Hey, I am an audio freak and have heard them all. I was first introduced to these babies by my sister when her father in law bought them for her as a birthday gift; she knew nothing about speakers; she just liked how they looked. So one Friday evening, I took with me mu Pink Floyd CD "The Wall" and fired it up.
I was stunned at the clean, rich sound and the unique detail. It was only then, I checked the brand...Joseph Audio RM25si!
This speaker does everything right; tight bass, just enough mids and crisp highs. it's one of the most balanced speaker I have ever auditioned.
There are many great speakers out there but the RM gives you just a little bit more because of the special crossover unit.
Over a period of four months, I went through about 20 other speakers around the 1.5k-2.5k range. and then heard these. I always wanted to audition them since a friend of mine mentioned it was what he had at home, but they aren't widely distributed. I accidentally ran into them at Holm Audio near Chicago (wonderful people, by the way) when auditioning a pair of Triangle speakers. I started with the Rm22's and was fairly impressed, but the Rm25's where breathtaking.
Over the course of the four months, I had never been able to feel comfortable spending that kind of money on any of the speakers. And then the Rm25's came along. They were right. not perfect, but right. Unlike every other speaker I listened to in my price range, I couldn't come up with any one quality about them that I would be unhappy with. which was quite a feat considering the others I had auditioned.
I was always a little skeptical about how good these could really sound due to the Infinite Slope Crossover idea. After all, my favorite sounding speaker was an Eggleston that didn't crossover the mid AT ALL. I realized that every bit of stuff you read with manufactures complimenting their own product is all marketing hype.
Here's a list of subjective thoughts on the speaker:
very respectable and firm low end extension
excellent integration between drivers
wonderfully forgiving, yet accurate tweeter
outstanding depth and image
an unmatched (at the price point)"musical" quality
Now the downside: they need space. I recently moved and the room I am in now is much smaller, more reflective, and very rectangular. Far from ideal. Now, the low end is a little too present, and the soundstage is smashed. Can I hold this against the speakers? No. Any speaker of this size and response would do the same. Some more so, Others slightly less. I only mention this because they are large speakers that will handle smaller rooms with slightly more ease. Let me put it this way. If I were going to stay in the house I'm in now for more than two years, I would keep the speakers and extend the house to make a bigger room.
On a side note, they do extremely well without monster amplifiers. My Musical Fidelity amp (900 used) is dual mono, 130w a side. When it's at 50%, the speakers are "make your ears twitch loud" and just as clean and dynamic as any other volume. The finish and build quality is not as extreme as some of the "exotic furniture with drivers in it" companies, but they are very well made. They also seem to be a little more picky about really good speaker cable than most. So, alot a slightly larger chunk of the budget for that, and your ears will thank you.
Do yourself a favor, go use YOUR ears. everyone's are different, as are their opinions of what what it is they're hearing. Do what you can to find a dealer, and audition some Josephs. If you get the chance, listen to the Pearls. You'll know Jeff Joseph can play with the big boys any day.
I have only had these speakers for 2 weeks and was going to wait to write my reveiw but could't. I have wanted these speakers for about 2 years now but couldn't come up with the coin. After visiting sound city about 2 dozen times in the last 2 years to listen to the rm 25's, they had a pair for sale as a demo in rosewood. After begging and pleading with my wife about how its now or never she decided to get them to me for christmas. I said its now or never, these speakers in rosewood go for about $3700.00. I got them for $2550.00 for a pair about 4-5 months old. I told her about all the money we would be saving if we hurry and purchased now. I offered many things to her in trade, can't list. Well needless to say I own a pair, Merry Christmas to me. It's the best present I have ever recevied. Any way on to the reveiw. They already came full of sand, one less thing to do, back still hurts though from carrying into house. Hooked everything up next day and fired up my system. Total price of system about $8600.00. I listen to rock, jazz, classical, almost everything except for country, presently own about 1200 cd's. Well let me just day this, WOW, they sounded better in my living room then they did in the listening room. I cant't tell you how many cd's I went through, each one sounded better then the last, tube amp starting to warm up of course. I wont get into all the technical BS everyone else writes, you can read that in other reveiws or in a magazine. These speakers are so wonderful and musical that I defy you to find a better sounding speaker for under $4000.00. I cant even place these speakers were they should go and they still sound great well off axis, not picky about equitment either. If youre in the market for speakers in thies price range, you owe it to yourself to demo thise speakers. For 2 years now I have listened to a dozen speakers in this price range, B&W, Paradign, Jamo, Kef, Boiston Accoustics to name a few and nothing, I mean nothing sounds as musical and as real as these Joseph Audio's, also Jeff Joseph is a hell of a nice guy if you need to talk to him. Do yourself a favor and go listen to these speakers, you wont regret it.
I've been trying forever to come with something to say about these speakers, but every time I do something upstream, the speakers reflect the change. There is a certain "house sound" that every speaker has, but it's extremely polite in this case and, unlike some speakers like the Sonus Faber, it isn't pronounced by any means. Clarity is what I would pen for the sound, but not like the Theil speakers, which always sounded "etchy" to me.
When I had the 22's, I was in a different room, and had just put together a very nice but not "audiophile" system. With the addition of a BAT VK5i amp and some cable upgrades, the sound was spectacular. It seemed to exist all around, in front of, in back of, to the sides of, the speakers. Incredible 3D effect with great positioning and air around each instrument. I was in love, finally, with my stereo. The only down side was that the 22's had only so much bass. Don't get me wrong, if you set them up right they can put out the bass in spades, but a 6.5" woofer is a 6.5" woofer, no matter how great it is.
Then I upgraded to the 25's to get that last little bit of bass and maybe a tingle cleaner high end. I sent the 25's off and... oy... money problems. Had to ditch my DAC to pay for the upgrade to the 25's. No problem, I was moving then anyway to a much bigger and better room. I was pumped.
Get to the new place and set up the speakers and... blah! What the heck happened? OK, maybe it's the missing DAC. Or they aren't set up right. So, I begin to tweak my butt off to no avail. The room sucks, the power here really sucks (I'm right next to a huge hospital complex), and I'm really wishing I hadn't moved.
Spin forward a year, upgrade the interconnects significantly, upgrade the DAC to an even better model, and add a reference-level audio rack and put a little power conditioning on the line. Clarity in spades, but harsh and where is the bass? Where is the "thump"? Where is the sparkling highs and the air? Where is the friggin soundstage? How can I be missing all of this with all of these upgrades?
Finally I begin to play around with the room and do some very basic room treatments. Ah... not great, but acceptable. Hints of the former sound. Man, who would have thought that the room could make THIS much of a difference? Certainly not me.
A little more playing with the room acoustics... better, still unbalanced but better.
And... this is where I am now. I need about a grand or two of room treatments, or I can move and take a chance that the next room is better than this one. Probably won't be, so I now have to find out how I'm going to afford to doctor up my room the way it needs to be doctored.
Upgrade this... then you have to upgrade that... then you have to tweak this... This "hobby" is an exercise in frustration and spending money, I think.
A note to everyone out there: Spend at least 1/4 of your stereo allowance on room treatments first, then 1/4 on power cleanup, loudspeaker cabling and interconnects. Use the rest for a very modest system with stand-mounted speakers, an integrated amp, and a nice little CD player like a Rega or something. I guarantee it will sound better than what I have now at about half the outlay.
So, what do I think about the 25's? I have no clue. I don't think I've ever really heard them because everything else has been holding them back or swamping them with flutter echo and the like.
Perhaps one day I'll actually hear what the 25's sound like and then I'll report that here. For now, I will go on what I remember the 22's could do with a proper setup and imagine what that would be like with the 25's. Ahhh... nirvana. Wherefore art thou now?
Associated (guilty) equipment: Sony DVP-S7000 DVD Player Illuminations D-60 digital cable Lexicon MC-1 HT/Audio preamp AudioQuest Python Interconnects Plinius SA-100 amp Homemade CAT5 loudspeaker cables Joseph Audio RM25si loudspeakers Polycrystal 5-shelf rack Various Black Diamond Cones and such PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Plus other stuff used for Home Theater Various cheap home-grown room treatments (One day I'll get around to making JR's bass traps)