Following is my review of my new Daedalus speakers
I know you have similar experiences but I wanted to reinforce that and give unabashed enthusiastic positive and informative insight for those considering purchasing Daedalus speakers
Oscar Wilde said - "forgive me for the long letter, I didn't have time to write a short one"
So excuse my lack of brevity
I was able to acquire a second hand pair of Ulysses from Jason (Jriggy) who downsized in the Daedalus lineup to suit his room size. He saw my request for a Daedalus demo on this board and contacted me. There is a big reason you don't see Daedalus listed for sale. He was great walking me through everything with pics galore. Thank you!!
Jason sent these off to Lou for the V2 and trim ring upgrades and Lou was even kind enough to touch the finish up to new status
I received the speakers a couple months ago and was also evaluating and breaking in cable - a few hours at a time. I demo'd Lou's older Daedalus / Wywire speaker cables and went with the current version. Very revealing.
The speakers have been a real revelation for me.
I live in New Orleans - play a little upright bass and see a wide range of music constantly. My son is a music student and plays in several symphonic groups, acoustic guitar, piano and rock bands.
I always am looking first for very natural and neutral tonality. Sometimes that comes at the expense of resolution. Not with the Ulysses.
My room is 14 1/2 deep by 27 wide - my system is on the long wall (preferred orientation with the flow from room to room and view outside)
My system is listed on Audiogon
I am mostly analog on the front endhttp://forum.Audition.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&994629402&view
The high efficiency of the Ulysses has been a godsend. I was able to use my Atmasphere MA1s without strain on the otl which likes to see a high ohm load.
I was able to get a pair of Doshi tube mono blocks to go with my Doshi pre and at 80 watts it is the perfect synergy with the speakers. Wow.
Now the important part
First and formost - the tonality was dead on. Overtones, space - you could hear the subtle resonance of the stringed instruments. Very natural- seamless drivers top to bottom.
Jazz, classical, acoustic, and rock - all dead on.
You could hear subtleties like slight differences it how loud or soft a drummer used his brushes, the guitarist playing further forward or towards the bridge, the open tones of a sax.
Events came in and faded very naturally. Lots of air around the instruments.
Another great thing was that a lot of speakers that play acoustic music well just don't have the punch for rock music. Not so at all. With the Daedalus The dynamic swings are dramatic and it doesn't take a lot of volume to get to a revealing and natural level of impact. Something a lot of speakers lack.Have your cake and eat it too
I love the concept of flat frequency to 30 hz. I've had speakers that go as low as 20 hertz and you sacrifice a lot to get there for diminishing returns. And it limits you to high powered amps that are generally solid state - not my cup of tea on the tonality end. The speakers were lacking nothing on the bottom end, excellent balance, tight natural and controlled bass from 8" drivers. That said my HT room has a JL Audio F113 that handles those subsonics that movie audio guys throw in for chest tingling impact. The sound you feel more than hear. Did not miss a sub or extra low end at all, in fact regarding my room the bass nodes for it's size wouldn 't like the lowest frequencies anyway. The Ulysses have a well defined and properly balanced low end. Jazz upright music I play around the house and know all too well - it was spot on.
I usually prefer a narrow point source for pinpoint imaging with minimal drivers. That is great but the sweet spot ends up being very narrow. Lou's slightly offset angled tweeter design is incredibly refined giving sharp imaging and placement both from left to right but also with depth and height. And the sweet spot is expanded dramatically. Symphonic and jazz music recorded with the ambiance aspects of the hall and musicians - with properly spaced out mics gave a holographic aspect.
Separation of instruments is also there in spades. The layering really broke out. You could feel the size and resonance of drums, the loudness and impact of various instruments and the intent of multi tracked studio masters. Wow. Take for example Crosby, Stills and Nash. I had a hard time distinguishing Crosby in the mix because his voice blended so well with Nash's. The separation with the Ulysses is so good you can hear the timbre in Crosby's voice and it's resonance very distinctly and it is a real treat.
There are too many recordings I could rave about - all but ones with serious flaws (loudness wars, or ear bleeding sharp high end) are engaging. The speakers are going to resolve everything in the source but without adding any coloration on their end. Too many critically lauded speakers color and distort the sound and I am always baffled audio gurus and audiophiles being enamored with them. Flashy sound that doesn't stand up to long listening sessions. Lou's speakers are preceived as mellow when they are really dead on. Importantly I did not feel any aspect of listening fatigue and I am very sensitive to high frequencies.
The speakers really disappear in the room, except visually for their exquisite woodworking. You can tell Lou's guitar amp cabinet designs have had a nice impact on his 2 channel speaker designs and relevant resulting sound. A labor of love and old world craftsmanship
I am really rediscovering my musical collection, seeking out original UK vinyl releases, etc.
Sleep deprivation and cancelling my direct tv to spend most of my time when I am not seeing a live show, at home listening to music. I am a single parent, a long time divorced and last year my son (i have two children) was the last to leave the nest so I basically have no restrictions on my listening habits.
As nice as a major audio component is a key factor in your system, and it is critical, is whether the manufacturer stands behind it. I have built my system from the ground up using great indiependant direct manufacturers. Word of mouth and stellar designs. As you know Lou is a really incredible person and so concerned about your audio satisfaction. I bought my speakers second hand and he treated me as if I were an original owner. He walked me through the V2 upgrade, kept me informed and made sure things were optimally set up, we discussed synergy with my amp options, break in characteristics (take your time - not 24/7) etc and gave room and positioning suggestions. He is still following up with me. I can't say enough about Lou, he really stands behind his product and is a great guy.
For anyone who wants to evaluate the Ulysses and is able to get down to New Orleans, I would be honored to be your host. I am sure this would be a good experience (based on the house sound) for other speakers in the Daedalus line
If New Orleans isn't in the card - consider one of the big audio shows. I heard Lou's Ulysses at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October 2011
I know who i will go to when I am looking for speakers to upgrade my ht setup.
Thank you again Lou, in fact I can't thank you enough
And thank you Jason for making this happen
I know I have found my end all speakers and am very happy
I am raptured by the passion of the music, not equipment