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Old 26th March 2006, 16:47   #1
flash
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Just auditioned ProAc Studio 130/140 and Response D15 (vs Studio 125)

I've been happily listening to my ProAc Studio 125s for two or three years now, but two things prompted me to consider an upgrade: (1) release of 130 and 140 and positive reviews (well awards, but I haven't seen a proper review yet!), and (2) arrival of unexpected salary bonus.

All speakers have to be in non-ideal location, six inches from wall and not toed in, for reasons of aesthetics and domestic harmony (no marital advice please...). All auditioning below done in the comfort of my own home.

Studio 125: Around £1000. I ran these with the optional bungs for most music as the bass was boomy like you'd expect so close to the wall, though heavier stuff like Led Zep or Muse was better with them removed. I never had a problem with lack of bass power but I thought I was missing something in bass extension and clarity. Top end and mid-range are/were an absolute joy.

Studio 130: Around £1100. Positioned as the replacement of the Studio 125. Not much difference to note in the top and mid range; instruments a little more distinct perhaps but that's it. Much more bass clarity; unlike the 125s you can really tell what the instrument is when it plumbs the depth e.g on the 125s, double bass could sometimes end up as an anonymous thump at the lower reaches, but not on the 130s. Unlike the 125s, the 130s are floor ported which makes them much less sensitive to positioning - great for me.

I couldn't help think that I was losing something in the overall integrity of the sound, though; the individual instruments were more distinct but the overall musicality lacked something (I'm not an expert on the terminology here). I may just have been listening too analytically of course, given that I was testing certain aspects; I never did a long sustained and relaxed audition.

Overall, I would imagine the Studio 130 to be a better speaker than the Studio 125 for a wide range of musical tastes, though lovers of heavy rock might still find something missing.

Studio 140: New model, around £1400. Given the extra bass in the 130s, I was concerned that the 140s might be overpowering. Basically they are a 2.5 way speaker, with twice the (same) woofer of the 130. Listening at the same test volume was difficult as they clearly put out more oomph, so I dropped the volume back. Bass and mid-range were a revelation, a significant step up from the 130s and one I was not expecting. Clear and strong, these are excellent speakers. I'd be surpised if anyone said they lacked weight at the bottom end, and the mid and top are in line with ProAc's reputation.

These appeared to be more musical overall (whatever that means), though I still wonder whether in gaining detail and separation I am losing something musically - extended and relaxed audition to follow.

Response D15: Around £1800. My dealer suggested that you get a lot extra for that £400. First impressions were very favourable, with great soundstage and musicality; the closest to the sound I have enjoyed in the 125s but with much more edge and crispness. At first I thought these were the ones for me, but when I listened closer to the bass it simply faded away where the 140s kept diving deep. A different listening experience and one which got my foot tapping; excellent speakers, perfect for some folk, no doubt, but not those who like their bass deep and crisp and even.

Overall conclusions: I am going for the Studio 140s. The 130s are a noticable improvement over the 125s, but the 140s are several steps further ahead of the 130s. To me the D15s are good (much better than the 130s), but not as good as the 140s, and if they were the same price, I'd take the 140s. The fact that the D15s are £400 dearer makes that an even easier decision.

Hope this helps someone else out there!

Nigel
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Arcam A85/P85/CD92/T61, Rega P3, VDH d102 III i/c's, LAT AC-2 power cables; Grado SR60 phones; Isotek MiniSub; Audiophile Base01 platforms. main: ProAc Studio125 spkrs, Nordost Blue Heaven spkr cable; secondary: MA Bronze B2, QED Silver Ann bi-wire. AV: Sony KE32 plasma, RDR-HXD910, VTX-D800U; QED i/c's and aerial cables, Philex Thor SCARTs.
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Old 26th March 2006, 17:04   #2
Stereo Mic
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130/140 trades colouration in the midband for dynamics and bass impact.

D15 offers clearer and less coloured midrange at the expense of the frequency extremes and dynamics as beloved by today's AV generation.

Speakers designed for different types of listener. Glad you liked the 140's Nigel. So do I.
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Old 26th March 2006, 20:42   #3
flash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereo Mic
130/140 trades colouration in the midband for dynamics and bass impact.

D15 offers clearer and less coloured midrange at the expense of the frequency extremes and dynamics as beloved by today's AV generation.

Speakers designed for different types of listener. Glad you liked the 140's Nigel. So do I.
Am I allowed to count myself as part of "today's AV generation" at 46 years old? I guess so! I don't have surround sound but do route my DVD sound audio via the stereo system and to good effect. I can't wait to try this with the 140s...
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Old 28th March 2006, 08:49   #4
speedy.steve
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I think ProAc are a great speaker.

I first auditioned the 140's and liked them a lot.
Then I auditioned the 130's and was a bit dissapointed.
I skipped the D15's and went straight to the D25's that I bought.

We heard the 140's again at the Bristol show and in less than ideal circumstances thought they were pushing out a great sound and for the price are great value.

I am very happy with my D25's. ProAc have spent a lot of time on the balance and clarity and the bass extension yet clarity is excellent. I have never heard (my ears) a compact (=wife friendly) hifi speakers that delivers music so much the way I want to hear it. I can hear that they go down to 20Hz with a decent volume and it ain't intusive or boomy either.

I pair drive them with a tube amp and recently upgraded to a Copland CDA823 which really has brought a clarity and presence to all ranges that I had not previously heard coming out of the D25's hitherto.

It can be an expensive journey but hell it's only money and you only have one life...
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Old 28th March 2006, 22:15   #5
flash
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Studio 140s ordered. I'm glad I wasn't offered an audition of the D25s, that would not have been a marriage-friendly investment level, but you do make them sound good, speedy.steve. Maybe if I stick to ProAcs in the same wood, my wife won't notice .

Studio 140s arrive Wednesday and will need a good run-in, hopefully followed by a few years of musical bliss. I'm going to try to not even audition the D25s for a couple of years....
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Old 11th January 2007, 19:32   #6
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An interesting, if old, thread. I'm in the market for some new floorstanders and have been demoing quite a bit recently. I thought the PMC FB1+ might be the speaker for me....until I tried it. Nah! The bass wasn't all that I expected but it was the midrange that lost me, not my cup of tea at all. The Proac D15 however - glorious. I couldn't help but think I was losing some bass though and I can't afford higher up in the Response range to rectify that. So I'm stuck again!

Can anyone recommend a lovely non-bright, non-shouty floorstander that does deep low volume bass as well as possess a sweet midrange like the Proac D15? I really must try the Spendor S8 but can't locate a dealer as yet. Gimme some ideas folk perlease!
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Old 11th January 2007, 20:06   #7
Chris
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I´m in a similar boat and stuck between D25 (28) and LV Avatars. Sugden A21SE and must be used 1 foot from rear wall.
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Old 12th January 2007, 06:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
I´m in a similar boat and stuck between D25 (28) and LV Avatars. Sugden A21SE and must be used 1 foot from rear wall.
With the Sugden, definitely Living Voice.
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Old 13th January 2007, 09:10   #9
flash
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Have you actually tried the Studio 140s? Need a biggish room (at 5m x 4m mine's about the smallest you'd get away with but it was the clarity and strength of the bass which made me go for these in favour of the D15 - and I'm not a boomy bass freak. The mid-range is not quite as sweet as the Studio 125 or D15 but that's a marginal loss for a substantial gain in the bass. I'm not saying they'd be perfect for everyone but given your quandary you MUST audition these and rule them out if necessary!

Good luck.
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Old 3rd April 2007, 09:04   #10
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Proac D15's need carefull consideration

Often i get a little baffled when i hear users reporting the lack of bass extension on the D15's. I have lovingly owned a pair for 3 years and am often amazed at how deep they actually can dig.

Ive heard the 130's and 140's and simply cannot class them in the same league as the D15's. The D15's offer greater transparency, stereo image and suptious integration across the frequency range. The first speaker in the Proac range that properly enters audiophile territory. Although i did enjoy the 130's and 140's i felt that the cash really wasnt spent on the drivers and an attempt was made to simply get a bigger sound as apposed to a better sound. The bass driver on the D15 sings much like the fabulous and extremely special D25's (If only it wasnt so ugly!!)

I suggest revisiting the D15's and asking the vendor to set them up correctly. I have a 25ft X 15ft room with the speakers set along the wider side of the room, toed in quite a bit. Amplification BOW Technologies Wazoo, Shanling CDT100C, Chord and JPS labs cables.

Ive found that cables are a major factor with the D15's, get it right and enjoy!!

Speakers i have considered as an upgrade would need to be a significant step up, try D38's, Sonus Faber Cremona, Hyperion 938, Dali Helicion 400, Revel Performa F52, Focal 927BE.

Cheers coldo
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Old 3rd April 2007, 09:28   #11
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yeah, I held a bakeoff at mine and someone brought along a pair of proac response 1sc (first time I'd heard any proac speakers!) and they were amazing...the amount of bass on them (for their size) was unbelievable...

some pics here -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/weardal...7594557490121/
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Old 3rd April 2007, 09:42   #12
Chris
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Coldo,

How far from the rear wall do you have them ?
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Old 3rd April 2007, 20:46   #13
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About one and a half feet, they are on fairly hefty slabs of slate (around 2 inches). Ive owned these speakers in two flats both with vastly different room heights and in both these have been very well behaved. Congrats on the D25's truly a speaker deserved a place in the hi-fi hall of fame, a silky sound few two way speakers can match, ive heard that Mr Tyler was particularly proud of that model!

Cheers coldo
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Old 4th April 2007, 15:30   #14
nando
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studio 140's are a very good speaker, a good improvement over the 125's, having said that the 125's at the time and price that were around were a great loudspeaker, i always thought. nando.
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