NEAR 50 MEII Floorstanding Speakers

5/5 (9 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Miles Morris a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I'm really not sure of the production year but it was in 1995 or 1996 that I bought them. I still love these speakers. I have an Acurus A250 for power, an Adcom GFP-565 Pre-Amp, H/K TD-4600 Cassette deck, Elite CT-43 Cassette Deck, Velodyn sub, Panamax Max 1000 and a Kenwood KT-592 Tuner, connection mostly MIT. I have just always enjoyed listening to them each and every time I fire them up. I recently bought a New turntable , a Project Debut lll with an Ortofon Red cartridge. After about 20 hours this table really started to sound good...and it just brought back all the reasons I bought these Near 50MEs'. I was really excited back then when I heard they were being made here in Maine after reading a review of them when they were at some electronics show and after listening to them at a place in Portland I just had to have them! There is nothing wrong with them now but after reading about how Bogen bought out and then dumped this line I am concerned about any need for future repair when and if needed! I have often thought if this place was burning...the Nears would be what I would grab first!!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Weber a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I would like to take a moment to enlighten readers about the NEAR 50ME-2. I have enjoyed this web site but have chose not to post because I am an owner of a Audio/Video Design & Installation Group. I'm concerned that some folks may assume that my input may be bias. I have posted a wealth of info on other audio chat boards and have found most readers enjoy the helpful input. I put forth great effort to keep non-bias and will openly admit that there are models in my own product lines that I don't even care for. Since the NEAR 50ME2 is technically discontinued... here goes!

I first opened up as a NEAR dealer with my primary interest being their line of AEL all environment speakers. My dealer agreement no sooner got approved when I got a call from NEAR concerning a customer that owned a pair of 50-ME2's. This customer purchased a pair of these units from another dealer and received them freight damaged. They were returned to NEAR and replaced with two new units that were also received freight damaged. Long story short... this customer was over a month into these things and had never got them to his living room. Needless to say this was getting a little old and he was a bit irritated. NEAR was very concerned about customer satisfaction and was requesting that the customer bring them into our shop for on location service. This was our first transaction with NEAR and I was very happy to do so. We greated the customer with red carpet service and I personally stayed late after hours to repair the units to "like new" condition.

I took the 50-ME2's to the floor and connected them to an Acurus A-250 amplifier with matching Acurus LS-11 pre-amp and ACD-11 CD player. Never hearing the 50-ME2's I didn't know what to expect and actually was more concerned about having them just operate correctly. I put in one of my favorite CD's, sat in the listening chair and was about to experience a surprise. The moment they started to perform I was taken back by what I heard. They just didn't work... THEY WORKED WELL! Without getting redundant, the reviews on here are very acurate. The highs are brilliant with fatigue, the mids are natual & smooth, and the lows are ruler flat down to 28Hz balanced and non boomy. The crossover between drivers is almost seamless, the imaging is excellent, soundstaging was great, there were new new subtleties and nuances that have previously been undiscovered. In there price range and class... they were NEAR Perfect.

Shortly after my new reguard for NEAR HiFi, came the news of the Bogen purchase of the company. Although the purchase was to be in the interest of NEAR, I had a feeling it was in the interest of Bogen. Turns out Bogen was the least bit interested in HiFi and wanted NEAR for their AEL and CAL product lines. Bogen soon terminated all HiFi NEAR products. This came as an utter disappointment to many. It is not everyday that I find a product that is reasonably priced, offers exceptional performance and is backed by enthusiasts that care abut their customers. All this spells VALUE to me. My short experiences as a NEAR dealer was a pleasure. I sincerely hope that Bill Kieltyka does not let the best kept secret in HiFi go away forever. It would be a breath of fresh air to see the NEAR family of HiFi rise again.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Emily Hull a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2000

Bottom Line:   
My husband and I bought the NEAR 20m's last year after auditoning comparable B&W's, Paradigm's, and Energy's. We couldn't believe the quality of these bookshelves. Recently, we'd been discussing the future of our audio/home theater system and decided that at some point we would end up with NEAR all around. However, while looking up reviews of the 50's, we found out that the line was being discontinued due to the company being purchased. So we immediately contacted the President/owner of NEAR by e-mail and inquired about these and a Jib (center channel). Fortunately, he had a few cabinets left and we were quickly on a day trip to Maine to pick up our newly built speakers. As soon as we got home, we set them up. We moved our 20m's to the rear and brought in the 50mII's for the front. Running them with a Marantz CD67 SE and an Anthem Integrated 2, all I could say is "WOW"!! These speakers are phenomenal!! They produce just the right amount of bass without being boomy and their mid- and high-ranges are great. Joan Osborne's baritone voice sounded fabulous, as did Tori Amos' piano (and her awesome voice). Fiona Apple's bass has never sounded clearer. Everything from Tower of Power to Indigo Girls now sound "right". Even 20 year old ABBA sounded great. Paradigm and B&W speakers both sound great, but the 50MII's sound that much better all around, no concessions. If you're in the $2000 and up market for high end floor standing speakers, find them and audition them. If you don't think you want to pay that much, audition them anyway, you may change your mind. Besides, if you contact Bill Kieltyka at NEAR (the man who designs and builds them), you may be able to get one of the last pairs at a discounted price (we got ours for $1600). He is looking to restart the line on his own and I'm sure with a little support, he just may be able to. Contact him at Bkieltyka@Bogen.com. As for a rating, you just can't get any better from anything at this price point, and I'm not sure you could beat them at a higher price point...5 stars.

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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 john hewitt a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 14, 1999

Bottom Line:   
These speakers are amazing and largely undiscovered. All metal drivers without spiders, ARD technology, and a design which is focused directly at the principal of musical accuracy, the me50II has more going for it than any other reasonably priced speaker I can think of. Its the stealth fighter of speakers. So after recently discovering their uncertain future with Bogen, today, I put a deposit on the latest pair of rosewood 50meII's at a friends store. This is happening after a year of straying from my original pair of 50me's by way of the Von Schweikert VR4 (the original juggernaut - thinking I wanted/needed another 9hz of LF air-pumpy extension).

The VR4's throw up a huge soundstage with good depth(like the me50), and have a nicely relaxed and palatable presentation (colored? BUT.. BUT... compared the me50(mkI), they can't even approach them in terms of speed and super-tight LF response. The me50's also do an amazing job in their ability to reveal equipment changes (ie cables). Buying these speakers makes trying out other equipment at home a very enlightening experience. I honestly can't easily tell the difference in cable changes with the VR4's, but the NEAR's will knock you over the head. The me50's are truthful speakers.. and this is with the older enclosures, older drivers, older crossover, and NO teknasonics! The newest drivers also look very interesting.. no dustcap in the center, just three very clean looking, extremely stiff and lightweight metal domes ready to do nothing but move fast at the drop of an electron.

I have also listened to the following, but in the dealer with other equipment: Thiel CS3.6 (Heavier, more expensive), Dunlavy SCIII (too large, with less LF extension), Joseph Audio RM22si(not as dynamic, less LF extension), Merlin VSM's(same as Josephs, expensive), Ariel 10T's (much more expensive, and less resolved?), Meadowlark Shearwater (not quite as resolved, but good for the money).

Go out and try to audition these speakers before its too late!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott Davis a

Date Reviewed: December 1, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Not a review, but an announcement. These speakers are available by special order. They are making a limited production run now, 12/1/99. Otherwise, availability may be limited. NEAR was acquired by Bogen Communications, and they are taking the company towards professional sound reinforcement and away from home audio. Bill Kieltyka is trying to restart the line. If an editor of The Absolute Sound uses these personally, you would think there would be enough people interested to keep the line going. Bill's email is bkieltyka@bogen.com

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Product model year:   1999




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