Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy - Page 339 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #10141 of 10289 Old 06-27-2020, 08:11 PM
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Here is my last and final update on my AA+. Completed one speaker this morning then sent the FR to Dennis via email for comments. Dennis confirmed that the FR is "in spec" (Thanks again Dennis!) so I proceeded to complete my pair.

Attached is the room response of both my left and right AA+ speakers. Also attached is the FR comparison versus the JBL 306p Mk2 (the closest sounding other speaker I have), measured at the same spot as the AA+.

In retrospect, the AA+ is one of the most overlooked and underrated speakers due to its price. When I purchased my BMRs from Dennis, I never laid eyes on the AA/AA+ because they were under my budget. My interest on the AA+ grew when it became unavailable after Dennis closed his business. As the saying goes, men chase what they can't have. Dennis made everyone's dream come true when he publicly shared the AA+ schematics (upon request). But I had to pass the quiz before he handed me the schematics. (Spoiler alert: The question is - whether I know how to read schematics.)

It was fun building the AA+. It was the first DIY speaker I built from scratch (apart from the Dennis' inspired Monoprice tower upgrade, which was not from scratch BTW). Searching the right components (and substitute components) at Parts Express added more to the fun. I learned the trick in their not-so-robust search functionality. And of course Dennis was there to help whenever I had any doubts. I wouldn't do it any other way if I were to do it all over again.

Dennis' contribution and continued support to the community is unparalleled. I was impressed with the BMR purchase experience with Dennis. I'm doubly impressed by his support to make his legacy (his speakers) available to DIYers. He turned common audio enthusiasts (like me) into DIYers and reach a whole new level in this hobby.

Thanks again Dennis, if I haven't said it enough.

Edit: Used AA+ (Left) instead of (Right) in JBL comparison.
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post #10142 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 01:17 AM
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Based on those graphs the AA+ looks like a smoother listen and I would prefer it. Very good.

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post #10143 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Based on those graphs the AA+ looks like a smoother listen and I would prefer it. Very good.
The AA+ is less peaky and has better resolution. It is more detailed and airy up top. The highs sound natural and non-metallic attributed to the Morel tweets. The 306p's highs are more grainy, more aggressive but similarly non-metallic.

The 306p tend to be shouty in some genre. To compensate, I set its HF Trim to -2db but to no avail as that feature attenuates a different frequency band.

What the FR graph doesn't show is that the 306p's bass disappear at low volume. On the contrary, AA+'s sound remains full at low volume, making it a better performer near-field.
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post #10144 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 11:22 AM
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Thank you Elihawk. Those look like a great value. I wish you the best in your new audio adventure.

Save your money.
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post #10145 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
i would assume (and i admit i could be way off here) that with that ribbon tweeter the mono's will have plenty of air and a nice big stage ...
Yes nice big stage, but:
As mentioned previously in this thread, the Mono tweeter is not a true ribbon design. The best I can say about the modded Mono's are they sound great for the money. I like mine a lot for non critical listening. Not even close to the sound of the BMR tweeter.
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post #10146 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by homecinemaquest View Post
Yes nice big stage, but:
As mentioned previously in this thread, the Mono tweeter is not a true ribbon design. The best I can say about the modded Mono's are they sound great for the money. I like mine a lot for non critical listening. Not even close to the sound of the BMR tweeter.
yes, the ribbon is nothing like the RAAL...I have the older, legendary HTiB Q line gold system and it also has a "not real" ribbon. Good, but lacking in detail and incapable of getting loud. However the detail is not the weak point of the speaker, and I agree, for the price pretty solid. For me, the issues with the stock monoprice: as I mentioned, the midrange seems off (Dennis has said that is the lack of a crossover at the woofer); these speakers won't get loud without distortion; Not much usable bass below 80 hz, I would guess.
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post #10147 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
yes, the ribbon is nothing like the RAAL...I have the older, legendary HTiB Q line gold system and it also has a "not real" ribbon. Good, but lacking in detail and incapable of getting loud. However the detail is not the weak point of the speaker, and I agree, for the price pretty solid. For me, the issues with the stock monoprice: as I mentioned, the midrange seems off (Dennis has said that is the lack of a crossover at the woofer); these speakers won't get loud without distortion; Not much usable bass below 80 hz, I would guess.
I'll have to do a nearfield, but I would be surprised if they didn't make it down to almost 50 Hz.
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post #10148 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I'll have to do a nearfield, but I would be surprised if they didn't make it down to almost 50 Hz.
Dennis, I am just guessing, but the CA Aeros, which they are temporarily replacing, won't hit much below 70hz and the bass doesn't seem better in these monoprice speakers. However, I have given them any formal test...
I just looked up James Larsen measurements on Audioholics and he has them dropping off pretty sharply after 80hz using groundplane measurements...they might get as low as 70hz +/- 3 db.

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post #10149 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Dennis, I am just guessing, but the CA Aeros, which they are temporarily replacing, won't hit much below 70hz and the bass doesn't seem better in these monoprice speakers. However, I have given them any formal test...
I just looked up James Larsen measurements on Audioholics and he has them dropping off pretty sharply after 80hz using groundplane measurements...they might get as low as 70hz +/- 3 db.
I think you're being too hard on your woofers. I've worked with your Aero's, and they're very respectable in the bass department. Sound and Vision pubished these results: Aero 2 (purple) +1.36/–5.71 dB from 200 Hz to 10 kHz; –3 dB @ 62 Hz, –6 dB @ 41 Hz; And Audioholics James saysthis about the Mono Tower: "The low-end of the MP-T65RT does start to roll-off at around 80 Hz, but it is a shallow slope that will still provide plenty of usable bass below the curve’s elbow frequency in any normal room due to room gain." From his graph, it looks like the F3 without room gain is about 65 Hz, and the F6 about 55 Hz.
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post #10150 of 10289 Old 06-28-2020, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Not much usable bass below 80 hz, I would guess.
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I'll have to do a nearfield, but I would be surprised if they didn't make it down to almost 50 Hz.
If it helps here is my in-room response plot which compares the low frequency extension of the AA+ and the modded Monoprice T65RT.
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post #10151 of 10289 Old 06-29-2020, 04:30 AM
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Again, I just notice a difference in the low end when comparing my CA aeros to the Monoprice; and the Aeros aren't even close to the excellent bass of the BMR.

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post #10152 of 10289 Old 06-29-2020, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Again, I just notice a difference in the low end when comparing my CA aeros to the Monoprice; and the Aeros aren't even close to the excellent bass of the BMR.

Well, you're spoiled! LOL
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post #10153 of 10289 Old 06-29-2020, 10:24 AM
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Well, just to reiterate...I don't think the Monoprice unmodified speaker have poor bass...in fact, it is pretty good for a 150/pr speaker and in fact, much like my EMPtek speakers, they don't try to hit lower than they can do well, which is a good design! however, those thinking these are a tower (minitower at best) and should have some pretty good bass, well, they don't hit low. The bass they have is solid, just doesn't extend much below where most of us would cross them over to a subwoofer anyway, so...
The midrange, or upper woofer capabilities is screwed up and the high end is pretty solid. I have a busy couple weeks, so I won't likely do the modification until August, but I am going to put them away for now and then revisit this when I have a some time to do the modification...kicking myself for not doing this when we were under a stay at home order, although that might make a glorious return!
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
Well, you're spoiled! LOL
And Dennis tells me when I get the modification done, I won't likely use them to replace my BMRs!
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post #10155 of 10289 Old 06-30-2020, 04:18 PM
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When I built the AA+, I did not intend for them to replace my BMRs. I later realized that the AA+ might just be the perfect surrounds for my BMRs being voice matched and everything. But my modded Mono-towers remotely match the BMRs tone-wise. Not to discourage anyone from embarking the Mono-tower mod.
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post #10156 of 10289 Old 06-30-2020, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyroscopics View Post
When I built the AA+, I did not intend for them to replace my BMRs. I later realized that the AA+ might just be the perfect surrounds for my BMRs being voice matched and everything. But my modded Mono-towers remotely match the BMRs tone-wise. Not to discourage anyone from embarking the Mono-tower mod.
I actually think they're pretty closely matched except on complex music, where the Mono's start to get a little compressed and tizzy.
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post #10157 of 10289 Old 06-30-2020, 10:47 PM
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I actually think they're pretty closely matched except on complex music, where the Mono's start to get a little compressed and tizzy.
"Compressed and tizzy". I think that's the right term for my initial impression of the Mono's inability to handle complex metal/heavy metal passages. The Mono ribbons are too slow for this genre. For the sake of comparison, the AA+'s Morel tweeter performs much better.
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post #10158 of 10289 Old 07-01-2020, 06:05 AM
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"Compressed and tizzy". I think that's the right term for my initial impression of the Mono's inability to handle complex metal/heavy metal passages. The Mono ribbons are too slow for this genre. For the sake of comparison, the AA+'s Morel tweeter performs much better.
yes, that would describe what I am hearing as well, pre modification. I assume the modification won't help the upper/tweeter much, but can clean up some of the lack of clarity below that range...

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post #10159 of 10289 Old 07-01-2020, 07:54 AM
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yes, that would describe what I am hearing as well, pre modification. I assume the modification won't help the upper/tweeter much, but can clean up some of the lack of clarity below that range...
IME, Dennis' mod will eliminate peaks, fix tonal balance, and render smooth crossover transition. The inherent driver characteristics (good or bad) will persist, such as the tweeter's ability to project a revelatory wide soundstage. Polyfill quantity and placement will alter bass precision to your likeness. I learned from Dennis the Philharmonic way and it made a difference especially on the AA+ (and the MonoTower as well).
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post #10160 of 10289 Old 07-01-2020, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
compressed and tizzy.
Wasn't that an 80's "Buddy Cop" movie? Music by Jan Hammer!

Either that, or some strip club duo, as in:

"Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, "Compressed and Tizzy"!

(Sorry, I start my 5 day weekend today, I am a little goofy!)
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post #10161 of 10289 Old 07-01-2020, 07:00 PM
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here is an interesting thing about the Monoprice stock minitowers...just listening to TV and the sound signature just changes (like someone had move away and then closer to a mic) and I am sure it wasn't in the original recording. Anyone else have that issue? I am sitting watching the last part of the movie major league (Okay, I'm bored tonight) and it has happened a couple times in the last 30 min!
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post #10162 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 08:55 AM
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BMR/purify

for dennis,
any word on using the purifi woofer in the bmr. i sold you a modified (AVA) hafler amp years ago.
thanks,
drmike
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post #10163 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 11:23 AM
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for dennis,
any word on using the purifi woofer in the bmr. i sold you a modified (AVA) hafler amp years ago.
thanks,
drmike
Wow That was like 14 years ago. In the interim, Frank modded it again with Insight parts and it's currently powering my HT subs (sealed passives). I've given the Purifi woof every opportunity to prove itself in the BMR, including running it with two of the Purifi passive radiators, and I finally gave up. It's a very specialized animal. It performs about as well as the Scan 8545 in a smaller cabinet, which makes it a prime candidate for a premium 2-way in a cabinet of .5 cu ft or less. But even in that application the port has to be too long to fit without bending it and introducing even more port noise. The passive radiators solve that problem, but in a larger cabinet the bass response falls off below 100 Hz and the midbass is thin. Given how much more expensive the woofer + PR's are compared with the Scan, it doesn't make sense to reduce the volume of the BMR cabinet to achieve essentially the same results. Also, I have been extremely impressed with the performance of the SB Acoustics ceramic woofers, and have decided to incorporate the 5", 6", and probably 8" in a series of speakers manufactured in China and sold here starting in the Fall. The first will be a mini monitor with an excellent AMT tweet for nearfield listening and HT surround. The second will be the BMR with the 6" ceramic, and the third, not yet designed or proven, could be a tower with the 8" ceramic, two BMR mids, and the RAAL tweet. That way, each speaker will have specialized applications appropriate for their asking price, and not just a marginal improvement at greatly added cost. The new BMR shouldn't be regarded as an improvement over the Scan version currently available as a kit. It will have somewhat higher sensitivity and the bass extension will be the same at normal output levels. But the Scan still has more power handling for rockers. The reason for switching to the 6" ceramic is to reduce cost enough to keep the regular BMR relatively affordable. Given the trade war, however, the price will be enough higher than the kit to make that an attracitive option for DIY'ers. The Chinese have become more flexible of late when it comes to cabinet quality and variety, and the new BMR's will have a very high-end veneer finish and eventually a wide range of finish choices.

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post #10164 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
Wow That was like 14 years ago. In the interim, Frank modded it again with Insight parts and it's currently powering my HT subs (sealed passives). I've given the Purifi woof every opportunity to prove itself in the BMR, including running it with two of the Purifi passive radiators, and I finally gave up. It's a very specialized animal. It performs about as well as the Scan 8545 in a smaller cabinet, which makes it a prime candidate for a premium 2-way in a cabinet of .5 cu ft or less. But even in that application the port has to be too long to fit without bending it and introducing even more port noise. The passive radiators solve that problem, in a larger cabinet the bass response falls off below 100 Hz and the midbass is thin. Given how much more expensive the woofer + PR's are compared with the Scan, it doesn't make sense to reduce the volume of the BMR cabinet to achieve essentially the same results. Also, I have been extremely impressed with the performance of the SB Acoustics ceramic woofers, and have decided to incorporate the 5", 6", and probably 8" in a series of speakers manufactured in China and sold here starting in the Fall. The first will be a mini monitor with an excellent AMT tweet for nearfield listening and HT surround. The second will be the BMR with the 6" ceramic, and the third, not yet designed or proven, could be a tower with the 8" ceramic, two BMR mids, and the RAAL tweet. That way, each speaker will have specialized applications appropriate for their asking price, and not just a marginal improvement at greatly added cost. The new BMR shouldn't be regarded as an improvement over the Scan version currently available as a kit. It will have somewhat higher sensitivity and the bass extension will be the same at normal output levels. But the Scan still has more power handling for rockers. The reason for switching to the 6" ceramic is to reduce cost enough to keep the regular BMR relatively affordable. Given the trade war, however, the price will be enough higher than the kit to make that an attracitive option viable option for DIY'ers. The Chinese have become more flexible of late when it comes to cabinet quality and variety, and the new BMR's will have a very high-end veneer finish and eventually a wide range of finish choices.
Dennis .. do you have a ball park estimate on the mini monitor sales price .. i may want to wait on my next purchase until it comes out .. the modded b1's turned out so well i 'm hooked

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post #10165 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 11:49 AM
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Dennis .. do you have a ball park estimate on the mini monitor sales price .. i may want to wait on my next purchase until it comes out .. the modded b1's turned out so well i 'm hooked
The mini's will fairly expensive due to the premium cabinets and Aurum Cantus AMT, which is also used in the top-of-the-line RBH monitor https://rbhsound.com/sv61r.php Those sell for $1,900/pr, and the mini's should be a little less than half of that. One nice feature of the ceramic woofer is that it can be used either sealed or ported, and we'll be supplying a port plug for Sub applications. Ported, they can make it down to around 55 Hz.
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post #10166 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 12:29 PM
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Wow That was like 14 years ago. In the interim, Frank modded it again with Insight parts and it's currently powering my HT subs (sealed passives). I've given the Purifi woof every opportunity to prove itself in the BMR, including running it with two of the Purifi passive radiators, and I finally gave up. It's a very specialized animal. It performs about as well as the Scan 8545 in a smaller cabinet, which makes it a prime candidate for a premium 2-way in a cabinet of .5 cu ft or less. But even in that application the port has to be too long to fit without bending it and introducing even more port noise. The passive radiators solve that problem, in a larger cabinet the bass response falls off below 100 Hz and the midbass is thin. Given how much more expensive the woofer + PR's are compared with the Scan, it doesn't make sense to reduce the volume of the BMR cabinet to achieve essentially the same results. Also, I have been extremely impressed with the performance of the SB Acoustics ceramic woofers, and have decided to incorporate the 5", 6", and probably 8" in a series of speakers manufactured in China and sold here starting in the Fall. The first will be a mini monitor with an excellent AMT tweet for nearfield listening and HT surround. The second will be the BMR with the 6" ceramic, and the third, not yet designed or proven, could be a tower with the 8" ceramic, two BMR mids, and the RAAL tweet. That way, each speaker will have specialized applications appropriate for their asking price, and not just a marginal improvement at greatly added cost. The new BMR shouldn't be regarded as an improvement over the Scan version currently available as a kit. It will have somewhat higher sensitivity and the bass extension will be the same at normal output levels. But the Scan still has more power handling for rockers. The reason for switching to the 6" ceramic is to reduce cost enough to keep the regular BMR relatively affordable. Given the trade war, however, the price will be enough higher than the kit to make that an attracitive option viable option for DIY'ers. The Chinese have become more flexible of late when it comes to cabinet quality and variety, and the new BMR's will have a very high-end veneer finish and eventually a wide range of finish choices.

Hi Dennis.


Do I read your comments correctly...that you'll be selling 'new' BMRs under the flag of Philharmonic Audio?
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post #10167 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
The mini's will fairly expensive due to the premium cabinets and Aurum Cantus AMT, which is also used in the top-of-the-line RBH monitor https://rbhsound.com/sv61r.php Those sell for $1,900/pr, and the mini's should be a little less than half of that. One nice feature of the ceramic woofer is that it can be used either sealed or ported, and we'll be supplying a port plug for Sub applications. Ported, they can make it down to around 55 Hz.
let me take stock here,, so. i get a much better cabinet a much better woofer and a better amt? for under a grand? .. i better start collecting soda bottles and saving my pennies...let me know when i can order
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post #10168 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 06:50 PM
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let me take stock here,, so. i get a much better cabinet a much better woofer and a better amt? for under a grand? .. i better start collecting soda bottles and saving my pennies...let me know when i can order
Much better than what?
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post #10169 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 07:00 PM
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Hi Dennis.


Do I read your comments correctly...that you'll be selling 'new' BMRs under the flag of Philharmonic Audio?
I wasn't aware I had a flag to fly. Maybe an SOS signal? My business partner has been selling BMR's in Taiwan for some time, and will soon be selling the new mini's and ceramic BMR's there. They've proven very popular with excellent reviews (I think--they're in Chinese). I didn't think it was going to be practical to sell those State-Side due to tariffs, but we've found a way to work around those and my partner will be handling all of the inventorying and shipping. All I have to do is sell the things, which I think I can manage without ending up in Sibley Hospital again.
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post #10170 of 10289 Old 07-05-2020, 07:09 PM
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Much better than what?
I think he means in comparison to the RBH.


Does the 6" model have a tweeter?

That is good to hear about the SB ceramics. I haven't seen any independent tests of those models, but the spec sheet is impressive especially the tweeter.

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