14 responses Add your response
I live in Japan and actually have had a chance to listen to the S-1ex, as well as the newest model, the S-3ex - It is exactly the same as s-1ex, but has smaller dimensions and instead of a beryllium tweeter, it has a 'ceramic graphite' tweeter. Retails for around 6k USD. They sounded very alive and extended. My initial thought is that the S-1ex is perhaps a touch smoother and has more extended low frequencies, but the S-3ex sounded very similar overall. I heard them on two different systems, different days and rooms, so comparisons are admittedly difficult and subjective.
I was really interested in the EX-1s. I believe they retail at about $7k here in the U.S. the last time I checked. They did not sound too impressive a few years back at the Stereophile show in L.A. They were driven by all Bel Canto electronics. After the show, I wanted to listen to them again at a retail location. I had visited Pioneers website and lefted multiple e-mails requesting for retailer information throughout the past two years, but had never received any reply except the automatic replies indicating that they had received my request.
I heard the TAD-1 at RMAF last month and liked what I heard. I would really loved to get a chance to audition the EX-1s. Unfortunately, from the experiences I've had, I take it that Pioneer is not too eager about selling those speakers here in the States?
The Pioneer S-3EX speakers (TAD drivers) are incredible and best bargin out there for the money.
I ended up selling my Sonus Faber Elipsa speakers because the Pioneer S-3EX out performed them in every aspect at less than half the price.
The Pioneer S-3EX speakers have one of the best imaging and resolutions in a full range speaker.
Do yourself a favor and go listen to the S-3EX speakers and you'll understand what I mean.
My rest of the system is McIntosh MC-1.2KW mono amps, Pass Labs XP-20 preamp, Esoteric D-03 & P-03 /dac-transport combo. Bmi Oceanic statement power cables on each piece of equipment ,5 in total.Kimber KS-3038 Biwire 8ft. speaker cables, Kimber balance xlr ks-1136 interconnects , 4 in total on each piece except on dac I use Kimber select digital.
People may think why spend so much on electronics and cables for a $8K speaker? Well I did have Sonus faber Elipsa speakers which were $20K , with this set up. Plus after listening to the S-3EX speakers you think you are listening to a +$30K type speaker.
Until I bought a pair of Pioneer S-3EX speakers. Blown away is all I can say by these 3-EX speakers. I compared side by side with the Sonus Faber Elipsa speakers in the system for weeks. And hands down the Pioneer S-3EX speakers was superior on every spectrum of listening criteria. The resolution, imaging and sound stage is so impressive, they sound like $40K speakers which I've owned in the past. The Pioneer S-3EX is so fast and accurate in the midrange and midbass it's scary great. I just love the way they sound for jazz recordings.
Now the Sonus Faber Elipsa speakers are excellent speakers, no doubt about it. But the Pioneer S-3EX speakers with the Tad drivers is better sounding than the Elipsa speakers and for a lot less money. I ended up selling my Elipsa speakers and pocketing the difference.
The Pioneer S-3EX is a very special and unique speakers. The only drawback is that they are very hard to find in dealers because they are snatched up so quick by audiophiles overseas and they brought in very few pairs into the USA. I would love to find another pair if possible but I think the secret is out already about these incredible high resoultion speakers.
As Mfslgoldcd stated, locating a pair is the issue. I had heard these at several shows. But when I asked about where I could audition further or purchase a pair here in the US, I never received an answer. I even tried sending the question through their official website several times.
I guess next time I'll ask if I could buy the pair from them after the show. ;-)
Had listened to a pair of Pioneer S-3EX speakers at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival last year and was extremely impressed by there sound. One of the best transparent and imaging speaker I ever heard. Could of won best in show for the money.
Thought they were 25K sounding speakers when listening. I too have been searching for a pair and seems Pioneer only made a few pairs for the USA market. Here is a great pair of speakers but now I can't find them, go figure why Pioneer doesn't manufacture more the S-3EX here in the USA ???
Keep looking Joefama they are worth the search. If you are able to find an extra pair of Pioneer S-3EX speakers let me know. Would love to have another pair for my vacation home.
Like what I said before the Pioneer S-3EX speakers are one of hi-end audio's best kept secret. Or you could just buy the TAD Reference speakers for 80K or the TAD Compact Reference speakers for $40K with stands. The S-3EX have a much higher value pound for pound/ dollar for dollar.