I would suggest you listen to the above referenced speakers with your Filarmonia.
There's probably other good speakers that will pair well and have the synergy with the Filarmonia. The manual states that your speaker choice should not dip below 4.3 ohms (I think).
You may want to ask Rich at Signature Sound High-End Audio what speakers he knows to match well with the Ars Sonus Filarmonia.
He is the US distributer.
Personally I think you cant go wrong with a pair of Merlin Music TSM Magic addition with the master RC network and Cardas Clear Light cabling. You may be able to find the speakers on the used market.
Signature Sound services them.http://sigsound.com/merlin-tsm/
ProAc should work well. You may want to demo a pair.
Keep in mind that the Ars Sonus Filarmonia has an 8 Ohm x-former tap only.
There is a fantastic deal on a pair of the newest Reference 3A Episodes on Audiogon right now, with FREE shipping. They would be a great match for that amp. An easy 8 ohm load and 92db/watt/meter efficiency. I already have a pair that I have been enjoying for 5 years now, and I'm still tempted to grab them at his asking price!
Devore might be another good choice, although I agree Reference 3A is one of the first I thought of. Totem is another. Cheers,
Currently I'm using Merlin TSM mmi speakers -- the model preceding the Black Magic edition. I could update the Merlins (~$1k) or switch to entirely new speakers. Silky, non-fatiguing top end is mandatory.
That’s a lot of $$ for the upgrade.
If I were in your shoes I think I would be looking for a different speaker also. I think the Reference 3A Mm DeCapo or Reflector would be a great choice., but thats my opinion. Also pretty versatile speakers. Will work with everything from 300B SET to Nelson Pass First Watt F6 or F7.
I upgraded preamp and drive tubes and fuses in my Ars Sonus Filarmonia, made quite an improvement. I am thinking down the road I may get the new Sophia Electric EL34 tubes. Also I may have the coupling caps changed out for a V-cap or similar.
If time permits let me know what you finally settle on. I would be interested in your personal experiences with the Fila.
Bradf, Thanks for you input. I take it you have personal experience with the various speakers you recommend, Ref 3a De Capo, Fritz, Tyler, Salk, etc. The cost for the Merlin upgrade was what Rich at Signature quoted -- new tweeters and crossover components. I'm curious about the upgrades you made to your Fila. Did you switch to vintage valves? Do you have the latest model Fila?
Except for the Ref 3A De Capo and the Merlin TSM Black Magic speakers,these are not personal experience recommendations. Like others who made suggestions of other speakers within this tread, I am suggesting you research/ listen to them. This is based on the Sensitivity, and impedance load of the speaker that should work well. Since the amp has a 8ohm transformer tap only, and the manual says not to use speakers that drop below 4.3 Ohms, my suggestion were based on that, reputation of the speaker, and reviews I have read , and speakers I my self would consider. Also price range similar to the Merlin TSM played a roll.
If you would have asked for real world experiences, I would have only been able to suggest the above referenced Merlin and Reference 3A
I have the SJ Revision (So no not the latest which would be the K with the V-cap and RCA receptacle changes). Still use E34L JJ Power valves (newer) (Looking into changing to Sophia EL34 power valves). Have a Telefunken 6922 gold Pin Installed, and Radiotechnique 12AU7(s). Have also tried Phillips 6922 gold pin, and Amperex JN7308 gold pin. Have replace all the fuses (rail and supply power) with Synergestic Black Fuses. Have the optional Cardas Clear Lite PC. The Amp also has the BAM receptacles.
Wanted to change out the coupling caps to V-caps, but it didn’t work out when I had the Fila in for service at Signature Sound (no burn in Caps avail from Ars Sonus.
I use Cardas clear Lite speaker wires (couple pair but not all of Cardas IC’s) and a Powered REL 305 Sub to fill in the bottom end.
Let me know if you should have any other questions, you can send a PM.
If you have made any changes to your Fila, I would be interested.
I am late to the party here, but I don;t get to these forums much given how busy I have been.
Yes, it can cost over $1,000 to update a pair of older TSMs... basically a speaker like a pair of TSM-MM would get completely disassembled, the crossover completely torn down then the speaker gets re-built. The only parts re-used in the crossover are two inductors and a couple of resistors (if possible), even the copper posts/studs in all the Cardas binding posts (which cost about $8 each!) are replaced along with the specially treated UpTone MusiCaps. New wire harnesses are fabricated with the custom spec Cardas wire Merlin used. New improved tweeters from RA (which have their faceplates removed, modified, then remounted to the tweeter - small refinements done to provide more even smooth dispersion) replace the older Morel units, then the rebuilt crossover, harness, and the drivers all put back together. New Bi-wire jumpers are fabricated from the custom spec Cardas wire harness cable, and if the customer does not have and chooses to upgrade to Master RC networks (which use $$$ Duelund capacitors that Bobby had specially made by Duelund Audio for him - which I know I have Duelund make for me - minimum order of 20 pieces for a batch too), then the upgrade gets even more expensive! Bobby never used cheap poor sounding parts, that is for sure - makes doing upgrade pricey and labor intensive.
The results though are pretty amazing though. Yes, I'm a biased observer :-) but my Black Magic TSM's (with Master RC's) sound better than a older pair of VSMs W/Super BAM except they don't go as low in the bass.
On the Ars Sonum Filarmonia... be careful if/when tube rolling (EL34s) please. The Filarmonia (and the Gran Filarmonia) are NOT the common push-pull manual bias Ultralinear or strapped triode EL34 type amplifier (90 plus percent of push-pull EL34 amps being sold today are this type of topology). The Filarmonia uses a special screen grid regulated push-pull Class A pentode circuit
(self biasing or cathode bias if I recall my terminology correctly). Tubes like KT77's are not recommended (and will void the warranty if used in the amp) and if used could well eventually damage the amplifier. There are plenty of good new EL34's to choose from - stick with them - though match pairs are required for each channel (In the Filarmonia - the Gran Fila will need matched Quads), I like to use a set of matched quads in the Filarmonia. Now the designer (Ricardo Hernandez and I) think the JJ E34L sound best in the amp.... as do the other small tubes that come with it. Ricardo picks and chooses the tubes used in his amps with great care, though I do understand that some folks have their own preferences when it comes to what they want out of a tube amplifier.
PMC Fact 8 sounds amazing on this amp.
so it is still possible to upgrade my merlins? I have TSM MME Hmmmmm. I still like the older TSM MME. great speakers
@tzh21y Yes - it IS still possible to upgrade your Merlins to the last/latest Black Magic version. I have been doing Black Magic upgrades on VSM and TSM speakers exactly to Bobby's (Merlin's) specs (down the the solders used and the torque settings for the screws) for a couple years now for VSM and TSM owners.
NOTE THAT There are a finite amount of Black Magic upgrades left that I can perform. UpTone who made the capacitors that are the core of the Black Magic upgrade, has left the capacitor making business early this year (for a number of reasons, including materials costs). I bought out all the caps they had left that I could use (i.e of the values needed for TSM and VSM crossovers) to do upgrades, but that was only enough parts to do about 14 pairs of speakers. I have enough left to do only 8 more pairs at this moment. Once those parts are gone - that will be it for exact Merlin spec Black Magic speaker upgrades.
If demand is there, I will look into finding a good (better I would hope) substitute, but then that would not be Bobby's spec but what I would envision he would be happy with sound wise. However, given what I have been told about the increasing material costs that go into making these types of capacitors (which use specialized films from Europe which are wound to make the caps), anything I will likely wind up finding as good or better will be a good deal more expensive than what the Uptone caps cost which will drive up the upgrade costs (maybe too much for it to be worth doing if the increase is significant and the improvement is not as significant).