Philharmonic Audio - 3-way open back ML-TQWTs designed by Dennis Murphy

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by GranteedEV, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    and Paul Kittinger, the same duo responsible for the Salk Songtowers, Salk HT2-TL, and the ER18MTMs on our DIY board.

    http://philharmonicaudio.com/
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  2. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    Probably my next set of speakers....just saying.;)
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  3. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    So let me get this straight.

    Jim Salk, Dennis Murphy, and Paul Kittinger started up Salk speakers, but it is owned by Jim Salk?

    And now Dennis Murphy and Paul Kittinger started their own speaker company and called it Philharmonic Audio?

    So now we have 2 different speaker companies competing with one another, except their speakers will basically sound alike?:D
  4. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    No, basically, Jim Salk started up Salk speakers. Dennis Murphy(Songtowers, HT1/2/3, V3, Soundscape crossover, and Ellis 1801) and Paul Kittinger (Songtower, HT1-TL, HT2-TL) are two DIY hobbyists who happened to be involved in design along with Jeff Bagby (Archos, Pharos, HTS, Continuum, Soundscape enclosure), but only Salk and his employees actively deal with manufacturing and shipping and dealing with customers and all that sort of thing.

    Well, no, Dennis Murphy recently retired and started his own speaker company. Paul Kittinger is still just a DIY hobbyist who happened to be part of the enclosure design.

    I'm sure they'll sound similar - accurate ;) - but still differ plenty because they do use different drivers in pretty different alignments.

    The thing about the Salk speakers is that they kind of target the more high-end crowd with all sorts of custom finish/component options etc. The Philharmonic stuff takes it to the basics of design.

    But you`re right, in a sense they are probably are competing although i`m sure it`s all friendly.

    Here is the Philharmonic 3 next to the Salk Soundscapes with a Philharmonic 1 in the background with a plastic cup on it

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
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  5. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I see the resemblence.:D

    I like the name Philharmonic Audio, though.

    People will probably think these speakers are made for classical music.:D
  6. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    I woulda thought they were made for 1980s heavy metal. :p
  7. ratso Full Audioholic

    ratso
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    as the picture shows jim shared his room at the recent california audio show with dennis and there are several threads on the salk forum talking about the philharmonics, so i don't think that there is any real competition here. also about the name, dennis plays viola in the philadelphia philharmonic and is donating a portion of all sales to the orchestra. pretty cool!
  8. Dennis Murphy Audioholic Chief

    Dennis Murphy
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    Hi everyone. A few corrections. Jim and I shared the same room at the Capital Audio Fest near Washington D.C., not the California Audio Show. I live in Washington and own a pair of SS10's. I thought having them and the Philharmonics would increase interest in both and make an interesting comparison. I do play viola, but not in the Philadelphia Orchestra. It would take about 150 years more practice for that to happen. And the Philadelphia is currently in bankruptcy, so I'm not making any long-term audition plans. I actually play viola in the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, which is no Philadelphia, but is quite respectable and isn't in bankruptcy, thanks in small measure to the Philharmonic speakers. A previous post pretty much got the competition issue right. My cabinets are, like the WMP, respectable--but no Salk Sound. I'm targeting a different market
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  9. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    It seems "strictly stereo" right now, but if an owner were adding a center, the Neo8 seems a bit tall. Do you think the Salk V3 Center would blend smoothly on musical content? Do you have any plans on adding a center to the lineup, and if so, would there be any advantage to making it open back?

    Actually, what IS the height of the "top half" of the Philharmonics? If you angled the baffle upwards, it might not be as tall as I'm imagining, based on the picture.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  10. Dennis Murphy Audioholic Chief

    Dennis Murphy
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    Hi The top half is 15" high. I have a small center channel, although no cabinets yet. I'll have to line up another supplier. It uses the Fountek ribbon and two SB Acoustics 5 1/4" drivers. I guess the V3 center would also work, but it's huge and very expensive. It would kind of defeat the philosophy behind these speakers.
  11. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    Have you considered the ZA14W08 unit in a WTMW with two 6.5" sealed drivers?

    Maybe I'm just irrational, but horizontal MTMs sound boxy and easily localized -to my ears. I'm a horizontal dispersion freak :eek: Maybe your center designs are better than what i've heard. It's just that I use my center for watching HD sports and I don't want to be reminded that it's there. I ended up just turning off my center.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  12. Dennis Murphy Audioholic Chief

    Dennis Murphy
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    Hi There's no inherent reason my an MTM should sound boxy, whether it's mounted vertically or horizontally. For example, I've never heard anyone describe the Salk SongTower, or the SongCenter, as boxy. In theory, the horizontal dispersion in the upper midrange is not as wide as on an WWMT. But if you diagram a typical HT setup with a listening distance of, say, 9-12 feet, the off-axis angle of listeners to either side of center is not very great, and they will experience only a slight dip in the woofer-cancellation region. Some might actually prefer that sound. There are some really bad MTM center channels out there. But they don't have to sound bad. I'm trying to keep things as simple and inexpensive as possible without sacrificing any meaningful sound quality. As for sealed vs. ported, I think that's another urban myth. It's all in the execution.
  13. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    I don't know if boxy is even the right word. 'Instantly localized' in a way - IE that sound from poorly designed diffraction horn speakers.

    I am always glad to hear positive experiences things like this, but from my experience the effect i describe is very audible and goes awat with a vertical center, even an MTM. If a center doesn't 'disappear' then imo I would to go with a phantom stereo center altogether.

    But they will also hear virtually no sidewall reflections until the tweeter bloom comes into play? And the average HT setup is often just a living room with couches and seats well to the left and right IE 30-35 degrees to the TV and center - often to the left of the left spwaker and the right of the right speaker. It's maintaining a fixed center image for those far seats that we want. Most mains have a wide enough sweet spot to fix a good center image for anyone sitting well on axis.

    I think you have to ask yourself this 'would / could I pleasantly listen to and live with this horizntal center channel in stereo if I had two'?

    If the answer is no, then you agree with me that it just doesn't sound right.

    If the answer is yes, then do it for a few days and if it remains yes, then i would love to hear your mtm center speaker design!

    Not sure what urban myth you were refering to, but I really think a sealed center would certainly be smaller (and lighter), and still dig finely to 60 or 80hz as an F3 with the right drivers
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  14. Dennis Murphy Audioholic Chief

    Dennis Murphy
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    You raise some interesting points. It's quite true that the wall reflections will lack energy in the 1500 Hz region. I'm not sure what the practical import would be. For movies, the center will almost always be localized in any event--it's mostly dialog. It could be more of an issue for multi-channel music. I'm not sure I agree that a typical HT set up would have non-center listeners substantially off to the side. But if they are, there will be off-axis peaks and dips with most speaker systems, and I doubt that there would be a seamless presentation no matter what the driver layout. But I'll take your comments to heart and substitute my MTM for the WWMT I'm currently using. If there's a problem, I'll switch designs. As for sealed vs ported, the ported design will generally be smaller or the same size as the sealed. It used to be the other way round before bass reflex design became a science. The urban legend I'm referring to is the one that claims ported designs produce a one-note drummy bass. Again--times have changed.



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  15. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    One way of making mtm centers possibly work better might be to do a 2.5 way instead of 2-way. there might be wayy too much BSC next to a TV etc but modern surround receivers/processors do correct this pretty well IMO.

    If it were me and i could get a custom woofer built, what I would do is use one slightly high fs 5.25 midwoofer to handle the mids and bass down to sub crossover, and a heavily mass loaded version of the same woofer with to handle BSC without too much as centers need not much.

    As for localization I still think its possible to take away vertical localization IE 'center is below TV'. Horizontally centering the image is desirable but you don't want the sound to come from the speaker, but rather the general 'area'
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  16. woodsart Audioholic

    woodsart
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    The Philharmonic Audio - 3-way open back ML-TQWTs designed by Dennis Murphy will now be added to my collection....that is the Philharmonic II with the RAAL tweet and the center will be added later for "dialogue".

    Should be ready in October!!!:D

    I have heard these speakers on two different occasions at Dennis' home and at the CAF......and can honestly say they are amazing and well worth every penny and plenty more!

    Of course knowing Dennis and considering his interest in speaker designs....."over the top" would be a modest statement in his development of the best sound possible. I noticed at the CAF as he moved all over that room as it seemed to him that a speaker is never done!!! It also appeared to me that there was always room for improvement in his designs.

    But for now I think the Phillys will satisfy me for a very long time of not from now on.

    I will report later when I receive them.

    Rob
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  17. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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    Congratulations! I've heard them too (the Phil 1 & 3 models that is), and I am quite certain you'll love them.

    Richard
  18. woodsart Audioholic

    woodsart
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    Hey Richard, good to hear from you and I am quite certain I will too, now the wait.....patience.....patience, that I am gifted with:p. Guess it comes with age, but the Phillys will be worth the wait.

    Robert
  19. Chinaski Enthusiast

    Chinaski
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    I'm extremely interested in these as well. Just curious what you listened to on them? What do you listen to most? And did you demo them with that music to your heart's content? Thanks!
  20. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
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    I would like to know the answer to those questions as well .
    I'm interested as well. sent a email this afternoon.
    cpp,

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