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Keith_W

My Opinionated Proac D38 Review (long!)

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Edited by Keith_W

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Beautifully well written review. We should all learn to write such entertaining, informative well written and structured reviews.

Approved!

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A fantastic review amfibius..........exceptionally well written, and I think you've hit the nail on the head....excitement and dynamics....like you're there.

I loved Norus' 802D's, but they just sounded a tad too 'polite' to me...Kasey was not quite as nassaly and grating as she should be.

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Excellent review, makes me feel illiterate :rolleyes:

Is your 50w Cary amp you mention Single ended? Sounds like the perfect amp for my speakers.

Cheers

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Well done on the review and the journey Amfibius.

It is pleasing to see you have analysed each for its merits, then justified your decisions based on your own needs and not what they'ought' to sound like. Very refreshing

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Guest alebonau

excellent read amfibius. Nice to follow the story and the decision process that brought you to the speakers you have.

Havign heard norpus' 802D and your proac's would love one day to hear the other excellent speakers you mention as having only heard soem of their poorer cousins. Looks like you had some hard choices there ! but glad you found the speaker in the end right for you.

Must have been great fun in the demoing ! :rolleyes:

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Thanks for your feedback guys.

I think I should mention that none of these speakers are truly bad. The cheapest speaker I listened to was the VAF DC-X ($2000) and stretched up to the Tannoy Kensington's, which were the most expensive ($18,000). All the others were between $9000 and $12,000.

The only speaker that stands out for "not deserving to belong in this company" is the Sonus Faber. You know how hi-fi reviewers love to say that "this $1000 speaker sounds as good as a $12,000 speaker!"? The speaker they are talking about must be the Sonus Faber. But what it lacks in sound, it makes up for in looks. These $12,000 speakers look better than some $50,000 speakers I have seen :rolleyes:

I forgot to add my thanks for the patient dealers who put up with me (and did not end up with a sale). Tivoli Audio for the Sonus Faber and B&W's, Caxton Audio for the Quads, Carlton A/V for the Dynaudio's and the PMC's, VAF for the VAF's, Audiophile for the Tannoy's, and Livingstone for the ProAc's.

Mondie, the Cary CAD-805AE is a single ended triode design. One of the more powerful ones for your money (50W per monoblock). These things easily sound more powerful than either of my other amps (Yamaha RX-V1600 and Pioneer A-400) both of which are rated to deliver more power. I did not go amplifier shopping at all. I knew what I wanted (from previous listening) and went straight for it without any shopping. So unfortunately there is no review to be written there. Unless you want to hear me compare the Cary against the Yamaha or the Pioneer which is completely unfair.

The other thing to remember with SET's is that they produce a very distinctive sound which is suitable for only certain types of music. I am anticipating that Rick S will jump in and say that they are hopelessly coloured. Truth be told, the SET design should be even more hopelessly coloured than most valve designs. But it is colouration which I happen to like.

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thankyou amfibious,

that is PRECISELY the sort of post I love to read when I can't get to sleep, erudite, interesting and informative. Sometimes a quick check of 'view new posts' just ends up with a wink or a one word comment, it was lovely to have something to 'sink our teeth into'.

Read the review you posted on them ( soundstage) and noted the reviewers comments about the power of the amps he used with them. Have you yet felt that, especially with say Wagner, Mahler or Bruckner that you'd like just a tad more power than the Cary's give?

By the way, when did you get these speakers? Are they still improving?

lots of love

terry

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G'day,

Very informative and entertaining review, Amfibius.

I myself went through a very long auditioning process. The speakers I listened to were not in the same league financially (although I did demo the B&W 802), and in the end I decided that a neutral, detailed, and dynamic sound is what I was after. Hence the Equinox Apogees, and even with these speakers there are some compromises I had to make (and there were a lot of speakers that I wanted to listen to but did not get a chance: Osborn, Whatmough, Legend, Elac, etc).

Then came the agonizing choice of amplification -- how do you best drive speakers that are efficient, yet present a very unfriendly 2.5 ohm load? In the end I opted for the ME850HC, based on my experiences with the ME550-II, and of course the designer's recommendation. But there's still lots of amps I haven't listened to -- the Elektras, valve monoblocks, etc -- some of which may not be suitable for the Apogees anyway.

And I have even less experience with pre-amps!

So as the hour of delivery draws nigh, I trust (fingers crossed) that I've made the right decision, and can be as happy with my system as you appear to be with yours.

--Geoff

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Guest JohnA

Great review Amfibius.

As my next major upgrade will be speakers, this made for some great reading.

Can't wait to try a heap of different speakers next time round, even though i am fairly sure of what i want funds permiting

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Great review Amfibius.

As my next major upgrade will be speakers, this made for some great reading.

Can't wait to try a heap of different speakers next time round, even though i am fairly sure of what i want funds permiting [/b]

Its definately what the review section is good for. Its good for people who will be looking at items in the future, as it can give them an idea of what they can expect from those goods.

Just curious as to what price range and what items you will be looking at in the future JohnA? Are any of the above on your list?

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Guest JohnA

Its definately what the review section is good for. Its good for people who will be looking at items in the future, as it can give them an idea of what they can expect from those goods.

Just curious as to what price range and what items you will be looking at in the future JohnA? Are any of the above on your list?

[/b]

like i said, depends on funds, will most likely be purchasing them from the states, as i currently have friends living there, who will be coming back to Australia is 2-3years time.

So shipping nor duties will be an issue.

$20k would be the maximum on a pair of fronts though

I am a huge B&W fan, love the sound so realy no need to tell yo which ones i want, but i would still like to listen to others in that price range

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Great review Amfibius.

As my next major upgrade will be speakers, this made for some great reading.

Can't wait to try a heap of different speakers next time round, even though i am fairly sure of what i want funds permiting

[/b]

Oh oh

.. but will they be B&W's again I wonder, or will you be strong and break with tradition? :biggrin:

And will you get a third identical for the centre?? :ohmy:

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Guest JohnA

Oh oh

.. but will they be B&W's again I wonder, or will you be strong and break with tradition? :biggrin:

And will you get a third identical for the centre?? :ohmy:

[/b]

hmmm 3 snails sitting in a row :ohmy:

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Thanks for your responses everyone.

Norpus sent me a PM asking me if I listened to the 802D's or the N802's. I have mentioned elsewhere that these speakers were $15,000 at Tivoli Hi-Fi, and Norpus pointed out that at the price these are more likely N802's. To be honest I really do not remember ... I just remember that they were B&W 802's! I wasn't aware that there was a difference. I do remember that they had the diamond dome tweeter though. So yeah, they might be the N802's.

terry I have never tried the ProAc's with anything other than the Cary's and my Yamaha receiver which I hooked up out of curiosity. I think that the Yamaha RX-V1600 is capable of 120W / channel output in Class AB. So easily double the rated power of the Cary. The Cary's still sounded more powerful with much better bass than the Yamaha. If someone is willing to bring over a power amplifier we could experiment to see what happens with powerful solid state amplification.

I think my review should be taken with a pinch of salt. I did not try ANY other music apart from the type of music I listen to. As we all know, speakers are very music dependent and my opinions only reflect my particular biases and preferences in music. I suspect that many of you are already thinking this but are too polite to say it :rolleyes:

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Thanks Amfibius

I believe these N802 were the ones you auditioned - still for sale at Tivoli at $15995 ($3K off rrp for N802)

They look similar but do not have the diamond tweeter (they have the older metal dome tweeter) and a few other minor upgrades I understand.

http://www.bwspeakers.com/downloadFile/spe...0802%20specs%22

http://www.tivolihifi.com.au/specials.htm

I see there are some Wilson Audio Sophias at same price. Would love to hear them, as I was mighty impressed with the larger Wilsons - best I have ever experienced (even if rather ugly)

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