Soundlab speakers


No one ever talks about these HUGE speakers, anyone have them and would appreciate your thoughts.
rsf507
I used them for years, imagine a Quad with bass and huge soundstage and ability to play loud.

It's a great speaker and I understand they worked out the problems I had with mine a decade ago. If that's true it deserves to be on the top speaker list along with the other high end offerings.
I've never owned a pair of Soundlab's, but I've heard them several times and liked them very much. Definitely worth looking in to. Also, they were always paired with Boulder. It must be a very good match.
Big Perreaux and tubed Wolcott's, both of which I owned worked well. The speakers were, I believe A3 or M3 (I'm a gear hound and get confused by the alphabet soup we audio folks live in) and had the PX upgrades.

They were as Albert described. I used mine with the old isobaric loaded Talon subs and they were awesome. In spite of the Wolcott raves you may find, I preferred mine with the quite pricy and hard to find Perreaux monos.

HOWEVER, make sure your environment is well controlled humidity wise. The same as a Ferrari, etc., I guess...high performance does make some demands. When the bias is set right, it can change as the speaker warms up and if/as your humidity varies during the day/week/season. Sometimes, I would walk into my listening room and the stink of ozone and snapping would remind me that I forgot to dial back the bias last session.

I live at the beach, so the constant tweaking and dialing in the sweet spot frustrated me to the point where I got rid of mine.

I should have spent the money to upgrade my room and HVAC: yeah, they were that good.
I don't know where the OP has been, but they are spoken of on a regular basis.
Sound Lab showed the speaker with a new back panel at the 2013 CES (THE Show actually) that made the speaker a *lot* easier to drive, and also sounding better (likely because it does not work the amps as hard).

Our 140-watt MA-1 drives it really well! In the past, you needed a set of MA-2s to do the same job. (FWIW, about 70% of our MA-2 production since the amp was introduced in 1990 has been on Sound Labs)

Since the introduction of the PX panel I have also heard good things about reliability from our customers. I think it very safe to say the Sound Lab is a state of the art speaker, certainly the best ESL out there, capable of real dynamic range and good well into the bottom octave- you can shake the walls with this one!
By December the U-1PXs here which incorporate all of the current technology will be on demonstration in the new large state of the art demo room being built, driven by MA-1s.

Sound Lab and Atma-Sphere dealer, Chicago area.
I've owned early versions of A3's,1's and Pristines. The Prognosis was great the execution left a lot to be desired- the fizzed popped and went AWOL on efficiency. When working they could deliver -but the trials and tribulations of ESLs
are not for the faint hearted. These were no exception and replacement panels
were the norm.

I've heard the later Panels at TheShow with Ralph's Amps and while the shoebox room did them no favors they did seem to show great sonics -and not fail

at least when I was there.

If you are in a Humid climate /etc I'd think twice.

Des
Recent thread to reference: http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1378069522&&&/Soundlab-speakers-how-reliable-
Anyone ever heard Spectral gear drive sound labs or would this not be a good combo.

Carey
Any one ever head Sound labs driven by Spectral gear or is that not a good combo
Thanks team212, I can relate, I have considered ESL's strongly over the years but could never get past what you describe! I am a plug and play type!
No, but I expect they would work fine. Your best bet is to visit a dealer who will let you try the amps on the speakers.
Never owned, but if abosolute tonal accuracy (or it's potential) are of paramount importance, then they are the best speakers I have ever heard. Better midrange than even my Stax-F81's. Awsome speakers.
The Soundlab A3 which I heard at Great Lakes Audio(E. Lansing MI)in 1988 still ranks as the best speaker i've heard!
Rsf507
I have owned my Soundlab Ultimate IIs since 1998.My panels are the originals with the same back plates from the factory.I have "never"had a problem whatsoever.Now,if I listened to and believed every negative thing has been said on this forum I would not be enjoying the best speakers I have ever owned.I am off the merry go round of audio.

I don't post too often because I am too busy listening and enjoying my system.Find a dealer and let your ears be the judge.

Chuckie
Chuckie
Rsf507
I have owned my Soundlab Ultimate IIs since 1998.My panels are the originals with the same back plates from the factory.I have "never"had a problem whatsoever.Now,if I listened to and believed every negative thing has been said on this forum I would not be enjoying the best speakers I have ever owned.I am off the merry go round of audio.

You may have the original mylar panels and power supply and if so, do not upgrade or your good record of no repairs may be dashed.

My first pair of Sound-Lab were sold to a friend about that same time and he has had NO problems.

Me? I had to have the upgrade (thin mylar and higher voltage) and after that first modification it was failures and back and forth to the factory many, many times while my friends pair continued to work without fail.

Sure, mine sounded better when it worked but his worked all the time.

I understand Sound-Lab have this resolved now with the new design. Brian (Essentialaudio) would know better than me and perhaps can chime in.

I've moved on but hold Sound-Lab near and dear to my heart. When they are right they do things no other speaker can and deliver emotion and micro detail that's addictive.
Dayglow, do you still live in MI?
Since the introduction of the PX technology about 5 years ago, the previous problems have completely stopped. Furthermore, the performance has increased dramatically. With the new Toroid II transformers, they are now even more spectacular. Albert, you should come back!
Twb2.
Since the introduction of the PX technology about 5 years ago, the previous problems have completely stopped.
That's what I've heard from everyone, pleased they got it together because Roger and Connie are first class.
Albert, you should come back!

I gave that serious consideration when I went speaker shopping a few months ago.
Albert nothing wrong with having a second system including the Soundlabs.
Hi Albert, I don't have anything to add to what you and Tom have said. Reliability has dramatically improved. You should come up for a listen soon! My new large dedicated room will be complete in a month or so.

Brian
Essentialaudio
Hi Albert, I don't have anything to add to what you and Tom have said. Reliability has dramatically improved. You should come up for a listen soon! My new large dedicated room will be complete in a month or so.

I'm sure that's right, I still have very fond memories of all the years with my Sound-Lab Ultimates. Hope your new space works perfect for you.
I do  not get on here very much but i had to chime in. I have the ultimate 2 px upgrade panels, a pair of A3s with new mylar and a pair of pristine 2s . I have two systems running with A3s on one and U2 px on the other system. I live in south Florida so the bias does move a bit. I must say i can simply not live with a box speaker. I know they do some things quite well, but I hear drivers moving and boxes with xovers to top it off. I should mention that many pairs of crazy expensive box speakers have been in and out of my sound room. Sound-labs are not going to be for everyone because of the massive size and matching them with the proper gear. I did hear they are coming out with a couple of smaller speakers that are going to shake the audio world up a bit. Anyway the Sound lab family is a first rate builder of the best speakers on Earth even if they don't cost a crazy amount of cash.