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Are Beolab 1s worth considering?

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yahoe
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yahoe posted on Sat, Apr 20 2019 2:39 AM

Hi,

We currently have a pair of Beolab Penta III. Is a pair of  Beolab 1s worth considering as an upgrade? Do the Beolab 1s sound as good as the Beolab Penta III, way better?

If not the Beolab 1, what used Beolab, short of the Beolab 5s, could be a worthy upgrade, less expensive than the Beolab 5s?

Any recommendation would be most welcome.

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Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 10:29 AM
I have never heard Pentas so can not compare them. I do own both Beolab 1s and Beolab 9s and think they both sound wonderful.
seethroughyou
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I’ve not heard the Pentas. They were before my time but the Beolab 1 were brilliant speakers and having heard over 30 speakers I’d happily own them again. They have a detailed, neutral and dynamic sound that with a hint of warmth and supremely listenable and never tiring for hours on end. Gorgeous beasts. If you like extra bass augment with a BL2.
Esax
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Esax replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 10:56 AM
I have owned both. Beolab 1 is definitely an upgrade but lacks base. A sub is a must. But I think they are often highly priced. Beolab 9 is a better buy because they have gone down more in price. Although they are not as good-looking.

Beovision 7-55 MK1 red, Beolab 10 red. Beolab 50, all black. Beolab 17 broken ice. Beolab transmitter. Apple tv4 and apple express 2.

Puncher
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Puncher replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 11:48 AM

Its a long time since I heard them regularly but I always thought them overly bright, especially without sub.

Ban boring signatures!

TWG
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TWG replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 1:25 PM

Yes, they are still worth considering.
They NEED a (powerful) subwoofer as they are lacking bass, especially when room acoustics at home is not very good.

They are very bright and somehow "punchy". If you're listening to some powerful rock tracks like e.g. Tina Turner steamy windows the snare drum has real presence and punch. They seem to reveal great details compared to other speakers and I still love them. Instead of harsh I would describe them as very clear.
My wife prefers the Beolab 5 mainly due to the sheer size of the Beolab 1. In a big room it's no problem with Beolab 1.

It would be nice to hear a more professional sound description/assessment and comparison from Geoff Martin about the Beolab 1 compared to other speakers in the range.

Stan
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Stan replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 4:15 PM

I have BL1s and really like them.  Like many, I've never heard the Pentas so I cannot directly compare them.  However, I have read about them on this forum for many years so I know a bit about them.  Here are some interesting links about the Pentas relative to other B&O speakers (unfortunately, no BL1s):

https://www.beoworld.org/article_view.asp?id=193 

https://forum.beoworld.org/forums/t/30962.aspx

Here's my story:

I upgraded from BL8000s and was considering the BL9 (new) vs BL1 (used).  Aside from the bass (which can be mostly fixed with a sub), I could not hear great differences between the BL1 and BL9 (so I'd say much of the above threads' comparisons between the pentas and bl9s probably apply fairly well to the bl1 (aside from the bass)).  I chose the BL1s because the BL1s a) sounded quite similar (except for the bass), b) looked much better in my room and c) were much cheaper (new vs. used).  If the cost was similar, I still may have gone for the BL1s, but it would be a much harder choice.  If the BL9s were cheaper, then I'd deal with the short penguins in my very tall room as there's probably some advantage to having a newer speaker - my BL1s are almost 20 years old and because of their size and weight will be difficult to repair should they fail (as well as the difficulty of getting parts).

The consensus on this site about the BL1s (from non-owners mostly) is that they lack bass, are overly harsh / bright and shriek at high volumes.  To this I say, get a sub, your harsh/bright is my detailed and they don't shriek until the walls are shaking which I don't do very often.  I've had them for ~10 years and couldn't be happier with their performance (and looks).  Although, if you plan on moving any time soon, this might change your equation (they are 6 ft tall and probably weigh ~100 lbs (the heavy base comes off so this helps a bit, but the tower is still long and heavy = awkward).

Stan

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 10:17 PM

Since we're discussing the need to add a BL2 to the BL1, I'm interested in thoughts on this:

I currently have x2 BL2 subwoofers in use with my BeoSystem 4. I always preferred to have a subwoofer dedicated for the LFE channel in a surround system. However, I'm wondering if I should use one of those BL2 subwoofers to be used for the connections of the 2 BL1 speakers that I'm using as front channel speakers. Could the BL1 speakers benefit from having a BL2 subwoofer connected DIRECTLY to them to increase their bass rather than the BL2 being dedicated for LFE? In this situation, I would still have another BL2 that I could still dedicate to LFE. Thoughts?

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 11:14 PM

True to this day. They are immensely powerful on mid and treble, but fall apart on bass.  Add a BL2 and they are spectacular!

Lee

Beosince98
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I have to say that I would rather get Beolab 9. Cheaper than getting Beolab 1 and Beolab 2 and, imo, better sound. Also, a much smaller setup.

Stan
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Stan replied on Sat, Apr 20 2019 11:21 PM

Based on my experience with just audio and the BL2 + BL8000 and BL1, I would not change your configuration (although if it's not hard, you might just go ahead and Test for yourself). I say this because the bl1 has a dedicated bass amp and woofer (3 amps per speaker).  I think the BL2 mostly just adds additional low-end without changing the sound of the 1s themself.

Contrast this to the bl8000s (2 amps per speaker), where I would definitely recommend wiring through the bl2, because the 8000s are playing equalization games to get lows from a small cabinet and relatively small drivers. That is, the bl2 frees up the 8000s from having to drive the low bass and instead just do mid-range (and above) which doesn't require so much "magic".  I think the bl2 makes the 8000s sound a lot better, but only males the 1s sound a little better. I don't think taking the very low end from the 1s impacts it's mids and highs, but it does with the 8000s.

You are already getting the 1s missing lows from the bl2s connected to your TV.

TWG
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TWG replied on Sun, Apr 21 2019 8:11 AM

btw: Does anybody know the crossover frequencies of the Beolab 2? I've not found any information about that.

Esax
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Esax replied on Sun, Apr 21 2019 8:23 AM
TWG:

btw: Does anybody know the crossover frequencies of the Beolab 2? I've not found any information about that.

Found this. Seems to be max 120Hz.

Effective Frequency range* 23 – 120 Hz (upper limit determined by setup)

Beovision 7-55 MK1 red, Beolab 10 red. Beolab 50, all black. Beolab 17 broken ice. Beolab transmitter. Apple tv4 and apple express 2.

TWG
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TWG replied on Sun, Apr 21 2019 9:39 AM

Thank you Esax!

And where's the frequeny range when you use it with Beolab 1?

beoaus
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beoaus replied on Sun, Apr 21 2019 10:40 AM

I have the BL1's and a BL2.

Sound is impressive both for movies and music, very powerful. With movies a BV7 and 7-4 do add some dimension. All have been in use since they were released.

I did listen to the BL9's and thought they were not capable of the depth of sound I already had. I suppose,  the treble was to me was either brighter or harsher in comparison. I maintain this viewpoint as over the years I have listened to more BV7's combined with BL9's than anything else.

Good luck, Beoaus

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