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n.litzow

Proac Studio 100

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Hello everyone,

 

I am looking to buy my first set of serious bookshelf speakers to go in a 10m x 3.6m x 3m quite dead open-plan space (long axis). I am not allowed floor standers because females. Amplifier is Rotel RA-1520 and source is computer via Apogee Duet 2 or Pro-ject DAC box. Music is wide ranging; classical, jazz, blues, electronica, rock, modern pop.

 

I was hoping to get some opinions as to whether the Proac Studio 100 bookshelves would be a good choice. I am very keen on getting something that sounds as neutral/transparent as possible while still being pleasant to listen to. I have heard good reports about these in terms of sound and build quality.

 

I am planning on auditioning these in the near future with my amp and source, however, I'd like to gather as much information as possible prior to then to help inform my decision.

 

Any alternative suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have also heard the Monitor Audio GX100s and KEF LS50s through store amps and really liked both (though I'm worried the KEFs will be a bit small for the space).

 

Many thanks in advance!

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Hate to give you one of those replies... but you're best to take you amp in store for a proper listen.  Keep in mind, your room size will be quite different than any audition room, and will most likely sound very different.  Would a home trial be possible?

 

The LS50's are very neutral, incredibly accurate, pin point sound staging with a lovely bass given their size.  Build quality is outstanding, they are dense like no other speaker I've seen, solid as a rock.  I personally find them a touch bright and fatiguing, but monitors do that to me.  They have a huge following already for good reason.

 

The Studio 100's I'm not too familiar with, but knowing ProAc are possibly slightly warmer & a more musical speaker.  ProAc make gorgeous speakers and very easy on the ears.

 

Other options to look at could be the Harbeth P3 ESR and or Spendor SA1's.  Haven't heard the GX100's sorry.

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The Proacs will sound great. I've heard the Studio 100s and like them. To be honest, I've never heard a Proac speaker that I didn't like. 

 

60 watts should drive them fine and they're a great sounding speaker that'll last you through a few front end and amplification upgrades, if you are so inclined. They'll also hold their resale value reasonably well, especially if you can pick up a second hand pair. 

 

Even in such a large room don't rule out a second hand pair of Proac Response 1SC. They come up from time to time in the $1,200 - $1,300 price range, are a wonderful speaker that will fill a decent sized room and are dead easy to re-sell when you convince the missus that floor standers don't take up more space than a bookshelf on a stand anyway!  They have a lower frequency response that either the KEF or the Monitor Audios that you say you liked. Once you get into the Response range with Proac I don't believe there is much that compete dollar for dollar. 

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As you are in Melbourne, why not contact Greg Osborn of Osborn Speakers and audition a pair of his Eos standmounts with your own amp/source? I used to own ProAc for over 25 years and loved them, but found the Osborns provided a bigger sound-stage and, depending on the models, more transparency and detail. And great value for money. 

 

As everyone on this site will tell you, trust your own ears when it comes to handing out your own money.

 

Have fun!

 

http://www.osbornloudspeakers.com.au/

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I agree entirely with Gemini's suggestion as well. 

 

Just be warned... I bought my first pair of "serious" speakers from Greg and they lead to a very serious addiction... it's a slippery slope, but they're the most fun ones to slide down! :)  

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As you are in Melbourne, why not contact Greg Osborn of Osborn Speakers and audition a pair of his Eos standmounts with your own amp/source? I used to own ProAc for over 25 years and loved them, but found the Osborns provided a bigger sound-stage and, depending on the models, more transparency and detail. And great value for money. 

 

As everyone on this site will tell you, trust your own ears when it comes to handing out your own money.

 

Have fun!

 

http://www.osbornloudspeakers.com.au/

I just had a long look at the Osborn site and sent them an email. The EOS speakers look excellent. Great specs especially the 91dB sensitivity. I noticed that they are 4ohm though. Would this be a problem for the Rotel amp? I've only been looking at 8ohm speakers so far.

Anyway, I'll be aiming to definitely give these a listen before making a final decision.

Thanks everyone for the advice! Much appreciated.

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Ask Greg about the amp... you'll have a charming little Consonance EL34 one before you know it. ;)

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Ask Greg about the amp... you'll have a charming little Consonance EL34 one before you know it. ;)

 

Funny you should say that, he's already commented on my amp being not quite up to snuff... ;)

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And the truth may well be that he's right....

 

But by taking your own gear along, you get to appreciate differences with a variety of equipment you might never have heard before. The contrast between solid state and tube amplification can be quite a shock if you haven't experienced it. Greg is full of charming anecdotes and no doubt he will entertain you with many of them.  :)

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And the truth may well be that he's right....

 

But by taking your own gear along, you get to appreciate differences with a variety of equipment you might never have heard before. The contrast between solid state and tube amplification can be quite a shock if you haven't experienced it. Greg is full of charming anecdotes and no doubt he will entertain you with many of them.  :)

I'll be going there in a couple of days. Will definitely be taking my gear. Looking forward to it!

I've been having a look over the subs too. Anyone have any experience with the T12? (especially paired with the EOS) I'm keen to add a sub to my baby system at some stage in the future...

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the Osborn is pretty good speakers, perhaps different character than the Proac.

 

if you like warm sound, Proac is prob better choice (those vintage scan mids are really good also btw and prob have better bass too!) but if you like transparency then the osborn's perhaps better than the Proac (focal based drivers)

 

one note though, those Proac is better with bigger amp.

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Both very good speakers... you'll take a bath on resale with the Osborns though, if that's a factor. 

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After your listen, if you like the signature ProAc sound and need to keep to the bookshelf speaker format, consider the ProAc Tablette Reference 8 (TR8) or even the 1SC clones.  All have that elusive, but all important, WAF.  ;)

 

http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/40845-proac-1s-clones-ze-clones-have-landed/

 

 

I have a similar open plan listening room - a lounge room that flows across a thoroughfare and into a dining room.  My listening position is at approximately 3.5 [m] from the speakers.  It is surprising what the little stand mounts are able to do with accurate placement.

 

 

BTW - Reading the OP, do you intend to install the speakers on stands or on a "bookshelf" /  wall unit?  

 

Edited by MultiplexMan

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Edit: Resubmitted below, with quotes.

Edited by n.litzow

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the Osborn is pretty good speakers, perhaps different character than the Proac.

 

if you like warm sound, Proac is prob better choice (those vintage scan mids are really good also btw and prob have better bass too!) but if you like transparency then the osborn's perhaps better than the Proac (focal based drivers)

 

one note though, those Proac is better with bigger amp.

 

henry218: Transparency is definitely the priority, so I guess another vote for the Osborn's?

 

 

Both very good speakers... you'll take a bath on resale with the Osborns though, if that's a factor. 

 

alistairm: Take a bath? I've not heard that expression before! You mean that the Osborn's will have poor resale value because they are not well-known?

 

 

After your listen, if you like the signature ProAc sound and need to keep to the bookshelf speaker format, consider the ProAc Tablette Reference 8 (TR8) or even the 1SC clones.  All have that elusive, but all important, WAF.  ;)

 

http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/40845-proac-1s-clones-ze-clones-have-landed/

 

 

I have a similar open plan listening room - a lounge room that flows across a thoroughfare and into a dining room.  My listening position is at approximately 3.5 [m] from the speakers.  It is surprising what the little stand mounts are able to do with accurate placement.

 

 

BTW - Reading the OP, do you intend to install the speakers on stands or on a "bookshelf" /  wall unit?  

 

 

 

MultiplexMan:  Thanks for the suggestions! I'll be having the speakers on two heavy pieces of furniture at chest-height at this stage. I'm living in a share house so can't achieve exactly what I want at the moment. The long term plan is that I'll upgrade to floorstanders for the main room and these bookshelf speakers will be the secondary ("nice") monitors for a small project studio (with the primary monitors being a "nasty" NS-10 type).

 

Thanks so much for the input everyone. I'm feeling paralysed with indecision. I guess I just have to listen to them now which will be happening tomorrow and the day after.

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yep, you have to hear them first. but transparency affected by many factors so take consideration of your listening setup and condition to get a better picture of the sound.

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Both very good speakers... you'll take a bath on resale with the Osborns though, if that's a factor. 

 

What I think Alistair means is that you'll get a lower proportionate trade-in for your Osborns if/when you want to let them go, simply because they are not a 'name' brand. They are quite well known here in Oz amongst audiophiles, but not as broadly known as the more publicised names in glossy magazines. On the other hand, they (and other Australian manufacturers in the 'cottage' industry environment) are able to produce genuinely good equipment at a fraction of the comparative cost due to their reduced overheads and fewer middlemen. Other examples include Lenehan, Redgum, Aurealis etc etc.

 

Again, let your ears be the judge.

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It's come to my attention that the Spiral Groove Studio One/Anima might be available in Melbourne.

http://spiralgroovestudiomonitors.bigcartel.com/product/spiral-groove-studio-one

These are spoken about glowingly in the gearslutz forums.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/product-alerts-older-than-2-months/727872-spiral-groove.html

Anyone heard these? Reckon it might be worth holding off until I've heard them?

Thanks as always for the valuable advice.

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It's come to my attention that the Spiral Groove Studio One/Anima might be available in Melbourne.

http://spiralgroovestudiomonitors.bigcartel.com/product/spiral-groove-studio-one

These are spoken about glowingly in the gearslutz forums.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/product-alerts-older-than-2-months/727872-spiral-groove.html

Anyone heard these? Reckon it might be worth holding off until I've heard them?

Thanks as always for the valuable advice.

its designed by Joachim Gerhard, he's basically one of the most accomplished speakers designer in the world. great guy too! Edited by henry218

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And the truth may well be that he's right....

 

But by taking your own gear along, you get to appreciate differences with a variety of equipment you might never have heard before. The contrast between solid state and tube amplification can be quite a shock if you haven't experienced it. Greg is full of charming anecdotes and no doubt he will entertain you with many of them.  :)

 

For anyone who's interested, I have ended up with a pair of the Osborn Eos. It was not a hard decision in the end. They sounded the best and were also the cheapest. So Gemini07 and Alistairm I'm extremely grateful to you both for getting me onto them.

 

To my ears, the Eos sound just excellent. Very transparent with crisp, even low end and clear, detailed highs. They sounded better than the more expensive speakers I had been testing and MUCH better than other speakers in the same price bracket. Having said that, I did really enjoy the Monitor Audio GX100s, KEF LS50s and the ProAc Studio 100s which I think are all fantastic speakers. I did find the ProAcs a little lacking on the top end but that could just have been the character of my amp coming through (Rotel RA-1520). If not for the Eos I would have ended up with the GX100s. I was interested in hearing the Spiral Grooves but I didn't have much luck in trying to organise a demo.

 

I spent a very pleasant afternoon at Greg's while he showed me numerous permutations, the sound of, course, growing ever more impressive as he substituted more of my gear for his.  :P I was totally addicted to the sound of the Eos supplemented by a sub and running through a 35W Consonance valve amp. Sounded like a much bigger system. I have a strong feeling I will be picking up one of each eventually.

Finally, I heard the monuments, either side of two huge glowing tube monoblocks. Wow!

 

Thanks so much everyone for the advice, it was all taken on board. Cheers!  :party

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Cheers Nick - hope you enjoy your journey.

 

Did you end up with the standard Eos, or the Reference version? Is Greg still using the Focal Beryllium tweeter in the Reference or has he moved onto something else?

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Cheers Nick - hope you enjoy your journey.

 

Did you end up with the standard Eos, or the Reference version? Is Greg still using the Focal Beryllium tweeter in the Reference or has he moved onto something else?

 

I went for the standards. In the end, I felt I was better off putting the money towards the amp/sub.

 

He did talk about the tweeter in the reference. He talked about many, many things though and I'm having a bit of trouble remembering exactly. I think he is using a different tweeter now because he pointed it out to me alongside a broken Beryllium (the magnet sucked an Allan key straight through the dome - oops!). I'm not 100% sure though, sorry.

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