Perlisten S4b bookshelf speaker review

G

Golfx

Junior Audioholic
I kept my older SVS PB16 Ultra and their conical SVS PC4000. I might be lured to get a third sub of the coming Perlisten dual 12 “ported” subs. Space is a problem and moving the PB16 would be logistical challenge. Most visitors think its a mini fridge used as an end table


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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I kept my older SVS PB16 Ultra and their conical SVS PC4000. I might be lured to get a third sub of the coming Perlisten dual 12 “ported” subs. Space is a problem and moving the PB16 would be logistical challenge. Most visitors think its a mini fridge used as an end table


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Are you still running the S7ts full range? Their bass performance is so good that it would be a shame to high pass them when you could have the extra points of low-frequency emission to smooth out the response of your room even more.
 
G

Golfx

Junior Audioholic
Hi Shady I’m crossing them at 40Hz. I believe I read that suggestion in your (or another) original review. I’ll be setting up a separate preset for stereo-only soon. Currently using a Denon A-110 as a prepro but will acquire a Trinnov Altitude 16 from Mathew for a Xmas present to myself. The trinnov will allow for some interesting custom presets. Depending on the music I listen in stereo or Auro 3-D upmix which is why I wanted voice matched Surrounds and Highs.


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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Hi Shady I’m crossing them at 40Hz. I believe I read that suggestion in your (or another) original review. I’ll be setting up a separate preset for stereo-only soon. Currently using a Denon A-110 as a prepro but will acquire a Trinnov Altitude 16 from Mathew for a Xmas present to myself. The trinnov will allow for some interesting custom presets. Depending on the music I listen in stereo or Auro 3-D upmix which is why I wanted voice matched Surrounds and Highs.


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That sounds awesome! It's a sensible crossover point too since the 16-40Hz region is the PB16-Ultra's strength.
 
G

Golfx

Junior Audioholic
Thanks. Audioholics is my library for information and yodas.


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J

jeffca

Junior Audioholic
Perlisten makes really good stuff, but, unfortunately, it's bang for the buck is nonexistent. All of their products are way too expensive for their performance.

I'm also a bit dubious of the DPC waveguide in so much that a long ribbon driver would accomplish the same effect while offering higher sensitivity for a lower price.

While Perslisten isn't nearly as ridiculous as as Wilson Audio when it comes to value, it certainly isn't a leader in that aspect.

They seem to be using the Satori MW16TX-4. That's a $300 driver at Madisound. Add a Real ribbon for $760. So, for about $2.1K, you can buy the drivers retail. Spend $1K for custom cabinets. You now have $5K left to buy amps & a DSP crossover and you have a much better system that's active and powered.

Also for $6K, ATC and Genelec (to name a few) make some tremendous powered monitors that will be as good or better.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Perlisten makes really good stuff, but, unfortunately, it's bang for the buck is nonexistent. All of their products are way too expensive for their performance.

I'm also a bit dubious of the DPC waveguide in so much that a long ribbon driver would accomplish the same effect while offering higher sensitivity for a lower price.

While Perslisten isn't nearly as ridiculous as as Wilson Audio when it comes to value, it certainly isn't a leader in that aspect.

They seem to be using the Satori MW16TX-4. That's a $300 driver at Madisound. Add a Real ribbon for $760. So, for about $2.1K, you can buy the drivers retail. Spend $1K for custom cabinets. You now have $5K left to buy amps & a DSP crossover and you have a much better system that's active and powered.

Also for $6K, ATC and Genelec (to name a few) make some tremendous powered monitors that will be as good or better.
And then there is the $1,500 dollar stands. That's a lot of .

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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Perlisten makes really good stuff, but, unfortunately, it's bang for the buck is nonexistent. All of their products are way too expensive for their performance.

I'm also a bit dubious of the DPC waveguide in so much that a long ribbon driver would accomplish the same effect while offering higher sensitivity for a lower price.

While Perslisten isn't nearly as ridiculous as as Wilson Audio when it comes to value, it certainly isn't a leader in that aspect.

They seem to be using the Satori MW16TX-4. That's a $300 driver at Madisound. Add a Real ribbon for $760. So, for about $2.1K, you can buy the drivers retail. Spend $1K for custom cabinets. You now have $5K left to buy amps & a DSP crossover and you have a much better system that's active and powered.

Also for $6K, ATC and Genelec (to name a few) make some tremendous powered monitors that will be as good or better.
No, a long ribbon would not accomplish the same thing. It wouldn't have anywhere near the same dynamic range, nor would it be able to handle anything like a 1kHz crossover frequency. I wouldn't guess that the vertical dispersion would be as controlled for as much bandwidth, although a long ribbon would have a very restricted vertical dispersion for sure.

Genelec makes some extremely linear monitors but again, I have to question their dynamic range vs the Perlisten speakers. Furthermore, they are not pretty like the Perlisten speakers nor as overbuilt. They aren't something that would fit in a nice living room. ATC, as far as I know, doesn't make anything as linear as Perlisten's products. Every measurement of their speakers that I have seen is not quite in the same ballpark of accuracy.

Perlisten is not using the Satori driver. All Perlisten drivers are made in-house. The only thing they have in common is the Textreme cone. I'd be surprised if the Satori driver were on the same level of performance as the Perlisten driver.

It looks to me like the only thing you are factoring for "value" is frequency response. There is a lot more to loudspeakers then frequency response.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Hmm. And the point of my earlier post was just re-proven... Is that even a word? It must be. I typed it. :p

Why is it so difficult, so challenging to accept the reviewed product for what it is rather than what each person wants it to be?

In fact... I hereby declare another new category of the AH Drinking game!
:D

Any review met with derision: Take a drink.
Any comments questioning the value proposition, do a shot PLUS a drink... boilermakers, depth charges and sake bombs all count.
Any post suggesting that you can DIY a better solution: take 3 shots. Two to the chest, one to the dome style!

:cool:
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Hmm. And the point of my earlier post was just re-proven... Is that even a word? It must be. I typed it. :p

Why is it so difficult, so challenging to accept the reviewed product for what it is rather than what each person wants it to be?

In fact... I hereby declare another new category of the AH Drinking game!
:D

Any review met with derision: Take a drink.
Any comments questioning the value proposition, do a shot PLUS a drink... boilermakers, depth charges and sake bombs all count.
Any post suggesting that you can DIY a better solution: take 3 shots. Two to the chest, one to the dome style!

:cool:
Yay! Sake bombs!!!!!
I agree. I just watched a video tour of a 130k wake boat. I am IN LOVE with it. Can I afford it? Probably not. Don’t give a Fukk. It’s a piece of art, and does what it does expertly. It’s luxury and performance all in one. I don’t care that if I ever can afford one, it will be used. Probably very used lol. I’ll probably never get my Legacies either. But guess what. I love reading about these kinds of things. Because they’re out there in the wild, and they’re different from the SOS, and I like to know what sets them apart. And maybe even something to aspire to achieve. You know, higher than a 5.0 prime pinnacle setup…
 
D

dutchholic

Enthusiast
No, a long ribbon would not accomplish the same thing. It wouldn't have anywhere near the same dynamic range, nor would it be able to handle anything like a 1kHz crossover frequency. I wouldn't guess that the vertical dispersion would be as controlled for as much bandwidth, although a long ribbon would have a very restricted vertical dispersion for sure.

Genelec makes some extremely linear monitors but again, I have to question their dynamic range vs the Perlisten speakers. Furthermore, they are not pretty like the Perlisten speakers nor as overbuilt. They aren't something that would fit in a nice living room. ATC, as far as I know, doesn't make anything as linear as Perlisten's products. Every measurement of their speakers that I have seen is not quite in the same ballpark of accuracy.

Perlisten is not using the Satori driver. All Perlisten drivers are made in-house. The only thing they have in common is the Textreme cone. I'd be surprised if the Satori driver were on the same level of performance as the Perlisten driver.

It looks to me like the only thing you are factoring for "value" is frequency response. There is a lot more to loudspeakers then frequency response.
True, a long ribbon is something different then beryllium with a waveguide. Very different beast indeed.

But regarding the Satori driver he's kind of right. SB Acoustics and Perlisten both buy their cone at Composite Sound AB in Sweden so I don't see why you would be "surprised if the Satori driver were on the same level of performance as the Perlisten driver." since the cone material is exactly the same.

There is not some "magic" going on there, it's just a good high performance driver and there are more good high performance driver's in the world. I wouldn't be surprised if the Perlisten Textreme driver solely would be beaten by for example purifi audio's driver. Which is maybe the best measuring midrange driver in the world.

It's a known fact that many high end audio brands do everything to hide where their drivers are bought but ~90% of the high end speaker brands don't manufacture the drivers "in house", they create the specifications "in house" but they give the job to produce the drivers to one of the big guys. I don't believe that "All Perlisten drivers are made in-house", I've not seen any pictures with proof of this.

SB Acoustics is a well established manufacturer with a good reputation and a serious history. I don't see a single reason to assume that a small new company as Perlisten beats their track record in terms of "own production" with their first product. I wouldn't be surprised if Perlisten buys their driver with their own "custom specifications" at a company like SB Acoustics or one of their competitors.

To be even more clear about this: I would be VERY surprised if they made all of their drivers fully in house with their own manufacturing equipment, including the nice beryllium tweeters. Can you post proof of this shadyJ?

It's by far the most obvious that they buy their drivers and their tweeters somewhere at SB Acoustics or Seas or one of the other big boys with their own Perlisten specifications. They don't have their own manufacturing plant in house, as for example an well established brand as B&W has (let's not get confused here, the performance of Perlisten is way better then B&W, I'm just talking about the manufacturing part). Perlisten makes their own housings, their own specification for their drivers but the manufacturing of their drivers is probably outsourced.

It's a known fact that the profit on high end speakers is huge, so jeffca is probably right with the costs of the parts(for OEM the prices are much lower even, roughly 50-70% depending of the quantities of course) but I still don't see jeffca able to make the same great integration of all these parts including matching housing and crossover and waveguide in a DIY speaker with similar performance as this perlisten brand speaker(or one of the top performers of Revel/Kef reference/Focal's top models), that's simply not possible with DIY(or prove me otherwise).
 
John Parks

John Parks

Audioholic Field Marshall
True, a long ribbon is something different then beryllium with a waveguide. Very different beast indeed.

But regarding the Satori driver he's kind of right. SB Acoustics and Perlisten both buy their cone at Composite Sound AB in Sweden so I don't see why you would be "surprised if the Satori driver were on the same level of performance as the Perlisten driver." since the cone material is exactly the same.

There is not some "magic" going on there, it's just a good high performance driver and there are more good high performance driver's in the world. I wouldn't be surprised if the Perlisten Textreme driver solely would be beaten by for example purifi audio's driver. Which is maybe the best measuring midrange driver in the world.

It's a known fact that many high end audio brands do everything to hide where their drivers are bought but ~90% of the high end speaker brands don't manufacture the drivers "in house", they create the specifications "in house" but they give the job to produce the drivers to one of the big guys. I don't believe that "All Perlisten drivers are made in-house", I've not seen any pictures with proof of this.

SB Acoustics is a well established manufacturer with a good reputation and a serious history. I don't see a single reason to assume that a small new company as Perlisten beats their track record in terms of "own production" with their first product. I wouldn't be surprised if Perlisten buys their driver with their own "custom specifications" at a company like SB Acoustics or one of their competitors.

To be even more clear about this: I would be VERY surprised if they made all of their drivers fully in house with their own manufacturing equipment, including the nice beryllium tweeters. Can you post proof of this shadyJ?

It's by far the most obvious that they buy their drivers and their tweeters somewhere at SB Acoustics or Seas or one of the other big boys with their own Perlisten specifications. They don't have their own manufacturing plant in house, as for example an well established brand as B&W has (let's not get confused here, the performance of Perlisten is way better then B&W, I'm just talking about the manufacturing part). Perlisten makes their own housings, their own specification for their drivers but the manufacturing of their drivers is probably outsourced.

It's a known fact that the profit on high end speakers is huge, so jeffca is probably right with the costs of the parts(for OEM the prices are much lower even, roughly 50-70% depending of the quantities of course) but I still don't see jeffca able to make the same great integration of all these parts including matching housing and crossover and waveguide in a DIY speaker with similar performance as this perlisten brand speaker(or one of the top performers of Revel/Kef reference/Focal's top models), that's simply not possible with DIY(or prove me otherwise).
Seems you are correct. From the Composite Sound site: https://composite-sound.com/latest-news/perlisten-audio-debuts-first-thx-certified-dominus-in-wall-speakers/
Not to take anything away from Perlisten - I would love to have the chance to hear their line - James does not offer such high praise lightly.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
I don't have anything at stake in this, but I would add that just because a material is used in common, does not mean that the Driver is the same.
To be fair, Driver customization is nothing new. Dave F from Ascend and Danny R from GS Research have both done this.

Point being that until somebody pulls the curtain back on Perlisten and opens up a tower to see what's under the hood, we don't know what we don't know. ;)
 
D

dutchholic

Enthusiast
I don't have anything at stake in this, but I would add that just because a material is used in common, does not mean that the Driver is the same.
To be fair, Driver customization is nothing new. Dave F from Ascend and Danny R from GS Research have both done this.

Point being that until somebody pulls the curtain back on Perlisten and opens up a tower to see what's under the hood, we don't know what we don't know. ;)
Of course the driver is not exactly the same, Perlisten does of course everything to look different then a driver of just ~300 dollars. That's exactly the trick. ;) They would be stupid to buy "of the shelf" drivers, customized specs create extra profit because the end consumer doesn't have comparison material. It creates exactly the kind of myth that is needed for the highest possible selling price. Not that there is something wrong with it, but it's a known fact that the exact materials are not creating the price of an high end high performance speaker.

There is no reason to assume that Perlisten can do something better with the same cone material then the big established driver manufacturers can do after many years of research and production. There is no magic going on there, great performing drivers can be bought and are available in the market for all manufacturers.

But it's still a serious job of research to integrate them well for that reason prices of high end speakers can be justified. I don't believe that the DIY guys (besides subwoofers and other hardware such as amplifiers) can create the same performance in the end as passive speakers from Perlisten/Revel/Focal/Kef, I've not seen proof of this, there is always "something not as good", a missing waveguide, a resonating housing etc.etc. so the price can still be justified even while the prices are insane when you look at the costs of the raw materials and the OEM purchases that the brands did to generate their product.
 
G

Golfx

Junior Audioholic
Of course the driver is not exactly the same, Perlisten does of course everything to look different then a driver of just ~300 dollars. That's exactly the trick. ;) They would be stupid to buy "of the shelf" drivers, customized specs create extra profit because the end consumer doesn't have comparison material. It creates exactly the kind of myth that is needed for the highest possible selling price. Not that there is something wrong with it, but it's a known fact that the exact materials are not creating the price of an high end high performance speaker.

There is no reason to assume that Perlisten can do something better with the same cone material then the big established driver manufacturers can do after many years of research and production. There is no magic going on there, great performing drivers can be bought and are available in the market for all manufacturers.

But it's still a serious job of research to integrate them well for that reason prices of high end speakers can be justified. I don't believe that the DIY guys (besides subwoofers and other hardware such as amplifiers) can create the same performance in the end as passive speakers from Perlisten/Revel/Focal/Kef, I've not seen proof of this, there is always "something not as good", a missing waveguide, a resonating housing etc.etc. so the price can still be justified even while the prices are insane when you look at the costs of the raw materials and the OEM purchases that the brands did to generate their product.
What I like about shadyJ is he uses his knowledge of speakers and their manufacture to be enthused about what Perlisten has accomplished. It seems Perlisten’s success has somehow upset your comfort.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
True, a long ribbon is something different then beryllium with a waveguide. Very different beast indeed.

But regarding the Satori driver he's kind of right. SB Acoustics and Perlisten both buy their cone at Composite Sound AB in Sweden so I don't see why you would be "surprised if the Satori driver were on the same level of performance as the Perlisten driver." since the cone material is exactly the same.

There is not some "magic" going on there, it's just a good high performance driver and there are more good high performance driver's in the world. I wouldn't be surprised if the Perlisten Textreme driver solely would be beaten by for example purifi audio's driver. Which is maybe the best measuring midrange driver in the world.

It's a known fact that many high end audio brands do everything to hide where their drivers are bought but ~90% of the high end speaker brands don't manufacture the drivers "in house", they create the specifications "in house" but they give the job to produce the drivers to one of the big guys. I don't believe that "All Perlisten drivers are made in-house", I've not seen any pictures with proof of this.

SB Acoustics is a well established manufacturer with a good reputation and a serious history. I don't see a single reason to assume that a small new company as Perlisten beats their track record in terms of "own production" with their first product. I wouldn't be surprised if Perlisten buys their driver with their own "custom specifications" at a company like SB Acoustics or one of their competitors.

To be even more clear about this: I would be VERY surprised if they made all of their drivers fully in house with their own manufacturing equipment, including the nice beryllium tweeters. Can you post proof of this shadyJ?

It's by far the most obvious that they buy their drivers and their tweeters somewhere at SB Acoustics or Seas or one of the other big boys with their own Perlisten specifications. They don't have their own manufacturing plant in house, as for example an well established brand as B&W has (let's not get confused here, the performance of Perlisten is way better then B&W, I'm just talking about the manufacturing part). Perlisten makes their own housings, their own specification for their drivers but the manufacturing of their drivers is probably outsourced.

It's a known fact that the profit on high end speakers is huge, so jeffca is probably right with the costs of the parts(for OEM the prices are much lower even, roughly 50-70% depending of the quantities of course) but I still don't see jeffca able to make the same great integration of all these parts including matching housing and crossover and waveguide in a DIY speaker with similar performance as this perlisten brand speaker(or one of the top performers of Revel/Kef reference/Focal's top models), that's simply not possible with DIY(or prove me otherwise).
The people behind Perlisten own their factories and normally are the ones manufacturing drivers, among other components, for other brands. This is their attempt to do something for themselves, and they set out to make the speaker that they would want to own. There are no shortcuts on this speaker. Some parts of the drivers come from other places like the Textreme cone and Beryllium Diaphragm (all beryllium diaphragms basically come from these guys), but the driver design comes from Perlisten, and many of the components are manufactured by them and everything is assembled by them.

The diaphragms are only a small part of the story for a loudspeaker driver. The motor, suspension, basket and frame also have to be considered. A single glance at the Satori driver is all you need to know that it is very different from the Perlisten driver.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Of course the driver is not exactly the same, Perlisten does of course everything to look different then a driver of just ~300 dollars. That's exactly the trick. ;) They would be stupid to buy "of the shelf" drivers, customized specs create extra profit because the end consumer doesn't have comparison material. It creates exactly the kind of myth that is needed for the highest possible selling price. Not that there is something wrong with it, but it's a known fact that the exact materials are not creating the price of an high end high performance speaker.

There is no reason to assume that Perlisten can do something better with the same cone material then the big established driver manufacturers can do after many years of research and production. There is no magic going on there, great performing drivers can be bought and are available in the market for all manufacturers.
You are not on the right track here. I don't know how much I am allowed to say, but it is possible that Satori driver with the TeXtreme cone might not even exist as it is were it not for Perlisten's engineering team. The people behind Perlisten are very smart and have deep industry involvement for many years. They are not just a couple of dudes building speakers in their garage. There is a decent chance that you already own something that they were involved with.
 
Matthew J Poes

Matthew J Poes

Senior Audioholic
Staff member
Very interesting review, thank you.

It seems like the floorstanders don't really justify being nearly double the price?

I am tempted by these speakers and will hopefull try them once they have a UK distributor.

I have a 17'9x12' room, would the floorstanders be wasted in that small of a space? I plan to use 2 subs either way.
Sorry I am late to this party.

the towers offer much more output and better bass extension. The bookshelf isn’t nearly as efficient either. As such, only the tower and center are certified Dominus LCR speakers. This is only Dominus as a surround. If used as the mains it won’t meet the spec because of the lower reference efficiency and lower output.

in practical terms, your room isn’t large enough to need Dominus and so the bookshelf would make a great LCR. There is nomatching Center so you would need to use three or the bookshelf speakers for now. The S7C is the only center channel and it’s overkill in this scenario.

the S5M is not a center and can’t be used in its side. There may be changes in the future that Allow for a system meeting a smaller room spec. Just not yet.
 
Matthew J Poes

Matthew J Poes

Senior Audioholic
Staff member
Look I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, I'm sure these are amazing but just a bit over the top at 8 grand for the pair and then $1,500 for stands. I honestly don't care what they are made of or how.
But hey Qacoustics has 4,500 dollar bookshelf speakers now with fancy stands too.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
You aren’t raining on any ones parade. This product isn’t marketed to you. That’s all. You can’t equal this product for less money. This is what it costs to have this finish quality and performance.
 
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Matthew J Poes

Matthew J Poes

Senior Audioholic
Staff member
Was hoping their smaller towers and bookshelves would come in at a lower price point, but I understand that there is some serious engineering behind these speakers, and I like the looks. I'll have no problem recommending these to my rich friends. ;)
The S series is the flagship line. It’s expensive because it uses a common waveguide and level of finish and build that competes with the best of the best outside of small boutique brands. A lot of my customers have previously owned Revel and were surprised to find that these were more similar to a Ultima salon in finish quality than an F Be series.

The cheaper speaker you are looking for is the R series. It’s the same concept, waveguide design, but built to a cheaper price point. The R5 tower is the only model available now but a full lineup is coming. If the R series interests you let me know. It’s $3495 each or around $7k a pair MSRP. It uses cheaper drivers but they are still excellent quality.
 
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