The Philharmonic Audio BMR, Refreshed!

slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Looks

Looks sharp. Impressions so far?
My initial sound check was to simply put the BMR as my Left Channel, and the Philharmonitor as my Right Channel, then listen to a few of my favorite and well known tracks.

My initial impressions are--I was quite surprised at how similar the 2 speakers sound, and even more surprised that the audio quality was still very good with mis-matched speakers like that! 2nd Impression was--I need to get the 2nd speaker completed stat! 3rd impression--Renewed my confidence in the performance of the Philharmonitor.

We see it on the forums often, and even DM will chime in to say "this speaker sounds just like that speaker above xx Hz", and I am always skeptical on such claims when different drivers and topologies are used.......but this test would seem to back up such claims.

I think that gets us back to the fact that even DM's budget offerings offer tremendous performance and value, and if you have a high performance sub or a pair, then perhaps you will be just as happy spending $800 on a set of DM speakers as you will spending $1600+ on a set of DM speakers.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
My initial sound check was to simply put the BMR as my Left Channel, and the Philharmonitor as my Right Channel, then listen to a few of my favorite and well known tracks.

My initial impressions are--I was quite surprised at how similar the 2 speakers sound, and even more surprised that the audio quality was still very good with mis-matched speakers like that! 2nd Impression was--I need to get the 2nd speaker completed stat! 3rd impression--Renewed my confidence in the performance of the Philharmonitor.

We see it on the forums often, and even DM will chime in to say "this speaker sounds just like that speaker above xx Hz", and I am always skeptical on such claims when different drivers and topologies are used.......but this test would seem to back up such claims.

I think that gets us back to the fact that even DM's budget offerings offer tremendous performance and value, and if you have a high performance sub or a pair, then perhaps you will be just as happy spending $800 on a set of DM speakers as you will spending $1600+ on a set of DM speakers.
Seriously, seriously considering making a move to purchase a pair. The missus has been pestering me for the last 5 years to give her my KEF LS50's for her office.

it's either the BMR's or the new KEF LS50 Meta's.
https://us.kef.com/ls50-meta.html
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
We see it on the forums often, and even DM will chime in to say "this speaker sounds just like that speaker above xx Hz", and I am always skeptical on such claims when different drivers and topologies are used.......but this test would seem to back up such claims.
This!
Dennis has said it to me, too. I like my MiniPhils, and as a stand alone paired with subs, they would perform quite well.
I love the BMRs. With Subs... Outstanding.
Phil 3s... same. And I still need Subs for some music.

The strongest differentiation would be in a 2-way design where the mid may thin out some as you get to the higher end of the woofer and the low end of the tweeter. This again from Dennis (re: the Raal-Zaph Mini Phil... but applicable to many 2-way designs).
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Seriously, seriously considering making a move to purchase a pair. The missus has been pestering me for the last 5 years to give her my KEF LS50's for her office.

it's either the BMR's or the new KEF LS50 Meta's.
https://us.kef.com/ls50-meta.html

@PENG may have some comments now that he has the BMR. I don't know if my opinion held true with him or not!

I don't know much about the Meta version of the LS-50, but I think it is still safe to say that the character of the speakers will be very different (as I said in the link). That may mean that you end up loving one and disliking the other; or more likely, (because they both have such a following) it may be that the difference is a net positive!
That is the way I look at my Martin Logan e'stats - they sound different from my BMR's (or any other speakers), but I want both! I can take a favorite song and by swapping speakers (rooms) it is a different presentation while still being a wonderful reproduction of my favorite music!

All of that said, for me, the LS50's were a disappointment. I tried hard to like them - I bought them twice! ... and returned them twice.
I recognized so many aspects were superb - imaging, very nice highs, great detail, etc.
However, I always felt the presentation was off. If I closed my eyes while listening to piano, instead of hearing a piano in the room with me, it always seemed as if the room reflections were missing; as if the piano was in the next room... so I might imagine I am in a hotel lobby (without the noise) looking directly at the piano being played in the lounge through an open set of double doors, but not the same room!

I know I am the "freak" because these speakers are so universally loved! My best explanation is that I play in bands and my best friend from 7th grade on is a phenomenal piano player and I kept my piano (after my daughter stopped taking lessons) just so there would be a piano for him to play when he visits! So I am very used to hearing live piano in the same room from around 6' to 20' away. Maybe if my experience was hearing piano from the audience of a music hall, I would not notice anything "off"!

I hope you understand that I am not trying to insult your LS50's at all. I am trying to relate what I perceive as the most substantial difference between them and the BMR by sharing my experience. I suspect if you get the BMR's and listen to some piano, you will detect what I am talking about except instead of having the sense that one is wrong (like I do), you will simply enjoy a difference (as I do with my e'stats)!

HTH!
 
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I know I am the "freak" because these speakers are so universally loved!
No... no more than I am for disliking KEF. ;) The Towers I heard sounded good until my Ears started throbbing!
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
No... no more than I am for disliking KEF. ;) The Towers I heard sounded good until my Ears started throbbing!
Which towers?
But that sounds different, I did not have any fatigue issues with the LS50's. For me it was all about a loss of intimacy (when listening to a nice jazz trio/quartet, I want them in the room with me)!
OTOH, because the LS50's are small, I always played them at "relaxed" listening levels! Larger speakers I will often push a bit during an audition, even though I usually don't listen that loud!
 
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Which towers?
But that sounds different, I did not have any fatigue issues with the LS50's. For me it was all about a loss of intimacy (when listening to a nice jazz trio/quartet, I want them in the room with me)!
OTOH, because the LS50's are small, I always played them at "relaxed" listening levels! Larger speakers I will often push a bit during an audition, even though I usually don't listen that loud!
I get the difference. ;) But I wanted you to know you aren't alone! :)

I did the Q950 and R900s in one sitting. Initially, I was very impressed, especially with the Q950 (considering the pricepoint).
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai

@PENG may have some comments now that he has the BMR. I don't know if my opinion held true with him or not!

I don't know much about the Meta version of the LS-50, but I think it is still safe to say that the character of the speakers will be very different (as I said in the link). That may mean that you end up loving one and disliking the other; or more likely, (because they both have such a following) it may be that the difference is a net positive!
That is the way I look at my Martin Logan e'stats - they sound different from my BMR's (or any other speakers), but I want both! I can take a favorite song and by swapping speakers (rooms) it is a different presentation while still being a wonderful reproduction of my favorite music!

All of that said, for me, the LS50's were a disappointment. I tried hard to like them - I bought them twice! ... and returned them twice.
I recognized so many aspects were superb - imaging, very nice highs, great detail, etc.
However, I always felt the presentation was off. If I closed my eyes while listening to piano, instead of hearing a piano in the room with me, it always seemed as if the room reflections were missing; as if the piano was in the next room... so I might imagine I am in a hotel lobby (without the noise) looking directly at the piano being played in the lounge through an open set of double doors, but not the same room!

I know I am the "freak" because these speakers are so universally loved! My best explanation is that I play in bands and my best friend from 7th grade on is a phenomenal piano player and I kept my piano (after my daughter stopped taking lessons) just so there would be a piano for him to play when he visits! So I am very used to hearing live piano in the same room from around 6' to 20' away. Maybe if my experience was hearing piano from the audience of a music hall, I would not notice anything "off"!

I hope you understand that I am not trying to insult your LS50's at all. I am trying to relate what I perceive as the most substantial difference between them and the BMR by sharing my experience. I suspect if you get the BMR's and listen to some piano, you will detect what I am talking about except instead of having the sense that one is wrong (like I do), you will simply enjoy a difference (as I do with my e'stats)!

HTH!
I really appreciate your impressions KEW, especially since you have, or had, both speakers.

The LS50's can be a mixed bag for folks. They're very audio equipment/room dependent. The more wattage the better and a sub, or two, is even better. They are not a laid-back speaker by any stretch. Some people find they can be too detailed.

I have a friend who bought a pair based on a listening session in my bedroom and was initially disappointed at his house. He was using an old Denon 75W receiver with no room correction software built-in, no sub and in a relatively large basement room (30'x60'). I dragged up my old Yamaha RX-V4600 (130W), grabbed a 8'x8' of plywood he had laying around down there and cut the room by half you might say and toed them in. Night and day. He got a sub later and was happy as punch, even more so than before.

What I'm hoping for in the BMR's is a combination of my Salk SongTowers (dome tweeter) with great mid's and my Focal Electra 1027Be's byrellium tweeter highs. The sub(s) should handle the low end, so I'm not worried about that.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
What I'm hoping for in the BMR's is a combination of my Salk SongTowers (dome tweeter) with great mid's and my Focal Electra 1027Be's byrellium tweeter highs. The sub(s) should handle the low end, so I'm not worried about that.
I think that is a reasonable expectation.
I used to have the SongTowers with the ribbon tweeter (LCY ribbon, IIRC).
Dennis is very consistent in the sound character he gets out of his speakers. It is really a matter of how good the drivers are to determine how much detail and extension is available!

I sold the SongTowerRT because I preferred the sound of the Focal Solo6Be (Which as far as I can tell, have the same tweeter as your 1027Be). In the process of all of this, I ended up visiting Dennis and brought my Solo6Be for him to listen to. He commented that the Be tweeter had the same sound character as the RAAL. I trust his ears/experience/perception much more than my own especially since he is so familiar with the RAAL (my main reason to visit was to pick up a pair of Phil3's). Aside from listening to my new Phil3's, I had not yet heard a RAAL.

But, like I said, I think your expectations are entirely reasonable!
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
I think that is a reasonable expectation.
I used to have the SongTowers with the ribbon tweeter (LCY ribbon, IIRC).
Dennis is very consistent in the sound character he gets out of his speakers. It is really a matter of how good the drivers are to determine how much detail and extension is available!

I sold the SongTowerRT because I preferred the sound of the Focal Solo6Be (Which as far as I can tell, have the same tweeter as your 1027Be). In the process of all of this, I ended up visiting Dennis and brought my Solo6Be for him to listen to. He commented that the Be tweeter had the same sound character as the RAAL. I trust his ears/experience/perception much more than my own especially since he is so familiar with the RAAL (my main reason to visit was to pick up a pair of Phil3's). Aside from listening to my new Phil3's, I had not yet heard a RAAL.

But, like I said, I think your expectations are entirely reasonable!
Not a clue about the Focal Solo6Be but if it sounds half as good as the Focal 1008Be bookshelves, which I demoed, they must be great.

Any Focal with a beryllium tweeter that I've demoed are super impressive, though I've been told by much smarter folks than me here, that the meat of any speaker is in the mid/bass drivers and the crossover, and that's what my ears are responding too.

Probably true but I find it odd that sight-unseen I always prefer the beryllium tweeter driver models. I've also been told by the very same experts that I will love the RAAL tweeter, since they have a similar tonal signature as the beryllium models. We'll see.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord

@PENG may have some comments now that he has the BMR. I don't know if my opinion held true with him or not!
I did comment on my DIY BMR, don't remember when and on which thread. Worth repeating that they sounded very transparent, yet smooth, very similar to my Focal 1028 Be that costed me 4X!! Obviously the Focal doesn't need a subwoofer in my medium sized HT room (for a two channel system along a different wall), whereas the BMR would need a subwoofer for loud listening but won't need one in a smaller room.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
How did I miss this?!! Link it up, Man! ;)
It might have been in my PMs to someone but I did find my other comments where I did not mention comparing it to the Focal but to the R900 and LS50. Will try more search..
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
I just updated my web page to provide current information, more pics, and a battery of measurements for the new BMR and Mini. If you follow the above posted link, you may have to refresh it to bring up the current version.
Those are amazing specs Dennis ... 36 Hz - 20kHz (+ / - 2db) Anechoic. Can't wait to hear them in a real-life setting/room.

Looks like you have a winner on your hands.
 

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