If I had to pick the PR-1s' immediately outstanding quality, it would be the midrange. Boy is it sweet! Female voice is absolutely stunning. On Lucinda Williams' World Without Tears [Lost Highway, CD 170355, 2003], Lucinda's voice stood out from the mix and was scaringly real, with natural sibilants and accurate vocal textures. Lucinda's poignant reflections on love, life and relationships were all the more touching and communicated with heightened emotion by the Falcons' glorious midband.Click here for the full review
I have auditioned the Avantgarde Duos and the Kochel K300 horns (not in direct comparison), and I can say that compared to the PR4s they possess a very fatiguing sound. The PR4s sound a lot smoother and more natural in the top end, and possess a more liquid midrange.The bottom end is tight, and always in control, unlike the Avantgarde Duos in particular there is no bloat in the midbass. And the speakers are a lot easier to set up and image superbly. I Have friends who sold their Avantgardes because no manner how much effort they put into placement, they could not get the speakers to image properly! They look fantastic and have all the benefits of horns without they harsh top end, and are a lot closer to full range!
I only had a brief audition of PSC Audio's PR4s but they left a lasting impression. They are a striking pair of speakers, and despite their imposing size, they are also very attractive. But what strikes one most about these speakers is their extraordinary speed and lack of compression.Even with budget equipment, these speakers really sing. They are fast and musical, and when listening to the CD recording of Eva Cassidey live at Blues Alley they conveyed the energy of the performance more than any speaker I've heard before.The PR4s seem to have almost limitless dynamics yet at the same time do not display the colouration that haunts many other horn-loaded designs.I also got a chance to hear the prototype of the PR1, the entry level speaker in the range. Though the prototypes had a lovely warm midrange and hefty bass, they lacked the clarity and dynamics of their bigger brothers. The good news is though that based on customer feedback the production version of the PR1 is going to utilise many of the discoveries made in producing the PR4 and may come close to it in performance, but at a much lower price. Can't wait to hear what it sounds like.If your taste in music leans towards the recording of live performances, and if you're looking for a pair of speakers that will transport you to the time and place of the original recording, then you really ought to give PSC Audio's PR4s a try. You won't be disappointed.
I think that my existing setup is pretty good - Vacuum State electronics modified Sony SACD player, Sonic Frontiers SFC-1 push-pull integrated tube amp, Acoustic Energy AE-2 monitors, but the addition of the PR-1s to my setup highlighted the deficiencies of my AE-2s.I thought that the ribbon tweeters on the PR-1s might have been a bit bright, but that wasn't the case. They were smooth and detailed without a hint of harshness, unlike the aluminium dome tweeters on my AE-2s.I also thought that the horn-loaded bass on the PR-1s could be boomy and a bit honky, but the bass was a revelation. It was extended, fast, well-defined and musical. At times I thought that it would get too big on me, but it never did, it was always well-controlled and just right for my room.What surprised me most was the PR-1s ability to 'disappear' . These are not small speakers yet they possess all the qualities of good monitors. In fact they surpass my monitors in their ability to separate the different elements of the music across a coherent soundstage.When you add to that their efficiency, stable load and attractive appearance, you end up with a pretty good speaker, especially for tube enthusiasts like myself.I've heard a lot of very good and very expensive speakers recently (though expense and quality don't necessarily go hand in hand), the PR-1s in the right setup would be more than a match for many of them.
Mark and I had our first audition in my system of the PR3 which as you probably know has the Fountek tweeter. To my ears the PR3 has a much more balanced sound than the PR1. The high's were smooth and relaxed thus allowing one to get into the music without fearing an attack of "digititis". We felt in fact that the treble could now be adjusted to allow a tiny bit more extension , something Mark feels would be very easy to do. The transition from bass to midrange was seamless. As this is a small speaker bass extension was limited but with the addition of a purpose built woofer unit or just a subwoofer the speaker would go full range very nicely indeed.I feel that this speaker has great possibilities both in Highend audio as well as surround sound/ home theatre.After the adjustment to the crossover on the tweeter.....The speaker is now significantly improved in terms of overall balance. It is now smooth and transparent with an inviting midrange. When coupled with a subwoofer, the audio image is significantly enhanced and widened. The combination then competes with significantly larger and more expensive speakers. The PR3 therefore presents itself as a very versatile speaker, being able to acquit itself equally well in a audiophile system or a highend home theatre system.
I have had the listening pleasure of the WHT PR1 for nearly a year now. In that time it has become my music reference and the Foundation of my home theatre. I have mated the PR1's with a pair of audion monoblock 300B silver nights. At only 18 watts each, these easily drive the speakers to the loudest listening levels I could imagine. I have found the sound to be smooth, yet highly detailed. At 70 pounds each its not surprising that the sound is focused with superb imaging. My benchmark for any speaker is its abilty to retrive detail from recordings.At 96db efficient these speakers excel in this area. Listening to some of my favorite records, Roger waters "Amused to Death" and the Coryells on Chesky records, I could make out the space of the room, with delicate reverbs and delays being revealed.The bass response in wondefull, extremely fast and deep, and very musical. I haven't had to hook up my subwoofer for home theatre as I have found the PR1's more than capable of filling a room with a full range cinema sound. A very satisfying full range speaker with a smooth high end, detailed midrange and tight fast bass.
A PERSPECTIVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE.
My name is Paul DiGiacomo "DC". Being the owner and operator of a small recording and mastering studio in Manly, N.S.W. I get to see and hear a lot of interesting musical projects, who by difficult forces of nature want to create something unique sonically or just reproduce what they have already recorded giving it that extra tweak along the way.In the environment that I work in, I have made no modifications to the control room apart from a few drapes hanging haphazardly to soak up reflections here and there.And it is for this reason I rely heavily on my speakers (all used as near field monitors) to let me know what I'm hearing, for as we all know perceptions can vary wildly on this particular subject.I have been up to this point more than happy with my combination of Genelec, 1 029 A's (with sub rarely used) AR-18's (modified) and Sony T.V. monitor speakers (nicked from an ailing t.v. set).Until one day one of the WHT people comes around to the studio with a set of WHT PR1's for me just to try out. I started by saying Hi Fi speakers are great but in a studio environment we need accuracy, not enhancement etc etc, to which he nodded his head and concurred and then asked if we could set them up and try them. I brought up a track, sort of bossa nova dance hybrid plenty of percussion, double bass, acoustic pianos etc, well the sound, is this what I've always dreamed of, accuracy, music, colour.I kept a poker face.The WHT's were well balanced, producing all the details I knew were in there, but was having difficulty hearing on the other monitors and speakers.The reverbs and highs were really extended, while the mid-range had plenty of detail and balanced well with the high end, but for me the biggest winner was the BASS, which wasn't huge and overwhelming as one would generally expect from floor standing loudspeakers. It Sounded Like Bass.The PR1 Bass differs from the typical bass sound I've heard previously in other speakers.
As a studio bassist but still actively working as a live bass player, I've always realised that the bass notes I was hearing on other Hi Fi speakers were muddy and not well defined, and were never really that close to the live sound of the bass.I guess I look at these things from a different perspective than most of the typical audiophiles, but in 99% of speakers I have auditioned, the "Bass" I hear is "Hi Fi Bass" and that is not the same as bass. The Hi Fi bass does not exist in the real live or studio situation but seems to be a simulation to satisfy our craving for bass.Probably the simplest way for me to explain the differences between Hi Fi and Bass is to give you an example which you can experience yourself.If you happen to live or be in the vicinity of a jazz club or cocktail bar, then make the trip down when a jazz trio are playing with a double bass.Listening to the double bass you will notice that notes played on lower strings have more difficulty reaching the audience with the same volume than the 2 higher strings, and in most cases the lower strings are 1 or 2 db softer than the 2 higher strings. "Just the way it is" in the laws of physics.Now play a recording featuring double bass on a Hi Fi speaker and the lower strings appear louder which was not the case with the PR1's where the double bass sound was the most accurate I have ever heard.The best bass mixes I can achieve in my studio have been with a set of AR 18's (with modifiedenclosure), which have been known to be "bass shy". So the PR1's could be a definite tour deforce in this studio, please can I have some.
In came a set of PR 3's small monitors with matching sub woofer. Now as a rule I have never had a lot of luck with this combination, because the cross over from the bass end of the speaker to the sub gives a overlapping effect. This was definitely not the case with the PR 3's, I got it all with this combination, this, mids and bass (not 2 basses from different areas) just Bass.The sub woofer worked so effectively, the sound and clarity of the signal was astounding, add to this the PR 3's beautiful detail and sweetness of sound, there it was, all I have dreamt of, plus they looked fantastic.The end of this story reads, me putting aside money for the WHT PR 3's & Sub Woofer, whilst also trying something else like " Dear Santa, haven't spoken in a while but........................