350/pr to the cost. The latest prefab cabinets Dennis was using was more expensive, but Dennis never told us how much (and he did tell us that a sign % arrived at his house broken). I don't think there is any question that a custom made cabinet will add 400 dollars in cost, not including finishes. Add 200 dollars for finishes, more for Veneers. So now you have your 2400/pr or 2600/pr cost!

Btw, I did offer to buy one of Dennis last few and he told me they were sold. At the end of the summer, I will purchase a pair from Jim Salk and I will get the spectacular looking custom veneers! Those are OH WOW!Now, whether you value a nice, home made built cabinet is up to you, as everyone knows, it won't make the speaker sound better...but it is like a work of art.
Great post us pics when you get your 2600 pair I would love to see them
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post #8410 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
This is about as close as you can get, save for the BMR midrange driver!

http://www.selahaudio.com/filarmonica
I guess I should be flattered by the name.
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post #8411 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 11:42 AM
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One thing I did get from this thread recently is what at class act people like Dennis, Jim, Rick, and Dave are. Despite the competitiveness of this business, these guys are supportive of one another and their dedication shows in the quality of their products.
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post #8412 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by LADIY View Post
Since we all seem to agree much of the labor and cost is in the cabinets, maybe Rick could put together a Kit for the BMR or something close? Not sure what his relationship with Dennis is. That would be a nice option to get the performance into more peoples hands that may have limited disposable income.
For a BMR kit it would be best for Dennis to make the design public. That way you could purchase the parts from the distributor of your choice. Since the assembled speaker will now be sold by Jim Salk I don't see a kit happening - it's up to Dennis and he's already exited the business. Could I design my own version? Yes, but I'm not interested in trying to copy an existing design. Sadly, I recently learned of a few companies trying to do the same to me and I don't think that it's ethical. I am doing a center channel though since Dennis had no specific design for that.
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post #8413 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 12:09 PM
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I think that if you extend the math a little further you will see that as both Jim and Dave have said...no matter what price they are charging, this is not a get rich business for the small entrepreneur.


Just a rough rule of thumb to make the math easy....1/3 of the selling price is materials (which we already suspect is low)...1/3 is rent, labor, utilities, business taxes, insurance, machinery repair, tools, yield losses, etc.. (and maybe 1/3 is slightly high)....so 1/3 remains as pre tax fully accounted profit.....so, lets say that would be $800 for one pair of speakers.


So, you would have to sell 100 pair per year or 8.5 pair per month to earn $80,000 pretax profit....which I'd say is not very much considering that the start of up cost for rent, tools, inventory, insurance etc. could easily be $250,000 and probably more. (and the $80,000 is predicated on selling 100 pairs....and most of the people on this thread have said that that wouldn't or couldn't....so 100 pairs seems like a lot).



Personally, I've come to believe over time that especially for small businesses...I have no real basis to complain about the price...why, because I didn't have the (desire, energy, contacts, vision, etc.) to take the big risk (of my own money) to start the business myself. So it is only fair to those taking the risk that they at least have a shot to be successful.



Thanks to Dave, Jim and Rick....you make great products and charge a price that is less than would be charged by any of the bigger, more corporate type of audio companies...who themselves have a lot more infrastructure and cost to cover.


Fortunately, for those who can't or won't spend $2400 on a BMR or any other loudspeaker....there are really great loudspeakers available at a lower price point.


Hopefully, this thread can now evolve in a more fruitful direction....such as....are you a ribbon person or a Be person....and why?
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Hopefully, this thread can now evolve in a more fruitful direction....such as....are you a ribbon person or a Be person....and why?
I am a "the whole is more than the sum of its parts" guy. I own both the Philharmonic3 with the RAAL ribbon and another speaker with a Be tweeter. In the high frequencies handled by the two tweeters, they are both equally good. On any given day I may say one tweeter might sound better than the other. However, the speaker with the Be tweeter is my main speaker since it, as a whole, just sounds better to me.
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post #8415 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 12:37 PM
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One thing I did get from this thread recently is what at class act people like Dennis, Jim, Rick, and Dave are. Despite the competitiveness of this business, these guys are supportive of one another and their dedication shows in the quality of their products.
Further, when I spoke with Rick (while thinking my Phil 3 order might be cancelled) about possibly getting a kit from him for full-range towers, he very humbly expressed concern that his posting on the thread might be seen as him trying to poach clients away. I told him I didn't see it that way, especially in light of Dennis retiring and the fact that Rick wasn't here peddling his gear. Thank you Rick, again!, for your time that day. I look forward to getting to meet you in Oakland at the audio show.



Though I have not personally had any contact with Dave @Ascend , though when I was talking to Ascend about going to audition, Dina was amazingly helpful and generous with her time answering my questions.
I am grateful to all four gentlemen mentioned above for their contributions. Dennis, of course, is why we are here. But Jim, Rick and Dave have been great in sharing with us and helping try to maintain perspective.


One last note, and a special thank you to Jim: While discussing whether my Phil 3 order would stay alive and be completed in his house, he kept to his agreement with Dennis regarding the cabinet, and priced out the rest of the work very fairly. I did not fully grok before the extent of what was going on regarding the cabinet work and cost, but do know and understand now. All I can say at this point is for those who feel differently about the pricing of the BMR, that is of course your right, but by my experience and his actions, Jim is a man of integrity. I am honored to be a customer of his now, as well as of Dennis! Thank you, Jim.


Best to all.
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post #8416 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 12:49 PM
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Didnt you say you weren’t bickering? Always having the last word sure implies bickering
I don't see that he was trying to make a fight of it. Just a difference of opinion.

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I am part of a group with Rick. He is an incredibly knowledgeable guy. He is very good about sharing his experience, speaker history and behind the scenes info. There are several ID speaker makers that are top notch people and Rick is one of them
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I don't see that he was trying to make a fight of it. Just a difference of opinion.
With 20 posts(i counted) dedicated to his negative opinion of the price increase, or an explanation of the economics, im a little sensitive. In just a few day he went from one of my favorite posters to the very bottom. There are a few others that share his opinion but only posted it once or twice.
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With 20 posts(i counted) dedicated to his negative opinion of the price increase, or an explanation of the economics, im a little sensitive. In just a few day he went from one of my favorite posters to the very bottom. There are a few others that share his opinion but only posted it once or twice.
In the end the market will vote with their wallets. For some the price will be too high and for other buyers it won't be a problem. Once you get past certain price points sales become more difficult and at $2,500/pr. and higher there are plenty of alternatives.

The cost of manufacturing of course varies where the company is located. Ascend happens to be in an expensive region and their products are very affordable considering the location. Jim Salk made a wise move by locating in an old industrial building located in a highly depressed economic region. Such an area would have low overhead compared to many other places in the USA. Dennis was in a good position doing most of the work himself along with a friend; however, the cost of manufacturing beyond two people would be difficult in an area with a very high cost of living.

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post #8420 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 03:40 PM
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Further, when I spoke with Rick (while thinking my Phil 3 order might be cancelled) about possibly getting a kit from him for full-range towers, he very humbly expressed concern that his posting on the thread might be seen as him trying to poach clients away. I told him I didn't see it that way, especially in light of Dennis retiring and the fact that Rick wasn't here peddling his gear. Thank you Rick, again!, for your time that day. I look forward to getting to meet you in Oakland at the audio show.



Though I have not personally had any contact with Dave @Ascend , though when I was talking to Ascend about going to audition, Dina was amazingly helpful and generous with her time answering my questions.
I am grateful to all four gentlemen mentioned above for their contributions. Dennis, of course, is why we are here. But Jim, Rick and Dave have been great in sharing with us and helping try to maintain perspective.


One last note, and a special thank you to Jim: While discussing whether my Phil 3 order would stay alive and be completed in his house, he kept to his agreement with Dennis regarding the cabinet, and priced out the rest of the work very fairly. I did not fully grok before the extent of what was going on regarding the cabinet work and cost, but do know and understand now. All I can say at this point is for those who feel differently about the pricing of the BMR, that is of course your right, but by my experience and his actions, Jim is a man of integrity. I am honored to be a customer of his now, as well as of Dennis! Thank you, Jim.


Best to all.
Sure wish @jsalk was going to attend the California Audio Show in Oakland. Would love to hear him demo some of his speakers!
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post #8421 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 03:43 PM
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Bluesdaddy, again, I get your point and agree to a certain point...for me, it comes down to these factors:

-Dennis had them price at 1350/pr for NO PROFIT...so add at least $4-500 bills for profit (that number may be low).

-Salk is going to use non prefab, hand made cabinets, whether they are custom finishes or not so add 500-600 dollars for made from scratch cabinets and that number may be/almost certainly low. The last cabinet that Dennis talked about purchasing from Part Express before they quit selling it was 350/pr for prefab/prefinished. And he talked about a fair % of them coming broke and not usable. I would guess that number x 3 for custom made cabinets... (so ~$1000- the 350 or so Dennis was paying).

-Veneer have apparently doubled in price in the past 12 months and even custom piano black or white finishes, as we have discussed in this thread, take hours of work and many days to complete. I would guess a nice paint finish will cost $200 and veneers $400.
Where did I attempt to argue all of that all over again? I simply responded to yet another backhanded slap comment that accused people who have raised questions regarding the increase of an argument no one made.

Honestly, there is still a lot I could pick at regarding the new pricing, that I've refrained from doing because there's no point. But I won't sit idly by and be impugned, even if not by name. I doubt there are many on this forum more supportive for the free market than I am. But that does NOT mean, as a consumer, I owe ANYTHING to a producer other than to pay what I consider a fair price for a product I value.

Hopefully this line of discussion can just die out. I've no desire to perpetuate it, but I can, and will, defend my perspective (as well as my personal integrity) if need be.
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post #8422 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 03:45 PM
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21 posts and counting......

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post #8423 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kokishin View Post
Sure wish @jsalk was going to attend the California Audio Show in Oakland. Would love to hear him demo some of his speakers!
Agreed. Maybe I'll have an opportunity to go to a show next year and hear some of his main attractions. For the praise I've heard of the SoundScape8... Not that I can afford to play in that level. That pair costs more than my entire Philharmonic system. But I would love to have that point of comparison against the Phil 3s: "the best speaker I've ever heard" in the SS8 and "a speaker that should sell at 2-3 times its price" in the Phil 3. Hell, I'd be stoked to hear the VTH3s!

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post #8424 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 04:01 PM
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Hopefully, this thread can now evolve in a more fruitful direction....such as....are you a ribbon person or a Be person....and why?
I would love nothing more to get to hear Be Tweeters in action, especially engaged by a person who excels at XO design! Hopefully the cost for those will continue to drop into more affordable territory and more people will start using them in designs! As stoked as I've been by the Raal 64-10s, I can only imagine...

Maybe Rick will have a set at the CA Audio Show?!
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post #8425 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 04:28 PM
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With 20 posts(i counted) dedicated to his negative opinion of the price increase, or an explanation of the economics, im a little sensitive. In just a few day he went from one of my favorite posters to the very bottom. There are a few others that share his opinion but only posted it once or twice.
And you are now counting posts and wont let this die. You have posted several posts about this yourself. Maybe if you quit poking him, he will stop.
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post #8426 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 05:00 PM
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I too, appreciate the input Jim. I'm glad the BMR is not going away, I remain skeptical that it will sell well at that price point. This is not a knock on you or your motivations. Just an observation from someone's who lived awhile and understands something of human nature. Nevertheless, I wish you well. You've a great product, no doubt.
There are plenty of $10,000 speakers sold every year that measure quite poorly. What makes you think an excellent speaker wouldn't sell for $1300/each? Because they were initially sold so far below cost that it bankrupted someone and all their savings? You think adding $200 fixes it? Those who planned to buy them at $1300 probably hate to see the new realistic pricing. It doesn't mean the new price is wrong, but rather that the old pricing is wrong.
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post #8427 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 05:05 PM
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So you were in the lil secret Magnepan room too. I guess it wasn't very secret.
I wish. Read about it here, though:

Quote:
But it was in a limited attendance demo that I heard what might have been the highlight of the show — and at an astonishing price. Magnepan’s new Little Ribbon Speaker (LRS) will sell for $650/pair with a 60-day home trial. Standing about 4-feet high, and open-backed as are all such planar designs, it sounded truly remarkable on Magnepan’s program material. Downsides? They’re very inefficient, and Magnepan recommends at least 300wpc into 4 ohms.
Basically, how to turn your panel speakers into space heaters. Probably can't beat the sound for $650, but I would have to spend a lot of $ upgrading my amps, which adds to the total cost.

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...XmlWa9wuv8t.99
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post #8428 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
I wish. Read about it here, though:



Basically, how to turn your panel speakers into space heaters. Probably can't beat the sound for $650, but I would have to spend a lot of $ upgrading my amps, which adds to the total cost.

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...XmlWa9wuv8t.99

I'm really curious to see how this all works out. The LRSs are the same rated efficiency as my Elacs and I get by fine with my little Yamaha integrated. True, I don't listen all that loud because you can clearly hear this outside from up here versus downstairs where you can't hear much of anything outside no matter how abusive I get with it.
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post #8429 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56 View Post
Where did I attempt to argue all of that all over again? I simply responded to yet another backhanded slap comment that accused people who have raised questions regarding the increase of an argument no one made.

Honestly, there is still a lot I could pick at regarding the new pricing, that I've refrained from doing because there's no point. But I won't sit idly by and be impugned, even if not by name. I doubt there are many on this forum more supportive for the free market than I am. But that does NOT mean, as a consumer, I owe ANYTHING to a producer other than to pay what I consider a fair price for a product I value.

Hopefully this line of discussion can just die out. I've no desire to perpetuate it, but I can, and will, defend my perspective (as well as my personal integrity) if need be.
And I was just providing my perspective with the rational behind it....but I agree, let's let this die and talk about speakers and speaker technology.
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post #8430 of 8961 Old 04-23-2019, 05:58 PM
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Okay, shifting gears to this new Maggie LSR
1. Looks like it is not yet available? True?
2. Two way speaker, not sure the driver topology other than the planar. I guess I don't understand how a 1 inch "cabinet" can get to 50 hz, but I assume it has to do with length/height of the speaker.
3. sounds like 4 ohm, so maybe will need amplification above a budget AV-R


And getting to the Berylium tweeter, I know Focal is known for them, but other speakers that have this excellent material in their tweeters? I would have sworn that RBH used them in some high end tweeters, but I think I am wrong...

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