If you want a good sounding monitor, snap up the $1000 pair of Aerial 5s that were listed a few days ago. They kick the ass of Plat. solos. Another good choice would be Paradigm studio 20s. I had platinum solos on loan for a while. I found them bright, thin on the bottom, and little bass. (not surprising considering 2 4" woofers). They needed about 2-4 layers of toilet paper over the tweeters behind the grill to tame the tweeter's brightness down. (not kidding.) Combine that with the fact that platinum is long out of business and spares/repairs are not available for these drivers, and they are pretty much a pair of boatanchors. There's tons better stuff out there for the same $ or less. The plats do have a nice finish and look cool, but the sound leaves a lot to be desired. I am sure some platinum owners will chime in here with defenses for these (typical proud-owner syndrome of course), but the facts remain as above.
Sean34,I used a Sound Valves 35 watts per channel tube amplifier, and a matching tube preamplifier, and the sound was musical, articulate, detailed, and with thrilling bass.
Audiophile buddies agreed. This was in a small room.
These go used on Audiogon for about $600, and are a fine value, especially because there is bass extension, and detail, not usually available at this price, but so important to the fun of many recordings.
I know Ed feels this must be either physically impossible, or biased, but that's what one group of careful listeners heard.
Whenever there is such a radical divergence of opinions, I prefer to attribute this to damage or malfunction of the component under test, poor component synergy, or wearing out of my hearing aid battery. Just kidding.
Just put each posting into perspective, by going back to the other postings here, and elsewhere on the internet, using google.com search engine.
If you want any specific questions answered about system, and room matching for these speakers, feel free to email through the Audiogon member email exchange.
I have the Solos in my setup for a little more than 3 years now and having great success partnering it with the Ayre V3 amp (100 watts SS) and an AS Passion passive pre. My room size is 15.6 x 10.5 x 8 and no problems with the "loudness" factor ie: it will go as loud as I want with most modern CD recordings. If you are interested, the details to the rest of my setup can be found at the following link in AA; http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/3896.html
The Solos in my system is not "thin" sounding as experienced by others and I gather it all comes down to matching of the other components in your system and careful setup/placement of the equipment as well.
I use Platinum Solos in my home studio with a Mac G4 and Digidesign 001. For reference, I have 5 systems at home with speaker systems ranging in value from $1,100-$12,000.
The Solos sound really good in my set-up. They are smooth and unfatigueing with a full midbass and reasonably transparent mids.I have an extra sub in the closet that I've considered adding, but they sound extended enough on their own in a smaller room.
Voices are wonderful. They throw a deep and layered stage. I don't find the highs bright at all--just about right (but I'm pushing 50).
I've driven them with as little as 30 watts (Aloia) to as many as 225 watts. They do like power but will do well with less if you don't push them too hard (they actually sound quite good with my Adcom 5400--125 watts--that some find on the bright side).
There are other good choices. I reently heard the Von Schweikert VR1 that were really nice and threw a big stage...but I'd still go for the Solos for their liveliness and dynamics.
Haven't heard them with tubes, though.
I also use to own the Solo's and they are great speakers,very smooth in all the bands,excellent presentation,bright?..first time I hears the Solo's considered bright.Fantastic bloom and extended highs,bass is acceptable for a small speaker but dont expect deeeeppp bass.These montiors are very reveiling so basically source matching is very important.Its a classic monitor.
These guys are all over the map.
1. The Solos need a TON of quality power AND current. MOSFET designs seem to work particularly well. I had best success with an old Acoustat TNT-200 and a Sunfire 300. I tried an ARC D-115MKII (110 tube watts per channel) and it was grossly inadequate. I also tried a Classe DR-9 (100wpc with MASSIVE current) which sounded splendid, but only at moderate volumes. Finally, I tried a McIntosh MC-7150 (150wpc with autoformers) which was a total JOKE!
2. There is nothing bright about their presentation. They are revealing, but not overly so. None of the amps that I tried sounded bright or thin. Not sure what Ed was using to drive his, but as long as it's decent quality, you shouldn't have a problem.
3. Bass response is tremendous. Period. Not "just for their size" - or - "considering that all of that sound is coming from a 4" woofer." They go into the low 30's with ease. Unfortunately, however, the port is rear-facing and they need to be AT LEAST 2-3' from the back wall. In a small room, I just wouldn't recommend them. You'll be very frustrated.
I would concur with Ed_Sawyer regarding the Aerial Model 5s inasmuch as they are a FABULOUS speaker - especially for a small room. I disagree that they TROUNCE the Solos. They're both excellent, but for a small room, the Aerials win hands-down. They, too, however, require lots of current and QUALITY amplification. The Classe DR-9 that I mentioned previously was a HEAVENLY match with the Aerial Model 5s in my 11'X13' room.
Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me privately if you need more info.
Gullahisland hit it on the head. These beauties require as much current and voltage as you can afford to give 'em - quality is important as always. I had them on extended loan about 7 yrs ago and used a 165wt Mesa tube amp. In triode mode (35wts) the speakers sounded weak, with 165 tube wts they came alive and really do have tremendous bass for their size. In a small room I don't think you'd need a subwoofer - just keep 'em 3 ft from back and side walls.
The Solos were musical and seductive, no brightness or hardness whatsoever. They also were, at that time, the best looking speakers on the market - I think one of the first to address looks and be successful. I have seen a pair of used high gloss finished ones and I almost bought them just to look at. I now have a 10wt SET so there is no chance in hell I could get a squeak out of them.
By the way, don't waste your time trying to remove the grills, they are attached really tightly and you could spoil the cabinets very easily.
The grilles are easy to remove - at least mine were. No damage incurred.
If you guys don't find these bright, try comparing them to something else at the same time. They are without doubt the brightest 2-way small monitor I have ever heard. Metal 4" cones probably didn't help this any either. Compared to a good tweeter such as that in old L-series ADS, the Aerial tweeter, or even the Paradigm reference tweeter, these are *shrill*.
Low 30hz? Doubtful. Even from Plat. they were only rated mid-40s at best, IIRC. Like all small monitors, they need a subwoofer for anything below 40hz or more.
On balance, they just are not a good choice, IMHO, for the reasons stated initially. Maybe for $200-300 or so, if you can afford to throw them away if a driver goes bad. Anything higher than that, price-wise: look elsewhere for something better.
Hey, buy them if you want. But I'd be willing to bet we will see them back on the market before long. There's a reason these are always on Agon...
Please tell us your associated equipment at the time that you listened to the Solos.
No proud owner syndrome here. I don't currently own them, but I do think that they're an absolute STEAL at their used prices.
Per Platinum Audio's specifications - They were rated 40-20 +/- 2db. In room response most definitely extends into the mid 30s.
Maybe you had them connected out of phase???
How about the Infinity 2.6p's. Audio Advisor has them for $999. The best $1k speaker I've ever heard. And well worth the $2k retail price, to my ears.
I used to have a pair of Platinum Audio Solo's, and my system never sounded better. However, they sound horribly bright right out of the box, and require about 113 hours burn-in time. After that time you will start to hear their magic. They are one of the most transparent sounding, musically involving, and refined sounding monitor's I've ever listened to. Today the solo's would probably retail for about $3500+ as opposed to their original retail price of $2500 back in 1996. I did find that they needed a lot of juice. nevertheless, I used an old B&K Ex330 200rms amp and Musicaly Fidelity AC3R preamp which was a perfect match for the Platinum Solo's. recently I've heard well known loudspeakers in the $2500-$4000 range that don't come close to the performance of the Solo's.
When I purchased my Solos (fron dealer on loan who sold them rather then give back to Phil Jones) the dealer said mids have suckout because of the metal drivers (which I had hated discriminantly). I set them up and played Avalon from Roxy Music on Japanese vinyl. My wife came in the room and said "oh those sound really nice!" That was the first time she ever did that! Boy that was a great review coming from HER! These are really smooth!
I will acquire a set of platinum solos
have a Marantz 500 power amp from the 70s
wonder what they will sound like??
The Platinum Audio Solo's should sound great with your classic amp.
If not, let me know so I can buy either your amp or the speakers to end your suffering :>)
Because the Platinum Audio Solo's yield a full range, accurate and musical presentation with high power solid state amps you should be fine with your classic Marantz 500.
Of course, exactly what you will hear depends on each of the different parts of your system, not just the amp.
At one audio store, their finest Solo demo using a solid state amp featured the biggest Aragon amp, an amp of the speaker's time. That Aragon was like your Marantz, built to be a heavyweight champ impressing both sonically and visually.