The Philharmonic Audio BMR, Refreshed!

KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
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.
...and +/- 3dB between 300Hz and 20kHz at 60 freakin' degrees off axis!
 
D

D Murphy

Audioholic
...and +/- 3dB between 300Hz and 20kHz at 60 freakin' degrees off axis!
BTW, the -3dB point in the bass is derived from actual nearfield measurements of the BMR's combined woofer and port output, not modeling. For the record, here is that plot:
BMR Ceramic Nearfield No Crossover.png

And, for comparison, here's the combined port-woofer nearfield for a similarly priced but smaller monitor (This measurement had to be made with the crossover in place, and the downward slope above 100 Hz is just due to the expected and necessary baffle step correction in the low pass circuit):


Sierra2EXCombined Nearfield.png
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
If anyone is looking for speaker stands for the BMRs, or speaker stands in general really, I have been very pleased with my 1 week with the Monoprice Monolith speaker stands! Direct link is provided below.

I had intended to purchase Sanus Steel Foundation stands, as I have several Sanus products and have always been extremely satisfied with the quality, esp at the price. But, the Sanus that was most appropriate were "only" rated for 25lbs, which may be OK, but the BMRs certainly are a bit heavier than that.

So, I kept looking and made it over to MP and found their stands. The MP Monolith are quite heavy and sturdy, come with adjustable carpet spikes which makes it even more sturdy. I also like that they have 4 steel pillars, which may be filled with sand (likely want to hit the bottom of the pillars with a little caulk first). I really don't see any need for this, but I may still do it in the future.

Note that up to this point, I have not even mentioned the $. Well, the 32" monoprice stands are $70 each, with free shipping! These are excellent quality stands, and that price is just icing on the cake!

Now to nitpick: The isolation pads that came with them are very thin. Likely work fine, but I had something a little better on-hand so I used that instead. And, there is no cable management. But, I find that the 4 pillars hide the wires pretty well, and you could easily add some zip tie mounts to the rear of a pillar for management, and never see it.

Finally, for my current setup and seating, I needed something in the ~31 inch height range. For the MP, the closest they had was 28" or 32". I went with the 32" which is perfectly fine, but if I ever go from an office chair in that room to a couch or recliner, I may need to go to a slightly shorter stand. But, I still am OK because then these 32" stands would be the perfect height for the slightly shorter Alexis Philharmonitors. Alternatively, the 28" stands + a ~2" iso-pad would work fine too.

 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
Finally, for my current setup and seating, I needed something in the ~31 inch height range. For the MP, the closest they had was 28" or 32". I went with the 32" which is perfectly fine, but if I ever go from an office chair in that room to a couch or recliner, I may need to go to a slightly shorter stand. But, I still am OK because then these 32" stands would be the perfect height for the slightly shorter Alexis Philharmonitors. Alternatively, the 28" stands + a ~2" iso-pad would work fine too.

The top plate on the Monoprice stand is only 8.5" x 6.0"? How do you secure the BMR to the stand? Or do you feel like they are secure balancing on this relatively small base using gravity only?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
The top plate on the Monoprice stand is only 8.5" x 6.0"? How do you secure the BMR to the stand? Or do you feel like they are secure balancing on this relatively small base using gravity only?
Good point, and I was also "slightly" concerned about this before purchase. But, as mentioned, I knew that the worst case scenario would be that these went to my Alexis speakers instead.

The BMRs are heavy, and the stands are too. So, the added weight and the carpet spikes make this a non-issue for me.

I have them simply sitting on there with the force of gravity. I gave each BMR a decent little "push" up near the top, and I was not scared in the slightest that it would topple. I have a couple of ~30lbs dogs that get rowdy from time to time, and I'm not fearing any disasters if they were to give the stands a decent bump either (but they are pretty good about staying away from my speakers).

Now, if you were really concerned about it, then I do have some suggestions. You could easily cut a larger platform from wood, drill some holes in the original top plate, and attach a larger platform (may want to go shorter than 32" stands for that). Or, particularly since mine are DIY and I know exactly where everything is mounted and the thickness of the cabinets, you could easily drill a couple holes and use a couple of screws to secure them into the bottom of the speakers (I am more hesitant to do that with bought speakers vs. DIY, but I have done it). In the long run, I may go this route. I had also seriously considered using velcro!

If you were to fill all 4 pillars with sand, use the spikes on carpet, and put a couple screws into the bottom of the speakers, you would have a heck of a sturdy mount!

One detail....since mine are DIY, my XO is mounted on the rear panel of the cabinet, which helps to nicely balance out the heavy drivers on the front of the cabinet. For the commercial products, I don't know where the XO is mounted, so the weight distribution could possibly be a little different than my DIY.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I use the VTI RF series stands for my BMRs. Heavy metals (steel and Iron, iirc), three vertical tubes, 1 for cable management, two for Sand.
I did the Sand filling early on when I first received them. This adds extra weight overall and lowers the center of gravity which helps stabilize them. Of course, this also is used to deaden any potential ringing in the tubes... something I've seen arguments pro and con about the necessity of. The practicality of the added weight and lower center of gravity, however, is irrefutable.
For a 32# speaker balanced seemingly precariously atop a 36" stand, they are quite stable.
As Slippery experienced, I too was concerned about the top plate, but it really isn't a concern.
In all, I have the carpet spikes punched through to the floor board. (I actually stood on them to make certain I pushed through the carpet fully!) Then, prior to putting the speaker on, I leveled them; making certain each spike securely met the floor board without wobble. On the top plate, I affixed 5 of those little 1"ø non-slip grippy dots which hold the foam isolation pad very well. Then the speaker sits on top of that. (I adjusted leveling once I had the speaker on top, too).

It doesn't matter how you get there, but finding GOOD stands that meet your height requirement is the more difficult part. (For me, aesthetics of the stand was the lesser requirement.) Once you have that, you just "tune" them to your liking.
Toward that end, I used the isolation pad mostly for the added two inches, but the also keep the bottom of the speaker free from scratches.

One last note regarding Sand, for any who may consider this in the future:
Use KILN DRIED SAND.
Fill tubes somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the way. More is not really needed and actually begins to raise the center of gravity a little. :)
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
The top plate on the Monoprice stand is only 8.5" x 6.0"? How do you secure the BMR to the stand? Or do you feel like they are secure balancing on this relatively small base using gravity only?
I have a couple of thoughts about securing speaker cabinets to stands. First, the weight of any speaker is not distributed evenly throughout the cabinet. Most of the cabinet is hollow. The driver's magnets will be center of gravity. In the BMR, the woofer has a heavy magnet, the mid-range is relatively small and light, and the ribbon tweeter has heavy transformer. All this weight is near the front of the cabinet. If your stand with a 8½"×6" plate is smaller than the BMR cabinet, it's alright if the hollow rear of the cabinet hangs over the edge of the plate, as long as the speaker's center of gravity is on the plate.

Second, wood screws through the plate into the bottom of the cabinet do work. Make sure the screws are shorter than the thickness of the cabinet. If the cabinet is ¾" thick, use ½" long wood screws.

If you want to do some worthwhile extra effort, use threaded inserts in the bottom of the cabinet. Use the kind of insert meant for soft wood (on the right side in the photo), not hard wood (on the left), and use an insert shorter than the cabinet thickness, such as ½" long. EZLOK is a brand name I remember, but there are others. They come in a variety of lengths and thread sizes. For most speakers, I'd use a #10 thread insert that's ½" long. If you pre-drill a starter hole the same size as the tip of the insert, they go in easily with a hex driver or Allen wrench. The result is clean looking, and the threads never wear out.
1603465024204.png


All sand absorbs moisture from the air. Kiln dried sand is alright, but still absorbs water over time. To prevent rusting the stand's steel tubes, put the sand loosely in several plastic bags before putting the bags into the hollow tubes.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
I have a couple of thoughts about securing speaker cabinets to stands. First, the weight of any speaker is not distributed evenly throughout the cabinet. Most of the cabinet is hollow. The driver's magnets will be center of gravity. In the BMR, the woofer has a heavy magnet, the mid-range is relatively small and light, and the ribbon tweeter has heavy transformer. All this weight is near the front of the cabinet. If your stand with a 8½"×6" plate is smaller than the BMR cabinet, it's alright if the hollow rear of the cabinet hangs over the edge of the plate, as long as the speaker's center of gravity is on the plate.

Second, wood screws through the plate into the bottom of the cabinet do work. Make sure the screws are shorter than the thickness of the cabinet. If the cabinet is ¾" thick, use ½" long wood screws.

If you want to do some worthwhile extra effort, use threaded inserts in the bottom of the cabinet. Use the kind of insert meant for soft wood (on the right side in the photo), not hard wood (on the left), and use an insert shorter than the cabinet thickness, such as ½" long. EZLOK is a brand name I remember, but there are others. They come in a variety of lengths and thread sizes. For most speakers, I'd use a #10 thread insert that's ½" long. If you pre-drill a starter hole the same size as the tip of the insert, they go in easily with a hex driver or Allen wrench. The result is clean looking, and the threads never wear out.
View attachment 40898

All sand absorbs moisture from the air. Kiln dried sand is alright, but still absorbs water over time. To prevent rusting the stand's steel tubes, put the sand loosely in several plastic bags before putting the bags into the hollow tubes.
I'll second the inserts designed for soft wood. I used EZ Lok inserts (bought on Amazon) to mount a pair of surround speakers recently and they worked very well.
 
D

dwest1023

Audiophyte
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
I have the ls50 meta’s and they are fabulous sounding speakers. They replace the former LS50. I just purchase the min bmr, and let me tell you, they are BETTER than the Kef’s. They take my system to a whole new level. They just sound so natural. Nothing stands out. Not a hint of harness. Again the meta’s are a good speaker that I think will win many review rewards, but the mini’s are flat out better to my ears. I will say you need a quality amp to drive the mini’s to sound their best. I use a pass labs int 60.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
I have the ls50 meta’s and they are fabulous sounding speakers. They replace the former LS50. I just purchase the min bmr, and let me tell you, they are BETTER than the Kef’s. They take my system to a whole new level. They just sound so natural. Nothing stands out. Not a hint of harness. Again the meta’s are a good speaker that I think will win many review rewards, but the mini’s are flat out better to my ears. I will say you need a quality amp to drive the mini’s to sound their best. I use a pass labs int 60.
Thanks for your input and impressions.

It’s always nice to get feedback from a fellow LS50 owner, to get a base-line opinion, per se.

Unlike you I’ll be hooking them up initially to a SS (solid state) AVR, a Yamaha RX-A3070 (150W) in my office, currently hooked-up to a pair of Salk QWT SongTowers (dome tweeters), or a Yamaha RX-A2040 (140W) in my bedroom, so I’m not worried about wattage/power.

My only fear, unknown at this time, is that they’re system dependent, preferring tube amps vs. solid state amps, like my Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1’s (1st series with dome tweeters). When I demoed them to purchase from the seller he had them hooked up to a tube amp, 5 feet apart, toed in with me 4 feet away. As long as you didn’t move away from the sweet spot, they sounded like world beaters; super impressive.

In hindsight I should of have asked they be moved at a minimum 7 feet apart and I should have sat at least 6 to 7 feet back before purchasing them. But I figured the Yamaha RX-A3000’s YPAO room equalization’s PEQ would resolve putting them 9 feet apart in their eventual location in my wife’s office.

They sound good but don’t have the original slam/meaty sound of the near-field setup I demoed, whereby the LS50’s sound twice as good in there.

My real interest in the BMR’s lies in the RAAL tweeters, which have been described as having similar tonal properties of beryllium tweeters, like my Focal’s, which I love. I realize the meat of any speaker lies in the mid/bass drivers but a properly setup crossover with a good tweeter can make a huge difference. Time will tell.

Some will point out that they’re not towers but I think I can fill in the blanks with a sub or two. It just depends on how well they blend in, to get a seamless sound.

We’ll see … and hear. :D
 
D

dwest1023

Audiophyte
Thanks for your input and impressions.

It’s always nice to get feedback from a fellow LS50 owner, to get a base-line opinion, per se.

Unlike you I’ll be hooking them up initially to a SS (solid state) AVR, a Yamaha RX-A3070 (150W) in my office, currently hooked-up to a pair of Salk QWT SongTowers (dome tweeters), or a Yamaha RX-A2040 (140W) in my bedroom, so I’m not worried about wattage/power.

My only fear, unknown at this time, is that they’re system dependent, preferring tube amps vs. solid state amps, like my Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1’s (1st series with dome tweeters). When I demoed them to purchase from the seller he had them hooked up to a tube amp, 5 feet apart, toed in with me 4 feet away. As long as you didn’t move away from the sweet spot, they sounded like world beaters; super impressive.

In hindsight I should of have asked they be moved at a minimum 7 feet apart and I should have sat at least 6 to 7 feet back before purchasing them. But I figured the Yamaha RX-A3000’s YPAO room equalization’s PEQ would resolve putting them 9 feet apart in their eventual location in my wife’s office.

They sound good but don’t have the original slam/meaty sound of the near-field setup I demoed, whereby the LS50’s sound twice as good in there.

My real interest in the BMR’s lies in the RAAL tweeters, which have been described as having similar tonal properties of beryllium tweeters, like my Focal’s, which I love. I realize the meat of any speaker lies in the mid/bass drivers but a properly setup crossover with a good tweeter can make a huge difference. Time will tell.

Some will point out that they’re not towers but I think I can fill in the blanks with a sub or two. It just depends on how well they blend in, to get a seamless sound.

We’ll see … and hear. :D
I’m not sure about the BMR, but the mini has the beef! That is what I am most impressed about. As good as the kef’s are they do not have the weight the mini’s have. The mini in my room seemingly has the same wide sweet spot and the kef’s. The kefs meta biggest strength is the detail. That is amazing about them. I here things in music I did not hear with my headphones! The mini’s are just downright musical, so you are not drawn to any particular thing. Keep in mind I am listing in a 10x12 room. I am going to try and take my metas to Dennis house to do an a/b comparison. I will report back if that happends.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
As good as the kef’s are they do not have the weight the mini’s have.
I'm assuming you're not running a sub or two in tandem with the Mini's or Meta's?

If not, even in a 10'x12' room, your description of the 'weight' of the Mini's is impressive.

Glad to hear you're very happy with the Mini's.
 
D

dwest1023

Audiophyte
I do use a small sub, but its crossed at 40hz and the vol the lowest it goes. When I run the Ls50’s I cross at 80hz, but still with volume at the lowest setting. However you really don’t need a sub for the mini’s. In my room the mini’s are very rich sounding. They sound more like floor standing speakers.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
I do use a small sub, but its crossed at 40hz and the vol the lowest it goes. When I run the Ls50’s I cross at 80hz, but still with volume at the lowest setting. However you really don’t need a sub for the mini’s. In my room the mini’s are very rich sounding. They sound more like floor standing speakers.
That may be so in your case.

It’s been my experience though that any sub(s), to my ears, make a subtle or noticeable difference, depending on the volume setting on the sub and the crossover point setting on the sub and/or via the AVR/amp, in some cases.

I've gotten in the habit of running all new speakers in ‘Pure Direct’ mode for 2 to 3 days initially; meaning no type of DSP applied whatsoever without a sub, to get a base-line of what I have. Then I run YPAO in various configurations, with and without sub(s), saving each sweep for reference purposes, so I can go back & forth to compare and contrast them to choose my favorite. To date I always prefer the sound, with some tweaks to the sub crossover points, anywhere from 50 Hz to 80 Hz, depending on the speaker/room, and leaving the subs volume at 50%, as recommended by Yamaha.

Best advice I ever got, from a math teacher in college, was to go have a hearing test before buying a speaker, so as not to be unduly influenced by specs alone. He was fond of saying, 'you can't miss what you can't hear'.

I’ve always found speakers/subs preferences subjective anyway, no matter what the specs are. There are so many personal factors involved; your age, health and the state of your ears when listening, speaker tonal preferences (laid-back, neutral, detailed), the room they’re in and your listening position.

OK, I’m off my rickety soapbox. :D

Of course, your mileage may vary. That's the beauty of our hobby. There is no one size fits all.
 
D

dwest1023

Audiophyte
I agree a sub always adds something. That is why I bought a very good sub. I use and B&W db3. Expensive but worth it. I think the fact, one size does not fit all, makes our hobby ugly. Why? Like you said we all here different and other variables. It’s hard to find a store to listen to the equipment you might like, so we sometimes have to rely on what others say. Just to get a consensus if you will. Ls50 is a perfect case. Many say its bright with no bass. In My system, they sound the opposite. They sounds on the warm side in my room with acceptable bass. I tried the mini based on what I read here.
 
I

internova1

Audiophyte
For Mini, here is one extremely "enthusiastic" customer in Taiwan who re-did most of the crossover component (not design - just components with the same value), replace binding posts and wires. We do not offer crossover component modification service and advise against it. For some users, it's their "dream".

He posted many pictures and a few videos. The Google translator probably won't do a good job but pictures should be interesting enough.

 
B

Beave

Senior Audioholic
He definitely used superior capacitors. I mean, it says it right there on the side of the cap, so it MUST be superior! :D

Thanks for sharing. Lots of cool pictures there.
 

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