“. . . anyway, from – Philip Glass, Beats Antique, Chopin, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Booker Ervin, Sarah Vaughan, Ojos de Brujo, Jessica Williams, Tape Five, The Grassy Knoll, to Tool – I’m having a fabulous time listening (we have a short summer in Alaska so I’m not supposed to be inside listening this much until winter) and many of my music loving friends have enthusiastically approved of my new audio related acquisition!!!“
“The PAP Classics’ are exceptional, great tone, sensational bass. Gave my subwoofer to my son, didn’t feel I needed it. Just writing a review now after spending 5 months with the Classic’s. Couldn’t be happier!
“I still have, use and enjoy the Quintet15’s a lot. To give you an idea, I go thru amps like nothing, but the speakers stay.”
” Just like everybody will write: I am shocked!!”
“I didn’t expect this experience, and it has caused me to reconsider what top end sound is about.”
” Well, I’m now the proud owner of these wonderful speaker! My god, how good does it get?!… The ease of how these speakers work, the soundstage, the naturalness has elevated my system to a level I never thought possible. Drums sound like drums, pianos sound like pianos, etc., etc., etc. I have to listen to my whole library again!”
” Within seconds both our mouths fell open in surprise. What a soundstage. And with what ease… I have heard many speakers over the years, ranging from $500 to $50,000, but these speaker are in a league of their Own. “
” I’ve heard some damn fine speakers make some damn fine sounds in my day, but these took this to a whole ‘nutha’ level. Every instrument and voice occupied and owned its own space in the given composition. It was truly remarkable… Imaging? In the room! And although there is always a “sweet spot” for best listening, from anywhere in the room, the impact and holographic presentation was palpable…”
“I love the speakers. Love them. I find them perfect for me… The flexibility inherent in the open baffle concept and your business model mean that this is the last and final speaker system for me. I wake up looking forward to exploring fascinating new sounds every day. Thank you!”,
Trio15 Classic w/ Voxativ AC-PiFe and PassLabs INT25 Amplifier
Mark H., Customer, USA
Trio15 w/ Voxativ AC-1.6
I listen to :-lots of vocals (>50%) like Chie Ayado, Josh Groban, Susan Wong, Jheena Lodwick, Kari Bremnes, Jacintha, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Roberta Flack, Holy Cole, Barb Jungr, Emi Fujita, Louis Armstrong, Jim Reeves etc(5%)some Jazz ,like Dave Brubeck, Jesse Cook,(10%) some Orchestra (mainly Motion Picture Soundtrack ), Hans Zimmer, Johann Johansson.(10%)musics like kenny G, Kitaro, Per Nielsen trumpet ,(>10%) Pop songs like Chris Rea, mariah carey, Celine Dion, Adele, Niel Diamond, Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Eagles, Beyonce, Lara Fabian,
Others – Country Songs and some Rock songs like Queen, Dire Strait.
Trio15 w/ Voxativ AC-1.6
Tim R., US
Quintet15 w/ Voxativ AC-X Field Coil Driver
“The Best Investment in my Life”
Email from 6 February 2022:
“For more than 4 decades I have been searching for a way to make music sound believable at home. I grew up with the sound of music instruments so that is my reference. Furthermore my parents took me to the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker both playing in their own concert halls. I grew up in Amsterdam so I frequently went to the Concertgebouw Orchestra playing in the Concertgebouw. As well as other famous orchestras, conductors and solo musicians performing in the Concertgebouw. End of my teens I met with a guy whom I still consider my best pal and he was and is totally into old style jazz and playing in a band. So then I visited a lot of jazz performances. Long story to make clear what my references are. I play classical music mostly large symphonic works, but also rock, pop and reggae and I prefer live recordings and to play them at realistic levels. Loud.
I will skip my history of audio equipment, but my last set of loudspeakers were a pair Harbeth 40.2 chosen for their tonal accuracy. I truly believed they would be my last pair. Being an early adopter of digital playback and, as soon as they became available, ripping techniques I have owned a lot of digital hardware. I ended up with a heavily modified dac with a tube output and capable of playing resolutions up until 96kHz from a dedicated NAS not connected to the network and I thought I was happy. Just enjoying music without the nagging feeling that I needed other equipment.
Then I made the mistake accepting a few invitations to listen to classical recording professionals explaining how they work and demonstrating their own work on unaffordable systems. After a few of these sessions the nagging feeling had returned. Especially because they used Merging hardware with a network connection instead of USB. USB was never intended to be used for high quality audio, but it became fashionable and everybody tried to work around its limitations. I had promised myself to only start looking for another digital frontend when it would use a network connection.
After a long search I fell for a combination of a Grimm MU-1 streamer and a Mola Mola Tambaqui dac and realized my Harbeth 40.2 were not giving me all the goodies so I listened to quite a lot of loudspeakers, but none of them were so much better that the price was justified. To me, that is. Then I remembered PureAudioProject which I have been ‘following’ from the start. Although I did not have the opportunity listen to them I felt I needed to ‘get rid of the box’.
I contacted Ze’ev and he asked me what I was looking for. I wanted life size orchestra or band and it absolutely had to be tonally correct for strings, voices and piano. I also made clear I was not interested in another journey to fulfillment in other words an upgrade path. I have always preferred being in Rome over discovering all possible roads leading to it. Ze’ev offered to start with a Voxativ 1.6 and later upgrade if needed, but I ordered a pair of Quintet 15 with the Voxative AC-X field coil drivers, when I realized the difference in the way they are constructed compared to a standard driver and therefore their sonic potential.
After assembling and triple checking everything I switched the system on and then something remarkable happened. Literally within the first few seconds my love of my life HSP partner exclaimed: “These are going to stay!”. She was right of course. Gone were all the annoying distortions that you have learned to accept as being normal. The soundstage is wide open and accurate and stable. Instruments sound so believable. No edges, no grain. It is so clean. Voices are shockingly real. There is simply nothing annoying. In fact it was shocking and still is.
A very dear friend of mine is a highly regarded acoustics expert advising at recording sessions and specialized in optimizing recording studios and listening rooms. Last few years he is also a dealer for some carefully selected really high quality audio equipment. When he heard the set playing he really got emotional. After helping me perfecting the placement he cancelled his next appointment and stayed for over 4 hours instead of 1 hour as was the original plan. He still sends me messages about how amazing the set sounds.
We are still breaking the speakers in so apparently and according to Ze’ev there is more to come, but this is by far the best music reproduction I have heard. I do realize it is a lot of money. It is for me, but it is the best investment ever. I cannot say anything else. This is what I have been searching for all the time.
The fact that a person with HSP, who normally cannot stand loud voices or loud music is now asking for and enjoying for example live recordings of Pink Floyd or Dead Can Dance or a Bruckner symphony at realistic sound levels tells it all. It is truly amazing. Thank you Ze’ev!”
“I wanted to share my journey with other users, please help to share how great Quintets 10 is.
I have finally found a speaker that I can keep and enjoy the music.
Quintets 10 Horn 2 is the only speaker that has been staying with me for more than 6 months and it will be a keeper in my system.
Audiophile’s journey of finding the right speaker was very rough and long for me to find the right pair that I am not bothered by it but can enjoy the music. That is how significant PAP Quintets 10 is to me.
Just to make a list of speakers that I went through last 3 years.
Revel Studio 2, Magnepan 1.7i& 3.7i, Dynaudio Heritage special, Amphion 7LS, Buchardt 400 Signature, PMC DB1, ATC SCM 19&40, Lawrence audio Eagle, JBL S4700, Devore Gibbons 8, ESA Neo SE, SBacoustics ARA, ELAC UF5, ElAC BS 244.2, Dynaudio Xeo 6, GML Field Coil (full range).
Okay, I think you get my point. Other than the things listed that I have owned. I have listened to many more to date.
PAP Quintet10 is the most well-rounded, crazy deep 3D staging, details, voice, oh the trumpets, and the horns from this speaker. Speaker does an amazing job with the start, stop, and is very musical at the same time. I hope some of you guys will experience it.
Other than just being the best speakers, I love the fact that I can play with XO parts and wires so easily. It helps to understand more about speakers and what I need to do to make things better.
The only regret is; I didn’t take the chance earlier of going for PAP open baffle with the endless configuration possibilities.
If you are on a similar journey as I am going through, hope this sharing stops the chase and saves time by going with PAP. You will never get bored of it, always can change and update things, and will be new eye-opening.
Thx again for sharing the good tips on upgrade Ze’ev and always being helpful too.”
Customer, Tim, Singapore
“Hi Ze’ev, recently I moved to another house, bless to have a bigger listening room, 3.5x 5.8m, almost doubling in size. I am now able to place the speaker further away from the wall. This speakers is capable of performing at a higher level when given sufficient space to breath. It throws a room filling soundstage. Over the years, I have tried many box speakers of varying sizes in my listening room. None sounded right, especially the bass response, it’s always out of control and difficult to tame. Every speakers responded differently in the same room.
Prior to taking a plunge on PAP without having a chance to audition, I had a ——- on loan. I loved it’s full range driver, probably the most open sounding speaker I have come across. I still didn’t pull the trigger because for the lack of bass, bright recording can sound shouty and lead to aural fatigue after long hour of listening.
The Quintet 10 transformed my listening experience entirely, in a good way. I enjoy the beautiful and openness in the mid and high from the Vox PiFe driver, the woofers not only delivering satisfying clean and tight bass, but has also enhance the vocal range of the PiFe. Driver and woofers are beautifully integrated and complemented each other superbly. Soundstage is wide and deep and 3D. If I have use an analogy to describe the difference between the ——- speaker and Quintet 10. The ——- is a nice and flavourful piece of steak, the Quintet 10 has the appropriate amount of added marbling to the steak. The enhancement elevate the overall experience to another level.”
CY. W., Singapore
Trio15 Classic, Music and Video
” Profoundly unexpected…
Well, I have passed the half way point of my Trio-Classic break-in period and have started forming an opinion of the speakers. As one would expect with a speaker in this class it is remarkable. What has blown me away most is how astonishing the Classic’s are for movies! I am a tech-geek, I love my technology, hi-fi and big screen TVs. My speaker usage is 51% listening to music, 49% listening to action packed movies with great soundtracks. Until the Classic’s arrived I’ve always used a subwoofer and large B&W centre channel with +4db boost for dialog, otherwise the narrative gets lost in the sound effects (a compromise as the B&W is clinical, great for dialog but never matching whatever warmer speaker I paired it with).
For fun a week after the Classic’s arrived I turned off the subwoofer and centre channel, using ‘phantom’ centre mode instead (which has never worked for other speakers). OMG…crystal clear dialog that blended perfectly with everything on-screen…..and the beautiful bass that everyone prior has spoken about…heaven.
As a fair test, I waited another two weeks before running my favourite movie sub-woofer test…this time no subwoofer…only the Classic’s in play. Called my son in, turned up the volume, put on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and we waited for the scene where ‘Elizabeth Swann’ falls into the ocean from the city wall. When submerged her gold medallion puts out a deep-bass-pulse effect. We sat in disbelief as that pulse travelled from the screen literally into our bodies. Profoundly unexpected.
Endnote: my son has now inherited my old speakers and subwoofer…I will post an impression of the Classic’s musicality after the break-in period has finished.
Enjoying your work Ze’ev & Thomas.”
posted on Facebook by John W., Australia
Trio15 Classic w/ PiFe in a small room
Trio15 Classic (unique break-in)
Customer took a very unique approach to break-in the audio components and this is what he wrote:
“Innovative approach to sound. With Dirac room correction it sounds much better than it looks.
If people heard the sound, they would shake their head and wonder how that sound is possible. Definitely high end components!”
After few weeks all audio components were mounted in the Classic15 enclosure and this feedback came in:
“I was really enjoying the speakers until I brought out my Sugden a21se, which I was planning to sell. The combination of your speakers and that class A amp is beyond my dreams. Now it is a love fest. I am glad that I opted for the Voxativ PiFe. I would like to congratulate you on a very fine sounding speaker with a beautiful enclosure.”
Trio15 Horn1 in Netherlands
Five Days After:
Read the in depth ‘Confessions’ and ‘Observations’ mail sent few weeks after the above feedback
Upgrade to Trio15 Horn1
Happy and exploring the modular concept
Customer Review of Quintet15 that replaced his Jamo R-909
Just got back into vinyl after over twenty years away from it. Decided I needed the VPI prime scout with a Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC cartridge. My system now consists of: Pure Audio Project Quintet 10; PSAudio Stellar Phono Preamp; First Watt SIT-3 Amp; PSAudio DirectStream DAC; REL T/7i subwoofer; Pass Labs XP-12 preamp; PSAudio DirectStream Power Plant 12 regenerator. And yes, I think I am now ready to begin the 12 step detoxifying process, since I can now admit that I am an addict. The system sounds glorious, everything I could have hoped for. Ze’ev got me started on vinyl again with the Music Odyssey China LP – so I believe that I can hold him accountable for all this ., C.N., USA
“Ze’ev, when the duet’s first arrived, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical…
I was very pleasantly surprised with how tight and punchy they sounded and they have a very crisp and present top end without any harshness, in my opinion. Everything just sounds real to me. I wasn’t expecting that at all. In fact I already sold my Graham ls 5/9’s, which are great speakers in my opinion. I was really just trying the duets’s out of curiosity but I fell in love with their sound and had to have them. Thanks Ze’ev, love them.”
S.B., Customer, USA
“Hello Ze’ev, great to hear from you…I’m not sure how many hours I have on them but probably at least 50 hours and I love them so far. They’ve quickly become one of my favourite speakers both from a sonic and aesthetic perspective. Thanks for checking in. My next plan is to get a tube amp as I think it would be a nice match.”
Few weeks after:
“Like many speaker and audio enthusiasts, I started my journey with box designs, and, while there were several models and brands that offered excellent sonic performance, I had the urge to venture out of that traditional speaker realm and try something unique. Planar and electrostatic speakers provided a clear and airy sound and were attractive but the trade off was that they often lacked bass impact and dynamic range and were difficult to integrate with a subwoofer. It was only until the last couple of years that I became interested in open baffle designs. They seemed to offer the best aspects of both box and planar/electrostatic speakers, and typically do not require special room treatments. The difficulty, however, was finding a reputable company that offered affordable, high quality, and complete, open baffle speaker models. I had neither the time nor skills to go the DIY route. Hearing about PureAudioProject was sort of a revelation. I spent some time researching and reading about their speakers before reaching out to Ze’ev, who was was extremely helpful and responsive and addressed all of my questions. I am now a proud owner of the Duet15 Prelude (Tang Band version). I actually have the privilege and honor of being one of the first customers of this new model. Setting them up was extremely easy, even for a novice like me, and, even during the first few days of listening, I was astonished at the effortless and balanced sound. There is a musicality and naturalness to these speakers, handling any kind of musical genre without any struggle. And there is no lack of muscle and punch for those who want to rock – indeed, you will be surprised at the quantity and quality of the bass. It is a textured, controlled, and precise bass. You will not hear any boom or wooliness here. And the woofer is perfectly integrated with the full range Tang Band driver. There is no dip in the mid-range to create the illusion of more bass, and no sharpness or brightness in the treble to artificially heighten detail in the music. Apart from the exceptional sound, these speakers are just beautiful and will blend seamlessly into listening rooms with its modern, elegant look. The baffle construction and finish is also top notch. You can tell they were crafted with care. I’ve already received a few compliments from family members who usually have no interest in speakers. Finally, a special mention to the excellent customer service at PureAudioProject. Ze’ev and his team are a class act. I very much look forward to trying their higher end models in the future. For now, I will enjoy the wonderful Duet15 Prelude for many months to come.”
S.B., Customer, USA
I am a longtime horn speaker user. Over a 17-year period I have combined various horns with high efficiency 15” woofers for ported bass. For a long time, I had been thinking about mating open baffles to horns. I wanted to get the directional acoustic benefits of dipole lower midrange and bass in my large but somewhat difficult room. I craved a fully boxless sound like I have heard in open baffle systems at shows and high end stores. At the same time I wanted to stick with the dynamic and r ich sound of 15” woofers.
I wasn’t sure exactly how to proceed with my plan – until last fall when I read a review of the Pure Audio Project Quintet15 speakers. I immediately realized they were the solution I was seeking. I was also intrigued with the mix and match modularity aspect. I read everything I could find online about PAP speakers. I contacted Ze’ev and soon the boxes with modular components started rolling
I feel like I hit the jackpot. Out of the six horn systems I have owned, the Quintet15 Horn1 speakers are the best: accurate tone, highly resolving yet smooth, great imaging, dynamic. With the brilliant Leonidas crossover the Horn1 compression driver blends really well with the open baffle woofers. Bass is so realistic and nuanced and enveloping… Charles Mingus lives!
I love the possibilities of the modular design. I have the option of swapping out the horn and trying a wide range or ribbon driver. If I move or my wife redecorates, I can easily change the baffles to match. Speaking of the wife, she really likes the look of the speakers. But the curvilinear frame isn’t just for looks since it physically time aligns all the drivers to the ears at the listening position.
After trying a variety of amplifiers, I decided to use a Pass Labs XA25 with the Quintet15s. It’s a terrific match, a sexy little dominatrix that can show those eight woofers who is boss. Meaning: the speakers are quite efficient and don’t need a lot of watts, but they do like firm control via high amplifier damping, and the compression drivers like the sweet but very detailed Pass Class A sound.
For icing on the cake, I use Juice HiFi Audiolense software to provide flat psychoacoustic frequency response at the listening position in my challenging room with lots of windows. The software works extremely well with the PAP speakers and the Leonidas 1st order crossover.
My full system is listed here: https://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/11750.html
JS, CA , USA
A Photo Worth Thousand Words
We thank Ivan for this photo that talks for itself…
Trio15 Voxativ PiFe
Well these woofers babies are broken in now. Good grief that was tough going for many hours but now these speakers make beautiful music. I listen to a lot of different types of music and I think these speakers handle just about everything I listen to the very very well. Certainly acoustic music is where these really shine. In fact I haven’t heard anything quite like this before. In addition to acoustic music such as 50s-60s jazz…. One of my favorite types of music is progressive rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t know if you know bands like King Crimson and Porcupine Tree or (early) Genesis but the speakers know how to do that very very well. These bettered speakers I have had in here that were a lot more $$ $… with ease.
To get these broken in I had to put some blankets over the speakers and play and a fairly loud rate while I was at work to finally get through the break in. But it was well worth the effort. I am scared to see my next power bill though as I have A class amps that are costly to operate. The woofers have 230 hours and sound great. The Voxativ FR drivers only have 30 hours and sound amazing! I am not hearing any changes with the Voxativ after 20 or so hours.
yes I’m having fun.
JS, CA , USA
Quintet15 Voxativ PiFe
A.D., NJ, USA
Trio15 Voxativ (with AC-PiFe driver) with Thomas Mayer (VinylSavor) amps and phono stage, USA
Here is a picture of the Trio’s in my 17x12x8 foot room. All my equipment is from Thomas Mayer, line stage, D3a phono and the 300b’s. The TT (which will be changed soon to a Garrard 310) is a Technics SP10 Mk2 with a Kuzma 14” tonearm and Airtight PC-1 Supreme cartridge.
The Trio’s work wonderfully with Thomas’ equipment. In fact, the Trio’s are so efficient I may need to reduce the phono stage gain to give myself more headroom in terms of controlling volume.
I find the Trio’s produce a very wide and deep soundstage and a beautifully balanced tonal range, which is one parameter I am most concerned with. I get very refined bass down to 32hz and superb dynamics. I just find instruments sound much more like live performance.
Although the quintets are interesting, I doubt they would work well in a room this small so it’s the trios as long as I am in this space and I don’t see any deficiencies.
I will be changing the caps soon and I know they and the drivers take a while to settle in, so I look forward even more refined sound.
Quintet10 Voxativ (AC-1.6), Norway
Quintet15 Horn1, USA
Click here to read the complete in depth review on our Blog
The following are observations that have been consistently observed over several months.
1) Incredibly deep sound stage… read more
2) Sound stage width that is spot on accurate…
3) Sound stage height is beyond compare…
4) Individual singer’s and player’s positions are clearly defined and rock solid…
5) Singers and instruments are presented as truly life size…
6) Instruments and singers are full and real sounding…
7) When singers are closely miked and accompanied by…
8) Music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods is beautifully reproduced in a most real manner…
9) You want to rock out? The Quintets will do it as well as speaker I have ever heard…
10) On lesser quality recordings, the Quintets make listening far more tolerable…
I could easily go on and on about the innumerable positive performance attributes of the Quintets…
All of these observations have been made while using stock PAP crossover parts and stock stranded copper wiring… read more
These are fantastic speakers at the $10,000 mark! I am having the most fun I’ve ever had listening to music! And thanks so much for providing some of the best customer service in the world! It has been a true pleasure and an honor working with you!
—————— few months later ——————–
Trio15 Voxativ (AC-1.6) in a small room, Los Angeles, California
After starting the burn in process I can immediately tell that these speakers are very special. They work quite well in my small room. So I am quite pleased to be a part of the PAP owners group. Let me know if there is anything else you were going to share regarding the transaction or about the speakers.”,
New house same speakers ! Trio15 Voxativ (Jeremy Wagner*, CA, US)
Quintet15 Voxativ (Ac-1.6) at one of our first customers in NL who started with our first version of Trio15TB, upgraded the woofers to the OB-A15NEO and thereafter upgraded to Quintet15 Voxativ
Show visitor at X-Fi 2019 Netherlands
Harry Weisfeld, VPI founder, upgrades his Trio15TB to Quintet15 Horn1 and adds the PAP-C1 Active Analog Crossover
Upgrade from Trio15 to Quintet15 Horn1 (US)
Prelim listening even while waiting for running in of new bass units and cables, I like the bigger sound stage. I think the elevation of the horn and the upper bass units provide for a more realistic concert hall soundscape, that is provided one is not sitting in the balconies.
Now I can really listen to Berlioz and Mahler symphonic works
Trio15 Horn1 (US)
Upgrade from Trio15 to Quintet15 Horn1
Now listening to good music with my industrial ears, and not pretending that I can hear all subtleties, but certainly impressed . I very much like the clarity at low volumes, -and I’m sure so do the neighbors appreciate..
One very happy customer,
Quintet15 Horn1, US
Trio15 Horn1 with custom German Oak Baffles in Switzerland
Trio15 Horn1 in Singapore
All parts arrived well, and I enjoyed the build – all completed.
And, yes we’re certainly the new sound. Incredible clarity of sound compared to anything I’ve owned before!
I also got the Horns in place in time for my wife’s 50th, and the speakers were a huge hit with our guests too so we ended up rifling through CD’s for 1 song here and 1 there, CD’s all over the floor.. – just as we used to do many years ago. Good fun, so just for that they’re also great! Otherwise, in more quiet circumstances we’re also enjoying our records with a much improved sound: OK some of the records come with a little background crackle, but that is part of the charm.
Few weeks later:
Back now, and listening to great sound! It is so so clear! I will have to upgrade the rest also now
Few months later:
I’m pleased to say that we got to listen to the new speakers quite a lot when I was home this time. They are really great! -and get better and better.
But, as you probably saw from the photo our living space is quite large and over two floors, so I’m sure it would look nicer and sound even better with the quintet..?
Trio15 PAP-Horn1 (Capacitor Swap)
The caps have provided some interesting insights into the ability of the speakers to reveal issues/weak links in the system. After installing the caps, I realized that much of what I was hearing was upstream. The change of caps just made it easier to locate the problems and focus on adjustments to both the digital and analog front ends. Re-configuring my digital components and fine-tuning the turntable set-up have made significant improvements and the speakers have made each change & adjustment obvious & readily apparent. The PAP Horns are like microscopes for everything in front of them and continue to amaze w/their resolving ability.
I’m not experienced in the impact of tweaking XO components but for me, the impact of the change in caps was primarily the sound of greater ‘punch’ and ‘snap’ from the horns. To my way of thinking, both of those things result from greater transparency, so that’s the attribute I’d most associate to the Clarity caps.
Beyond that, the speakers have continued to improve w/additional time. The bass continues to develop better definition and impact and the horns are smoother and more airy w/less edge. They just keep getting better!!!
Needless to say, I continued to be thrilled w/what the PAP Horns have brought to my system how much enjoyment they provide.
My decision to purchase PureAudioProject speakers is reinforced every time I sit down to listen!
All the best,
Further to my last mail to you early this month over 200 hours on the trio 10’s now and i am completely happy with the speakers they are absolutely wonderful they have now fleshed out to become a wonderful balanced speaker the bass has become tight but full the mid is very clear and along with the tweeters which are very very good i have a speaker which is providing me with superb focus and balance to my music listening choices.
The review you sent me in a previous email i think explains the speakers very well although his findings and mine will never be the same ( his listening environment is different to mine etc ) the general outcome is very similar and as you know your speakers capabilities inside out i don’t think i have to go into the details save to say i am very impressed with them and proud to own them they do everything i require from a speaker and i am shure they will only get better as i hear each time i sit down for a good listening session.
One month later:
I am more than happy to be part of your speaker owning group may you have ever growing success you definitely deserve it with a product this good .
I have just received my new hifi furniture today and I am going to put it in place tomorrow so if you’d like some updated pic’s I will send them to you in a day or so this will really tidy up my space and show of the speakers to the full extent J
Hope you have a great weekend
PS Y’know all I need now is a bigger house and I can try some more of your range 😉
Ze’ev, I’m really enjoying the speakers! They sound so good with the Tang Band I can only imagine how nice they would be with the horn or Voxativ driver. Thank you again for all your help with everything, and I could not be happier!… Btw, my girlfriend really likes the speakers too! She’s getting into it and I think it won’t be too long now before we upgrade the driver…, K.M., NY
I’m having some delays with my power conditioner getting delivered. I will share some early feedback with you. As I make system changes, modifications and things settle in – I’ll continue share my future feedbacks with you.
Horn1 is getting better with breaking in. Sound stage has opened up. Moving from voxativ to horn1, the first thing I noticed how the horn is more refined! The sound is organic, little on the warmer side of neutral but not at all euphonic and yet has all the details. It’s amazing that having SO much details the Horn1 is managed to extract from music and yet it is never on your face. It presents all the details in such an engaging manner that you never get tired of listening to music.
This speaker handles all genre of music really well. Their bass is marvelous, open and immensely satisfying. Horn1 has startling dynamics – both micro and macro. After I added an active preamp, the micro dynamics has increased even more.
I also use these speakers for my home theater duty. Being open baffle and horn – it’s MUCH easier to make them sing in a smallish apartment. It’s amazing how the four 15″ woofers don’t overload the room. Previously a boxed speaker with 7″ woofer would overload the room with sound treatment. Also, with Trio15 horn1 – much less sound treatment is required to make them sound best. In fact, I would suggest not to use a lot of absorbers, they’d overdamped the room. After I removed the corner bass traps and two of the absorber panes from second reflection point – the sound has opened up and improved even more.
The upgrade and modding options with the Trio15 is insane. I’ve changed the internal wiring to dueland hookup wire to good effect. The speakers are so transparent that it will let you know the smallest changes in your system. I’m planning to change the crossover and capacitors next. There’s huge potential for customizing the sound even more.
I’ll share two additional tips/feedback:
1. Ze’ev shipped me some PAP branded hockey pucks to put underneath the speakers. It elevated them by an inch. This opened up the soundstage even more and the sound become cleaner, precise. However, without the pucks – the sound was a tiny bit more dense and richer.
2. By screwing the baffles to the frame tighter or looser the sounds changes in a subtle but noticeable way. When the baffle is more loose – the sound is richer/dense with perhaps less definition. When you tighten the screws of the baffles to the frame – it sounds cleaner/precise. Just like adding the hockey pucks above. A lot depends on what you like.
I’m now listening to music more than ever thanks to Horn1. These speakers are the real deal!
S.M., New York, NY
Trio15 Voxativ with upgrade to Voxativ AC-PiFe driver
Cloud & I relaxing to blissful music. 40 hours into the burn-in. Awesome!
I’ll be back
—– and few weeks after came this one:
These are my PAP Trio 15 Voxative PiFe settling into my music room, replacing my aged ribbon system. Very pleased with them & they are not fully run in yet. Seamless, authentic soundstage & suit the room superbly. Many thanks go to Ze’ev & all his team for a truly great product & first class service. After all the boxes arrived it took me a Saturday morning to build them both. I should point out that I had not heard them prior to purchase but after speaking with Ze’ev I thought what the hell, & ordered them. Brilliant & a bargain. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve been nursing a —— for the last three weeks so have been listening to the system for up to 8 hours a day! Heaven……..
Geoff M., UK
Trio15 Voxativ (quote from FB thread)
After experiencing Line magnetic 755 field coil speakers for four years, I am back to Open Baffle sound….. Enjoying the fast, open, airy, transparent sound signature with excellent bass and soundstage.
Thank you PureAudioProject
Thank you Ze’ev Schlik for being with me till I fine tuned the set up.
Sameer K, India
Few days after this comment came in:
The best sound system I ever experienced till date with a stupendously fantastic feel of live singers and instruments …… The beauty of this system is it just takes you to a different world with its awesome acoustics , which can take you into Trance……i being a ardent music lover thank Sameer Polkampally for inviting and giving me this oppurtunity for such a fantastic experience which is beyond my imagination…
Sri K, India
Trio15 Voxativ, with AC-PiFe, continued
I love the speakers. Love them. I find them perfect for me. I’ve usually had a revolving suite of 6-8 different sets at a time and it’s been a pain. Hard to move around, sell, ship (especially Magnepans), and drove my wife crazy. That has ended. The flexibility inherent in the open baffle concept and your business model mean that this is the last and final speaker system for me. I wake up looking forward to exploring fascinating new sounds every day. Thank you!
Nelson gives several possible configurations for including the F4 in such a setup and I’ll try those too. May need to hack up a few cables in the process, as some are fairly non-standard! 😉
Timothy W., USA
Jeremy Wagner, who’s review on his first Trio15TB you can read below and at ‘Customers’ Stories’, sold his set to a friend and moved to Trio15 Voxativ.
” Hi Ze’ev, Rachel,
I hope this note finds you well and in great health and spirits.
Thank goodness for our passion for all things audio — a necessary diversion. Crazy times with two teenage daughters and 4 aging parents (all over 85). One can truly appreciate the escape into great music and fantastic sound.
Before it gets lost, let me say that I’m truly enjoying my new Trio 15Vox speakers. I’ve put close to 70 hours on them; running them with a pair of Bruce Moore 300B monoblocks (15w/ch) and have really been digging my new sound. They are definitely a qualitative step up from the original — in bass extension, imaging, and overall presentation. My friend who bought my Trio 15TBs has listened and he’s a bit jealous. But his speakers were a great bargain and a massive step up, so he’s still quite happy. That Voxativ driver has slightly better treble extension also, and really throws an image. The bass is deep, tight, and palpably real. So, another delighted customer. I’ll soon be getting my hands on a pair of 845 monoblocks and can’t wait to hear what those amps will do with these speakers. It’s nice to have options…
…The cables that are included seem to be of excellent quality. I played around a bit using some custom cables, but found the included cables to have better overall synergy with the speakers and so went back to them. Since they are somewhat bulky and floppy, I do wish that they were cut more precisely, had finished ends, and that there were channels along the inside of the frame to guide them in a nicely finished fashion. I ended up using some clear 3M Command fasteners (self adhesive) along the frame to guide the cables — a much cleaner look…
…Anyway, I’ve been through some great music, from Chet Baker, Sings and Plays (LP) to Rickie Lee Jones, Duchess of Coolsville (CD). Little Feat, Waiting for Columbus (first pressing LP); John Mayer, Heavier Things (LP); Steely Dan, Gaucho (LP)… and it goes on. Always a room full of people smiling from ear-to-ear at the music, and blown away by the quality of the sound. If I had to pick, I’d say that small-ensemble jazz and acoustic-based rock — especially solo acoustic — really shine on my system now. Of course, Styx, Renegade, AC/DC, Hells Bells, and Jethro Tull’s My God have also brought the house down, but I still find myself reaching for Jackson Browne’s Solo Acoustic, Jason Mraz’ …We steal things EP, Diana Krall’s The Girl in the Other Room, and Eric Clapton’s Unplugged LPs when I really want to sit-n-sip-n-listen.
Well, thanks for everything. I’ll keep in touch as the sound evolves, and please let me know about those black baffles.
All the best, Jeremy Wagner”
and few weeks after came this note (on Father’s Day):
“… New sound.
Managed to score these ASL 845s (Shuguang tubes) and they sure do work some special magic on the Trios. I can see why Line Magnetic and Psvane love your speakers so much.
I have a few dads up for the weekend and we’ve spent the last couple evenings sipping bourbon and listening and talking. To quote 1 dad, “Listening to your system gives me the experience of being at an intimate, live performance.” I said, It’s almost live.”, and he replied, “No, it is live.”
We listened to so much good music, track after track, LPs, Cds, and SACDs, that finally we had to shut it down at 2am.
Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday,
Trio15 Voxativ In France
It’s simply marvellous !!
Great thanks !!
Kind regards, Lionel”
This customer is a long time OB fan and user (See mail from few weeks earlier):
Thanks a lot for your kind answer.
I’m searching for a quality upgrade in front of my old AW AUDIO OB towers (9 drivers per baffle / 8 Audax 5″ wfr12 (4 bass/2 low Mid/2 high Mid)+Focal TC20) :
It was in 80’s !! (attached files)…”
“Just finished assembly my Trio 10 Voxativ. Can’t stop listening to music now…”
“BTW. The Trio 10 Voxativ is really amazing. Once completed the assembly, I wanted to compare the performance with my current speaker. However after listened to Trio 10 for 10 minutes, I knew no need to do the comparison. The Trio 10 won hands down.”
Trio15 Voxativ, upgraded with Voxativ PiFe Driver
This build was a unique experience for us as the customer asked to use the Voxativ PiFe wood cone driver, that to date we did not try…
Well, we took that challenge and a week after, a set of drivers were installed on our in-house Trio15.
Leonidas XO for AC-1.6 configuration was set. It was immediately clear we need to increase the L value a bit to let the PiFe put the high bass / low mid to place. L2 was removed too and that’s it ! All the rest stayed without a change ! Trio15 Voxativ PiFe started singing and did it 24/7 for a week ! Full body but with all the finesse Voxativ drivers have ! True sonic heaven.
Dismounting the drivers and sending them was not easy but knowing what pleasure these will provide to their new owners compensated on the ‘letting go’ feeling…
Thanks Tim for making the choice and sending us your pictures and feedback !, Ze’ev
Tim W. quote: “I have listened to both the Voxativ Pi driver and the woofers separately and can state with certainty that there is magic in the crossover network. The system is extremely precise throughout the frequency range. Time-phase errors are nonexistent (to my ears). The sound is highly engaging. I haven’t yet experienced any listener fatigue. To the contrary. I’ve had to drag myself away from listening sessions.
I have several sets of speakers, including the Gallo Reference 3.1s and Magnepan 1.7s pictured. Fine speakers all, but since the Pure Audio Project set arrived, I’ve been contemplating unloading the other speakers and therewith about half of my rig. I really listen only to your set anymore. My usual listening position is 9-10′ from each baffle, with the speakers spaced 9′ apart. Some might consider this nearfield but I get extremely good imaging, with a beautiful soundstage.
Normally I run the speakers with a Nagra Jazz (tube) preamp feeding either a First Watt F2/J (an F2 into which Nelson Pass has inserted the SemiSouth input JFETs) or an Audio Note 300b amp (shown tubeless at the moment). I have also used a custom bel canto Fidelio (tube) preamp that’s had the full Ace Tomato Company treatment by Matt Cramer and a one-off original Fi Audio preamp built by Don Garber. The F2/J is my favorite solid-state amp with these speakers. I run the Gallos through a Cary preamp and monoblocks, and the Magnepans through a custom 4P1L (triode) preamp made by Radu Tarta and a Bryston 4BSST2. It’s these last two configurations that I may move on from.
Usually I transfer LPs to half-track 1/4″ tape via a modified Technics 1500 R2R and DeHavilland 222 repro head stage. Playback is through either the Technics or Tascam 3030 decks. A TEAC X2000M mastering deck backs up all through a Bottlehead Repro Tube Headamp. So I mostly listen to tape, then SACD/CD. I like jazz, classical, modern, rock, electronic – pretty much everything, but especially if it’s well-recorded.”
Trio15 Voxativ with XO Cables Upgrade (Foil Copper)
A week later:
“I was listening to Ahmad Jamal’s “The Essence Vol. 1” the other nite and it sounded amazing on the Horn 1. Not just the sound, but the music was so much more compelling and engaging than I’ve heard it before. I thought to myself, I need to email Ze’ev and let him know about this record. If you enjoy jazz, I think you’d love this and it would make for great demo on the PAP Horn 1. On the other hand, if I emailed you every time I heard something great on the Horn 1, you’d get tired of hearing from me in a day or 2!!”
Ray S., Customer, USA
This feedback comes from Mr. Harry Weisfeld, founder of VPI turntables, who like almost all owners of PureAudioProject speakers, purchased his set without audition.
Few days after receiving the Trio15TB:
“I am blown away by the openness and the continuity from top to bottom. I’m still breaking them in but Ludwig Streicher on his double bass is tactile, you can feel the room shake like a real double bass but with excellent detail and string feel. As it breaks in it is starting to give me the feeling of my Everest’s for 1/20th the cost and I can lift them, the JBL’s require 4 people.”
A week after:
“After having a wonderful three hours assembling and testing my new pair of Pure Audio project Trio15TB Open Baffle Speakers I was immediately brought back to the 1960’s and the joy I received building my Dynaco and Harmon Kardon kits. There is adefinite satisfaction assembling your own and knowing exactly how the product works.
A little tight in the midrange and loose in the bass when first turned on giving them seven days of burn in on inter-channel FM white noise loosened up the entire sound and opened up the upper bass and lower midrange to the point of sounding very similar to my JBL Everest’s at 1/15th the price. These Trio15TB’s are open, exciting, produce a full detailed soundstage, and have that power of the orchestra you can only achieve by getting the critical upper bass lower midrange right. Best of all I am doing this with a 22 watt integrated triode amp.
Granted, I am feeding it from a VPI Avenger with dual pivot 12″ 3D tonearm and Lyra Etna or Grado Statement V2 but it is reproducing everything I am throwing at it with aplomb. The recording “Basie 88” has some amazing piano notes that can shake a house if done correctly, the Trios do it correctly. I am actually shocked that an open baffle speaker has this much clean bass with all the rhythm and timing of the big JBL’s. They are fast!!
Steve Lawrence was in the room on the United Artist’s Ultra Audio “Till There Was You”, and Willie and Merle were enjoying brunch with me on “Poncho and Leftie”. Best of all my collection of Mercury’s from the late 50’s early 60’s using the Grado was probably the best reproduction I have heard of these venerable classics with lower surface noise (no peaks in the response) than I am used to hearing.
While they are not even completely broken in yet I can recommend the Trio15B as the answer to “where did the dynamics go, where are the goosebumps” and it has become my go to speaker for musical enjoyment. Heartily recommended to those who know the sound of real instruments in acoustic space.
Ze’ev, John Chen was over from Grado yesterday and he heard it in 10 seconds, that special something that makes it sound real. Highest praises to you.”
” Hi Ze’ev
Here is a little more feedback.
After 100 hrs the midrange and treble begin their journey on the way to being as smooth as a baby’s butt! Given how stiff the drivers are, it is not surprising. Can’t wait until they hit the 200 hr. mark, they will be fantastic. Incredibly detailed and focused with a huge sound stage. But what blows me away is the transparency. Thanks for convincing me to purchase the Voxative.
No speaker I have heard, and I am a regular attendee at RMAF, combines these qualities under $15k. Of course that is subjective but I stepped into hi end audio in 1972 and have owned and heard many speakers.
I did some work on placement and angle. But I will wait until they are fully broken in before the fine tuning begins. I did remove two of the three large fiberglass panels on the front wall. They don’t seem to like much damping.
You have restored my faith in out-of-state transactions. I will tout this remarkable service. Some folks have been burned for big money simply a few states away let alone an Ocean. I encourage anyone who is concerned about an internet purchase to get over it and order from PAP. I believe a best buy product, combined with excellent service and a huge dose of Ze’ev’s integrity should be applauded. I love the personal touch that comes with the order and purchase and after the purchase.
Tell me about the cost to rewire the speakers with the new wire.
I will get you some pictures. Feel free to use my comments in any fashion you choose !”
Few weeks later:
I finally had enough hours on the speakers to begin set up. Removed all but two base traps and all wall damping. Added plants for diffusion and played with positioning. Partially tamed a bass node, otherwise everything is just awesome. They make excellent bass in my room, pretty much exactly as advertised.
I cannot believe just how terrific they sound. They do need some care in height, slope and position in the room to get the best from them.
Jerry”, GA, Customer, US
“The sound of the Stellar12 has become wonderful at the end of the break in period. I am only going to fully discovering it, but I can tell you already now that it is the most natural sound I ever heard from speakers…
“I read the review at StereoNET and can only confirm that the sound quality of the Stellar 12 is absolutely wonderful, and it is better than anything I heard till now from box speakers*.”
“Ich höre jetzt seit mehr als sechs Monaten Musik mit meiner neuen Stellar 12, nachdem ich vorher die Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage und davor die Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus besessen habe. Die Stellar 12 unterscheidet von diesen Lautsprechern durch die besondere Klarheit des Klangs, die bessere Dynamik und die Abwesenheit von boxenspezifischen Verfärbungen.
Ihr Klang ist sehr offen und klar, mit einem tiefem und sehr kraftvollem Bass, der nie kompakt wirkt, und Hochtönen ohne jegliche Agressivität. Im Mittelbereich bestimmt die reiche und sehr differenzierte Palette von Klangtönen
das Bild, welche besonders der Darstellung der individuellen Timbres von Gesangsstimmen zugute kommt.
Was mich am meisten an der Stellar 12 beeindruckt, ist der dreidimensionale, sehr tiefe Klangraum den sie zu schaffen vermag und den ich solcherart niemals bei einem anderen Lautsprecher empfunden habe. In diesem Klangraum gewinnen sowohl Instrumentalstimmen wie auch Gesangsstimmen – und vielleicht insbesonde die letzteren – eine bei Lautsprechern ungewohnte Präsenz, Plastizität und Natürlichkeitkeit. Es ist viel “Luft” zwischen den Einzelstimmen, wobei jede perfekt ortbar ist ohne dass der Gesamtzusammenhang beeinträchtigt wird. Hinzu kommt die Offenheit und Spritzigkeit der Darstellung, so dass man bei guten Tonaufnahmen gefühlsmässig den Eindruck gewinnt einer “live performance” beizuwohnen und nicht den Klang von Lautsprechern zu hören.
Fazit: Die Stellar 12 ist der mit Abstand beste Lautsprecher den ich je hatte und der in seiner Musikalität kaum zu übertreffen scheint; es ist auch von allen Lautsprechern die ich bisher gehört habe derjenige der den meisten Spass an der Musik vermittelt.”, RK, Customer, Europe
(*) – This feedback comes from a customer that listens mostly to classical music, while Marc Rushton from StereoNET did not cover this genre in his review …
Trio15 Voxativ (self made baffles)
“Best sound ever in my system!!! Genius to get this sound for $5.5K. Your support has been A+ – fast responsive answers. Will keep you posted on sound break in. Up on Nordost Kones.”
…and few weeks later:
“To think all these years I have been paying for “the Box”. I have the Trio15 Voxativ and must say they are by far the best speakers I have heard or owned!! I will never go back to “the Box”!!” , Gary A, USA
…and few months later Gary swapped the 68MF capacitor in the Leonidas XO to ClarityCAP ESA 250v and upgraded the XO cables to our PAP-Foil XOS (prototypes):
“ Hi Ze’ev,
Leonidas Crossover and Trio15 Voxativ
Trio15 Voxativ with Line Magnetic LM219iA
After about 2 weeks i am able to write something about my Trio’s …. they are great and are getting … awesome!!
With the right equipment, like the Line Magnetic. I have the 219iA and that is a very good match. Soundstage is big, depending on the recording … immense and life-like. What i like very much is that the music comes out effortless (sorry, but i am not a native English speaker so sometimes i might not use the correct words) and with ease …… from the highs to the lows. I can only speak for myself but i think the balance between lows, mids and highs are perfect. By the way … at the moment i do not use the bypass to cut the highs … hear no reason to do that. It is perfect with my taste of music, being classical and (old) jazz. But …. it is as good with other kinds of music .. but i do not play that a lot! J
Mostly when i speak about my equipment with my ‘musicfriends’, it goes like …’it sounds great, but …’, only this time … there is no ‘but’!!!
Thx Ze’ev!!”, Arold, NL
“The speaker is certainly so unique in terms of sound quality for most audiophile people in Vietnam. The music was simply amazing. My feet keep tapping on the floor all the time. It was so musically involving for myself. The soundstage has extended with 3D image which is much better than the previous speaker JBL Ti5000. Everything becomes more lively.
The midrange was wonderfully detailed and a bit forward which exactly what I need, I can hear and feel the breath and the suddent moves of lips of the singer now. The bass is softly punchy and full in the room. The soundscape width front was so wide and soundscape depth behind the speakers was clear.
No doubt, I found the speakers best value for The Money.”, Tran Q.T., Vietnam
Trio15TB Neo (with a Solo15TB Centre Speaker)
“These are mine. Now waiting for a line magnetic lm219 to replace the 218 that is sitting there. 🙂
These speakers are the ones I look forward to listening to every night after work“, Cyril Lim, Singapore
Trio15TB Neo and Trio15 HeilAMT within a BAFFLE SWAP !
“Hi Ze’ev, I’m enjoying the speakers a lot. The psvane pre-amp and mono blocks are a great combination with the trio, fantastic sound and noise level amazingly low. My only problem now is either using the TB or the Heil. Can’t decide which one sounds better. Avoiding to buy the Voxativ to keep it simple and not add more options. :-)”, Markus, US
Trio15 Voxativ with Leonidas Crossover
The speakers are sounding fabulous! Much more like live than my GoldenEars. I have about 160 hours on them and the bass has improved dramatically.
Trio10 MundorfAMT (visitor feedback from X-Fi Show)
I’ve heard almost all the systems at the X-Fi show. Some where very impressive.
I found the open baffle systems far better than the closed boxes that I’ve heard. (I’m not even a dipole kind of guy!).
But for me, the winner of the show was the Trio10.
Trio15 Voxativ with Leonidas Crossover (visitor feedback from X-Fi Show)
Trio15TB Neo with Leonidas Crossover
Hi Ze’ev. Your speakers are growing and growing on me every day. Everyone who has heard them can’t believe the sound – better than any box speakers we have ever heard! I hope more people can hear these in the future.
Eldon D., Canada
Scott, a very nice gentleman from Colorado USA, approached us with the following request:
“I sit 11 feet from speakers, speakers are 6 feet apart, I can place speakers 16 to 18 inches from wall.
I have vaulted ceiling rising from left speaker up past right speaker. Wall 1 foot behind listening position. room is open on right side (three walls in listening area) opening to kitchen dining area.
Area is a bit on the bright side musically.
Sound stage right now is not great with current set-up, XXXX speakers, 6 watt SET tube amp.
Have been through six pairs of speakers so far.
Want clear impactful “detailed” realistic rich full open true sound.
And here is Scott’s music and sonic DNA:
“Nora Jones, Adele, Whitney Huston, Rush, REM, Bob Dylan,Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Andreas Vollenweider, Manhiem Steamroller, Pink Floyd,Cold Play Joni Mitchell, and so much more.
Classic Rock, classical, jazz, new age, I am all over the place but I enjoy music that moves me and is well done.
I don’t want to have to play at exaggerated volume levels to here the details and for it to sound like it a is real instrument and a person, and in my room not in my speakers. and I need speakers to convey this.”
After an exchange of few emails, Trio15TB NEO was sent to Scott and within few days the following mail arrived:
“Parts all arrived today.
Uh, I wont be returning these.
Exactly the sound I was looking for.
Can’t wait to see what they will do once broken in.
Listening to a tough album for speakers, lots going on, Bruno mars, and it sounds really good.
Haven’t even messed with speaker placement yet.
Really fills the room with sound.
“Huge” sweet spot!
Not even sure where it is.
Bass is so tight already.
All this with a 6 watt SET amp, so cool.
Very happy so far.
Will keep you updated, I have to listen to some more music right now.”
and one more feedback came in few days after:
“Just returned home from work and listening to some Eric Clapton.
Sounds really great, these speakers seem to make room for all of the music and are very easy to listen to, easy on the ears and a pleasure to the senses.”
The Trio15 is a modular open baffle concept that allows an easy upgrade path, so Scott took the decision to go for the upgrade to Trio15 Voxativ ! We shipped him the Voxativ driver, the Leonidas Crossover and the right baffle and here is what came in after few days:
” These speakers (Trio15 Voxativ) are just absolutely Spectacular!!!
The sound stage is “immense”, with so much depth and the detail is incredible.
Every instrument and voice occupies it’s own space and blends together so beautifully, just so right. I swear I hear things beside me, behind me, these speakers just fill the room with beautiful music, I keep being startled and I look around to see where the sounds are coming from, crazy…
I will send some photos when I can. I will give a better review when time permits also.”
…and few weeks after we received the following
They sound more open and clear, very very clear.
The detail I get with the tubes and these speakers is off the charts ridiculous!
Very tight and smooth, and so real. They have great separation and seem to handle multiple types of music with ease.
Very easy to listen to.
I have about ten hours on them now.
The TB’s are very good sounding also but not as smooth and not quite as clear.
The TB’s also were sibilant. The S sound was a little sharp and not very clean (kinda sprayed the S’s), my one complaint with them and the Voxativ’s cleaned that up nicely!
With the Voxativ drivers these are as good as I have ever heard a speaker sound, and I have them in my room which is the worst space I have ever had to deal with sound wise, so that is saying a lot.
They seem to need a little more power which surprised me, considering they are rated at 100db versus 93db for the Tang Band’s, so now I am really anxious to get my new 20 watt amp that is replacing the 6 watt that I have now, probably six more weeks at least.
They are hand made and the waiting list is long
Tired of waiting for everything.
The baffles look nice, I was used to the others but these are definitely growing on me, and the wife likes them much more, so that is a plus.
Would like to know more about these crossovers, and what I can change or adjust and what it does.
I will probably upgrade some of the crossover components in the future.“
…and as predicted above, after few months Scott did upgrade the crossover and here is his feedback:
I just replaced the main capacitors with three Jantzen Silver Z-Cap capacitors 2% 800v 22uf.
I used three 22uf to replace each 68uf Mundorf cap.
WOW, WOW, WOW.
All I can say is it took the speakers to a “much much” higher level, I mean beyond amazing.
I can’t stress enough how much better they sound now.
Such a full rich deep smooth detailed sound, absolutely beautiful, goose bumps good, best I have ever heard by far.
Highly recommend changing that capacitor out.
We need a forum on your webpage Ze’ev.
Scott F. Lamitie”
” I just turned on my sereo with the PAP Trio 15 Voxativ, and they sounded very good from the first note! Miles Davis sound almost alive, lots of detail, superb placement of the instruments, the Voxativ has a very nice delicate, sweet highs. I will break the speakers in as you advised, but they already sound fantastic!
Thanks for everything!
“I forgot to tell that the speakers sounded very good at a low sound level, this is really amazing, because most other open baffles sound only good at a higher sound level.
That was a bit soft for my taste so , I cannot judge “deep” bass because of being under the threshold of perception. (we later on played a bit louder).Even , playing at low level , there was a good sonic balance.
I’m not going into discussion about Lowther DX3 and Voxativ 1.6. Maarten’s face was glowing and shining when we listened !! He made the very right choice for himself and that’s the most important thing. For myself : I could live very happy with this set for the rest of my life !!
Ze’ev did a very good voicing of this set.
This is what I have in mind when using the word “voicing”. Voicing a speaker by altering it’s Xover could include a variety of things, including but not limited to: For one, any number of Xover points within a safe range for the chosen drivers could be made to sum to a reasonable response. However, different points will most definitely make the speaker sound different as either driver handles a varied frequency range. The type of slopes chosen for the Xover can change “voicing.” Maybe a 2-way speaker sounds good with a symmetric LR2 Xover. How would it sound if you changed to non summing odd-order Butterworth slopes, especially off axis? I would think “voicing” could also encompass direct changes in FR of individual drivers. For example if you were to shunt a small cap across the series leg of a tweeter’s l-pad, the highs above a certain frequency would be boosted. That would be differently “voicing” the speaker.)
I could hear clearly the great potential of both the Neo’s and the Voxativ !!
Maybe , after spending a week or so with this set , I could do a little more 🙂
Something special draw my attention :
In the “old” days we had vynil records and they became noisy and scratchy after a while. You had those very expensive phono cartridges that did something special ; you could still hear the scratches , but it was , as of , they were not part of the music anymore. They were kindda seperated in your brain.
The Voxativ unit does something simular.
Nowadays we have many tracks with “power compression” in the mids , mid highs.
With my DX3 , it’s sometimes hard to listen to “bad” recordings.
The Voxativ does something special. Just like my example of phono cartridges , The Voxativ separates , one way or the other , those “nasty sounds” , and puts it “more in the background”.
This is realy very special for a loudspeaker unit !!
I can write about many things about this very nice evening , all I can say is : I loved it and it was great to hear what the Leonidas XO is capable of 😉
TB is a well balanced driver and it works with PAP very well. I wrote it a while ago, and I love it….. but Ze’ev told me that a new driver is coming up, I was thinking hmmm….. TB suits me very well, I don’t need to change it.
After he told me that this is a Voxativ… the evil side of my brain refresh me the sound I have heard in a high end show of Voxativ. The feeling was pretty special, it’s very smooth and fast, sounds like Alnico drivers that I have heard from other vintage equipment. I didn’t think too much at that time, because the price is out of my budget, and I consider that as a reference sound to compare with my system. Or you can say it’s a dream system to me. Then… I bought Voxativ driver along with Leonidas Crossover.
Just like everybody will write: I am shocked!!
Much more details in every ways. Highs makes me feel the atmosphere of a room and also extend to the top, feels like I know how high the roof top of the room in the recording is. Mids makes the vocal deep in and have more depth. Lows, mostly still from 4 woofers but seems like brings a little more details by the help of Voxativ drivers, it kinda blends together to make crossover point very smooth. Leonidas really helped I guess.
Leonidas crossover can be modified in a very convenient way, just unscrewed and you can change resistors or caps right away. I have been thinking trying different caps to make PAP sound more of my taste, but for now, I think I will just enjoy the setup of Leonidas, it’s great, and I feel it’s just right, no need to add or mod anything.
I was very lucky to meet Ze’ev in my place last month and enjoying listening PAP VOXSTIV together. We change comments and share MUSIC together. I think the most important thing is to listen to the music, not to keep changing on the system.
Zeev’s loves music, he can enjoy music right away. I can tell on his body momentum, hehe!!
And there I had it, PAP VOXA….
Thank you, Ze’ev~
I included picture of my setup. I was using a XXXXX amp, but they didn’t really control the woofers so I moved to a pass labs XA30.8.
I run two subwoofers, but I’m not sure I really need them, the Trio15TB NEO reaches down to the low 30’s by themselves…
I’m still playing with speaker placement but in general, these remind me of my old Magnepan 3.7 with way better bass and dynamics (not to mention much easier to drive).
I’ve plugged the Vox yesterday evening for 1 hour.
First impression: It is velvet… They are transparent… The mids are full and rich… I do not know if they need break-in but they already sound good and sweet. The woofers add the presence, they nicely fill the room.
A week after: The Trio15 Vox are phenomenal, really…
After 200+ running on the Trio 15 NEO, PANDA edition….Love the look of Black and White! I am just like all the other feedbacks, amazed me too.
The relax and atmosphere’s feeling of open baffle speaker plus the bass which normal open baffle speaker will or can not produce, sounds like a dream, but it happened in PAP TRIO 15 NEO. The very clear stage and reproduce the correct sound of every instrument. Sound stage directly appeared in my living room, a open area. wow!! Full of energy.
I tried with 211 tube amp, lovely touching sound. and even tried with using quad amps, filled with very clear sound stage. PAP reproduces of which feeds, really amazing. Very neutral speaker.,
Thought l would touch base about my Trio10 Beyma’s. I am thinking purchasing a
Rogue audio m180 monoblock pair with 180 watts ul or half that in triode mode.
Do you have any thoughts on this matchup. I now have a modified jolida 3502 integrated with 4 kt150 tubes.
The Trio10 Baymas are magical in tone and sound staging. Best money l’ve spent on audio. If there are modifications l could do,
Please let me know.
Sent from my iPhone
I now declare my Neo woofs “broken-in” !!
Just recieved Miles Davis on SACD and all I can say is that I never heard anything like this before !!
Leon Huijgen, Netherlands
“Hi Ze’ev and Thomas, the speakers breaking in nicely. Have them temporarily set up on an cheap amp streaming. Even that setup is pretty cool. I could hear the changes happening so dramatically in some cases. Last night i played a song i played the day before and i was like “is that the same song :-)”… The AMT Heil are very clear and enormous details. And of course a massive punch from the 15″ woofers. Played Kodo and the walls were shaking.”, Markus R, USA
Last night made a sidestep. A friend of mine was so intrigued by my project that he has only just ordered from pure audio project. After a few weeks, all necessary parts within the Tang Bands after. And I let it all be told now. 🙂
Exciting, you can not hesitate to call him a spoiled listener. Many speakers have been reviewed and thereby was no more or less looked at a eurootje. B & W 804 D, MartinLogan the Summit, Focal Electra, Sonus Faber Homage, Chario Ursa Major are just a few speakers who have stood in his living room. But he could never find it in one way or another.
After initially equally nice to have visited a restaurant, you could put it together from the start Trio15 TOs. Almost everything is put together by hand.
And a half hours later, this was the result
Good music! Within seconds both our mouths fell open in surprise. What a soundstage. And with what ease. The rod band is of course already anticipated, but the EA’s are fresh out of the box. Also I have heard many speakers over the years, ranging from ? 500 to ? 50,000, but these speakers are in a league of their Own. ”
We enjoyed until very late at night. No single piece of music was too much for the Trio15 and it was never tiring. “I believe that I have never had such beautiful and musical speakers” was briefly the conclusion of Kees. And if you then consider that these speakers are in the living room for under 4,000, you can only conclude that this is a tremendous value for money.
I’m glad I decided to build it after. Am very curious how they sound when they are managed actively, but if I can believe the reviews then it will only get better. On to the garage …
Well, I finally finished my Open Baffle 🙂 I really want to thank you for the gift you made me by helping me with your secrets!
I wanted loudspeaker especially for my tube amp, I found them! I will not give to you all the superlatives that deserve your OB, but it’s been a kind of shock that I waited a long time, in fact since I design loudspeaker! I listened to several systems about CHF 50’000.- but I had never really been seduced, it was good but not great, just a bit more balanced and a little more defined than what I was doing. And then, while I do not expect a big surprise as the OB are criticized, the slap! A scene, the live music! A real dream !
I’ve attached some photos of my realization
Thank you Ze’ev, a big big thank you 🙂
Trio10 Beyma (bi-amped with miniDSP)
Hi Ze’ev , hope you had a good time at the Munich show. Any way my speakers are just beginning to open up and the sound is already awesome. I can’t imagine how good these will be after the mandatory 200 hrs of running in!
Mohd A., Malaysia (feedback on Facebook)
Few weeks after:
I must say after about 200 hrs the speakers gives me endless hours of listening pleasure.what is important to me is I am able to listen to music without the the distraction of the components in the audio chain. This is achieved after Timeless opened up. The sound is fuller, robust yet without loosing nuances. The highs especially are 3d . I have listened many high end speakers but the highs of Beyma are something else !
Mohd A., Malaysia
Before: Customer’s DIY Project
After: Trio15TB with Piano Black Baffles
Trio15TB with Piano Black Baffles
Hi Ze’ev! Everything went smooth, had little problem with vibration around 50 Hz at reference listening levels , but after tightening all the screws problem gone. I bi-amp actively, using two tube monoblock amps for mid and high, two solid state amps for low end, and minidsp active crossover. I’m pleased with results a lot, compare to my DIY OB speakers, Trio 15 TB has more balanced, more spacious sound and less vibration. Bass extension really good for open baffle design, however I use it with two subwoofers, and love the sound even better. Also I love the look of piano black baffles, they fit my interior very well.
Trio15 Alu Frame
Ze ‘ev Hello my friend,
The new frames are beautiful and quite ridged. I thought the speakers sounder great using my old stands, but the lack of coloration with the new stands is startling they sound so much fuller and open. There is something whole about the sound, as if the speaker speaks with one voice….very immediate and so good at expressing the subtle nuances in each recording, I am quite impressed. So assembly was easy put all the bolts in and assemble everything before tightening worked best. One suggestion for the crossover mounting I placed a rubber grommet (your red washers) on either side of the board at each mounting screw tightened them to just being snug, seems to help dampen and isolate the board. Also a few nylon wire clamps to hold all the wires in place would be nice finishing touch. I can not wait for the new drivers…….Very well done my friend these are an incredible bargain. I had several musician friends over last weekend and they were quite impressed, although they were a bit pinched by the price they were thinking that they could live with just the full range driver and gradually add the 15″ drivers. I am currently using a pair of S3 REL subs to make these truly full range and the sound is thee best I have ever had in a system!
Harry Ferguson III
Few weeks later (after receiving the A15neo drivers):
Well after many hours the drivers and cables have broken in, midway through a Bob Dylan Album
the whole sound just suddenly relaxed. I have been using a Musical Fidelity KW500 integrated amp, the sound is
quite good, the imaging is beyond anything I have experienced, decay and attack are as good as live music. Voices are incredibly delineated. Last night I listened to original Elvis recording and the age of the recording is incredibly recreated from the tonality of the vintage microphones to the hollow sound of the recording venue…astonishing! So I know wish to pursue bi-amping the speakers and was wondering is it at all possible to obtain a unpopulated pair of the circuit boards used for the crossover with the binding post, so I can drive the full range driver with a tube amp. Are they available and at what cost?
BTW I am using Morrow wire for the Speaker harness and the runs to the amp SP-4
Тема: Фантастический НЕО !!!
Ну что, вы были правы когда говорили что новые кастомовые Альфа 15″НЕО это что то фантастическое …. пришли, поставил и могу это подтвердить!!! Бас не то что стал более проработанным , он стал глубже и легче на подъем! Теперь Трио 15″ТВ НЕО играют просто супер с Болгарским усем 7 Вт Класс А !!! Как будто созданы были друг для друга). Сами динамики раза в полтора легче чем стоковые!!! Иная мембрана по форме конуса. Короче все супер. Ждем Бейму и новую раму).
Google translated from Russian:
Subject: NEO are Fantastic !!!
Well, you were right when saying that the new upgraded Alpha 15 “, the NEO drives (OB-A15neo) are fantastic …. arrived, installed in the set and I can confirm it !!! Bass became more refined, it became deeper and easier on the rise! Now the Trio15NEO played just super with the Bulgarian Usem 7W class A !!! As if were created one for the other). The speakers are lighter than the Alphas, membrane has a cone form, in short everything is superb ! Waiting for the Beyma drivers and a new frame :), Andrey, Russia
Well, I’m now the proud owner of these wonderful speakers! My god, how good does it get?!
“We were very impressed with the sound in the PureAudioProject room from the 15″ open-baffle loudspeakers with horn tweeters… they seemed to offer incredible value–comparable to loudspeakers in other rooms that were many times the price. Thanks.”, mail from visitors at California Audio Show 2015
I never ever played Thunderstruck AC/DC so loud, and then it even can go louder, every thing you hear you can feel as well. Every instrument or voice that’s added gets it’s one place in the stage, I’ve tried several times to stay in my chair, but I can’t, must play my airguitar like a mad men, it gets me high……..this as near to concert like preformance as I’ve never seen.
Listened to music that’s been able to move me before, now it can make me cry, not because of ‘how perfect or analytic it is but because the music let’s me in and tells me its all right, that this is the way it is supposed to sound. It just comes so naturally, easy, no effort at all.
I’m wondering what this will do with a nice tube pre-amp or amplifier but short of cash for now
He Ze’ev, since I have been retired I have been building these Horn-OB Speakers . And of course they sound a lot better for me than these Proac carbon 8 spekers .
Rachel, The thumb nuts and bolts along with the speaker cables arrived safe on Friday afternoon and now everything is finished. They sound great, thank you for your help. I’ve attached some pictures.
Marcel B., Montreal
(Lowther Full Range with Eminence Definimax Drivers)
“… So far so good. At the moment, a bit too much bass, a good problem to have with an open baffle. Huge variation by moving the speakers a few inches. When I have time, will check the room response to ensure I have smooth bass response. The FirstWatt B1 crossover has 20Hz 6dB gain. Current settings recommended in B1 manual for similar config. Low pass 80Hz 12dB/octave. High pass 160Hz 12dB/octave
BTW. The first friend I had over to help me setup likes them and may order a set through Rachel.”
Chris, Ottawa, Canada
Кстати щиты отлично (на мой неискушенный вкус) играют электронную музыку типа и проч. Возможно, даже несколько лучше, чем музыку с натуральными инструментами. То есть несмотря на отсутствие важных для электронщины баса и суббаса, звучит отлично, не по клубному конечно, но живенько, объемно, динамично, не скучно. Звук для взрослых :)))) которые не любят клубы, но любят электронщину.
Few things! First thing that really surprised me was the bass, i did not expect that, the other thing is the clarity in the sound and they are barely even breaked-in yet and I’m running it off a shitty amplifier that is already doing pre-amplifion…
The other thing is that it fills the entire room, that is truly amazing!
I need to wire up my class-D amplifier and test it with that instead..
Maziar Z., Denmark
Just wanted to send (another) blurb on The Timeless.
After 300 plus hours playing a variety of music it has gone through another transformation. The Timeless plays music with an uncanny sense of realism. It never seizes to amaze me. I’ve always appreciated open baffle bass, but I have never heard this kind or amount of bass from an open baffle speaker before: The bass is open, relaxed, and impactful. (The Timeless should have no trouble turning doubters into believers).
As for the rest of the frequency range it is smooth from top to bottom. Playing from my “battery-powered” system, the background is dead quiet… which just leaves me and my music…
Josh Doyle, Saudi Arabia (USA)
…Bisherige Höreindrücke: bei geringer Lautstärke ein sehr voller Klang, Bass, Mitten- und Hochton sehr ausgewogen. Bei zunehmender Lautstärke gewinnt der Bass an Präsenz, während der Mitten- und Hochtonbereich leicht in den Hintergrund tritt. Dadurch ist das gesamte Klangbild auch bei hohen Lautstärken angenehm, kein überzeichnen oder gar schrille Töne.
Es macht einfach Spaß, mit den OB Musik zu hören. Es wird nicht langweilig, es klingt leicht & luftig, unangestrengt ist das beste Wort dafür.
Wir haben in den letzten Wochen sehr viel gehört und bei bekannten Musikstücken teilweise Feinheiten gehört, die wir vorher nicht kannten.
Beispiel: Das Stück “Time After Time” von Cindy Lauper, über 30 Jahre alt, hat uns beim Refrain überrascht. Der Bass hat nicht nur verschiedene Tonhöhen sondern auch eine Melodie, die wir so bislang nicht kannten oder gehört haben.
Um diese OB optimal Stellen zu können, benötigt man allerdings einen großen Raum, m.E. Mindestens 25qm aufwärts. Die Wandentfernung nach hinten sollte schon 1 Meter betragen, die Systeme dürfen gern auch weiter auseinander stehen, die Bühne wird dann noch größer. Wir haben die Wohnzimmertür ausgehängt und eine Schiebetür eingebaut, damit wir den vollen Raum nutzen können.
Kurz: wer sich etwas traut und kein Markenfreak ist findet hier für kleines Geld sehr viel Klang und Spaß.
Elektronik: McIntosh C220 & MC252 & MC301, Wadia 170i Transport für IPod, Silent Wire NF & LS 32
Mit dieser Vor- Endstufenkombi spielt dieser OB präzise und schnell. Auch sehr hohe Pegel sind sehr gut hörbar. 🙂
Ich hoffe, die ausführliche Rezession ist hilfreich für Dich.
… All the components have reached super fast and in great shape.
My daughters and wife encourage and support all my experiments and are eagerly waiting for the build to get done which I would complete by Tuesday night.
What cut off frequency would you recommend for the TB and eminence combo? … ”
answer: “…Hope all will go easy and smooth and that you’ll have fun ! I would prefer to share than recommend on the cut off frequencies 🙂 since it is hard for me to make my mind between the following three points: ~180Hz, ~250Hz and ~450Hz… I guess my favorite is the 250 but the passive XO that BluePlanetAcoustic designed is close to 500 and sounds amazing. The cutoff freq IMO has noticeable impact on the mids, While the TB is sweet, accurate and refined, the Alphas have larger body and presence… and… the amplification also contributes to what will sound a better match… I would start with 250 and move left or right.
Also, if I recall you use a DSP… I do add 3 to 6 DB from 100HZ and down in a linear slope all the way towards 40hz and sometimes boost the highs in 2 to 4db from 10k (do it when need to impress)… all are matter of taste as there is no accurate and common base line to our ears and souls 🙂 flat is a good starting point but our senses and responses differ and are definitely not flat…
Hope this was not too much mind boggling…”, Ze’ev
after a while:
… Ze’ev, I finished the build and tested the speakers with the DSP and bi amps. At 250 Hz cut off its FANTASTIC. This is the first time I have hear Open Baffles, the Bass is crisp, live and vibrant. I was also awed by the TB full range drivers, they are electrifying to say the least. Above all the sound is completely uncoloured and that is what strikes instantly.
I am now awaiting a mic to be able to test the speakers and adjust the filters, I shall try out 350 and 500 hz cut offs. I and my family have taken a picture which I or madhvi(my better half) shall forward.
I am off to —– for a few days, can’t wait till I get back to complete the experimenting and tuning.
I am sure there are at least 3 friends/family who will want me to build for them. Shall keep you posted!!
Warm Regds. …”, end quote
Yesterday evening two friends came to hear the Timeless at home. One is from optimizeaudio.com. They are doing a lot of “hifi-dgets” and are a bit guru-like.
Nevertheless we have tried an anaview based amplifier (1200-2600 if my memories are ok). Way more rapid than my emotiva, nice surprise…And a power conditioner + out of space cables. To be honest, I’m a believer but not practicing the high-end cabling/filtering religion…
Well Ze’ev, the Timeless scored full marks! 4/4 friends found the Timeless to be a hit!
They have B&W802D, Magnepan 1.7, Focal Utopia, ATC, etc…and qualify the Timeless as great loudspeakers. I guess some of them were antagonized when the tought about the performance/price ratio…
Last listener I expect/respect is my friend Richard, he is recording all kind of classical music in Switzerland and is a musician himself. He is the most critical listener I know. I’ll let you know for this last listening session I have on my list…
…the project turned out super awesome, and the sound even better! I have taken some photos of the speakers i can share, and I’m planning on Building a matching tv/stereo furniture before posting on your website for a nicer stereo setup look.
I have to tell you about the first time they gave me that lump in throat feeling, right after they had loosened up a little i sat back and listened to Phil Collins’ – in the air tonight, and when the drums kicks in at the end it was like getting the whole drum-set thrown in my face!!! It was awesome I hope you guys will have great success with your projects, they deserve it…
Continue to be amazed by these speakers.
They are really starting to sweeten up. The PAP speakers deserve to be in Stereophile or Absolute Sound.
Thanks for everything!, Mike, USA
A year later:
The Beymas are magical in tone and sound staging. Best money l’ve spent on audio. If there are modifications l could do,
Please let me know. Loyal customer, Mike D., USA
Trio15TB (Customer Review by Jeremy Wagner, Canada)
I don’t normally write reviews, but every once in a while I have an experience that leads me to praise and promote a service and/or product. I feel that Grant Fidelity and the PureAudioProject Trio15 open baffle speaker have earned such praise, so I thought I’d write about my experience.
Many (many) years ago, when I was an ambitious lad working 12-14 hour days, I would get off the train in Oakland at 9:30 and stop in at Eve’s Hunan for a late-night meal before they closed at 10pm. Eve’s was a typical, low-key Chinese joint; mom-n-pop, simple menu, great prices, threadbare décor. The owner, Becky, and her crew would always prepare a delicious, fresh meal for me and would allow me to lounge and decompress over conversation and warm tea until well after closing time. I appreciated that experience – the food and service — so much that I wrote a short, informal “review”; a one-pager that I printed up on a sheet and brought in for Becky, so that she would know how appreciative I was. In that review I referred to Eve’s Hunan as Becky’s Place, since she was the owner and the face of the restaurant from open ‘til closing. Becky taped it to the inside of her front window, where it parched, faded, and collected flies. A couple years later she closed the restaurant for a remodel (and, alas, removed my review). It re-opened a couple months later as Becky’s Place and still thrives to this day under that name and ownership. I take some pride in that — I’m not sure why. But it does remind me that our praise carries weight far greater than its words, and lasts long after the experience.
I’m not an Audiophile – at least not compared to the audiophiles that I’ve met. I tend to choose gear as much for its lifestyle fit as I do for its sound. Equipment stays off the floor, wires are well hidden, and I pay as much attention to friends, food, and wine as I do to the music I have palying. But I do like good music performed well that sounds good, and the better it sounds, the better (and louder) I like it, and the more I like to share it. Friends come over all the time and marvel at how life-like my systems sound, many claiming that it’s the best music they’ve ever heard — better than “live”. To that end I’ve gone through my share of great gear. But over time my system had become a bit overgrown and cumbersome, and like a junkie looking for the next stronger drug, now I was battling three demons; a huge, difficult listening room, a need for a spouse-friendly aesthetic, and the demon that grabs us all — the desire for newer, better gear and a grander “oooh-ahhh” from my listening experience.
My path to the PureAudioProject (PAP) Trio15s was somewhat accidental. After years of gear-swapping, ever-increasing amplifier power, and speakers to match, I decided to make a “right” turn and try something new. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy all the iterations of my various systems, it’s just that they had lost some of their excitement and so had my listening. So off I went, down a new path, following a new paradigm; low-powered tube amplification and high-sensitivity speakers. I started my search and research, and my quest for efficient speakers led me from horns to open baffles, and from there, the choices narrowed significantly. Although I’d never actually heard PAP speakers, they had the combination of an interesting concept, unique appearance, world-beating reviews, and a relatively affordable price. The fact that their components are sourced, world-wide, from highly reputable manufacturers made it a less risky gamble, and unlike other open baffle brands, I could drive the speakers with a single stereo amp (bi-amping is not spouse friendly). I contacted their North American distributor, Grant Fidelity in Canada, and had a great chain of conversation, both via email and phone, with Rachel Zhang, the owner of Grant. Hey, any time you can shoot off an email at 11pm and get a thorough, thoughtful response from the owner by midnight, you can feel fairly confident that the service will be outstanding. And it just so happens that Grant was having a special on their show demos to make way for newer models. Did someone say “sale?” So, on a semi-informed hunch and a whim, I dropped 3+ Large and ordered a pair of the PureAudioProject (PAP) Trio15s with custom finished Plyboo baffles, and waited for my package(s) to arrive.
And arrive they did; from Iowa, China, Israel, and Germany. Almost everything arrived within a week, except for my custom-finished, Caramel Plyboo baffles, which took an extra couple weeks (and boy, do they look sweet!). I’m going to skip writing in any detail about the whole assembly process. It’s been well-documented online. I’m fairly handy with tools and my fingers, and except for the shear nervous excitement that might have led to a dinged baffle or dented driver, the speakers were a breeze to put together. I will give special kudos to the guys in Iowa for their thoughtful packaging of the baffles. Not only did they arrive in perfect condition, but each baffle was marked for specific position in the speaker so that the grain would be continuous. Smart! Quibbles? Hmmm…, I’m gonna have to dig for this. I’ve read that the full-range drivers are positioned too low, and that the speaker needs to be elevated. True, the Tang Bands seem to be pointed at my chest as built, so I used some reclaimed 2×6 timber planks (from an old bridge in Ukiah) and left the rear foot off to get the drivers pointed right at my head. And I guess the wire leads could have been cut a little shorter as to not dangle so much from the drivers. But these are minor quibbles and easily fixed – either by the user or at the factory.
Okay! Now, on to the listening. Here again, so much has been written about the qualities of the PAP Trio15 speaker s, that I feel it’s not my place to write any further about them. Really, I have nothing more to add to the praise that’s already been heaped upon them by far more sophisticated appraisers than I.
What I can write about is how much sheer enjoyment I experienced on that first listen. After re-arranging my living room to accommodate for optimizing the open baffle speakers’ placement (and a spouse-friendly aesthetic), and installing my new 300B Canary amp in my system, it was time for the unveiling. I invited my best listening buddy over (not the dog, the guy next to the dog), cracked an excellent bottle of Napa Syrah, and we set our minds on giving a first listen before we headed out for dinner and a movie. Hey, we had an hour to kill; certainly enough time to make a solid assessment and first impression. Right. No sooner had the opening notes of Santana’s Black Magic Women (180g Mofi) filled the room, then I knew – we both knew – that we had “stumbled” upon something very special. We were mesmerized. So we settled in and began to play favorite tracks from favorite discs. Supertramp, Crime of the Century (UHQR), Ricki Lee, Pirates (CD), Steely Dan, Gaucho (SACD), Keb’ Mo’s BluesAmerica (180g), Norah Jones, Come Away With me (SACD). What started as a quick listening session turned into 3 hours of flippin’ and spinnin’ discs. Instead of listening to one track per album, we were so entranced and excited that we wanted to hear each of our favorite tracks from each of the albums. Honestly, it was the most enjoyable listening session that I can remember having. Kick drums and bass notes were life-like and 3-dimensional without being overpowering. Voices hung in the air with all the depth that the recording would allow. Cymbals shimmered. Being able to use the room and let the drivers radiate naturally turned every track – no, every instrument and voice – holographic. Whether it was the sweet little guitar lick on Norah Jones’ Nightingale, or the opening percussion on Talking Heads’, Burning Down The House. That “little” (40-pound beast) 22w/ch amp paired with the Trio 15s absolutely filled my huge space with live performance levels of sound. Imaging? In the room! And although there is always a “sweet spot” for best listening, from anywhere in the room, the impact and holographic presentation was palpable. I’ve heard some damn fine speakers make some damn fine sounds in my day, but the Trio15s took this to a whole ‘nutha level. Every instrument and voice occupied and owned its own space in the given composition. It was truly remarkable. I’m sure that the good wine, fine-ass ancillary gear, and excellent company had something to do with it, but both my buddy and I had a smile from ear-to-ear for the (screw the movie) entire 3 hours, and spoke about the speakers for another couple hours over dinner. As I write this, he’s figuring out a way to make the PAP Trio15s work in his home. Mind you, these badboys need plenty of break-in, but like good wine, if it’s delicious in the cask, it’ll be that much better with age. For the first time in a long time, I’m truly excited; not just about getting into my next listening session, but for having all my friends that have swooned over previous sounds to come for a visit and immerse themselves in the joyous noise that these speakers make. And I have some Stephen Stills, Jethro Tull, Eric Clapton and Chet Baker all lined up for the occasion. How sweet is that?!
I’m guessing that if my “hunch” were left to itself, I might not have made the move to the PAP speakers. But the hunch, combined with Ms. Zhang’s understated enthusiasm and excellent follow-up, helped guide me to a whole new dimension of listening enjoyment. So thank you, Rachel, for that, and please welcome a new devotee to the fellowship of SET/open baffle listening.
Attached are a few photos: of my best listening buddies; Of the tools I used for construction; of the view from “my” chair; of the room; of the system; of one of the speakers atop its timber plank.
Jeremy Wagner, Canada