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 Imagination at High End Show in Warsaw

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BeitragVerfasst am: Di Nov 15, 2005 12:20 pm    Imagination at High End Show in Warsaw Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

here links to reviews of this High End Show:

http://www.audiostereo.pl/forum_wpisy.html?temat=22471&p=4#k

its in Polish!


Zuletzt bearbeitet von M am Di Apr 22, 2008 1:07 pm, insgesamt 2-mal bearbeitet

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Marek
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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Nov 16, 2005 11:26 pm    Re: Imagination at High End Show in Warsaw Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Hi All

After two days of high end show and the whole Monday of carrying packages I still feel tired. The show was open for visitors from 10 am till 8 pm on Saturday and till 6 pm on Sunday. Our room nr 402 was really over crowded on Saturday. New Imaginations _2 attracted a lots of listeners. People talked how close is new version to a 3000 Euro Focal version. People could not believe the price of IMG_2. What I heard at the show was that most of audiophiles were really shocked by the performance. Together with two subwoofers we obtained very sweet and warm tonal balance. Audionet electronic gear made the IMG_2 sound exceptionally clean and precise. One of the listener called new IMG_2 price revolution. I will be writing more on the subject of new IMG_2 next week. This weekend I am with my family. My personal feeling: Manfred Zoller is real genius in loudspeaker designing. He knows something more about the stuff than others.

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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Nov 17, 2005 1:49 am    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Hi Marek,

WOW the pictures really impressed me.... and that you wrote that the people were really shocked by the performance of the IMAGINATION TWO. Yes i agree that Manfred is a real genius in loudspeaker designing yau

I am looking forward for your next writing about the high end show .
Have you`re self a good time with the family!

Greetings Christina

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BeitragVerfasst am: Sa Nov 19, 2005 8:15 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Hello Marek,

I pleases me already very much about your experiences with Imagination 2. I hope you have well got over the fair. I have liked your test of the old Imagination, by the way, very well.

Nice greetings

P.S.How have you connected, actually, the Subwoofer? Which transitional frequency have you used?

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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Nov 23, 2005 5:00 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

PART 1 Imagination_Two at the Audio Show in Warsaw

First I write a few words loudspeakers setup we had.
We shared exhibition room with German high-end brand from Bochum Audionet. They delivered all electronic stuff: power amps, 5.1 processor with some high-tech digital stuff inside and universal DVD-A/SACD player VIPG2.

Room was about 25 sqm, walls covered with soft, thick wallpaper. Whole floor was covered with thick synthetic carpet. Acoustic was quite OK.

We had Imagination_Two with two 11 inch subwoofers from the same line. We connected Img_2 to separate stereo power amp and we had also two big mono power amps for each subs. We used home cinema processor 5.1 to control the signal. We used subwoofer output (0.1 from 5.1) to drive 2 subs with mono signal. Crossover frequency was 55 Hz. Actually we can call this instalation 2.1 stereo. You can get this with any good quality 5.1 home cinema AV receiver and simple cheap stereo power amp.

What sound we obtained? Unbelievable rich in color, full, very warm. We set subs output -2 dB below level of IMG_2. We decided to play subs on the shy side (lower SPL) to avoid room boomines which were quite obvious in rooms of Sobieski hotels.

Many listeners asked what tube amps we had – actually we had powerful solid state amps from Germany. My personal feeling was that the sound was very sweet in treble, open and palpable in midrange. Very far from dryness and coldness, opposite what you call bright analytical, edgy. High quality audiophile recordings (Diana Krall) sounded close to phenomenal. When people asked the price of new IMG_2 and I answered 4200 – people again asked Euro? – and I answered - no, zlotys! (which is 1100 Euro a pair with VAT!). The sound quality was so extraordinary that without any hesitation we could set the price 4000 Euro and nobody can question that! I do really dare to compare Img_2 with triple the price design from B&W. For my taste Img_2 sounds more linear, more homogenous.

Today I write only about the bass. IMG_2 are real ass kicker in low frequency.
I had all Loudspeakers from Manfred Zoller (starting from Focal Imagination up to Monster Solution with 4 Onken mega subs with 13 KX units from Focal).
And I must say that IMG_2 offer the best ratio bass quality / price. Bass of IMG_2s dry, strong and deep and very dynamic. We did a comparison: pure stereo full range signal to IMG_2 and then 55 Hz cut off and below two subs. The difference was so small that many listeners could not hear the extra extension and impact from subs. In my opinion sound with two subs was fuller, richer, more effortless, we could play louder with more headroom in symphonic music. But this pretty normal with added subs.

A pair of IMG_2 have enough capabilities to drive rooms up to 20-24 sqm. It is great speakers for bass lovers, probably the greatest on the market. Easy can rival with up to 5000 Euro designs. As all previous LS from Manfred IMG_2 is a lot of fun to listen to.

Please note, that I am hard core bass fan, and I had 4 Onkens, so for my taste for ultimate slam in bass, I would go for 4 pieces of 11K subwoofers from Imagination line. Two subs are OK for most of home cinema viewers and listeners to movie tracks.
My choice is IMG_2 pure stereo or IMG_2 with 4 subs in bigger rooms (with active x-over in between). My colleague actually said that IMG_2 were much better in bass slammatronic than Focal 5 inch drivers version.
Next piece will be about mids/high/3D soundstage.

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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Nov 23, 2005 5:36 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

nice review, i can agree with your experience.
Honestly i checked the Polish Forum about this years AUDIO SHOW

and I must tell you i liked that picture most of all cool :
Image

find more Audioeqipment pictures here:

http://www.audiostereo.pl/forum_wpisy.html?temat=22471&p=10#k


Zuletzt bearbeitet von M am Do Nov 24, 2005 10:52 am, insgesamt einmal bearbeitet

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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Nov 23, 2005 6:17 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Marek, many thanks for your description.

lol ...and Manfred did not want to believe me that the Imag 2 is a quite fantastic loudspeaker. I prefer them nowadays to the PS and the old Imagination.

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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Nov 23, 2005 9:08 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Do we talk about loudspeakers? I see only the lady with the impishly glance Embarassed
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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Dez 01, 2005 12:27 am    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

PART 2 - Imagination_Two at the Audio Show in Warsaw

When you deal with loudspeakers designed by Manfred, description are more observation instead of criticisms. And as such, there are no drawbacks to be mentioned of Imagination_2.

Imagination_2 immediately make a sense of rightness. Everything sounds properly in place, tonality, dynamic, stereo perspectives. The big surprise was how clean the midrange and highs were. Manfred with his complicated crossover has got rid off any driver’s associated rubbish from its audio band. I was expecting some slight dirt in the sound of tweeter, but how wrong I was. Tweeter was extremely smooth and clean. No sand, no grain with good recordings. Just sweet, liquid, pleasant sounds. Manfred got out 300% possibilities of these drivers. The best way to see what is hidden in IMG_2 was to compare it with any polish speakers at audio show. And I must to tell that some designers here in Poland believe that designing good loudspeakers is to get flat response on axis with 1st order crossover and to use expensive, flashy, trendy high-end drivers. And that’s all. In other designs quickly I can hear lack of midrange, lack of continuity between mids and highs, something like exposed and detached treble, too much bass or no bass. Manfred’s speakers sound like one-way design, point source, you can not hear separate drivers working, the frequency where crossover jumps into.

Probably the most important question is about the result of the comparison of ‘Focal’ Imagination with new ones. 5” Focal version seems filled with more micro-dynamic and micro-details. As one listener at audio show commented, his 5” IMG loudspeakers make more resolution at low level, background of music has more breathing, more tiny changes. But this observation was done by pure audiophile guy, who listens to stereo recordings with more focus on sounds that music itself. At the other side IMG_2 are better balanced overall, with more bass weight. Focal 5” were criticized for lean tonal balance and there were some forwardness between upper mids and low treble. New IMG_2 are more linear, more balanced sounding in the midrange band where human ear is so sensitive.


With IMG_2 you can wind up volume, as high as you like, and the speakers get louder, without tending to be aggressive. Focal-Imagination was not the obvious choice for rock or hip-hop music. Focal version liked classical and jazz music with delicacy. The New ones are more all-round design. The level of distortion /coloration is a way below that normally we encounter at 2 - 3 thousands Euro price level. Breath of bandwidth and dynamic range of IMG_2 is truly exceptional.

The bass is full, without becoming overbearing, beautifully agile and free from overhang. It has great grip and drive, probably the best I’ve heard from any two way design. For shure IMG_2 are not bass-light. Low frequencies are deep, punchy and very fast. I really love that BR alignment.

The soundstage is as good as your CD, the player and the amp, with width and height information. Sound field was rich, full of small sounds creating very big picture in front of listener. Old 5” IMG creates deeper, narrower soundstage, new 7” IMG are more front sounding with wider window into the music. When I played loud CD album of Me’Shell Ndegeocello ‘Peace beyond Passion’ (and she plays very kick in the butt bass lines), I had the feeling I listened to big 3-way system like Evolution. I even would dare to say that IMG_2 are more scary, explosive sounding than Temptation.

This is phenomenally revealing and capable speakers. In terms of transparency to detail, energy, timing and extension it has few peers. Carefully set up and adjusted a pair of IMG_2 can produce a stereo image that hangs in space in front of you, Play any good female voice recordings and you discover that IMG_2 can reproduce singing voices with an unrivaled purity. As I mentioned in previous part, at audio show we had tonal richness and phenomenal palpability of instruments. But we had this special room with wall paper and very accurate electronic. In my private room which is according t some acoustics gurus - over damped (too little reverberation), IMG_2 was a bit dry at midrange, showing slight hardness when I played some mainstream recordings.

The hallmark of the very best speakers is that they highlight and communicate essential differences between source electronics and recordings. And this is what we heard at audio show. Sometimes I had to refuse to play CD records of visitors like Jethro Tull (compressed, small soundstage). And most of the time we played Harmonia Mundi CDs with classical music, Label Bleu (Henri Texier) astonishing recordings and finally ultra pure, clean recordings of baroque music from SACD discs.
This is again “garbage in, garbage out” design. This honesty will not please everyone, but this is what high end is all about. This speakers continued to grow throughout our 2-days show period. If your tastes are more sophisticated, this is an extremely difficult speaker to beat.

Img_2 is a ‘must listen to’ for everyone looking for hifi product with the best price/performance ratio. Especially price of the KIT on German market seems to be greatest bargain. What is hidden behind the Img_2 it is Manfred’s crossover design. Without his ‘know how input’, this raw drivers alone can produce only ‘Bose’ sound.

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BeitragVerfasst am: Do Dez 01, 2005 1:08 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Hey!
Nice review!!
I agree in all points. This speaker is amazing!

But what about the electronics? What do you think, is audionet a great partner for the Imag_2?? Did you tried different electronics with the Imag_2?

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Michael
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Quelle: Phiilips Cd104 tuned by Solidcore (NOS), Vollverstärker NAD C386, Lautsprecher: Klipsch Rf 7 II, Netz: Kachina by Pivane Accoustic über Netzfilter Bada

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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Dez 07, 2005 10:17 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

I think any good electronic is a good partner for IMG_2. I tried the IMG_2 with integrated amp AVI Lab Series from UK and LC Audio power amp from Denmark. I had no time to check it with cheap home cinema stuff like 400 Euro AV receiver. I believe in loudspeakers and room acoustic first.
I do not care about the stuff like Krell, Levinson or Burmester.
If we score on a scale of 0-10 the difference in sound made by various components of a Hi Fi system, cables would score 0.1, electronics 10 and speakers a 100! This is my idea of hifi.
Today I had a call from a customer and he will be buying IMG_2 to join with his Primare system. In January we will be completing full home cinema system of new IMG line, and customer has choosen cheap Pioneer DVD and amplituner.

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BeitragVerfasst am: Mi Dez 07, 2005 11:23 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

nice... do you have new Experience with IMAGINATION hearing them in your own Home? I am interested in woofer description.
Is Subwoofer Bass punchy enough, or what is your statement?


Zuletzt bearbeitet von M am Fr Dez 09, 2005 10:23 pm, insgesamt einmal bearbeitet

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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Dez 09, 2005 10:16 pm    (Kein Titel) Antworten mit ZitatNach oben

Filip keeps IMG_2 in Warsaw, I get it back in January and try it again wits subs.
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