Philharmonic Audio BMR Road Trip Makes Stop in Unusually Hot San Diego



Audioholic Intern
You are not considering the MTM for a center? I’m just wondering if you ruled it out for some reason or just prefer all to match.
I don't think an MTM is inherently better than the same speaker as the LR. The BMR puts out plenty plenty of bass without an additional woofer, and emailing with Dennis, the BMR mid's dispersion pattern will not suffer at all from horizontal placement. I'm still pondering options, but given the alternatives that would best match the BMR mains, I'm thinking a horizontally placed BMR as center with the RAAL rotated will be the best option.


Audioholic Warlord
Next up, I compared the BMRs to my Ascend Sierra towers (not RAAL but rather the NRT soft dome tweeter).

The Sierra towers are about 5dB louder - that's one strength of them, that they can play loud without much power, an easy load.

Bass is comparable between the two. The BMRs might go a little lower, but the difference is small. Occasionally it seemed the BMRs were just slightly tighter and cleaner in the bass. Most of the time it would be hard to tell them apart, but here and there I detected just a touch of overhang or muddiness on the Sierras that I didn't hear on the BMRs. This could be inherent in the two speakers, but given how much a room affects bass response, it could be a room issue. I had the speakers right next to each other, but a perfect comparison would have them placed in exactly the same spot.

Both are fairly neutral, with some variations here and there. The biggest difference is that the Ascend towers seem more forward in the midrange, like instruments seem to come from in front of the speakers sometimes. The BMRs are more laid back in their presentation there, with sounds coming from the speakers and behind. The BMRs sound a bit more 'spacious' too. Both are very clean and detailed in the mids and highs but with a different presentation.

With most recordings I don't hear much different in the highs but occasionally I detect slightly greater detail with the BMR's ribbon. Also, the Sierras might be slightly laid back in the crossover region just above the range where they are forward.

I can't declare a clear winner here. The Sierra towers are far more efficient. They can play louder with less power from an amp. They can also probably play louder without compression or damage to drivers, but I never got close to those levels so it wasn't an issue for me.

The decision would come down to a more laidback presentation in the mids (the BMR) or a more forward presentation (the Sierra towers). Note that while the Sierra towers are more forward than the BMRs, they're not as forward as some other speakers I've owned (examples being Monitor Audio RS6 and RX6). They're only forward in comparison to the BMRs.
Funny the stuff you find when you're googling for reviews and comparisons for your speakers. I have the Sierra ribbon towers and was hoping to find more 3rd party info and impressions on them. So of course I wish you could've seen how they compare instead of the NrT.

I think Dave uses a little bit lower crossover point to take advantage of the larger 70-20 and also gained another dB sensitivity over the NrT. That was a pretty big factor for me because I sit 15' from the front stage and like to turn it up sometimes.


Senior Audioholic
Yeah, I wish I could hear (own?) a pair of the Sierra towers with the RAAL tweeter. I bought the NrT version because I found a used pair in great shape for a good price. The used towers w/ RAAL that I've seen have been out of my preferred price range.

I don't play anywhere near as loud as you do. In fact, when the wind blows just the right direction and traffic is light, I think I can hear your music playing from all the way here in San Diego! :p

The BMRs were very impressive but probably not the right tool for you due to your listening levels.

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