Proac D-30R


I recently had a chance to listen to a Proac D-48R and
the D-20R. Both put on a good show at their respective
price range. The D-48R is too big for my room (and wallet)
whereas the D-20R would be a better fit However the D-30R
is also an option. Has anyone had a chance to compare
the D-20R to the D-30R? Did you feel the price difference
was justifiable?
cmach
The 30 and the 48 have 2 tweeter options. A ribbon or a soft dome.
While some models in the ProAc lineup are being made in two versions as Zd542 described above, in certain markets only one version may be distributed. For example I believe that in the US the 20, 30, and 48 models are only being imported in their R (ribbon tweeter) versions. It may however be possible to get the dome tweeter versions by special order. You should check with your dealer to confirm availability.
I'm in a similar position, considering both the 20R and 30R among a handful of other speakers. I auditioned both speaker with John at Audio Concepts in Dallas recently. My short answer is, yes, if your budget can stretch to the 30R, it's worth the reach.

Both speakers are neutral, detailed, accurate like crazy, and present a wide soundscape. The imaging on both is nuts. The ribbon tweeter is a beautiful thing and didn't fall off much as I moved around the room, though the sweet spot is certainly enhanced. This was my first experience with ProAc and I understood what the "natural sound" slogan is all about, with such a present and embodied midrange on vocals and acoustic instruments of all kinds.

The big difference is the bass. The driver on the 30R is a different material, and the cabinet itself is larger, too, which for reasons I'm too inexperienced to explain produced a more balanced and accurate low end, much more than I expected from a 2-way. On Jazz and roots rock I found the overall effect superior to Triton One and a few others I've heard recently. In fairness the 30R is $3k more than the T1.

The 20R isn't vacant down there, but it seemed recessed and a little messy even with a wonderful little ARC VSi60 to drive it (a stunning amp for both speakers by the way). I guess there's a reason everybody says ProAcs love tubes.

In a smaller room, you might be more than pleased with the 20R, but if the 30R is possible, I'd do it. I am probably 10 days away from buying a pair myself.
Amaglioc,
What other speakers did you compare, besides the Tritons?

Amaglioc,

Thanks so much for your feedback. After careful consideration I'm pretty much decided on the D-30R
as well. Its no longer if but when I get them. Good luck
with your purchase and keep us updated when you get them.
Milpai, so many in such a short time I've thoroughly confused my ears. Lets see, in addition to ProAc Response D20R and D30R, I've heard: Revel F208, Paradigm Prestige 95f, BW 804d2 and 803d2, Sonus Faber Venere 2.5, Martin Logan 60XT, and ML Theos powered by such a beautiful Mcintosh tube amp that I was hypnotized.

I'm taking notes and putting tie between auditions but so many speakers are in such poor rooms and badly positioned that it's very hard to rely on any impressions. So it goes.
Cmach,

I certainly will, and I'm anxious to hear about your experience with the 30R. Do you know what you'll use to power it? What I heard with the ARC VSi60 in Dallas was beautiful, but I might ask to hear a few others amps as well.
I have a pair of Proac D-40r and I am using Quicksilver V-4 amplifiers to power them with great results.
Wow Amaglioc, you really have listened to a range of speakers - different price brackets. So among those speakers, you think you like ProAcs the best? There was someone here on audiogon selling his ProAcs because he felt the bass was an issue. I strongly felt that it could be either the component matching issue or probably speaker placement issue because I have not read about ProAc owners complaining about bass. Do you have a chance to listen to PMCs in that same range?
Amaglioc,

When I auditioned the D-20R and D-48R I brought my Manley
Snappers along. I thought they had excellent synergy together and was a big part of the decision to go with
the Proac's.
Milpai,

I haven't made a final decision yet, but as of this morning--haha--the D30R remains the speaker to which I experienced the strongest reaction. Yesterday's auditions were a mixed bag. I was temporarily disoriented by a sharp price reduction in the 803d2 and 804d2 (because of d3's waiting in the wings). Ultimately I didn't respond to the sound enough to care about the price reduction. Then, the Paradigm 95f I heard at Starpower Dallas had a blown driver! (The imaging was stil superb)

I think I'll go to a different store and listen to the Paradigm and the Revel F208 again. It was too easy to dismiss them given their reputation and I suspect it was a combo of ear fatigue and the atrocious conditions of the showroom.

I added the Vandersteen Treo to the list (conveniently available in the same store as the ProAc), and then I will stop. I haven't heard PMC, no. Perhaps one more to sneak on the list? At some point you have to stop, right?

About bass response. My reaction was the bass sounded recessed and perhaps uneven on the Response D20R, but that was not a problem at all on the D30R. My notes say it was crisp and assertive and tonally satisfying.

Thank you, Cmach and Jperry, for the amp recommendations. It's been fun thinking of what electronics best suit the various speakers!
Very interested in this discussion. I am in a similar situation. I currently own the Proac D38, which is the one equipment in my system that I have not felt the need to change in the past 7 years of owning it. It is currently paired with the Audio Research LS26 and VS60 and Rega DAC-R. Amazing synergy!

However, my recent move to a much smaller place(14 x 11 feet) have forced me to look at a small pair of speakers. I am seriously considering the D30r as I really like the Proac sound.. My local dealer currently do not have the 30r on display so I am very keen on hearing everyone's opinion.. 

In the spirit of follow up, (and to celebrate a little), I finalized my choice for the ProAc D30R today. It's a great speaker and was, in the end, the easiest of the choices to make. I found electronics far more beguiling: separates versus integrated, tube versus solid state, used versus new; and the whole question of how--or even if--to integrate it all with existing home theater components. 

Today I intended to audition an ARC SP20 (as a sort of stand-in for an LS17se the dealer didn't have yet but could obtain) with the ARC DS450 solid state amp. Demo system included a Rega transport and of course the ProAcs D30R on the other end. I found the ARC solid state amp very impressive, especially for well-recorded rock with a little dynamic range left. For jazz it was good, not always amazing. The bass was "grippy," as they say, and the mids were quite transparent and rich. Still I felt there was an element lacking from my previous session when the ARC VSi60 was pushing the show. Everybody says tubes with ProAc, maybe more than I've seen that advice for any speaker.

One thing led led to another and I found myself listening to an ARC 75se with the ProAcs, and it was a transformative experience. Talk about making those speakers sing. Before all this, I had no real listening experience with tubes. To go from no experience to one of the finest valve amps available with a tube-voiced speaker like the ProAc was disorienting and shocking. The staging and atmospherics, the tunefulness of the bass, along with the clear liquidity of voices and wood instruments, simply left me stunned. While the DS450 presented a vivid, detailed portrait of the music, the Ref75 *was* the music, present in the room in a visceral and tactile way, like some transparent and holographic labyrinth. 

So I bought the components, the ARC 75se and the SP20, because what they do together is genuinely beautiful and there would have been no way to "unhear" it. I feel like I'm at the start of a very cool musical journey, and the ProAcs showed me the trail.
In the spirit of follow up, (and to celebrate a little), I finalized my choice for the ProAc D30R today. It's a great speaker and was, in the end, the easiest of the choices to make. I found electronics far more beguiling: separates versus integrated, tube versus solid state, used versus new; and the whole question of how--or even if--to integrate it all with existing home theater components.

Today I intended to audition an ARC SP20 (as a sort of stand-in for an LS17se the dealer didn't have yet but could obtain) with the ARC DS450 solid state amp. Demo system included a Rega transport and of course the ProAcs D30R on the other end. I found the ARC solid state amp very impressive, especially for well-recorded rock with a little dynamic range left. For jazz it was good, not always amazing. The bass was "grippy," as they say, and the mids were quite transparent and rich. Still I felt there was an element lacking from my previous session when the ARC VSi60 was pushing the show. Everybody says tubes with ProAc, maybe more than I've seen that advice for any speaker.

One thing led led to another and I found myself listening to an ARC 75se with the ProAcs, and it was a transformative experience. Talk about making those speakers sing. Before all this, I had no real listening experience with tubes. To go from no experience to one of the finest valve amps available with a tube-voiced speaker like the ProAc was disorienting and shocking. The staging and atmospherics, the tunefulness of the bass, along with the clear liquidity of voices and wood instruments, simply left me stunned. While the DS450 presented a vivid, detailed portrait of the music, the Ref75 *was* the music, present in the room in a visceral and tactile way, like some transparent and holographic labyrinth.

So I bought the components, the ARC 75se and the SP20, because what they do together is genuinely beautiful and there would have been no way to "unhear" it. I feel like I'm at the start of a very cool musical journey, and the ProAcs showed me the trail.
I've owned my ProAc Response D30R since Aug/2013 and I absolutely love them. I'm using mine with a Devialet 200 integrated amp and the combo is fantastic! My room is roughly 12ft x 14ft with an 8ft ceiling and they work great in my room. The ribbon driver & mid/bass driver integration is nothing short of amazing and the sound is very coherent and detailed with amazing deep, well-controlled bass. I have them in a bi-wire configuration using the Atlas Cables Mavros speaker cables.

Since I have hardwood floors, I replaced the included spikes with the threaded Soundcare SuperSpikes (standard version). It did not affect the sound or performance of the speakers but I can now easily move the speakers around without the danger of scratching my floors.
Amaglioc,

Congratulations on the D-30R's. I have a pair on order
and they should be ready for pickup next week. Looks like
your putting together a pretty impressive system with the
Audio Research gear. I'll try and post my impressions
when I get them.
Just thought I'd post a quick follow up on my Proac D-30's. I have
had them for a little over a month and overall I'm very pleased. There
still breaking in. They sound a bit tight out of the box but over time
there starting to loosen up and the sound-stage is getting larger.

I am currently using a pair of Manley Snappers to power them and was
pleasantly surprised to find that I could run them in Triode mode (30W)
without compromising dynamics much at all. In my setup they actually
sound better in Triode mode than in Ultra linear.

I'm currently testing speaker cables right now. My two favorites so far are the Nordost Heimdall 2 and the Clear Day Double Shotgun cables.
Of the two right now I have a slight preference for the Clear Day cables
as they match the Heimdalls pretty closely in performance but have a more lively presentation which I prefer.

The Proac's have a very inviting sound, very musical and refined without
any harshness or brightness. At the same time there very detailed speakers as well. They sort of remind me of a pair of JM Reynaud Offrandes I heard many years ago at RMAF.  I still have many more system changes coming but overall I'm really happy with what I'm hearing




cmach,
Congratulations on the D30R. Looks like you have reached your destination for now. How about posting some pics about your system and the speakers? One thing on the spec that I notice is that these speakers reach 20Hz. Is that really true? Do you experience that kind of low end with these speakers?
And BTW, Clear Day Double shotguns are awesome. I love mine and Thank Paul in my mind, when I listen to music on my system.
Milpai,

Not sure if they reach down to 20Hz. They certainly are impressive
for their size. For me its always been quality over quantity when it
comes to bass. I prefer a cleaner more precise bass and I am
not a fan of bass heavy speakers. I have found that cabling here
makes a big difference on the D-30R's though.