AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!

Let me start by thanking Mark Schifter for this wonderful product and the passion you put into all your speakers. Needless to say, without your help, I wouldn't be reviewing this today.

Disclaimer

I dont claim to be an audiophile or anything like that but I have been involved with music since I can remember. I started playing the acoustic guitar when I was 5 thanks to my dad.

Later I started playing piano (not a lot) and finally started to do what I love the most professionally...sing! I travel with a very famous latin band and experienced live percussion, trumpets, sax, etc...during rehersal and the

actual shows to really know how those instruments sound.

In any case, sound is very subjective so my experience here should not be taken as the final word on this speakers and their performance.


I will always recommend to try for yourself but since thats not always possible..well here is my very own humble opinion.

Equipment:


Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR-635

DVD/CD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 and Computer (X-FI Fatal1ty)

Radio Shack SPL and AVIA

Music used for evaluation:

*Spanish Harlem-Rebeca Pigeon (Chesky)

*If I Could Sing Your Blues (Chesky)

*Cuando Salga La Lun - Placido Domingo

*Ayudame Dios Mio - Placido Domingo

*Latin Tropical music....

*Many more





As a reference Ive auditioned or owned the following speakers (among others):


Acoustic Research 318PS

AR PSC25

Klipsch RC52

Klipsch RF82

Paradigm Titans

Paradigm CC-70 (center)

Advent tower (cant recall the model)

Insignia

Onix X-CS

Onix X-LS

Onix X-SLS

HTD Level 3 Center

HTD Level 3 Tower

Swans 2.1

Rockets 250 (1st gen)

Plus some others...



Packaging


Top notch! It takes a while to get them out of the package but you feel very happy knowing that they were that protected during the trip. The chances of having problems due to getting hit during shipment are slim IMHO.

Great job!

EVALUATION

Spanish Harlem

VOICE : Sounds very sweet. One thing I like about the HTD tower is how the voice seems to be like a bubble right in the center of the soundstage with good definition of space to all sides of it.

Well, the MINI breaks the "bubble" and puts a person right there...feels like a hovering soul singing. Yes its not a very technical description but music is about emotion not numbers and graphs. :)

The space behind, to the front, left and right is extremely well defined...its quite dramatic.

One thing to note is that at first, I was missing this and was a bit concerned that the Minis couldnt match the HTDs in that regards.


Well, I moved the crossover point from the ~90hz to 80hz and that did the trick for me. Not only match but easily surpassed the HTD tower.


Placido Domingo's voice is even more dramatic and gives you a stunning "in your room" feeling. Not only that but imaging is so good that you can "see" every instrument player in a different space surrounding the singer which stands right between the speakers and in the middle of the huge soundstage.


PIANO


Warm piano (recorded like that) with a nicely defined placement. Other speakers seem to have a harder time giving it a firm location.

VIOLINS


Very realistic and moving...you can feel the body and the actual violin not just a detached sound. The plannar drivers are indeed a beautiful thing.

GUITAR


The guitar strum is awesome...not just a mesh of a sound but a well defined combination of the strings forming it. Fret noises also sound very clean and realistic plus the guitar resonance comes thru with the detail you expect from this marvelous speaker.

SHAKER


Its very easy to tell the difference in "tonality" of the shaker and the detailed sound is another proof of the speakers very revealing nature.

BASS


The bass, as expected from the Minis, is superbly clean, tight and powerful...very powerful! Of course, it takes time to fine tune it to your room and preferences but when you achieve it, you are in sonic nirvana.


This are not boomy notes..no, these are clear bass lines that let you hear the instrument where they are coming from.

IMAGING


WOW! While most of the speakers Ive reviewed have great imaging, the Minis are just a different world.

Its so incredibly easy to "see" where everything is that I cant help but drool even when listening to same song over and over again.

I need to use one of those often mentioned descriptions but the Minis really deserve it...this IS what I call a 3D effect. Not only are instruments and singer clearly defined from left to right but also, and even more impressively, is the definition from back to front.


When you play a song with the Minis you just cant help but listen and forget evaluations and testings...thats why it took me so long to do this review!

SOUNDSTAGE


Huge soundstage and very deep. When trying the depth test song "If I can sing your blues", the Mini is the speaker that really makes me feel the trumpet is 10' away (well more like 6' in my room due to size issues). The other speakers are not able to put it that far and its a bit harder not notice the sound is coming from the speaker.


With the mini, the trumpet is totally detached from the speakers...it becomes just a trumpet in the distance.


Soundstage is also very high....the cymbal was at about 7' high to right side and 10' deep (same as HTD towe which is extremely good at soundstaging too).


When you combined such a huge soundstage with the pinpoint accuracy of the speaker's imaging capabilities, you get a tremendously involving sound field that grabs you and wont let go.

Its really mesmerizing to say the least.




CONCLUSION


Well, I could go on and on with more examples but there is no need. There have been other reviews that are way better than mine and express in a clearer way their views. Mine is just more of a validating opinion that this speaker IS the real deal.


BTW, they work extremely nice for movies too...the subs really make a difference for me since my subwoofer is a crappy KHL! lol

In trying to think what is the thing that I like most about the Minis...its hard because the bass is awesome, controled and detailed...the highs...coming from a ribbon lover, these highs are just even better. They are very detailed and have that airy thing that makes people sing and breath (instruments too).


Still, I think what I like most is how revealing they are and the way they make everything seem just more real life like. Think of it like this, while the other speakers I have reviewed have the capability of reproducing the sound of human voice and acoustical instruments (among other things) with great quality...the Mini not only does that with higher quality and definition but instead of just reproducing the sound, they reproduced the WHOLE instrument.


You can really hear the instrument in action and the notes coming out of it not just a detached sound and that adds another touch of realism that is normally missing even from great speakers and IMHO is what makes people love these speakers so much.


Reading some of Mark's comments, its scary (or should I say a joy!) to realize that when I eventually get to own a SP3 to upgrade from my Harman Kardon, they will even sound better...


Its hard to imagine but if Mark says he cant love them with his 3805 after he have heard how good they could really sound, then I just cant wait to hear these beauties performing even better!


Still, while I get my hands on a SP3 all I can say is the Minis are simply stunning and kiss your movie collection good bye cause after getting this all I can do is sit down and go with the flow of the music...


Thanks for reading and pics coming up soon!


Regards


Luis Gabriel Gerena
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·




I got some more but need to edit them.


Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,058 Posts
Wow ! Luis, you are getting better and better at this reviewing stuff. Time to think about a carrier change ...



Some day (when I can afford them) I would like to own these for a 2 channel setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by axs /forum/post/0


Time to think about a carrier change ...

What do you recommend...Fedex or UPS?
Just kidding!


Actually I am running out of terms... note to myself...must buy dictionary and thesaurus!



Thanks for the kind words...all I like to do is share my passion for audio, specially speakers. Its funny but the more I try speakers the more I learn to really "listen". In fact, I will be doing a revision on the Review/Comparison I did sometime ago as there have been some slight changes in my perception of some of the speakers and also the X-SLS must be reviewed again as I failed to noticed that the lack of spikes was a major mistake when I tested them.


I have a lot to learn but I am persistent!



There are of course, people with better technical knowledge out there so my reviews are more focus on the emotional side of it...the passion of music.

Regards



PS I will start adding graphs as soon as I get a calibrated SPL meter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,058 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena /forum/post/0


What do you recommend...Fedex or UPS?
Just kidding!

If you promise to bring me a pair of these (without my ordering it of course) - join Fedex by all means ...



BTW, where do you keep all these speakers? I assume you must have returned some of them (or rented some warehouse may be)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am actually looking for a storage to keep some of those huge boxes! lol

I love speakers so I like to have them near...its just a beautiful sight...


Am I keeping the minis.... try taking them away from me!


This are for sure a keeper... even my wife is impressed with them...not an easy thing to acomplish trust me!


Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena /forum/post/0


I am actually looking for a storage to keep some of those huge boxes! lol

I love speakers so I like to have them near...its just a beautiful sight...


Am I keeping the minis.... try taking them away from me!


This are for sure a keeper... even my wife is impressed with them...not an easy thing to acomplish trust me!


Regards

Its always a bonus when the wifee...gives the ok,I've got 8 pair of speakers in my house right now which is the most I've had at one time,well....I've always got atleast 4 pair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Arent they like living creatures? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool! I will keep and eye for it...feel free to PM me when you post it.


Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tawaun, the HTD towers are very nice to my ears even though the center I re evaluated after noticing a few things here and there (my ears seem to be getting better at listening).


Still, they are no match for the Strata mini. This speaker is been compared to speakers in the $4000-$5000 range so I wasnt expecting the HTD to beat them at anything. Its not like the HTD will be aweful next to them but they are outclassed for sure.


John, they handle all the power my HK avr-635 can deliver in stereo mode (real 90watts) but I dont have anything stronger unfortunately.


Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Luis, have you heard them with an SP3 as of yet?


I noticed this sale combo on the AV123 site:
http://www.**********/products_produc...ers&product=95


I was seriously thinking about ordering the Piano finish and waiting, but this deal is rather enticing.


I've never owned a tube amp before. I wonder if it would be more trouble than it's worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I havent unfortunately but most people rave about the combination. I hope to try that soon!

In the meantime check av123 forums for a lot of comments on how they work together.


Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by avr5700 /forum/post/0


Luis, have you heard them with an SP3 as of yet?


I noticed this sale combo on the AV123 site:
http://www.**********/products_produc...ers&product=95


I was seriously thinking about ordering the Piano finish and waiting, but this deal is rather enticing.


I've never owned a tube amp before. I wonder if it would be more trouble than it's worth.

The SP-3 is pretty pretty plug and play ,its perfect for a newbie to get into tubes,you'll love it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,025 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodChuck11 /forum/post/0


hi. just wondering if you or anyone else has heard the magnepan 1.6qr? if yes, any thoughts on the 1.6 and the minis?


thx

The 1.6QR is a sensational product and a World Class "statement"...


I feel our Mini Strata will one day earn the same status as thr 1.6QR or the Vandy 2Cx...


All the best...


mls
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top