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Focal Tantal 515
4 Reviews
rating  4.5 of 5
MSRP  900.00
Description: 3-way tower


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Georg Steiner a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Building a system for about $2000 I was looking for a floorstanding speaker in the range of $800-$1100. I listened to the models listed above and want to pass on my listening experiences. I listened to a wide range of music, including Nirwana, Whitney Houston, Beethoven, Bach, some "Audiophile" tracks. Amps and CDPs where of a higher price than my future system from Musical Fidelity amp to upperclass Sony CDP and more expensive stuff.

The B&W 603s2 where not able to convey the qualities of classical music, they had too much bass and too little detail, I'd give them 2-3 points, could be great for parties (Boom-power).

The Linn Keilidth had bad bass extension (but very tight)and very detailed mids and highs, but to an extent that the "s"-syllables on the Nirwana CD caused immedeate headaches.

The Triangle Zephyrs are harder to describe, there were no such evident flaws as with the others, they are said to have a mid-bass "hole" around 800Hz and another one at 5-6kHz. They just didn't get me excited, and I think imaging was not that great either.

The JM Lab Tantal 515 were better than the ones mentioned so far, especially good with vocals (Whitney Houston), very emotional and soothing. What I was missing was the dynamics and exitement that I got from the Dynaudio Audience 60s. With classics I didn't get the clarity and detail of the "Dyns" imaging I cannot judge, because I listened to them through different equipment and in different rooms. I rate these speakers at 4 stars, believing that they are a very good value for listening to Pop and likely to sound good also with bright equipment. The JM Labs also had more bass than the Dyns, but not as tight. I would call them a good choice but would recommend strongly to listen to Dynaudio Speakers before signing that cheque.

But my favourites are clearly the Dynaudios. These were the only speakers which managed to thrill me and grab me with all kinds of music I listened to, in fact they were the only ones with which I liked Nirwana, only with the Whitney Houston tracks they were more emphasizing detail than emotions compared to the JM-lab Tantal 515.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by AlphaM2 a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 11, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I've had these speakers for about 3 months now and have had my share of good and bad momemnts with them. First off I have to say I would definently recommend going up to the Cobalt line of JM labs, all of their speakers are fairly good to great but The Cobalts are fantastic. Now, about the 515's. First off I have a few gripes about them. They are extremely bright. So if you have a bright receiver or amp you might wanna think about getting these. Secondly their bass seems to be lacking. It has 2 6.5 inch woofers in a 3 way system with the cutoff at 120hz. So I was expecting more bass. Nowhere near the 2 way Paradigm phantoms I used to own. Otherwise they are very good. The Mid's are great, the high's are nice and strong. So, they are good, they aren't great. I'd give them a 3.5, but I'll be nice and round it to 4.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Thomas Wolfe a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 5, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I was looking for a budget oriented pair of speakers that would be able to perform on there own very nicely. The speaker had to have a finese yet powerful sound,very accurate opened high end, midrange with a clean unfiltered sound and a tight bass response. These speakers had to display very subtle things accurately at very low volumes to. I wanted these speakers to bring out effects from Rush albums I have never heard before. They are the Tantal 515's. At this price these are the best i have heard. By the way I returned my Energy C2's once I heard these. In closing I would like to thank the gents at AUDIO CENTER in Deerfield Beach for letting me bring in my reciever and old JBL's to compare and listen to.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by O.Martin a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 3, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Happy but frustrated owner of a Rotel 935BXII/ 930AX /Paradigm Mini MkIII system(yeah, a real entry system!), it is high time I upgraded my system. Undecided between a source or speaker upgrade, I tried both combinations.
On the speaker side, I have been amazed by the new Tantal 515: in that price range, not only is it good, but it is...very good!!! hokked up to my basic Rotel system, it delivered a crisp, clear sound, good imaging and enough bass to keep me shaking for the rest of the day...Genesis "Firth of Fith" sound incredibly full of rythm, details and strong though subtle bass. As far as voices, to any one who can appreciate, it played the first movement of the Stabat Mater performed by J.Browman in a way that shook me up, reversed my guts and left me slightly out of touched with the reality of my basic Rotel system. Okay, I must admit, when moving from Mini MKIII, it is not so hard to be impressed you would say? try again, a whole bunch of similar priced BW, Jamo and MS did not even come close. JMlab, I am a fan since the not so long ago days of the DB19 and they just keep pushing the limits futher of outstandiing sound at mid-entry price.

For the system, I had the chance to listen to the Minium: for roughly a $1000, it did better than the Arcam 8 system and in addition to a very sexy design, it just killed my brain. I don't pretend to be an experienced audiophile so I'll stop short of any further comment.

One last thing: I received tremendous service from Son-Or Filtronique in Montrel: couteous, patient, understanding and this amazing touch of not pushing products and trying to make a sell...at least, not hard enough for me to become obvious. Well done! if you see me back through your door in the next few days, it is because I am buying the 515!

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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