Philharmonic Audio BMR Philharmonitor Bookshelf Speaker Review

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Could that be a simple matter of the BMRs being better than the MiniPhils for surround duty?
Not out of the realm of possibility. They are all very closely matched in terms of voicing, especially up high with the Raals. But the 3's really do bring something more to the party. ;)
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
Not out of the realm of possibility. They are all very closely matched in terms of voicing, especially up high with the Raals. But the 3's really do bring something more to the party. ;)
I have my 3's and BMR's right next to each other in my large living room, and have done countless comparisons using my volume compensated AB preamp. People are always surprised when I put on a show for them, although not so much in the bass department. The 3's have 10 Hz deeper bass, and that's obvious whenever there's content down there. The 3's also have more energy in the midbass, and I actually prefer the BMR's less prominent response on a lot of material. For rock, I think most people would prefer the 3's. The midrange is where things get interesting. The BMR doesn't have an open back for the mids, so you would naturally expect that the 3's would throw a deeper and more spacious sound stage. If anything, the opposite is true. The BMR's sound stage is just as deep and spacious, and it's higher than the 3's. I would have to include that the extraordinary dispersion of the BMR midrange driver makes up for the lack of an open back, and it's much narrower vertical height (compared to the 3's planar) adds to sound stage height. From a purely tonal perspective, there's really not much if any difference between the BMR's and the 3's other than in the bass. So--is there really any advantage to the 3's much more expensive midrange and tweeter? When push comes to shove, yes.. On complex orchestral music with lots of brass played at very high volume, the 3's are a little cleaner in the midrange and lower treble. That's to be expected, but I'm not sure you would find any issue with the BMR's in that department unless you had the 3's for a comparison.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
I have my 3's and BMR's right next to each other in my large living room, and have done countless comparisons using my volume compensated AB preamp. People are always surprised when I put on a show for them, although not so much in the bass department. The 3's have 10 Hz deeper bass, and that's obvious whenever there's content down there. The 3's also have more energy in the midbass, and I actually prefer the BMR's less prominent response on a lot of material. For rock, I think most people would prefer the 3's. The midrange is where things get interesting. The BMR doesn't have an open back for the mids, so you would naturally expect that the 3's would throw a deeper and more spacious sound stage. If anything, the opposite is true. The BMR's sound stage is just as deep and spacious, and it's higher than the 3's. I would have to include that the extraordinary dispersion of the BMR midrange driver makes up for the lack of an open back, and it's much narrower vertical height (compared to the 3's planar) adds to sound stage height. From a purely tonal perspective, there's really not much if any difference between the BMR's and the 3's other than in the bass. So--is there really any advantage to the 3's much more expensive midrange and tweeter? When push comes to shove, yes.. On complex orchestral music with lots of brass played at very high volume, the 3's are a little cleaner in the midrange and lower treble. That's to be expected, but I'm not sure you would find any issue with the BMR's in that department unless you had the 3's for a comparison.
Hi Dennis! Always good to see you here. :)
Thank you for your thoughts and knowledge. I can't say I disagree. ;)
The overall engagement I felt in the surround field was much deeper than before. So maybe it is the Di-Pole contribution? I can't really answer that objectively, try as I may.
Perhaps it is the smaller room bringing more of the Di-Pole sound out? More direct reflections from the front and sides due to proximity?
Of all people, you know I'm curious and eager to learn about what's going on here. I certainly am not going to claim to have the answer, but I do know I can hear something in the Mids of the 3s that I don't get from the BMRs.

Is one particularly better than the other? That's like asking if I prefer Cake or Ice Cream. :p To which I simply answer, "Yes!"

Both are remarkable, and I'm still grateful to have these wonderful boxes around me!

(But seriously, Dennis, I'd love to hear more from you about what might be happening in my room, please.)

Cheers!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
The BMR's sound stage is just as deep and spacious, and it's higher than the 3's.
No kidding!!! I had been comparing my R900 with the BMRs with two pairs of speaker wires connected to the A21. One time (just yesterday), I picked the wrong wires on the right channel of the BMR, it took me a couple minutes to realize I was listening to just one speaker. I felt embarrassed that it took so long.

I was listening to Anne Akikko Meyers Seasons dream album, only a few instrument was playing. Her violin seemed to come from the middle, so that's the excuse. :D

Isn't the violin supposed to be on the left though? I know the BMR has very good off axis response, but I thought the violin should be quite directional? I might have been distracted at the time too.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
No kidding!!! I had been comparing my R900 with the BMRs with two pairs of speaker wires connected to the A21. One time (just yesterday), I picked the wrong wires on the right channel of the BMR, it took me a couple minutes to realize I was listening to just one speaker. I felt embarrassed that it took so long.

I was listening to Anne Akikko Meyers Seasons dream album, only a few instrument was playing. Her violin seemed to come from the middle, so that's the excuse. :D

Isn't the violin supposed to be on the left though? I know the BMR has very good off axis response, but I thought the violin should be quite directional? I might have been distracted at the time too.
This could be an example of expectation bias at work. You believed you connected both speakers and were listening in stereo. Your brain did its best to turn a single speaker's output into stereo :).

In your defense, the short time I heard the BMR speakers in my home, back during the BMR Road Show, I thought these speakers were the best I've ever heard at creating a broad stereo image. I didn't try listening to a single speaker, but I'm not surprised at what you described.
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
Hi Dennis! Always good to see you here. :)
Thank you for your thoughts and knowledge. I can't say I disagree. ;)

Perhaps it is the smaller room bringing more of the Di-Pole sound out? More direct reflections from the front and sides due to proximity?
Of all people, you know I'm curious and eager to learn about what's going on here. I certainly am not going to claim to have the answer, but I do know I can hear something in the Mids of the 3s that I don't get from the BMRs.

Is one particularly better than the other? That's like asking if I prefer Cake or Ice Cream. :p To which I simply answer, "Yes!"

Both are remarkable, and I'm still grateful to have these wonderful boxes around me!

(But seriously, Dennis, I'd love to hear more from you about what might be happening in my room, please.)

Cheers!
I would have to be there to come up with any explanation. Also, I've never used the 3's in home theater or the BMR's as surrounds, , so I don't know how they sound in that application. The effect of the 3's open back is pretty unpredictable. I don't claim there's any clear science to it. Maybe the mixing in cinema sound tracks brings out something from the 3's that doesn't occur with with a closed back.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
I would have to be there to come up with any explanation. Also, I've never used the 3's in home theater or the BMR's as surrounds, , so I don't know how they sound in that application. The effect of the 3's open back is pretty unpredictable. I don't claim there's any clear science to it. Maybe the mixing in cinema sound tracks brings out something from the 3's that doesn't occur with with a closed back.
I'm still probably less than 15% HT usage on my rig... Getting into Multi-Channel Music (5.1 SACD and DTS Discs) was one of my biggest goals with this system. They do not disappoint, though (across the board, regardless of programming!).
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
By the way, I only mentioned BMR vs Phil 3 in a small room because in a larger room, even just a medium large room, the BMR may not be loud enough for some people. No issue for me though as my average spl requirement is only 75 dB from 10-11 ft.

When I compared them with my R900, I noticed the difference in spl was about 5 to 6 dB from my listening position. The Phil 3's sensitivity is the same as the BMR's, but it probably can handle twice as much power input, and should be enough to make a noticeable difference in a medium sized room, all else being equal.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
By the way, I only mentioned BMR vs Phil 3 in a small room because in a larger room, even just a medium large room, the BMR may not be loud enough for some people. No issue for me though as my average spl requirement is only 75 dB from 10-11 ft.

When I compared them with my R900, I noticed the difference in spl was about 5 to 6 dB from my listening position. The Phil 3's sensitivity is the same as the BMR's, but it probably can handle twice as much power input, and should be enough to make a noticeable difference in a medium sized room, all else being equal.
The revelator woofer can handle gobs of power ..
 

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