If you have any opportunity to listen to a pair of Wilson Benesch Vertex speakers you should. They are so hi tech and so good sounding. Carbon fiber cabinets for close to zero cabinet resonance. Soft dome tweeter that has been reinforced with carbon fiber. They belong to the Geometry Series:
Here is their website:
I am keeping an open mind with no pre-conceptions. This speaker sub-set has exploded with some exceptionally well designed and great sounding products.
Quite interestingly, I have read one review on the WB Vertex which left little doubt that it is also among the candidates worth considering. Despite living in the greater Houston area there are very few dealers that support any of these speakers with the exception of KEF's.
I owned the Pulsars and thought they were superb...period.. With that said... I ended up selling them only because they would not go as loud as I hoped for. But then again,no small monitors will. Also,they should be used in tandem with high quality stand’s to get the best from them,that goes without saying of course... with any stand mount speaker.
I haven't heard the Pulsars but out of all the stand mounted, and even some floor standing speakers, presented at the NY Audio show, I was completely blown away by Sonner Allegro Unum speakers. The tonality, soundstaging, and transparency was incredible. Listed for $10K a pair.
As I'm sure you already know, to get good sound out of these or any other high end small speakers requires amplifiers that can handle very low impedance loads. What are your upstream components?
My pre-amplifier is a vintage Precision Fidelity C-4 Dual Cascode valve model that has been completely serviced. It has phono inputs that are very quiet with enormous gain. The mono blocks that I am planning to use are a pair of EKSC 11 prime's. They will drive virtually any impedance load with great musicality.
Thank you for your recommendation of the Sonner Allegro Unum stand mounted loudspeakers.
I am not living with the Wilson Benesch Vertex, I have heard them many times including a listening session yesterday with their big brother the Vector.
If I ever upgrade from my current speakers the ACT ONE is on my short list.
My current system is posted here if you want to see it.
I do not own the Joseph Audio Pulsars although I have listened to them multiple times (most recently at RMAF 2016) and aspire to own them. IMO they are a fabulous speaker that exhibit the characteristics most important to me for my listening tastes and my medium sized dedicated listening room (19 X 13 X 7). They are dynamic, smooth, fast (very fast) and articulate; a very extended and detailed (accurate) top end with no glare and shockingly good base for their size. I do own their "baby brother" the Prisms which according to Jeff Joseph were designed to provide 85% or so of the performance of the Pulsars at a lower price point. I love them.
I would agree with the comment above about the importance of good stands for either the Prism or the Pulsar. Let me know if you have specific questions I could answer.
I've owned my JA Pulsars for about three years now and I absolutely love them. My 2-channel system is in a small room, about 15' x 10.5' x 8.5', with the speakers on the long wall by necessity. I drive them with a Unico 50 hybrid integrated amp (biwired), which was a big upgrade over my Unico Nuevo. I have them on Skylan stands with 3 Ultra SS Stillpoints under each speaker (using the threaded holes in the bottom of the Pulsars). The Stillpoints really dial-in the bass articulation of the Pulsars and I also use them under all my gear. I listen primarily to 50's and 60's jazz, classical, blues, and some classic rock, primarily via analog source, but also some digital. I find the Pulsars to be ideally suited to my musical tastes and I tend to listen at a moderate volume in the spare bedroom of my condo. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have about the Pulsars.
Obviously from my post above I am a huge fan of the Pulsars. If, however, I could not own the Pulsars - for some unexplained reason - the other speaker I really like at your budget is the Focal Sopra No1 - also worth a serious listen with many of the same characteristics as the JA's although probably just a bit more difficult to drive.
What is the height of your speaker stands? I am currently using using 26" stands under my Prisms (because that's what I had) even though JA recommends 22-24. I suspect shorter stands might be a marked improvement and I am curious as to your thoughts? I would guess the Stillpoints raise them another 1" or so above the stand's top platform. Hope this is not bad forum etiquette to ask this off topic question - if yes, apologies in advance.
My stands (also ones that owned from previous speakers) measure about 23.5" from the bottom of the base to the top of the platform. The Stillpoints add about 2". The center of the tweeter is about 36" off the floor. I think they could handle another couple of inches in height, but I don't think the height is critical. I am thinking of adding a 2" thick block of hardwood under the bases of the stands to compensate for the thick carpet they sit on, however.
With respect to the load that the Pulsars present to an amplifier, they do require a fairly beefy amplifier, as the sensitivity is down around 83db. However, the impedance is a fairly consistent 8 ohms across the frequency spectrum, only briefly dipping to 6 ohms toward the lower end. As I said, the Unico 50, which provides a very honest 125W/channel via a dual mono configuration with very high current, is an excellent match.
**** Dealer disclaimer ****
As noted above, the Pulsars are fantastic speakers (I've sold quite a few pairs of them), and they work extremely will with both solid state and tube amplification (not sure what the op is using?).
The KEF Ref 1's mentioned are also another great choice in this same approx. price range.