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Osborn Eos Reference Elite


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I don't really know why, but I have an itch to make a change from my Proac Response 1sc speakers.

 

The amplifier is a Primare i30.

 

Has anyone had a good listen to the Eos speakers,  and can they comment on how they might sound or how they might compare to the Proacs?

 

I am looking only at small/ish standmount speakers, and ones which would not cost more than $5000.00.

 

Thanks.

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Hi,

I heard Eos at Melbourne hifi Show. There were very impressive with a huge sound. People where actually checking the cables connection behind speakers with disbelief. The music that Greg was using sounded really good. I would have to try Eos with faster and more detail amplifier (something like Naim, Rega, Exposure) before final opinion. Saying that it's very unlikely to find anything better under $4000. 

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I also did a double take on the Eos speakers at the Melbourne HiFi Show.  Amazed by their performance.  Pity you are not in Melbourne to get a demo, but with a 30 day full refund on purchases you can't go too far wrong.

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Sorry Brad.

I made a comment for another thread, hence the deletion, but since I am here, I heard the Eos and I think they are great speakers.

 

I also agree with other comments about the Osborn speakers not being particularly good to look at and with a low WAF, but that is more in relation to Greg's larger speakers. I also find his larger speakers being too forward and with a slightly etched  sound signature which requires careful system matching.

 

Cheers.

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I bought a pair of Greg’s standard Eos speakers soon after he released them. I use them in a small room (3m x 3m) and I have been extremely happy with them.

 

I would say that ‘in my experience’ they are better suited to a more warmer sounding amplifier as they can sound a bit bright/harsh with some others. I had to upgrade the other components in my system to really get the best out of them. 

 

That being said, I haven’t listened to the references or the reference elites so I couldn’t really compare them to my standard ones. 

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6 minutes ago, Islandaudio said:

I bought a pair of Greg’s standard Eos speakers soon after he released them. I use them in a small room (3m x 3m) and I have been extremely happy with them.

 

I would say that ‘in my experience’ they are better suited to a more warmer sounding amplifier as they can sound a bit bright/harsh with some others.

 

I am pleased that you like them, but I really do agree with your second paragraph. IMVHO, all Osborn speakers err towards bright  and shiny and careful system matching is a must.

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3 hours ago, Irek said:

I heaven't heard any signs of brightness from Osborn speakers, not even for a moment. With tube amp they were actually very mellow. 

Having owned a pair of Osborn Titan Reference (large standmounts) and also the Eclipse Reference floorstanders, both of which had the beryllium tweeter, I believe this particular tweeter  may have been the common cause of the 'brightness' referred to. Otherwise, I would have said that the larger speakers in particular had more of a warm, expansive and dynamic soundstage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Antipodean Brad Did you end up buying the Eos, or something else instead of them? I helped my friend who was looking for an affordable (circa $2000) speaker/amp system and he managed to get an Eos (standard model) and an old Audio Aero S/S amp that Greg had sitting around for about $500. All for a little over his budget. I was very impressed with the Eos, especially for the money.

 

I myself am now interested in the Eos Reference or Reference Elite now as I no longer have space for my 3.5 way Aurum Cantus Harmony floorstanders - and it will take a great bookshelf to match these. If anyone has a set of Eos (any variant, as they are all up-gradable) I will be interested in buying... I may post in the classifieds but probably after selling some other equipment.

 

On 27/02/2019 at 10:34 PM, gemini07 said:

Having owned a pair of Osborn Titan Reference (large standmounts) and also the Eclipse Reference floorstanders, both of which had the beryllium tweeter, I believe this particular tweeter  may have been the common cause of the 'brightness' referred to. Otherwise, I would have said that the larger speakers in particular had more of a warm, expansive and dynamic soundstage.

@gemini07 My cousin bought a set of Osborn F4 around 10 yrs ago and also had the problem of being a bit harsh/bright, but we soon discovered (after taking back to Greg Osborn) that it was due to bright sounding S/S amps. Greg's speakers, down to the entry level 'F' range, are tuned for valve amps or gentler sounding S/S such as those from Consonance. My cousin has Rotel pre/power and NADs at the time - which probably explained the issue. He's now got them on a secondary system with a Denon AVR which seems to have a warmer sound than the NAD / Rotel amps and it sounds fine. So I think it's to do with the way Greg tunes his speakers. With the right amplifier matching the Osborn speaker range sound really outstanding from their base models through to the reference models, I think.

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No, I didn't - not yet, anyway.   It is an itch at this time, which hasn't developed into a disease.  I've love to hear them, but it isn't worth the bother and risk due to the distance involved.

 

Thanks for the responses and for the information, everyone.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Brad, 

.             I have owned the EOS references for about one and a half years now. I had previously owned the Epitome refs which is a fantastic speaker. Only issue was their size. 

               The EOS impressed me at the 2017 Audio Show. I was lucky enough to listen to them side by side with the Epitome ref and surprisingly didn't find much of a difference.  I bought the EOS the following week. To me, they sound best with valves, SET, 50w class A. But due to time constraint , I sold my valve amps. I just don't have the time to warm up the valves before it hits it peak. At the moment , I have them hooked up to some Hypex  amps. 

                  My wife likes the Finish too. These and the chrome end Gales have her "approval". Lucky I like both these speakers very much too ! 

                  The   EOS  ref have to be the best bookshelf speakers I have owned. If you want a listen, please feel free to drop me a pm and we can work something out. Cheers 

 

arvind 

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On 27/02/2019 at 5:45 PM, rantan said:

I am pleased that you like them, but I really do agree with your second paragraph. IMVHO, all Osborn speakers err towards bright  and shiny and careful system matching is a must.

How strange different ears are, Rantan. Even when visiting Greg I have always wanted to calm down his speakers to reduce his love of bass. That is why I have found the Wadia DAC so useful. It makes vocals so delightful. Perhaps it is due to my declining ability to discern treble nuance as the years go by.

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6 hours ago, hellzigha said:

Hi Brad, 

.             I have owned the EOS references for about one and a half years now. I had previously owned the Epitome refs which is a fantastic speaker. Only issue was their size. 

               The EOS impressed me at the 2017 Audio Show. I was lucky enough to listen to them side by side with the Epitome ref and surprisingly didn't find much of a difference.  I bought the EOS the following week. To me, they sound best with valves, SET, 50w class A. But due to time constraint , I sold my valve amps. I just don't have the time to warm up the valves before it hits it peak. At the moment , I have them hooked up to some Hypex  amps. 

                  My wife likes the Finish too. These and the chrome end Gales have her "approval". Lucky I like both these speakers very much too ! 

                  The   EOS  ref have to be the best bookshelf speakers I have owned. If you want a listen, please feel free to drop me a pm and we can work something out. Cheers 

 

arvind 

Yes, the Epitomes are very good. I see you are selling a pair of Consonance 845s. I respectfully suggest that you might end up one day regretting that.

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13 minutes ago, Super Mustud said:

How strange different ears are, Rantan. Even when visiting Greg I have always wanted to calm down his speakers to reduce his love of bass. That is why I have found the Wadia DAC so useful. It makes vocals so delightful. Perhaps it is due to my declining ability to discern treble nuance as the years go by.

 

On that...........I hooked up some larger studio monitors to the TV the other day (I rarely watch it) and there was complaining about a buzzing sound when they were scrolling through a program list.

Therefore I was called in to fix this......................but I couldn't hear it so I went upon my merry way! 

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  • 1 month later...

I have had the Eos Reference for a few weeks now. In a medium / smallish room. Once placement is sorted (they do need to be quite close to the wall - 22cm in my case) everything starts to fall into place. For the first time in years I have completely disconnected the sub. There is simply no need for it - at all. 

 

I feed them with the Opera Consonance M100 Plus. I can't say I've had a ton of expensive reference style speakers to compare them to, but I will say that they have a 'big' sound. Apart from hearing detail I've never heard on music I must have played 100's of times (a stray guitar line here, another backing vocal part there, what's that sound the keyboard is making?.. ) the best way i can describe it (at least compared to the QAcoustics Concept 20 which is a great speaker - especially for the price) is that other speakers sound great but when you hear the Eos Reference you begin to realise that they present a mere facsimile of the music - and the Osborns reveal so much more.

 

I haven't got them fully settled yet but those are my impressions so far.

On 31/03/2019 at 3:12 PM, hellzigha said:

 At the moment , I have them hooked up to some Hypex  amps

               

Would be interested to hear how they sound in this combo as that is a direction I'm investigating.

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Yeah, Greg's speakers really are meant for tube amps.  However the older NADs and Exposure's 2010S amps also sound superb on them (among others of course but these are 2 of the more sensibly priced options available).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cafad said:

Yeah, Greg's speakers really are meant for tube amps.  However the older NADs and Exposure's 2010S amps also sound superb on them (among others of course but these are 2 of the more sensibly priced options available).

 

 

That seems to be a common perception. I don't think I've ever had a SS amp that could be described as forward, bright or edgy and I don't find the EOS much different balance-wise to the Concept 20s which I've used on both valve and SS amps. Not sure if those observations refer to the earlier tweeters? 

 

Would be interesting to explore that further and get some input from members who have used them with other SS amps and in particular the new breed of Class D like the Devialet and the Hypex modules B|

Edited by lemarquis
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  • 3 weeks later...

I picked up a pair of Eos Reference off Stereo Net a while ago.  I noticed the vocals were a little harsh even through a valve amp (Almarro A240's, I would not describe as a soft valve amp).  I wanted a pair of speaker cables, to satisfy one of my crazy beliefs, and purchased a pair of Osborn cables.    The difference was pretty noticeable in that the harshness was gone and the speaker seemed more balanced and harmonious.  Mind you if I used the Osborn cable in my usual set up is was not as go as my existing cable.

 

My point being you my get better results with the Eos using Osborn speaker cables, if you get the chance to try some. 

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I bought a pair of the Osborn speaker cables as it made sense synergy-wise*. I would say that the Eos Reference are quite sensitive to placement, particularly vis a vis the back wall. Greg recommends 20cm-40cm distance from the back wall. This is quite different to usual placement requiring the speakers to be placed further out into the room.

 

When I first installed them in the same position as my previous speakers (60+cm out) they were a little thin and bright. After rearranging furniture and experimenting I settled on about 35cm out from the back wall. This had them sounding balanced and full. To the point where I completely removed the sub B|

 

* Greg offers a lifetime refund if you find better cables so it's a no brainer to give them a try.

Edited by lemarquis
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  • 4 weeks later...

I own a pair of Osborn Titan Reference and sat them next to the EOS Reference. The EOS Ref blew them away in every respect. The detail in the EOS is just amazing, the tweeter in the Ref series has stunning detail and worth the extra $$. 

 

I run Sonarworks with my titans which improve the tuning a dramatically and sound great. Would love to sell them and get a pair of EOS. Maybe the crossovers need some attention...

 

 

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2 hours ago, Ryan Hazell said:

..the tweeter in the Ref series has stunning detail and worth the extra $$. 

There is an Elite crossover upgrade for the Eos Reference (an additional $700 odd) which apparently takes it to yet another level.. I'd consider that further down the track.

Edited by lemarquis
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