Jump to content
IGNORED

Raidho c1.1 vs. Josheph Audio Pulsars vs. Harbeth 30.1M vs. Focal Diablo III vs. ?


udis
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I am looking to upgrade my office monitors (KEF LS50s). Looking for more refined less forward sound. Based on various conversations with dealers and researching pro reviews, i've narrowed it down to Raidho c1.1, Joseph Audio Pulsars, Harbeth 30.1M, and Focal Diablo III. My amp is Pass Labs INT60. I listen to digital only in a relatively small room. Unfortunately, i don't have the luxury to demo all these (only Focal & maybe Raidho).

 

My questions are:

 

1. Does anyone have any experience with the above speakers paired with pass labs' warmer sound?

2. Should i be considering a different monitor?

3. Are any of the above speakers absolutely phenomenal and if not paired well with pass, it's worth trading the amp for something that does.

 

All input is much appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

I am looking to upgrade my office monitors (KEF LS50s). Looking for more refined less forward sound. Based on various conversations with dealers and researching pro reviews, i've narrowed it down to Raidho c1.1, Joseph Audio Pulsars, Harbeth 30.1M, and Focal Diablo III. My amp is Pass Labs INT60. I listen to digital only in a relatively small room. Unfortunately, i don't have the luxury to demo all these (only Focal & maybe Raidho).

 

My questions are:

 

1. Does anyone have any experience with the above speakers paired with pass labs' warmer sound?

2. Should i be considering a different monitor?

3. Are any of the above speakers absolutely phenomenal and if not paired well with pass, it's worth trading the amp for something that does.

 

All input is much appreciated!

 

Focal has come a long way. Harbeth is excellent BUT if I were to buy a monitor speaker today, it would be a Raidho and for the money it would be the X1, not the C1.1. In fact, I am thinking about the X1 as a second pair of speakers when I don't want to listen to my large NOLA Concert Grands, which surprisingly are like huge monitors.

 

I love monitors, have always loved monitors and have been sold on monitors since my early days in the high end when I was selling ProAc and Celestion SL600s. No one today, IMHO, makes a monitor as good as Raidho. I had purchased a Magico Q1 with what everyone recommended was the best amp to coincide with it, the Constellation Stereo and really didn't like it. To me the Raidho is much more enjoyable. Can't help with the PASS but for me, Raidho all the way. Not the same for the large speakers, but their monitor line is superb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Focal has come a long way. Harbeth is excellent BUT if I were to buy a monitor speaker today, it would be a Raidho and for the money it would be the X1, not the C1.1. In fact, I am thinking about the X1 as a second pair of speakers when I don't want to listen to my large NOLA Concert Grands, which surprisingly are like huge monitors.

 

I love monitors, have always loved monitors and have been sold on monitors since my early days in the high end when I was selling ProAc and Celestion SL600s. No one today, IMHO, makes a monitor as good as Raidho. I had purchased a Magico Q1 with what everyone recommended was the best amp to coincide with it, the Constellation Stereo and really didn't like it. To me the Raidho is much more enjoyable. Can't help with the PASS but for me, Raidho all the way. Not the same for the large speakers, but their monitor line is superb.

 

Thanks for the input! i am leaning towards the Raidho's due to all of the great reviews. I will try to demo them, but lugging my 100lb pass lab is not going to be fun! Curious, cost aside, would you say the c1.1 is a 1. marginally better. 2. Better 3. Much better speaker?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Focals by nature are very forward, not sure you should consider them if you don't want a forward sounding speaker/monitor.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input! i am leaning towards the Raidho's due to all of the great reviews. I will try to demo them, but lugging my 100lb pass lab is not going to be fun! Curious, cost aside, would you say the c1.1 is a 1. marginally better. 2. Better 3. Much better speaker?

 

Yes 1.1 are definitely better and not "marginally". If not for the D1 the most enjoyable monitors I have ever heard.

 

As I said I love them so much I am probably getting a pair of X1s for those times I don't want to listen to my big dynamic speakers and just want the intimacy particularly for folk and/or acoustic guitar.

 

Have you owned monitor speakers before? To me they are special and the Raidhos more than just about any. The original ProAc Tablette is what got me hooked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't heard the Joseph Audio Pulsars, the Harbeth 30.1M, or the Focal Diablo III as neither of the members here probably did! But I can't help recommending you the Raidho's... They should be in another league, a league of their own. You should know that they are very scalable speakers so the amp is just a part of the equation. The source, the DAC, the transport, the streamer, or whatever you use, the cables of the system are also very important. Also the placement is crucial and forget not to buy them with their dedicated stand... and you will be rewarded with an amazing sound! :)

 

P.S. I don't know if the Raidho's can be blazingly fast with the Pass Labs INT60 but they should sound very ok!

Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ Dragon High Current < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < Innuos Phoenix USB w AQ Dragon Source < Aurender N100H & AQ Dragon Source < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Gryphon PowerZone w AQ NRG-Wild < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Orange Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Udis: I own the fantastic Audiophile Reference Joseph Audio Pulsars (in black) for the past 2.5 years and couldn't be happier with their performance. I can only speak very highly about the Joseph Audio Pulsars since I haven't heard the others. Multiple well respected expert rave reviews and my dealer helped guide me into this no brainer purchase. Michael Fremer Stereophile, Absolute Sound and Part Time Audiophile etc. The Pulsars have won many best in shows.

But ofcourse your ears will determine what you hear sounds best.

This thread that someone did has most of the reviews in one place.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1514258-joseph-audio-owners-thread.html#/forumsite/3207/topics/1514258?page=1

 

I believe RAIDHO ACOUSTICS C1.1 are $17K vs the $7700 JOSEPH AUDIO PULSARS.

 

Not really price comparable.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Udis: I own the fantastic Audiophile Reference Joseph Audio Pulsars (in black) for the past 2.5 years and couldn't be happier with their performance. I can only speak very highly about the Joseph Audio Pulsars since I haven't heard the others. Multiple well respected expert rave reviews and my dealer helped guide me into this no brainer purchase. Michael Fremer Stereophile, Absolute Sound and Part Time Audiophile etc. The Pulsars have won many best in shows.

But ofcourse your ears will determine what you hear sounds best.

This thread that someone did has most of the reviews in one place.

AVSForum.com - Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

 

I believe RAIDHO ACOUSTICS C1.1 are $17K vs the $7700 JOSEPH AUDIO PULSARS.

 

Not really price comparable.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Steven

 

And there lies the rub. "Price". One definitely moves into a different realm when moving from the 7K to 17K range. I am not usually one to care about resale as my purchases are pretty much carefully planned based on my likes BUT I will say, I know my current reference speakers, the NOLA Concert Grands, will be a hard resale should I decide to sell them. Contrast that with the Magico Q1s which I bought along with a Constellation amp at "dealer cost" and I was able to sell both in literally a day after using them for 3 months and realizing they weren't my taste. I know "current" Raidho's have a pretty decent resale, however, as we are seeing over the past couple of years, like so many other speaker companies, Raidho too "updates" like most change their underwear rendering the pricing of their "current" models less valuable on the resale market. Just something to consider if you are the type that likes to play around

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have owned Pulsars for about a year. They are exceptional speakers as noted. I have not heard the other speakers being discussed but I would suggest you give the Pulsars a listen if possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also another speaker you might want to add to your list, particularly if you like ribbons as on the Raidho, is the Lawrence Mandolin or Violin series, also much cheaper and superb. I own a pair of Mandolins, love them, but unfortunately they are in my vacation home in Montana and EVERY TIME I turn on that system, I am being yelled at by the wife and kids to "lower it" which has me thinking I would be better off with a headphone system out there. However, the speaker is excellent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, what kind of music do you listen to? When I was in the market for monitors I auditioned the Raidho C1.1, D1.1 and Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolutions. The Raidho's are fantastic speakers with a dynamic and clear sound. Even for monitors they do a fantastic job of filling a large room with expansive sound. For me though the Raidho's, though fantastic were not a good match for the style of music I listen to and the objective I was trying to reach in terms of recreation of the listening environment. I go to a lot of shows in small venues and I listen to mainly acoustic or jazz vocalists. For me, an organic representation of the voice and an intimate feel was what I was after. The SF Evolutions was much better match for me in these aspects. So at the end of the day, what are you trying to get out of these speakers?

 

As for the Pass, I used to own the XA160 monoblocks. Great amps but boy did they run hot being pure Class A. I know a lot of people say the Pass house sound is warm, liquid, etc but I do not feel this way, I dont they are as fast and clear as say an Ayre (I owned the Ayre MXR monoblocks. I think Pass is pretty neutral. Your INT-60 is a great integrated!

 

On a somewhat related note, I really did not like the Raidho stands, though they look stunning. The stands are not rigid at all and actually quite easily flex backwards. I am sure the Raidho engineers took this into account as part of the overall design but something about that flexing did not make sense to me. I thought you want a rigid a structure as possible so you dont lose any energy through flex? Anyway, just something I did not like that I am sure has no impact on the sound. I was just imaging my kids having a blast pushing the speakers back and forth like a metronome.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have not listened to any Raidhos. From the rest I would go for the Harbeths.

For that particular size/topology I'd probably go for the Harbeths whatever the budget.

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, what kind of music do you listen to? When I was in the market for monitors I auditioned the Raidho C1.1, D1.1 and Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolutions. The Raidho's are fantastic speakers with a dynamic and clear sound. Even for monitors they do a fantastic job of filling a large room with expansive sound. For me though the Raidho's, though fantastic were not a good match for the style of music I listen to and the objective I was trying to reach in terms of recreation of the listening environment. I go to a lot of shows in small venues and I listen to mainly acoustic or jazz vocalists. For me, an organic representation of the voice and an intimate feel was what I was after. The SF Evolutions was much better match for me in these aspects. So at the end of the day, what are you trying to get out of these speakers?

 

As for the Pass, I used to own the XA160 monoblocks. Great amps but boy did they run hot being pure Class A. I know a lot of people say the Pass house sound is warm, liquid, etc but I do not feel this way, I dont they are as fast and clear as say an Ayre (I owned the Ayre MXR monoblocks. I think Pass is pretty neutral. Your INT-60 is a great integrated!

 

On a somewhat related note, I really did not like the Raidho stands, though they look stunning. The stands are not rigid at all and actually quite easily flex backwards. I am sure the Raidho engineers took this into account as part of the overall design but something about that flexing did not make sense to me. I thought you want a rigid a structure as possible so you dont lose any energy through flex? Anyway, just something I did not like that I am sure has no impact on the sound. I was just imaging my kids having a blast pushing the speakers back and forth like a metronome.

 

The SF Evolutions I do have lots of experience with. They are indeed wonderful speakers and, IMHO, one of the best that SF makes. While I enjoy Sonus more than many, I am not a huge fan of their larger speakers. I also agree that the weak link of the Raidhos are their stands. One of the issues I have in comparing the Raidhos to the SF's are in how I listened to both. I did most of my listening to the Sonus with gear I am very familiar with, namely, ARC amp/preamp and MSB Analog. It was beautiful and an incredibly wonderful midrange I could listen to for hours. I listened to the Raidho's with SS gear and vinyl, so It is difficult to fully compare for me, but the Raidhos had a soundstage that I can not get out of my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Furthermore Joseph Audio Pulsars have outperformed most if not all reference monitors 2x and even some 3x the price. Prior to the purchase I had auditioned many higher priced speakers and came to the same conclusion as the experts. Best to email Joseph Audio inquiring if the Pass Labs Amp matches well with the Pulsar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just been reading a couple of reviews of the C1.1.

It's annoying that one has to read between the lines but it appears they produce an "analytical" sound with little "soundstage" (which is not surprising considering that the dispersion of a ribbon tweeter is usually very directional).

Mentions of "speed" also seem to point to a "lean" sound (which will sound "leaner" at lower volumes).

 

Considering the very high price tag (for what the topology can offer in terms of performance) and your requirements I wouldn't get a pair before listening.

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just been reading a couple of reviews of the C1.1.

It's annoying that one has to read between the lines but it appears they produce an "analytical" sound with little "soundstage" (which is not surprising considering that the dispersion of a ribbon tweeter is usually very directional).

Mentions of "speed" also seem to point to a "lean" sound (which will sound "leaner" at lower volumes).

 

Considering the very high price tag (for what the topology can offer in terms of performance) and your requirements I wouldn't get a pair before listening.

 

R

 

I don't know what reviews you have read but your post does not describe the sound of that speaker. Far from it. The descriptor "analytic" has many meanings. As to dispersion of the ribbon it is large. One can debate the merits of one speaker over another but the C1.1, with the exception of the D1 probably has the widest most precise soundstage I have ever heard, is far from lean or "analytic".

 

It is one hell of a speaker if one accepts its limitation of dynamics. The Magico Q1 I owned were extremely dynamic and produced bass like no stand based monitor I ever owned or heard BUT it just wasn't an enjoyable speaker. The C and D 1s are very different and I could listen to them all day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only found two reviews online (hi-fi+ and audio-beat).

 

R

 

Well there have been many more and none that I have read support what you have posted. More importantly listening yourself is best. I am not saying I am "perfect" or that my judgement is correct, but I have been at this a long time and can tell you they are wonderful speakers. You owe it to yourself to listen to them.

 

Currently I have the Nola Concert Grand Golds, no monitors other than what I have in my second home in Montana and can tell you I lust for something like Raidho C1.1 and/or D1. They really are special speakers. As I have said above, I am "thinking" about getting the X1 or Xt1 just for to have an alternative transducer. Listen to them for yourself. You can't help but being impressed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input! i am leaning towards the Raidho's due to all of the great reviews. I will try to demo them, but lugging my 100lb pass lab is not going to be fun! Curious, cost aside, would you say the c1.1 is a 1. marginally better. 2. Better 3. Much better speaker?

I recently tested raidho x1 and c.1.1 with my amp... I know no other maker with a tweeter so extended and natural sounding. The main differences bettween the two:

- x1 is much more difficult to drive than c1.1. I had to turn up my amp much more than I do at home with the quads...

- the bass on the x1, while of good quality and good articulation, was no so well integrated with the tweeter. There was at times a perceived boost on midbass...

- however, the x1 is a serious contender if you can place them in a place where their bass is not too much room reinforced and provided with a amp of enough power. They excel microdinamic detail and imaging, and they present voices very well with no additional sibilants unlike most dome tweeters.

 

- c1.1 will solve some of the issues of x1. Much easier to drive, you can maybe spend more on good watts instead of many watts...you also will notice immediately a more complete image - very stable localizations, but a more cohesive sound with all the layers easily presented. I was surprised on how well my amp drove them... Also drivers integration is better made with a more linear and natural midbass area.

 

You cannot go wrong with the c.1.1...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Focals by nature are very forward, not sure you should consider them if you don't want a forward sounding speaker/monitor.

 

it's interesting you say that. I had a dealer trying to convince me to drive to his showroom (1hr drive) to demo these because they were anything but forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes 1.1

 

Have you owned monitor speakers before? To me they are special and the Raidhos more than just about any. The original ProAc Tablette is what got me hooked.

 

did you hear these at a shoe or dealer demo? curious what they were pairs with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Udis: I own the fantastic Audiophile Reference Joseph Audio Pulsars (in black) for the past 2.5 years and couldn't be happier with their performance. I can only speak very highly about the Joseph Audio Pulsars since I haven't heard the others. Multiple well respected expert rave reviews and my dealer helped guide me into this no brainer purchase. Michael Fremer Stereophile, Absolute Sound and Part Time Audiophile etc. The Pulsars have won many best in shows.

But ofcourse your ears will determine what you hear sounds best.

This thread that someone did has most of the reviews in one place.

AVSForum.com - Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

 

I believe RAIDHO ACOUSTICS C1.1 are $17K vs the $7700 JOSEPH AUDIO PULSARS.

 

Not really price comparable.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Steven

true, from a cost perspective the JA is a bargain. however, I tend to have a set it and forget it attitude. I'd prefer to extend myself a bit and get the something and enjoy it for years. of course, I try to identify the point of diminishing returns prior to extending myself :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure why the snarky comment BUT listened with all Rowland SS.

 

The speakers they were selling were 250 bucks shoes another 16,750.

not at all! trying to type on phone. I also heard Rowland is a great match!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently tested raidho x1 and c.1.1 with my amp... I know no other maker with a tweeter so extended and natural sounding. The main differences bettween the two:

- x1 is much more difficult to drive than c1.1. I had to turn up my amp much more than I do at home with the quads...

- the bass on the x1, while of good quality and good articulation, was no so well integrated with the tweeter. There was at times a perceived boost on midbass...

- however, the x1 is a serious contender if you can place them in a place where their bass is not too much room reinforced and provided with a amp of enough power. They excel microdinamic detail and imaging, and they present voices very well with no additional sibilants unlike most dome tweeters.

 

- c1.1 will solve some of the issues of x1. Much easier to drive, you can maybe spend more on good watts instead of many watts...you also will notice immediately a more complete image - very stable localizations, but a more cohesive sound with all the layers easily presented. I was surprised on how well my amp drove them... Also drivers integration is better made with a more linear and natural midbass area.

 

You cannot go wrong with the c.1.1...

 

that's what I've been told, c1.1 are a bit easier to drive. what is your amp?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...