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Beolab 18 Musical Prowess

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Tifoso48
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Tifoso48 posted on Sat, Feb 27 2021 9:20 PM

So, I have had my Beolab 18/19 for many years and used them primarily as part of a 5.1 home theatre set up with 15's as surround and the entire thing wireless via Transmitter 1.

Over the last year I have focused specifically on using them to also perform for stereo use playing vinyl and really did not know how this was going to end.

It did not help that my Transmitter 1 was playing games and starting to drop speakers and causing weird noises.

I ultimately ended up replacing the Transmitter 1 and rather than using the phono stage in my Marantz SR 6014 I invested in a pretty hi-end EAR 834 p which I am running through the Marantz then pre-out into the Transmitter 1. Ear's claim to fame is that it is a tube phono pre-amp with a rich and warm rendition.

And as this all is analog stereo reproduction I am using Pure Direct setting on my Marantz which of course means - no subwoofer, no filter no sound manipulation at all. 

I have to say the Beolab 18's are sounding truly magnificent and I am really thrilled by the result. B&O is really not a brand often considered by Audiophiles but at least in my book they sound fantastic.

 

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Hyponx
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Hyponx replied on Sat, Feb 27 2021 11:46 PM

Hello Tifo,

Delightful to hear that you are enjoying your records. That is the principal goal after all.

Now I hope sincerely that this information does not impact that: to my knowledge the Beolab 18's fundamentally cannot complete an "all analog" audio pipeline because they digitize and apply DSP to all inputs, analog or digital. As basically all current B&O speakers do. Geoff has written quite a bit on his blog about it! https://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2017/12/06/bo-tech-beolab-loudspeakers-and-third-party-systems/

The most important part is they sound great to you!

 

Hyponx
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Hyponx replied on Sat, Feb 27 2021 11:47 PM

Double post

Curly
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Curly replied on Sun, Feb 28 2021 1:24 AM

My 18s have been in storage for a year but your post makes me miss them! Fortunately, my 17s are amazing and holding me over well. But, I agree, the 18s are special. I’m glad you are enjoying them.

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, Beosound Level, Beosound A1 2nd Gen, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

Tifoso48
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I can't really respond to the technical nature, all I can do respond to what my ears can hear.

We have two homes, one in DC and one in Miami.

The B&O is in Miami, while in DC I have an all analog Audio Note set up - An E Signature speakers, OTO phono amp and T3 turntable.

So, yes the Beolab 18 do not reach the level of exceptional sound achieved by Audionote, however, I would be quite confident in sharing the listening experience and quite certain that the feedback would be very complimentary.

As a matter of fact no-one is more surprised than me with how great these speakers sound in a pure stereo setup. 

Using an AVR is always going to be a compromise under the best of circumstances, someone explained it quite well.

An AVR is a duck, it walks, flies, and swims but it is not exceptional at any one of them - but this time around I am quite happy with my duck.

Hyponx
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Hyponx replied on Sun, Feb 28 2021 6:37 AM

I rather like the duck analogy, never heard that one before.

I too use a Marantz AVR together with Beolab 9's and Beogram 4004 and am quite happy with it.

BeoJosh
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I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying your setup for vinyl with the 18s. I’m also a vinyl enthusiast, and have quite enjoyed the 18s in my main family room setup with my Rega Planar 8 and Rega phono pre-amp. I currently have them setup in two music modes: one with just a pair of 18s and a 19 for solo listening, and one utilizing 2 pairs of 18s and the 19 for ambient music. This is controlled by my Harmony, and music is streamed from my turntable via a Core. I’m awaiting some Beolab 50s, which will take the place of my front speakers in my living room, and that pair of 18s and the 19 will be moving to my office to be part of another turntable system, also controlled by a smaller Harmony and Rega turntable connected via Core.

As a vinyl enthusiast—and a bit of an analog purist—the decision to move over to all B&O systems with digital amplification/conversion (except for the turntables/pre-amps) for our new home gave me some sleepless nights thinking about moving from my all analog turntable setups in my previous home. But I made the move anyway, since B&O’s system made it easier for my family to enjoy the equipment and play records without my guidance, gave us more flexible equipment positioning options, gave us multi room capabilities, and blended in better with the decor of our home.

For the purist in me, it was a big compromise, but I haven’t regretted it at all. It may not be a “true” vinyl experience in the way I used to think about it, but it has exceeded all my expectations and has not lessened my enjoyment of listening to vinyl—it’s only added to it. I had kept all my analog equipment and passive speakers just in case, but they will remain in storage until I’m ready to gift them to my kids. 

--
Beovision Harmony 77, Beovision Harmony 65 x2, Beovision Contour 48, LG GX 65/Beosound Stage/STB Stand
Beolab 50s, Beolab 28s, Beolab 18s x3, Beolab 19, Beoplay A9, Beosound Edge, Beosound 2 x2, Beosound 1 x2, Beosound Core x2, Beoplay M3
Beogram 4002, Beogram TX2, Beogram 4000c (on order)
Beoremote One x7, Beoremote Halo x3
Beoplay H95 x3, Beoplay E8, Beoplay E8 Sport, Beosound A1 x2

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