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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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