Meadowlark...The Rodney Dangerfield of the audio world. Awesome speakers!
14 responses Add your response
I cannot give you a direct answer, but hope the following helps. The new technology surpasses the old. It has allowed Pat to use different drivers and build more efficient and simplier cross-overs. It has also allowed him to take transmission line technology to a new level. I have not heard the Osprey but have spoken with him about them. He wants the listener to decide, but he has his opinions. If he did not think they were better, then he would not be putting them into production. I have heard Swift and Swallows side by side to Vireo and Kestrel and Kestrel HR, they are more muscial, have a stronger presence and amazing soundstage. I still like the accuracy of the Vireo, but the Swift and Swallow are awesome, especially taking into consideration their price. It only makes sense that Osprey surpasses previous models. If you are in the Chicago area, Promusica is a great place to compare them. I will audition Osprey in November.
I haven't yet heard the Osprey, but I have listened to the model below it, the Swift. The location was the 2002 NYC Stereophile HiFi Show. They were a part of the Rogue Audio room.
My impressions are that the speaker is not as full as I would like. Unlike my previous experiences with Meadowlark, the sonics were very lightweight. I am not a fan of speakers that sound lean, and in the room I heard them in, with tube electronics, that was how they sounded to me. I also noted that the speakers did not seem to be seamless between the drivers. I was not trying to audition the speakers, but the preamp/power amp, but felt that the Swift detracted from the combination.
Conversely, it seemed that the speakers were very fast, and agile. And, at $999, many people thought them to be fantastic. Perhaps the cost should be factored into the equation, but I never judge a speaker with a less critical eye because it is not expensive. I have come across too many fine sounding inexpensive speakers. Traditionally, I have always been very impressed by Meadowlark speakers. I would like to listen to the Ospreys, as they are larger, and will hopefully sound fuller.
I think it will be at least a month or better before we get a reliable and objective evaluation of the Meadowlark Osprey. It will take that long for dealer's to receive their "demo" models and for "some" break-in time. I hope for ML's sake this model offers what it claims and more, and not be just another casualty of a depressed hi-end market trying to find a rave product that far exceeds its design goals. To my knowledge, ML has never had a "celebrity" speaker that sold well and got great reviews like, for example, Audio Physic's Virgo II( I am drawing a blank of others like the AP). Does any one know of ML dealers beside Promusica in Chicago who have product to audition???
Just today I heard the new offerings from Meadowlark. I live in Atlanta, Ga and I heard these at Audio Alternative, one of the highest selling Meadowlark dealers. Now mind you they only have 40 hrs on them, but being a lover of the, Heron i, I will bet my bedroom system they will our rank said Herons once broken in fully. They were incredible even stiff as they were. The highs were clear and open, never harsh or clouded. The mids were well placed and did not get muddy aproching the crossover point. Bass was tight, deep and clearer than I had hoped. When the scan speak bass driver loosens up a bit then the trassmission system should truly shine.
I will be returning in 3 weeks to audition them fully with Bach, Stones and ELO in hand.
Agree with Trelja...I found the Swifts to be extremely bass shy and thin in the midrange...for the extra $500 or so...I would go with the original Kestrals....they have a much fuller presentation...and the bass is more prominent...the Swifts sound more like monitors that come with stands....I have heard the Shearwaters and they are very impressive...lets hope the Osprey can do the same...does it have the new BASSIC technology?
To whom it may concern: I've now had these new Meadowlark Osprey in my home for one week, going through the lengthy break-in period so a full review is still a ways off, but after the 3rd day of continous play, I can say that these are real keepers. On looks alone they are a gorgeous pillar of furniture. I got mine in the Pennsylvania Cherry. Absolutely beautiful. The sound, well, I can say that they produce what is fed them.These are a music purist's dream, huge soundstage( wide and deep),smooth,involving,and pleasing to these golden ears.These, being a phase and time-coherent speaker, are not for the camp of Audiophiles who like their music in their face with gut-wrenching bass that makes you bend over in agony, but rather for the purist, who favors the naturalness of live music and appreciates the subtleties of micro and macro dynamics that live music offers.I previously had B&W speakers, which are very good speakers, and before that, Vandersteen 2B's, which are in the same camp of phase and time-coherency.Some people prefer this time coherency, others don't.Each has ligitimate reasons.I see the virtues of both camps and appreciate what each camp prefers, but as for me, I'd rather live on with a properly designed time and phase-coherent speaker.Once your ears become accustomed to their sound( of course, all associated electronics and cables are important as well) they can only provide that " breath of life " that is so mesmerizing and involving. I think I'm going to live with the Osprey for a while. By the way, the new Kestral II look like mini-clones of the Osprey. I'll bet their design came from the research made with developing the Osprey.I bought these sight unheard and it was a wise purchase on my part. My hat's off to Meadowlark for a job well done.
I know, my description sounds crazy. I might me more of a mental thing(the tweeters are physically larger than my mains, Heron I's) but the highs just seemed fuller than I was use to, in a good way.
I kicked the hell out of my self trying to decide on rears...I had listened to the Swifts in home also, bought the Ospreys unheard, we all really should not buy speakers unheard.....
In my direct comparisons, Heron-I's, Swifts and Ospreys, the Herons have a more controlled bottom end.
The Osprey, like all the Meadowlarks from what I've been told, take a while for the bottom end to open up and gain their control. My Osprey have now been cooking for a week and each day that passes, the bass gets deeper and better controlled. I am not familiar with this new Bassic technology, but associated equipment and room placement is critical in achieving the best bass response in your room. I'm still waiting for the speakers themselves to fully break in so that I can find the best room placement and cable synergy to achieve the bass that these are capable of.Once the speakers are where I feel are at their maturity of break in then I want to give a more detailed review on them.Stay tuned.