Vento Reference 9.2 DC vs New BMR with SB Acoustics 6" Ceramic

VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
Based on the discussions from @KEW and others I wondered how the new BMR with the SB Acoustics 6" Ceramic woofer might sound compared to my Vento Reference 9.2 DC with 7" Aluminum woofer and 1" aluminum ceramic oxide tweeter. So, I ordered the BMR to find out.

I measured both speakers with REW in my listening room at 2 meters. Both speakers were in the same exact spot when measured. The BMR was flatter as expected and is approximately 2db less sensitive according to my REW volume calibration with pink noise. The following chart is not outside or in an Anechoic chamber when created. With that being the case, it's just showing the frequency response of the BMR and the Vento 9.2 in my listening room.

BMR vs Vento 9.2.png


As you can see, the BMR offers more bass but what does it sound like when I place both speakers in my office and switch between them while using the Hegel H90 integrated amp to drive the music?

This is what I found. If you are use to the dynamic punch, kick and foot tapping rhythms that the Vento Reference 9.2 pours out in spades you may be surprised by the less punchy sound of the new BMR with SB Acoustics 6" Ceramic woofer? To my ears, the BMR is a bit timid in comparison, it offers less punch and toe tapping. I found myself trying to increase the volume to get the snap back that I was use to with the Vento 9.2. As the BMR got louder the clarity and definition far outpaced my Vento Reference 9.2 DC speakers but the extra level of snap and punch I was use to was missing.

Below are some listening sessions with notes:

NILS Lofgren - Acoustic Live: track 5 - Keith Don’t Go
Vento 9.2
Open, Dynamic, strings pop even at low levels. Clean, shimery highs.
BMR
Clarity, less punch, less exciting, accurate but less attack on strings.

Convergence: Malia and Boris Blank: track 1 - Celestial Echo
Vento 9.2
Not as much low bass, more punch, more tweeter snap, vocal shimmery, more intense experience, Open.
BMR
Lots of Bass! Vocal clarity.

Fourplay: track 2 - 101 Eastbound
Vento 9.2
Snap, pop, gutsy bass, punchy dynamics, crystal highs, drums kick, foot tapping!
BMR
Clarity, lacks pop, find myself turning it up looking for punch.

SADE: The Ultimate Collection: track 11 - No Ordinary Love
Vento 9.2
Amazing Bass and kick, dynamic, Clear, crisp vocal
BMR
Clear, Bass less thump, missing the punch. Laid back instead.

Surfacing: Sarah McLachlan: track 7 - Angel
Vento 9.2
Has more sensitivity than BMR. Nice highs, muddy piano compared to BMR.
BMR
Need to play 55 on BMR instead of 51 (for Vento) on Hegel H90 integrated amp to get both at same level.
Clear, crisp highs, Sweet, Laid Back, Open

As the week of comparing the BMR to the Vento progressed I found moving the BMR out 2 feet from the wall helped give it a bit more bass depth while the Vento 9.2 provided the same punch and snap no matter where it was placed. What I also learned is if clarity and a more open sound was more important than PUNCH, then the BMR was the go to speaker.

While I thought this experiment was going to be all about which tweeter sounded better the differences in sound quality between these two designs is a lot more complex than I initially expected. As always your mileage may vary.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
At this point, I think BMR sounds best with Classical music while Vento 9.2 is more fun for casual listening to Jazz and Rock. I'm continuing to try different ways to get more punch out of the BMR.

I'm not sure which speaker wil remain yet...
 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
Thanks, you may have saved me some money in the short term since bass is not an issue.
I’ll just keep enjoying the 9.2’s with my ULS-15’s and save for the future and some nice Salk towers.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
What sub do you plan on using with these?
Currently, in my office I'm not using a sub. It's a small 12' x 11' room with large desks on all walls. There's not room to do a sub properly and I'm fine with the bookshelves sitting on a desk. If I want to use them with subs I can move them to the home theatre where I have HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP subs and a VMPS tall boy with dual woofers
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Oh. I was just thinking a sub might change the experience as far as what you described as “punch”. On a piano for example, the lowest frequency is 27.5 Hz.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
The lack of PUNCH issue I experience with the BMR is all over the spectrum. From less lower-mid range punch to the attack on guitar strings and so on. The Vento 9.2 is noticeably more lively with attack and decay than the BMR. I'm not sure why.

I notice the bass is fuller with the BMR when I move them out toward the front of the desk and keep them at a 28" height. I'm not sure if EQ will help. When my 4500 comes back I'll try some different Audyssey settings with the BMR.

Or I might try moving them to the Home theatre for testing if I order the Monolith 28" stands. It would be much easier if the BMR had the same PUNCH as the Vento. If they did, they would be the obvious choice.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Even in my bedroom setup with a pair of the smaller Vento 820.2, I used a Rythmik L12 sub (2 of them would have been even better). Of course I probably listen to more bass heavy music than you. :)
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
I'm sure a sub would sound good with it. There are 6 desks in this office and I don't feel like placing a sub under a desk would give me that much pleasure. lol

I can walk 20 feet to the home theatre if I want to listen to massive subs.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
@VMPS-TIII
@snakeeyes

Let me add my subjective experience with the (DIY) BMRs vs. subs etc.

When I started listening to my BMRs, I was wondering if I was really hitting the mid-30s low end extension. I kept hearing about all of this "amazing bass" from these in 2 channel configs. I began to wonder if perhaps I had not gotten my main cabs sealed at every seam. But, I was able to play a 34Hz test tone at a moderate volume setting, and I can say for certain that the BMRs delivered!

But, what I began to remember is that a lot of my music indeed has significant content into the 20 Hz range.

Regardless, after several days of testing in the 2 Ch config, I added my Rythmik F15HP to the mix, which was my original intent all along.

You want PUNCH, I deliver on the PUNCH in spades!

Now, with all of that being said, I do also find myself creeping up on that volume knob on the BMR, just the same as you. And, I agree, the louder I go, the more detail and clarity I hear!

Finally, just to be clear, I have never heard a Canton to compare. And, we are still talking about nice high performance speakers, we are just getting down to the nit-picking of what may be better or different.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Wondering what you freq you crossed at?
I have not settled on it yet. I may do the LFE + Mains too, just run them full range and send a signal to the sub.

Heck, I haven't even run Audysee in that setup either.

I will play around with it and see what I like best. I may have a umik in my future too.

I do think a 60Hz is a good starting point, but that may be selling the BMR short.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
@VMPS-TIII
@snakeeyes

Let me add my subjective experience with the (DIY) BMRs vs. subs etc.

When I started listening to my BMRs, I was wondering if I was really hitting the mid-30s low end extension. I kept hearing about all of this "amazing bass" from these in 2 channel configs. I began to wonder if perhaps I had not gotten my main cabs sealed at every seam. But, I was able to play a 34Hz test tone at a moderate volume setting, and I can say for certain that the BMRs delivered!

But, what I began to remember is that a lot of my music indeed has significant content into the 20 Hz range.

Regardless, after several days of testing in the 2 Ch config, I added my Rythmik F15HP to the mix, which was my original intent all along.

You want PUNCH, I deliver on the PUNCH in spades!

Now, with all of that being said, I do also find myself creeping up on that volume knob on the BMR, just the same as you. And, I agree, the louder I go, the more detail and clarity I hear!

Finally, just to be clear, I have never heard a Canton to compare. And, we are still talking about nice high performance speakers, we are just getting down to the nit-picking of what may be better or different.
Thank you for your input. The Vento 9.2 is a bit more lively. If I did not have both speakers next to each other testing the same songs I would not notice. It's not a huge deal. It just means for me the Vento sounds more PUNCHY at lower volume levels and gets my foot tapping easier. I like that in a speaker.

It's hard for me to give that up. But the BMR adds a level of openness and the next level of clarity over the Vento 9.2. It's really hard to decide which is best as I actually want both features. :D
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Thank you for your input. The Vento 9.2 is a bit more lively. If I did not have both speakers next to each other testing the same songs I would not notice. It's not a huge deal. It just means for me the Vento sounds more PUNCHY at lower volume levels and gets my foot tapping easier. I like that in a speaker.

It's hard for me to give that up. But the BMR adds a level of openness and the next level of clarity over the Vento 9.2. It's really hard to decide which is best as I actually want both features. :D
Yup.

Let me extend a bit more of subjective experiences. I run a set of the DCM TP260 towers in my living room, which are also excellent speakers. Then, when I consider that closeout pricing, it's hard to imagine anything better for anything close to that price point. I just last week added a Dayton Sub-1200 to that system, and haven't dialed anything in yet either.

For what it's worth, on the other forum, Dennis specifically said that the DCM TP160 was one of the best deals out there at the time, and putting to shame many other speakers that cost much more. Then, he specifically told me via PM that his tweeter/resistor mod should make those a nice match as surrounds for my Alexis Sound Rebecca (Philharmonitors out of Taiwan, the same guy that is building the new BMRs now). I have 2 sets of these now, but have not done any of the mods yet (it is easy).

Then, my bedroom is running a set of GE T2 speakers. At my previous home, these were the mains in my living room and paired with the Rythmik F15HP. These have the built in "subs". I find that in my bedroom, these speakers are excellent and have plenty of punch without a standalone sub (at least for music).
 

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