New Joseph Audio Pulsar Graphene 2

Just wanted to update my prior thread where this topic may have gotten lost.  As many of you may know by now, Joseph Audio has come out with the new Pulsar Graphene 2. This new iteration of the venerable Pulsars has a graphene coated magnesium midrange-woofer cone, and the drive motor, suspension system, etc., have been revamped. From what I have been told, the upgrade is pretty significant ... the sound is fuller and has greater ease, yet is very resolved. Jeff Joseph advises that an upgrade path will be available for existing owners of the Pulsars, too. Also, note that the price quoted in the Soundstage piece was in Canadian dollars ... Jeff informs me that the price in USD is $8,999 per pair. I am eager to hear the new Pulsars.
Oh great.  Now he's shouting at us.  Think he even realizes LSA speakers are sold direct, so it's not even the same business model?
Joseph dealer here****

Having sold a few pairs of both new versions , I can say for sure that the Graphene models are a very nice update.  The Pulsars have always been one of my all time favorite speakers, and the new V2 takes that even a step further.  Jeff did a great job on the redesign.
@goldprintaudio ... since you have heard both, on a percentage basis, what's the extent of the upgrade over the original? 5%, 10%?
Percent of upgrade is dependant on many factors, such as electronics and cabling to name a few. 
The new Vinberg monitors, will be a huge step up from Pulsars..HUGE

I’m curious too.  How would you describe the sonic difference in the new models?
The new Vinberg monitors, will be a huge step up from Pulsars..HUGE
That is impossible. The only huge step up will be the price. The josephs use a well braced box. You cant get much more rigid than that and the audible difference would be negligible. The drivers used are pretty much among the best. Theres not much you can improve on the crossover either its obviously been optimised. 

The only improvement you could do on a pulsar is if it was offered for a fraction of the cost.

OK JA speakers are way over priced and cheaper ones are a huge step up but after all its  MY money I have  wasted so get over it and move on. 
"OK JA speakers are way over priced and cheaper ones are a huge step up but after all its MY money I have wasted so get over it and move on."

My suggested approach is to ignore him. I become irritated when someone says the same thing more than once. 
There, however, is a kernel of truth here.  The Perspective2 are very responsive to upstream electronics and cables. I disagree with the old rules of spending half on speakers and the rest on electronics and cables. I am running more like 3 to 1 in favor of electronics and cables. In my experience, it is hard to find better speakers for my room with my wife.
I fully respect you going by your own experience Mark.

In my experience, I've heard the Perspectives hooked up to various very expensive amps with wildly expensive cabling etc.  Yet I thought they sounded better when I had them in my system for audition at home (I use old Conrad Johnson amps, but cheap interconnects, plain old Belden 10awg speaker cable, no after market AC cables, etc).

This is pretty consistent with many other similar experiences.

First time I heard Quad ESL 63s my mind was blown.  Even though they were being powered by a saved-from-a-garbage Dynaco ST70 amp and no-name cables.  The difference that I heard compared to anything I'd heard before was due to the quality and character of the speakers. 

I just came back from listening to music at my friend's house.  He's a reviewer.  Has something like $50,000 worth of the most highly lauded interconnects, speaker cables, AC cables, $20,000 phono stages, all that kind of thing.  Sounded great.  But I think what I have at home sounds "better," despite my non-audiophile-approved cheaping out on cables etc.  I attribute this to the importance of speaker choice, positioning/room acoustics, and then choice of amp, source....

We all have our own path :)

For those asking, to me the new Graphene versions have a fuller overall sound with an increase in bottom end and bass definition.  Midrange is slightly improved.....and still the same fantastic top end that the Pulsars/Perspectives always had. 
@goldprintaudio ... I guess what I'm asking is ... is a night and day difference, or is it a slight improvement?
That all sounds like good stuff goldprintaudio!

I agree with both of you. @prof I am suggesting the Perspective2 respond well to the front end. The Conrad amps have always been well-regarded. Someday maybe I will convince you to upgrade you wires.

You hit the bass improvement accurately. I am hearing a greater improvement in the midrange. @goldprintaudio

As I mentioned, I just came from listening to music on my friend’s system. He has a really excellent and neutral-sounding pair of monitors, and a killer front end source. The clarity and detail is really amazing.I think it would tick many of the boxes that impress most audiophiles.

But as I listened, as good as the sound was, it just didn’t do what I hear when I listen to the Joseph speakers. Each instrument was very clear and detailed and spatially well represented, but ultimately each instrument, be it a drum set, guitar, bass, voice...all sounded like they were being produced by the same material - woofers, tweeters etc. Not in a lack of coherence way, but timbrally.

When instruments like an electric piano piled up on acoustic guitar, other synths, bass, vocals, what the Joseph speakers do for me is truly separate out the timbral qualities - the electric piano will be completely distinct in it’s tonal character, the specific colors of an acoustic guitar will shine through, the exact nature of the metal bits of a drum kit vs the skin, it all comes in to clear, tonal relief as if a sort of scrim of homogenizing silt I hear with most speakers is wiped away.

And I think this is something that, when you notice and care about it, become a bigger thing for you than maybe for others. That’s why I just pay little attention to "X speaker is WAY better than the Joseph" speakers (or other speakers I like) because, maybe they DO outperform them in certain areas. But I have no idea if they produce the *specific character* of sound that I like in the Joseph speakers. I don't know if the person recommending these "better" speakers actually hears or cares specifically about what I do.     And having auditioned and heard a mind-numbing number of speakers, I’m pretty confident that the odds are that another speaker, even if great in some respects, aren’t going to recreate the quality I like in the Joseph speakers.

(BTW, that doesn’t mean I think the Joseph speakers have perfected the loudspeaker. I like qualities in other speakers as well. I’m just saying that what I like in Joseph speakers tends not to be found in the competition to my ears).

I would say significant improvement in the bass and, in the midrange a lesser improvement, but enough to make you very happy.

If you are impressed with the original Perspective, the Perspective2 may very well cover anything you thought was missing. I am listening right now to one of my wife’s playlists (pop) and love it. 

The answer Mark just gave is pretty close to how I feel.

I would certainly say more then a slight improvement, but night and day would probably be going to the originals are just such good speakers.
@goldprintaudio ... Thanks! That's exactly what I wanted to know.



If I were to list anything in the "con" vs "pro" side of the ledger, based on my various auditions of the Perspectives at stores and my home, and comparing to other speakers I like, I'd say:

1.  The bass.

Aside from the beautiful mids and highs, bass is actually one of the things I loved from the Perspectives.  It has a great, juicy tone and texture.  Love bass synths, bass guitars through the Perspective.  (Especially Jaco!  I'd never heard Jaco's bass sound that beautiful).The bass also "swells" beautifully and warmly  for dramatic parts in classical and soundtrack music.

My one criticism was that at the very bottom of the range, it could be a bit loose, a bit "puffy."  I'm used to living with some Thiel speakers that are just bang on in the bass, pitch, control, sound almost perfect.  So other speakers have a tough time competing.

If the Perspective 2s improve on that issue, that would be awesome.

2.  Fullness.

The great thing about the Joseph sound is the combination of analytical-levels of detail that don't come off as analytical.  Part of this is due to how the highs and upper mids are so clean and free of exaggerated etch or grit.  But another is that Joseph has beautifullly voiced warmth and fullness in to the tone, so they sound much richer than you'd expect from a stand mounted or small thin floor standing speaker.


They do not have overall as thick, rich and filled out sound as some other speakers I really like - e.g. my Thiels, Devores, Harbeth).   Guitars have more clear, ringing leading edge on the Josephs than those other speakers, but less of the size and body.   If the new models have somehow increased the sense of fullness of sound through the whole spectrum (not just the bass/upper bass) that would be something.   But I think the design and physics really places limits on how far that can go, so I'm not expecting miracles there.

"But I think the design and physics really places limits on how far that can go, so I’m not expecting miracles there."

My suspicion from this entire discussion is that the Graphene 2’s may be a moderate improvement over the originals. Not that there is anything wrong with that and, in a perfect world, I might just go for the upgrade; however, in this imperfect world, I’m leaning toward sticking with the originals (at least for now) given that: (a) the sound of my original Pulsars (purchased new last year) are frickin’ amazing; (b) I need to hear the Graphene 2’s to confirm or not confirm my suspicion; and (c) typically, I like to see how things shake out over some period of time after new models/upgrades are offered. I may ask Jeff if I can stop by at some point to hear the new ones.

If anyone is actually in touch with Jeff Joseph, it would be great to get some confirmation, or disinformation as to whether the sensitivity of the speaker has changed.  Mark suggests from his experience the 2 version seems a bit more sensitive.  It would be nice to have that confirmed.
From my correspondence  he said the sensitivity  was slightly higher but the subjective  impression  is greater than the measured  difference.  They had a fuller, richer more detailed sound. 
Not sure what is meant by the subjective impression other than if a speaker has a more detailed sound you will hear the music better which gives the impression the speaker is louder? I know it wasn't  the most cost effective  way of going about it but I bought used perspectives and after some back and forth with JA I  went ahead and sent them for the upgrade. When I bought them I wasn't  aware they had come out with the new version. Still saving a few thousand though. 


Thanks for the info.

I think a speaker can sound "subjectively" more sensitive for a number of reasons. One could simply be slightly altering the tonal balance with a fuller bass, so it can sound more complete at slightly lower volume levels, or you feel the bass more at the same volume levels as the old version, giving the subjective impression it’s moving more air at the same volume level.

I’m sure there are other technical aspects understood by others for why a speaker may sound more sensitive than it actually is.

I have a pair of Waveform Mach MC monitors, rated at only 84.5dB sensitivity. But they sound more dynamically alive, within their frequency limits, than pretty much any other speaker I own, including higher sensitivity speakers.

Do you have the Talk Talk album Colour Of Spring?

If so try playing the first track. It’s one of my test tracks for speakers. The production and sound quality is amazing and that track is great as it starts with a pristine drum beat and individual instruments come in.

I played that track on the Perspectives at my house and honestly thought “I don’t know if reproduced sound gets better than this!”
It is on Qobuz at 24/96. Sounds very good 
I stopped posting on this site years ago because of the typical insults, personal bashing and comments from those who have not heard a component under discussion but think their input is valid, etc. In spite of this, I want to summarize my experience regarding the value and price of the Pulsar.

I retired about 20 months ago and moved to Alto, NM from Jackson, WY. I Iived in Jackson for 38 years and during that time, I owned, in ascending timeline, the Dahlquist DQ10 with the Sequerra ribbon tweeter, the Acoustat 1 + 1, the Martin Logan CLS2A, the ML Aerius, the ML SL3, and finally, the ML Summit. About five years before I left Wyoming, I decided to switch companies and bought the MBL 116.

When I arrived in Alto, I decided to downsize for aesthetic reasons and auditioned / bought the Joseph Audio Pulsar and, shortly after that, a REL T7i subwoofer. I also currently own a Conrad Johnson ET5 preamp, a Pass Labs X250.5 amplifier and a Luxman D06U CDP. With the exception of my speaker wire (Signal Cable Silver Resolution - 30’ and 40’ lengths), I use Shunyata Research wire.

When I made the decision to go from electrostatics and the MBL 116 (MSRP $24K) to a stand mount / monitor size speaker, I knew it would be a serious challenge to match the performance levels of my previous speakers, especially the MBL.

Much to my pleasant surprise and amazement, I auditioned the Pulsar and found its performance comparable, if not better in some aspects, than the 116. I spent several months fine tuning placement and (with exception of the limited soundstage height) I am extremely satisfied with this speaker. It is likely my last speaker purchase. It has the quickness, imaging, dimensionality and provides me with the musicality and emotional impact of my previous transducers. FYI, I typically listen to my system (one on one) a minimum of two hours a day.

Suffice to say and in my humble opinion, the Pulsar, from a price / performance perspective, is one the the greatest bargains I’ve purchased in my 40 years of being a serious audio listener.

And yes Mark, the Talk Talk CD you mentioned is a very special piece of music.

Am I going the get the upgrade? Take a guess.

Hi Gordon,

It’s great to get an update on how those Pulsars worked out for you.

I recognize your journey from the What’s Best forum. I’m a fellow MBL owner - I still own the MBL 121 monitors. (And Thiels, and other speakers).

I think owning the MBLs is one reason why I am more inclined towards the Perspectives over the Pulsars. I already own a pretty elite-performing monitor for when I want that.

I notice that very often the emotional component of listening to the Joseph speakers is mentioned by those who hear them. I agree. I think it’s that elusive combination of sometimes hair-raising transparency and detail combined with a smoothness and richness, that makes the speakers both communicate the aliveness and directness of music while also communicating the warmth and smoothness and richness of the real thing.

I dropped in to an audio store that I was passing by today and listened briefly to the Paradigm Persona speakers (which I’d auditioned last year more extensively). Nice. Clear. Didn’t move me at all. There are certain speaker brands that, if they are playing, I simply can’t not listen. In "it" factor that seems to speak to what my brain craves. Paradigm-type speakers don’t seem to grab me in the same way. They are just to me another really competent, transparent sounding high end speaker, in a marketplace with tons of competent, transparent sounding high end speakers.

The JA speakers have an "it" factor for me, for the reasons I’ve described earlier.

I dropped in to an audio store that I was passing by today and listened briefly to the Paradigm Persona speakers (which I’d auditioned last year more extensively). Nice. Clear. Didn’t move me at all.
the acoustics of an audio store would not be the ideal place to evaluate the sound though would it?

the it factor is distortion. youre identifying a characteristic that is there on all tracks you play through the josephs. 

A true high end speaker has no identifiable characteristic. 

Few rooms are ideal to evaluate speakers. Even the homes of many audiophiles.

I can get a good gist of the character of a speaker when listening in a store, so long as the set isn’t terribly compromised. (The speakers I heard today sounded pretty much as they did in a previous audition in a dedicated room).

the it factor is distortion. youre identifying a characteristic that is there on all tracks you play through the josephs. acoustic music seems to have a similar "it" factor when I listen to it ;)

A true high end speaker has no identifiable characteristic.

In someone’s dream world perhaps. In reality, every single speaker I’ve ever heard, bar none, has ultimately homogenized the sound of reproduced music.

I have read every post on this thread. I have heard the Pulsars, the Pulsars 2, the Perspectives, the Perspective 2s and the Pearl 3s. I have heard the Pulsars and Pulsar 2s in a hotel room. Not an ideal environment...and they sounded really good both times. I have heard the Perspectives 2s in a hotel room. They sounded great. I have heard the Perspectives in a hotel room on two separate occasions and then in my home for the last two years. They positively connect with most listeners who hear them IMO. Beautiful full sound that resolves without edge and manages to provide instrument separation without deconstructing the musical whole. This means bands sound like bands as opposed to a collection of folks playing different instruments. Symphonies remain cohesive even as the listener can distinctly hear the different sections while  experiencing believable timbre. Voices, male and female, exhibit nuance and character that sounds realistic. Oh, and the sweet spot is not narrow--a group can listen to these speakers and not have to worry that they didn't get adequate time in the primary listening position. To do all these things is hard for most speakers. Especially at the Perspective price point. I have heard the Pearl 3s, first in a hotel room and now in my home for the last month or so. Simply sublime. Everything I just said about Perspectives but more so. The point is I haven't heard any of these three Joseph models every sound pedestrian, even in difficult venues. I'm no expert, but I have heard a fair number of speakers and read almost every sentence I can find on the internet from a Joseph listener who chose to comment on what they heard. It appears I am not alone in my assessment of this brand and the models mentioned above. Not everyone has to like the Joseph sound or the Joseph price point. But, it is rare to hear someone say that the Joseph brand doesn't deliver a rewarding musical experience while providing its owners true value.

@astewart8944  ... what did you perceive the sonic differences to be between the original Pulsar and the Pulsar 2?
@rlb61 I honestly can't tell you. I heard them a few years apart. Sorry I'm not more help on that front. 
No problem. As I said earlier, I'm gonna wait until this upgrade shakes out a bit. Given the numerous reviews about how great the original Pulsars sound, and based on my own experience to that effect in my room with my system, I think it's gonna take a lot to convince me that the upgrade is a significant improvement. We shall see. 

The Absolute Sound just published this:

For the past few years, I’ve been impressed with Joseph Audio’s show presentations. I’ve been able to play 15ips tapes (a safety mastertape and transfers from my vinyl) that I use to evaluate music playback on tape decks. The occasional vinyl LP is also played at times during show evaluations in this room. The system has had tube electronics from Doshi Audio and solid-state electronics from Jeff Rowland Design Group driving the speakers (the tape preamp has always been Doshi). This year, Joseph Audio introduced the new Perspective2 Graphene($14,999) speaker. The new speaker is a legitimate upgrade over the Perspective it replaces—I had a very nice technical discussion with Jeff Joseph during a brief overlap of morning breakfast about the level of redesign work he put into this new speaker. This year, I listened exclusively to the digital playback and the system, again, sounded excellent. Each aspect of the sound was captivating and as open as can be in a show environment. Once again, Joseph Audio impressed this listener at another audio show—this time it was the new Perspective2 Graphene—the company must be doing something right.

AJ’s Digital Best of Show:
Best Sound (cost no object): Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene with Rowland electronics and Aurendermusic server

@markalarsen Thanks for the post above from Absolute Sound. I will note that Jeff Joseph was using the Rowland Corus+Aeris DAC+PSU to play his digital music. I happen to own this combination. I think if more folks heard the combo all together it would have a bigger following. This year at AXPONA both rooms featuring Rowland gear featured this combination and it sounded superb IMO. 
@markalarsen ... oh, crap!!!!! 😉
This is response to the "kanjit" post on Page One. Six from the top.

He states that the original SEAS mid bass driver costs $50 and the SEAS graphene $200. Madisound sells the original for $260 or so and the new graphene model for around $500.

I wonder where people get their information from.

And another of his posts on this page.

"A true hi end speaker has no identifiable characteristic".

Having owned several "hi end" speakers over several decades (see my above post on this page), this is absolutely untrue. He appears to have a bias against Joseph Audio and I would guess he has never heard the specific product under discussion. I also suspect he has limited knowledge regarding the overall costs that go into making a hi performance product and has an anti hi end bias in general.

And FWIW, this is one manufacturer that has received many compliments from the audio press exhibiting at various audio shows. I was talking to a friend who owns the Martin Logan CLX Art speaker (MSRP $25K) with dual subs and Audio Research electronics. I mentioned in an e-mail that I had the Pulsars and he replied that he had just been to the Axopana show and felt the demo was one of the best of show.

Agreed bubinga.

I too have probably read everything anyone has said about the Pulsars/Perspectives on the web (part of being obsessed with a speaker I want to buy).

The comments about hearing the speaker in shows, demos, friends, or owners are *almost* universally positive to one degree or another. Usually very positive.

Certainly reports from shows indicate almost universal praise.

As this writer put it:

  • "I bet if I could get all the attendees for the three days of Axpona in one room and asked who likes Joseph Audio speakers over 95% would raise their hands."

The 2000.00 bookshelf usher is not far from.joseph audio...

Again, nyaudio98...what's the matter with you?
This is a thread on the topic of the new Joseph Audio speakers.
Everyone knows other competing speaker brands exist.  No one cares what you think is better.  Start another thread if you want to talk about other speakers.

Did you actually pass the capcha tests before posting?

Post removed 

captcha test Good one. Don’t argue with the troll @nyaudio98

Hey NYAudio98, it sounds like you are threatening another member. I have reported you to the admins.
Have a nice day.

Actually it was a veiled threat and there is no place for that on Audiogon. You should be banished permanently