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GoldenEar BRX Review (high-end Bookshelf Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 98 45.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 100 46.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 14 6.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.3%

  • Total voters
    217

Aperiodic

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MSRP is $1598/pair not each. Easy to find these at 25-30% under MAP.
Making that clear should be part of every speaker review, especially as many MSRP's (for many product categories) seem to be simply pulled out of a hat by their manufacturers.
 
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Reed

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I recently listened to the BRX, M106 and Paradigm 40B. Reported my initial thoughts here. I reread my subjective thoughts and stand by them. I didn't crank up the any of these speakers because loud volume isn't my bag. My comfort zone is 70-80db. In other words, I need my speakers to sound their best at low to moderate volumes. I have a 10'x11' dedicated room with some treatment and I use Dirac to sort out some room issues. I have a REL sub so I'm not relying on the main speakers to get that last mile of extension. What matters to me is subjectively smooth treble, stable imaging and the ability to disappear. My review playlist primarily consists of music I love but is not so good and even bad from a mastering standpoint. That's on purpose. On these tracks, at moderate volumes, the BRX and M106 were more similar than different. Biggest difference is the low end. Neither have the "showroom sound". The 40B sent me running. I just ordered a pair of Genelec 8030c. They arrive tomorrow for a thorough trial. If they don't work for me, they go back. This is all to say that that the BRX sounded good in the store under the circumstances I outlined. Would I buy them? Dunno. I'd need an in home trial.
 

dfuller

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Pretty sure it's 1600 a PAIR
Yes, as you and 40 other people have stated.
Is this directivity narrowing regarding the highs and ribbon tweeter issue or are there speakers who handle this better?
It's a result of the AMT being pretty big and not really waveguided at all. AMTs seem to be one of those things that are an almost absurd amount of effort to implement properly,
 
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D!sco

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Has there been any study on small holes in directivity such as the ones in the 'Vertical Listening Window' chart?

GoldenEar BRX Measurements Vertical Directivity Reference Bookshelf Speaker.png
Am I being naive by saying that this looks extremely similar to the horizontal directivity? The THD is terrible, so I don't expect EQ to do anything worthwhile, but otherwise this seems like more of a positive than it's being let on as.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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Sorry, but I don't have time for youtube reviews. Did the lack of bass on the LS50's tip the result? I have the original LS50's with 2 Rythmik subs. The result is fabulous.
The result is tilted north treble that is not accurate.
 
OP
amirm

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Has there been any study on small holes in directivity such as the ones in the 'Vertical Listening Window' chart?
That is a simple manifestation of frequency response error as you move up or down due to timing of the two drivers changing in the crossover region. At some point instead of adding, they start to cancel causing that weakness. It is a standard "feature" in all but coaxial drivers and three-way speakers with a midrange.
 

D!sco

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That is a simple manifestation of frequency response error as you move up or down due to timing of the two drivers changing in the crossover region. At some point instead of adding, they start to cancel causing that weakness. It is a standard "feature" in all but coaxial drivers and three-way speakers with a midrange.
Right. And according to this chart, these holes seem to cancel at certain angles completely (-30dB) I'm just wondering if you know whether a gap this size is particularly noticeable, or can be ignored in most listening angles. I do wonder how well the average listener notices sharp, small spikes up or down in the frequency response on an otherwise even curve.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Oh they are audible. Go in front of a speaker as it is playing and gradually go above and below the tweeter axis. You should hear the tonality change due to those holes at the angle shown in measurements (and computed using simple math).
 

thewas

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Another positive trait is that their relatively large vertical and or horizontal dimension actually makes them a better match for a midwoofer in the crossover region, since they will have a narrower dispersion at these low frequencies compared to a small dome. This, coupled with a modest waveguide, is why the AMT units in ADAM monitors perform so well off-axis.
Often a small dome tweeter with a well designed waveguide will have more constant and thus not too increasing beaming in the last octave, one of the reasons probably why Genelec while using ribbons in the past doesn't use them anymore. One advantage though is that with such a non-symmetric drive you can get different horizontal and vertical directivities while designing such a good waveguide is not an easy task.
 

Reed

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Oh they are audible. Go in front of a speaker as it is playing and gradually go above and below the tweeter axis. You should hear the tonality change due to those holes at the angle shown in measurements (and computed using simple math).
I heard the same thing. You do have to align vertically. I moved around a lot in both axes and it makes a difference.
 

strummr

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Another brand I've followed with some interest falls off the list. Let's talk of facts if you're going to render judgement - objectively, the cost to measured data makes the speaker poor. If we're going to argue whom liked it and how good it sounded to you... we can also talk of how AQ cables make a dramatic/magical difference to the sound as well.
 
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amirm

amirm

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I don't think these are "bad" speakers. I also think judging them is difficult due to many factors working in tandem. It is just that if you are going to charge this much, then it basically should not have much of any flaws.
 

D!sco

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Oh they are audible. Go in front of a speaker as it is playing and gradually go above and below the tweeter axis. You should hear the tonality change due to those holes at the angle shown in measurements (and computed using simple math).
Glad you could clarify. I'm a believer in the measurements you provide, and I have to say that to a layman, this looks good off-axis up to 10khz.
 

JRS

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Worst thing this loudspeaker does ?
Frightening potential Triton Reference buyers and invite them to look elsewhere.
You can almost hear the "stock" price go down as we knew it (GoldenEars) sucked posts spring up.
 

JRS

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Don't the BMR Philharmonics use ribbon tweeters? They measure great.
Lots of ribbons measure very well. I could put up some msmts on a Russian pair of ribbons I bought as part of a parts express group buy, but they are so flat as to defy belief. Clean too.
 

mrmoizy

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I don't think these are "bad" speakers. I also think judging them is difficult due to many factors working in tandem. It is just that if you are going to charge this much, then it basically should not have much of any flaws.
Good point. It's hard to separate the objective performance of a speaker from the price of it. The price sets a subjective expectation. Charge one tenth this price and suddenly these are not too bad, a few flaws here and there but altogether enjoyable
 

JRS

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Are ribbon/AMT/planar tweeters just eye candy at this point, a must have for boutique brands to justify their prices? What are their redeeming qualities again? I rarely see smooth treble response from them, and directivity is always sub-par. But I guess they bring that "sparkle"? I'm a skeptic, I think they need more advancement. A good dome tweeter in a waveguide for me.
Come on, the Heil drivers debuted in the ESS1 in like 1976. Granted a lot of additional work wasn't done until the 2000's when a bunch made their way into mainstream consumer audio, but those original ESS AMT's had quite a fan club-I remember the day and the time I first heard them almost the way average people might remember when John Lennon was shot. It was in a Fall Saturday morning, good weather, and I am in an audio store in Tustin, CA, and the clerk has just cued up some Peter Green guitar (Fleetwood Mac, Albatross). My jaw dislocates.

I've had a handful of audio experiences like that in my life--but that the tweeter was something very special was beyond any doubt, and my audio bearings as to what was possible just got revised.

So hardly new-fangled, need the warts worked out. You might look at the Aurum Cantus line of aerostriction tweeters which are
a) exceptionally flat
b) are extremely efficient and
c) can reach ear piercing levels (118-120dB) with no harm done to the drivers.

Find me a dome for 300 bucks that will do this:
BTW I've owned and measured a pair, the specs are accurate, at least down to 1200 Hz. I didn't want to risk damage.
 

Ata

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But what is the directivity of these when placed on a baffle, or is the trick to use a suitable waveguide?
 
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