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BL5 vs BL18+19

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sorenfelden
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sorenfelden posted on Sun, May 8 2016 1:41 PM

Which sounds better: A pair of BL5s or a pair of BL18s with a BL19 - based on 320kps iTunes music files? If there's a difference, is it audible to people with normal hearing, i.e. non-audiophiles?

Mostly play commercial remixes, dance etc., i.e. relatively bass heavy.

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Wilderwein
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My opinion is that BL5 is the better option if SQ is what you will base your decision on. 

I own a pair and they are amazing. But not that environ friendly that B&O claims. They need to be carefully placed in the room and the bass management algorithm is not up to date thats for sure. 

I listened to the Beolab 20 when they came out and they are good. But not near the quality of BL5. Are they better then BL9? Yes I think so. Should I upgrade to bl20 from a pair of 9s and pay roughly 2500£? No I shouldn't.

This is just my opinion and shouldn't be taken to seriously.  

Happy listening 

Barry Santini
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Wilderwein:

My opinion is that BL5 is the better option if SQ is what you will base your decision on.

I own a pair and they are amazing. But not that environ friendly that B&O claims. They need to be carefully placed in the room and the bass management algorithm is not up to date thats for sure.

I listened to the Beolab 20 when they came out and they are good. But not near the quality of BL5. Are they better then BL9? Yes I think so. Should I upgrade to bl20 from a pair of 9s and pay roughly 2500£? No I shouldn't.

This is just my opinion and shouldn't be taken to seriously.

Happy listening

If nothing else, the new BL90 points out how much room reflections can influence/degrade speaker performance. Keep that in mind whatever speaker you audition, both in the store and at home.

B
Millemissen
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Barry Santini:

If nothing else, the new BL90 points out how much room reflections can influence/degrade speaker performance. Keep that in mind whatever speaker you audition, both in the store and at home.

B

When it comes to 'listening and judging issues' - this article might be also helpfull: http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2016/04/20/bo-tech-location-location-location/

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Duels
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Duels replied on Wed, May 11 2016 1:17 PM
BAND'OH!:

Well here's a thought for you...

At a recent visit to a B&O dealer I was asking about the BL20s as I fancied an change, or more specifically an upgrade. I was considering second hand BL5s or brand new BL20s.

When he asked me what my current speakers were, and I said BL9s, he said, "Well don't bother changing to the BL20s then because you won't notice a difference; they just look slightly different." This didn't particularly inspire me and I was left somewhat confused as I assumed there would be a significant difference between the two. What he did suggest was to buy a pair of pre-owned BL5s (which he doesn't sell) and move the BL9s to the back.

So now I am not really sure what to think between these 3 speaker choices in terms of performance and technical difference. I can accommodate any of the sizes and like all the designs.

Whenever j have heard the BL20 I have thought they sound brighter and the bass much punchier than the BL9s. Not a massive difference but noticeable to me.
Geoff Martin
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BAND'OH!:
When he asked me what my current speakers were, and I said BL9s, he said, "Well don't bother changing to the BL20s then because you won't notice a difference; they just look slightly different." This didn't particularly inspire me and I was left somewhat confused as I assumed there would be a significant difference between the two. What he did suggest was to buy a pair of pre-owned BL5s (which he doesn't sell) and move the BL9s to the back.

 

While it might be better to have 2xBL5 and 2xBL9 than "just" a pair of BL20's, I would argue that the Beolab 20 is a completely different loudspeaker than Beolab 9.

Whether or not you prefer it is up to the listener...

Cheers

-g

 

 

 

Michael
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Geoff Martin:

While it might be better to have 2xBL5 and 2xBL9 than "just" a pair of BL20's, I would argue that the Beolab 20 is a completely different loudspeaker than Beolab 9.

Whether or not you prefer it is up to the listener...

Cheers

-g

Thats interesting to hear :). Geoff, could you say if it would be better to use WISA over PL purely sound wise? I always prefer cables to wireless if I can but power link is analog and WISA is not. Could this be a good reason to upgrade from BL9 as well? 

Another thing regarding the BL9, I can hear a slight buzz from my BL9´s even from my couch, when they aren't playing music but still are turned on. Is this buzzing less evident on BL20 or is it the same?

I was by the way looking at this picture from your website: http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/bl9_electronics.jpg. You write there that the power board is not shown, but I believe that it is the power board that is shown, and not the module with ams (this would be more interesting to see Smile).

And one final question!

BL2  has a frequency range down to 23 hz and BL9 has a frequency range down to 30hz. Would not this mean that BL2 would perform better as a subwoofer than BL9 in at least the way that it can reproduce lower frequencies? Or is it very bad at the frequencies below 30, so the difference isn't interesting?

Cheers! //Michael 

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Sal
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Sal replied on Wed, May 11 2016 3:21 PM

Geoff Martin:

While it might be better to have 2xBL5 and 2xBL9 than "just" a pair of BL20's, I would argue that the Beolab 20 is a completely different loudspeaker than Beolab 9.

Whether or not you prefer it is up to the listener...

Cheers

-g

I'm sure others can chime in, but Geoff is absolutely right of course. To me, the 20 sounds very different from he BL9's (I've got both). I would argue that the difference isn't slight. That being said, if you've got the space, then I can't argue with the purchase of the BL5's second hand, especially if they're coming to you with a warranty, they're fantastic speakers. But if you value the somewhat portability, WISA, and sonically what many have said come close (but not too close) to the BL5's, I can wholeheartedly recommend the BL20s, they're a really good Beolab value for what you're getting.

SHEFFIELD
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The Lab 20 is significantly better than the Lab 9, a different animal apart from the similar looks.

The Lab 5s are in a different league to 18/19 combo.

Lab 18/19 similar in performance to Lab 20.

Just my opinion based on listening to them all on a daily basis...

keynesparis6
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Interesting to read this. Any other thoughts on BL 18 + BL19 vs BL20 ? 

Duels
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Duels replied on Wed, May 11 2016 6:44 PM
As well as the question of sound the BL18/19 vs BL20 is a very different visual design concept. Personal preference again but I love the 18s. They are so different from anything else and they still get so many comments.
Geoff Martin
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Michael:

Thats interesting to hear :). Geoff, could you say if it would be better to use WISA over PL purely sound wise? I always prefer cables to wireless if I can but power link is analog and WISA is not. Could this be a good reason to upgrade from BL9 as well? 

This is a tough one to answer because it depends on a number of factors. In a perfect setup, WiSA can deliver a bit-for-bit match at the receiver (your loudspeaker) when compared to the transmitter. And, since the connection is digital, the total Signal-to-Noise ration of the system will be higher (or, your noise floor will be lower). However, if you change the RF signal path, errors will occur in the WiSA signal. I have yet to find a case where this is audible using "normal" signals.
A Power Link (or any analogue connection) would not have these errors (which are, in all probability, inaudible) - but the noise floor will be slightly higher.
Personally, I am like you - I prefer to run cables - but I cut my teeth on studio monitors in recording studio controls rooms. These have a significantly higher noise floor than anything we're talking about here...

Michael:


Another thing regarding the BL9, I can hear a slight buzz from my BL9´s even from my couch, when they aren't playing music but still are turned on. Is this buzzing less evident on BL20 or is it the same?

 

This depends entirely on where the buzz is coming from. If the source of the problem is outside the loudspeakers (i.e. your source or maybe older Power Link cables), then BL20's will have the same problem. If the source of the problem is inside your BL9's for some reason that I can't explain, then no.

Michael:

I was by the way looking at this picture from your website: http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/bl9_electronics.jpg. You write there that the power board is not shown, but I believe that it is the power board that is shown, and not the module with ams (this would be more interesting to see Smile).

Could you point me to the page that this image is on so I can see the text? I'll double.check it. Thanks for the heads-up!

Michael:

BL2  has a frequency range down to 23 hz and BL9 has a frequency range down to 30hz. Would not this mean that BL2 would perform better as a subwoofer than BL9 in at least the way that it can reproduce lower frequencies? Or is it very bad at the frequencies below 30, so the difference isn't interesting?

When comparing subwoofers, its not so helpful to compare frequency ranges, since these are measured at a level low enough that ABL has not yet kicked in. What is more useful is to ask how loud each one can play. If you look at the BeoVision Technical Sound Guide (here for example) you'll see a table on the last page. This tells you the automatic decision made by the television regarding whether one loudspeaker will be bass-managed to another. If you look at BL2 and BL9, you'll see that the television will not automatically remove bass from a 9 and put it in a 2. Nor will it remove bass from a 2 and put it in a 9. This means that we have measured them to have similar maximum output levels over a range of frequencies in the low-end.

 

Cheers

-geoff

Millemissen
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Just a side note to the last comment from Geoff.

This goes for the BSys4-based BV's.

For the previous BV's it might be different, I guess (?)

Important - because a lot BL2 and BL9 owners have these connected to a BV7.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Geoff Martin
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Millemissen:

Just a side note to the last comment from Geoff.

This goes for the BSys4-based BV's.

 

 

oops. Thanks MM!

Cheers

-g

 

Michael
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Thanks for the answers Geoff!

WISA:
Very interesting to hear some details about how it works and that it will drop "frames" in the audio if there is signal disturbances.  I think for now that cables is the way to go for me. WISA adds some power on latency I believe and while it will work, the TV and speakers will have to do more processing than necessary if I could just as well use my PL cables. 

BUZZ:
I have Mk3 cables but I find the noise from the tweeter quite audible. It's the same from both but one of them is having new electronics fitted (and already had its tweeter replaced twice because of wrong diagnosis by the tech - it goes into thermal protection when I change sources after half an hour or so and the other speaker does not, very strange issue.) Will look and see if the new boards make any difference, but I think no. The source is Avant 55 and I am using regular Mk3 cables with short PL-RJ45 adaptors. I first had RJ45->DIN cables for BL5 but they buzzed even more I believe. 


BL9 inside pictures where from this page: http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2014/03/10/bo-tech-ribs-and-dogbones/ 


Subwoofers:
Ah, great to know. I thought it was somewhat like that. 
Interesting to see that neither BL9 or BL20 will remove bass from each other either.
But that BL5 would remove bass from BL2 and BL9 but not BL20.  

Would this mean that I would get bass both to BL9 and BL2 if I would add one to my setup? For example I might find it useful because:
1) I never owned one - and that would be fun in its own
2) More bass when only using the built in speakers of the Avant
3) If I would like to replace the BL9´s with smaller speakers.

I have many other questions but I'lll stop here, for now :P 

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Doonesbury
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Michael:
I wouldn't be so sure the BL5 sounds a s good as BL19&BL18 actually. More sophisticated DSPs and modern technology makes a lot of difference. Geoff wasn't involved in the BL5 either, and he seems to have a better idea of what the speakers should sound like

"I can't change the laws of physics."  Montgomery Scott (Star Trek Enterprise)

Updates in electronics will only get you so far.  Given that the the BL5s have 15" woofers with 1000 watts each vs. the BL19 which has (2) 8" woofers with (2) 160 watt amplifiers, it's not going to be a contest in the low bass department, alone.

D

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