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1.5 owners ready to comment? (Read 13208 times)
nodiak
Ex Member



1.5 owners ready to comment?
02/01/05 at 05:25:20
 
   I'd be interested to hear any comments from 1.5 owners. mike_c? Chip P? any one else?
   Thanks, Don
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Chip P.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #1 - 02/01/05 at 21:26:15
 
Hi Don,
I think my radials are scheduled to arrive in the next day or two.  I've not been tracking them too closely since they shipped last week because there's nothing I can do to get them here faster -- so I figured I'd save myself the stress.  
In the meantime, I'm trying to finish a flexy-rack to keep myself occupied while I wait and also find a new set of el34s.  I'll definitely chime in with my impressions as soon as they arrive ... and, better yet, once they have a few hours on them.  Take care and happy listening.  
Chip
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #2 - 02/02/05 at 17:20:09
 
I received my 1.5s last week. I hooked them up to my existing system which consists of a Pioneer Elite PD-91 cdp, passive attenuator, and modified Hafler 220 amp (to be replaced by a PP tube amp in the future). Thus, the speakers are the only changed component. My room is L shaped and open and about 15x19 with a direct opening to the dinning room/kitchen.

After an initial couple of hours, the speakers soon “bloomed” to reveal spatial and imaging qualities I had only imagined were possible. The midrange is realistic and lifelike with a fullness I have never heard before; it’s just “present.” The bass, which was sorely absent in my previous speakers, was full, tight and focused. And, the highs, which I opened up with a lower value resister (3 ohm), are open and with incredible definition.

I am very happy with the 1.5s and I know from others that they’ll just get better.  ;D

Oh yes, the finish (which Ziggy says are the first 1.5s in mahogany) is finely done and beautiful. And, these babies are packed so very well and they arrived without incident.

Gary
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Lon
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #3 - 02/02/05 at 17:31:17
 
Gary, thanks for sharing!
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mab
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #4 - 02/02/05 at 17:40:05
 
Hi Gary - I bet that Mahogany looks nice!  Glad to hear you're enjoying the 1.5's.  Let us know how they break in over time and if you've got a camera let's see some pics.

Matt
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nodiak
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #5 - 02/02/05 at 19:03:15
 
   Thanks for the replies. I've decided to focus my speaker (and other) $'s on getting a pair of 1.5's. There I've said it! My innitial Decware interest a few years ago were the then new Radials. After recently getting a Zen 84C Steve and company have totally proved themselves to me. So it's time to do what I can to get 1.5's in the house.
   Before I find out for myself  ;D , I wonder if anyone can comment on how the Radials changed speaker/room reflections. My room needs some treatment, it is very reflective, I'll get to that asap. But did you notice a less echoey presentation just from the speaker change?
   Also, I'm pleased to here from others posts that the 1.5's have a warm yet detailed sound, that's my style. Do you concur vs. other speaker systems? Obviously I'm open to any comments and hope any Radial owner (1,1.5,2,3...) will feel free to cut loose with impressions.
   Thanks, Don
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mab
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #6 - 02/02/05 at 22:26:11
 
Hi Don,

I'd be interested in other peoples approaches to room treatments with the Radials as well.  I have "Real Traps" in my room which have helped take some peaks out of the lower frequency response (of my room).  They are placed mostly in corners and wall/ceiling boundaries to trap as much bass as possible.  They do absorb a fair amount of HF sound as well and definitely have "deadened" the room a bit.  

The radial dispersion of the main driver acts to diffuse the sound, making diffusion treatments less necessary from what I understand.  I don't suppose they would do anything to hurt the sound though, but I have no experience with them so hopefully someone else will chime in.

There are many other treatment options, like live end/dead end, ceiling treatments etc. that I haven't played with but would be curious as to there likely effects.  I assume it would be good to damp all the first reflection points as with more traditional front firing spkrs, but again I haven't done much experimentation with this stuff.  I needed to try to control the bass frequencies first, as my room is not very big, and have stalled on trying much else cuz I'm about to move in a few months and I'm not 100% sure what the new room will be like.

Maybe some other Radial users will share their experiences.  My gut tells me that, although the Radials are monster imagers, they will of course benefit from room treatments just like any other speaker.  How best to implement those treatments is the question and hopefully we'll get some more info from this thread Smiley

Matt

P.S. Don - I sent you a PM.
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« Last Edit: 02/02/05 at 22:27:29 by mab »  
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Lon
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #7 - 02/02/05 at 23:17:34
 
I'm no help there.  I use no real treatment any longer and listen in a small room with three sides full of books and cds. . . !  I imagine treatment would help. . . the Radials hardly need the help.
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nodiak
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #8 - 02/03/05 at 01:40:54
 
   Looks like I asked too broad a question. Knowing each room is different, and does or doesn't need treatment, I was mostly wondering what happened when you unplugged your former speakers and hooked up the Radials? Just whether there was a big, obvious difference in reflections. But in all reality that's what they're supposed to do, so it's expected. Think I'm just being chatty as I'm glad to start thinking Radials again. Don
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ziggy
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #9 - 02/03/05 at 02:15:51
 
Don,

  I don't think the difference will seem as big when going from your old speakers to the Radials. Where the difference will be is going from the Radials back to your old speakers.  There going to sound broken.

          Bob Z.
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Lon
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #10 - 02/03/05 at 10:45:47
 
Grin

That's true!

There is an immediate "difference" noticed though, quite significant, in more ways than imaging---it's just a very different presentation of music.  I had worked hard with positioning my previous speakers to get a small amount of the effect, plopping the Radials down just accomplished so much more!

It's great to see posts in this forum every day! Shocked
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #11 - 02/03/05 at 15:27:08
 
Don,

I have PM'd you.

Gary
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nodiak
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #12 - 02/03/05 at 17:03:05
 
Gary H, thanks for the offer to come to Medford to hear your Radials. That's about 200 miles from me, very doable. I notice you have a modded Hafler, any chance it is by Musical Designs? I've been interested in his work and have an Adcom I might want him to mod.
Also it would be very cool to hear  your 1.5's hooked up to my 84C. I'll keep in touch. Don
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #13 - 02/03/05 at 17:12:21
 
Don,

My Hafler was modded by (the late) Dave Herren of The Audio Alternative in Portland. He was a great guy and did fine work until his death in Dec. '03.

Looking forward to meeting you sometime in the future.

Gary
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« Last Edit: 02/03/05 at 17:12:58 by Gary_H. »  
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Chip P.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #14 - 02/04/05 at 18:17:33
 
Well -
Here's my very brief update.  My radials arrived on Thursday.  They are maple.  Packaging was very good and they arrived without incident.  The finish of the speakers is excellent.  No dedicated listening room for me, but these will be just fine in the living room.   Many kudos to Steve and Ziggy on the build and finish.

I don't want to evaluate the sound too much yet, as the speakers have so few hours on them.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll be in a little better position to report.  Suffice to say at this point that right out of the box, little or no break in, these speakers impressed me.  Even my significant other, who has patiently indulged my short foray into this hobby, heard the difference immediately.

I feel as though it will take some time to describe the sound.  The best I can do right now is to say I've been playing the guitar for twenty or so years, and that last night, for the first time, I heard a real guitar on a recording -- not the guitar that I've always heard, but a real acoustic guitar with presence and life and microdynamics ........ all I can say is it was a guitar.
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Lon
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #15 - 02/04/05 at 20:38:28
 
Grin Grin Grin

Another member of the Radial family!

Welcome!  I'm happy for the discovery you will be enjoying this weekend and beyond!
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nodiak
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #16 - 02/05/05 at 14:51:59
 
Good to hear from you Chip. Be interesting to hear from you as they age, also nice to hear your so's comments. Funny thing for me is that the guitar I'd like to get costs the same as 1.5's. Don
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #17 - 02/09/05 at 17:02:51
 
I have a minor point to bring up regarding Radial 1.5s setup.

I know it mentions this in the site info and owners manual, but it is important to realize the significance of adjusting the cone feet height for best base and lower mid clarity.

I initially left the lower spike tips off the main cones so that I could easily move the speakers for best room placement without damaging the carpet. However, I eventually noticed that the bass and lower mid frequencies seemed somewhat bloated and heavy. I put the lower spike tips back onto the feet and this really improved the overall coherency and settled the speaker response into an overall balanced sound.

I know this probably sounds elementry, but because I was just starting the breakin period I didn't intially realize what I was "adding" to the passive radiator response by having the speakers that extra 3/8s inch closer to the floor withouht the spike tips.

Just a "tip"...

Gary
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scott_m
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #18 - 02/10/05 at 23:02:40
 
Gary,

Congratulations on your new radials!  I have to say, of all the speakers out there the radials are the only ones I'd consider shelling out the money for (okay, Terry Cain has some really nice looking speakers too. . .)  I'd love to hear them sometime - but am afraid that listening might cause me to do something unwise with the visa card. . .

Out of curiousity, which amplifier are you considering?  

Scott.
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #19 - 02/11/05 at 14:41:01
 
Scott,

Good to hear from you. You are welcome anytime to hear the Radials, either with my amp or your Zen.

Give me a call or PM.

Gary
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Chip P.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #20 - 02/11/05 at 15:42:03
 
Hey guys,
My radials are still just breaking in, so I have really given much of a detailed review yet.  Hopefully soon.  
At any rate, I noticed that the three of us are all in Oregon [meaning Gary, Scott and I.]  Small world.
Chip
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #21 - 02/11/05 at 16:28:37
 
Chip,

A belated welcome to the forum.  :)

I live in Medford, as does Scott (moved here last Oct. form Portland) We have gotten together twice, and I have also met Albert from this forum and he also lives in Medford. My wife and I go to Portland infrequently to see family and friends, perhaps we'll meet sometime.

As you can read from the above posts, I am a recent 1.5 owner (mahogany) so they are still breaking in, but man, am I pleased.  ;D

Best wishes, Gary
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scott_m
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #22 - 02/11/05 at 19:46:44
 
Hi Chip,

My wife and I certainly miss Portland - but we're happy doing our own thing in the rogue valley (we're opening a plant nursery).  I have to say, I lived in Portland for 4 years, and I never really took advantage of how many audiophiles are in that area.  Not just Oregon, but up into washington.  In retrospect, I wish I had been more sociable in that respect.  Anyway, we always tell our friends from Portland that if you're ever traveling to California, we're just off I-5 and you're welcome to drop by!  That goes for any Decware-ites as well.

Scott.
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nodiak
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #23 - 03/03/05 at 17:55:47
 
   are they breking in?
   bump  ;D
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Gary_H.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #24 - 03/03/05 at 21:18:41
 
Don,

I've run into some misfortune since I got my radials. I was happily breaking them in for about two or three weeks when my amp right channel went out. So, I don't have any tunes for now, but will soon - hopefully.

I will post more review info as I can.

Gary
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Chip P.
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #25 - 03/04/05 at 02:07:18
 
All right, here's my best attempt at a very non-expert review -- or better yet, here's an update of the radials as they continue to break in at my house.  I'd imagine that I've got about 100 hours on them by now as a conservative estimate.

The woodwork (maple in my case) was beautifully done by Ziggy and although I was prepared for an extended and painful break in period, the speakers sounded very good out of the box.   I do hear an improvement over time, for example, the sound has smoothed out a little and is a little more relaxed now -- not laid back -- just more like the driver is getting more accustomed to doing what it's supposed to do and doing it with less effort if that makes sense...

It is very difficult to describe the sound of the radials.  My previous pair of speakers were Omega TS2R's, a smaller box speaker built by Louis Chuchos, a heck of a nice guy who makes some pretty good speakers with pretty high quality craftmanship.  Well, no offense to Louis, but the radials, in my system, are just in a completely different league.  The best way I can sum it up is to say that the Omegas presented what I thought was a very accurate, detailed sound which I enjoyed.  But the radials yield an entirely different level of realism -- there is a "trueness" to the sound that goes well beyond mere accuracy.

The depth, resonance, and fullness of individual instruments reaches a level with these speakers that is really astonishing.  I recall Lon once referring to a system that he'd heard as "hyper-real" or something like that - and after hearing the radials, I can understand what he meant.  There is an autheticity to the sound of the radials that is really special.  I've heard alot of high end speakers that sound very good, but never let you forget that you're listening to a high end speaker.  The radials are not like this at all.  My musical tastes run the gamut, with a heavy concentration in jazz and blues, but I can't seem to get the acoustic guitar recordings out of my cd player - that's how good they sound.  I had the day off today and spent the afternoon listening to Leo Kottke and John Redbourn discs and the sound just drenches the entire room.  I should note that my listening room is my living room - probably 15 x 20 -- with hardwood floors, glass on the front and back walls and all sorts of other issues that make the room less than optimal -- still the radials disappear and image in this room without a problem and better than any other speaker I've ever had.  Others in my household are also duly impressed, which I can assure is no small feat.

Needless to say, I am extremely pleased with the radials, and all of the Decware products in my system.   A year ago I'd never owned a tube component -- slowly but surely I've begged, borrowed and traded my way into a system that reproduces music in a way I did not think my system could get to [with much thanks to all those who helped along the way.]  There's still a couple holes to be filled down the road, but I'm one satisfied listener these days.  I will hopefully continue to provide more updates as the speakers get more hours.  
Chip

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nodiak
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #26 - 03/04/05 at 03:32:54
 
   Gary, sorry about your loss  :'( , maybe an old receiver in the garage ? Bought $30 Onkyo at a yardsale for times such as that. Anyway, hope the amp gets fixed soon. I keep in mind your offer to visit and may take you up on that.
   Chip, that just kicks a** to hear what radials are doing for you. That's the kind of story that got me into Decware tubes, and I really want to end up with Radials soon. It's weird that you can't just buy Radial drivers from Madisound like the hundreds of other drivers, but that's just a testament to  Steve's originality. I can believe they are that different. Oh well, as soon as I can stretch my budget I'm going to buy some. I keep trying to decide what's first-upgrade source, cables, pre, but it will get clear.
   Thanks for the review, it gave me a good feel for that other level. My Fostex FE167e's have recently broken in and disappear now, but the music is still  mostly "centally located" tho a pretty wide soundstage. I'm anxious to hear the radials pattern. Cool stuff.
   Don
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Lon
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #27 - 03/04/05 at 10:36:59
 
Gary, very sorry to hear about your misfortune!  Hope you can clear it up soon!

Chip:  Thanks for the great review!  I know you are enjoying your Radials and believe me, I think they'll sound even better in say . . . another 300 or 400 hours! Shocked  And you're going to keep them that long, right?  RIGHT!  ;D
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Robert
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Re: 1.5 owners ready to comment?
Reply #28 - 01/31/07 at 15:00:19
 
Just picked up a pair of 1.5s and really love them.  They are Steve Deckert's old RL2s modified to 1.5s. They are pretty much all broken in and sound great even on my crappy SS receiver.  Amazing sound.  Looks like we have at least two 1.5 owners here in Masschusetts -- hopefully more Baystaters will "see the light." Smiley
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