I haven't heard the Tablette Reference Eight, but have also been frustrated that there is no dealer in northern New England.
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I can't say that my auditioning memory goes back to include your speakers. I have listened to the Refernence 8s against the 1SC. I like each for a different reason. The 8s are more forward and faster than the 1Sc and are just as clean and detailed. They almost have more bass presence and they are not as stand sensitive.
If you are going to spend the 1800 on them, look for an old pair of Signature 50s. These sound better than the 1SC and Reference 8. They are hard to find.
I've never heard the Reference 8. Is it a smaller monitor like the Tablette 50 Signature? I've always wondered if the Ref 8 sounded closer to the Tab 50 than the 1SC.
As far as sonic characteristics go, I think it comes down to a matter of taste and system synergy. I own both the 1SCs and Tab 50 Sigs and enjoy them both but for different reasons.
The Tab 50 Sig is like a young, gifted, exuberant twenty year old. Whereas the 1SC is that same person but at thirty years of age. Settled, refined and more confident. The Tab 50 Sig is quicker and more energetic than the 1SC and I might favor it if matched with electronics that have a darker character. The 1SC on the other hand I find to be more composed when rendering complex passages and less unsettled by higher volumes. In my listening room they have done better with systems that were a bit forward.
If the Ref 8 is ported like the 1SC and Tab 50, care should be taken with placement as far as proximity to the rear wall. The midbass can get hooty and boomy. I've experienced the same side effect with certain amps that accentuated those same frequencies. The BAT VK200 I'm using now solves all those issues.
I periodically use a sub with both monitors, but have found that it isn't always necessary. Since getting the BAT, I've found that the amp powering the ProAcs has great influence on the quality of the bass and ease of integration between monitors and sub.
I'm sure your Super Tablettes share the same sonic attributes ProAcs are known for...big, expansive soundstage, beautiful midrange and pin point imaging. I notice Reference 8s coming up for sale occasionally. Why not take a chance? Good luck.
After reading the review in "The Absolute Sound", I drove 2 hours in Bay Area traffic (at rush hour, no less) to hear a pair of the Tablette Reference Eights.
I can now say three things. Wow, traffic was awful. Wow, the review in "The Absolute Sound" was entirely correct, and the speakers are very well described. And, wow, I love these speakers.
I bought them.
There is something amazing about these speakers. It doesn't make sense to me to seek a perspective with terms that describe coloration, or pinpoint issues of "warmth" vs. the "accuracy", or anything like that. These speakers sound natural in a way that allows me to stop hearing the speakers- I am simply drawn completely into the music, in a way that I haven't been in years.
Before I heard these, I tried B&W 805's and a bunch of other mid price ($2000-$4000) designs. My favorites before hearing the Tablettes were the Vienna Acoustic Beethovens, which sounded rich and warm, in a really wonderful way.
But, even putting aside the question of price, I love the Tablettes more.
My advice to Bruce is to take the 1.5 hour drive. The Tablettes are an incredible bargain, which is nice. More importantly, they're a delight, a rare kind of surprise.
I did get a chance a to hear these a few months ago. I really liked them but they did not give me the fullness I was looking for. The dealers suggested listening to the 1SC so we did. These seem to have the imaging of the tabs plus richer bass & lower mids. Since then I also auditioned the new DynAudio S1.4 and the b&w sig 805... I think the S1.4 is my current favorite but I really need to do more listening. I have to intetion of selling my tabs so I'm looking for a speaker to complement these. The ref 8 was certainly a step up from the original... Good luck with them...
I have owned the super tablette and compared them side by side and the answer is to your Question is YES, go for it you wont regret it. I love the super tablettes but the ref 8 sigs are better all round.
One word for these speakers is Stunning. Proac make some of the best speakers on the planet at any cost !
Having been into HiFi for over 20 years I have owned a lot of equipment but this is one piece of equipment I dont want to get rid of again. These are my second set as I thought I would upgrade the first set. As I was listening to them ( and enjoying ) I then thought wow that sounds absolutely amazing imagine what would it sound like if I paid double the money etc, etc. Well dont do it I was wanting what the Ref 8s where already giving me.
They not going to shake the house thats impossible, but they will surprise you as they can go very loud without distortion but they will have their limits due to the size. What they do best is get you closer to the music, what you feel is there is nothing getting between you and the recording. Every time I listen I am amazed by some things and at times astounded by what they can do, even when listening to sources like radio stations not just CD.
I swear I have listened to some recordings where apart from hearing, enjoying and feeling the music I felt that I could actually see what the artist was doing. Things like maybe the facial expressions they where using and this may sound strange but how they where actually feeling at the time of the recording. I have never felt this with any other speaker I have owned apart from some other Proacs I owned.
I thought I better contribute to this forum simply because I have read hundreds of reviews on here and they do give you an opinion about things that perhaps a magazine could not.
To name a couple of speakers ive owned for comparison sake. Examples such as Jamo concert 8, Proac 1SC, Epsos es11, es15, Acoustic energy AE1, mission 753, Ruark Sceptre they all have their different strengths and weaknesses but the ref 8 wipes the floor with the lot in my opinion. Some say they could be used as a professional monitor but I dont know about that TBH. Yes they do give you everything but I would say they put it in a nice way rather than exposing all the weaknesses which I thought a good studio monitor may do. Overall though I would say that they are very neutral to the recording.
They are very expensive and they dont look like much but you will realize after a while why. I wish I had discovered these years ago but then would I have realized then that they were something very special? May be not, but im glad I have them now.