A brand new discovery is thrilling, even after a whole lot of critiques – if you assume you’ve heard almost every little thing. Open baffle audio system have all the time been that little blinking mild within the nook of my eye at numerous audio exhibits, however our paths all the time crossed, till just lately.
For those who keep in mind studying our assessment on the Whammerdyne Fact 2A3 amplfier (hyperlink right here), their designer Pat Hickman is a large fan of the Pure Audio Project audio system. Once you’ve solely received a few watts you must make nice use of them, and Hickman makes use of the PAP audio system at his place, the place I’ve been capable of give them multiple good pay attention.
I’ve all the time appreciated the purity of low powered amplifiers, whether or not solid-state or tube. Aside from a couple of exceptions, like the huge Boulder 3000 collection amplifiers, easier circuits have the potential for a clearer window to the music. The large dilemma with amplifiers beneath 20 watts per channel is the meager choice of excessive sensitivity, top quality audio system appropriate to match up with them.
Loopy good decisions
The PureAudioProject Trio15 is the answer to the excessive effectivity/top quality state of affairs. However remember, there are a number of decisions – and they’re all nice. PAP Precept Ze’ev Schlik has not solely constructed a speaker that sounds unimaginable, it will get my private thumbs-up for being probably the most enjoyable speaker I’ve ever had the pleasure to make use of. Regardless that the evaluate samples have been poorly packed by the final reviewer and nocked up a bit (although nonetheless working completely), it solely took a number of hours of listening to maneuver the Trios from the need column to the necessity/system reference column in that huge Excel spreadsheet that’s my life.
A pair of 15-inch woofers made by Eminence to PAP specs (and upgradable to 4 woofers do you have to so want) and a compression driver with a wonderful wooden horn is merely the start line. Because of a number of crossover faucets, the power to simply swap crossover elements, and a selection of 5 totally different HF drivers (Horn, Voxative, ESS AMT, Beyma, TB-W808) you’ll be able to nice tune the Trios to your room, amplifier and finally, private style.
Do you have to be disposed to ADD, the Trios won’t be for you. All of those nice decisions might drive you loopy. Or perhaps simply purchase all 5 mixtures and change them out. Because of the tremendous affordable $7,490/pair worth of the Trio/horns, you possibly can in all probability examine all 5 choices and nonetheless be underneath $15okay/pair. A lot as I really like the horns, within the pursuit of data, I will probably be choosing up a set of Voxatives within the close to future, in addition to investigating an lively crossover.
Did I overlook to say that Nelson Move makes a customized lively crossover for these? When have you ever ever had this a lot enjoyable together with your audio system? It’s like shopping for a BMW M automotive with the turbo six, however with the ability to convey it again to the supplier everytime you need and have the excessive strung 333hp usually aspirated six dropped in, or the 400+hp V8. And simply drive away with a completely totally different automotive. I can dream.
Due to the mild crossover slope and a couple of means design, the urge to attempt substitute a classic Audio Analysis EC-2 digital crossover proves irresistible. As Schlik suggests a 550hz crossover level, and the EC-2 solely provides a 500 hz setting, I proceed with warning and maintain the degrees down. This almost 50 yr previous element has potential, permitting the power to combine and match amplifiers, however it undoubtedly provides a syrupy, sluggish, classic sound to the general presentation. Maybe a visit to Mr. Hinkman and a name to Mr. Cross may have some extra choices obtainable.
Lastly, there are a number of choices for connecting the drivers. Our assessment pattern got here with the upgraded Reference Audio Foils ($690/pair) however with nothing to match them to however some primary Monster Wire hanging round, they’re definitely well worth the asking worth. The foils supply a a lot larger degree of decision and readability over commonplace wire. Samples from Cardas and Tellurium Q are within the works, so rely on one other article right here as nicely.
Drive with ease
Solely needing 2-5 watts per channel to have celebration central opens up a world of amplifier decisions. I simply auditioned a dozen issues and can be taking a look at extra sooner or later. Very similar to my unique Quad 57s, the Trios work “pretty well” with the whole lot, however I did discover a few standout mixtures. My unique PrimaLuna ProLogue One, with solely about 25 watts per channel just isn’t a nasty entry degree built-in, if yow will discover a used one. The Dynaco Stereo 70 additionally was heat and alluring, although missing element.
In fact being an enormous Cross fan, we tried them with the mighty XA200.8s (means overkill), the INT-60, the XA25 and the First Watt SIT-2. The INT-60 is beautiful, however the XA25 mated to the Koda Okay-10 strong state amplifier proved thoughts bending, as did the Audio Analysis D-79. These two mixtures provided the deepest bass response in addition to the deepest soundstage. The Nagra 300P got here in a really shut second. Backside line, you’ll have a tremendous journey discovering the “perfect” amplifier for these audio system – they reveal a lot musical info, it’d take you some time to seek out your slice of heaven.
Cease fiddling and pay attention
Robust because the considered exploring all of those decisions is, our most important objective is to take heed to music. When you discover a mixture that you simply love, settle in and pay attention. The Trio’s capacity to concurrently seize the dynamic energy and delicacy of the opening cymbal photographs in Model X’ “Nightmare Patrol,” is riveting. Nice as these audio system sounded at Hikman’s home, I used to be nonetheless anticipating that pinched horn sound. None is current within the Trios – zero.
Having simply spent a good period of time with classic and present Klipsch audio system, the easy dynamics provided by a horn/semi-horn/excessive effectivity speaker is compelling. Headroom and dynamics are simply as essential to me when it comes to what we’d all name constancy. Tonal accuracy is fantastic, however experiencing lifelike dynamics is equally compelling.
The PAP web site lists the Trio’s sensitivity at “94-96db/1 watt,” however they really feel extra environment friendly than that. The Nagra 300P amplifier that produces 20 watts per channel, and presents energy output meters barely ever moved previous the .5 watt mark. And that’s not a misprint. When utilizing the Audio Analysis D-79, which could be very conservatively rated at 75 watts/channel, it was almost unattainable to get the facility output meters to budge from their relaxation stops, regardless of how loud we performed the music.
Hours cross by and on many events, what begins as a day listening session, lingers far into the night time hours – even with daylight saving time in full impact. A variety of music proves extremely partaking and exposes no flaws within the Trios. They play every little thing you possibly can think about with ease.
Very similar to the best way an enormous pair of Magnepans or the MartinLogan CLS reproduce bass, the open baffle design has an identical degree of element, texture and definition, but with extra dynamic punch within the Trios because of the cone woofers. As a result of these woofers have such little tour, there isn’t any cone breakup both. Simply as an automotive engine requires both displacement or extra rpm to make energy, woofers both want sheer measurement or tour to maneuver extra air.
PAP lists a LF spec as someplace between 29-32hz, they usually work nicely in each of our listening rooms giant (15 x 26 ft) and small (13 x 15 ft). Even within the smaller room, the place they’re staying, bass right down to 30hz is definitely achieved. For these of you elevating your nostril at “only going down to 30hz,” the LF element will get you. Particularly in the event you take heed to numerous acoustic music. The sheer texture on faucet, listening to a cello or standup bass is thrilling. The Trios are certainly not a “1-note bass” speaker, and for some, it might take getting used to the decrease register element.
The Trios large dynamic vary makes it straightforward to realize excessive SPLs with minimal energy, however it additionally makes for partaking low degree listening. These are one of the thrilling audio system I’ve had the pleasure of listening to at low quantity ranges, making them good for somebody dwelling in a rental or condominium state of affairs.
Fulfilling as these audio system are, you must hear them. Their clear, dynamic sound jogs my memory of so many points of different audio system that I actually love. They disappear within the room and supply pinpoint imaging when required like an amazing mini monitor, but, they paint an enormous, diffuse panorama like my Magnepan Tympanis, all of the whereas, having the sheer sonic punch of the Klipsch LaScalas.
These wanting a extra conventional field speaker might not be capable of work with the extremely trendy aesthetic of the Trios, however as somebody who loves the fashionable factor, I really like them. There are such a lot of variations on colour and end, and once you’re sitting within the listening chair, you don’t discover the shortage of cupboard anyway.
The excessive decision of the Trios places a world of supply elements at your disposal, however since you don’t want a ton of amplifier energy, I’m guessing you possibly can construct a tremendous system across the Trios on an inexpensive price range, but do you have to get the urge to improve, these audio system will hold revealing extra music, even with 5-figure amplification and supply elements.
The very best praise I pays the PureAudioProject audio system is that I bought the evaluate pair and will probably be utilizing them as a everlasting reference speaker in room two. I’ve by no means had this a lot sheer enjoyable with a pair of audio system. Along with being an ideal reviewing device, they will be the car for quite a lot of audio journeys I’m planning, so rely on listening to extra about them within the months to return. It’s straightforward to award them certainly one of our Distinctive Worth Awards for 2018. Once more, I can’t recommend checking a pair of those out for your self, do you have to be attending an audio present this yr.
Lastly, I’m doing the ultimate edits on this assessment on the Munich HiEnd Present, so we solely have the only image on the prime for now. The PAP Trio 15s shall be featured in challenge 88 of TONEAudio, due out in a few week, so please cease again and see some extra thrilling photographs of those lovely audio system.
The Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn
Preamplifier PrimaLuna DiaLogue, Move XS Pre, Robert Koda Okay-10
Energy amplifiers Audio Analysis D-79(restored), Audio Analysis REF 75SE, Cross Labs XA25, First Watt SIT-2, Nagra 300P
Digital Supply Gryphon Kalliope w/dCS Bridge
Analog Supply Avid Volvere SP/TriPlanar/Lyra Etna, Conrad Johnson TEA-1
Cable Cardas Clear
PureAudioProject Reference Audio Foils, and Crossover Cable Upgrades, made by Verastarr.