My new speakers - ART Diamonds

Hi all,

After 3 months with arrival of our newborn babygirl and some time at home away from work to also enjoy my new speakers, its time to share back especially to those of you guys that helped me along the journey, incl. Foot Tapper, Bodger and Polarbear.

In short, I was very happy with Kudos Super20 until we move to a new place with a much larger living space. They could not fill the room and sound became bright, as bas/mid lacked in new setting. At same time, I wanted to find a speaker that allows my system to show more of its potential, so time for a major upgrade.

Last time I got speakers, I home demoed 7-8 pair ending with S20. This time, unexpectedly, I had one homedemo, which was simply a slamdunk. I ended up with a very small short-list based on this forum and reviews, as WAF, white color, unfuzzy close-to-wall placement, appearance and size where key to get right. Great speakers I excluded include Kudos Titan (tall dark baffle), Magicos (tall towers), B&W 803d3 (tech-looks), AudioVector SR6 (despite also Danish), Vivid Giya (no way to wife). All of this very subjective, and only because the speakers are very visible in the space where we live our everyday life. I seriously considered Wilson Sabrina (WAF ok), but 1) their load seems more for larger AMPs, and 2) they seem to work best away from the wall. I also considered that speakers with 8' are special to me, and always liked speakers with SEAS units, e.g. Audionote and my old Snells. Thus, I was very intrigued by ART speakers that I learned about on this forum.

Derek from ART is a very special guy. I explained my ideas and what we were looking for based on his alnico reference speaker in white on the home-page, and as explained about the WAF situation. He remarkably offered to not just send his normal Alnico 8.3 demopair to Denmark, but went to produce a speaker bespoke as his first ever in white with grey grills and many other specialities. He also mentioned a new game-changing diamond tweeter from SEAS that they were starting to use. Essentially, my pair is the first production model with this tweeter, I think. Totally outstanding customer service even for a premium product.

Long lead-in, now to the music. The ARTs blew my mind from Day 1. Firstly, wife and guests really liked them visually, as do I. Its 1 meter tall, 3-way speaker, bottom-fired bass, high-grade alu baffle, wonderful. So these could actually go into the living room. More importantly, music was utterly amazing. Terrific room integration close to the walls and room-filling magic (8 meters long, 5 meters wide, 3.5 meters tall room). A few highlights

- Natural signature sound - very versatile speakers and rock rocks, female singers like Agnes Obel/Toni Mitchell incredibly fragile, Johnny Cash sounds like a bottle of whiskey, lots of my synth/disco has incredible speed and nerve, lots of warmth/charme with e.g. Sade, Jazz such as Brubeck with lots of musicality, Michael Jackson off-the-wall album by Quincy Jones (one of my key test albums) totally aced with musicality and speed of e.g. rhythm and horns, amazing interplay and headroom on the instruments, and most importantly they dont sound hifi, but authentic as they should. No coloring and very coherent.

- Low volume is great and engaging - 50% is family listening and also this is very good. In my experience, this comes mainly comes with sensitive speakers like these with an AMP that is well ahead of what they need. 

- They MAJOR in PRAT - this is the most engaging system I have personally heard in a home environment, its on beat, very engaging, communicates the nerve and you follow the bass-line and instrument interplay effortlessly. Very funky and the feet never stand still

- Bass and drums are amazing - I never had (close to) full-range speakers before. The play from top-to-bottom in great balance with no boom. Massive Attack teardrop, Blue Monday, or Gorillaz Stylo etc that really operates at the low-end, are well mastered with no boom. I even clearly hear vibrato on deep bass-strings

- Voices are very natural - the tweeter resolved in an incredible natural way. With s20 and others, I always felt that voices were not as if the singer was in the room, it did not match the levels of the human voice, now everthing sounds very live and natural.

- Live sound - the size of the speaker now moves much more air, and its a great live feeling when you sense the physical impact when acoustic guitar strings are played. Also I like the balance of background detail.

- Wide soundstage - they really fill the room and speakers cannot be heard directly, just a big live music stage.

Well, hard to put into words that mean a lot to others. These are some of my main observations. Am just truly happy with these speakers that work well in our living space. So after 3 weeks of uncommitting homedemo, I pulled the trigger and bought the new speakers that Derek built bespoke for us. As one example of what he did, he essentially found a paint-shop that could use the same satin-white as my old Kudos Super 20, as that goes well with my hifi-rack.

I also auditioned new cables with a surprising result. I use SL interconnect, and NACA5 now. Full look SL was really not good. Too much focus on background details the PRAT and Nerve was gone. Then tried Chord S-Sarum full loom, which was better than SL. As it warmed-up, I missed PRAT, and used SL IC with rest in Sarum. This was best alternative to NACA5, but in the end, I always missed the highly engaging sound of SL IC and NACA5, so no upgrade there.

I will try to post some pictures. Again many thanks to this forum for all the sharing that was invaluable for me to get to these.

br Lars

 

 

Original Post

Hi Lars,

 

thanks Lars for the write up, we are all eagerly awaiting pictures ��

 

Welcome me to an ever growing band of ART owners who appreciate their qualities and musicality. Once owned they are virtually impossible to replace.

 

a lot of hi-fi companies could learn a lot from the Dunlop brothers, they listen to customers and give them what they want. My speakers are very personal to me and they give me everything I want.

 

i have every confidence knowing that if I ever contemplate changing my ARTs it will be for another pair,

 

regards

 

PB

 

Lars, I am very happy for you. It is hard work to find the right speaker. I could have lived with the pair Derek sent me but I knew there was more to come. Glad also you did not get the pair I had on home dem. I imagine the diamond tweeter will provide the insight my 8.3's were lacking. I also had nothing but great customer service from him. It is a great feeling when it all finally comes together. Can't wait to see the pictures. Art do make very fine speakers.

BR Dave

Hungryhalibut posted:

They fit the room so beautifully - I can see why you are so pleased. They are not too big, and look like they are not too far into the room. Lovely. 

Beautiful, quality built!

Just curious, where is the:

""NDS/555dr, 552dr/300dr, ART Diamond Signature 8.3, US ""

BTW, nice picture.

Allante93!

Many thanks all for the kind words!! Its all white to sort of visually disappear. Works well also due all the colorful kidstoys in the room that catches the eyes attention instantly :-)

Allante93, the system is in the white cabinet, which is made for hifi. Cabinet doors are like grills and its open at the back, so plenty of air to cool it. Its very robust and takes vibrations. The US and server is in anyother room hooked up via my home network.

thanks Arun for posting!

and really agree with comments on the great service at ART. Truly rare and as the speakers also perform as they do, I became a big fan!

thx, Lars

Thanks Kubinkast, good question! Right here on this forum! 

several years ago i read about the ART decos, and thought they looked great. then when I started looking, I put ART on the shortlist after I posted a few times here on B&W 803 and Wilson Sabrina, where I got great inputs.

next I called Derek from ART, and we had many chats. they dont have distribution in scandinavia, but offer homedemo by shipping directly from their place in scotland. Really great service and without commitment.  the homepage far from has a full overview of their speakers, so calling is better. a few reviews are on there.

worked out well for me... are you looking for speakers now?

thx Lars

Lars,

Another thoughtful speaker review, very well written and logically constructed. Two such reviews in one weekend. Maybe a trend developing on the forum? 

The photos of your room, speakers, and even the white  NACA5 are stunning. It all exudes audiophile anality in the most positive sense of that term. Thanks for sharing and enjoy!

Many thanks all for the nice comments! They look even better in real life than on the pics, and the base has even proven to be an effective kids-bumper. Handcraft is impeccable.

kiwi cat, you could check if the ART direct-to-home demo offering extends all the way downunder to nz :-) bodger had his demopair sent to greece i think, so boxes should just stay on board the boat a bit longer to reach you!

a listen is highly recommended in any case

Thx Lars

LarsDK posted:

kiwi cat, you could check if the ART direct-to-home demo offering extends all the way downunder to nz :-) bodger had his demopair sent to greece i think, so boxes should just stay on board the boat a bit longer to reach you!

a listen is highly recommended in any case

Thx Lars

It was indeed Greece. Airlines will not take speakers or so they tell me. Need to ship overland or boat. That could take a while getting Downunder. Derek is a patient man but this might be a stretch even for him!

Dave

Bodger posted:
LarsDK posted:

kiwi cat, you could check if the ART direct-to-home demo offering extends all the way downunder to nz :-) bodger had his demopair sent to greece i think, so boxes should just stay on board the boat a bit longer to reach you!

a listen is highly recommended in any case

Thx Lars

It was indeed Greece. Airlines will not take speakers or so they tell me. Need to ship overland or boat. That could take a while getting Downunder. Derek is a patient man but this might be a stretch even for him!

Dave

ART speakers have gone a long way. Why not give him a call and let him decide.

 

i spoke to Ramsey this afternoon and they are very excited about this new tweeter and what they can do with it.

Foot tapper posted:

Stop it PB, just stop it.

My credit card is developing a nervous tic as I think about how little is involved in changing an Alnico 8.3 to a Diamond 8.3 .... 

Surely its a simple matter of replacing the tweeter and a crossover tweak, maybe??

Thank you for your reply Lars and your nice comment at my system.

I have been looking for new speakers over a long time now. Tryed Audio Vector SR6 Avantgarde Arreté, Dynaudio Confidence C4, Sonus Faber Olympica 3 and Wilson Audio Sophia 3. Did get hooked by Wilson Audio and Audio Vector. Learned that in this level much is good but different. Wilson Audio have great physical body, dynamic and detail in sound performance. Audio Vector have ultra detailed and dynamic sound but not the same body. I think Im searching for a speaker that can combine the best from those two. Maby I will call ART and have discussion...

Kubinkast posted:

Thank you for your reply Lars and your nice comment at my system.

I have been looking for new speakers over a long time now. Tryed Audio Vector SR6 Avantgarde Arreté, Dynaudio Confidence C4, Sonus Faber Olympica 3 and Wilson Audio Sophia 3. Did get hooked by Wilson Audio and Audio Vector. Learned that in this level much is good but different. Wilson Audio have great physical body, dynamic and detail in sound performance. Audio Vector have ultra detailed and dynamic sound but not the same body. I think Im searching for a speaker that can combine the best from those two. Maby I will call ART and have discussion...

You should ring ART, I have found with many that have been unable to find the right speaker, Art speakers tend to be the answer.

Rubinkast - i can really recommend that you give them a call! However homedemo is a must, as room interaction and system matching matters. To me, they are truly offering engaging music with no compromises. Give it a try! Finding speakers is the hardest and most personal part of the journey, once you nail it, its so good :-) Lars

FT - I think Polarbear is on to something there :-) its all based on alnico 8.3, which i never heard. Would add two things as the diamond tweeter gets attention, fully justified. Its incredibly well integrated with the two other units at least to my ears, AND it is not like - wow thats a great tweeter when it plays, it/the speaker as a whole simply is so natural from top to bottom. I am sure the tweeter also helps on drumkicks, and it simply integrates rather than stealing the show.

you good me curious on ART - hope I got you curious on the Diamonds :-)

lars

FT - hope u get to listen to them, would be interesting with what delta is vs alnico. Btw - maybe there is a Deco Diamond for PB :-)?

DaveBK - many thanks - great system :-) your focals are impressive beasts, I have heard great things about them!

OldNeil - suggest you talk w ART on price. There are quite a few variables and I dont have a pricelist. For instance, mine are reference cabinet, signature cabling, 8.3 with 8inch 3-way configuration with compact cabinet size :-) thing is you can get advice and you can share what you are after for your system and room, and try out. Its very simple to find out on the phone with the guys. Hope that helps, br Lars

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