Right.....let us warm up the tubes....Bentley Acoustics Model FR-100 (SGR - R4995)
Basic specs :
10-100 (150 peak) watt
2-way rear ported bass reflex
Fq : 55Hz - 25Khz
1 x 5" aluminium magnesium
1 x 1" Soft dome tweeter
Gold plated Screw on / Banana ply terminals
The speakers arrived very safely packaged,foam all around and in a plastic sleeve with thin foam wrap.Binding posts are decent quality plated items with transparent lock nuts.(banana and bare wire accepted.)
Surprisingly weighty cabinets with a really solid feel.
This two tone finish pair which were done for a customer look superb to my eyes.These are not a new pair which Vaughan informed me of so I cant comment entirely on a few of the minor finish imperfections which are probably just as a result of a few trips to different destinations.
Overall I have no issues with the build whatsoever...these are rear ported with a power handling of between 10-100wpc....here is a pic of the back....
Ok....just a few initial thoughts on the tubes....a very easy listen (this is a big compliment!) which is perhaps cliche but so be it. Treble is easy on the ear with no nastiness whatsoever (perhaps a touch too well behaved but rather that than the opposite for sure.)
The mids are clean - clear and balanced if a touch more muted next to the Epos but that is not a criticism or an entirely fair comparison in my opinion.
The bass is punchy and gives a great foundation for a small speaker, my guess is that it was a design choice and I understand it entirely. I also think that when I plug in a solid-state with a bit more welly the speakers will respond even more positively .....
I am listening near-field and they are in the middle of a room....against a wall with the substantial bass may be tricky.
I think they are great.....let's try some transistors.....give me 5.....
This CD I am listening to right now (Holly Cole Trio) was a gift from Johan Meiring Van Zyl, it has had me question a few things....the recording for some strange reason has me perplexed....her voice irritates in certain tracks on the Epos speakers, I purposely put this on because the Bentley makes it sound "better"....
I get the feeling that they are quite forgiving speakers....another compliment!
My gut feel is that the Epos which runs without a crossover to the midbass and with just a cap to the tweeter is why it sounds less "restricted" on the tube amps....let's see...
Ok.....they prefer the solidstate.....I can tell you that in about 5 notes, the signature has not actually changed much in the mids and tops.....but the bass.....that's a definite!
Definitely not thin and shrill which is what I wanted to emphasize, as we all know - most others especially at this price point are exactly that.
I can understand all the design calls made and decided upon for these, it makes perfect sense.... The slight bass emphasis will make buyers happy.... They really punch it out..This is very intentional as a lot of music benefits from a slight boost in the 80hz region and adds to the energy... I think it is a clever move quite honestly! Please let me make it clear that I don't have golden ears....my left one is a touch wonky.....the mids which matter most sound great to me!
They sound great Vaughan - I tanked them up a bit earlier and they love it....really big sound for the size and they never lost their composure.....again we must remember that they are not big speakers but certainly do deliver more than one would have any right to expect for their size and price....