Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance 8 Ohms
Frequency Response 42Hz to 40KHz
Power Handling 150 Watts RMS
Height 15" (38 cm)
Width 11" (28 cm)
Depth 13" (33 cm)
Weight 27 lbs (13 kg) each
The only 2-ways I've ever owned have been old ESS AMT speakers with 10" drivers. I still own my first gen AMT1's and use the almost every day, but they don't. Hold a candle to my Focal 936's. 2-way doesn't always equal small baffle and small foot print. Take the DeVore Orangutan series for example. Huge baffles. Huge footprints. I listened to the Focal 906's and those are well integrated speakers. The reason I chose the 936's over the 1008Be's was bass. These were going to be living room speakers and the bottom end wasn't a compromise I wanted to make. Ultimately that's a major weaknesses in so many 2-ways. The 936's take up no more space and with a lower crossover point of 150 or 280 Hz depending on who's talking, integrating the bass with the speaker as a whole makes more sense than stand mounts and subs to me.
-Solid imaging and wide sound stage.
-Amazing bass from a (~6" driver/) - esp. as driven by a Taranis Class D amp.
-Metal dome tweeter provides excellent hi freq extension but can sound harsh with badly recorded material.
-Source, amplification and balanced ICs have tamed that tendency.
-Clear Day Speaker Cables and a Harmonic Tech ProSilway II IC contributed greatly to sweetening the sound.
Have had the Forests since 2007.
Not tired of listening to music from them.
Thanks for your contribution. Tweeters without a high pass filter are very rare, and usually piezo-electric so I had to do some research and now can call BS on the Ref 3A MM de Cap not having a crossover. Sorry.
Based on the SoundStage review, it doesn’t have a WOOFER crossover (i.e. low-pass filter). It most certainly DOES have a tweeter filter, so I would not say "no crossover." Also very interesting is that they assemble the tweeter and woofer themselves, though they do buy the tweeter dome from an outside source.
The Ref 3A is probably similar to the Seas A26 kits in crossover design. I chose a kit because you can learn a lot from the product link, here:
Looking at the FR charts, I’m really pretty surprised. The ragged nature of the response, especially at the FR point is a disappointment. The designers say it is "phase coherent" but this means both drivers are pushing at the same time.
You know what you should experiment with is reversing the polarity of the tweeter. You will probably have a totally different speaker. :) See which you prefer. For more on this, see my first post here:
For four years we enjoyed a pair of Totem Fire monitors, with a Velodyne sub woofer. Yes, it's not always easy to get a sub to "integrate" with the main speakers and the room, but once I got it as good as it gets, we enjoyed that....
Until I moved my system down to a much larger "man cave". The Totems sounded really good, but the Velodyne just couldn't keep up. So after much searching and replacing, I now have a pair of Focal Sopra No2 floor standers with a pair of JL Audio F113V2 sub woofers!
I understand and appreciate the appeal of two way speakers, but I am just awestruck by the detail and clarity of the midrange on the Sopras.
Imo speaker design is always system design, wherein the room and even the amplifier are parts of the system.
I've done two-way speakers that have good in-room response from the mid-20's up to 18 kHz or so, but these were not polite little mini-monitors. They were big floorstanders that used components designed for recording studios, which could deliver 115 dB peaks anywhere in their passband with less than 1 dB of thermal compression.
Why use a two-way in a size and price range that left plenty of room for going three- or four-way? Because a pair of high-quality large diameter midwoofers kill three birds with one stone: They move enough air down low; they are directional enough up high (for good pattern-matching with a constant-directivity waveguide-style horn); and they have the efficiency, impedance, and thermal power handling that I wanted. This adds up to good synergy with the room and with the amplifier types I had in mind,
I have since come to embrace more complex approaches for some applications, but the core element is still a high output, controlled-pattern two-way.
I wouldn't say I'm a "two-way only" kind of guy. But I moved from Vandersteen 3a sigs to Merlin MXes when we changed houses and the listening room got smaller. Bass is impressive for a speaker of its size (although not nearly in the same league as the Vandersteens) but the real treat is how coherent the sound is. The fact that they are gorgeous is a bonus that my wife definitely appreciates. Dick
They are among the best speakers at any price for acoustic music aka jazz and classical .
I imagine rock fans would call their natural sound flat, but I’m not one so don’t really know .
I was at my local dealer a few months ago and he had the Rega small monitor on stands right next to Maggie . 7 , same room, same system, the Rega RX-1 was FAR better in every way and I do mean FAR . I’ve been to thousand of Classical concerts they are a go-to for non rich, and even the rich if they have good taste.
I think of the "British Sound" in this way erik. After music , my great love in art is Theater.
I can’t even imagine an American cast pulling off great BBC Masterpieces like " The Midwifes" shown on PBS .
Many British speaker are voiced for the best seat in the house, for Symphony that’s mid-hall as a rule .
I like all the ProAc 2 way speakers I've listened to or owned. The tablets where my first foray into ProAc and still remember them as sweet and musical. the larger floor standers were always impressive with what they could put out. AudioNote AN series are great as well. Currently using some Living Voice Avatar 2's ( 3 driver 2 way speaker) and loving them with 300b tubes, 94db. I liked the older Sonus Faber 2 ways
Awww shucks guys!! :) Thanks for the votes for fun, welcoming threads on topics we don't get to see a lot in the press.
Where you the guy I gave that 2 way schematic to? :)
I built my own 2-ways with AMT's. I'm DONE shopping for speakers like forever. I wish i had a chance to hear the ESS models ever, but I'll have to settle for the German versions. :)
Great thread Erik. Again.
Right now I'm using my single-driver Omega's, but I've held onto a pair of Mark & Daniel Ruby's purchased in 2010 to rotate back into the system when the mood strikes. They are 2-ways with an AMT tweeter and a bit tough to drive but with the right amp (class d works well here), they sound great. Specs from their website:
Frequency Response: 45Hz-25KHz
Two-way Crossover: 900Hz
Nominal Impedance: 3-6 OhmsAverage
Power Handling: ≧ 80 Watts per channel
After many years living with a wonderful pair of Merlin VSM 2-ways I have for the past 4 years been living with a pair of Decapo Be's. A more than 30 year old design under different names and refined over the years
Eric to your point to Grinnell switching polarity, I have to good effect. Another thing I tried recently is running the main speaker cable to the tweeter and jumping to the woofer, also to GREAT effect, subjectively greater clarity and separation. Got a call from my dealer out of the blue to try that. My in room response using a digital spectrum analyzer at the listening position is a quite flat response with a bit of a rise at arround 80 hz which was tamed with tube traps. Amazingly dynamic and BIG with a pair of Rel Strata III subs. Set up with these speakers is even more critical than most I've encountered.
The JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor has a horn loaded compression driver and 15" woofer, and reflects the result of the research of Dr. Floyd Toole at Harman. JBL does not allow it to be sold unless driven by very high power Crown amplifiers (biamped) with incorporated active crossover in the amps. SEE EPISODE 216 OF HOME THEATER GEEKS DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO A DISCUSSION OF THIS EXCEPTIONAL SPEAKER. This is the best system I have owned, and, surprisingly, cost only a fraction of my other setups.
It would probably be intersting to look at the frequency response with the tweeter in normal and inverted polarity. Based on the published measurements, I think you may find inverted is the better option. It is also possible that the measured speakers were incorrectly wired.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting you invert the entire speaker, just the tweeter relative to the woofer.
Love 2 way speakers. I live in NYC so aesthetically and size wise I think 2 way speakers work best for me (though I still would like to own large fullrange floor standers some day). I love the look of some monitors on nice stands!
For me, the Danish speakers have my heart: raidhos and dynaudios.
(I know it's not a purchase advice thread but I'll go ahead and throw in a dealer disclaimer: I sell raidhos)
Hey Eric, I don't think you sent me a 2-way anything, but I could be wrong and frequently am. *L* That 'senior thing', y'know...;) If that was done 'elsewhere' than here on AG, I'd have to backtrack for it and time is a tad short right now. If it's of importance, let me know.
I'm happy to see that the AMT's have a bigger following than I had thought. Haven't heard the German version...would like to, to see if the breed has improved. One would hope that's the case....
Hard to beat a BIG 2 way like most classic JBL's were. My S3100 - era 1990 - has a compression driven horn loaded tweeter that crosses over - seamlesly - at 750hz to a 15" pulp bass driver. This is a really great listening experieince; I am still amazed after almost 20 yrs of ownership. The only caveat is that you need a largish room.
Virtually unknown this side of the Atlantic, Davis Acoustics model Olympia One that sell for 1500 euros over there. Accomplished 2 ways with big, coherent and musical sound. Made in France with only a 5¨ mid-woofer that replaced a pair of long standing Proac 1sc, also reputable small 2 ways in their own right. Still, hard to imagine one speaker type appropiate for all music. For large orchestral works, I resort back to Dyn C4s.
2 way fan here too! In addition to your list of pros, a wife pleasing size too! I've always valued fast speakers and soundstage and felt in my smaller rooms over the years, smaller 2 way are easier to achieve this. My choice remains my old - monitor audio mark IV gold, the non metal treated woofers (at the time the studio series added a twang, to me). floor standing, with sand fill I saved on stands also.
Love my bass, so i run two M&K MX700's. in my small room, limited to maybe 31 hz but they fast, powerful and integrates perfect with the monitors.
No 2channel8, I haven't probably be too expensive! The jumpers themselves are ribbons by the same manufacturer and there are differences between the jumpers which are very clearly audible. I haven't talked to my dealer or the manufacturer of the speakers OR the cable manufacturer concerning this and what their experiences might be if any but since you bring it up and it is a good question, I'll look into it.