The Radial Loudspeakers


As luck goes, I was in Arizona this week.  I managed to find Ziggy and asked him if it would be possible to go over to his place and take a listen to some of the Decware loudspeaker treats.  And, as luck goes, Ziggy was okay with this requiest.
 
First of all, Ziggy is a fabulous person, lives in a great house and in a great neighborhood.  And, it was great to hear some of Ziggy's stories, too.
 
Ok, let's get down to some
reviews.
 
His listening room is about average in size, maybe even the perfect size.  He has it treated with lots of Decware products.  I got a good idea from Ziggy when it comes to camouflaging.  He wrapped his diffusers in brown burlap and framed the whole setup with a nice piece of varnished wood.  Letís just say that the way his Decware diffusers are set up, they practically disappeared in the room.
 
The amplifier used for the test was the Decware TORII, original.  This was the integrated model with the built in pre-amp.  Ziggy has a CSP, but it wasnít used for the test.  As I have a TORII, the results were very much what I think I would get with my setup.
 
The loudspeakers reviewed were the RL3, RL1.5, and a variation of the MG944.  Ziggy is tweaking it a bit, so the version I heard probably isnít what is currently available.
 
The music we heard consisted of some Mark Knopfler, Patricia Barber, and Led Zepís Houses Of The Holy.  We also heard a various amount of other artist.  Ziggy had it set up so that switching between loudspeakers was quick and fast.
 
First of all, Led Zep sounded like crap with everything.  This is just to point out that crappy recording is crappy recording and there isnít much you can do to improve on it.
 
The source was a Decware modded Pioneer CD player.  It is the one that was offered, but at the moment, I can't remember the model number.  I am not sure what kind of cables, power cords, or what extras were used.
 
First, we listened to Mark Knopfler through the RL1.5s.  When the music came on I was sure that the music was coming from somewhere else, but NOT the RL1.5s.  These loudspeakers created a live feel.  The illusion of a band in the room was very real.  The highs and mids were very liquid and there was some nice bass.  Not great bass, but the bass was good enough that I donít think a subwoofer would be needed.  However, I feel a sub would be a good addition and would make for a very complete sound.
 
Second, we listened to the RL3s.  Wow, what a difference from the RL1.5s.  This is where I feel that the RL1.5 and RL3 loudspeakers have misleading names.  With 1.5 and 3, you get the idea that one is an upgrade to the other, but I donít think that is the case.  I think that they are apples and oranges.  The RL3s give a very big sound, but unlike the RL1.5s that give the illusion of space very much behind the loudspeakers, the RL3s are very forward and more in your face. The RL3s produce and amazing amount of bass.  They punch hard.
 
Last, we heard the variation of the MG944s.  They were also forward like the RL3s, but the bass and percussion were fantastic.  The bottom was clean and clear, never mushy. These babies easily went down to 35hz from what I heard and you would probably never need a subwoofer at all. They are about as tall as the RL3s.  The RL1.5 are midgets compared to the other two loudspeakers.
 
So, here is the way I see it.  The extremes between these loudspeakers are the RL1.5s and the MG's.  The RL1.5s deliver great space, laid back, a lush sound, and softer bass.  The MG's deliver powerful bass with punch, very forward, but very clean.  The RL3s are in between.  The RL3s will deliver the bottom and punch of the MG's, and some of the wide space of the RL1.5s, but also with a forward sound.  The RL3s give the best of both worlds, but not all of it.
 
The way I see it, if you are very much into jazz or a live feel, the RL1.5s are for you.  If you are a hardcore headbanger, into rap, or even techno, the MG's are your thing.  If you like a little of this and a little bit of that, then the RL3s are the ticket.  The RL3s were the best compromise.  I donít think any of the loudspeakers gave it all.  That is just life.
 
Originally, I wanted the RL3s or the MG944s.  I have been saving my pennies for these, but since hearing the setups, I am now going to probably get the RL1.5s.  They are what I have been looking to find.  The TORIIís is more than enough power for any of the loudspeakers to go very, very loud.
 

 

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