That's a good question Curbach, I've always wondered about the Studio series. I too am a fan of the ProAc sound, being that I own the Tablette 50 Signatures. They also happen to be in the ebony veneer which I agree is very nice. But I also like yew wood.
Are you planning to buy new? Because lately there have been many used Response 1.5s for sale here since they have been replaced with the D15. Most are in the $1500-2000 range, which is around the price of new Studio 125s. I would jump at the chance to snap up a pair of 1.5s here if my room could support them.
Which leads me to my next question. Can you get away with mini monitors? My Tab 50s do a decent job of reproducing most of the freq. spectrum and I'm sure the Response 1SCs for $1200-1400 used would do even better.
Have fun with your search.
Also consider the now discontinued Studio 150-which the 125 replaced-some dealers consider the 150 to be a better speaker,certainly it was more expensive in it's day-I believe the 125 was introduced partly because the 150 breached the £1k in the UK (1300-1500).
I picked up a pair of Rosewood Proac 150's here in the UK-perfect ex-demo's for about half the original cost and some £250 less than new Studio 125's would have cost me.
Look great and sound great.
Not sure how available they are in the States.
I have a pair of 150's also, and I like them a lot. IMO they are in fact better than the 125's. It seemed to me that the 125's have somewhat better LF extension, perhaps owing to the single 6-1/2" mid-bass driver, but the dual 5" seem more articulate, and go low enough for my musical tastes. I could not justify the cost differential (approx double) for R2.5's.
Hmm, Gunbei likes the Tab's and Gumbydammit likes the Tab's..
See a pattern here?
I would suggest trying to find a set ofused response two's.
Easiest way to describe them......Tab's with BASS!
Fer sure would meet WAF needs with a nice set of Target stands.
There is a pair of Studio 150's on ebay now, in an auction that ends May 15:
I have a pair of the 150's, myself, and agree with the posts above about them, they're absolutely beautiful and the sound is wonderful. They don't have as much bass extension as many other speakers in the price range but, for my taste, more than make up for it in musicality.
I recently spent a very long day auditioning speakers in the $3,000/pair price range, trying to help guide a close friend to a purchase. We heard several nice speakers from Sonus Faber, Linn, Vienna Acoustics and others but when we got back to my house I still liked my Proacs, by a good margin. I paid $1,300 used for a mint pair about a year and a half ago.
When I can afford something in the Response series I'll move up but the Studio 150's still surprise me every time I listen.
Sfar: what is the rest of your system?
If you had to pick your three favorite recordings what would they be? (What really showcases the system well?)
I particularly enjoy vocals and acoustic instruments (mainly strings) on these. I'll reach for Guitar Trio, Ottmar Liebert, Leo Kottke, Holly Cole, Dave Brubeck, Maura O'Connell, and Renaissance (among others). Top 3? ... probably "It Happened One Night", "Take 5", and "Friday Night In San Francisco".
Gumbydamnit likes Tab50s too! Watch out, I think your pony pal Pokey likes B&Ws though. :)
The Studio 150's are driven by all-McCormack electronics, SST-1 transport, DAC-1, TLC-1 and DNA 0.5 Deluxe.
It would be tough to pick just three recordings. A few of the ones that sound great to me are; Talking Timbuktu - Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder, Temptations - Holly Cole, Breaking Silence - Janis Ian, Wicked Grin - John Hammond.
Thanks for the suggestions. Sadly, the 150s seem to be rather scarce and none of the 1.5 sellers are taking credit cards/paypal (don't really want to plunk down that kind of cash--makes me feel naked). I may yet end up with the 125s--that way I can still get my choice of veneer. If you're going to spend that much money, you may as well get the veneer you want, eh? I'll try to hold out and monitor the various on-line sales a bit longer, but the money is starting to burn a hole in my pocket.
By the way, a related question for the Proac afficionados here: why don't British reviewers ever seem to like Proacs? American and Asian reviews are always glowing, but the Brits always seem to find fault. I also understand Proacs sell much better on this (the U.S.) side of the Atlantic. Any theories on this phenomena?
Good question on the reviews. This is the first time I have been informed of this since I never read reviews.
Why do you read reviews?
Interesting. I never knew that British reviews of ProAcs weren't as positive as in the US. Is it because they like the B&W sound more as a whole? I guess the warm, romantic sound is more to the liking of us Yanks.
Warm? Romantic? Hmmm
I find the stuff from B&W to be a bit rolled of actually, while the Tabs in my living room are certainly "all there".
I've really only been interested in Hi-fi seriously the last five years but in that time the Proac's have usually always got great reviews here in the UK-the 125's were recommended and award winners on What Hi-fi-who give the new Futures (.5)a rave review this month,the more serious mags(?!)have at least always seen the Proac's as competitive in their price range,most dealers here rate them too,even those who don't stock them.........