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Biro L1
6 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP 
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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 1, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Great small speakers. I have used for almost two years and still go back to these over the rest of the speakers in my stable. On voice the only thing better that I've heard is the AVI NuNeutrons. Not the last word in definition or detail. However, I think much of the super highend market has gone too far in this direction. You need to spend much time going to live concerts taht are not amp'd to death. When you listen to a great philharmonic, you'll appreciate this speaker and realize all the super detailed equipment is not playing music.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Will a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 24, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I am probably the world's most careful shopper. I don't buy speakers (or any audio gear for that matter) often. I started out with a budget of $10,000 for a home theater/sound system -- a lot of money, even when you can afford it. I've been auditioning equipment for the past five years! Well, after years of A/B comparisons with nearly every top brand in every combination you can think of -- trying amps/pre-amps from Bryston, Lexicon, classe, Spectron, Adcom, Sony, Rotel (and many more), coupled with speakers ranging from PSB, B&W, Alon, Klipsh, Definitive Technology (and many more) I've finally found something sonically superior and reasonably priced -- the Biro L1. This is a no-name speaker to most, but so was Lamborghini to most folks in the early days too...

My last A/B session actually ocurred in a basement -- Frank Van Alstine's in Burnsville Minnesota -- not exactly the place I expected to find sonic nirvana. Frank is sort of a friendly, yet gruff old guy with gray hair and glasses. And yes, he's got some pretty strong opinions about how electronics work and don't work... Having spoken with more than just a few sales folks over the years, it was instantly clear that he really knows his sound -- and his equipment -- since he and his team build everything by hand. Just as a gourmet cook uses only the finest ingredients, Frank uses only the best parts in all of his gear. These parts are then meticulously and expertly matched and fashioned to create ultra-audiophile gear that is built to nuclear submarine type specifications. Everything he builds is sonically perfect and built to last. Because he literally doesn't advertise (he doesn't have to, his gear speaks for itself)his costs are quite reasonable and are not bloated with multi-million dollar advertising overhead to absorb.

The Biro L1 speakers he carries are simply the best speakers in the sub-$10,000 category that I have heard. They blow away ANY B&W (go ahead, put these little guys next to any of the Nautilus speakers). Since these and many other "good" speakers were out of my price range, I was nearly ready to plunk down some dollars to pick up the B&W CDM 7SE's (not really in my first couple of choices, but the best fit for my overall $10,000 home theater budget) when I stumbled across some reviews on the Biro L1's and thought I'd give them a try.

At first I thought the little speakers (about 18" tall with a small tweeter on the top) were the back surround speakers for the much larger B&W 801's Frank had sitting next to them. Then, Frank turned them on (powered by all of his personally designed gear, of course)-- and I heard for the first time what I had been searching for: pure clean sweet "live" music without any coloration whatsoever. Bass was excellent (although I probably would add a sub that Biro is also just launching), mids were the best I had ever heard, and the highs were crisp and lifelike. Maybe Frank's gear helped a bit, but I had just come from listening to Lexicon and Bryston powered B&W equipment and this was a sonic experience that was light years ahead. Go ahead and give these little speakers some volume -- they can take it, and more...

The fact that these little wonders are roughly $1,600 for a pair is utterly astounding. So small you'd be tempted to put them on a bookshelf -- but don't. At this price, two in front and two in the back make nearly an ultimate surround combination. I will power these guys with an Omega III 440/2 amp, an Omega III 200/3 amp (with high voltage supply), an Omega III EC Preamp with RIAA Phono circuits, an Omega IV DAC. The total bill on this stuff comes to $6,710.40 pre-tax (counting a 10% discount Frank throws in for multiple piece purchases). I will add to this the Biro center channel and the Biro subwoffer(no production models are available yet). If you haven't visited Frank's web page, I recommend that you do -- www.avahifi.com. You will learn a thing or two. If I have saved just one person a couple thousand dollar mistake by writing this, then I will consider my time and experience well-spent.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt Stoan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 14, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I feel that I didn't say enough in my previous review. These days the reviews of 10K speakers sound the same as the reviews of 2K speaker; words seem inadequate to the task at hand. My last impressions with the Wilson X-1's, the Avalon Radians, the B&W 801's (to name a few) were less than favourable. As I sit here listening to them with them I can feel air from the ports occasionally blowing at my feet and face, eight feet back! No, they are not being over driven and, yes, I do have the volume knob right at 12 o'clock. But these are some beatiful sounding speakers. If you can foot the bill for them, go for it. You won't be disappointed. And if you can spend more, you'll probably be disappointed with whatever else you buy. I'm not going to say this is the end all of speakers. The amount of manufactures popping up everywhere is overwhelming, and there may be a few diamonds in the rough out there that will give this one some competition, but I haven't found them. And I have no desire to go looking right now. This is a wonderful speaker than can, while not recommended, be driven on even a receiver (its an "8 ohm" speaker). So you can start with these speakers and upgrade the rest of your system later.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Matt Stoan a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 30, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This is the one to beat, regardless of price. I've never heard anything better. Being sold factory direct you basically get a $3,000 pair of mini-monitors for $1,500. The only thing missing is that last bottom octave of bass and the ultimate loudness capability; not to be confused with dynamics which are glorious. Probably one of the few electrodynamic transducers that can hold its own with the planars. Which is also good if you don't like big speakers. I might add a sub, a very good one though. But even without it the bass is powerful and musical. What makes this speaker special, aside from premium parts, is that its engineered by someone who really knows what he's doing.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Timothy Brown a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
These speakers are as neutral and uncolored as any I’ve heard. They do not have a bright, analytical sound like many audiophile-approved speakers. But I have heard detail with these that I’ve not heard on very expensive stuff. I tend not to like ported designs but when it is done right, it’s great. Acoustic bass sounds better than on my Magnepans, which I’d have thought impossible. I can’t hear any box resonance either! Voices sound very natural. If you want accuracy and resolution without exaggerated sibilance or bright, aggressive treble, these are the ones. In other words you know what live music sounds like.
The negatives, well they are black boxes with tweeters on top. Bass is good to somewhere in the lower 40s not 20s or 30s. Dynamics are great in my 10 X 20 living room but I haven’t tested their limits, I don’t want to get kicked out of my apartment. But a 6.5 in woofer can only go so low and so loud. Pull them out into the room, set them 5 or 6 ft. apart and set back 5 or 6 feet, close your eyes, who needs big speakers!

I bought them out of curiosity; sometimes even an idiot just gets lucky.

Definitely 5 stars.



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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast




Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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