• SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh Laboratory MA252 Integrated Amplifier (November 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Hegel H90 and H190 Integrated Amplifiers (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - How Hegel's SoundEngine Works (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight  - Estelon History and YB and Extreme Loudspeakers (September 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - What Makes Hegel Different? (August 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Estelon Extreme Legacy Edition Loudspeaker (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Amphion Overview and Technologies (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! Insight - Totem Acoustic Signature One Loudspeaker (June 2017)
  • SoundStage! Encore - The Cowboy Junkies'
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Anthem's STR Integrated Amplifier (May 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Paradigm's Perforated Phase Alignment (PPA) Lenses (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Paradigm's Persona 9H Loudspeaker (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Contrasts: Dynaudio's Contour and Focus XD Speaker Lines (February 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - New Technologies in MartinLogan's Masterpiece Series
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Dynaudio/Volkswagen Car Audio (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Gryphon Philosophy and the Kodo and Mojo S Speakers (January 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- What's a Tonmeister? (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - AxiomAir N3 Wireless Speaker System (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Dynaudio History and Driver Technology (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - The Story How Gryphon Began (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Devialet History, ADH Technology, and Expert 1000 Pro (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Devialet's Phantom Loudspeakers (August 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh Home Theater and Streaming Audio (July 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh MC275 Stereo Amplifier (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh History and Autoformer Technology (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - NAD Viso HP50 Headphones (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - GoldenEar Technology's Anechoic Chamber (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - PSB's M4U 4 Earphones (April 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - GoldenEar Technology's Triton Two+ and Three+ Loudspeakers (March 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- KEF's LS50 (February 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Monitor Audio's Platinum II Series (January 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Pryma 0|1 Headphones (December 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- KEF's Blade Two Loudspeaker (November 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- KEF and the Uni-Q (October 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Monitor Audio Acoustics & Aesthetics (August 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- PSB's Imagine T3 Loudspeaker (June 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Hegel's H160 Integrated Amplifier-DAC (April 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- MartinLogan's Neolith Loudspeaker (February 2015)

To Hans Wetzel,

I really enjoyed your review of the Definitive Technology BP-8020ST SuperTower loudspeakers ($1198/pair). I wonder whether you've heard the DefTech StudioMonitor 65 ($898/pair)? I'm curious to know if it might solve the problem of the detached bass you mention by its not having a powered, built-in subwoofer.

On the subject of the StudioMonitor 65, I'm hoping to compare it to a set of PSB Imagine Bs ($1099.99/pair), which the Crutchfield people think are more suited to music -- a wide range of classical in my case -- than the StudioMonitor 65. Any thoughts on that? Finally, have you heard the Epos Epic 2? The few reviews I've read sound promising, but there's nowhere to audition them in my state that I know of.

Carl

The BP-8020STs are great speakers. For rooms on the smaller side, they're super compact, and the built-in subwoofers make them reasonably full-range. While I haven't heard the StudioMonitor 65s, I would bet they are quite good. They use DefTech's newest BDSS midrange-woofers, while the 8020s use a modified older design. However, the 65s would also require stands, and they wouldn't have the output capability of the 8020s due to their much smaller cabinets, or the bass depth due to their lack of built-in subs. I would suspect, however, that the 65s are more seamless in their driver integration, and probably have a more sophisticated midrange sound, courtesy of their BDSS drivers. It's also worth mentioning that the 8020s are bipolar, which will make them sound much larger than the 65s.

While the detached-bass issue is worth taking into consideration, the greater concern for me would be the tweeter on offer. The DefTech aluminum tweeter definitely has a crispness, a liveliness to the treble that something like the PSB Imagine Bs probably lack. The PSBs will probably sound a bit smoother through the highs, while sacrificing a little bass extension when compared to the DefTech StudioMonitor 65s. I have not heard the Epos Epic 2, so I can't offer anything on that front.

In all, there's no clear winner among the speakers you mention. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. On an objective level, I imagine (sorry . . . ) that the PSBs offer the most evenhanded and resolving performance, while also having a nicer cabinet, but at a premium in terms of price. My choice would be the BP-8020ST, simply because I like the enormity of the bipolar sound and the ability to have nearly full-range performance for about $1200. Hope this helps. . . . Hans Wetzel