SoundLab A1 Floorstanding Speakers

A1

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
John   AudioPhile [Mar 31, 2013]

These speakers are simply the best I have ever heard. I have no listener fatigue and cannot fault the sound in any way. Music simply sounds real.

I have been a music lover and audio equipment enthusiast for over 40 years and have and have owned literally hundreds of speakers of all types and prices. With the acquisition of these speakers a few years ago my search for speakers has ended.

My A1s were upgraded by Soundlab in 2005 to the current state of the art (except for PX panels which could not be fitted in this model). They work very well with my Sunfire 300x2 Load Invariant amplifier.

They only downsides are the price, the size (huge), the difficult amplifier load, an the WAF.



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kelley   AudioPhile [Oct 20, 2002]
Strength:

Dispersion -- sounds great throughout the house.

Weakness:

WAF. One can maximize WAF by using silk prints over the spandex speaker cloth in some attractive pattern.

I have had my soundlab A-1 speakers for over a year, and I listen to them virtually every day for some time. I am very, very happy with them, and they represent my best audio purchase. They sound wonderful, and the sound never palls like some products. I have purchased products in the past that sounded fine, but ultimately resulted in listener fatigue due to some mid-range peak or some other flaw. Once one recognizes the flaw, it is hard to ignore. So far the SLs have no such flaws. I go from SACD to a transformer based preamp and then to Wolcott monoblocks.

Similar Products Used: compared to live classical music and to electrostatic headphones like jecklin floats and stax
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kevin Heine   an Audiophile [Apr 08, 1998]

I have found nirvana! The SoundLab A1's are the best speakers I have ever heard. Now that I have that rave out of my system, here are the associated components: amp- Audio Research V140's, Pre-Amp- Audible Illusions 3A,Cd- MAS Transport, Wadia 12 DAC, TT/Arm?cartrige- Rega Planar 3/RB300/Benz Micro, Cables- Tara, Kimber. My A1's have the new toridal transformer and the upgraded Cardas binding posts. Now I know what Dick Olshner and Gordon Holt have been raving about all these years. If you wanted one word to describe the A1's, it would be seamless. With no crossovers or multiple drivers between you and the music you get a clear picture of the original recording venue. Bas down to 25HZ (in my room) and a high end that goes on forever, the new transformer boosts dynamics and the audio extremes. Speaking of extremes I get 110db (in my room, and only for brief periods, need to keep my tin ears from turning to brass) of clean music, no trains or electrical storms here (or hear). A soundstage so realistic you want to walk up and thank Sonny Rollins for the fine performance he's just provided you. Layered depth from here (or hear, ok it's corny but I couldn't resist onre more time, the last, I promise). The A1's hit all of my hot buttons, tone, pace, and realistic soundstage. I recently had the opportunity to compare the A1's to the Wilson Grand Slam's at a NYC Audiophile meeting, it was no comparison, for a quarter of the price you get better tone (the shrill top end may have been due to the Spectrel Electronics), in the dealers room the soundstage was only average, in pace they were equals. The only caveat is that you will need to drive them with tubes, I auditioned the Krell KS250 (no longer in production) and the BEL's amps, the high end became hard and the sound was less palpable ( I had to get it in here once), even my wife noticed the difference, to her it sounded less "real". So if your looking at mega buck speakers the ($13,700) A1's are a steal, you need to audition the A1's before you buy. I'm sure Roger West would be glad to refer you to a local dealer.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Philip Greenspun   Audiophile [Dec 04, 2000]
Strength:

Natural sound. Low distortion. Attractive understated appearance.

Weakness:

Enormous room-dividing size.

You can't get a more accurate loudspeaker than a full-range electrostat. The Sound Labs have great dispersion. You can walk anywhere in the room and still hear high frequencies. This makes them superior to most planar speakers. The speakers aren't very efficient. I use a 100-watt class A amplifier and it clips a bit on piano solos. A 400-watt amp would be better. Tube amps aren't a great match for these speakers.

The speakers sound great even in a small room (I had them in a 12x14' room at first) but they are physically huge (6.5'x3'). Your spouse or decorator may well suggest a sofa instead of a pair of huge speakers...

(I wrote a full review at http://philip.greenspun.com/materialism/stereo )

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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