May 26, 2022 § Leave a comment
The vanishingly low cabinet coloration not only acts to keep the BC150 fast, it keeps it extremely detailed too. This is a loudspeaker that throws the window wide open on your music. Pick an instrument, preferably a solo instrument on a well-recorded album; that instrument sounds detailed, articulate, and physically ‘there’ in the room, solidly placed within a wide soundstage that projects slightly into the room, but not so much as to be intrusive. It’s detailed and precise enough that colorations are more likely to be to do with the room than the speaker, and many of those are ‘nailed’ thanks to the rear-firing tweeter. The BC150 loudspeaker is an audio reproduction instrument of high-precision, and as such if your room has a bit of a mid-range hump, you’ll notice it more immediately here. Given the BC150 and the company it keeps, that’s no bad thing, as room acoustics should be a strong consideration at this level. But, regardless, listening to something like ‘Love in Vain’, by the Rolling Stones [Stripped, Polydor] and you get to hear Jagger’s voice unsullied by the speaker itself; other speakers seem to play something more like an impression of Mick Jagger by way of comparison.
May 25, 2022 § Leave a comment
Harbeth is proud to advertise the ‘use anywhere’ adaptability of the speaker. As such, I’m guessing the P3ESR would be the dream desktop loudspeaker, taking convenience with superior sound to the nth degree. But there’s no doubt situated in a well treated room of appropriate size on the suggested stands is the way to go. I’d say the quality and adaptability of these bookshelf beauties would make the ideal entry level high end loudspeaker for budding audiophiles with catholic musical tastes who save a little and want to take a serious step forward in building a quality system. I know many companies attempt to manufacture such a speaker but I’ve not heard one in the size and at the price of the P3ESR XD that matches it for refined, musically immersive sound. They are a remarkable value. Also, their superior fit and finish belies their $3290/pair MSRP.
May 24, 2022 § Leave a comment
One might get the impression that I’m a “Fan Boy” of VSA. In that, I’m a huge fan of reality in the presentation of recorded music, and VSA makes the creation of such one of their primary objectives in speaker design, then by association, yes, guilty as charged.
Kevin Hayes of VAC has been quoted as saying VAC audio instruments are designed with the hope that they will one day be considered family heirlooms, handed down to the next generation, and I admittedly acquired my Statement 450S iQ amplifier with this in mind – an end-game investment, IMHO. Similarly, I consider the quality and investment of VSA speakers to be of the same league — a true heirloom investment, regardless of budget.
I felt privileged to acquire an example of the VSA team’s work, and now very excited to retain the Endeavor Special Edition in our home. My professional instincts told me they and I strive for the same outcomes in high-end musical reproduction, coming from similar perspectives. I thank them for their efforts and congratulate them on this exceptional achievement and offering within high-end audio. For me, it truly represents realism in the reproduction of recorded music. It is, in fact, a portal to experiencing the joy of live music.
May 23, 2022 § Leave a comment
Occasionally, when playing sonically darker recordings, I wished things were a hair brighter. I would MUCH rather have a smoother vibe than even the smallest amount of additional air or zing up there as long as the resolution is high, which is definitely the case for U55s. Furthermore, this was only in evidence when I used amps with an overly smooth or rolled off top end such as the Qualiton or the ampsandsound Nautilus. In a universe of options with regard to where the high frequencies should fall, given varying tonalities in amplifiers, source components and recordings, I’ll give the U55s chosen high frequency voicing an A+.
Midrange and the handoff to tweeters and woofers was invisible and seamless. Imaging was gorgeous and captivating. I got solid, floating-in-air, center images which is important to me. I heard lots of depth and space when it was there in a recording. There was a strong sense of a 180 degree arc of instrument placement that extended towards my listening spot and beyond speaker edges.
Like practically all the other elements of the Von Schweikert Ultra 55 performance, I found dynamic portrayal to be top notch, without calling any undue attention to that part of reproduction. VSA lists sensitivity at 89db. Although to my ear, this seems conservative, owing to the 5 watt Nautilus being such a surprise in how it powered the speakers.
May 22, 2022 § Leave a comment
In all other respects. The R5t’s performance when used in combination with the D15s subwoofer equaled or exceeded its performance au naturel. As noted earlier, I would have liked a little more top-end air, but in no way was the sound closed-in or dull. In fact, it may not even be the best choice for those who prefer a more forgiving, warm presentation. But freed up by the subwoofer from handling the bottom two bass octaves in my listening room, the R5t tower’s transparency, lack of coloration, and ability to throw a wide and convincing soundstage was beyond criticism.
But even that description doesn’t do full justice to the superb dynamic range capability of the Perlisten R5t/D15s combo, which was screamingly evident when I fired up the whole surround sound system (supported by non- Perlisten speakers for the center channel and surrounds). When I dropped the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Dune (2021) into the Oppo player, all Hades broke loose. The quiet scenes were effectively rendered, of course, but the opening bass attack of composer Hans Zimmer’s punishing score, the subterranean groans of arriving spaceships, the buzzing of the mosquito-like ornithopters, and the rescue of the spice-mining harvester from a sandworm attack, all of it played back at a higher level than most civilian listeners can tolerate, left me worrying about the structural integrity of my house.
May 18, 2022 § Leave a comment
Given this philosophy, it’s not surprising that the line tends to be self-effacing in nature. The folks at Bowers & Wilkins aren’t interested in creating a particular sound; they’re into building good drivers and giving them the best possible environment in which to thrive. The 805 D4 is firmly in keeping with this tradition. Its cabinet is the quietest it’s ever been, and the drivers are more linear and well-behaved than ever. As a result, you don’t hear them.
That’s not to be construed as implying that these speakers are dull. Far from it! They have a wide dynamic range and plenty of rhythmic pizzaz. But they also allow more subtle musical flourishes, such as tiny dynamic nuances, to emerge in a natural, unshowy way. I suspect this is down to the diamond tweeter, which isn’t as extended as some I’ve heard but is incredibly smooth and never etched.