Amphions, Harbeths, Seas Metal Cones, Active Systems

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Psalmanazar, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Moving these impressions over to here. Inspired by my Amphion discussion with @murphythecat I met @HitmanFluffy at CAF last weekend. The Amphions were the only legitimately decent things there. Everything else was toothless old drunk bloom fi, etched horrificness, or babydick woofer memes that were around JBL 305 level like Vanatoo Zero. These all lose to the better quality cheap monitor stuff (think HS8, A7X, KH120) any day despite boxiness.

    The bigger Amphions were shockingly decent. Warm butt lovers, low volume wusses, bass flatulence sniffers can leave the hall. There were two towers, one woodgrain and bigger than the white one. Maybe the Krypton3 or the 6.5" woofer tower in woodgrain along with the 5" tower? I wasn't paying attention. Anyways bigger was better for Amphion. They were run off the latest Benchmark stack which might explain the lack of dynamics but a lot of that is probably just the throw off the shelf drivers in a box design versus the higher tech approaches of ATC, Genelec, Neumann, and HEDD.

    The bigger ones were a little v-shaped and lacked ultimate midrange detail and dynamics but were coherent sounding. I heard them with some late 90s to modern rnb and Metallica's Kill 'em All. They were very revealing of the heavy processing in the clipped snare samples used to make the "clap" effect in the rnb. They were also the only speakers we heard at the show able resolve the opening high-frequency hash in the drumroll of "Hit the Lights" off the original CD of Kill 'em All. The current remaster is cleaner with a better defined midrange despite being more compressed with a v-shaped EQ. It seems to not have been run through an as colored compressor or limiter and is from the original tape, not a copy, so the new cheapo slipcase master is more better and worth picking up for $5 from Amazon.

    Despite using the older master with less midrange dynamics, the Marshall guitars and Hetfield's voice didn’t pop/honk outta the mix like they should. Treble transients were a little muted too but the metal tweeters aren't harsh. Soundstage is semi-accurate but not exceptional due to poor midrange and treble dynamics. The floorstanders are legit and way better than the 5" nearfields (get something else but I can see why these may be well-liked in a professional context). The brand is way overpriced but was the best thing at the show and surprisingly decent.

    I don't know how the dual 6.5" woofer nearfields + sub combo would sound (prob better than these floorstanders) but for that ridiculous price, you could get something like the Barefoot, HEDD, Neumann, or Genelec 3 ways that take a dump down Amphion's throat Duke Nukem style. A77X is more fun too and cheap when used from similar distances (not near field). Tweakers will like these though for legit decent sound they can mess around with. The tweeter blowing issue is apparently very real so buyer beware.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  2. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    at the capital, Amphion were exhibiting there 6k$ Argon 7LS, not the 20k$ Kypton!

    Curious what you thought of the PAP setup?

    From what I read of the show, Harbeth 40.2 and 30.2 rooms sounded nice as well as the Proac room. Apatial was hated by most. Curious also about the Volti Rival room...
     
  3. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday! - Friend

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    I'll save you the trouble, the PAP horns are absolutely awful, easily their worst offering. I like their other stuff like the Vox driver, but they cap out at mediocre at best for me. Far from the worst choice. Unlike Harbeths, which I would feel bad about putting through a wood chipper because the chipper deserves better.

    The Volti room was absolutely bizarre. It sounded halfway acceptable dynamics wise, but the treble was still kind of harsh, despite the mega-warmbutt upstream. I shudder to think how it would sound with a setup even slightly less rolled.
     
  4. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    PAP horn, mediocre at best
    harbeth best to throw in the garbage

    well im a bit confused. what the hell do you recommend speaker wise?
     
  5. direstraitsfan98

    direstraitsfan98 D2Girls v2.0

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    Don't you think your experience was the room? I am doubtful that the Paps and the Harbeths are really that bad sounding in a proper setup and room. Seems unfair to judge the PAPS and Harbeths based on a not ideal listening situation. Though to be fair I don't know why or how the 40.2 would have sounded bad, they were hooked up to $30k of Vinni Rossi gear, and the room placement seemed fine to me.

    I've never heard anyone say the PAP horns sounded bad tho. What about the Harbeths did you find so offensive?

    Woops. Just realized you guys aren't talking about RMAF 2018. My mistake. What were the rooms and gear like then?
     
  6. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Don't expect anything useful.
     
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  7. MrTeaRex

    MrTeaRex His head's not fat, he's my brother!

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    The PAP horns and Harbeths were pretty bad at RMAF too. When the PAP Voxativ were swapped in, it was a significant improvement. I don't think anything could save the Harbeths.
     
  8. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    wow over 18k usd to get actual low bass extension from a “full range floorstander” with properly sized woofers, actual midrange drivers, and the same bleh tweeter is a ton. At least it’s vented like the bigger ATCs but still that 3 way passive crossover will nerf the treble transients even more...

    Still gonna be way better than fart rockets, Linn junk, B&W diamond laser beams sharp enough to cut off James Bond’s dick, and ten to twenty thousand dollar pubic address systems!

    When you can get the wicked looking HEDD Tower Mains for the same price and prob the best AMT tweeters in the world? Wut?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  9. SineDave

    SineDave Friend

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    The PAP HEIL is also truly awful. The TB is a real value play that sounds quite good, but I would steer clear of the horns or HEIL models.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm betting it was the crossovers. No idea how PAP implemented the horn / compression driver or AMT driver crossovers, since details are scant. If they stuck with the Xerxes or whatever series crossover with the 6db slope at 500Hz (source: https://www.remusic.it/EN/PureAudioProject-Trio15-Horn1-loudspeakers-006e1600), then I would be scared of pushing the 1.4" compression driver too hard. Also, compression drivers often need a notch filter to tame the honk introduced by the horn. No idea what kind of compression driver and no idea the flare of the horn and how it fits with the driver. I know that certain JBL horn and driver combinations don't need an EQ circuit because they were designed to work together. From the photos, it looks like they used the Xerxes crossover deal because PAP was dead set (or lazy) on the first order serial topology with a minimum of parts. Unfortunately, reality doesn't work like that with certain kinds of drivers.

    How did the horns sound bad? Honk? Distortion in lower mids (kind of choking weaksauce kind of effect)? High end rolloff? All of these?

    The wood horn looks nice though. Horns are a bitch to work with. Lack of documentation, measurements, diaphragm alignment, limited highs, what works with what, and weirdos stuck in the past set on green painted Altec drivers just because they are mystical, etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  11. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Harbeths are natural male enhancement for BBC presenters.
     
  12. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday! - Friend

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    The horns sounded thin, and had super ragged treble. I dont think their faults are crossover related. I heard them at two different shows at this point so Im pretty sure they would sound similarly bad in a home rig. The horn isn't mediocre. It's straight up awful. But it is pretty, if that's your thing.
     
  13. direstraitsfan98

    direstraitsfan98 D2Girls v2.0

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    Excuse my stupidity but I forgot that there’s different versions of the PAP. The horn one is just one of the many different models, right? I’m not surprised those dinky little horns don’t sound that good. They do seem like a gimmick. I’m not sure why the Harbeths sounded so bad, but if it was a case of simply not liking their sound signature I can respect that.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Horns are going to have ragged highs, but not any worse than single widebander drivers or anything you'd hear in movie theaters. If they sounded thin, then it's crossover network ("crossover network" here being crossover and EQ circuit as it has always been). The unevenness up highs could possibly be because of distortion because it wasn't designed to extend that high and needed help up top, or it could have been that it didn't not like the extra excursion below 500Hz, causing everything else to screw up, or better yet, it didn't even make it down to 500Hz!

    Again, information is scant on this compression driver / diaphragm, which is strange because all the other drivers are known quantities. For all we know, it could have been a ChiFi compression driver special with misaligned diaphragms for $29.73 per pair. It's kind of weird because even the cheap shit isn't that bad. This isn't high tech anymore.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  15. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday! - Friend

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    I've stated conclusively before that my favorite speakers are the Voxativ Ampeggios, and that I like horn + SET sound, but I expect neither reading comprehension nor good faith from you, so it's all good.

    I just don't like the Harbeth sound signature. The horn is one of their poorest offerings, the one with the Voxativ driver and even the Tangbands sound fine.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I love the Ampeggios too. It's funny because @brencho and I were talking about them yesterday; but we crossed them off our list because we realized they would explode at the high SPLs we listen to when we are alone in the house. It's less of a matter of power, but more a matter of too much excursion for only a 8" to handle.

    Good to know the TBs W8-1808 sound good. I might try them out to see how they perform. Their construction looks 50x better than the Lowthers.
     
  17. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    The Harbeth "sound signature" is openly lo-fi crap. Bloomy and smeared bass and lower mids combined with poor quality dry soft dome treble. They don't do anything well. They just suck. They're for making BBC twits sound like they produce more testosterone.

    Amphions are not Harbeths. This is a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I guess you guys don't like the thin wood boxes that create synergistic vibrations with the semi big bass cones?
     
  19. MrTeaRex

    MrTeaRex His head's not fat, he's my brother!

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    Synergistic vibrations should not apply speakers, only these...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Gimme some of the powered Yamahas in a thicker, actually stuffed MDF box so I can actually tell when the notes are being hit. Saltine sound but you can at least sorta hear what the instruments were trying to play. HS8 I might not trade for gas money and frozen food...
     

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