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Ambience Speakers Owners & Discussion Thread

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Hi all. Was wondering if anybody here has any experience with Ambience speakers (the Reference 1600 or 1800) and could describe for me their general sound? And specifically how this type of speaker compares to Magneplanars/Martin Logan electrostats (I know all these are dipole but I was wondering how each one compares in terms of attack or sound energy, for lack of a better word, especially with classical music). And also, was wondering about amping Ambience speakers--what sort of amplifiers should I be looking at? Thanks all, and stay safe in this time.

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Hello tma,

 

I am an extremely happy owner of a pair of Reference 1600’s.  You can follow my trials and tribulations in the ‘Showcase your System’ thread under ‘Rocking the Granny Flat’.

 

They come in  many flavours but the best IMO utilise the twin upward facing woofers. These produce really excellent bass that digs far deeper than you would expect. The ribbon is quite exquisite, strings and vocals sing in the best way.  Although they naturally start to fall away past 16k there is no lack of treble information and it treads the fine line between sharp and dull, instead it is sweet and sparkling. The bass to ribbon integration is seamless, an amazing achievement by their designer and builder Tony Moore. They rock out and have exceptional transient speed and attack. Partnered with a Bryston 4B3 in a 5mt x 3.5mt room the speed of and thrust of acoustic and electric guitar along with snare ‘crack’ was as good as I have heard.

 

They are very particular to room placement, many an hour can be consumed getting rear and side wall distances perfect. I have found having the ribbon about 1700mm from the rear wall the best.

 

They highlight amplifier signatures better than any other speaker I have owned. Don’t be fooled by the high efficiency, these babies suck the juice, they eat up current with a nasty 2.5 Ohm dip. I have ended up jamming a Bryston 4BSST2 up them. 300 Watts into 8 Ohms, 500 into 4. With my PSE 300B monoblocks (18 Watts) you could walk through the soundstage but they lacked the coconuts to drive them properly. A big push pull 100 Watt valve amp would be better suited. PassLabs 30.5 is a great tonal match but again just underpowered.

 

At the throw away prices they are offered at I think these speakers are a huge audio bargain. I will leave comparisons to Maggie’s and Martin Logan’s to others.

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7 hours ago, Ooogh said:

Hello tma,

 

I am an extremely happy owner of a pair of Reference 1600’s.  You can follow my trials and tribulations in the ‘Showcase your System’ thread under ‘Rocking the Granny Flat’.

 

They come in  many flavours but the best IMO utilise the twin upward facing woofers. These produce really excellent bass that digs far deeper than you would expect. The ribbon is quite exquisite, strings and vocals sing in the best way.  Although they naturally start to fall away past 16k there is no lack of treble information and it treads the fine line between sharp and dull, instead it is sweet and sparkling. The bass to ribbon integration is seamless, an amazing achievement by their designer and builder Tony Moore. They rock out and have exceptional transient speed and attack. Partnered with a Bryston 4B3 in a 5mt x 3.5mt room the speed of and thrust of acoustic and electric guitar along with snare ‘crack’ was as good as I have heard.

 

They are very particular to room placement, many an hour can be consumed getting rear and side wall distances perfect. I have found having the ribbon about 1700mm from the rear wall the best.

 

They highlight amplifier signatures better than any other speaker I have owned. Don’t be fooled by the high efficiency, these babies suck the juice, they eat up current with a nasty 2.5 Ohm dip. I have ended up jamming a Bryston 4BSST2 up them. 300 Watts into 8 Ohms, 500 into 4. With my PSE 300B monoblocks (18 Watts) you could walk through the soundstage but they lacked the coconuts to drive them properly. A big push pull 100 Watt valve amp would be better suited. PassLabs 30.5 is a great tonal match but again just underpowered.

 

At the throw away prices they are offered at I think these speakers are a huge audio bargain. I will leave comparisons to Maggie’s and Martin Logan’s to others.

Many thanks for your impressions ooogh. Fascinating! Will have to look into them

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Hello all,

Just wondering if anyone might have a contact for Tony Moore ? I have a pair of reference 1800s that need a new ribbon and it appears that their website is no longer working , tried email and it bounces back and both the landline and mobile number that I have no longer work.

 

Regards

Paul.

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Hi Paul. 
Tony retired about a year ago.
 

I would also be most interested if anyone knows who will be able to fix and source replacement ribbons for his speakers. The concept of these speakers becoming built of ‘unobtainium’ does not appeal at all. I am guessing the ribbons are obviously built by another manufacturer, does anyone know who they are and where spare ribbons can be purchased?

 

If you do get in contact with Tony could you ask these questions for us as a community? Should you be successful I would love to purchase a spare set of ribbons for my 1600’s from Tony or a secondary source.

 

Cheers,

Hugh

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I have a pair of 1800s.

Let me say they are a great speaker. I'll give you 10 points to consider.

5 Goods 

1) Ambiance. This speaker creates it. No other speaker I've heard can do what this speaker can do.
2) Bass, 7" woofer should not make the amount of bass this does. Is it slam? No that's against the character of the speaker. Can it plumb? Can you hear notes? Yes.
3) Gentle on the ears. The natural roll of means that these speakers do not fatigue listeners as much as you'd expect say, horns to.
4) Loudness? This speaker can get loud. Loud enough for a row of town houses, loud enough for the you and your neighbours 
5) When you get the combo going, it really gets going. I'm talking right room placement, right tracks, it's many steps up the audiophile ladder.

5 not so goods

1) Using the default box speaker placement works, but you won't get most from them
2) Best I've ever heard them? 1.8 off side walls, 1.8 apart, at least 3 meters into the room and with loads of space behind me. I'm talking large open plan. That's when they were super audiophile in presentation. Don't get me wrong, you can get away with having these speakers pretty much anywhere - just know you can keep pushing the performance due to the design with good placement
3) Repairs and support. Never got on well with the manufacturer or the dealer. I had problems with my "new ones" turns out they were from the first series of 1800's he ever made and the dealer had them in his living room.
4) No slam, just doens't do it. Look the bass is good. But it's doesn't compete the something like the RF7 iii (In fact, these haven't got the slam they reputation gives them online either)
5) Not the best WAF for a few reasons, mostly placement demands, height ect. But that height gives you 2 horizontal planes - one for standing, one for listening, and the amalgamation at right distances giving you the "huge sound stage" that no speaker I've heard can reproduce. 

Reason why I'm keeping them?

Missus has certain Elton John albums, folk albums and stuff that she can fade away into the ambiance with. Only speaker she's ever said "I'm not sure what it is about the song? Is it the recording? Is it Tidal? is it the speakers? I just want to listen to this on the Ambiance" And then I have to set the buggers up.

Like other members, i'd love to get parts and do a semi resto or upgrade before they're gone. It a lofty dream of mine to one day have the Grand References, that's how much I like these speakers.

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Has anyone found a source for repairs or spares? Got a buzz in a ribbon, life is not good!

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19 hours ago, Ooogh said:

Has anyone found a source for repairs or spares? Got a buzz in a ribbon, life is not good!


Hey mate, 

Maybe reach out to the folks over in Perth that make ESL speakers. Something I've been looking at with a bit of interest.

http://www.eraudio.com.au/index.html

 

They do kits and what not and I'm sure they've got the noodle upstairs to fix anything. Fingers crossed

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3 hours ago, StereoLepi said:


Hey mate, 

Maybe reach out to the folks over in Perth that make ESL speakers. Something I've been looking at with a bit of interest.

http://www.eraudio.com.au/index.html

 

They do kits and what not and I'm sure they've got the noodle upstairs to fix anything. Fingers crossed

Cheers mate. I have the feelers out to Tony via his old email and Rage Audio who used to service them . If I have no joy I will drop these boys a line. Worth knowing if I ever travel down the ESL road.....

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Is Trevor/Rage Audio still operating.

 

Looks like several local speaker manufacturers have retired or about to retire 

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1 hour ago, AudioGeek said:

Is Trevor/Rage Audio still operating.

 

Looks like several local speaker manufacturers have retired or about to retire 

We will know soon enough, I certainly hope  he is still active. Always a great loss when a life time of experience retires. Hopefully there are young replacements coming along.  So many of those with real dedication tend to be one man shows, the sheer economics probably often dictate this situation but it also means no one has been handed down their knowledge.

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15 hours ago, Ooogh said:

We will know soon enough, I certainly hope  he is still active. Always a great loss when a life time of experience retires. Hopefully there are young replacements coming along.  So many of those with real dedication tend to be one man shows, the sheer economics probably often dictate this situation but it also means no one has been handed down their knowledge.

I asked about how I could continue to improve on the design and got shot down. So I think they're quite happy to take it all to the grave. I've never heard Martin Logans, but I would be willing to bet that the trade off for Aussie character for a panel that doesn't care if its wet, touched and can house multiple woofer designs by intention (And not just one of specials) is where people will be going to next. 

I do remember reading about the ribbon design in a cheap book which is online - can't find it now though. But all the information is out there somewhere.

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My reply is about ongoing service, not how they sound.

I Googled Ambience Lake Bunga Vic  & came up with the attached White Pages listing. Searching White Pages directly did not reveal the same info.

 

You could write to that address and see if you get a reply. An approach to Red Gum Amplifiers might throw some light on ongoing service, repairs & spares as they had a significant business relationship with Tony.

 

In 2017 Tony was quite helpful with questions about my Slimline 1800 speakers, given that they no longer had their serial number labels. Mine turned out to be after 1998 & before 2005 as they don’t have removable grill cloths.

 

It will be good if Tony has or will impart his ribbon technology experience to someone qualified & prepared to provide ongoing support. Red Gum seem to be a logical choice, but that’s just wisful thinking. 

DF15B06C-850B-4FA6-A7CA-8F7A0A31016E.png

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Greg of Osborn Speakers may be able to assist.

Maybe @frednork?

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Sorry, don't have any info more than what is here already. Could try Greg I guess.

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maybe we can get the threads merged..

 

 

 

Tony is still contactable and is still doing spares 

 

info AT ambiencespeakers.com.au 

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