July 15, 2019 § Leave a comment
“However, a favourite disc is the Lowell George solo album, Thanks I’ll Eat It Here[Friday Music], so I slipped it onto the turntable and was immediately impressed by the overall neutrality of the sound that was being delivered. Why pay more? I kept asking myself. I do have a pair of B&W’s 800 D3s tucked away in the speaker store, and they do have some advantages over this baby, no question. That they will deliver a (slightly) wider dynamic range, with rather better all-round distribution is impossible to deny, but I do find it difficult to justify a price differential of roughly 15×.
If there’s a better example of the loudspeaker being a slave to the rest of the system, I’ve yet to find it. Bowers & Wilkins’ 603 are entirely capable of reproducing just what they were being fed, no matter how high-end you go. However you look at it, the 603 is quite exceptional value for money.”
July 11, 2019 § Leave a comment
“While moving the SVS towers closer to or further from the wall increased and decreased overall bottom-octaves balance by obvious degrees, it did so with somewhat less tendency to emphasize the “boom” octave centered around 80 Hz or so than I’ve experienced from some other tower speakers. I posit that the Prime Pinnacle tower’s three woofers, each at a different height from the floor, mitigates the floor-bounce (or “Allison effect”) of low- frequency first reflection from the floor inducing a peak-dip-peak as it rejoins the direct radiation—first subtractively, out of phase, and then additively, in phase, and so on. More accurately, this must create a series of closely spaced floor-bounce response ripples, but the overall effect seems to be to smooth 50-150 Hz response a good bit, even when fairly close to a wall. This is a welcome additional benefit, and quite possibly another factor in the slim multi-woofer tower trend.”
July 10, 2019 § Leave a comment
Obviously the caveats are going to be well understood by anybody in the market for these Wilsons. But once you have come to terms with that I reckon you will be surprised at how good they are with horns and orchestral pieces. There is no sense that the music is being squeezed out of such a small box. No unwanted edge or tonal nasties from the cabinet. Even drums are enormously coherent and totally understandable as are pianos, often a real contentious proposition for such small speakers. This is due to the superb way they cope with the leading edge, or attack of instruments and voices. Vocals and solo acoustic guitar can be mesmerising. Don’t expect to feel your chest cavity resonate along with the Timpani though.
These tiny Wilsons completely live up to the reputation of quality, long established by the company. They are a niche product in so many ways. Designed to allow you access to very high quality music in situations where few speakers even begin to work. They take full musical advantage of all the great things that a small speaker can provide. Speed, lightness of bass touch, out of the box sound staging, and the ability to start and stop very, very quickly… these are all strong points of the Tune Tot and are vital to good music making. They have exceptional pace and pinpoint timing if your installation is precise and tonally they never stop surprising, even at surprisingly low levels.”
July 7, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The Surround 1 speakers come with a wall-mount bracket, safety strap, and a stencil guide to properly attach the speakers to a wall if you aren’t placing the speakers on a flat surface. The wall-mounting process was relatively straightforward; however, I found having an extra set of hands available made the mounting process easier.
A personal litmus test that I have for speakers is that they have to look good without grills. The Premier Series speakers pass this test with flying colors. I doubt many will complain with how these speakers look, which should help ease the frustrations of weary significant others less keen on having large speakers in the house. The 700F, in particular, looks stunning without its grill on. These speakers would make a statement in just about any room. The speaker grills are magnetic, too, which I prefer allowing the cabinet to have a cleaner, more seamless look when the grills aren’t attached.”
July 5, 2019 § Leave a comment
“What I heard was the right amount of detail, wrapped in lovely timbre, presented with a sense of intimacy. Vocals, especially, practically glow through these loudspeakers; someone clearly spent a great deal of time listening to them during their voicing, someone with the mandate of ensuring that the human voice would be presented in all its raspy, guttural, breathy, round, clarion glory. “Hair-raising” was something I wrote in my notes. Overall, the speakers had a warm, robust, and forgiving presentation that I have come to call the Sonus Faber “house sound”.
July 2, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The sound of the Usher S-520 is as good as the construction and the finish of the loudspeaker. The tonal balance between the woofer and the tweeter is spot on. Too many loudspeakers have an uneven tonal balance. In my research it was disclosed that in some earlier production runs, the tweeter resistor was of slightly lower value. This would make the loudness of the tweeter higher than the woofer— this appears to be the case of earlier production runs and has been confirmed by technical measurements in Stereophile. Happily, my pair has the later, 5 ohm combined value tweeter resistor.
This mini monitor sounds different compared to many small loudspeakers I’ve heard. Some can sound anaemic and less substantial than I experienced with the S-520. The S-520s sound substantial in their presentation. In particular, their midrange and upper bass sound firmer and have greater physicality. This is especially true when listening to singers and piano. When listening to the Beatles’ “Let It Be” track on the album of the same name (EMI Records C2 46447), Paul’s voice, as well as the piano sounded more like the real thing. The piano had solid weight, and a truly percussive sound to it. This is not typical of most small mini monitor loudspeakers in my experience. ”