Have you considered the Shamrock Eire?
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The VMPS ribbons are indeed VERY sweeeeeet. :-) Brian is a talented speaker builder with an incredible product. Lot's of guys can throw together a speaker these days with off the shelf components. However Brian goes a different route and uses a lot of ribbons in his stuff where the other guys tend to stick to more conventional drivers.
Each and every time I've had the opportunity to listen to Brian's VMPS products I have been impressed. Especially with the big stuff, as it is SOOOOOO good at low volumes, with the detail and depth, especially having good bass that typical 'monitor speakers' just don't have. But at concert level volumes the VMPS units will literally shake the foundation! The detail from the ribbons is incredible, and to combine it with the large woofers gives a rich full sound even when the speakers are at levels where you can have a conversation while listening.
That being said... The Linbrook Monitors are the best speaker of that design I've ever heard! If later you decide to go with the full Linbrook package you will be amazed at how good they are. We're talking world class here, in a league where many want to be, but few are. The key though with the full Linbrook package at the BARE MINIMUM is to bi-amp ant go with the external crossover.
I would say without a doubt that Ty is putting better components in his speakers throughout than any other builder out there for the money.
Don't however feel that all the "used" speakers are actually used when buying from Tyler Acoustics. Ty quite frequently will sell new speakers that have only been used as demos in the shop as used rather than offer 'sale' prices. It's more like when a new store opens and the have a "soft opening" before the Grand Opening. They'll have all the same products, but better sale prices just to get you to come in the door.
The Joseph's are pretty good speakers, and better known than both of the above. That however doesn't mean that they are better speakers. Actually Jeff uses some of the same raw speakers as Ty does. However, if he were to offer the exact same speaker, with all the same components, then you can BET that it'd have a retail price at LEAST twice (if not more) than Ty's product. Not only that, you would NEVER find them coming direct from the manufacturer as "used".
Glad to hear you have such high regard for the Linbrook. I just took delivery of a beautiful Linbrook system in natural cherry yesterday. Quite simply it's the most musical, liquid, refined speaker I've heard. My Norh mini-9.0 standmounts (using SS 9700 tweeter and Revelator mid/bass driver) sound etched and peaky by comparison.
Unfortunately the UPS gorillas managed to shake loose the crossover parts in one of the bass modules. So I can't tell how the full system will sound like until it's repaired. I contacted Ty and he was ultra responsive in advising me what to do. Simply superb aftersales support even though I'm not the original owner!
I was interested in VMPS ribbons but a friend whose ears I trust heard them and detected a 'metallic' coloration to vocals. So until I can listen to them myself I will withold judgement.
What amps do you think will go well with the Linbrooks? I'm currently using a modified Mesa Baron tube amp. Thanks.
I'm glad that "sounddecision", being a dealer for the other products, still feels that the JosephAudio RM7si Mk2, Stereophile's "Joint Speaker Of The Year" for 2002
is "pretty good"!
But I must disagree with his statement regarding the pricing of our products versus his. First off, no direct comparision would be valid as our crossover technique is patented and exclusive. Even if you used the same drivers, if you fail to solve the problem of wave interference between the drivers, you cannot acheive the same sound. We are also in a position, due to our size, to purchase directly from the driver manufacturer and enjoy favorable pricing that results in better value for our customers, without compromising on quality.
I have not heard the Tyler speakers, and have no opinon regarding their sound. I think that if you listened carefully to the RM7si Signature Mk2's you will understand why they were tied with a $41,500 model for
Stereophile's Speaker Of The Year award.
Well it certainlyis nice to have to choose between this type of quality.
Your name looks familiar and I might have been the one who suggested the VMPS to you.
To be fair, I am an audio consutlant, in Los Angeles and carry over 20 brands of speakers. I do not carry the Joseph Audio (although I really like them) nor the Tylers.
I have heard both and suggest that you could not "go wrong" with either.
I make suggestions to my clients based on the speakers i would buy for myself, if I were in their room/electronics/situation.
I also just purchased for "my" system the 626R FST. This designation means that it has the new tweeter which is a marvel in the reproduction of treble.
To have this degree of detail and resolving power without any harshness is quite an accomplishment.
I have heard the three speakers in question and would not hesitate to suggest the VMPS626R.
As far as a metallic sound? There is none unless it is a metallic instrument.
Obviously audition is the best method of selecting a speaker, but I would seriously suggest that it would be hard to beat the 626R FST for under $8000, in the area of soundstage, imaging, balance, detail, dynamics and resolution.
Just my biased opinion. If your in Los Angeles, let me know you can hear mine.
I have heard the JA sigs...and they have a very "airy" presentation...and good bass for a speaker of its size...hate to stir up the pot...but for half the JAs go for...Green Mountain Europas are extremely musical...and have a time/phase coherent design that really make them difficult to beat...at any price...good luck
I have not listened to the Linbrook, but I have listend to Jospeh 25, Dynaudio 24, Wilson-Benesch arcs, Audiophysics Virgo, and I purchased vmps 626. Vmps in its stock form is a very good speaker (transparent with lots of punch), but it was a bit edgy and electronic. I recently replaced with a version that has TRT capictators and the new tweeters. All I can say is that I would not trade my modified speakers for any of the ones that I have heard. So If you get the VMPS, you really should get the new tweeter, which is so much sweeter and more natural sounding than the original and if you have the money, you should go for the auricap or TRT upgrades.
I have been doing audio consulting for several years, have been in hi-end for 25, do not sell or represent any products, and am a part time musician: for under 2K, I have found little to compare with the Green Mountain Audio Europa's which list, amazingly, for unker 1K. I cannot listen to speakers for long that are not phase correct. If you have a good ear you will eventually hear the crossovers in speakers that are not; I do not recommend speakers with a lot of drivers either. I do not believe tha ribbon tweeters (which are excellent often) mate seamlessly or well with other drivers. When someone says the tweeter is terrific they are implicitly saying the tweeter is drawing attention to itself -- as, e.g. in some Coincident designs. I don't know Tylers well, but I have heard most everything, and in my second system, I chose the Europas. They are also extremely musical, surprisingly full range, dynamic and detailed yet easy to listen to, good looking, ridiculously inexpensive and very easy to drive. I have driven them with everything from an older Leak tube amp to Arcam 35watts to the innersound ESL amp. They never fail to sound satisfying yet revealing.
Hope this helps
I will add my vote for the green mountain audio europa's. I have posted notes on my impressions of them in other threads - but suffice it to say that they are musical, involving, coherent - just an amazingly well built speaker which is a steal at its price - it truly puts other speakers to shame. I ditched my $5,000 original retail full range electrostatic hybrids for these little guys and have been extremely satisfied with them. I strongly urge you to give them a listen!
I have heard the Europa's at Green Mountain and I have also owned a pair of his Imago speakers. The Europa's are amazing and I am planning on getting a pair for a second system as I am getting a pair of his latest Coniunuum 3 for my main system. Most all other speakers I have listened to sound veiled or confused as I have become accustom to hearing time and phase coherent designs that minimize cabinet reflections and use simple first order crossovers.