I have never heard these speakers nor have I read a thorough review by a competent independent reviewer. The only concern I would have to satisfy before I would consider a purchase is their claimed ability to deliver full bass (at realistic listening volumes). These are small boxes and I know of no reason why they should be any different in that regard than other small boxes. If deep bass is important to you I'd want to listen to them first, or be prepared to integrate them with a sub.
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The speaker is excellent. The only problem is that we are having trouble keeping up with demand. Right now we are out of speakers and stands. Srajan at 6moons got the last pair out of this production run for the upcoming review.
This is a complex speaker and is difficult to manufacture. We don't just "pop them out of the oven". They might look simple, but they are hard to make. The one-piece cabinet construction is very demanding, and the piano black finish takes time, and the stands are very very hard to manufacture.
There is already a waiting period for the next production run. There is a strong possibility of 2 different versions of stands now, so that we can streamline the production. The "wrought iron" looking stand is super hard to make. They will be available, but there could be some pricing adjustments, based on the stands.
We're doing the best we can. We designed for best sound, but unfortunately not the ideal ease of manufacturability, so we can't produce them like cookies. Sound quality took precedence over ease of manufacture. We wanted only the best. This means we can't make them as fast as other designs could have been made. They are all individually hand-made right here in the US, by our factory people, with alot of care and workmanship. We have a very high threshold of quality control, and rejection and re-doing takes place if it is not perfect. This takes time.
It's a very strong contender, and at a reasonable price, but there will be a wait for them, at least in the short term. Virtually every pair out there has replaced very high end floorstanders(some costing 10 times the price of the Caravelle, with very well-known and respected names), and a few top quality monitors. The bass is probably the benchmark of depth and quality for monitor speakers, and rivals or beats many floorstanders. But even though the bass gets alot of the talk, it is the sound quality of the rest of the spectrum that is the true mark of this speaker. It produces a very lifelike sound with great ease, and has large soundstage, disappears completely, and images fantastically.
At this point, it is a "boutique" product, and the attendant waiting periods for such items exist. It's not a mass produced item.
We're working on the issue. With the demand I see right now for these speakers, it's likely that they will be in a back-ordered situation for awhile. We'll probably have to make some kind of ordering lineup, and ship in that order when we have completed units.
Basically, we're not Sony or Phillips with huge production facilities, and we are a relatively small high-end company with a line of very well made products. In the case of the Caravelle, we can't make them fast enough right now to meet this kind of demand.
If you are interested, please call me or email me to discuss getting on the list.
I wish I had a thousand Caravelles in the back room right now. But I don't.
It is certainly possible to get very low bass (SW range) out of a small box. I happen to have a set of Dynaudio Gemini speakers which are MTM configuration using woofers with cones that are only 3.75 inches in diameter. (The voice coils are 3 inches, so these drivers have power for their size). With moderate equalization they go to 20 Hz, which I would not believe if I had not measured it. What they will not do is pump out high, or even moderate SPL with this kind of LF extension. There simply is not enough cone area.
If you do not listen at high volume I would have no doubts, relating to size, that the LF performance of the Caravelles will satisfy you.
For the money, I would check out the new Gallo Nucleus Reference 3, it's been getting rave reviews. I've listened to it at my local dealer and can't believe that they cost only $2500.
Most should be very happy with the bass from the Caravelles. I have never heard a speaker of this size, put out such prodigious bass, with slam, extension and speed as the Caravelles. Man, am I glad I purchased these babies last year. I knew this was going to be the case when others got an earful. You won't regret spending the $5k. The Caravelles can go tete a tete with speakers costing much more. As far as a "competent independent reviewer?" I'm sure Srajan, from 6moons will write a more cogent, detailed, review than my own. Bottom line? He's going to say what I heard; just a hellava lot more eloquently. Guarenteed!! peace, warren
I wrote an extensive review of the Caravelle after living with my friend's pair in my listening room for three weeks. Does the bass outdo my Wilson MAXX? In my room where the MAXX's 10 and 12 inch woofers can't open up because the room is too small, yes, they did by a big margin. When I added a subwoofer, it was perfect...the bass was still more articulate and deeper than my MAXX. This speaker is for real...it is mind boggling how good they sound with solid state and tube equipment. I have had long sessions with my Krell and my friend's VAC. Excellent in both cases. By the way, the bass that is there without the subwoofer is down to 35-40 hertz and is very dynamic, detailed and enjoyable. Check them out for yourself, you'll be a believer. The comment about the Gallo Reference 3 I appreciate as I listend to them a long time at the Stereophile show in San Francisco in 2003. For $2500 it is a very good speaker, but not nearly as refined and musical as the Caravelle.
Dan, the only dealer with a set of Caravelles available for audition(that I know of) might be Tom Devuono(a.k.a. theaudiotweak) in Louisville, Ky. Tom has had a number of pairs of Caravelles go out through his doors recently. He's been a very good dealer for us for a while now, and is a good all around guy.
We do most of our business by internet sales, and we have very few dealers.
Another option would be to hook up with one of the fellows who posted reviews, and maybe one of them will be close to your location, and be willing to provide an audition for you.
Also, we expect to be in Denver again for the Denver Audio Fest, so that will likely be the next public show event where the Caravelles will be shown/demoed.
Srajan at 6moons will be receiving his pair for testing probably next week for his upcoming review also. Stay tuned. There is also a new little blurb up on 6moons about our company and the upcoming Caravelle review, that Srajan has recently uploaded.
4 Alternatives to Caravelles, these speakers are not "better" but are subjective alternatives to the Caravelles. Funny how many of these speakers will be difficult to find to audition too.
ATC SCM-20 -2, will play louder with more precision and focus than the Caravelles, depending on the amplifier the Caravelles will give a fuller bass but not better dynamics. The ATC's may be too detailed for some and do not throw a big image.
Meyer HD-1, some may find this speaker a bit to precise and detailed, but this speaker clearly out does any of the speakers on this list when it comes to bass and dynamics. This speaker is superb in everyway. Its more expensive too, but since it is powered I felt it could stay in the game.
Dynaudio 25; again a very competitive speaker probably the easiest to find of all the speakers mentioned here. If your dealer can actually choose the right amplification to demo it with, you will have a speaker with a slightly darker sound than the Caravelles, which might be to your tastes.
The Caravelle's are good enough that everyone should like them. They do the play the music, they do cater to the audiophile a bit which is why they scored mediocre on the Megadeth and "I feel free" test. but since is their target audience, audiophiles, they were more than acceptable.
If you had all 4 speakers above in the same room not only would it be a great deal of fun, you might find yourself switching favorites one CD to the next. Because each speaker has its strength and character that will let it shine over the others under certain conditions.
To be less vague, but if you interests in music mainly lie in the Jazz and classical ensemble range this is where the Caravelles shine in my opinion.
The powered speakers are better at the larger scale music, as they remain better focused when the music get complex or hard driving (heavy metal and rock)
I am a dealer for Meyer and ATC, I evaluated a customers Caravelles in his room with the ATC 20's and the Dali Helicon 400's to compare.
The Caravelles are excellent, I would consider being a dealer if they began to focus more multi-channel which most of my clients buy.
Cinematic systems.I have recently sold and installed a AV system consisting of 3 Caravelles across the front with a pair of the new stands..The center stand is a variation of the new and the standard speaker stand..It had to be so as the top of the speaker was below the front projected video image..My biggest fear was the new stands,they are very unique in style..These new final prototype stands were intended to be for my audition so I never got to listen to their breakin period or the overall benefits to my own pair of Caravelles in my listening room..My client who wants the best and demands the look loved how the stands fit into their gothic like cellar area of stone and mahogany. The theater itself was of much mahogany with raised panels and beams. The sides and rears were to be Caravelles as well but it was decided they would intrude to much on the walk ways to the seating area..James Loudspeakers provided us with a model that is only 5.5 in. in depth and was finished to match the the Caravelles and the 2 matching James EMB12's..It all looked wonderfull together and blended and intergrated so as to disappear..The James subs are super fast and have the least amount of spurious cabinet noise I have ever not heard. My room at home is 21by 27 by 9..The Caravelles by themselves have faster more impactfull and tunefull bass than my previous Dunlavy SC4's..Tom, I am a dealer.
I own the Caravelle and it is all that it is cracked up to be. I have owned Maggies 3.6, Hales 5's, spendor sp-100's and Diapason Adamante - the Caravlle is for me my favorite. Feel free to email for more details as to why.
Pal, you will not be dissapointed, trust me on this one. They do NOT thin out in a big room, evidenced when I compared them to the Maxx at a friends house. Yes, they did sound better with a sub in the big room. They are incredibly musical, dynamic and image and dissapear and throw a soundstage. I have heard the Dyn's 25's and the Gallo's - both fine speakers, but I wouldn't trade my Caravelle's for them. You can try them and I beleive get your money back if you don't like them..but I have a feeling you will be keeping them. Pull them out from the back wall, let them breathe. The soundtage is awesome.
I was considering a more expensive speaker to move into a new house with a bigger listening room, but after hearing them in a bigger room at my friends house, I am keeping the Caravelles.
these were the first speakers i heard when i visited the rmaf. both me and my buddy immediately looked at each other, as if to say, there is going to be some mind-boggling gob-smacking good stuff here today! and there was. but the impression that the caravelles left on me has remained to this day. they were like a europa on steroids.
i like paper or carbon woofers, and the caravelle's i believe are plastic. the tweeter is metal and i usually prefer silk or a ribbon. yet these speakers demonstrated to me that it is not so much what it is made of, but what is made of it. they positively reeked of quality and competence through and through. i would have loved to have heard them played with tube amplification, because the sound was a little sterile and could have been juicier. a turntable could only have helped matters.
to get an idea of my taste, (i did not get to hear every speaker at the show), i also liked the gm research av3 speakers and the bastanis prometheus. i also liked very much the treatment of us by the reps of harmonic technology. we came right out and said that we could not afford this equipment, but they were very nice anyway. these were serious stereo people, as serious as any of the japanese. and that is saying alot. my highest recommendation.
Thanks to everyone for your input. Good chance I will be ordering a pair this week. I will only be left with about $1500 to $1900 for an amplifier(used). I can get a better amp in about a year. I have a Gryphon Tabu pre which is pretty good. I also have a Resolution Audio Opus 21 cdp on the way. Can anyone suggest a good amp in my price range?
Hey Pal, please give the Caravelle a good 400 hours of break in and then let us all know if we were full of...or if we all heard the same fantastic sound. You are going to love this speaker. Get them out from the walls so they can breath their magic and brace yourself for an engaging, mind boggling, musical experience.
Pal, Hifimaniac's recommendation for Caravelle break-in is right on. However, they will sound spectacular (they will be 90%+ there) at 200 hours. The next 200 hrs are a delicate refining, if you will-- allowing subtle, lovely nuances to blossom. Like fine wine aging. Get on that Caravelle list. I hope you see a pair before Christmas..lol...just fool'n ya. enjoy...
BTW, I was listening to hours of instrumental and vocal jazz in front of the fireplace today with my wife. What does that mean? Volume real low. I thought of your question, again, about playing at low volume. No problem. Lovely, delicate and detailed, up and down. I get all tingly, sometimes. Can't believe what I'm hearing....
Geez, in front of the fireplace! Are you crazy, brah. It's 82 degrees outside. Well, at least it is here on Maui !
You were the first that I remember singing the praises of the Caravelles (a bit too often I might add :), but it seems from the response of many others that you were right on the money.
Happy listening and have fun in front of the fireplace with your two tweeters. ;)
Well I purchased the Caravelles today. Talked with Robert for about an hour and a half. He was very informative and assured me if I had any problem within 30 days he would have no problem taking them back. From everyones comments I really doubt that I will be taking him up on that. Now all I have to do is get an amp for them and I will be set. Thanks to all for your input. I can't wait to hear them!
Pal I will be glad to help in any way I can with advice on setup, breakin, room acoustics etc with your system with these new speakers..I had the original prototypes in my room for 6 months and that was over 3 years ago..The final version that you will be receiving I have had for over a year..I feel that any owner of the Caravelle's would be glad to offer any help if requested..Tom..I am a dealer
Claims of bass better than a Wilson Maxx or a Dunlavy IV from a small box? Overall better than Maggies and my beloved Spendors? Am I really to believe these statements?
First, let's look at who's making these claims. Members with names like "maniac" and "tweak". Second, have you noticed that none of the people touting the Caravelles have been Audiogon members before 1999. Hmm, they're all relative newbies (not proof, but a possible sign of a conspiracy). Warrenh doesn't even have a 1,000 posts yet!
In order to settle these issues I challenge Harmonic Precision to give and me and 100 other skeptical music lovers/audiophiles just like me a free 6 month in home audition with their speaker. At the end of the trail period each skeptic can give a simple "thumbs up/thumbs down" verdict. To insure the integrity of the process I suggest the ABC reporter John Stossel oversee the process and the results be publish in the Journal Science for peer review. HP, are you up to the challenge?
From our website:
Frequency Response: 35 – 25,000 Hz +/- 1.5 dB
Impedance: 7 ohms
Efficiency: 89 dB
Dimensions: 9.5 W x 13 D x 16.5 H
Weight: 50 pounds each
Tweeter: One inch magnesium/aluminum (hard) dome
Woofer: Seven inch long throw Polypropylene™ cone / butyl surround with short circuit ring protection
Enclosure: Optimized Hybrid Transmission Line/Reflex Port Moulded Enclosure, 0.75 inch Poured Material™, 1.5 inch front baffle, Micro-Bearing Conductive Steel© distributed throughout rear baffle
Crossover: True Series© First Order @ 2475 Hz
Sistrum Support Platform: advanced profile employing direct attachment to Caravelle with added leveling feature located atop the Platform
Warranty: 5 years parts and labor from the date of purchase
Specifications are subject to change without notice
Newbee, due to the "True Series First Order" crossover network design employed in the Caravelles, the system impedance remains quite flat between 7 ohms and 11 ohms throughout the entire range. This is a characteristic of the first order series crossover design. I received this information directly from the Caravelle's designer on the phone, just now.
It remains at an effectively flat 7 ohm level up until the areas above 11-12KHz, and has a slow linear rise as it progresses upwards in frequency to the 25kHz area where it reaches 11 ohms. There are no "wild" impedance changes anywhere in the curve, so that it is very easy on amplifiers of all types. Even some tube amps with higher output impedances will not be adversely affected, because of the very stable non-reactive nature of this speaker system's impedance curve.
The first order series network has alot of advantages in sonics and in matching applications with amplifiers. Some of the potential drawbacks are that back-EMF is more possible to occur with series crossovers, and that the tweeter is potentially subjected to higher power levels because it is operating in a first-order filter(shallower slope), at lower frequencies than higher-order(steeper slope) crossovers would permit. These potential drawbacks will not be objectionable in most cases, and the advantages of time alignment and correct transient behavior, as well as the superior flatness of the response and impedance curves will be far more important aspects to most users. Additionally, if there were any woofer-specific impedance changes that would potentially endanger the tweeter, the crossover frequency would automatically shift(sliding) upwards which provides additional protection for it. This is an inherent factor in series first-order designs, and is not any kind of "switching" mechanism. The crossover point just "slides" with any shifting impedances, and the amplitude response and impedance curves remain flat. The back-EMF issue is something that most amps have no difficulty dealing with, and should never be in issue, in practice. The main factor is the sound quality, which is very coherent and seamless in nature, fast in response, and open and natural in quality.
I hope that sufficiently answers your questions about the impedance of the Caravelles. Including "pros and cons".
Comparison with other box speakers is reasonable, although
the stunt suggested by Onhwy61 is over the top. On the other hand, no box speaker should be compared with planar or open baffle speakers because the spatial distribution characteristics are completely different, and may be preferred by some and disliked by others. I, for example, place high value on planar characteristics, and I am willing to accept their limited LF extension and the need for a powerful amplifier.
I have decided to take a chance on these speakers. I really do not care what kind of drivers they have or what the cabinets are made of. I listened to all the tech information that Robert told me about on the phone. It all sounds great, but the only thing I am interested in is the sound. The bottom line for me is I have 30 days to listen. If I do not think that the speakers are worth it, back they will go. I will only be out $100 shipping to me and half of that back to them. $150 total. Belive me, $5000 is a lot of money to me. I am currently on disability and have a fixed income. I sold my old system and am starting over. If these speakers are not awsome, I will not keep them. If they are what others owners are saying they are, I will have no problem paying their price. I warned Robert on the phone that I will tell it like it is. If I don't like the Carevelles, I will let people know. He said that he is not worried. The company seems very confident of their product. That was one of the reasons I thought I would give them a shot. We will see.
Star Sound does not have the financial capital of $500,000 in speaker inventory to loan out just to satisfy your curiosity. However, we do offer our 100% Total and Complete Satisfaction Guarantee which would permit 100 listening enthusiasts to sample the Caravelle within their own environment complemented by our money back return policy (less shipping charges).
We wish we could attract a personality like John Stossel to our hobby but in the meantime we could attain the opinions of Mr. James Harger, Audio Engineer from ABC, Inc. who first listened to the Caravelle at The Show in Las Vegas. He personally requested a pair of loudspeakers for his ABC studio in San Francisco. We can always request from Mr. Harger a written opinion on the performance of these monitors and would be happy to publish his findings for you – pass or fail.
If we had $500,000 to spend on Caravelle auditions, Star Sound in turn would rather build five listening rooms, install them into tractor trailers and schedule a free “Listen To This” tour exposing to all the colleges of the US and Canada just how satisfying the enjoyment for listening to music can be. Beyond any doubt, this program would increase the overall quantity of enthusiasts for our industry as the results of this endeavor would benefit all. There is one item that every Audiophile has in common with each other; we all remember the day we got “hooked”.
As always – Good Listening!
Star Sound Technologies, LLC
Twl as you know all the signal in a series crossover has to be played unlike a parallel crossover where some of the signal is dumped to ground..Seems to me that a parallel crossover with some of its signal dumped to ground, that unused signal would find its way back into the amplifier maybe as some kind of grunge or noise certainly as some out of phase aberation that may be passed along with the next waveform..Also most every parallel crossover designs have their components wired exclusively to the positive side only..leaving the amplifier dealing with a load that is unbalanced at the speaker end and no chance of ever working in symmetry. Tom
Theaudiotweak...In the basic parallel crossover no signal is "dumped to ground". In some cases a crossover may include a RLC network that damps woofer driver resonance, and this will shunt a very small proportion of power at a particular frequency. Also it is not all that unusual to find crossover components in the return leg...Magnepan MG1.6 are one example.
To lonelynote and others- Unless I miss my guess, Onhwy61 was "riffing" on the DK Integrated Amplifier marketing hype/Audiogon demo thing, where they solicited volunteers via Audigon, to do an in-home "review" to be published unedited, on-line. No one expects a small, high end co to dedicatee $0.5 million to such a promotion.
'Course, now that I say that, onhwy will come right back and insist that he was serious. But really, run a forum search on DK Design and you will read all about it.
onhwy61, In my review, I didn't say the Caravelle's alone had better bass than my MAXX, but the bass that was there was deep, full, dynamic and detailed for a 7 inch woofer, but bettered with a subwoofer. If you saw my pictures you will see I added a very moderately priced sub from Sunfire that reproduced better bass than my MAXX. I am not saying the MAXX doesn't have great bass with the right electronics and big enough room to reproduce good bass. I am saying in my smaller room the bigger woofers on the MAXX can't breath and the Caravelle and sub set up killed the MAXX in every area...dynamics, musicality (especially the tweeter and voices on midrange) better detail, space, depth of sound stage, bloom around the notes, bass response...it wasn't even close. By the way, I am not a newbee to audiogon. Just because I didn't sell anything until 1999, doesn't mean I haven't been a member. In fact, my original name was audionut, but Bob at audionut.com asked if I would give him that name because that was his business name the past 30 years and I said, "yes"..You are the equivalent of doubting Thomas, one of the apostles who wouldn't believe Christ rose from the dead until he could put his hands in the wounds in his wrist and side...go listen to them so you too will be a believer.
To clarify as an owner of Caravelles. In a smaller room, which I have, the Caravelle's are fine without a sub, unless you are an organ music lover, in which case you may want a sub. In a larger room, the sub helps, for sure, which was the case at hifimaniac's room. What surprised me in the big room is that the Caravelle's did not thin out at all...but maintained warmth and musicality. I honeslty felt they would get somewhat lost in a bigger room, that is why I brought them over to hifimaniac's house. But in fact, they threw an incredible soundstage, were dynamic as can be and never hardened when cranked to uncomfortable listening levels and had NO PROBLEM filling the room. It was some of the best audio I have ever heard. It had me saying outloud things like WOW, during the music it was so much fun. To me, assuming the timbre is correct, which the Caravelles certainly are, the next thing is dynamics...this is where music moves me. This is where the Caravelles really shine. I would like to hear other owners opinions on this. Yes, they do all the really great audiophile things, imaging, transparency and soundstage, but I think they are some of the most dynamic speakers out there. You will not be sorry. I don't know of anyone who has them that isn't really enjoying them.
onhwy61's second paragraph: "none of the people touting the Caravelles have been Audiogon members before 1999". This would be a major clue that this is humor or parody. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never noticed a profile of someone who was a member before 1999.
And then "Warrenh doesn't even have a 1,000 posts yet". Surely it's obvious he's not serious at this point.
As he indicates, several long time members like the product. Many of us would love to hear them, especially on a 6-month home trial. Can I be second on the list behind onhwy61?
I forgot to mention that the Caravelle's with a sub, yes in a larger room, would be my pick over the Maxx. Frankly I don't really care what name brand parts are in the speaker. It's the sound that matters to me. Personally, I think they are a tremendous value today allowing one to invest in music or upstream electronics. FWIW, I own VAC PHI equipment, which is outstanding tube gear from Kevin Hayes, a well regarded manufacturer and great service too.
Having been an audiophile for more than 18 years with various equipment in various settings, I am just trying to help other audiophiles who may have an interest in these speakers. They really are that good. If you are in the market, I would encourage you to try them. All you have to lose is a little time and shipping. BTW, I have owned the Caravelle now for close to 7 months +, well beyond the 'honeymoon' if you know what I mean.