Daedalus Ulysses


I would like to hear comments from past or present owners or those familiar with Daedalus Ulysses speakers.
B0cac651 5a67 4320 a7db b21d82333c14falconquest
Well, I know @salectric ’s tastes (he’s a good customer) and I get what he’s saying.
Take both his and my comments with a grain of salt. I’ve never heard anything that moved me the way an alnico 15" Altec woofer does.

I have to however, maintain at least one "mainstream" listening room for my clients, and the Ulysses fill the bill nicely.

My Ulysses are quite a few years old and are updated only to the point of the polyester cap replacement. I run them with the maple base plate but without that silly riser box for reasons stated earlier. I found the maple base plate to work better in my room than the outrigger feet Lou started supplying. Different rooms / different strokes.

I’ve run them with as low as a very weak 2A3 amplifier (Serious Stereo ... more like a 45 in terms of output - 1w), and am currently driving them with my NiWatt 300B amplifiers.

While they’re nowhere near the claimed 96dB, they’re an easy drive for a tube amplifier. If I were to guess, I’d say they’re a real world 92dB.

They are not imaging champs, but they do OK in this regard.

Tonally, I’d say they have a BBC balance, which is why many would say they don’t have an extended top end. They’re a very fatigue free speaker that delivers the goods, with plenty of insight into the musical performance. If you’re not unraveling complex musical lines through your Ulysses, then something else is wrong with your system.

Lou Hinkley is one of the good guys in hi-fi.

Do I prefer a serious pair of horns with a 15" driver? You bet, but then again, I’m in the minority with respect to most tastes.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier Design
I really appreciate the feedback from everyone including salectric and Thom. Everyone’s comments have been very helpful and given me a lot to think about. I only learned recently that some people love cilantro and others absolutely hate it. People that hate it have a particular gene that causes it to taste like soap to them (I’m one of those). So, do genes affect our predisposition to certain types of sound generation? I don’t know, but we all know that no two of us are alike and that creates a marketplace for equipment. My take away from this is that tried and true lesson that we should all adhere to which is try before you buy. Thanks again everyone.
Falconquest, let us know what you decide to do.

Not to derail things further, but I wanted to clarify that my 15" woofers are actually Jensens (the model used in the Jensen Imperial horn), not Altecs.
I think Thom and Al are right on the money. I don't know if I would characterize Daedalus as an acquired taste. To my ears far too many other speakers fall into that category because they don't sound quite "right". Are there speakers that image a bit better--yes! Are there speakers that deliver slightly more detail--yes! Are there speakers that have more obvious bass energy--yes again! Are there speakers that are as coherent, deliver honest tonality, are as musically engaging and balanced top to bottom--very, very few! What I like about Daedalus speakers is that they look and sound beautiful, you can drive them with anything, and they sound great in any room. Sure, there are speakers that do this or that better, but at the end of the day many people who own other well-regarded or better known brands typically move on to something else because something just isn't "right". To my ears Lou's speakers are among the most "right" sounding available at any price. 

As for the bass--I don't get the "plastic" or "synthetic" characterization. What I do get is that some folks might criticize Daedalus speakers as not having enough bass energy. I think Lou is very careful about how his speakers deliver bass, opting for a musically natural response that does not emphasize parts of the low frequencies to increase the "wow" factor. Deep bass is there when it is present on the recording and delivered in a very tuneful manner that is not overblown--no bumps, humps or thumps. I think Lou feels if you want to go really deep and increase the weight of the bass this is best done by adding a sub rather than trying to deliver this through other, less natural sounding means. 

@falconquest sorry, I wasn't suggesting the Apollo necessarily. Not sure what your budget is but merely pointing out that Lou has a variety of models at lower price points with new features (new tweeter, new woofer design, trim rings, midrange housing, crossover elements, etc.) that will get you close to or beyond an older pair of Ulysses. For example, the new Studio Muse, in a smaller room, may knock your socks off. 
Although not about the Ulysses below are links to a couple of recent reviews of Daedalus speakers that you may or may not care to read ; one on the Apollo; one on the Studio Muse

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2019/10/27/daedalus-audio-apollo-speakers-review/
https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/daedalus-audio-muse-studio-loudspeaker/