SoundLab Millennium-3

Does anyone own this speaker? I am looking for new speakers and have come full circle to these. My room size is why I was looking at this model, 7 foot ceilings, maybe 6 feet apart speaker to speaker, 15 feet wide and 20 feet deep, but listen 6-8 feet away. I will also be using a Pass X-250 so I need to know if they will match up together.

Thanks and Happy Listening
Hey Big...I'll be watching this post carefully. I too have a room your size (except for the ceiling....mine is 8ft). From what I understand the Soundlabs don't bother too much for the ceiling height. I believe (and Duke and Brian I hope will chime in) you can do well with the M-3's as well as the M-1's! I have a bit more complicated problem as my 16 foot wide listening spot is taken up by my front door to my home. Therefore the speakers would be placed in a spot that is only 9 1/2 feet wide. I listen also 8-10 feet away and my depth is 27 ft.
With your ceiling height, the M-2s or M-3s would easily fit. With a slight customization at time of manufacture, the M-1s would fit. One of my customers has a similar ceiling height and wants M-1s if possible, so I have researched the possibilities. Standard M-1s are 80" tall as standard, which combined with 1 1/2" tiptoes, are probably too tall to fit, considering setup allowances.

As you go up in size with the speakers, the horizontal dispersion increases as well. The M-3s have 60 degree dispersion, the M-2s have 75 degrees, and the M-1s have 90 degrees. There are reasons for the differences, one being that the smaller speakers are typically used in smaller rooms and are intended to image well in those rooms. Sound Lab's research indicates the optimum dispersion angle to be 90 degrees for best reproduction of the reverberant sound field. Additionally, the big Sound Labs have a fuller tonal quality and richer harmonics than the smaller ones. In a small room the natural room reinforcement of the bass helps fill things in. As room size increases one might feel a need for subwoofers, which are difficult at best to integrate with the main speakers. My recommendation is to go with the larger speakers if you can, as you can always turn down the bass on the backplates. You most definitely wouldn't need subs with the M-1s.

Rwd is correct, the vertical dispersion of the speaker is virtually nil, hence floor and ceiling reflections are of little concern.

Your room size of 15 by 20 feet will allow any of the models to work well. Listening nearfield is no problem, and you will enjoy it immensely.

Pass X600s are known to drive Sound Labs, although they may be overkill. The smaller Sound Labs are a bit less efficient than the larger ones, so I can't say how well the X250 would do with the M-3s. I imagine it would do fine with the M-1s and perhaps M-2s unless you like to play your music really loud on occasion. One of the neat things about Sound Labs is how great they sound at low to medium levels.

Good luck! If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to ask or call.

Brian Walsh
(847) 382-8433
RWD, I'm sure Duke will chime in, but I know he has his Soundlabs placed in an equally narrow spot as your situation. It works for him, but, again, he will probably give more info as to specific placement from the rear wall, room treatments, etc.

You guys may want to just call him directly to discuss those issues in more detail. Don't worry, he's as nice a guy in person as he is online.
Hi Bigkidz,

I used to own a pair of M-3's, and the short answer is yes they will work quite well in your room and with your amp.

Now there is something you ought to know, because it doesn't show up in the specs. The M-3 is about 3 dB less efficient than the big full-size M-1's (which in turn is slightly less efficient than Maggie 3.6's, if that gives you a basis for comparison). The clarity and articulation is the same as the bigger models, the bass doesn't go quite as deep, and the presentation isn't quite as lush. On the other hand, it's easier to get good soundstaging out of the narrower panels (they radiate into about a 60 degree arc, and so have less sidewall interaction). Now the one thing that bugged me about the M-3's is that you lose the highs when you stand up. I'd suggest putting something under the front of the speaker to tip it back just a wee bit so you don't lose the highs.

Your Pass Labs amps should work quite well with them - that's a nice combination. In the same price ball park as the Pass, Brian and I both sell the 400-watt Parasound JC-1, which obviously we think is a winning combination.

Now I'm not trying to talk you out of your price range, but just to give you more information. If by chance you could stretch and get a pair of the M-2's, in my opinion that's probably Sound Lab's best "bang for the buck" (if you can say that about a speaker that retails for roughly the price of a Honda Civic). In terms of how rich and lush the overall presentation is, there's a bigger gap between the M-3 and the M-2 than between the M-2 and the M-1. Also, you get a bit better bass and a bit better efficiency. That being said, you can indeed live happily ever after with a pair of M-3's!

If you go with the M-3's, I'd say try to avoid using absorptive room treatments. You don't have as much reverberant energy, so use diffusion to best preserve what you do have (to a large extent, it's that tonally correct reverberant energy that gives Sound Labs their rich texture).

RWD, you are correct that Sound Labs don't interact with the ceiling (or floor) much. Basically, they beam like a searchlight in the vertical plane - which is why you lose the highs if your ears get above the top of the diaphragm. I've never set up a pair of Sound Labs in a room like yours, where they have to be placed within a 9 1/2 foot wide area, so after I post this I'll go scoot one of my A-1's over so that the two are within an area 9 1/2 feet wide and try listening from 8 -10 feet back. I'll post my findings later on. You've got me curious now!

I'd be more than happy to take a shot at any additional questions either of you might have.

Best wishes to you in your quest!

Thanks for the info. My room has a concrete floor on wall to wall so I do get some additional bass. I have heard so many speakers in the $7500 range and under that do this or that well but overall still sound like boxes. The only speakers I really liked were the Buggtussels which were very natural and had a huge soundstage. Transmission line bass was extremely natural. I like the Sonus Cremonas for their warmth and very musical sound, realy liked the Avalon Opus with the cermanic drivers and the Cain & Cain $2K speakers, man were they a joy to listen to. But I keep coming back to that sound that I heard some twenty years ago from the Maggies. Everything has a trade off I guess and some bass may be mine but I have B&W matrix 803s now and they still produce some very nice music.

So it looks like I have to shoot for the M-2s. Any other speakers I should be considering besides the Sound Labs???

Thanks and Happy Listening.
Bigkidz, it sounds as though you have a nice room for M-2s, especially if you're getting some room reinforcement. Having heard a number of speakers with transmission line bass over the years such as IMF, I can understand your liking the sound. That said, there's nothing like a full range dipole for top to bottom coherency, speed and venue information, as your longtime enthusiasm for Maggies shows. As Duke said, the performance gap between the M-2s and M-1s is smaller than that between the M-3s and M-2s. But any of them will give you many years of listening pleasure.

Among other speakers, you might audition MG-20.1s, although the cost is significantly more than M-2s. You would want to compare them for yourself.