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Coming home to Sound Lab (Read 3761 times)
planarfool
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Coming home to Sound Lab
Jun 2nd, 2017 at 6:35am
 
After an eighteen year absence, I finally have another (my sixth!) pair of Sound Labs on order.  I started with a pair of A1s with a B1 Stereo Subwoofer in the mid 80's, then to a second pair of A1s with the wings, next a pair Pristine lls, finally a last pair of A1s and a pair of mini stats.  I felt the tonality of the Sound Labs was superior to anything that I had heard, but with repeated reliability problems I could no longer bear disassembling the cores, driving an hour and a half to the nearest airport with large enough jets to accept them, etc etc. Also, marriage and three children in four years discourages giant audio outlays.  Now the children are teenagers and SLs have evolved with PX panels and bass focus, and I am looking forward to a pair of 545s which hopefully will not dominate the room the way A1s do.  Although I have been the whole tube/OTL route, I will not go down that road again, living in Florida and with little tolerance for fiddling, so I will be using a pair of Bryston 7B3 for lots of power and a PS Audio BHK/DSMP/DSD front end.  Really looking forward to that Sound Lab sound in a smaller package.

Cheers,

Mark
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TWB
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #1 - Mar 25th, 2018 at 2:13pm
 
Now that you have had some time with the 545's, could you give us a report? How big a room are they in, and how do they compare to your previous experience with the larger panels?
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Paul Reale
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #2 - Mar 26th, 2018 at 8:15am
 
I am curious, too. I think that the smaller Sound labs require more amplifier power. What kind of amp are you using?
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bk12
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #3 - Mar 31st, 2018 at 3:53pm
 
Glad to have you back in the fold.  Once you go Soundlab, tough to go anywhere else!
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TWB
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #4 - May 2nd, 2018 at 1:02pm
 
planarfool wrote on Jun 2nd, 2017 at 6:35am:
After an eighteen year absence, I finally have another (my sixth!) pair of Sound Labs on order. I started with a pair of A1s with a B1 Stereo Subwoofer in the mid 80's, then to a second pair of A1s with the wings, next a pair Pristine lls, finally a last pair of A1s and a pair of mini stats. I felt the tonality of the Sound Labs was superior to anything that I had heard, but with repeated reliability problems I could no longer bear disassembling the cores, driving an hour and a half to the nearest airport with large enough jets to accept them, etc etc. Also, marriage and three children in four years discourages giant audio outlays. Now the children are teenagers and SLs have evolved with PX panels and bass focus, and I am looking forward to a pair of 545s which hopefully will not dominate the room the way A1s do. Although I have been the whole tube/OTL route, I will not go down that road again, living in Florida and with little tolerance for fiddling, so I will be using a pair of Bryston 7B3 for lots of power and a PS Audio BHK/DSMP/DSD front end. Really looking forward to that Sound Lab sound in a smaller package.

Cheers,

Mark


We are fast approaching one year since your post. By now, I assume, you have had time to form an opinion of the  545's. I, and I assume others, all await your post.
Thanks,
Tom Smiley
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Tom
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #5 - May 6th, 2018 at 8:26am
 
I wish you luck with the Brystons; however, I tried Bryston monsters with my M-1 PX's, with hotrods, and it was not the best synergy. I finally went back to the hybrid route with a pair of monoblocks that were custom made. That, with the process of removing the brilliance control and replacing with with a good ohmite resistor, (2 or 4 ohms seem to work best) gave me the sound I wanted.
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planarfool
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #6 - Jan 7th, 2019 at 6:41pm
 
Hi folks,

Sorry for the long absence.  The condensed version is, I again had a minor rebellion against having planars out into my room and I tried a pair of very good digital, triamplified Dynaudios, and soon I was listening less and less.  Back in went the Sound Labs, and once again I have.....music.  So yes, I am hooked.  Ever the neurotic audiophile, I have begun to think, if the 545s are this dynamic, what would the 645s, with twice the membrane area be like???  So now I am going to see if I get any interest in selling the 545s, only to go up a size.  And I have a pair of Pass Labs 260.8s coming on approval.  Cheers to all.  Mark
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #7 - Jan 7th, 2019 at 7:49pm
 
As I write, I am listening to my newly arrived pair of Ultimate 545's, and am thrilled with their performance. Yes, they are in a relatively small room, and that is the key factor. In a large room, such as I have in the country, the much larger Ultimate U-1's are appropriately sized; the 545's would not do well. My Ultimate U-1's are driven by Pass Labs X-260.8 amps- a great match! The Ultimate 545's, a pair of Ayre MXR Twenty amps, also a great combination.
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« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2019 at 10:59am by TWB »  

Tom
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Yoshi
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #8 - Jan 11th, 2019 at 12:15pm
 
I have just put an order in for PX bass focus panels to update my Pristine 2 panels. These will be the first update to Pristine 2 panel dimensions that Roger has done, with about 1110 square inches of radiating area, and 60 degree dispersion field. Our studio room is now small, condo living, 14x 11.5 x 10.5 ceiling height and accoustically treated.

I had an update to a Toroid 1 and cross over last year, and recently, put in a fixed resistor across the tweeter pot, to grat effect. The  Toroid 2 will not fit in the enclosure, and  in fact, I had to add 5/8 wood trim piece under the enclosure to get it in.

So some big changes coming, I will update the blog after a break in period.

I have been Running the Pristine for over 20 years VTL Deluxe 225T, which were updated significantly with new caps, resistors, soft start, running in dedicated triode mode and balanced, which sound fabulous on the Pristines.

I changed the fuse on the VTLs and my AR LS 27 to AMR fuses which also was a wonderful update to open the sound. I have tried many, and these are a Best Buy.

Playing with panel rake angles now, decreased from the supplied 3degree, to 2 degrees back tilt. Will wait for the new panels and see if a less rake angle effects the sound stage.

Thanks for reading,

Ken









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« Last Edit: Jan 11th, 2019 at 2:12pm by Yoshi »  
 
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MinnesotaWilly
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Re: Coming home to Sound Lab
Reply #9 - Feb 7th, 2019 at 9:38am
 
Yoshi wrote on Jan 11th, 2019 at 12:15pm:
I have just put an order in for PX bass focus panels to update my Pristine 2 panels. These will be the first update to Pristine 2 panel dimensions that Roger has done, with about 1110 square inches of radiating area, and 60 degree dispersion field. Our studio room is now small, condo living, 14x 11.5 x 10.5 ceiling height and accoustically treated.

Yoshi

I am looking at a pair of Pristines locally. They say Pristine and do not say Pristine 2. Do you know the difference? I was a Soundlab dealer in Los Angeles back in the '80's and spent many an afternoon parked in front of a pair of A-3's driven by Spectral Amps. I now have the Spectral Amps and am looking for some Soundlab's. I can call Soundlab and ask, but curious what knowledge is here.

Any comments on how the Pristine compares to something like an early A-3? I'm guessing they are lower efficiency based on other early models. When I was at Jonas Miller Sound we sold a double high pair of A-1's which I believe are the largest soundlabs ever produced.

My first post on this forum!










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