solidsblog: handsome small speakers and other stuff...

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Welcome to Solid's Audio Blog!

First off, I must apologize to those wammers who tire of seeing this thread's header appear in the Review Section's Last Post column - with every new entry I put into this blog.

The reason I keep this thread bobbing up perpetually is not for narcissistic purposes. Rather, given the speed at which the threads disappear off the main page of the high-traffic 2 Channel Debate section, plus my decreasing participation in audio discussions, it is more convenient for me to have a single easily accessible thread where I stuff all my audio talk in.:)

So, your patience and tolerance is appreciated. Just think of this thread as a mini-forum residing inside the great forum that is HiFiWigwam. Oooh yeah, this blog is an audio Vatican!pope.gif Totally autonomous.g1.gif

Now there is only one AUP here: Standmount speakers rule! Advocates of big ugly wardrobes will be severely dealt with :off: (either get hung by the Earl of Sodbury's pink feather boa or BANGED by Penance:D)

Someday this blog will break off and become an independent forum! It will then turn around and blast the Tent into smithereens, muhahahahaha!



INDEX of Entries

(sorry, link is dead. Wigwam's May 29 move to its new server and software upgrade has screwed around with a lot of things.:roll:)

The following are the post numbers of several of my past reviews on this blog. Happy browsing.


#2420 McRU Optimus In-line Mains filter

#2404 Naim NAP 100 power amplifier

#2384 Icon Audio LA4 MkIII valve preamplifier

#2307 Castle Conway 3

#2295 Tannoy Precision 6.2 (First Impressions)

#2286 Wilson Benesch Square One

#2156 Dynaudio DM 2/6

#2087 Q Acoustics 2020i

#2007 Psvane 12AX7 preamp valve

#1979 Belles Soloist 1, Hegel H200, Primare I32

#1971 Genesis I60

#1896 Genesis M60

#1887 PMC Twenty.22 (first impressions)

#1886 KEF LS50

#1782 Arcam FMJ A28 - Review

#1719 Arcam rDAC - Review

#1702 Rega DAC - the Filters

#1693 Rega Round-up: the Apollo, Saturn and Brio-R

#1680 Rega DAC (first impressions)

#1640 Arcam FMJ A38, Creek Destiny 2, Naim NAIT XS, Rega Elicit and Roksan Caspian M2

#1620 Audiolab 8200CDQ (first impressions)

#1602 QUAD Elite Pre (first impressions)

#1585 Talented Quartet (Sugden Mystro, Arcam FMJ A38, Rega Elicit and Roksan Caspian M-2)

#1533 Neil's (Nsherin) Arcam rDAC first impressions

#1516 PMC DB1i, ProAC Response D1 & D2, DALI Mentor 1 and Spendor SP3/1R2

#1508 ELAC BS244 - first impressions

#1507 Divine Speakers - Dynaudio Excite X12

#1488 Spendor S3/5R - under sscrutiny

#1445 Mighty Mini - Harbeth P3ESR

#1441 Musical Fidelity X-A2 - Retroreview

#1435 NAD C326BEE - the Moratorium

#1405 Spendor S3/5R and NAD C326BEE

#1390 ProAC Studio 110 (a rethink)

#1329 Spendor S3/5R vs Spendor SA1

#1322 Spendor S3/5R (first impressions)

#1310 ATC SCM11 (review)

#1292 Droodzilla's speakers

#1257 NAD C326 BEE

#1256 Roksan Kandy K2 and Rotel RA-1520

#1225 Chord Signature jumpers

#1206 Naim Nait XS

#1205 V-DAC PSU upgrade

#1204 V-DAC vs DacMagic

#1194 Creek EVOs (Moratorium)

#1166 Cambridge Audio DacMagic (review)

#1146 Cambridge Audio 840A V2

#1138 Leema Xero (review)

#1137 Dali Ikon 6 (Moratorium)

#1134 Cambridge Audio DacMagic

#1120 ATC SCM11 (mine mine mine!)

#1105 ATC SCM11 (first impressions)

#1104 Cambridge Audio Azur 740C (Moratorium)

#1098 Musical Fidelity X-T100 (review)

#1079 Leema Xero (first impressions)

#1044 Dali Ikon 5 (review)

#984 Musical Fidelity X-T100 (first impressions)

#849 Dynaudio Focus 110 (Moratorium)

#817 Dali Ikon 5 (first impressions)

#781 old index page

#752 Sonicgear Sonata 300 tabletop radio

#642 Dynaudio Focus 110 (review)

#597 Musical Fidelity X-T100 vs Creek Destiny

#584 Cambridge Audio Azur 740C (review)

#579 Sonic Impact 5-66 "T-amp"

#555 AVI Neutron IV (review)

#539 Cambridge Audio Azur 740C (first impressions)

#518 Dynaudio Focus 110 (running in)

#427 Marantz PM-7001 KI-Sig

#392 Dynaudio Focus 110, Ruark Sabre III, Spendor S3e, and AVI Neutron IV

#341 Dynaudio Focus 110 (first sight)

#330 cable jumper tweaks for Epos M12.2

#320 locating my local ProAC dealer...

#309 QED Qonduits and Tacima mains conditioner

#294 Richard Black's review of Creek EVOs on HFC

#278 Marantz CD-7300

#162 Quad 12L Moratorium

#76 Monitor Audio RS1

(original entry)


I know I shouldn't because I'm already upgrade-proof, but I keep sneaking off to the hifi galleria to browse the latest arrivals in the shop windows. This weekend I saw a pair of fatally attractive, curvaceous beauties. That's right. These Monitor Audio Radius 90 babies were sitting behind the window pane in various hues: silver, black and rosemah. Their sheeeeer visual presence, OMG! :love:For US$300 that real wood veneer is absolutely first-class and I am shocked to admit that it looks and feels more expensive than my Epos M5s'. Sigh...

What do they sound like? I am usually hesistant to demo any equipment which I know I won't be buying on the spot. However, for these gorgeous Radius 90s... I was thick-skinned. Anyway being so diminutive they are easy to set up.Well, their voicing is sheer class.Very fine and clear in the upper registers with an articulate midrange and respectable soundstaging. The Achilles heel is their high bass rolloff (85Hz), because they are primarily intended as quality satelites (doh!) for HT systems, and there's a compact sub to complement them too.Whatever. These are the most beautiful, most exquistely made mini speakers I have come across to date. The temptation to get a pair is very great, even if it's going to be a superfluous purchase. Had the Radius 90s' bass rolloff been lower, somewhere around 65Hz, I'd have snapped them up immediately as pretty mates for my Sonic T amp. They look SOOOOO DAMN GOOOOOD.

As it is, my mind is still brooding over them.


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I use these speakers in my bedroom because of their high WAF. Amazing detail for such a small speaker. $300 isa bargain - they cost £250 / $450 new here. I got mine second hand for £130 though :D.

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Seriously, those babies are burning a hole in my mind.icon_mad.gifI know if I had them in the bedroom with me I'd be ogling them and not anything else on my bed.:D

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Guest earl of sodbury

Have you seen the teeny-tiny floorstanders (R270)? Seen 'em in the flesh, and they are outrageously sleek and cute - make Totem Arros look big and Very scruffy - and will provide most of the otherwise missing bass...

have fun, you consumerist whore, churz, eofs

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You and the Bedspread are conspiring to stoke my dormant spending urges.:Not Sure:

I haven't finished salivating over the Radius 90 yet.....but yes, I've now noted the existence of the deadly R270! It looks like a slick prop for a sexy pole dancer to wrap her legs around. (Speaker ad designers take note:D)

R270... shades of Star Wars:love:

oh no:shock:

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solidstateman wrote:

Seriously, those babies are burning a hole in my mind.icon_mad.gifI know if I had them in the bedroom with me I'd be ogling them and not anything else on my bed.:D

Lets just hope that they are rear ported !!!!!:D......and its a big enough hole..........

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Thank you Ice for your insightful input.:?The R90s look fantastic from the rear. The terminal sockets are flush with the rest of the cabinet and look like two shiny gold coins.:love:

btw nothing else will have holes as big as those inside the airy chassis of your MF 3.2 cdp :lmao:

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Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 bookshelf speakers

Had these little babies for over a fortnight now and overall I'm very pleased. They are just 24 cm high and 15 cm wide, and in black finish, look very cool and shiny - like the sort of speakers for music Darth Vader would have installed in his egg-shaped maintenance pod.:DTheir bigger sibling, the 9.1, is WHF's flavor of the month:roll: and I got a listen to them. Frankly, for the same price the Epos ELS 3s kill them in every department save bass extension. Nuff said.

But the 9.0s, if you consider their price and purpose, are sweet little boxes. The only cosmetic downside to them are the rather sharp right-angled corners the vinyl wrap have to go tightly over. Seems if you run your fingers over these lines too often, the vinyl might fray! The other minor quibble are the couple of pre-drilled holes in the back panel, presumably to facilitate wall-mounting. They make the 9.0s seem less "virgin".:Upset:

In use, the 9.0s are lovely. Compared to the 4-ohm Epos ELS 3s they are a far easier load for my Sonic T amp (6 ohms). They lose the soundstage extension, airiness and midrange clarity of the Epos but compensate with a rather endearing cuddly balance. The reason I like them so much is because they are voiced just like the first pair of speakers I ever got --- the Mission 731 Pro (the last good bookshelf Mission ever made imho). Nostalgia time! Late night listening sessions with internet music station broadcasts are now so soothing. The 9.0s' soft domedtweeters take a more kindly view of hissy broadcasts than the Epos' metal ones, and its midband make everything sound more rounded and cosy, if a tad closed-in. Had a lovely nite recently, listening to an internet archive of a live 1952 Wagner opera broadcast and the 9.0s coped brilliantly. For the price they are a super bargain.:cool:A single gentleman need only save one trip to Cloth-Ears' "sandy girls" and voila, these little Wharfies are yours.:P

Love 'em 3.5 / 5

ps: the "silver" finish option is just bad, highly unrecommended

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The Epos is dead, long live the Quad.:shock:

The M12.2 sets the record for the speakers who stayed at SolidsChateau for the shortest spell. 1 week. Changed to them from my beloved M5s whose (very basic) veneer had developed wrinkles prematurely over 8 months' of use. Again, a small veneer faultline under one of the M12.2s caused doubts to snowball in my mind again.This time I just took the Epi back to the Epos dealer and paid a small premium to switch over to the Quad 12Ls. Bird's eye maple, nice!:cool:Seven coats of piano lacquer ---- now this should be impervious to wear and tear than the Epos' chinese-pingpong-bat veneer, or I don't know which other standmount to change to.:(

The soundon 3 hours of useso far is pretty nice. Shotgunning withdouble runs ofChord Carnival Silver Plus did not produce ideal results. A switch to normal biwiring snapped things into focus. Vivaldi's Four Seasons sounds so good now.

Even comes with a pair of free-size white gloves presumably to stroke oneself with while listening. Mmm, must apply for more leave this week...


Full review to come after 100 hours running-in.

I love Quad.

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solid, have you heard the 11Ls as well? Only asking as I got a pair just before Xmas and wondered if the 12L was much different.

I do love the lacquer finish as well, although due to child factors I've still got the (black) grills on which does hide a bit of the maple finish from the front. what finish did you get?

Hadn't thought of that use for the white gloves...

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Hi iann,

Yes I heard the 11Ls too. I am quite familiar with their sound because I demo-ed them this time last year while I was shopping for my Epos M5s.

In a nutshell, the 11L and 12L are quite similiar sonically, and I could not discern any disparity in sensitivity levels. The 11L is 86dB and the 12L is 88dB, yet the former sounded just as loud as the latter on the same volume settings. The 12L definitely has more powerful bass though, but its midband is flatter compared to the 11L's more upfront one. I guess, if using in a smaller room and with a lower-powered amp, the 11L's plumper midrange will be more welcomed. With a high-powered amp, I think the 11L's mid could get honky compared to the even-handedness of the 12Ls'.

Epos' M speakers has greater midrange palpability than Quad Ls. More organic. I still prefer it. But the metal tweeters can be too keen sometimes. The Quad tweeter is atad shut-in in comparison, but now that I am using a more powerful amp (150W), I could perhapsdrive my music louder without encountering shrillness. It's a mixed blessing.

Enjoy your 11Ls.:cool:


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Cheers SS, having heard the 11Ls in comparison to some budget B&Ws (which was my original price range!) they are much clearer in the mid range and more musical.

They seem much louder than 86dB would suggest though and I'm only using a 30W amp turned to about 3/10.

Off to listen to more today as g/f working and I'm still on holiday.

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Spinning Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" (Lanchbery & Gergiev) on these glossy flowerpots. They don't rule with salsa and cuban music like Epos:(, but they are far superior with woodwind instruments. Flutes have just the perfect fluttery creaminess thru' the Quads. Very lovely and real.

2006 Forecast: less salsa, more classical concertos - maybe time to buy MFichaelson's clarinetdiscs

F**k yeah, it's Christmas all over again!:rockin:Valse de fleurs cumming now:cool:

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