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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Philharmonic Audio

I think these are going to be some top notch speakers. 3-ways with open back midrange (like the Salk Soundscapes and the Jim Holtz Statements). Bass handled by 8" woofers in ML-TLs, and highs handled by excellent ribbon tweeters, and a very narrow dipole midrange. I'm willing to bet they will be some of the finest $1600 speakers out there. Dennis Murphy is well known as a DIY speaker designer and is also responsible for many of the well-known Salk sound speakers.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

The Phil 1 is the "small" speaker in the line up. :D It seems to be a better deal than the similarly priced SongTower. That says a lot to me.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Hey guys, just wanted let you know that I am a Salk/Dennis Murphy Fanboy!!!! However, my knowledge in speakers/equipment is limited.

I own and am very happy with Dennis Murphy's Bookshelf design CAOW1s DIY which he actually made for me. They are directly related to the Songtowers, which I have heard before. The reason for the purchase of the CAOW1s was because of the STs. These were most amazing towers. Hard to believe the sound from those little speakers...(well not so little) But it was there and was huge.

When I discovered Dennis was going to make a "retirement" speaker, I wondered what it was going to be. After meeting him and realizing he was a no-nonsense sort of guy, honest, straight forward, created crossover designer, I was more interested. After hearing the Phillys, what I call them, I knew this was my speaker and within my budget actually less and actually getting more for my money as I only needed a neutral black speaker.

I have heard the Philharmonic I in Dennis' home and the I and III at the CAF. And, since I already own a GR Research DIY Direct Servo, I only needed the II as I want the RAAL tweet, but not the Scanspeak woofer.

I have met both Jim Salk and Dennis Murphy and they are both truly upstanding, trustworthy designers who take pride in their work and I trust them implicitly in making the best equipment with the highest quality for the best price!!!

When and where possible take a listen and you may agree with me and Sterophile!

Just wanted to add my thoughts here and I do hope they will be taken with my humble, limited understanding in mind.

Thanks,

Rob
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Philharmonic Audio

I think these are going to be some top notch speakers. 3-ways with open back midrange (like the Salk Soundscapes and the Jim Holtz Statements). Bass handled by 8" woofers in ML-TLs, and highs handled by excellent ribbon tweeters, and a very narrow dipole midrange. I'm willing to bet they will be some of the finest $1600 speakers out there. Dennis Murphy is well known as a DIY speaker designer and is also responsible for many of the well-known Salk sound speakers.
Sounds like an excellent setup. Good name too! Surprised nobody else has tried such a name.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Sounds like an excellent setup. Good name too! Surprised nobody else has tried such a name.
Well, fusseli, I am about to find out. I just pulled the trigger on a pair of Philharmonic IIs as I wanted the RAAL tweet. They should be ready around October and living just down the road, I can pick them up and save shipping. Most are ordering the IIIs for the extra bass with the scanspeak revelator.

I will be picking up the center soon to match as they will dub as theater and 2channel listening. Hope for 2 channel I will be trying the Musical Paradise 401 tube amp for that.

If anyone is thinking of these don't wait too long as I think Dennis is getting a little backed up already, which doesn't surprise me knowing his reputation.

In any case one might know that a donation of the sale goes to Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra of which he is a member in the Viola section. They are non-profit. I will also mention that he donates to the SPCA on other projects, (I think) as well.

To add.....from what I understand Dennis will be starting his own forum soon for feedback.

Thanks,

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

I will be picking up the center soon to match as they will dub as theater and 2channel listening. Hope for 2 channel I will be trying the Musical Paradise 401 tube amp for that.
IMO tubes are a fun novelty, but if you want to really bring speakers to life with tubes you need extremely, heavy, high powered tubes. 15wpc is going to limit your dynamics as the Philharmonics are only 87.5 db/2.83v/m - a max SPL of less than 90db at 10ft away means dynamic transients would be pretty neutered. Additionally tubes can have an adverse effect on the sound of the speaker itself - i'm sure that's not what you want!

I strongly recommend trying something like a pair of Hypex UCD700 modules perhaps.

Good luck with your Philharmonics though! No doubt they're the type of speakers you could own forever!
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

IMO tubes are a fun novelty, but if you want to really bring speakers to life with tubes you need extremely, heavy, high powered tubes. 15wpc is going to limit your dynamics as the Philharmonics are only 87.5 db/2.83v/m - a max SPL of less than 90db at 10ft away means dynamic transients would be pretty neutered. Additionally tubes can have an adverse effect on the sound of the speaker itself - i'm sure that's not what you want!

I strongly recommend trying something like a pair of Hypex UCD700 modules perhaps.

Good luck with your Philharmonics though! No doubt they're the type of speakers you could own forever!
Thanks Mr. G, I will surely check these amps out. When I meant "hopefully" meaning positive research would, of course, determine the amp to purchase. I have bookshelves for the 301 with upgraded tubes and really enjoy the sound. An audiophile I am not:rolleyesno:, however, I do enjoy quality sound.

The designer of the Musical Paradise said that the 401 should not be a problem driving the Phillys...that is his opinion and since I won't receive the speakers till mid October I have time to do more research. And, as you said to bring the speakers to life, I might have to look elsewhere. The amp (s) would only drive the 2 Phillys.

I have 2 other amps/receivers for the theater.

You have also raised an interesting question as most of my listening, including the theater, is approximately 10 feet. Of course should I decide on the 401 it is only for 2 channel listening at normal levels.

But, thank you for your input, these purchases are a good size investment for me and Dennis' speakers deserve the proper power.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

You have also raised an interesting question as most of my listening, including the theater, is approximately 10 feet. Of course should I decide on the 401 it is only for 2 channel listening at normal levels.
I guess it does depend on what genre of music you listen to. For example, a lot of pop music is already compressed to a point where we need to turn the volume down. In such a scenario, even 75-80db max volumes might be barely "bareable" and thus I think 15w is enough. Compressed music is difficult to listen to at higher volumes.

But for more dynamic music, like a lot of classical, I think you want to be able to handle dynamic transients at lifelike levels. Even if the average level is close to 65-75db, the peaks can go over 100db at times and are really exciting. Personally I would feed the Philharmonics with at least 38 volts from a quality amplifier. Since they are a 4 ohm load in much of the frequency range where dynamic transients exist, that means they need to be capable of about 370wpc into 4 ohms @ 0.1% THD - this usually means high current amps rated around 220+w into 8 ohms

High power amps are expensive. There's a certain group of people who will tell you that power is only needed for movies, but I personally beg to differ.

For movies, I don't know if you listen at reference levels, but peaks are even louder - about 105db. I personally listen about 7db below reference levels for movies so the above would be enough power for me. I would not attempt to drive these speakers to reference levels - it would require 64.5V of input, or about 1100w into 4 ohms - kinda ridiculous!!! If movies at reference levels are someone's goal, they really need sensitive, high efficiency speakers. But movies at a few DB (5) below reference levels imo would sound great with the philharmonics fed 370wpc into 4 ohms!!

Luckily, these days we've got companies like emotiva and outlaw making very low priced high powered amps. To think that the XPA-2, which delivers a very clean 500w into 4 ohms, is only $800, amazes me.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

I guess it does depend on what genre of music you listen to. For example, a lot of pop music is already compressed to a point where we need to turn the volume down. In such a scenario, even 75-80db max volumes might be barely "bareable" and thus I think 15w is enough. Compressed music is difficult to listen to at higher volumes.

I do listen to classical occasionally, but not much. But my taste varies from one end of the spectrum to the other. From Acappella to the more colored dance music to Chill on Pandora/Grooveshark, solos....Ike Quebec, Canadian Brass, Deadmau5, etc. (lots there), and of course Nora!!!!Love great solos!

But for more dynamic music, like a lot of classical, I think you want to be able to handle dynamic transients at lifelike levels. Even if the average level is close to 65-75db, the peaks can go over 100db at times and are really exciting. Personally I would feed the Philharmonics with at least 38 volts from a quality amplifier. Since they are a 4 ohm load in much of the frequency range where dynamic transients exist, that means they need to be capable of about 370wpc into 4 ohms @ 0.1% THD - this usually means high current amps rated around 220+w into 8 ohms

I am not into classical as much, however, I get the point, and these things will be considered.

High power amps are expensive. There's a certain group of people who will tell you that power is only needed for movies, but I personally beg to differ.

I completely agree with you!

For movies, I don't know if you listen at reference levels, but peaks are even louder - about 105db. I personally listen about 7db below reference levels for movies so the above would be enough power for me. I would not attempt to drive these speakers to reference levels - it would require 64.5V of input, or about 1100w into 4 ohms - kinda ridiculous!!! If movies at reference levels are someone's goal, they really need sensitive, high efficiency speakers. But movies at a few DB (5) below reference levels imo would sound great with the philharmonics fed 370wpc into 4 ohms!!

Basically probably less than reference levels, my wife can't take it too loud.

Luckily, these days we've got companies like emotiva and outlaw making very low priced high powered amps. To think that the XPA-2, which delivers a very clean 500w into 4 ohms, is only $800, amazes me.
Well, funny you should mention in that theater system I have a Emotiva XPA-5, how would that do? In there now are just the Infinity Primus towers/center series speakers and the XPA-5 does a very good job driving those, not much on the volume though as it not necessary with this amp. The receiver is an Onkyo 806 and the XPA really took the sound to another level.

My biggest problem in adding 2 more amps, I just don't have any more room and I am pushing the line with my wife as sit is. And when she sees the Phillys, well you know what I mean. So, I would have to narrow it down to one amp.

Thanks,

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

an XPA-5 would work great. they are 300w into 4 ohm so at 9.5 ft away they will hit peaks of 100db.

If you get even closer, like 7 ft away, anything with 150w into 4 ohm should cut it. Not only that, but you will impove the direct-to-reflected ratio of sound reaching your ears, improving fidelity!!
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Thanks, G., I will definitely give it a try, as aforementioned they should be ready around October and I will be happy to include pics and a review.

Robert
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Maybe I'm missing something, but with a mere $200 bump for the RAAL Phil 2, I can't imagine anyone choosing the Phil 1 Fountek very often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Maybe I'm missing something, but with a mere $200 bump for the RAAL Phil 2, I can't imagine anyone choosing the Phil 1 Fountek very often.
It's a $400 bump ($1600 v $2000) and the fountek itself is an outstanding tweeter. A lot of people don't have a clue what a "RAAL" is, but might be inclined to buy the cheapest philharmonic speaker.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

It's a $400 bump ($1600 v $2000) and the fountek itself is an outstanding tweeter. A lot of people don't have a clue what a "RAAL" is, but might be inclined to buy the cheapest philharmonic speaker.
GranteedEv, I can surely attest to the quality sound of the fountek, if it were the only tweet available, I would be very happy with it and the Philharmonic I's.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

It's a $400 bump ($1600 v $2000) and the fountek itself is an outstanding tweeter. A lot of people don't have a clue what a "RAAL" is, but might be inclined to buy the cheapest philharmonic speaker.
The Fountek is recognized as a very good ribbon. But anyone that is looking at Philharmonic and doesn't question the difference or pay due diligence to find out about the RAAL... is in the wrong hobby.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

I agree, the Fountek is a very good tweeter and after I had made my decision on the Philly II, I became indecisive a bit, but Dennis got me back on the right track again. Said the II was the best deal of the three. And I didn't want to miss out on having a RAAL to play with.
 

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Re: Dennis Murphy's new speaker company

Their website is down. Not a good sign.
 
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