Joseph Audio Pulsar?

I'm in the market for the best possible reproduction (within the budget, obviously) from 70 Hz and up. Budget is as much as $6000, although $5K would be more comfortable. I recently heard a pair of the Pulsars and was thoroughly impressed. Retail price is out of range and used pairs don't seem to come up for sale. So, I would welcome any and all opinions from those who 1) auditioned the Pulsars, AND 2) have a slightly less expensive alternative. The only caveat is that I must be able to listen before buying (say, within 200 miles of the audio wasteland known as Houston), or alternatively, have an offer of in home trial. The speakers will be driven by my tube amp (VAC Phi Beta 110i). Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
The Pulsar is pretty new, so I wouldn't expect any used yet. Besides, they're a very good speaker.

Have you thought about a Dynaudio C1? There are three on Audiogon right now.

I have considered the Dynaudios. They were on my short list to audition. However, a Joseph Audio dealer saw this post and has offered his demos on a trial basis. I've taken him up on it. Thanks for the reply.

That's good to hear! I remember hearing the Joseph Audio Pearls at a dealer in Chicago and couldn't believe how good they were paired with the Thor preamp and amp.

I heard the Pulsar in Detroit, and wasn't impressed, but I attributed it to the other components, not the Pulsars.

Good luck!
I heard the Pulsar and was thoroughly unimpressed. The Dynaudio Confidence c1s totally blow them away.
I think you will like them. I had Salk monitors, which sound very similar, when I heard your A1's and was still happy with my speakers.


PS Of course I use a good sub.
I really like the Selah audio Grandeur speakers.
They use the Scanspeak Revelator 7 inch midbase and the Raal ribbon tweeter. They sound really good and that Raal ribbon tweeter sounds silky.
The Vapor Cirrus, the 2nd best monitors i'v heard, behind the Sonus Faber Extremas.
There was a thread about the Vapor Cirrus on here.
I am in no way saying this because this monitor was just reviewed in Absolute Sound and Stereophile, but...........My friend has the Audience ClairAudient 2+2 and they are wonderful! Soundstaging, imaging, and a "naturalness" that many speakers I've heard don't match. Check em out.
Just heard them a few weeks ago. Unimpressed would be a nice way to react. I was frankly shocked at how weak they were. I have liked some of the Joseph speakers in the past but I think this company has lost their way as the Pulsar sounded constricted, compressed, and veiled. It also broke up heavily on source material with any low bass.

The Dynaudio or Salks are much, much better speakers.
This is a truly interesting set of reactions. I've had the Pulsars in for trial now for several days and am thoroughly impressed. They are certainly not constricted, compressed, or veiled, as Grege describes.

Yesterday, an audio buddy brought over the Magico Minis that he has in for audition. This is the first time I had heard them, and they are excellent. However, the Pulsars more than held their own, with the most noticeable difference in the highs. The tweeter that the Pulsar uses is extraordinary. It sounds light, airy, and extremely extended, with absolutely no sense of harshness as the SPLs rise. The only area that I could point to in which the Magicos seemed to have the edge was in soundstage depth. Both reproduce the human voice exceedingly well. The two speakers sound more alike than dissimilar, which, given the cost differential, is pretty remarkable.

I should note that both speakers were auditioned both with and without my two Genesis/Underwood subs and a Lyngdorf RP-1. When the RP-1 was in, RoomPerfect was not engaged i.e. I was using it strictly for crossover. The final system will have both subs, crossover point yet to be determined but probably 60 to 70 Hz, and RoomPerfect engaged. Oh, and before crying foul, please do remember that I very specifically asked originally for "the best possible reproduction (within the budget, obviously) from 70 Hz and up." Could I live with the Pulsars on their own? Probably, but it's clear that dynamic range and (obviously) bass extension are far better with the subs in. I was actually VERY pleasantly surprised at how seamlessly the subs and the Pulsars matched up.

I commented to the dealer allowing me the trial that the Pulsars engaged me more than any speaker I've owned or auditioned since the Quad ESL-63 (wonderful speaker, but could never live with its limitations). I'll be keeping them.

For those who really did not like them on first listening, I suggest that you give them another try if the occasion arises. If they still don't do it for you, well, to each his own. Good listening to everyone and thanks for the replies!
Thanks for the follow up post! I thought you would like them. ;)

Curriemt11, would those be the original Mini's or Mini II's?
Are you sure they are not the Mini Pearls?
For what it's worth, I just came back from Axpona NYC show and heard the pulsars twice. They are fantastic spkrs for their size/price. The highs and mids are beautiful, and the bass extension and weight are remarkable for their size (especially the smallish mid bass driver). And, like most very good monitors, they image like heck and disappear. Frankly, although everyone hears differently, I can't see how anyone could hear these properly set up and not think they were at least very good, if not their particular cup of tea. Had me thinking strongly of dropping my floor standing mains and coupling the pulsars with the new JL F112 sub I just bought for HT system. JMHO
I also heard these at Axpona NYC and came away impressed. Very coherent, great tonality, and good extension for a small speaker.
Just curious as to what the Pulsars were driven by. Anyone care to satisfy my curiousity, please. Thanks.
I don't recall the amp, but it was a modest solid state one with Cardas Clear speaker cables. The source was computer files.
I, too, heard the Pulsars at Axpona NYC and they were coupled with a Bel Canto front end (DAC and Power Supply) and Bel Canto monoblocks (I assume the top of the line reference ones but I am not certain). As someone else stated, they were running computer files to the DAC. I came away very impressed by the Pulsars. They are transparent, dynamic, have very extended high frequencies, and can really pull off the disappearing act. They set the speakers up at an odd angle in the room (not parallel with any wall) but this shows Bel Canto/Joseph Audio tried their best to optimize the sound for the lousy room they were in and this was the best solution. I will concede that they might not be every one's cup of tea. I can see some listeners thinking that they are hyperdetailed on top with too much treble energy and perhaps too forward in their presentation. In addition, we have to remind ourselves that these are pricey standmounters in some very competitive floorstander territory. Many of us are used to hearing/ auditioning good small standmounters in the $2K to $3K range and we might have a tendency to compare the Pulsars to those, but these Pulsars are more than double that.
Mp666, I believe the BelCantos monoblocks were the 500s. To be fair, the bass extension and weight from these likely far exceeds less expensive ones in 2-3k category. However, if you are marrying them to sub, that may offset the benefit of Pulsars low end ability (or maybe help them integrate better?) I'd like to hear the new B&W 805Diamonds to compare. That would be a good fight.
When I heard the Pulsar's with the BelCanto's at the Audio Show in Detroit, I was really disappointed.

Having heard the Pearl's, I assumed that it was the BelCanto's that were disappointing to me. I'd never heard them before and assumed that the Pulsar's carried the Pearl's sonic signature.

It looks like I might have been wrong in my assumptions.

Jeff, they were the 500's.

The Pulsars and the pearls are so similar over the vast majority of the sonic range that I have to believe that something else was at play here.

By the way, and I admit that this is a real pet peeve...why do you insist on putting all those apostrophes in your writing (i.e. making it the possessive case when you actually want the plural form)? You used the damned things six times and got it correct twice ("the Pulsar's carried the Pearl's sonic signature"). I swear, the English language, or rather the use thereof, is going to hell.

I sincerely apologize for two things that I did in error.

First, I apologize to you for incorrectly using the apostrophes.

Second, I apologize to your $22,000.00 integrated amp, $16,060.00 turntable, $9500.00 digital setup and at least $7,000.00 in cabling for trying to help do them such an injustice as finding a $5,000.00 pair of speakers to mate with.

Almost $55,000.00 in two sources, one amp and cabling, and hoping that a $5,000.00 pair of speakers will give you all of the music coming down those speaker cables. That senario seems like a train running wide open into a tunnel with an opening of only five feet at the other end. Now, I swear, the heavenly audio signal is going to hell.

And well you should apologize. I'll accept it in the spirit in which it was given.

By the way, you need to work on your math skills (the cabling), and I most certainly did not pay retail prices for any of that. You really should check your facts before posting (the Pulsar price).

The fact that I pair the Pulsars with this gear simply demonstrates how good I think the Pulsars really are. You forgot the subs, by the way.

I'll refrain from posting my opinion on your system. Each to his own, I say. To paraphrase the great John Houseman, "I'll refrain from ringing you any further, Mr. Krell_man".


P.S. If you are truly repentant about the apostrophes, go change them in your system descriptions immediately.
So Curriemt11, since you asked for alternatives, have you tried the B&W 805Di? They should be fairly easy to find/hear. I've read in a few forums that many believe they are fantastic and the star of the new Diamond lineup.
Okay Mike,

I've changed my system descriptions.

Now, tell me your opinion of my system. I'd really like to know. One thing that I will ask is that if you haven't actually heard the Wadia S7i, Spectron amp or Caravelle speakers, tell me so that we'll have a starting point of reference.

I know that everyone's listening preference is a little different and I'm a computer programmer and former musician who likes an extremely transparent system. I want to hear what each instrument is doing because it's interesting to see how an artist puts together a song. I want that, but I also want it in a layered soundstage that is both deep and wide.

In order to do that, as you know, the level of distortion needs to be as low as possible. I saw that you have or used to have a Running Springs power conditioner. I used to use Chris' Stereovox cables years ago too, and currently use the cables from Craig, who designed the Running Springs HZ Crown Jewel power cord.

I have a small room, 10' x 12.5', and I don't need thunderous bass. I'd rather have bass that's tight and defined and that won't overtake the small room.

Also, I'd like your thoughts concerning running a music server into the USB port of my Wadia. I first thought that your Music Vault Diamond was a server, but I see that it is a transport. Is it a server too?

I heard the Pulsars at the Axpona show in NYC last week and I thought they were excellent. They have the midrange and highs of good monitor and the dynamics of a good floorstander.
Thanks, Guppy!

I just hooked up the Pulsars to the Bel Canto 500 monoblocks, and the combo sounds awesome right out of the box! I am guessing that a few more hundred hours will really make them sing! I am very impressed and happy with my new setup.
Congratulations! You've got a terrific setup that I am sure you give you great enjoyment for many years.
Hey Tom did you mention to ryan his cirrus speaker vs the pulsar ?
I just purchased a pair of Pulsars. Now they are broken in, I would suggest you stretch your budget. I, however, am reluctant to recommend any other competitor, having tried many. I certainly understand why none are listed for sale on this site.
Mark, they just keep getting better w time. And they really perform w the bel cantos. Happy listening!
I'm planning on jumping in on a pair of Pulsars. Do you guys think a S300 would be able to drive them? I'm running RM7si's right now.
I am running the with an REF150S. So, yes a S300 will drive them, but I am going to try them with a pair of REF500m monoblocks.
You should be fine with the S300.

As mentioned just before, the Pulsars sound quite good with the REF150s (and fantastic with the REF500M).

-- Joseph and Bel Canto Dealer Disclaimer --

Just fyi...I like the Pulsars so much that I have committed to a new pair of Perspectives. They should be in hand next week.

I traded the Pulsars back to my dealer, so if anyone wants to know where to get a gently used pair, let me know.
LOL! Congrats on the upgrade! The Perspectives are a lot of fun.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to afford the Pearl 2s. Not having much luck so far. ;-)
Thanks, would love to have the Pearls as well, but that's not going to happen.
currienmt11 - where would the gently used pair be?
Goldprint Audio (see above). Not sure if he still has them or not.
There are two very nice pairs for sale on here right now.
I anticipate that the similarly priced, Von Schweikert Unifield 2's will most likely out perform these in the bass department.