Philharmonic Affordable Accurate Monitor?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by purr1n, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Philharmonic Affordable Accurate Monitor?

    OK, I don't know which one of you hosebags sent this to me. It could have been any one of six or seven people, so I am not going to bother guessing. I actually didn't realize that I had these sitting around in the garage because I ordered similar Dayton cabinets and a stack of drivers from Madisound recently. It was only until today when I finally cleaned out the garage to open my boxes, and I was like WTF? Oh well.

    If anyone could shed more light on these speakers, please do.

    DSC_3006.JPG

    This is best I could do in terms of getting decent measurements for now - until I can get a better setup. Taking the measurement at 24" away instead of one meter to better avoid reflections. I know the hard concrete floor will result in an impulse response echo for sure.
    DSC_3005.JPG

    Philharmonic Affordable Accurate Monitor
    Frequency Response 1/6 Octave Smoothing
    On-Axis (tweeter aligned with microphone 24" away).
    FR on axis.png


    Next step is a measurement at the listening position. From the way they measure above, it looks like some baffle step is already built in; so it's very obvious how they should be used: on stands away from the wall several feet. I found the AAM sensitive to positioning and angling. Best results are with the tweeters pointing directly at you.
    DSC_3001.JPG

    Philharmonic Affordable Accurate Monitor
    Frequency Response 1/6 Octave Bands
    Microphone at listening position

    FR lp.png

    Considering the environment with the hard floors and walls, I'd say this measurement is really darn good. The dips are not unexpected - caused by various reflections. I can see some people here freak out over the bass rolloff, but the bass extension is exceptional. We are getting usable output down to 40Hz. Many floorstanders, including some expensive audiophile brands can't even go this low.

    Closing Thoughts:

    1. Usable in a real home. They are not tuned so you require room treatments, or mental treatments. If anything, maybe one or two db recessed in the treble, 5kHz and above.
    2. The cabinet doesn't quite have the heroic construction as I would like, but then again, at $200, I really can't complain.
    3. The HD6X0 headphones are easily more resolving; but then again, these headphones start at over $350. LS50 is also more resolving, but costs at least $1000 more and has a slightly wonky frequency response.
    4. Don't use them on a desk against a wall. They are not designed for that. They work best on dedicated stands a few feet from the wall.
    5. Bass extension is impressive. Don't bother with a cheap sub. Mate with a real sub to cover 40Hz and below.
    6. Impressive soundstage. Depth, precision, layering. You name it. Don't even try to tell me how the Sennheiser HD800 has great soundstage - it doesn't. This is not unexpected. Small speakers tend to do this.
    7. Shines with classical or jazz. The speaker gets a little overwhelmed with rock, pop, or music with a lot of stuff going on.
    8. Inefficient. Get an amp with some decent power and sufficient gain.
    9. I don't know WTH these can be sold for $200.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  2. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Those remind me of the Neat Petite circa 1993 ...

    (Those came up in another thread, this evening, oddly enough) ...

    Very nice, irrespective of price, musical, dynamic, flexible, inconspicuous ... and stonkingly good value.
     
  3. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I have these on my desk as nearfield monitors paired with a Definitive 15inch sub. They work quite well even being 8 inches from the wall. When I move to a better setup, these will go on stands like they're meant to.

    Frequency response as they currently are setup:
    [​IMG]

    I think the 100Hz dip and the 180Hz bump are definitely caused by proximity effect to the walls and corner. This is with no EQ. I prefer this over EQ as it's not that far off my preferred frequency response.

    These are an absolute steal at the asking price!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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  4. imackler

    imackler Key Lime Pie Infected Aberdeen Wings Spy

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  5. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Waiting until after rmaf but I was planning on building my beginner 2 channel system with these.

    However the bit about them not handling rock or complex passages very well is worrying with all the metal I listen too.
     
  6. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    This almost looks too good not to buy, at the price. Who couldn't find a good use for these speakers! And it looks as if, even if they start off in a spare bedroom, they might quickly get promoted.

    I have always thought of classical orchestral as the ultimate audio test, because there is so much going on. huge dynamic range, huge frequency range, and huge number of different instrument/sound. Especially when all the percussion gets going together. There's a percussion crescendo snippet somewhere in Mahler's 2nd that, on most systems, I hear as a single noise.
     
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  7. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    FYI, you can custom order some? of Philharmonic Audio speakers to be front ported by Jim Salk.
     
  8. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    This is the sort of stuff that, if I was in USA, I would buy just for fun and trying out. Audio fun at affordable price. I wish.
     
  9. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    If a 200$ bookshelf can do this -

    [​IMG]

    Then those coax speakers in the other thread shouldn't be expected to get away with those super wonky curves. And then there's the fact that many top dollar headphones aren't nearly as neutral.
     
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  10. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Tempted to get them, but I'm going away to college next year, so I should probably save my money. Or throw it into headphones that I could use at college.
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I've had the Dayton BR-1 kit for years, almost a decade at this point. Dennis Murphy is the guy behind Philharmonic Audio, right? He had crossover mods posted for the BR-1 for years as well. Super solid as a base kit, and the fact he's offering his tweaked version for $200 with this sort of performance is absurd. I love my BR-1s as-is!
     
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  12. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Yup. It's a shame people don't get how much of a value his speakers are and, given his modest sales, he doesn't get the exposure he deserves. Not only is he a crossover genius, his entire line represents a crazy value. Hell, find me a speaker manufacturer who ships a $1500 speaker like the BMR monitor with $800+ in just transducers?

    Personally, I'll eventually be moving to the Phil Slims or the Philharmonic 3 (one hell of a speaker).
     
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  13. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Have you heard the Phil 3? Is it as good as it looks on his site? I've been eyeballing it for something to get down the road, if still available. Looks gorgeous.
     
  15. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Side question, recommended amps for this sort of speaker or other inefficient speakers?
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I used a Teac A-L700P for testing. It does not have enough gain. Also being a class D type amp, it's kind of limp-dick and fuzzy in the bass. I'd pull out the Crest CA2 for this one. Emotiva. Maybe whenever Schiit decides to make a Jotunheim type amp for speakers. It needs all the clean power you can throw at it. Yeah, the efficiency is crap. At 6 ohms, this would work well with Rag (which has plenty of gain for it).

    That's just on another level with far superior drivers and doesn't come with cabinets. I see this as part of a Starving Student speaker setup.

    Farty rap or pop with droning synth bass and kick drums is worse because the speakers are being taxed 100% of the time for minutes on end without stop. Natural instruments also don't light up the spectrum analyzer as low. Difficult passages in classical will tax small speakers no matter how good the drivers are, but at least the less difficult passages will be rendered coherently.

    Examples:
    1. Daft Punk Lose Yourself to Dance = Not good 100% of the time.
    2. Michael Jackson Billy Jean = Passable 100% of the time.
    3. Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition (orchestra) = Good 90% of the time (even with the quick dynamic parts). Not good 10% of the time, especially at the ending.
    4. Eliane Elias Plays Jobim (any track) = Good 100% of the time.
    A way around this is expensive drivers. The best way is good quality large drivers. However, large 12" and 15" drivers are not fashionable in 2016, and probably haven't been since the days of Boogie Nights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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  17. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Sounds fucking phenomenal. I've only seen the terrible monolithic all black cabinets before. @Questhate has em but his wasn't the pair I've heard.

    I used a $100 crown class A/B amp with the previous version of the affordable accuracy monitors and it was a great pairing.
     
  18. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Third Schiit speaker amp prototype should be at RMAF early next month along with their preamp(s). (more info)

    Looks like these AA monitors are less efficient than Maggies (!), so perusing the Google for Magnepan amp recommendations could also help. On that front, I've seen Emotiva or Outlaw Model 2200 monoblocks recommended on one end of the price spectrum, and I stop paying attention to products that cost more than the Sanders Magtech on the other end of the (potentially realistic) price spectrum. Benchmark AHB2 is also intriguing.
     
  19. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Don't be a dumb dumb. These are $200 speakers. Get a pro class A/B amp for $300 or less and enjoy.
     
  20. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I took the amp question/discussion re: "this sort of speaker or other inefficient speakers" to include the $3,500+ Phil 3 being discussed. Like the AA monitor, the rest of the speaker line-up ranges from 84.5–85 dB sensitivity.
     

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