They are quite different. For one thing, Pipedreams have separate subwoofers which have to be carefully placed in the room to try to get integration with the main towers. Secondly, they must be biamped. Another difference is the room size required: in all situations where I have heard them, Pipedreams have been in large rooms. The subwoofers seem to dictate this.
Sound Labs, being full range dipoles and designed as virtual line sources (not flat panels), tend to be much more independent of room size and in fact can work very well in small rooms. As a Sound Lab dealer I have customers with identical speakers (A-1PX, for example) in fairly large rooms (about 17 ft. by 48 ft.) and small rooms (12 ft. by 19 ft.) with good success. My own room is on the small side, with U-1s, which are very similar to M-1s.
Pipedreams will play very loud, given enough power. Their subwoofers will give chest-thumping bass, whereas Sound Labs' dipole bass is of a different variety, where it envelops you instead of being in your face. Sound Labs will play loud but not at insane levels - 100 dB or so is about the max. They are more of a finesse speaker with lots of low level detail, texture and timbre.
You might also try listening to the Pipedreams at various volume levels, especially lower volumes, to see how they perform. Sound Labs do fine in this regard.
Your choice depends upon the kinds of music you listen to and at what volumes as well as your room. Find out about recommended placement and room treatment for optimum performance in your room, and decide whether this is acceptable to you and yours. Also look at recommended associated electronics and accessories to see what works best and will be compatible with the rest of your system.
Good luck and listening!
Sorry to say, but the Pipedreams are pretty bad.
The new Apogee (Synergy 1.5) may be a good option to compare with those brands....Spl's of 110-115db can be had with these.
Some of the slam of the big pipedreams while giving a Soundlab like soundfield....around $25,000 for the new Apogees which includes shipping... (300lb's each) without crate.
Here's a pic of the new Apogees:http://www.apogeeacoustics.com/synergy1_5_pictures_1.html
Never having heard either; I'm reading this thread as an outsider. BUT--- I have read about both. "Pretty-Bad" was never in any of the PD reviews I read.
Dennis, you probably know the answer to this as you are the only one who knows what kind of sound you like. These planar and dynamic speakers have very different sound quality. SL will not give you the macrodynamics/gut wrenching deep bass of the PD. The PD will not give you the inner detail/microdynamics of the SL. Soundstage/imaging is equally impressive for both but different. SL will sound more natural on acoustic music. The new Apogee Synergy at least on paper may be a good compromise of both.
Dracule1, from the standpoint of chest thumping bass one gets from cones, you are correct. But when the large (often 48" diameter or more) bass drum is hit at the symphony, do you get that effect? I think not. You sense the sudden air movement as the sound waves wash over you. Double (string) bass and grand piano also are quite different. The bass you hear at a rock concert is coming from cone woofers, not from instruments. Rock music, except for amateur bootleg recordings, is mainly recorded direct from the instruments' outputs, not by microphones picking up the speakers' output.
Jtinn's comments must be totally discounted as he sells other brands. Ignore it and move on to more objective posters.
LOL, for a speaker that's "pretty bad", it is the best thing I've had in my room in over 30 years in the hobby.
Dennis, Audiofeil generally would be correct, but in this case he is wrong. The Pipedreams are indeed not very good. The crossover is terrible and the cheap tweeters are subpar. The image size is unrealistic, the bass does not integrate well, the company cannot be trusted and the workmanship is poor. Although I never heard the original pair created by Mark Porzili , I am told they were pretty good.
The Soundlabs are very good sounding. They are not necessarily my cup of tea, but they are respectable.
Paul: I am sorry if I offended you. I certainly do not intend to do so, but I have quite a bit of experience with both the speakers and the company and hold to my statement.
Jtinn: I agree 100%. It takes guts to be honest and your assessment is honest. In my opinion it is also accurate.
Beemer: Who cares if you have over 30 years in the hobby? Lots of people do things for long periods of time without being good at them. I know somebody who has played guitar for 30 years and still sucks at it. Quantity is no substitute for quality.
Brian, RIGHT ON with your explanation of deep bass. I for one love the sound and feel of the bass hitting your gut! However, you are CORRECT...ain't that way at the concert hall. I have always believed that we as audiophiles and music lovers want our cake and eat it too. We want accurate and absolute sound but also want the spectacular sound of what electronics can produce.
I have not heard the Soundlabs for quite some time but I recall hearing them at one of the NYC shows (10 yrs ago) and saying that they were the most authentic speaker to replicate live music.
Brian, I was talking more about quantity than quality of bass. Dynamic speakers IME just have more impact and go lower. In a classcical concert hall sitting mid hall, impact is less of an issue, but listening to live jazz where you are literally within 20 feet of the performer, the kick drum does hit you like a bat. Quality of bass is where planars excel - I have yet to hear bass from a cone driver rival that from a large Apogee or Maggie Tympani. So I think we agree.
Thanks, Rwd, I try to explain things as clearly as possible. I've been into high end for going on 35 years and have seen many companies come and go, especially speaker manufacturers. I try to stick to what I know best and avoid criticizing competitors because it is uncalled for and may be seen as unprofessional.
Brian's right. Guts aside, it is totally unprofessional (and unethical) to knock a competitive product. An experienced businessman would know that.
Hello Raulvega. I care. LOL in 30 years I've owned speakers you dream about such as:
Apogee Divas w/DAX
Infinity IRS Beta
Infinity IRS Gamma
B&W Matrix 800
B&W Nautilus 800
There have been others you lust after as well in my home.
I'll stand by MY words. In my home, no speaker has come as close to delivering the live sound experience as has the Pipedreams.
I still love the planar sound, and have Infinity RS1b's heavily modded in a second system.
So, please.......make sure of your target before you pull the trigger.
I have heard the Soundlabs A-1 driven by McIntosh tube preamp and 1201 monoblocks. This is the only Soundlabs speaker I have heard a lot. Low-level detail and imaging are superb, however I found them unable to play at levels I like to enjoy. In fact, we sat and watched the protect lamps on the 1201's flash at us as we turned up the volume.
If I did the majority of my listening at low levels, they would be in the house now.
Like other participants in this thread, I will take the high ground. I'd far rather say something good about a person or product, than to insult and denigrate.