I own Gold i models and have upgraded to PSB Platinum T-6s. I have looked at and liked Synchrony, Maggie 3.7, Sonus Faber Luito, and Dynaudio three-way floorstander. None were compatible with my Naim equipment or fit my price range. Should be many more choices if you have a high current amp.
I had silvers and found that the stratus mini's with a sub actually performed better. The mini's had better imaging due to a smaller box and easier placement.
My switch was to Coincident speakers and I've never looked back. Much more detail, way more efficient, however a tad less earth shaking bass.
The Golds can present very good detail.
To me, getting them to sound right is more a question of the amplifier you pair with them. Unfortunately, in my experience, most owners will never get to really hear their Gods because of their amplifier not being able to make the speaker come alive.
If you're happy enough with the aesthetics of the speaker, and not in a mood to just try something else, I'd encourage you to try a different amplifier instead. The Carver/Sunfire products are particularly recommended as being synergistic with the speakers.
I have heard that the Golds respond to different amplifiers. Is it a question of power, current, solid state or tubes.
Has anyone tried bi-amping with solid state bass and tube mid/treble?
They really are a nice sounding speaker all round. I do have my eye on some JM Labs Utopias, but its a pretty big jump in price, even used.
I had a pair of the Gold around 1988 or so.
I powered them with 200 watt mono block solid state amps.
I thought it was moving forward in sound from a pair of Vandersteen 2c,but it wasn't.
The Vandersteens are still a bargain and I wouldn't hesitate to go back to them with the newer edition.
I can't say that about the Golds.
PSB has come along ways also, and todays newer PSB speakers are also a good buy.
I haven't heard them however.
I have heard the newer Vandies.
What are your current upstream components and cabling? Any speaker can sound more detailed if the upstream componentry is faster--i.e., has wider bandwidth and faster rise time.
I suspect that if you bi-amp with wide bandwidth Oddysey amps and Kimber or Zu cable, you'd get more detail from your current Golds. You could also look into re-wiring your speakers with silver. It all comes down to which is the more cost-effective upgrade. You might even contact PSB and/or Madisound to see if there are more detailed drop-in replacement midranges (and perhaps tweeters).
If you want smooth tonal balance, smooth but airy highs, transparent midrange, and clean tight extended bass without breaking the bank, look into the GoldenEar Triton 2 floorstanders at a list price of $2500. They're also very amp friendly.
I have a pair of gold i's and am having debates if I want to upgrade speakers. I pulled out the crossover in one speaker and the parts on it are not all that great, so I am concidering upgrading the caps on the crossover to see if it gives me better and a little smoother highs. Plus there are electrolytics where polys can be used and I bet the sound will be better. I have a pair of Mirage M1's also that I recieved not to long ago. I have upgraded the tweeters and woofers to SI drivers. The sound is more open but the bass is hard to adjust in my room. I have heard a pair of B&W 802d's and like those but the price tag is a little high for me to justify. If you like the speakers and dont want to spend a lot of money try replacing the caps on the crossovers. You can get Solen cap, poly, for around $35.00 each to replace the 100mfd 100 vac electrolyic caps, there are 4 on each board with a inexpensive 6 mfd poly and I think a 2.5 mfd poly that you might also want to replace. Just an Idea, to buy these speakers today would probably cost around $5000
I am a little surprised that with the popularity of the Golds that few owners have tried biamping or any other tweaks. Or maybe we are all satisfied and just enjoy them as is.
"maybe we are all satisfied...", nothing wrong with that position, but that begs the question, why were the Gold's discontinued?
I think the answer is that when you discover that you can no longer put up with Gold's shortcomings, you move onto the next pair of speakers and until the romance wears thin, move on again.
In reference to Mirage, I owned a pair of the M3Si speakers and ran them with two Bryston 4B amps and a couple of the big Mirage subs with dedicated crossovers and eventually grew tired of their flaws.
Some of us are just harder to please than others, or what we expect the music to sound like is just different from other folks who are more content to leave things as they are and enjoy them for what they are.
AS long as we enjoy , no one is wrong.
The Golds had a 10 year run, counting the Goldi, which is quite a long time for a unit from a high production outfit like PSB. The new top of the line Synchrony One is built in China, has a completely different cabinet structure with completely different drivers and I suppose, reflects Paul Barton's latest thinking on the state of the art in affordable speakers. I have seriously considered buying a pair, but have no ability to audition locally. I have heard and read that they are more accurate, but maybe not as warm as the Golds. While I can appreciate the design concepts used in the Synchrony One, I wont spend that kind of money without an audition.
I still own my Gold I's. My amp is a Bryston 4B-sst2. Very compatible together. I like to crank my music occasionally. Currently very satisfied after spending lots of money on lots of other combinations. I too am looking for an upgrade to the Gold I's, but it always seems like I need to spend >7K (to include tight room-shaking bass), which I cannot afford at this time.
I believe the reason PSB stopped making these is due to the size and width of the speaker, causing a low WAF. So glad I got a pair near the tail end of line offering. I wish speaker companies would ignore the WAF thing and just make some affordable full range stereo towers with front firing ports and woofers :)
For now I stick with the Gold I's. I enjoyed reading about other's suggestions. I may try a couple out in my casual search.
I have owned a used pair of the PSB Stratus Gold I version, which I bought on A-gon four years ago. I have been happy with the speakers broad range of talents; they may not be outstanding in any one single area, but they do an excellent job overall. I have them in a relatively small room, 15 feet deep and 12.5 feet wide, with the speakers at either side of the short wall; the front of the speaker is 3 feet away from the back wall. In such a small room, it helps to have that forward-firing bass port. I enjoy concert music from Baroque to Stravinsky, jazz, male and female vocalists, Gilbert and Sullivan, traditional folk, country/western, bluegrass, and 60's, 70's rock and roll. I initially drove the speakers with a McIntosh 7100 amp (100 watts into 8 ohms;150 watts into 4 ohms), but that wasn't enough power, so I now use a McIntosh 7300, with 300 watts into 8 ohms, 4 ohms, and 2 ohms, through Mac's autoformer. I don't fuss much with cables; I just use Blue Jeans 12 gauge speaker cables and Blue Jeans interconnects. These speakers sound great with all of the different music I play, whether it's cranked up for the full experience, or toned down for evening listening. I have auditioned other speakers, including the Harbeth SL5 and the new PSB Synchrony 1, but feel no reason to move up.
I have the original golds. I feel they sound better than the I model. I have been listening to many speakers at many price ranges for the last 30 years. I feel that there is no reason to upgrade. It would cost me over 10x the money for a 1% performance increase. I use Stratus Golds for front and surrounds in my HT. I use the stratus C6i for a center. As far as amplification goes: I am currently using the NAD M25 to Bi amp. I have used many others such as Carver, Adcom, Anthem, and more. I have been most pleased with Anthem and NAD. I have heard PSB driven by Mcintosh and the results were very good. Other speakers in the category are rare. I do like the Tyler D20, KEF Blade, Reference, and Q900, Dynaudio C4. The Magico Q3 and Q5 are great but exponentially more expensive.
I recently picked up a pair of used and well cared for Goldi speakers from the AudioGon market. I love them. Two things I did notice is that they require allot of power and placement with these speakers is very critical. I'm powering mine with a Parasound Halo A-31. I was fortunate to find a third Gold speaker that is now my center channel.
My room has never sounded this good!
This is an old post but I thought I'd put in my two cents worth. I have a pair or original Golds. Many years ago as a college student I would drive around Denver and listen to HIFI stuff. The Golds (I don't remember if they were the i version or not)were high on my "gotta have those some day" list. If my memory serves me they had Audible Illusions pre-amp and McCormick Power. They were amazing.
In my system I have them bi-amped with NAD 2100 for the mids and highs and an NAD 2400 THX for the bass. I've got an NAD 1600 pre/tuner and Kimber 8TC and 8PR and Kimber from my pre to power. For subs I have 2 Def Tech subs. One 15" sealed and one 12" ported (one on each channel).
I've always liked my music on the warm side and this certainly does it. I think if I were after more detail I would first look to the upper speaker cable them perhaps my CD player (currently Rotel) I've got the subs each turned down fairly low and crossed over as low as possible (50hz on the 15 and 40hz on the 12). It is surprising how much the subs help in the very bottom reaches even with such a capable speaker as the Gold.
The room is an open Kitchen dining living arrangement that is less than perfect but all in all they sound awesome.
I had them next to some Maggie MGIII speakers for a while. The Maggies are AWESOME speakers but with kids and what not they were just a little too delicate. I'll own another pair though some day.
The next thing I want to try is a nice set of mini monitors with a sub to compare and contrast. I've got some B&W 601s upstairs that I'd like to compare to the Golds.
...One of these days.
ANybody know if PSB still services parts/drivers for Stratus series? Also, a good used price for the GOlds?
I'm not sure if PSB still services them. I would call the company. Used value depends largely on where you live and their condition. If your in a larger city and they are in excellent condition I would try starting at about $1200. If you live in a small town and want to sell them locally you'll probably be looking at MUCH less. Are there comparables for other hifi gear?