Among the Most Formidable "Monitor" Experiences

I posted a follow up to the review of this speaker, and there may be a few here who would consider it interesting.

I have used the PureAudioProject Trio15 (various iterations reviewed for, specifically the Horn 1 version for some time now. I have had opportunity to use it in both Portrait and Landscape orientations several times. When I use it in Portrait (typical) orientation the width of the horn lends a very attractive extension to the L/R vectors of the soundstage. This, actually, is the speaker in Landscape mode, and conversely, as the speaker is put horizontally on my custom Sound Anchor stands the horns turned upright put the speaker into Portrait mode operationally. However, as the orientation of the speaker physically typically dictates the operation I continue to refer to the orientation according to the position of the entire speaker. No other speaker I have used turns the Mode 90 degrees such as the Trio15 Horn 1. It is indeed a rare, and perhaps unique speaker in that regard - that is, one able to be lofted onto a stand and reoriented. That is one of the reasons I enjoy it thoroughly.

I am visiting this topic because longer term I have concluded that I have finally found in this setup close to the ultimate monitor. There is a distinct difference in experience even between the portrait and landscape modes of use of the speaker. I have always felt a pull toward having a serious monitor, and this setup scratches the itch. In fact, it goes far beyond expectations of a monitor into the category of super-monitor.

There will be very few who wish to dabble in this kind of experience, but there are some. Persons who should pay attention especially are the panel fans. I found the Trio15 vastly superior in all respects to the Magnepan .7, whether in Portrait or Landscape mode (I used the .7 on the stands in Landscape mode, too). Frankly, the .7 was a big disappointment in terms of performance. The Trio15 happily stayed, and the .7 went back. See my review of it if you wish.

Anyway, for the few who are seeking an ultimate monitor experience, the Landscape orientation (on the Sound Anchor stands) is as close as I have come to it. The horns oriented upright turn the soundstage more vertical and create a more L/R separation, but depending upon the positioning the center image is still quite full (But, even more so when the horns are parallel to the ground). If you want to do the full boatload experience then add subwoofers. What you will end up with is an extremely powerful performance that is emanating from the mid-section of the room, as with monitors. The bass is elevated nicely off the floor and powering directly at the ears. This is a more unusual experience, but quite distinct from large floor standing speakers. There is zero floor bounce, so the bass is much more tight coming from the speakers. Consequently, those who demand a strong tactile feel to the bass might be disappointed with the lack of vibration of the bass, however the tautness of the bass and sense of extreme focus is superior.

Obviously, you need a few things to pull this off. The stands are not cheap, so a commitment in funds will be required. However, the experience is so over the top in comparison to classic monitors that it bears little comparison cost-wise. I think you would have to spend in the neighborhood of at least the cost of the speakers and stands, about $10K, to get this quality of performance from a larger monitor, and the bass is holistically different working with four 15" open baffle vs. whatever sized boxed woofers. In addition, I find the horn to create quite a different experience than dynamic speakers, with more vitality. Note, there is less dynamic punch compared to boxed woofers of similar size, but the spatiality and lack of box coloration is profoundly superior to my ears.

You will need the room to maneuver it. My room is 13’ wide, just enough to pull it off. A smaller room would be vice-like. You also will potentially need differing length ICs and speaker cables. With an amp stand integrated with the speaker stand you have an option for close amp placement to the speaker if you wish.

I have covered much of this already in the review, but wished to expound upon it more. I do not see any two-way monitor on the market that could give this combination of attributes for a rig that is specifically tailored to give a monitor experience. Usually a person who has the room to do such a setup opts for a larger floor standing speaker. However, if you are adventurous, or have a strong disposition to feel monitors are superior, then you may wish to consider this setup. Feel free to contact me if you are serious about considering it.

BTW, you can see images of it on my virtual system. 

Hi Doug I saw your virtual system it’s probably the coolest one I’ve ever seen. Paptrio im landscape configuration, who woulda thought?
d2girls, thank you for the complement! I have been at this a long time, close to 40 years. Started with my first "system" in grade school and kept going. As you can see, I am unafraid of breaking with convention when it comes to building systems. 

My inspiration for trying was seeing the often used horizontal placement of speakers in recording studios. If the pros do the Landscape it can't be that bad, right? I thought it worth trying, and it has paid off handsomely. The performance is unlike, in very good ways, any other speaker I have used. 

Every monitor- and some two piece tower systems - I always turn the speaker upside down, and if possible run it on its side as well. A person learns much from hearing speakers reoriented. My first run with a large scale Landscape orientation was with the Daedalus Ulysses, and that was encouraging. I also tried the Magnepan .7 and that was a big disappointment, not for the soundstage, but for how relatively dead it was compared to the vibrancy of the Trio15 speaker. Even with big power, i.e. 500wpc, it was poor in terms of recreating a convincing lifelike soundstage with powerful dynamics. 

The power and scale capable of this super-monitor Landscape setup with subwoofers is on a par with some very large floor standing speakers. Use of the Schroeder Method interconnects between (now) the Exogal Comet DAC and the Benchmark AHB2 amps in Mono results in exciting definition and cleanness, a most vivid sound.