Any input on these speakers? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Any input on these speakers?

02-15-2006, 05:08 PM
Caught my eye, but I've never heard them. ZViewItem

Interesting upgrade?

03-13-2006, 05:57 AM

THEY ARE CONSIDERED SOME OF THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY....CAN'T GO WRONG WITH SOUNDLABS....just about any audio expert on electrostats gives high praise on soundlab electrostats. U-1 is the flagship! As long as you drive them with good tube or solid state amp on the high end scale, you are fine. MAKE SURE to check out and get your some dakiom stabilizers, guarantee to clean up your system and make your system sound even better. Doesn't matter how great your inter connects or cables are, it FINE TUNES everything....sort of like WATER FILTERS in audio terms.
I haven't heard that particular model of soundlab, but soundlabs are great manufacturer's of electrostats. I own acoustat spectra 33's and planars from eminent tehcnology and magnepan. I also have OHM's and other loudspeakers. I haven't been disappointed with planars or electrostats yet of any kind. Once you hear them, you don't want to go back to just plain dynamic cone. I like to mix them myself as in push pull which many manufacturers are using these days like martin logan for one!

03-31-2006, 02:46 AM
Caught my eye, but I've never heard them. ZViewItem

Interesting upgrade?

Now, that you own them.... what they sounds like.

04-01-2006, 10:02 AM
Interesting upgrade?
In my long audio journey, I have found that preference towards loudspeakers vs. other components tends to be highly personal. Given that no one speaker is best at everything, one must choose their poison as best they can. Which characteristic(s) are most important to you?

I have been a full range electrostat enthusiast since I first heard a pair of Dayton-Wright XG-8 MKIs in 1976. I bought my first pair of Acoustats, the X model in '77 and owned a series of other Acoustat models including the Monitor 4 and 2+2 up until a year ago. All of them shared the attributes I value most of clarity and coherency offfered by employng a single driver system with virtually no moving mass. For those who are not familiar with the type, they are essentially giant microphones using the same drive principle. Move an exceptionally thin diaphragm uniformly with a high voltage electrostatic charge over the entire surface as opposed to only driving certain parts of the driver, i.e. voice coil.

Then I bought a pair of U-1s. The U-1s share the same cores (panels) as the M-1, but use a massive steel frame instead of the more resonant wooden one. I also opted for the "hot rod" kit which upgraded a number of components in the backplanes (transformers). They were a significant improvement to the 2+2s.

I'll start with the bad news.

1. They are inefficient. Even with recent improvements, they needs lots of power.
2. There are ultimate excursion limits to the panels which determines the ultimate loudness of extremely low bass notes.
3. They will not play as loudly as many other speakers.
4. They are somewhat fussy in that the bias charge tracks with humidity and does need to be fiddled with from time to time.
5. Since they present a highly reactive load, amplifier and cable matching is required.

The good news.

1. I have yet to hear another speaker with better top to bottom coherency and purity.
2. Their low level resolution is unmatched
3. Unlike other electrostats, dispersion is wide (90 degrees) and thus has a large sweet spot
4. They simply disappear sonically IMHO.

My second choice was the MG-20.1, another exceptional speaker that I've heard under very favorable conditions. While they can likely play louder, I find they also must be played loudly for them to shine.

In the past several years, various component upgrades have allowed me to expand the dynamic range at the low end of the scale. SLs don't need to be played as loudly as other designs to fill the room.

Sound Lab recently introduced an even larger format called the Majestic. While the U-1s are seven feet tall, the Majestics are around nine. I'm going to hear a pair and meet Dr. West at a showing of them in Chicago later this month.