Differences between Ellis 1801 and Philharmonic BMR monitors

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alanhuth

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 21
I read somewhere that Dennis Murphy, creator of the BMR speakers, had and enjoyed and highly praised the Ellis 1801s.  I also know that designer Paul Carmody of Overnight Sensations fame said the Ellis 1801s were the best 2-way speakers he ever heard.  And, many people say similar things about the BMR Philharmonitors.  Does anybody have experience with both?  They seem reasonably priced, even at Salk levels, when you consider the reputation of the speakers and the build quality.  I have not heard either speaker, but I think I could buy either one.  But which?  Anybody with some plusses and minuses?  Thanks. 

DMurphy

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1496
    • SalkSound
I'll offer my opinion, since I designed both of the speakers in question.  Of the two, the BMR conforms most closely to "best practice" based on Floyd Toole's research.  The off-axis response is extremely wide and smooth and will produce prettier "Spinorama" measurements.  The 1801, on the other hand, will display a less uniform off-axis response at the crossover frequency (around 2400 Hz), where the dispersion of the small 0W1 tweeter is broader than that of the 6.5" Excel woofer.  You can hear that difference in the sound staging--the BMR's is wider and deeper.  However, there is some kind of synergy between the 0W1 tweeter and the magnesium Excel that produces an extremely clean sound.  For more popular fare like studio recordings, you might prefer the 1801.  For an orchestra playing complex music in a good auditorium, I personally would prefer the BMR.  There's not very much difference in bass performance, so I wouldn't let that tip your decision. 

alanhuth

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 21
Wow!  The MAN himself!  Thank you, Dennis.  I didn’t realize you were behind both speakers.  Just another of your many accomplishments.  Thanks for your comments.  BMR it is.