Hello fellow audiogoners. I have been given an opportunity to acquire these few active speakers at great prices. Three pairs of different speakers that only vary a couple of thousand dollars between each other. First there's the Pass Labs Rushmore brand new in box. Then there's the Linn Klimax 350A store demos. And the ATC Anniversary 50s store demos. Obviously the first two pairs of speakers listed have a distinct edge over the ATC in terms of bargain pricing. But which one should I choose? They are all so alike in terms of their product philosophy, being very dynamic, low distortion and accurate. I am building a system from scratch so system synergy is a non issue. Your inputs will be great appreciated! Cheers Alexander
ATC SCM 50 is a classic that has withstood the test of time but it won't win a beauty contest and it is not rare - it will hold it's used value well (assuming you get a good "demo' or used price).
The other two speakers are more elegant and are likely to remain rare - so perhaps more pride of ownership in terms of possessing a unique speaker. Will they withstand the test of time - who knows - very little does in audio.
Since I have not heard the Linn or the Pass Labs, I cannot comment on the sound quality. I have no doubt that they are extremely good.
I did have a chance to hear the Rushmore in a very large room, at least 20x25. I was offered a good price, but I walked away because I simply did not hear one thing I like. Muddy bass and lacking detail. It could be the room, but I did move around the room enough as well as move the speakers to see if room node was clouding up the sound. Tonal balance did not change, it was warm, dark, and muddy.
In the same room, same setup, we switched to Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario. Viola, music was back and toes were tapping.
Probably easy to guess, I did not buy the Rushmore. I spoke to Pass extensively before auditioning the speakers, they honestly told me they have sold very few pairs especially in US. Total made were either 100 or 200 pairs worldwide and mostly sold outside US.
Thanks for the input guys. I certainly wouldn't imagine the Rushmores would be dark and muddy. They have ribbon tweeters after all. To be honest I have no experiences with any of them aside from the ATCs. I would imagine the Linn sound to be close to the ATCs though since Linn used to master their CDs using the ATCs. And the Linns having dome midrange ensembles, you would think that they are similar to ATCs but with much better top end extension with their supertweeters and all. I am now currently trying to bargain on the price of the ATCs. Hope the dealer will give me a good deal.
Dome midranges are not all equal. ATC and PMC versions use a double spider to avoid rocking. There is a cheap version from Vifa of a 3 inch dome and it is used in the Beolab 5. The Vifa dome is not at all in the same class as what ATC and PMC use (massive magnets short coils in large gap and double spiders)...so I'd advise to double check whose dome midrange is used in the Linn's. (It should be outstanding given the price of these sepakers but probably worth checking first - the Beolab 5's are not cheap either)
The vifa dome also appears to be used in lower end PMC models. The problem is the precision engineering and high cost to build a high quality dome. Most domes that are larger than 2 inch do not work that well and one would be better off with a regular cone (a cone is supported both by the spider and the surround and therefore is better suited to maintaining alignment - domes also break up more easily and therefore require sharper crossover filters than most cones)
I have not heard the ATC dome, but I did own Dynaudio Confidence 5 for years which employed their best 2" midrange dome.
Midrange was incredible, very life like and detail. micro dynamic was superb. what I didn't like was image lack density and focus. could be the speaker box design, could be the flat face of dome midrange. I would image ATC horn like surround would improve both efficiency and image focus, but that's pure speculation.
I have heard lesser midrange domes, they just don't sound as convincing as Dynaudio Esotar midrange dome.
Okay now that I have settled on what speakers to choose - I have chosen the Linn Klimax 350A.
I am facing another problem. So I placed a deposit for them to have the dealer hold it for me till June but I backed out of it in like 24 hrs because I found a much better deal somewhere else. He said okay to the refund initially then he started saying that the other buyer backed out and decided to hold on to my deposit. Well so he claims because previously I asked about the Komris he has on sale and he was like oh someone offered me more than I was offering him and then he offered me the Klimax, and then he decided not to sell the Komris. Now he says he will only let go of the deposit till he finds a buyer. What are your opinions on this? I was deeply apologetic to him that I changed my mind but he started saying that it's a contractual agreement that I buy from him but he is not holding it against me etc... But thought it is fair to hold on to my deposit. He kinda sound desperate for money though. PS. He is an official dealer, I checked that up.
Also to add, the cooling off rule states that I get three days to change my mind about the purchase. Which i think is pretty standard because whenever I places orders for a large purchase, I will have to sign that agreement. And FYI. I have not signed any contract. He seemed to be regarding this like a house purchase I dunno... Like if I agree to buy it I am tied down. If he has other items for sale that I need, I would have totally got them from him. Because i feel bad. But.... now I fee like a pushover. It's only $2300 deposit - small price to pay for a lifelong lesson. I really need your opinions on this. Am I being immoral or ammoral to back out of the deal because I find a way better bargain somewhere else for the exact same thing?
If you gave him a verbal with no deposit, then backing out would only discredit you as a person and your word. Ultimately your conscience has to reconcile that. However, you gave him a deposit and your word. That is different. In some ways (and I don't have all the facts) that could be construed as contractual. If there is a "cooling off" rule (one that is clearly stated in writing, or if verbal can be legally enforced) that allows you to change your mind and you exercised it within the appropriate time frame, then I'm not sure what the problem is. He should give your deposit back.
There are two sides to every story and the truth almost always lies in the middle.
A deposit is your commitment for the dealer to hold an item for you. The dealer is within his/her right to keep it and offer you nothing else in exchange (unless you agreed differently up front). The fact the dealer agrees to sell you something else instead is actually a pretty reasonable offer. If the dealer returns your deposit then he/she is bending over backwards to be nice, IMHO.
If you demoed the product at that dealer and used a lot of his time, then you owe him something for that service. It's wrong to price shop AFTER you have used his services to make your selection. On the other hand, I would tell him you want to buy from him, but his price is way out of line and see if he can at least get closer to the competitors price. And yes, he can keep your deposit, but if it's only been a few days, it's a bit petty on his part.
And I am not even sure about his other buyer backing off. See he was telling me about his other buyers interested in getting the Komris from him when I wanted to put a lower offer for the Komris and when I expressed my interest in the Klimaxes, he took off his ad for the Komris. So basically I think that was his sales strategy. Well I wasn't exactly price shopping, I saw a better pair of Klimaxes that have the latest Dynamik upgrade and a better finish in a colour that I would like better and at the same price. Yeah I felt bad so I am perfectly fine with him keeping my deposit as long as he likes. But really I don't see how it will help him make the sale of the speakers better. What I don't like is that he started sending me hate mails after I told him that I am going to check out the laws regarding this sale. I wasn't threatening him but just wanted to be thorough. BTW I am only 22 so I don't have much experiences regarding this kinds of issues. I called the Federal Consumer Protection department and they thought that my case perfectly fits into the "Cooling off period law". Another thing you should know that he pushed me into making a decision like oh the speakers will be unavailable to you on Tuesday because he has another buyer - I wired the money on Wednesday and called it off on Thursday. I should have known that it was his simple sales technique. How many of you guys believe what he said though? And was he right to say he will refund and later said he would keep the deposit? And does he have the right to force me into purchasing the speakers like he said he would if I "pushed" him?
"Cooling off law" is a law enforced by the US regarding sales like this and not by individuals. He didn't have me sign anything regarding the terms of purchase, which I really should have asked for since it was a big purchase. Because as you know those receipts must protect both the customer and the seller. He didn't allow me to exchange for anything, what I meant was if he carried other items of any value to me, I would have bought them.
I saw this thread a bit late. FWIW I have owned the Rushmore's for a few years now. If I had the space, I would buy another set for surround. They are that good!
Just that the problem with active speakers is that they tend to be ultra transparent to anything up the chain so what you may be hearing are usually colorations upstream. As true full range speakers, they need to be matched properly with the room...(definitely not hotel rooms) but get them right with the best upstream components (the Pass preamps don't match it as well as the better valves) , and you will be having Ella Fitzgerald in your living room.
Thanks Kamil for your input. How do the Rushmores compare to other speakers? Haven't heard back from the Linn dealer in UK yet. Yeah... The latest version of the Klimaxes flown in is actually the same price as the old version with a cheaper finish. Rushmore's are being sold at a very decent price. How big are they BTW? They are sold as new at a great price but I worry about repairs etc as they are already phased out.
Alexander, the Rushmore dimensions are probably still available at the Pass website.... but they are extra heavy as they use granite baffles! If not, please PM me and I can send you the PDF brochure and manual, or anything else you may need to know.
As for repairs, Pass have a good reputation for keeping parts for their older models but mine have been very reliable.