95 responses Add your response
Local dealer! I’d rather not disclose geographic location. I am not kidding when I say this speaker posseses magic. Just before listening to this speaker I heard Harbeth 40.2 XD and Magico A3 (again) I’m not buying any of these. For a moderate size living space I don’t see anything that can challenge it. I went in to store to audition amps but came out re thinking my next step. Bested also Tad, Tidal, Acapella Cellini as well. Sure some speakers maybe have more bass or better highs. I’ve heard most top brands. When I am listening to say Aaron Neville or Diana Krall it’s like I’m at the listening session or club. All expensive speakers sound nice like Rockport, Kharma, Wilson etc.. Now I know they are just hifi. Stenheim is the real deal. I want other seasoned audiophiles to have a listen to let me know if I am just blowing hot air. BTW a Sonus Faber Amati owner traded his speaker for the bigger Stenheim. I was keen on listening to Cube Audio but won’t even bother now.
AbSound review from 2020
EXCERPT: "My 10-year-old son walked into the room, and I think it was Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West that happened to be cued up. He rarely offers any comments/opinions on anything I have at home (which has been a lot), but this time after about a minute he said, “I like these better.” I quickly turned the volume down to get any unedited nuggets that I could. “Why do you like them better?” He followed with something completely unexpected, and keep in mind that we don’t discuss audio equipment and he has shown virtually no interest in it. He explained, “They project better.” What? Where on earth did that come from? “What do you mean they project better?” Without missing a beat, he continued, “They sound purer. It’s like you’re right there.” That from a 10-year-old who’s never read an audio review and doesn’t really talk to me about the gear I bring home."
I think its terrific that someone found a speaker that made them that excited. It has certainly piqued my interest. I have a friend who is getting a whole new system that includes Stenheim speakers, CH Precision amps and linestage, and new DAC, new turntable, etc. to go into his dedicated listening room. I will have to wait till the pandemic abates before I can go over to hear it, and now that waiting is more painful.
I own Harbeth P3ESR for my bedroom and listened to the whole line except M30.2! Harbeth is ho hum compared to Stenheim.
BTW that Absolute Sound review is spot on. Everyone has their preferences. But I seek products that push the envelope of musical reproduction in the home. I think one has to go to field coil speakers to beat Stenheim.
Faxer I have seen your system before and talked to Steven. When we can travel freely again I may come over for a listen. I can already surmise it will be dynamic lots of bass with details but all these great parts still don't add up to the real listening experience. I also own Maggie 1.7is. Of course yours are more efficient. But I don't think it will give Stenheim much competition.
@kw6 , yes, by all accounts these are excellent and at $30K not a terrible deal in the world of high end dynamic speakers. They will still need subwoofers and 100 watt class A mono amps. If space is limited I think they are a great choice. However, Sound labs 545's are a better speaker at a lower price and they do not take up that much more space as they are only 24" wide. Soundlabs speakers are also immortal. You have to shoot them to stop them. The Sound Labs will be more detailed, are subject to much less room interaction and will produce a more life sized sound stage. They will still require subwoofers for the best performance.
@faxer , Having owned Apogee Diva's for six years I can tell you that I have never been so vexed by a loudspeaker. But at the bottom of it all is ribbon speakers are easy to damage and very unreliable. Even Magnepan's vaunted ribbon tweeter is subject to blowing. They have an ongoing tweeter replacement program. This issue was one of the reasons Apogee died. If you look online you will notice a that replacement ribbons are sold alongside ribbon tweeters. Replacing a 6 foot tweeter ribbon is quite an experience. Only the factory can replace a woofer ribbon. Because there are great and very reliable ESLs available there is no reason to go for ribbon speakers.
Kw6 - I am not going to badmouth another company however based on your response I need to tell you that I have heard the Steinem Speakers and they do not have no where’s near the transparency nor the dynamic capabilities of the GT Audioworks speakers. Again they’re short fall no matter how well the cabinet is made is an enclosure which produces an asymmetrical waveform which is not desirable as it stores energy in the cabinet and produces in room anomalies. The other problems obviously are the fact that these are conventional drivers no matter how well produced will also store energy and not be released as quickly as the sophisticated planar magnetic membrane that is used in the GT speakers. Additionally you have the problem of a crossover no matter how well designed or what parts or utilized it will rob transparency and cause amplifier inefficiency, not to mention the inherent phase shift and time delay errors that result.
if you saw the beginning of the promotional video you saw the review from Stereophile which indicated that the speakers can go toe to toe with any loudspeaker system cost no object granted you have to keep in mind that GT Audioworks works has not given Stereophile magazine any money with respect to advertising so this is strictly an honest review.
We have customers all over the country who have purchased the speakers and they are the best testament to what they can do I can provide this information to you so you can speak with them directly if you so desire. However, you are more than welcome to audition the speakers when you feel comfortable.
Rich my I still have my 1.7i sitting in a box ready to sell! They are ok but light on tone and life like dynamics! Not even close to Stenheim. It's like Maggie is Acura car and Stenheim is Bentley GT or Aston Martin Db9.
Ok thanks Faxer! You guys do have interesting products. But I need to hear it.
Mijo not a big fan of esl! In the past heard hybrid Sound lab and Martin Logan and of course the the famous 57 esl. I will check out your recommendation.
If someone would offer Stenheim for $15k usd I would take it!
True Fatdaddy but been at this dealer many times and that day Sonus Faber Amati was played first. Sonus sounded ok. Stenheim sounded like the room was transformed into the venue and Diana Krall was singing to me. The difference was huge.
To seriously challenge Stenheim you would need say Living voice air scout or maybe Devore Audio and then I don't even know. I have to hear it. Stenheim got to be top 5 in the world.
If any dealers of Stenheim please private message me.
Thanks for all your responses! I hope some of you will try to hear it. Stenheim was at the dealer for awhile when I looked at them he had the model Fives. At the time I was listening to JBL and Harbeth. But in my mind Stenheim speaker didn't look anything special but l like the colour scheme very artsy. In my mind overpriced stuff probably mediocre at best.
Thank you Iwin for your post. I wouldn't bother posting here if I didn't have something really great to share. Did I mention Stenheim has the dynamic freeness like a good horn as well. Just plain lifelike. One recording I wish he had was Eric Clapton's Knockin' on Heaven's Door. That is a very tough song to get right and start grooving. Of course they are not perfect. On the Threes I do notice the low end when there was drum kit the bass was a bit tight not as enveloping. They do have bigger models. But regardless this speaker has it.
BTW Johnto I auditioned the Maggie's with the Bryston 4b3 driving it. Forgot front end stuff. Of course Maggie don't have boxy sound and has good detail but still light on tone. Play a a good recording of an acoustic guitar you will know what I mean. Also imaging is kind of flatish. Stenheim you can see for example Anne Bisson's head in three dimensions.
Mapman I don't have anyone near by who has Ohm but once we can travel freely again without being under quarantine I will have a listen. Or at an audio show in the future.
In the past I bad mouth CH Precision but listening to it more it's pretty good.
Have a good one guys and gals!☺️
I have to admit that I didn't have had the chance to listen to Stenheim Alumine Three, but I doubt that they are building THE best speakers.
After spending 3 days at the High-End show in Munich, in 2019...I left most impressed by the sound reproduced by MBL (german manufacturer) 101 Xtreme top of their line speakers/audio system.
I also got the chance to listen to a pair of German Physiks (as the name directly indicates, is another german manufacturer of high-end loudspeakers) Carbon Mk IV, and I just can't imagine how fantastic can be top of their line, The Gaudi Mk II.
If some of us can't afford to buy and enjoy this level of musicality and emotional impact on our homes, I wish at least that the rest of all of us, audiophiles, music and quality aficionados, to get at least the chance to audition these true marvels of audio engineering.
Ohm is often affectionately referred to as the poor mans mbl or German Physics.
I’ve heard all three. They are all cut from a similar and very unique Omni cloth.
Ohm goes the extra mile to make that not just affordable for more but also more practical to place in more people’s rooms for good results.
also ohm is completely home grown in Brooklyn NY so there is that.
I guess it's getting to be hard times for Magico. ;)
The problem is when the OP asserts "the best" with little qualification, which is typical. Suggesting the other brands are "hifi" in comparison shows a fawning adoration that is not representative of reality.
What, he heard it in one system, in comparison to others in a different system, or the same system? That is supposed to allow a proper conclusion of "the best"? I beg to differ.
Properly stated, the OP should have said something on the order of, "I preferred this or that speaker in comparison in one system to these others..." It's nonsense to declare that a particular speaker is superior based on one listening.
Want to make a more definitive announcement of which is "the best"? Put up about a dozen, or even 18 rigs, and compare them all. Optimize each rig and see what you think. Of course, the average audiophile does not do this, but I do when reviewing. That is how you find out which is the best speaker.
Further, when doing that, you discover that all speakers have particular characteristics and flaws, and cannot fully capture all aspects of sound reproduction. The more speakers handled extensively, the less one is prone to make such grand assertions as one speaker being "the best".
But, this is a hobby fraught with emotion and preference, so such threads will continue on. :)
The real irony will be if the OP saves up, buys the speaker, then when he gets it home, it doesn't sound nearly the same as in the shop. There is a strong possibility of that, and of the OP having to spend quite a bit in order to get a preferable result with the speakers at home. Worse, he could get it home and find that his current speakers do some aspects of sound quality better. That could be a problem. Many have thought they found the perfect speaker, only to find out that it's just not that easy. It's not too much fun when you declare to the world you've found "the One," then when you acquire it, learn that it's got issues with your rig and you'll have to drop a lot more money to optimize it. Oh, well, that's part of the hobby, too, at times. :)
I always look for highly recommended gear at shows and dealers. Always looking to reaffirm my personal benchmark for good sound. Then comes the question is it worth it (to me)? Also is it practical for me? Or am I fitting a square peg in a round hole at home?
Always looking. Always listening. Can’t wait until things can get more back to normal for that.