Philharmonic Audio BMR Philharmonitor Bookshelf Speaker Review

Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
As to the sloping baffle: For me it's not about improving measurements (which indeed are superb),but simply that the only possible placement for the speakers are somewhat too low, below two windows, so I would like them tilted slightly upwards so they'll point at my ears at my listening position. But might not be a good idea.
I just read your reason for tilting the front baffle. Why not build the cabinets as designed, and try tilting them back a bit with wedges, such as rubber door stops, to see if that suits your needs?
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks! Good to hear.

Concerning actives: This is a long-standing debate in the audiophile community of course... I'm in the camp which thinks that all things being equal (which they often aren't),active crossovers are the better choice. Does't work if the crossover settings need to be reworked though.

As to the sloping baffle: For me it's not about improving measurements (which indeed are superb),but simply that the only possible placement for the speakers are somewhat too low, below two windows, so I would like them tilted slightly upwards so they'll point at my ears at my listening position. But might not be a good idea.
I don't disagree about active crossovers, just not in this application of a proven design with passive. I'd start with a fresh design or a diy with them already.
 
O

oivavoi

Audiophyte
I just read your reason for tilting the front baffle. Why not build the cabinets as designed, and try tilting them back a bit with wedges, such as rubber door stops, to see if that suits your needs?
Yap. Might be the easier route! Particularly if the cabinets also come up for sale, so I won't have to go through the hassle of building them.
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
Thanks! Good to hear.

Concerning actives: This is a long-standing debate in the audiophile community of course... I'm in the camp which thinks that all things being equal (which they often aren't),active crossovers are the better choice. Does't work if the crossover settings need to be reworked though
I don't think there's any question that active crossovers are superior to passives in many respects. The only real downside is the need to go with the amps that are supplied with the speakers, and the cost of repair or replacement if the electronics go South. In the case of the BMR's, the individual drivers are well enough behaved that it's possible to achieve a virtually flat response without the fine tuning that an active circuit could provide. And if you did try to implement an active version, you would have to hit the exact slopes I designed for in the passive version. That could prove very difficult unless you've had a lot of information and experience. I wouldn't worry about tilting the BMR's back a little given your placement constraints. You would probably gain more than you would lose. I'm calling my cabinet builder in about an hour to see if I can't nail down the final details and timing for the finished cabinets.
 
O

oivavoi

Audiophyte
I don't think there's any question that active crossovers are superior to passives in many respects. The only real downside is the need to go with the amps that are supplied with the speakers, and the cost of repair or replacement if the electronics go South. In the case of the BMR's, the individual drivers are well enough behaved that it's possible to achieve a virtually flat response without the fine tuning that an active circuit could provide. And if you did try to implement an active version, you would have to hit the exact slopes I designed for in the passive version. That could prove very difficult unless you've had a lot of information and experience. I wouldn't worry about tilting the BMR's back a little given your placement constraints. You would probably gain more than you would lose. I'm calling my cabinet builder in about an hour to see if I can't nail down the final details and timing for the finished cabinets.
Thanks so much for your response, Dennis! (if I may). Very much appreciated!
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
Just an update on cabinets for the BMR kit. I've lined up a supplier for flat packs and finished cabinets. The flat packs will be $300/pr and made out of Baltic Birch. The shop will also build assembled speakers from the flat packs and stain and finish them to customer preference, so that's a big plus. And they will ship within a month of the order. I just have to iron out a few minor cabinet details, like how much they will cost. I should have the final specs in a couple of days.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Just an update on cabinets for the BMR kit. I've lined up a supplier for flat packs and finished cabinets. The flat packs will be $300/pr and made out of Baltic Birch. The shop will also build assembled speakers from the flat packs and stain and finish them to customer preference, so that's a big plus. And they will ship within a month of the order. I just have to iron out a few minor cabinet details, like how much they will cost. I should have the final specs in a couple of days.
Very exciting news, Dennis!!!
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
Available in piano black as well?
I'm not sure piano black would look very good on baltic birch. However, automotive paint will be an option, and maybe that would work. It's expensive, though.
 
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O

Out-Of-Phase

Audioholic Chief
Thanks. I guess $2395 is worth it if you want a beautiful black satin finish.
 
O

oivavoi

Audiophyte
Just an update on cabinets for the BMR kit. I've lined up a supplier for flat packs and finished cabinets. The flat packs will be $300/pr and made out of Baltic Birch. The shop will also build assembled speakers from the flat packs and stain and finish them to customer preference, so that's a big plus. And they will ship within a month of the order. I just have to iron out a few minor cabinet details, like how much they will cost. I should have the final specs in a couple of days.
This is really exciting, indeed!

Any chance of teaming up with European vendors for selling kits as well? But I guess that it's easier to ship flat packs and packages of drivers etc than finished speakers in any case.
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
This is really exciting, indeed!

Any chance of teaming up with European vendors for selling kits as well? But I guess that it's easier to ship flat packs and packages of drivers etc than finished speakers in any case.
Given what a hassle arranging for a domestic kit has proven to be, I wouldn't want to take on an international network. However, my business partner on the piano black Chinese BMR's will be offering the same exact speaker at the same exact price in Taiwan. Pre-orders for the first run have already exhausted the supply.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
The BMR sounds so good that I don't understand how it could be possible for the Phil 3 to sound better in a small room.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
None yet, just wondering.. May be @ryanosaur would hopefully chime in and enlighten us. He has both right?
I'd imagine the the BMRs dont care much about the room they are in. One damn fine speaker. The 3s and old 2s I heard were also fantastic, but in a smaller room and most music, the BMRs are pretty strong (as you know about their performance).

I remember when he, Dennis, was first discussing a stand mount that had high performance at a reasonable price, and IIRC the overwhelming support set the wheels in motion.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
None yet, just wondering.. May be @ryanosaur would hopefully chime in and enlighten us. He has both right?
Ha.
I was at work when I saw your earlier post. Admittedly, I did think you were talking to me. :)

The BMR sounds so good that I don't understand how it could be possible for the Phil 3 to sound better in a small room.
To my ears, what I experience as the primary difference is in the Bass and Midrange. This is the obvious difference... not really the tweeter so much. ;)
The elephant in the room is the way the TL works. To be fair, I haven't heard a TQWT like The Good Doctor speaks of so much, but even still, the Mass Loaded line and the larger woofer really do open up down low in a beautiful way.
As I was still experimenting and learning the limits of my 3s, there were a few occasions when I would play something that went more unexpectedly low than I anticipated. Fortunately, these were not situations where over-excursion was the risk, but where the driver and the line simply ran out of steam.
Letting these run full with most music is a very nice experience, even in my 2000'^3 room. Would doubling (roughly) my room size and giving more room for placement and LF Waves to play help? I don't doubt that it would. Yet I don't feel that the room is doing any injustice to them, either.
I've written this before, but will share again so that you have the information at hand to better understand what I meant above by giving them more room:
To the center front of the speakers, I have them ~33" off the Side Walls and ~37" from the front. They are ~14" to the Terminus Port from the Front Wall. They are just over 73.5" apart (center front to center front). Toe in is ~5º. I sit about 7.5-8' back in a room that is roughly 11'w x 15'd. (Of note, my speakers are all set Asymmetrically: the mains have up to about 2" difference from L to R speaker with the above measurements being the median point. Also, I have no special room treatments of note, just a carpeted floor, painted drywall, and natural wood clerestory ceiling with exposed beams. Decor is standard, though maybe a little spartan.)
So...
Let's talk about that BG Neo8 Planar, shall we? :)
This is what really transforms the conversation. As the upper cabinet is open back, with variable stuffing, the user can tune the amount of Di-Pole interaction. Fully stuffed, I found Mids in my room to be a little lackluster; no stuffing left the Mids a touch strong for my liking. I settled on 1/3 the amount of stuffing included by Jim: ~30g Polyfill in each Upper Cabinet. I don't need any BBC-Styled MRC and I get excellent room-filling and encompassing sound. I find the Di-Pole effect of these to be very engaging.
Dennis has the BG Neo8 Band-Passed from 640-2800Hz.

According to a conversation with Jim, this lineup was Dennis' response to the SoundScape 8s (about twice the cost).

Lastly, my experience using the BMRs as my Front 3 with the MiniPhils as my Surrounds, vs the current setup of Phil 3 +BMR Center and BMRs as Surrounds is best summed up by my experience with the Dark Side Of The Moon SACD.
On first listen, I was disappointed. I really enjoyed the WYWH SACD, yet since Dark Side was my favorite, I saved it for later and it just fell flat. Nothing against the BMRs on this... SQ was indeed high, but something just wasn't coming together for me. I shelved it.
After the changeover, I decided to give it another spin. The changes were subtle, and I can't claim that it was just about the BG Neo8 midrange vs the Tectonic BMR driver... but...
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.

Hope that helps answer your query!

:D
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
WYWH is a better album anyways. I have always felt that way at least :). I have them both on SACD as well. :)
 

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