RAAL tweeter missing crispness, clarity, presence, and detail? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 52 Old 12-17-2015, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Henry Lambert View Post
My Sierra 2's did not have any covers on the tweeters. I have had mine for two years now. IMO, they are one of the best speakers I have ever heard.

Glad to hear that you continue to enjoy your 2's!


I believe we started shipping the 2's with the protective sleeves about a year ago as just a precautionary measure. We ran into a problem with a set being air-shipped overseas due to changes in atmospheric pressure and the sleeves solved this.


We sell so many pairs of 2's now that we really don't know their final destination during assembly so it makes sense to just put the sleeves back on after we test them.

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post #32 of 52 Old 12-17-2015, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ascend View Post
Glad to hear that you continue to enjoy your 2's!


I believe we started shipping the 2's with the protective sleeves about a year ago as just a precautionary measure. We ran into a problem with a set being air-shipped overseas due to changes in atmospheric pressure and the sleeves solved this.


We sell so many pairs of 2's now that we really don't know their final destination during assembly so it makes sense to just put the sleeves back on after we test them.
I would also remind you Dave that for those of us who did the upgrades ourselves a few years ago - what a great XMas that was - the RAAL included with the kit was protected by a magnetic cover. Still remember the arrow clearly showing which way to slide it off

There is no perfect display, quit looking for faults and enjoy

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post #33 of 52 Old 12-17-2015, 06:00 PM
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Glad to hear that you continue to enjoy your 2's!


I believe we started shipping the 2's with the protective sleeves about a year ago as just a precautionary measure. We ran into a problem with a set being air-shipped overseas due to changes in atmospheric pressure and the sleeves solved this.


We sell so many pairs of 2's now that we really don't know their final destination during assembly so it makes sense to just put the sleeves back on after we test them.
You beat me to it concerning the protective covers. It's really only an issue with air freight and customs, not domestic ground. RAAL used to ship without the covers, but some tweeters arrived a little out of spec. I got a couple of those, and when I asked Aleksandar about it, he said it was sometimes due to atmospheric changes, but also to careless handling by customs officials. I always use the covers that are supplied, but it's out of an abundance of caution. So if anyone did receive RAAL speakers without a cover, it's nothing to lose sleep over.
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post #34 of 52 Old 12-17-2015, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
I would also remind you Dave that for those of us who did the upgrades ourselves a few years ago - what a great XMas that was - the RAAL included with the kit was protected by a magnetic cover. Still remember the arrow clearly showing which way to slide it off

Yep - with the kits, we have always shipped with the magnetic covers since the tweeters will be subjected to handling without being installed in a cabinet. A loose screw, screwdriver slip, the family dog -- one never knows

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post #35 of 52 Old 12-17-2015, 07:05 PM
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This thread is funny, everyone waiting in suspense... Considering the amount of RAAL ribbons that we sell compared to other companies, the chances are that the OP is one of our customers. Which it turned out that he is.


He is a real nice guy but is fairly new to this level of audio and, without question, there are some issue with his setup - which we started to discuss.


In my experience with these ribbons, the consumers that are "blown away" are the ones that have more experience with high end audio, not the ones just jumping right in. With today's typical sources, digital files, earbuds, insane volume levels at movies theaters and concerts - the subtleness, transparency and detail of RAAL ribbons often takes a bit of getting used to before one can learn to truly critically listen and appreciate what these tweeters are capable of.


If I recall, there was another thread similar to this one several months ago... And as the listener started to actually spend more time listening, the more he started to prefer the speakers with the ribbons. He then even started to bring in other highly regarded speakers to compare and even after that -- still ended up keeping the Ascend ribbon speakers...


Now - it could also be that the OP prefers the more forward and aggressive nature of domes, and that is OK too. It will take some time to figure out but either way, the OP knows we are behind him 100%.


Sorry if I killed all of the suspense, but Happy Holidays to all!

And Merry Christmas to you.


I am glad this got resolve.
I did not think it was a defect, since what are the odd's for 2 speakers.


So since the RAAL have such a following for quality sound.
I came to this possibility "It could be a personal preference in sound and more than likely is.
When I first got my Aperion, I thought the sound was a little bit more subdue, after a while you find you have more details, just not over done to impress.


I believe the RAAL fall in the same category.
Not for soft dome versus ribbons, just a different preference in sound."


Ray
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post #36 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I debated resurrecting this old thread, but it seems to come up in search results for RAAL tweeters, so I figure I ought to given the seed of doubt this thread may plant in people researching them.

Dave from Ascend was very helpful in trying to help me realize the speakers' potential back when I started the thread. When they still didn't sound spectacular to me after trying his suggestions, I figured I must just be in the minority who prefer the sound of dome tweeters like some replies here suggested may be the case. I was jealous any time I heard the crispness and shimmer of cymbals, etc. on other speakers, though, and kept telling myself that one day I would face the aggravation of trying to sell mine and replace them with something that delivered everything I wanted. All of that changed yesterday.

I'd been watching and listening to everything via the HDMI output of my computer's video card into a Marantz receiver. At one point I'd looked for an equalizer in the Marantz's settings to see if tweaking the high end made a difference, but couldn't seem to find one and settled for the sound Audyssey provided. (I suppose I must not have looked hard enough, because I just discovered that an equalizer becomes available if you disable Audyssey - perhaps that became available via a firmware update sometime after I'd checked). I tried Direct and Pure Direct, too, as suggested. Anyhow, yesterday I happened to hit properties on the audio playback device in Windows, noticed there was an equalizer under the Enhancements tab, and gave the 16k frequency a little nudge.

Boom. All of the sparkle, shimmer, and sizzle I'd thought the speakers were missing because of the RAAL tweeter were there all along! I was so excited to discover this, I reached out to a friend of mine who'd had a front row seat to my speaker experience and couldn't stop telling him that this changed everything and I loved my speakers. I called my wife and told her, too.

If you're reading this thread because you're researching whether to get RAAL tweeters, don't be put off my by it. My experience was a result of my inexperience. If you're reading this because you expected great things from your RAAL tweeter speakers but weren't blown away, try giving the 16k frequency a nudge via your computer, receiver, etc. depending on your setup. It changed everything!

While I wish I'd figured this out a couple of years ago, better late than never! Thanks, Dave from Ascend, for the awesome speakers!
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post #37 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael79 View Post
I debated resurrecting this old thread, but it seems to come up in search results for RAAL tweeters, so I figure I ought to given the seed of doubt this thread may plant in people researching them.

Dave from Ascend was very helpful in trying to help me realize the speakers' potential back when I started the thread. When they still didn't sound spectacular to me after trying his suggestions, I figured I must just be in the minority who prefer the sound of dome tweeters like some replies here suggested may be the case. I was jealous any time I heard the crispness and shimmer of cymbals, etc. on other speakers, though, and kept telling myself that one day I would face the aggravation of trying to sell mine and replace them with something that delivered everything I wanted. All of that changed yesterday.

I'd been watching and listening to everything via the HDMI output of my computer's video card into a Marantz receiver. At one point I'd looked for an equalizer in the Marantz's settings to see if tweaking the high end made a difference, but couldn't seem to find one and settled for the sound Audyssey provided. (I suppose I must not have looked hard enough, because I just discovered that an equalizer becomes available if you disable Audyssey - perhaps that became available via a firmware update sometime after I'd checked). I tried Direct and Pure Direct, too, as suggested. Anyhow, yesterday I happened to hit properties on the audio playback device in Windows, noticed there was an equalizer under the Enhancements tab, and gave the 16k frequency a little nudge.

Boom. All of the sparkle, shimmer, and sizzle I'd thought the speakers were missing because of the RAAL tweeter were there all along! I was so excited to discover this, I reached out to a friend of mine who'd had a front row seat to my speaker experience and couldn't stop telling him that this changed everything and I loved my speakers. I called my wife and told her, too.

If you're reading this thread because you're researching whether to get RAAL tweeters, don't be put off my by it. My experience was a result of my inexperience. If you're reading this because you expected great things from your RAAL tweeter speakers but weren't blown away, try giving the 16k frequency a nudge via your computer, receiver, etc. depending on your setup. It changed everything!

While I wish I'd figured this out a couple of years ago, better late than never! Thanks, Dave from Ascend, for the awesome speakers!
what a great update .. i had a semi-similar experience with amt tweeters.. they sound very different from the dome tweeters i had listened to... a little bit of tweeking & some "ear" break in later & they are a delight.. thanks again for the update

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #38 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael79 View Post

While I wish I'd figured this out a couple of years ago, better late than never! Thanks, Dave from Ascend, for the awesome speakers!
Before giving up on a pair of speakers one should test them with the highest sources possible like a CD/DVD player hooked directly to the amplification playing a CD.

Thanks for the update.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #39 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael79 View Post
I debated resurrecting this old thread, but it seems to come up in search results for RAAL tweeters, so I figure I ought to given the seed of doubt this thread may plant in people researching them.

Dave from Ascend was very helpful in trying to help me realize the speakers' potential back when I started the thread. When they still didn't sound spectacular to me after trying his suggestions, I figured I must just be in the minority who prefer the sound of dome tweeters like some replies here suggested may be the case. I was jealous any time I heard the crispness and shimmer of cymbals, etc. on other speakers, though, and kept telling myself that one day I would face the aggravation of trying to sell mine and replace them with something that delivered everything I wanted. All of that changed yesterday.

I'd been watching and listening to everything via the HDMI output of my computer's video card into a Marantz receiver. At one point I'd looked for an equalizer in the Marantz's settings to see if tweaking the high end made a difference, but couldn't seem to find one and settled for the sound Audyssey provided. (I suppose I must not have looked hard enough, because I just discovered that an equalizer becomes available if you disable Audyssey - perhaps that became available via a firmware update sometime after I'd checked). I tried Direct and Pure Direct, too, as suggested. Anyhow, yesterday I happened to hit properties on the audio playback device in Windows, noticed there was an equalizer under the Enhancements tab, and gave the 16k frequency a little nudge.

Boom. All of the sparkle, shimmer, and sizzle I'd thought the speakers were missing because of the RAAL tweeter were there all along! I was so excited to discover this, I reached out to a friend of mine who'd had a front row seat to my speaker experience and couldn't stop telling him that this changed everything and I loved my speakers. I called my wife and told her, too.


If you're reading this thread because you're researching whether to get RAAL tweeters, don't be put off my by it. My experience was a result of my inexperience. If you're reading this because you expected great things from your RAAL tweeter speakers but weren't blown away, try giving the 16k frequency a nudge via your computer, receiver, etc. depending on your setup. It changed everything!

While I wish I'd figured this out a couple of years ago, better late than never! Thanks, Dave from Ascend, for the awesome speakers!
You really shouldn't have to equalize the RAAL tweeter to achieve a detailed and satisfying sound. The tweeter itself starts to elevate in response in the upper highs (above 15 khz), and voicing it flat in the region below that will provide plenty of detail and a generally open sound. Also, 16 kHz is awfully high to have a dramatic impact on what you hear. What's probably happening is that your equalizer is invoking a fairly low Q boost that has a significant impact on frequencies below 16 kHz. It sounds to me like you just prefer a bright tweeter.
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post #40 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 01:14 PM
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I have to agree with Dennis I find having to EQ a ribbon tweeter.... esp the RAAL tweeter which is probably the 2nd best ribbon tweeter I’ve heard, seems to me that the OP prefers a brighter sound. Or perhaps he likes the ringing sound of metallic tweeters, could be the way the Ascends are voiced? I’ve only heard Salks implementation of the RAAL, and can’t offer any help but I always liked the upper mids and highs of Salks tweeters.
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post #41 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by callas01 View Post
I have to agree with Dennis I find having to EQ a ribbon tweeter.... esp the RAAL tweeter which is probably the 2nd best ribbon tweeter I’ve heard, seems to me that the OP prefers a brighter sound. Or perhaps he likes the ringing sound of metallic tweeters, could be the way the Ascends are voiced? I’ve only heard Salks implementation of the RAAL, and can’t offer any help but I always liked the upper mids and highs of Salks tweeters.
OK--I'll bite--what's the first best ribbon you've heard?
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post #42 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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what a great update .. i had a semi-similar experience with amt tweeters.. they sound very different from the dome tweeters i had listened to... a little bit of tweeking & some "ear" break in later & they are a delight.. thanks again for the update
You're welcome, I'm glad you also ended up delighted with your speakers!

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Before giving up on a pair of speakers one should test them with the highest sources possible like a CD/DVD player hooked directly to the amplification playing a CD.

Thanks for the update.
You're welcome. Unfortunately I didn't have any stand alone devices like that to test with. Although perhaps I could have played CDs through my PS3, come to think of it.

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You really shouldn't have to equalize the RAAL tweeter to achieve a detailed and satisfying sound. The tweeter itself starts to elevate in response in the upper highs (above 15 khz), and voicing it flat in the region below that will provide plenty of detail and a generally open sound. Also, 16 kHz is awfully high to have a dramatic impact on what you hear. What's probably happening is that your equalizer is invoking a fairly low Q boost that has a significant impact on frequencies below 16 kHz. It sounds to me like you just prefer a bright tweeter.
I'm not sure it has much to do with the lower frequencies because I can say with certainty that the sparkle, sizzle, and crispness I felt I was missing became clearly evident when I increased 16k alone, but it's possible. Of course, it may not be and probably isn't the case that RAAL tweeters need to be equalized to achieve a detailed and satisfying sound - it's probably owing to my audio source being the computer, etc. I am curious to explore whether I can say definitively that I prefer a bright tweeter. Can you name a few speakers known for having bright tweeters so I can check them out the next time I'm in an audio store? I'm in love with my Ascends, but it would be nice to confirm my tweeter preference. Thanks!
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post #43 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 02:27 PM
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You're welcome, I'm glad you also ended up delighted with your speakers!

You're welcome. Unfortunately I didn't have any stand alone devices like that to test with. Although perhaps I could have played CDs through my PS3, come to think of it.

I'm not sure it has much to do with the lower frequencies because I can say with certainty that the sparkle, sizzle, and crispness I felt I was missing became clearly evident when I increased 16k alone, but it's possible. Of course, it may not be and probably isn't the case that RAAL tweeters need to be equalized to achieve a detailed and satisfying sound - it's probably owing to my audio source being the computer, etc. I am curious to explore whether I can say definitively that I prefer a bright tweeter. Can you name a few speakers known for having bright tweeters so I can check them out the next time I'm in an audio store? I'm in love with my Ascends, but it would be nice to confirm my tweeter preference. Thanks!
Klipsch in general are bright , and generally easy to find..

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #44 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 02:34 PM
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You're welcome, I'm glad you also ended up delighted with your speakers!

You're welcome. Unfortunately I didn't have any stand alone devices like that to test with. Although perhaps I could have played CDs through my PS3, come to think of it.

I'm not sure it has much to do with the lower frequencies because I can say with certainty that the sparkle, sizzle, and crispness I felt I was missing became clearly evident when I increased 16k alone, but it's possible. Of course, it may not be and probably isn't the case that RAAL tweeters need to be equalized to achieve a detailed and satisfying sound - it's probably owing to my audio source being the computer, etc. I am curious to explore whether I can say definitively that I prefer a bright tweeter. Can you name a few speakers known for having bright tweeters so I can check them out the next time I'm in an audio store? I'm in love with my Ascends, but it would be nice to confirm my tweeter preference. Thanks!
I'm not familiar with your equalizer, but i don't believe any of them boost a single frequency. They will all boost frequencies to either side--it's just a matter of how wide that range of frequencies is. You might want to check out the Klipsch RP 160. I've worked with that speaker, and the response is very smooth. However, the tweeter range is shelved up 2-3 dB. It's by no means a screamer, but it is on the bright side of absolutely flat.
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post #45 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 02:34 PM
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...it's probably owing to my audio source being the computer, etc...
Before jumping to any conclusions, I would try your speakers on another source and to make sure there is no room correction, DSP, tone control, etc., enabled. Different DACs and amplifiers have different acoustic characteristics. Also try another room, different speaker cables, etc., in order to narrow it down.

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post #46 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 02:43 PM
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OK--I'll bite--what's the first best ribbon you've heard?
I actually prefer the Scansonic/Raidho ribbon. However I find scansonic (MB2.5) to be a little bloated in the bass section probably because of what they’re trying to do with 4.5” woofers and the way they’re tuning the bass/port; where the Song 3 was more balanced sounding. Raidho, say the X-2 however 3 times the price - was very impressive, top to bottom.
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post #47 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 02:49 PM
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I actually prefer the Scansonic/Raidho ribbon. However I find scansonic (MB2.5) to be a little bloated in the bass section probably because of what they’re trying to do with 4.5” woofers and the way they’re tuning the bass/port; where the Song 3 was more balanced sounding. Raidho, say the X-2 however 3 times the price - was very impressive, top to bottom.

That's interesting. I've never heard that ribbon, but I know my BMR with a RAAL was being compared with the Scansonic 2.5 today on the BMR roadtrip.
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That's interesting. I've never heard that ribbon, but I know my BMR with a RAAL was being compared with the Scansonic 2.5 today on the BMR roadtrip.
Road trip??

Would like to hear that! Coming to CA? Never heard one of your speakers. The BMR has always looked intriguing.

Dali’s ribbon is nice as well and their unique implementation makes the lower treble smooth but I found them bright at times. Have not liked Golden Ear or Martin Logan AMTs.
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post #49 of 52 Old 06-30-2018, 10:25 PM
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I actually prefer the Scansonic/Raidho ribbon. However I find scansonic (MB2.5) to be a little bloated in the bass section probably because of what they’re trying to do with 4.5” woofers and the way they’re tuning the bass/port; where the Song 3 was more balanced sounding. Raidho, say the X-2 however 3 times the price - was very impressive, top to bottom.
I wonder what the Danes are doing so right. People say Raidho has the best ribbon in the world and Dynaudio has the best soft dome in the world.
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post #50 of 52 Old 07-01-2018, 11:20 AM
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I wonder what the Danes are doing so right. People say Raidho has the best ribbon in the world and Dynaudio has the best soft dome in the world.
I’ve heard quite a few Raidho speakers and they’re quite impressive however their price tag is too!! I have Dynaudio Focus 260s and they’re not leaving anytime soon. I do want to get a second pair of speaker for switching in and out on occasion, and now the BMR is on my short list. Would like to see if I can make the road show stop in one of the locations close to me. Perhaps SD, as I really don’t want to drive to Reseda.
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post #51 of 52 Old 07-01-2018, 11:55 AM
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I’ve heard quite a few Raidho speakers and they’re quite impressive however their price tag is too!! I have Dynaudio Focus 260s and they’re not leaving anytime soon. I do want to get a second pair of speaker for switching in and out on occasion, and now the BMR is on my short list. Would like to see if I can make the road show stop in one of the locations close to me. Perhaps SD, as I really don’t want to drive to Reseda.

what else did you compare before deciding on the Focus? They were on my my short list before going with Revels
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post #52 of 52 Old 07-01-2018, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
what else did you compare before deciding on the Focus? They were on my my short list before going with Revels
I auditioned quite a few brands, revel, Vienna, b&w, Dali, Golden Ear, Logan’s, Amphion, Monitor Audio, totems, Sonus Fabre, paradigm, to name a few. There’s some good speakers in there. I started with the 160s before getting the 260s but ultimately felt the 160s verged on bright at times and I bottomed them out 2 times so I started throttling the volume which I didn’t like having to do, so I brought the 260s into the house and a few months later bought them. I felt the 260s sounded smoother and slightly warmer if you will, without detail sacrifice and the bass was much better with throttling the volume.

I’ve since heard many others but nothings given me the desire to change speakers. Things like the RAAL and Scansonic tweeters offer slightly more detail, but the Scansonic speakers sound bloated and small, the Salk lacked impact and some immediacy for my tastes. Raidho XT-2 and Kef Ref3s are more then I’d want to spend but amazing speakers. The Sopra speakers, I just don’t like. Sonus Fabre sound bright lately, Ryan speakers sound nice but too close to what I have now. New revels sound like someone tuned the bass way too hot. But I’ll continue to listen to speakers and when I find a must have I’ll probably change things up. But haven’t found that yet.... at least not adorably.
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