Speaker systems are energy transducers. They take the electrical signal which they receive from the amplifier and transduce that form of energy into mechanical energy which moves the drivers which move the air which is how you make music !
The complexities of maintaining the integrity of the signal when it goes through this process are simply vast.
Moreover, unlike the components which precede it in the chain the speaker system has to not only change the form of energy but also interact with the space in which it is located and produce a convincing acoustical facsimile of the original recording.
That is truly a very difficult task which only a relatively few speakers actually achieve.
We believe that the best speakers are those which put in a credible performance in the worst of situations (bad rooms bad electronics ) but move you to tears when they are positioned correctly In a reasonable setting and hooked up to high quality amplification.
These are few and far in between. Indeed. Many of the most highly touted “ audiophile “ speakers are so finicky in terms of Placement, room acoustics, and associated equipment that their owners will never be able to fully enjoy them unless they move into another room !
And while people seem to cling to the idea that what sounds best is truly subjective there seems to be a certain Group of speakers which please all ears in almost any environment.
Could they simply be better? We think so. Those are the speakers we recommend. Those are the speakers for you.
Many audio dealers recommend the use of a Subwoofer to provide bass missing from mini monitors.
This is not what they are meant to do.
The purpose of subwoofers and where they are the most useful is to provide sound pressurization at extremely low registers. Typically below 50 Hz.
That’s how we use them at Sound by Singer . As long as the main speakers Go down far enough a JL subwoofer could be a significant improvement in your system
If someone had asked me a couple of years ago what kind of speaker the world could use given the abundance of models available , I would have said
" How about a REALLY NEUTRAL SOUNDING moderately sized floorstander which can play any kind of music soft or loud which can work in small and large rooms alike presented in an attractive package which sells under 10K made right here in the States ." Then we would have both smiled and sighed because there was no such thing. Then almost like a wish coming true ENDEAVOR AUDIO ENGINEERING INTRODUCED THE AMAZING E-3II .
Endeavor Audio is the alter ego of the very talented Leif Swanson who has for a number of years now has been an integral part of the design team at Von Schweickert Audio. This past year the two companies merged bringing together two of the most talented speaker guys in the USA Leif and Albert Von Schweickert under one roof. The result has been most salutory.
In addition to the E3 Endeavor produces the E5 , which looks a little like an E3 on growth hormones and provides the scale and dynamics one would expect of a speaker its size and price without ever losing the charm and intimacy characteristic of the its little sibling.
To date I have heard no speaker system under 10k which can outplay the E3 II
and few which come close . Considering the ease with which they can navigate any and all genres of music and their uncanny ability to bring out the best of the music in any environment the E-3 mk II certainly are the speaker to beat.
“When I first heard the E3 this year, I was blown away. I don’t say that lightly, either – the flippin’ system was loud enough to fracture drywall. But the sound I heard was extended, dynamic, and detailed – even when stuffed into a tiny shoebox of a hotel room.”
- SCOTT HULL,
Since its introduction over 25 years ago The Harbeth Pes3R has been the choice of reviewers and listeners alike as the archetypal mini monitor and the best modern expression of the 70 year old BBC designs. Many have tried to knock it off its pedestal with no success.Just ask them
"Suffice to say that this is hands down the most accurate subcompact BBC monitor ever made and perhaps the only one that actually deserves to be called a monitor."
‐ Paul Seydor
"I love the Harbeth P3ESR... the best iteration yet from any manufacturer of the BBC LS3/5A mini-monitor concept"
‐ John Atkinson, Stereophile
Alan Shaw, the designer of Harbeth Audio Ltd. Is wont to say:
"The minute self-congratualtion seeps into your thinking is the moment you cease to innovate. I'm driven to think out of the box — literally!"
That thinking has, just this year, led him to improve dramatically upon this icon of its genre with the introduction of the The P3ESR. 40th Anniversary Edition in olive wood. With the same design and drivers
the differences between the standard PES3R the and the anniversary edition are said to be the use latest WBT-nextgen binding posts, British-made audio grade poly capacitors, and Harbeth's 40th anniversary ultra-pure OFC internal cable.
However, The differences in detail dynamics and purity wrought by these upgrades is nothing short of Dramatic. Both continue to be made both are wonderful but one is just that much more so.
For several years the Monitor 30.1 has been the most universally applauded mid size monitor in the world with typical comments being:
"The M30.1 swept me off my feet"
‐ Wojciech Pacula
"The best compact two-way speaker system I have ever heard, regardless of design type, cost, or complexity."
‐ Paul Seydor
"Harbeths: resolving and ravishing... Timbres so true, and resolution, too. Whatever amp I used, the tonality was superb. Never, ever, fatiguing."
‐ Sam Tellig, Stereophile
And so it would have remained had not Harbeth refused to sit on its laurels and simply collect orders preferring to effectively outdo it self once again. The result is the HARBETH 30.2 Fortieth Anniversary Edition. Incorporating upgraded connectors, special Harbeth wiring and proprietary capacitors just like the PES3R Anni, the 30.2 improves upon the 30.1 to such a degree that if you couldn’t see them you would think there was an entirely new speaker playing Dynamics, clarity, coherency all rise to a new level.
“ (Alan) Shaw says that the sound of his Radial2 cone is the least colored of all present-day bass-midrange cones. I believe he is right.
I also believe that Harbeth's Monitor 30.2 is the most neutral, accurate, tuneful, fun, and music-loving stand-mounted two-way speaker I've heard.”
Stereophile- Herb Reichert | Mar 20, 2018
Applying lessons learned and materials used in creating the 40.1 super monito, Harbeth’s venerable Super Hl5 was upgraded several years ago to The HL5 Plus . With greater range than the 30.1 and a true 3 way design the Hl5 plus is best understood as a larger fuller sounding version of this speaker.
Writing about the Super HL5 Plus in the October 19, 2015 edition of the absolute sound Paul Seydor Noted:
“The midrange is everything we’ve come to expect from a Harbeth: drop-dead gorgeous and so seamlessly integrated to the top and bottom ends of the spectrum that it’s an exercise in artificiality to discuss them separately. To play voice or any kind of acoustic instrument either solo or part of an ensemble is to bring a smile to your face—so easy, beautiful, and effortlessly natural is the reproduction. Perceptive readers may notice that I’m using the word “beauty” and its variants quite a lot in this review. This is because beauty is the overriding impression this speaker makes—that and a wholesale absence of any sort of listening fatigue.”
This year The Super HL 5 plus got the Anniversary treatment with the same results achieved as with the other models. Clarity, coherence and dynamics all improved in a major way.
Describing them as “ Alan Shaw’s Masterpiece” , in the Feb 03rd, 2017 edition of the absolute sound, Paul Seydor
“ if I were asked to recommend a loudspeaker to someone who loves a really wide variety of music and wants it reproduced accurately, naturally, and beautifully such that he or she truly can listen for hours without fatigue, my recommendation in the here and now would unhesitatingly be the Monitor 40.2. As the review period has lasted several months, during which time I’ve had to evaluate several other components, I’ve also come to appreciate the Harbeth’s value as a tool for reviewing equipment and recordings. This is one speaker that really will tell you the truth about any source or any components feeding it.
As for my 2805s, no, I’m not about to sell them—once a Quad man, always a Quad man—but they must henceforth share house space with the Monitor 40.2 as my idea of how a reference loudspeaker should sound and perform. Now that the evaluations have ended and the review finished, truth in reporting requires I point out I’ve felt no pressing urge to bring the Quads back into the listening room, so satisfying are the Harbeths. The Monitor 40.2 is now my reference loudspeaker, and so it shall remain for a long, long time to come.”
Basking in Accolades of the like is not Alan Shaw’s style , so if you guessed that he applied the Ann iversary treatment to the unassailable 40.2 you would be right on the money.
How do you improve on a masterpiece? Better internal wiring , special poly capacitors and improved binding posts.
The result? better sit down when you listen to them because they will bring you to tears and make you weak at the knees.
The Harbeth 40.2 Anniversary is the master reference loudspeaker.
The Raidho Acoustics D-1.1 is a compact 2-way stand-mounted loudspeaker featuring the Raidho Diamond Driver and the Raidho Ribbon Tweeter that proves that less is more. By minimizing and virtually removing resonances, the listener’s mind is free to enjoy crisp musical reproduction on a whole new level. The D-1 offers endless performance in all respects.
The Raidho Acoustics D-4.1 integrates the best qualities of the highly-acclaimed Raidho D-5 in a smaller package. Featuring 4 bass drivers, two 4” midranges and the Raidho tweeter makes for a monster of a speaker with a true, full range, that features an impact and refinement that is second to none. The D-4.1 is a true 3-way Raidho Diamond Driver loudspeaker, an extreme performer for anyone who truly cherishes their music and is looking for maximum performance.
The Raidho C1.2 is the direct descendant of the legendary Raidho C1.1, the original model that started it all. The C-1.2 is the smallest loudspeaker in the C-series, but has quickly earned a reputation as an instant Raidho classic winning awards and gaining accolades from all over the globe. The C-1.2 is built around the Raidho Ribbon Tweeter and the unique Raidho Ceramix Driver. It is an incredible speaker that, like the rest of the items in the Raidho catalogue, over performs.
The X-T1 is an elegant and compact stand-mount mini monitor, built with the Raidho Ribbon Tweeter and a bass/mid-range driver that features ceramic and titanium membranes. The mid-range drivers feature the newly developed neodymium-based magnet system in a long throw, low compression design. Designed for smaller rooms, these speakers can be placed relatively close to the rear wall, making them ideal for studio use and near-field monitoring.
Raidho’s proprietary driver designs, the brilliant simplicity of their ribbon tweeter, and the astonishing, dynamic capabilities of their Ceramix units are at the heart of their continued success. The X-5 Series features it all, but steps up the bass and mid driver performance over previous models, a direct result of the company’s efforts to maximize both the power and power handling of their motors.
The result is unprecedented capabilities from a dynamic driver, coupled with robust construction that will handle incredible levels of continuous, clean power. When deployed in the X-5, Raidho’s latest Ceramix drivers offer remarkable musical performance at a remarkable price.
The Spendor D7 is an elegant, modern, medium-size, 2.5-way, floor-standing loudspeaker, that combines distinctive modern styling with state-of-the-art engineering to deliver music with a fresh vibrant realism that conventional loudspeakers simply cannot match. This new level of performance is the direct result of important Spendor innovations like the Spendor LPZ (Linear Pressure Zone) tweeter.
Spendor says that the goal of every tweeter design is to achieve linear acoustic output across a wide frequency range, which has always been a tall order for engineers. Although Spendor’s approach to this age-old challenge is radical, it works.
Perhaps the most surprising speaker in the Spendor lineup is the Spendor D9, which has been introduced to rave reviews that it richly deserves.
At first blush, the D9 seems like a D7 model on steroids, but it is, in fact, so much more. Significantly improving upon the precision, detail and harmonic accuracy of the D7, the D9 adds a sense of scale, power and low-end response that is most commonly associated with bigger and more expensive floor-standing speakers, making D9 the best all-around floor-standing speaker we have yet heard under $15,000 per pair.
Spendor 18cm drive units developed for D7
The Spendor LPZ tweeter is built around a stainless steel front plate that forms a damped acoustic chamber directly in front of a lightweight woven polyamide diaphragm. The front plate incorporates a phase-correcting micro foil to equalize sound wave path lengths across the diaphragm surface. Simultaneously, it generates a symmetrical pressure environment on both faces of the tweeter diaphragm so the tweeter operates in a balanced linear mode.
Similar to focusing an ultra-high quality camera lens to bring up a clear, bright image, the LPZ’s sequential geometry micro-foil operates as an acoustic lens. The result is perfect focus, uninhibited sound transmission, and a wide listening window. The front plate also provides excellent mechanical protection for the delicate tweeter dome and a smart, modern appearance.
Spendor 18cm drive units developed for D7
The D7 mid-bass drive unit has an advanced EP77 polymer cone for superb clarity and vanishingly low coloration. The low-frequency drive unit has an ultra-rigid, two part bonded Kevlar composite cone assembly for accurate and powerful low-frequency response. Both drivers feature a cast magnesium alloy chassis, high efficiency motor systems, optimized electro-dynamic damping, and excellent thermal dissipation for a wide, dynamic range. The polymer surround significantly reduces driver ‘break-in’ time thanks to its stable molecular composition.
Fifth generation Spendor Linear flow port technology
The benefits of Spendor Linear Flow port technology have been well-proven in the Spendor A-line. They deliver deep articulate bass with natural timing, even in small rooms or close to a wall. The fifth-generation Spendor Linear flow port incorporates an aerodynamically profiled central baffle to create a tapered twin-venturi port. Air at the port extremities is decelerated and there is a further reduction in air velocity in the large tapered area at the cabinet base. The result is evenly-balanced acoustic pressure and air-flow along the whole length of the port. Rapidly decreasing air velocity at the port extremities creates an air-curtain effect to eliminate port noise and spurious mid-band radiation.
Conventional loudspeakers incorporate low frequency enclosure damping material, which stores energy that, when released, is no longer in-time with the music, making it sound unnaturally heavy and slow. The sound path within the D7 cabinet, from the bass drivers to the listening room, requires no low frequency damping and, therefore, the Spendor D7 is free from energy storage effects, resulting in clearly audible music that sounds naturally fast, agile, and coherent.
The Spendor A4 was designed for music lovers who demand a clear, captivating sound. Thanks to innovative Spendor technologies, the A4 allows for the very best sound, regardless of the equiptment its paired with.
At the heart of the A4 is a Spendor designed and engineered 7” bass-mid drive unit that features the same EP77 polymer cone and new surround developed for Spendor’s flagship D7 model. The driver has excellent power handling and excellent low-level linearity. Key electrical, mechanical and damping parameters have been optimized to ensure consistent low frequency performance and sound in any listening room, with any amplifier.
A meticulously refined crossover network integrates the drivers seamlessly to deliver vivid, dynamic, and natural sound. Spendor’s high-quality crossovers utilize custom inductors that avoid the distortion problem created by attenuating resistors and allow fine tuning of frequency and phase response. As a result, Spendor’s A Line loudspeakers achieve a coherent and balanced sound rarely found in loudspeakers within the same price point.
The Spendor A7 is a bigger and better version of the A4 that uses the dynamic damping system from Spendor's award-winning D Line as well as a twin-venture port developed specifically for the model. In addition, the A7 cabinet size is perfectly optimized for the main drive unit, delivering an open and rich sound with smooth mid-ranges and fast, deep bass.
At the heart of the A7 is a Spendor 7" bass-mid drive unit which incorporates key materials developed for Spendor's flagship D7 loudspeaker.
The completely re-engineered crossover has precision wound high-linearity tapped inductors which avoid distortion and allow fine-tuned frequencies and phase responses, for a coherent, balanced sound, deep articulate bass, and smooth natural highs with outstanding clarity.
A 22mm wide surround tweeter combines the extended frequency response of a small diaphragm with the low frequency characteristics of a larger diaphragm ensures a smooth, extended high frequency response over a wide listening area with fast, engaging sound and true transparency. The internal cables are high-grade silver plated pure copper with halogen-free dielectric. High linearity audio grade capacitors and an easy to drive 8ohm load ensure uncompromised performance and complete compatibility with all quality amplifiers and cables.
"A superb floorstander, one of Spendor's best boxes ever." - HiFi Choice, April 2013, Five Star Award Winner
"It has a decent helping of the original mid 1970s BBC magic midrange but with a modern twist. The D7 is easy to drive and truly compatible with valve amplifiers. Undemanding of placement, it has fine stereo and extended powerful bass, sounds upbeat and well balanced, and will drive larger rooms as required. And the build and finish is first rate: what more can one ask?” - HiFi Critic, September 2013
The LS6f is a floor standing verssion of the famous Chartwell BBC LS6 ;a daring application of this design,the 6f betters it by some margin adding a greater sense of flow and greater bass extension , not to mention the elimination of the somewhat awkward stand requirement.loudspeakers.
High Fidelity - July 2018
“This is this type of design that is able to recreate the atmosphere of a small jazz club in a more tangible way than most other speakers. The naturalness of this presentation is so immense that every now and then listeners are due to be surprised by elements that break out of the "sequence of sounds", let it be an unexpected descent of the saxophone into the low areas on the West 8th Street on Castle Ave., or a more powerful drumming in the Jazz at the Pawnshop. ...The scale of sound also helps in such spectacular imaging. It is large, expansive and natural. ...Graham's speakers are also very dynamic. It is actually an inherent feature for BBC-school monitors, but in this case it makes a unique impression. Immediate attack and stopping - these are the elements that the reviewed loudspeakers are very good at, better than many much more expensive designs. The opening of the treble range also contributes to that.”
The LS3/5A was produced by BBC Designs Department in response to detail changes in the performance of the drive units that were originally chosen for the LS3/5 as designed by BBC Research and Development. It is the most well-known of all the BBC loudspeakers, and remains the compact loudspeaker of choice for many today.As you might expect this iteration ,engineerd by Derek Hughes pays strict adherence to the original BBC design of the 1960's.
The LS5/9 is the original BBc design from which the current Harbeth Monitor 30.2 drew inspiration. Asking me to choose between these two speakers is like asking me which of my children I love more. Suffice it to say they are both outstanding and fortunately we have both.
Derek Hughes developed the new LS5/9f for Graham Audio from the experience gained whilst recreating the BBC LS5/9 to meet a popular demand for a precision monitor loudspeaker like the 5/9 but in a floor standing version.
Built to the same exacting BBC standards the LS5/9f is created using the damped thin wall principle with rubberised acoustic barrier and rockwool damping. The crossover is 2nd order on the bass and 3rd order on the treble, same as the standard LS5/9.As good as the LS5/9 is the 9F is one step better extending the low frequency range and impact considerably so as to increase the Dynmic impression and sense of space and flow