Meadowlark Audio Shearwater Floorstanding Speakers

Shearwater

Floor standing 2 way

User Reviews (38)

Showing 1-10 of 38  
f155mph   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 29, 2004]
Strength:

Everything

Weakness:

The grills are a little cheesy.

If I can only use one word to describe these Shearwater HotRod speakers, the word would be awesome! Thanks Pat for creating such a great sounding pair of speakers. I got a great deal on Ebay since the pair was damaged cosmetically. These speakers are open, airy, clear, dynamic, and simply wonderful. Currently they are hooked up a Yamaha receiver, which I know it totally don’t do justice to these speakers. But even with the receiver the speakers sound amazing. I can’t even imagine what they will sound like with a nice tube amp. Originally I brought the speakers as the front mains for home theater since they were so cheap and I have a dedicated two channels system. But upon listening to these speakers I was totally mesmerize by the great sound they put out. I think they are worth every penny even at MSRP. The amount of bass these speakers put out is nothing short of a miracle. I have listen to many high-end systems in the past few months including Wilson’s Watt Puppies, Revel Salon, Martin Logan Statement E2, Thiels, Meridian, and other manufacturers. I think the Meadowlark are great bang for the buck speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
prisoners   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 16, 2004]
Strength:

Fantastic mids; vocals and stringed music are silky smooth. Crisp, but never harsh highs, and plenty of bass with no "mud". The beautiful midrange can distract you from the clean, taut bass; but it IS there.

Weakness:

I wouldn't call it a weakness, but the "grill sock" thingy needs to go. Leave it off.

These are the Hot Rods, and were a demo pair. I really like these! I was looking for a pair of floorstanders to match with my Jolida 502A so they had to be efficient and sensitive. It turns out that these are a GREAT match for tube amps

Similar Products Used: Auditioned many others for about 8 months before buying- Klipsch Reference line was nice, but not quite there. Paradigm Reference was not even close. Joseph Audio was excellent but a lot more $. System Audio (SA-1250) sounded very, very good but didn't have the room-filling feel that the Meadowlarks had. B+W Matrix were great, but not for my 50 watt tube amp. Same with the ML series.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Porky   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2003]
Strength:

Price. Smooth detail w/ no harshness. Excellent mid-range and better than average bass extension for a small speaker. Bi-wired.

Weakness:

Difficult room placement. Not the best for heavier music. Sounds great w/ heavier Porcupine Tree but loses intensity when exposed to anything much heavier.

I purchased these speakers used and therefore did not have to endure the apparantly dreaded break-in period. What a pleasant suprise these speakers have become. Great imaging and detail without the brightness you would probably get by stepping down a notch to a lessor quality speaker. With at least decent amplification, the bass has nice extension. They come ready for bi-wiring which makes them ideal for running 2 seperate power amps if you wish. I experimented w/ this and was pleased with the results. The bass began to tighten up and "sing" more. Many claim that these speakers sound better w/ tubes. I have found that they sound exceptional w/ solid state as well. They are indeed, however, fussy when it comes to positioning in your listening area. I had to pull mine 3.5 feet away from the back wall before the sound would open up. I purchased a sub-woofer to round out the bottom end before I discovered how sensitive they were to positioning. I found the right position and have not had the sub on for 3 mos. (What a waste of $)The selling point of these speakers is the mid-range. Best mid-range in a 2-way at this price I have heard. Acoustic guitar and keys sound fantastic. Solid construction, good looks, good price (especially used) and most importantly, great sound. I see no reason for me to upgrade anytime soon. I think I will focus more on the electronics. Other equipment: Rega Planet 2000 B&K PT3 2 B&K Reference 2220 DH Labs interconnects and speaker cables

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jk121764   AudioPhile [May 14, 2003]
Strength:

warmth, imaging, detail, easy to drive (I use 8 watts), build quality

Weakness:

grille sock is awkward, but I don't think anyone uses them

Wow. After finally fine tuning my front end components to where I want it I needed some speakers to match the quality. I've been thru quite of few speakers and this time did more research before I bought them used, which is probably better anyways because they apparently take very long to break-in. Rather than go into a long winded sound analysis, lets just say this will probably my last speaker purchase for years to come. My Shearwaters are the hotrod version. Associated equipment: transport- AudioNote CDT-Zero DAC- MSB Goldlink III with T-1000 Power peamp- WrightSound VLA12A amp- CanaryAudio 300B sets interconnects- TMC

Similar Products Used: Infinity Overture 2's, Hale T-3's, Jamo Concert 8's, Axiom 80MTI's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Bruno Wichnowski   Audio Enthusiast [May 06, 2003]
Strength:

Wonderful imaging and detail. Easy to drive and a pleasure to listen to.

Weakness:

Somewhat laid back but a minor weakness at best.

Great speaker that's very easy to drive and sounds fantastic! Nice bottom-end to it and very warm, detailed mid-range. Highs are smoother than the metallic dome of my previous B&W 805s and are much more "there".

Similar Products Used: Proac D15, Vandersteen, B&W N804,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tony C   AudioPhile [Nov 30, 2002]
Strength:

Ability to draw a listener into the music without thinking about what equipment is producing the music.

Weakness:

Some may find the bass a bit lacking because the Meadowlarks don't have the usual boom that passes for bass in most speakers.

The Meadowlark Shearwater is a superb loudspeaker. I think it does everything a good home speaker should do. The Meadowlark draws you into the music. There is no sense of artificiality that so many speakers exhibit. I find myself listening to music for hours on end. My pair was a demo pair so I didn't have to go through the usual break in period that is required for most purchasers to get the Meadowlarks to sound their best. The Meadowlark Shearwater was not the kind of speaker system I thought I would like. My main speaker system for the past 27 years has been a large 3-way JBL Pro horned system with 15 inch woofers that could move the room. Loud volume, if desired was no problem. I didn't think a small floorstanding 2-way with a 7 inch woofer would satisfy me. I was wrong. The Meadowlark bass is very satisfiying though it doesn't have the room shaking ability of speakers with large coned woofers. The mid range smoothness and clarity, along with the crystal clear highs more than make up for any dynamic shortcomings in the bass. In fact, if I wasn't used to listening to a large horned system I would not notice any shortcomings in dynamic range. I like the bass response of the Meadowlark because it is fast, and very articulate. Bass lines in music are very easy to follow. The lack of bass boom so evident in almost every speaker I have auditioned over the last number of years was very appealing to me. Room placement is very important to obtain the best sound from the Meadowlarks. They like to be placed well away from room boundaries. I found that small position changes had an important effect on the sound. Position the Meadowlarks too close to the end wall and boomy sound results. Taking the time for proper placement is well worth the time. The advice in the owners manual should be heeded. Some reviewers have indicated that the Meadowlarks sound best with jazz or small acoustic groups but I find them good with all kinds of music. I listen to ZZ Top as well as Vivaldi. I expect to enjoy my Meadowlarks for many more years.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dirty_Samsen   AudioPhile [Sep 24, 2002]
Strength:

Clear, detailed sound.

Weakness:

Only a 2 way, not enough lower freequencies. If used in a home theater configuration, tough to find a matching amp. The detail of these speakers makes them verry sensitive to sound distortioin / clipping especially if used with underpowered amps.

I use it in a home theater configuration with Petrel as center. Any one looking for a matching amp to these speakers, I recommend Powermaster 6200 from EAD / Alpha Digital Tech. This was recommended to me by one of Meadowlark engineers and I must admit they were right. Increadible sound, power, dynamics, quantom warp metafolding of multidimensional acustical planes (uhh yah). Does not integrate well with Bryston amplifiers due to their lack of power. Every thing else is gravy, love the sound, fantastic musical reproduction, makes your ears melt. With a realy powerfull amp makes a great home theater sys. System: Alpha Digital Tech / EAD Powermaster 6200 (Amp) BNK Ref 30 (Pre Amp) Petrel (Center) Shearwater Hot Rods (Fronts) Axiom (Rears) Velodyne 15HGS (Sub, yah baby) Available for many intercourses (Unrelated)

Similar Products Used: InfinitySystems Overtures
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Aaron   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 20, 1999]
Strength:

Smooth, non fatiquing

Weakness:

A little heavy on the midrange

Now that I have listened to these speakers for a month I can give a more accurate review. I am bi-amping these speakers with older solid state electronics. I am also under the impression that I still have not overcome the breakin period. First thing- I had to decrease the tweeter resistor per the designer by one ohm to get a little more treble out of these. They are laid back, slightly dark speakers. Incredable sound stage and imaging. Bass is just right. Midrange is a little thick although I have been told that that will diminish after the protracted breakin period.I do think they are a very good rock speaker. Worth a listen.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Rob   Audiophile [Jul 01, 2000]
Strength:

detail, speed, volume, lack of color, correct timing, realism, absolute quality, value

Weakness:

none

I choose the Hot Rod version and have not heard the standard version so I can not add any value in comparing the two. In my selection of the Shearwaters I reviewed several speakers from other manufactures. Comparative products ranged from slightly less expensive to considerably more expensive. The Shearwaters beat them all hands down. These are unbelievable value. I am amazed how loud these speakers can get and not distort. I feel that I am listening to music as it was recorded with no color added by the enclosure or limitations of the crossover or speaker components. Several have commented on the break-in. Personally I find it a joy to listen to something for hundreds of hours and it get better and better. I can't say enough. Driving the Shearwaters is a Bel Canto SETi40 integrated amp with Naim CDS II CD. The combination is magic.

Similar Products Used: My speaker experience is limited to Meadowlark, Apogee (Mini Grand), B&W, Merlin, Naim
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jim   an Audiophile [Mar 18, 1999]

I got a pair of Shearwaters from Bob at Avalon Audio about 2 months ago,and I have to say this was the most satisfying piece of equipment that I have ever purchased.I use them with Naim electronics = Cd3,72 preamp,Hicap power supply,and 140 amp,and after many years of spending money I can finally just enjoy the music.The best way I can describe them is that they make me listen to the music and not the equipment,sometimes for several enjoyable hours at a time.Sure you can get better treble and deeper Bass with other mostly more expensive speakers,but the Shearwaters communicate the emotion of the music and thats what it is about.If you demo these make sure they are broken in because they change drastically after about 200 hours.When you find a piece of equipment that makes you stop thinking about the sound and start enjoying the music buy it because they are very rare.Like the coffee cup that Meadowlark sends it's customers says "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Swing"......Jim

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 38  

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