realworld experience: Kharma subwoofer + 3.2 CRM

Beyond the shows and the recent positive comments by Jon Valin in the latest Absolute Sound, does anyone own the Kharma subwoofer and 3.2 CRM combination. If so, would they like to share their experience. What about playing this combination fairly loud (e.g. alternative rock/rock) ? How does the combo compare to say the Grand Midi's ?
The Midi Grands are more cohesive. I did not think the sub integrated well with the 3.2's. The soundstage seemed to shrink.
Give Lloyd Walker a call {610-666-6087}.He likes the sub and is working on bringing one in.The 75K Kharmas are much harder to drive in the bass {unusual impedance load}.
I think the sub with the 3.2’s is the ultimate in a sub/sat system. Contrary to what jtinn wrote I heard just the opposite--a big beautiful soundstage. Also at the show the sub did not get turned off so how someone could say it “shrinks” the soundstage is beyond my comprehension. I agree that in show conditions and during the break-in at the show it was a bit boomy at times but hearing it at GTT Audio after break-in it expanded the soundstage depth by at least 2x and did not hurt the top end at all. I feel properly set-up it integrated better than the Midi’s but hey that was the room I heard it in!
Thanks to the Kharma personnel, I was able to hear the 3.2s at the show with and without the sub working. In my opinion, and those that were with me, the sub did NOT in any way shrink the soundstage of the 3.2s.

In fact, the addition of the sub very seamlessly completed the low end, and if anything, increased the sense of depth in the soundstage.

I was truly impressed at how the sub could be so finely adjusted to complement the 3.2s, and yet not overload such a small room like the one at the NY show (I would guess 12 x 18).

IMHO, this is one of the most effective sub/speaker marriages I have experienced.
Tpsonic, what do you mean by your comment;

"the 75K Kharmas are much harder to drive in the bass (unusual impedence load)."

????....maybe i have miss-interpreted your comment.

i assume you are referring to the Kharma Exquisite 1D's....which i own. my experience (and the impedence curve) are in conflict with your statement. in fact, they are a particularly easy load for a full frequency speaker.

i am not commenting on the Kharma Subwoofer; which i have not heard.
Mike,i think he is referring to Midi Exq. Diamond.
Yes,Audio 999,that is what I am talking anout.Two pairs of Lamm ML2.1s were used on these speakers and they ran out of gas.Ditto for the Tenor OTLs and the Tenor HPs didn't sound as good.TAS review is upcoming.
thanks Tpsonic for the clarification.

why mess with Diamond Midi-Exquisites when the regular Exquisite 1D's do it all and work great with all the amps you mention? the price of the two speakers is close enough that it shouldn't be an issue.
some interesting and varied responses ...

first, it doesn't seem that anyone has any personal experience beyond hearing it at the show ... is there anyone who actually owns the combo who would care to add anything ?

second, Exquisites Midi's or 1D's are out of my budget ... therefore, I'm primarily interested in knowing how the subwoofer/3.2FE CRM combo compares to some of the more "affordable" speakers (e.g. CE 2.2 or the Grand Ceramique Midi)

there does seem to be varying opinion as to whether the sub intereferes with the soundstaging of the 3.2 and how well they integrate compared to a more full-range Kharma speaker. J Valin in the Aug/Sept TAS suggests : "the 3.2s and their sub made a terrific combo-far more "of a piece" than I would ever have guessed ... " He then concludes: I could live with the Kharma 3.2/sub, and probably will." ... interesting ?

Any further thoughts. What about playing the combo reasonably loud vs. the 2.2 or Grand Midi ? (Even the Grand Midi is out of my budget, unless I buy a demo/used one).
I am good friends with Lloyd Walker.He stated to me that he prefers the 3.2/sub to the Midis.He had extended exposure to the two systems at the "Show".He mentioned that he was impressed with the "new" Kharma tweeter,but was interested in getting his hands on an Enigma sub to compliment his 3.2s. .From my understanding,from his trip to J.Valins',was that the "new" Midis were a bit of a pistol to drive {in the bass}.
The 3.2's with the subs are not nearly as good as the Midi Exquisites. The midrange driver and the tweeter are far better in every way. I think Thom_yis talking about the Midi Grand Ceramiques and the 3.2 CRMs. With or without a subwoofer, the limitations of the 3.2's are still there.

The 3.2's are not intended to be a speaker that can play at high sps's. They will blow drivers when pushed. The Midi's can go quite a bit louder (10db).
Jtinn, I notice that you have your Kharmas up for sale here on the AGon.What gives?? Have you found a speaker that you prefer over the Kharmas??
Tom, I believe Jtinn is the US westcoast dealer (? importer) for Kharma. So those 1As may not be his personal pair.
Aroc,As I understand it,Kharma/GTT Audio And Jonathan Tinn have parted ways.Does anyone have any experience replacing drivers in the KHarmas? I understand that there is a special soldering technique they use and this cannot be done in the field.Actually,if done by a novice,the drivers could be damaged.Does this negate rewiring of the speaker? Has this been done to any current Kharmas on the market??
Tpsonic- Many(if not most all) kharma owners have replaced midrange drivers- it is a piece of cake, and should take no more then 15 minutes.

Do they really break that often ??? Are both the 7" and the 4.5" prone to this ? How much is a new midrange driver ?
Replace with new mid without changing the x-over?
How come? Aren't the new mids 2db more sensitive than the old one ?

Tpsonic,I agree with Tim as long as you know soldering.
I know the drivers have a year waranty from time of purchase, so if you buy new you have some added insurance. I can not say if people continue to have problems but I know of at least 4 people off the top of my head who have had 7" ceramic mids either crack or completely blow apart.
Tireguy, any idea why that has happened? Are the ceramic cones really that fragile? Perhaps some residual stresses that eventually manifest themselves?

The Kharma websites says they have a 5 year warranty for the original purchaser. From Tireguy's description it sounds like there is a serious issue with the ceramic driver. Could people who have experienced this driver failure please comment?
Tim isn't the first person who has told me about problems with the midrange ceramique drivers. I have heard this may be especially true with the 3.x series speakers, where the 7" driver is also the bass driver.

On the other hand, last month I was truly mesmerized by a recent audition of the Kharma Exquisite Midi's paired with the Tenor 150HPs and AA Capitole MK II CDP. In all of my auditioning of various speakers, I have never experienced the wall to wall expansive soundstaging, the remarkable disappearing act, and the glorious midrange like I did with that Kharma. Overall, they were extremely moving and musical, just a thrill to listen for hours on end. As much as I would love to get a fraction of that Kharma sound with the lower priced Grand Ceramique or Ceramique speakers, I am not too happy to think that they are prone to frequent driver failure as Tim suggests. I am curious just how big a problem this really is ? Does the warranty cover this for 5 years ?
For the record I know of 2 exquisite owners who have had driver failures, 1 midi grand and 1 3.2. The good news is to the best of my limited knowledge about this all drivers were covered under waranty. I am also unsure of repeat failures, it could have been a rare problem or bad drivers from the supplier, I don't really know what causes this, I just know that it has happened to more then a few people. I don't want do seem like I am in any way saying they are inferior speakers because I really like Kharma speakers- just sharing information that I have gathered in my travels of audio.

Thom_y If you were impressed with an audio aero cap. MKII based system you will be awe struck with the Emm labs combo. I hadn't listened to a Cap. MKII since I sold mine and that was quite a long time ago and I had been listening to Emm labs for many months. Well last night I visited a friend who still has a Cap. MKII and as much as I hate to say it, the DCC2 sounds more like my friends analog front end(basis 2500, graham 2.2, koetsu signature rosewood platinum or what ever its called{you know the expensive one:^)} and an aesthetix IO) then it does like his Audio Aero! I was really stunned. We started listening to his system which I hadn't listened to in a while and I was getting used to it but it seemed to lack detail and transparency as I had become accustomed to after a little while we started listening to vinyl and it was much more like what I am used to hearing(sans the ticks and pops of course).
Let me set the record straight.

The ceramique drivers are very sturdy. The are not "prone" to blowing or cracking. If misued, the voice coil can hit the ceramique shell and crack. Any driver can and will due the same thing. It is much more noticeable with the ceramique driver because it crumbles into many pieces.

The Exquisite owner had the driver blow due to an unrelated problem which sent a major surge into his speaker. The damage was minor and easily repairable. It could have been much worse and much more expensive to repair.

The Midi Grand owner had a tube blow which sent DC into the Kharma and took out the midrange driver. Another easy and inexpensive fix.

The 3.2 had a hairline crack which occurred in shipping. The owner noticed it and told me about it. It still worked and sounded great. Eventually it was replaced at no cost.

I have sold many Kharma speakers and have had very few problems. I assure you that this is not an issue people need to be concerned with. They are gorgeous sounding speakers.

Tireguy: I know you mean well, but I can say clearly that these urban legands are exagerrations. :)

Audio999: The driver swaps take five minutes. Anyone can do it. Kharma recommends Cardas solder and there are no crossover changes necessary.

The 3.2's are designed for smaller rooms and small ensemble music. While they are capable of projecting a huge stage, both front to back and side to side, they are still a small cabinet with a wide frequency driver. When they are pushed too hard, they do not have a woofer to take the heavy abuse. It is all absorbed by the midrange.

The speaker has a high level of clarity which when played loud retains the low distortion and somtimes people do not realize truly how loud they are listening.

This thread is out of control.

Tpsonic: I have heard something I greatly prefer. While I do love the Kharma speakers, I have many good reasons for no longer carrying the line. These are not things I want to air publically.
So there you go folks, my limited experiences(as stated earlier) were isolated to a few select people.

Jtinn- Out of control threads drive me crazy, so I found a better tailor :^)
I posted this question separately, as was not aware of this thread. I just blew a Ceramique driver when a driver 6SN7 tube blew and cracked the midrange driver. It was not covered by warranty. Presumably they only cover defective drivers, not those broken by transient DC. Hopefully, this wont happen again. I will replace all my driver tubes.
Any advice on soldering technique so as not to burn the voice coil? GTT is sending me a new driver and solder. How rare an event is this?