Where I’m Coming From – Part II

The Banishment Of The Large And Visually Unacceptable Vandersteens From The New Guest Room had handed me the opportunity to rebuild my system, but also led to that dreaded audiophile ordeal that I’ll call…

The Revolving Door O’ Components

Since saying buh-bye to the Vandersteens, the speakers I’ve owned and subsequently dumped/sold include (slightly annotated and in no particular order):

  • Totem Arro (meh)
  • LSA 1 Statement (twice!)
  • Silverline Prelude II (meh)
  • Ascend Sierra 1 (double meh)
  • PSB Synchrony 1B (very nice, but the guy who sold me the used pair on Audiogon neglected to mention that he’d glued FOUR HUGE PIECES OF VELCRO on the bottom of each speaker); I had to sell those to a guy in Australia via eBay, and lost money after shipping…
  • Merlin TSM-mmi (a love-hate relationship if ever there was one – amazing build quality, delicate and resolving midrange, but bass-starved in the extreme, at least in my room, no matter what I did)
  • Ohm Micro Walsh Tall
  • Ohm 100 (huge, “swimmy” soundstage, which was sometimes very cool, but the lack of imaging specificity drove me crazy – room probably too lively, too, at that point)
  • Reference 3A Dulcet – dethroned the Merlins in a heartbeat; amazingly deep bass for their size, huge, coherent soundstage, big WAF due to cuteness factor
  • Reference 3A De Capo BE (my current and favorite of all the above – all the yumminess of the Dulcet, only more so)

As for amplification, the sequence looks like this:

  • Used Unison Unico Hybrid Integrated
  • Used Manley Shrimp with Bel Canto S300 “class D” power amp
  • Subbed Manley Mahi mono-blocks for the Bel Canto S300 – huge step up

Next: My Journey To The Land of SET…

3 thoughts on “Where I’m Coming From – Part II

  1. Hi Steve/Rebbe… I’m late to the game, but….I see you’ve had both the Dulcet BE and the Spatial M4 (M3 out of my price range, Dulcets on USAUDIO now at used price). Was wondering, if you could sort of compare contrast the two for me. Yes, I have read and appreciate your individual reviews of both, but I”m trying to learn what I can . I have a chance to audition the M4s here in Chicago. I don’t have an opportunity to hear the Dulcet BE’s.

    Thanks, Todah,

    Dave Brochin

    1. Thank you for the question, I love it when people ask questions like this!
      Anyway, I remember really loving the Dulcet. It goes astonishingly low for a speaker of that size, it’s a beautiful design (according to my own taste) and it disappears, acoustically, in the way that very small monitor speakers can do.
      On the other hand, open baffle designs like the Spatial provide for a different kind of presentation. Very wide open and dynamic. If you have the opportunity to listen to a pair of the M4’s, by all means do so. You may find you love them, too.

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