Berning ZH-270 & Joule Electra LA-100 MK3 speaker


Using the above with a modest but killer JVC QLY-55F TT, and Von Schweikert VR3 speakers. Since involving the amp & pre in my system, I now realize that the VR3's are sadly lagging behind in speed, clerity and dynamics. . I'm seeking advice as to which fulll range speakers would be an awesome match with the Berning and Joule. Eletrostats, Box, it's all good. I want speed, attack, Dynamics and clerity. What are ZH-270 people using out there?

I would try Tannoys. Mine do a remarkable job in my very large room with 35 watts push-pull. They have all you are asking for, plus they are excellent at getting the scale of music right, be it large (symphonic), or small (jazz, chamber music), or loud (rock'n'roll).

I don't know what your budget and listening preferences are but a speaker with a small footprint that offers clarity, extreme coherence and excellent dynamics for a 2-way design, with the right amp, which you have, is the Merlin VSM-MM MX. This speaker plays everything well from small scale to full orchestral. It is able to retrieve the low level details in the music that make listening more satisfying and enjoyable. The only shortfall on an absolute basis compared to much more expensive and larger speakers is the power in the bottom octave but I don't find this much of an issue in my room, the bass is sufficient and very well defined especially with the Berning. Another speaker that I really love and have heard with the Berning is the Verity Parsifal although in another price range but has many of the same positive attributes as the Merlins in a 3-way design with subjectively more bass and a bit more laid back perspective but equally resolving as the Merlins. These speakers do sound different but equally good. Both of these are worthy of your consideration and audition. So far as the Verity if you are able to afford them there may be others in this price range that will be satisfactory as well and of course there are the Verity Lennore which I haven't heard. I personally like the house sound of Verity speakers. If you are exclusively into rock per your moniker, these may not be for you.

In any event you will find that the zh-270 works well with a wide variety of speakers and since it is so easy to carry around and set-up I would try to audition it with many of the solid recommendations you are likely to get in your search.

Good Luck and happy searching!
Tubegroover said much of what I think. Merlins and Berning/Joule are a perfect fit. Cheers,

You should probably look at the Gallo Reference 3.0/3.1/3.5 speakers - VERY fast, incredible imaging, excellent integration of drivers, and a reasonably small footprint.

The Gallos love high-current amps, the Berning would seem to be a very good choice. Dave Pogue, a well-respected Audiogon member, is running his Ref. 3s with a very nice 845 SET with modest wattage but huge current thanks to massive transformers. His setup is as sweet as I've ever heard and he is driving his Ref. 3s in a fairly large room, approx. 18x40...

You might want to ping him on his setup and the speakers' capabilities. He is a very nice man and quite knowledgable.


Ooops! I hit the Submit button a little too soon. I just wanted to add that I am driving my Ref. 3s with a Butler TDB-5150 - 5-channel, 150 watts/ch. tube/MOSFET hybrid and the combo sounds excellent. Not quite as good as Dave's, but really quite nice for an HT/Music combo. system....

Here's a 3rd vote for the Merlins. I use the VSM MX's with the Berning ZH 270 and the Joule LAP 150 mk II and the synergy is excellent.
Thanks guys for all the great replies. Right now I am auditioning a sweet pair of vintage Crown Electrostatic 2x6 hybrids. Not near the bass bloom of my Von Schweikert VR3's but the speed and clerity does allow the speed of the Berning to show itself in spades! These guys are ugly ducklings but Crown did a pretty good job of matching the 2 10" woofs with the stats. If I ever get my tube upgrade from Vintage Tube Services (shrug), it should even be a more enjoyable listening experience. "Olde world Service eh?

Hi Rocker

I just received my tube order from Andy yesterday after 2 weeks. He told me it would be awhile if that was ok. After years of dealing with him, what's good for Andy is good for me. I really like his old world approach in the hustling bustling times we live in, its refreshing. He DOES work at a slower pace it would seem but one thing for sure, you really do get what you pay for and if you're inclined he is an encyclopedia of tube knowledge. Maybe why he takes longer? He likes to chat. Certainly one of my favorite tube vendors, no hype just Andy, enjoy!