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ProAc Studio 118

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by Fusion, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

    Messages:
    431
    Wondering if anyone here has had a chance to listen to the new Studio 118 from ProAc. I will almost surely buy a pair once I sell off a few items. Have not heard them myself but I have all but decided to get them based on my history with ProAc speakers. I think the ProAc house sound just connects with me so I am done fooling around with other speakers and hope that this will be it for a while. But if anyone has heard them I am interested in hearing impressions.

    I will drive them with a tube integrated and that should be a natural match. I'm parting with my ARC and Mac separates. They make sweet music together but I've got the itch to run a full tube integrated and that move will put some money back into my pocket and also simplify my setup at the same time.

    Not many pics of the 118 out there, so choosing the finish is going to be tough. I normally gravitate to cherry or mahogany but black is about all that is pictured so far. And it looks sharp. Consequently that is how I am leaning.

    Cheers
     

     

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  2. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I have not heard that particular ProAc but look forward to your thoughts on them when you get them. I had the Studio 110's at one time.
     
  3. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

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    431
    Thanks Art. I remember you paired the 110 with a PrimaLuna tube amp. What should have been a good match on paper wasn't in reality. I'm going to seek out that old thread because I am curious as to what you thought, but did you attribute the poor sound to the speakers or amp?

    ProAcs can be a little hot up top but that was honestly never an issue with the ones I heard. They seem to usually have a smiley face FR graph in the Stereophile measurements...guess I like that, or maybe that is simply what works in my room.
     
  4. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    I think that ProAc has really improved on the Studio series. There is every indication that they recognized that the earlier versions could be bright in many systems. I attributed the bad sound in my system to a bad match overall. The Prima Luna Prologue 2 was a terrible amp IMO and it exacerbated all that was wrong with the ProAc's. My dealer at the time said she had every one of the Prologue 2's that she sold returned to her. Even the one bought by one of her employees...she was not happy. I would try ProAc's again and the Studio 118 is an intriguing place to start.
     
  5. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

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    431
    Good to know, Art. Now that you mention it, I recall you saying this - that your dealer had a 100% return rate.

    PrimaLuna was on my short list as they seem to offer a lot for the money, notably autobias and the ability to roll many different tube types. But I reeled in a used Rogue Audio Tempest II for an attractive price.

    So I am going to roll the dice on the Rogue/ProAc combo. Going in a little bit blind on this one (no ability to audition either product) but I always like the adventure. I gather from reading online that Rogue amps are more modern sounding (have a some things in common with SS) but the Tempest II seems to be praised for it's richness. That and the fact that it uses preamp tubes that I have on hand is what attracted me to it. Got a few 12ax7 tubes that I bought for the ARC, and I already had a pair of NOS RCA 6sn7 tubes from a while ago that never got used.

    Will continue to use the 705's for the time being until I can sell off a few items and then use that cash to get the 118's. I think it will work out. Should be fun either way!
     
  6. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Doggone you, Dan. Now you have me curious...
     

     

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  7. slippers-on

    slippers-on Music...let it move you!

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    WOW! Now that sounds sexy! Cant wait to hear your opinion!:thmbsp:
     
  8. JimPA

    JimPA Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    Grover's Corner PA.
    I have not heard any of the newer ProAc's in quite some time.
    It looks like they are still using the Scan Speak 2010 dome tweeter which is a strong point in it's design.
     
  9. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

    Messages:
    431
    Thanks fellas! And nice info on the tweeter Jim.

    Ordered a pair in cherry finish. Not sure how long it'll take, but I imagine about ten days or so, since I can only get to the store on weekends. Got some items on consignment at this dealer that might need to sell first before I can walk out of the store with the ProAc's. Not sure how that'll work. I don't see it taking long in any case.

    Too much gear swapping lately so hopefully this combination has the magic I am looking for. A lot of what I have tried sounded darn good, great even. But ultimately it was missing something. Like I said, I seem to dig the ProAc sound, but not many show up on the used market and the wait was dragging on. Then I noticed the new 118 and I guess right then I knew I would probably own a pair. My dealer was able to offer me a good price at under $1800.
     
  10. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

    Messages:
    431
    Took longer than expected, but in about 24 hours or so I should have the 118 in my possession. Think I'll use either my Bryston or my CEC amp during the break in phase (probably both), then once that is over I'll start using the Rogue.
     
  11. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Which Rogue do you have?
     

     

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  12. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

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    431
    Tempest II. It'll be running Gold Lion KT88 tubes.

    Merry Christmas btw, Art!
     
  13. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Merry Christmas, Dan!
     
  14. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Looking forward to your impressions on these speakers. They are mostly unavailable here in the US due to a legal dispute between the distributor and ProAc. The dealer I spoke to said that they are quite unhappy about it because they had to refund several customers on some big time purchases.

    Richard has been the distributor for 30+ years and I have spoken to him a couple of times. Sure hope it gets resolved soon. ProAc has a very loyal following.
     
  15. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    29,351
    Location:
    PODUNC USA......
    That was the same issue that Karma speakers had, Art, and why they pulled out of the US when they did. They are coming back into the US although they are acting as their own distributor now.
     
  16. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

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    431
    Well I have about 15 hours on them at this point. Had them playing at low volume during the night. Not sure if that's something one has to do with a brand new pair of speakers but it's always something that I like to do.

    Turned it up a bit over the last two or so hours, still moderate volume. Just playing some radio. No CDs or vinyl yet. Will put them through their paces a little more critically tonight, knowing of course that there could be a long break in period.

    The speakers are actually a lot smaller than I thought they'd be. Very similar in dimensions to the Audio Note AX-2 (though the AX-2 is slightly wider). Much smaller looking than the B&W 705, although the two speakers are about the same height and width. It's the extra depth that makes the 705 looks significantly larger.
     

     

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  17. Inscrutable

    Inscrutable AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    635
    Location:
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    Just stumbled on this thread. Very interested to hear impressions of the new line, and hoping the US distribution gets worked out. My Studio 150's are near the top of the list of pieces I wish I'd kept.
     
  18. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

    Messages:
    431
    Put a few more hours on the 118's. Initial impressions are that they sound a little slower than the 705. Less pace. That might change with break in time. I suspect it'll also change a bit when I start using the CEC over the Bryston. The CEC is a quicker and more clear sounding amp than the B60R. That said, the 705 feels faster with the B60R than the ProAc's do. But it's not like music feels too slow or lacking in drive. It's just the one area that I'd give the nod to the B&W's.

    Not sure how low the 118 goes (ProAc quotes 30Hz, which seems optimistic). The 118 has the classic mid-bass hump if I had to guess because they sound bigger than they appear. Music has a real nice foundation to it; drums and bass guitar sound full and have decent weight...rock music as a result doesn't feel anemic. If that's the mid-bass hump then I like it.

    They play with a real sense of ease too, even with the volume turned up - not too loud at this point but they easily fill my room with sound. When I first saw how big these things were I was a bit concerned about how they would do here so I guess I am pleasantly surprised. Not sure how much more I can turn the volume up before they start to show their limits - I doubt I'll be shaking any walls - but the speakers aren't giving me any hint that I am getting close.

    Highs are clear and vibrant. In The Last Resort, off of Hell Freezes Over, the high notes of the piano are positively shimmering in a way I hadn't heard before. Overly so? Perhaps. I am not sure yet. But this quality, which I notice in other songs as well, just seems to give these sounds greater dimension. This is not to be confused with brightness...I don't find the 118 bright at all. Very impressed with the tweeter thus far.

    The speakers pull off a nice disappearing act as well, with images that are not at all vague like I've experienced with other speakers.

    Happy so far, and I don't think I've even got the ideal amp in play just yet. I'll post more as they break in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  19. Inscrutable

    Inscrutable AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    NC
    FWIW, my Studio 150's loved the Plinius 8200MkII integrated. Nice combination of warmth and control.
     
  20. Fusion

    Fusion Active Member

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    431
    A few pics...

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     

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