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The Syren

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Bluu

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Part One: The Back Story

My story starts with the company of some good friends, a bottle of Beefeater and a vinyl of Dire Straits. A Technics turntable fed the delicious analog source via a Lyrita pre-amp to a beefy McCormack amplifier. The electronics channeled Knopfler's genius to the quite brilliant Usher Be-718 speakers.

The experience was life changing.

As the notes faded along with the night, I knew that I was about to embark on an adventurous and expensive journey. Like all pragmatic people, I set myself a goal of purchasing a stereo rig in a reasonable budget. Having sampled some of the usual suspects, reignofchaos suggested we go meet Sridhar at ARN, from where he had purchased his Ushers. It turned out to be an excellent decision. Sridhar is an out and out gentleman. Plus he knows a thing or two about audio.

After an hour or two at ARN, listening to the Be-718's smaller sibling, the X-718, I was convinced that I could buy these with a slight extension of my modest budget. All this while, there were a pair of non-descript looking speakers standing against the far wall. When I say non-descript, I mean bright red. Think Ferraris. A single driver and tweeter. No frills and no fuss. Then Sridhar plugged them in and it was deja vu.

The experience was life changing.

End of part one.
 
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iaudio

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I think I have seen these at Arn. I guess most Odeyssey speakers have that sloping front baffle for time allignment.
 

Bluu

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Part Two: Courtship

Love at first audition. These are not speakers, I thought. These are teleportation devices. They are small (smaller than my outgoing Mission M34i) but heavy. A single Scanspeak driver and a simple looking tweeter. There is no way a speaker this small should be able to reproduce music with such a sense of scale, clarity and power; but the Syren can. Teleportation devices? Yes, sandeepmohan was with me (as was reignofchaos but he has heard these before) and both of us were transported to the live stage where the music was being played. Close your eyes, turn up the volume pot on the RG14 Edition Symphonic Line and this speaker just sings so sweetly! The bass is a product of brilliant cabinet design. I was tempted to ask Sridhar if he had a subwoofer plugged-in. He just laughed. The mids are bold and the highs are sweet. For me, the greatest thing about these speakers is that they are the Jacques Kallis of the speaker world. Genuinely amazing all rounders. You can throw pretty much any genre of music at them and they'll just stand and deliver. Pardon the pun.

I knew I had to have these. However, my modest budget was going to have to abruptly become unmodest. The speakers retail at a mind-boggling 1,5L+tax. Sridhar was kind enough to wrangle out a deal for me (which I am going to keep a secret, as you can imagine). I also knew that I could no longer settle for a budget amplifier. I heard the Syrens with many different amps such as the Jaton Operetta, the Odyssey Khartago and obviously, the outstanding Symphonic Lines. Though the Jaton is an amazing amp at its price point, I settled for the Khartago since it had a more powerful, well-rounded sound which suited my taste. The taste of distorted guitars. The SL, by far the best of the lot, was also by far the most expensive. Sigh, someday.

With a baby on the way (expected in June!) and a newly purchased house, I was face to face with the one debacle we audio lovers are all familiar with. Should I follow my head or my heart? I put my usual pragmatism aside and decided to go with my heart. However, destiny has something else in store for me. The Syrens had been sold to a gentleman who had walked in off the street. He was as smitten as I had been and paid full cash up front. Sridhar was absent from the store when this happened. The horror!

However, some matches are made in heaven they say. The gentleman was gently persuaded (thank you Sridhar!) to purchase the Usher Be-718s instead. I knew I had a second chance and there might not be a third. So, a week or so later, I went to ARN, paid up and brought home the Syrens.

End of part two.
 

denom

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Thanks for the behind the scenes story on them Syren's Bluu. Glad that you found your Syren's of the Speaker World :D (pun heavily intended!) What about your amp & source now? Next installment I suppose what with the little one due! Best of Luck for that journey to you & your wife :)

Can you please elaborate on your taste in music, genre's etc... Is your friend sandeep mohan also on the forum??? BTW, enjoy the COF Gig tomorrow!
 

Bluu

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Thanks Denom! It's raining cats, dogs and a few other animals in Bangalore as I write this. I very much doubt the show will not be water-logged. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for your wishes :)

The source will be mostly uncompressed FLACs from my PC to the amplification via a Logitech Squeezebox Duet. I've never been a CD person and own one (Collective Soul - Seven Year Itch). I was going to purchase the Jaton RC7000 pre-amp but have decided against it. I'm going to use my Denon AVR for preamp duties till I can buy a proper preamp (with all due respect to Jaton).

The power amp has been finalised - the Odyssey Khartago. Simple, controlled, powerful and beautiful sounding. Not very expensive either.

My taste in music is varied. I lean most heavily towards very heavy metal including most sub-genres like progressive, symphonic, death and thrash. My favorite bands are Metallica, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Daath, Mastodon, Opeth and my most recent discovery - Porcupine Tree.

After metal, my favorites are female vocal jazz and soul. Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Adele, Katie Melua, Madeline Peyroux etc. Most recent crush is Adele's Rolling in the Deep from 21.

My friends sandeepmohan and reignofchaos are on HFV and TeamBHP with me. We also work together at DreamWorks India in Bangalore.

Cheers!
 
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Kittu

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Congratulations, and nice writeup Bluu. Hope to see more parts and finishing with to be continued tag.


Whats the price paid for these beauties? :rolleyes: (PM if confidential) :p

What is the room size , May be a picture with complete setup will help us (noobs) understand better ? :licklips:

PS : It sure is raining some some animals here in bangalore :D. And my cable is out :sad: (damn airtel)
 

denom

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Hi Bluu,

Now that you've conveyed us all about the music you listen to, I'm very much intrigued about the Odyssey Syren's & Khartago Combo. Next time i am in bengaluru, will surely pay you a visit & hear the Syren's. Hopefully by then you would have the khartago & pre-amp in the chain :)

Best Wishes
 

Bluu

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Congratulations, and nice writeup Bluu. Hope to see more parts and finishing with to be continued tag.


Whats the price paid for these beauties? :rolleyes: (PM if confidential) :p

What is the room size , May be a picture with complete setup will help us (noobs) understand better ? :licklips:

PS : It sure is raining some some animals here in bangalore :D. And my cable is out :sad: (damn airtel)
Kittu, I'd like to keep the price confidential, if you don't mind. Thanks for your wishes! Pictures will be up soon. I am on the verge of moving into my new apartment in which the room is much better suited than the current one.

Hi Bluu,

Now that you've conveyed us all about the music you listen to, I'm very much intrigued about the Odyssey Syren's & Khartago Combo. Next time i am in bengaluru, will surely pay you a visit & hear the Syren's. Hopefully by then you would have the khartago & pre-amp in the chain :)

Best Wishes
You're welcome any time Denom!

I thought they used the very good Usher Scanspeak clone.
The Syren I have is the last one to use the original Scanspeak. You're right though, the latest use the Usher drivers and yes, it is very good.
 

keith_correa

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The Syren I have is the last one to use the original Scanspeak. You're right though, the latest use the Usher drivers and yes, it is very good.
Between the boxes that use the Scanspeaks and the ones that use the Ushers, is there a downward price revision - do you know? I think there should be.
 

Bluu

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I'm afraid I don't. Are Scanspeaks much more expensive than Ushers? In quality terms (from my experience with the Be-718, X-718 and DMD-20) the Usher drivers are also very good. In many circles, Scanspeak are considered the best drivers so what you say might be true. I guess Sridhar can answer this the best. If he doesn't read this post, you might want to PM him.
 

Kevian

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...
The source will be mostly uncompressed FLACs from my PC to the amplification via a Logitech Squeezebox Duet. I've never been a CD person and own one (Collective Soul - Seven Year Itch).

Cheers!
Hi Bluu...how do you gather your flacs? other than torrents, you have anything else to share? because on torrents, some times you don't find what you are looking for...

I know of www.hdtracks.com and Download Lossless FLAC APE music - biggest online archive but, I have not tried them. Any info on this would be helpful

cheers!!
 
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