Castle Pembroke opinions

Anyone have a Castle Pembroke? It seems to be one of those speakers like the spendor S3/5 or the spendor classic (e.g. S3/1P) series well designed for low power tube amps. I am thinking of using a Jolida 202A (40w/ch) with this floorstander. The Hi-Fi Choice review seems to praise it quite favorably. Any opinions?


Hi Lenny:

I listened to the Pembroke's approx. 3 years ago and liked the sound. They are a fuller sounding version of the Castle Acoustics Isis stand mount speakers which I have owned.

They can be a bit hot in the HF's (meaning that they do not gloss over harsh HF's in source material and/or what is being conveyed by the electronics), but I'm probably making this sound negative, which it really is not. They are just not subdued in the HF's.

I suspect that they would mate well with the EL34 based Jolida.

Recently saw them half priced @ Audio Advisor and were I not in a tight budget due to being off work for 4 years now I would have snapped them up for the asking price.

Bass response was tight and linear, not big and bloomy, which is also to my personal taste. Probably best in medium sized rooms (smaller rooms good also) as were the Castle Isis speakers.
The yew finish looks stunning! I might be inclined to buy a pr. for this reason alone! They are a very small floorstander. Not many chooses in this size other than Totem Arros. Had a pr. of the Avon's a few yrs back and the bass out of the 6" driver was very impressive for its size. As I recall, the grills were really difficult to remove. These spks. would need careful component matching, as w/any other spk. The only problem I see w/these spks. would be their resale value and perhaps the difficulty in reselling them in the future. Go for it and let us know your thoughts
about these speakers. (BTW, Ruark made a similiar sized spk. a few yrs. back as well. I believe they were called the "Templers"??) Good Luck!
I own a pair of Castle Conways and I use the Jolida 202A and the sound is marvelous. The Castle's, driven by the Jolida, are as smooth as silk. In fact, I'm thinking of picking up a pair of Pembrokes to partner with another tube amp in a smaller room. Will work best in small/medium sized rooms. Also, I would think that this would not be a good choice for bass heavy rock music. I listen to small combo jazz as well as classical and, to my ears, the Jolida/Castle pairing is very pleasing. By the way, the cabinet work on the Castle's is extraordinary!
It's strange. Hifi choice gave the speakers rave reviews back in 2000, but turned around and trashed them just this month. Check the 10/12/03 review.
I missed that new article in Hi-Fi Choice. From all the feedback on this thread, sounds like these are a nice pair of speakers for the Jolida, but unfortunately Jpstereo's comment (about not being a good choice for bass heavy rock music) sticks out for me as I do listen to a variety of things. Vertical Horizon, for example, is a favorite of mine and has a pretty strong bass line. The right speaker needs to be able to convey the rhythm.

A little background to this line of questioning... I've been through several speaker changes now, from the spendor S3/5 to the Monitor Audio Silver S6 to the Alon I Mk II. I didn't like the Alon's (didn't have enough power) and very much liked the S3/5 and S6s. Between these two, it's a trade off of fullness of bass (S6) vs. realistic midrange and tube magic (S3/5). I'm inclined to return to (as I am locked in with the dealer) either the S6 or S3/5. I am also considering the S3/5se or the new spendor S5e floorstander. The last one is the most expensive upgrade, and given the lack of information on it, I am not sure about making that leap.

So what I'm really asking about the Castles is: I'm looking for a speaker with some of the tube magic of the S3/5 and a fuller bottom end like the S6. Given this, which of the Castles would you choose? Conway, Pembroke, Stirling, Warwick, or Durham?

Thanks for all of your great feedback!


I just saw the "new" Pembroke review @ Hifi Choice and sent off a query to their review editor (regarding the lack of continuity).
Dekay, I will be interested to hear HiFi's response. I have heard second hand that Castle's US distributor ended their business relationship and that is why Castle's are on closeout. They are so beautiful; you would think someone would pick up the distribution. Wish I knew the whole story.
Why not consider the Spendor 3/1P? I'm not all that familiar w/the current Castle spks., but I believe the Castle's will not provide the magic that you'll find in the Spendors. I would look into these two other floorstanders. Snell E/III's/Mission Freedom 752. For the $, these are bargains.
Decided to stay with the Alon I Mk IIs (see system). As a used pair, these are a steal. At first I thought it sounded terrible, but that was because it was playing new equipment. Very neutral of the upstream signal and careful component and cable matching is essential. They have an openness that makes every speaker I've heard since then sound boxy. These speakers aren't designed to be played loud for parties. They're designed to be refined and play music as it was meant to be presented. Thanks for your suggestions and help all.
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