Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers

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Montreal_Jazz

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Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« on: 10 Jun 2024, 02:01 pm »
Hello everyone,

I'm seeking some insights into the new Bully speakers and would appreciate your expertise. Specifically, I'm curious about how the Bully stands up against the NX Studio with Subs and the NX Oticas. Here are a few questions to guide the discussion:

1- Comparison with NX Studio and NX Oticas: How does the Bully compare to the NX Studio with Subs and the NX Oticas in terms of overall performance? Are there notable differences in tone, timbre, and spatial cues between these models?

2- Sound Quality in a Medium-Sized Room: I have a medium-sized room that is partially treated, paired with what I consider a pretty good system. I’m using a SET amp with KT88 tubes providing 37 watts in triode mode. Given this setup, which includes enough power to drive most GR speakers comfortably, how would you describe the Bully’s performance in similar conditions?

3- Listening Experience and Reviews: I’ve seen Ron’s review and Danny’s video on the Bully, and it seems to offer a lot of promise. For those who have had a chance to listen to them, how do they sound compared to other GR models? What are your personal impressions?

4- Future Iterations and Tweeter Options: Is there any information on a potential third iteration of these "old school" speakers? I’m particularly interested in whether a future model might feature a Neo tweeter, more subs or other advancements.

5- Guidance and Recommendations: For those familiar with the GR speaker lineup, how would you guide someone like me in making a choice? Are there particular considerations or preferences that might make one model a better fit over another?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and recommendations. Feel free to chime in with any advice or experiences that could help me make a more informed decision.

Cheers 🍻

Jon

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #1 on: 10 Jun 2024, 03:58 pm »
I work for Danny, as I'm also really familiar with a lot of our speakers, (just so that's stated up front) but I welcome anyone else's thoughts as well.  :thumb:

1. In terms of dynamics the Bully and NX-Otica/Treme are the most similar, where the NX series wins is in clarity/detail and overall soundstage depth/layering as the NX-series really "disappears". The NX-studio isn't a great comparison as it's much smaller and only 87dB efficient vs 94db of the other models, but it's soundstage performance is overall quite similar to the rest of the NX-series, you just lose the dynamics of the other models. Where the bully wins IMO, is in terms of fun/engagement, as the soundstage is more "forward" it's killer for more "in your face" type music (Rock/Metal etc.) But that's not to say it cant be refined or articulate when it need to be, it just wont be to quite the same level as the NX towers.

2. Since they're all very similar in terms of sensitivity, such an amp will do a great job with any of them. The Bully's do offer a lot more flexibility in terms of placement as they are a sealed design with a powered subwoofer controlling the bottom end. While the NX-series needs to be pulled away from the front/side walls. That said with any of our models, the further you can get them in the room the better.

3. Compared to the majority of the X-series, the Bully's are more fun/engaging thanks to the higher sensitivity. I'd day that most of the X-series does disappear better thanks to the narrower baffle, especially models like the X-Statik which have open-baffle midrange. The Brute is a more direct comparison and they're quite similar overall, especially in terms of soundstage performance, and aside from the 4db difference in sensitivity, but having a servo controlled 12" sub in the Bully over the passive 12" poly cone of the Brute really lends itself well to more speed and impact, especially down low.

4. The Next plan is the "Beast," which the current plan is to use 2x 6.5" paper cone mids with 2x 12" sealed subs down below, using a more powerful amplifier. But we're not ready to start on prototyping that out just yet. We don't have plans to change the tweeter.

5. It really depends on what sort of sound/performance you're after. How far can you pull the speakers out into the room? Can/do you want subs? (and can they also be pulled out from the wall?)
If you want a speaker that completely disappears and is articulate and refined with a deep layered soundstage, and you can pull the speakers out into the room, look at the NX-series.
If you want a good all-round performance on a budget, look at the X-series, if you can pull them from the wall, look at the X-Statik in particular.
If you want something big and engaging, then I would go with the Old-school series.

corndog71

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #2 on: 10 Jun 2024, 04:35 pm »
As a customer of GR Research for over 15 years, I can attest that the X-series speakers are fantastic performers and extremely competitive at their price point.  The Peerless tweeters used in the X series are  very smooth with very good detail.  While I haven’t heard the NX line I am very familiar with the GR planar magnetic tweeter and it alone offers a more refined clarity and level of detail while remaining smooth and never fatiguing.

I currently use a pair of X-SLS in my living room and their performance continues to amaze me.  The Old School series uses the same tweeters so I expect them to sound equally great.

If saving money or not enough space are your main factors then go for the X-series/ Old School series.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you have more room and/or want the ultimate resolution then the NX line is for you.

jmimac351

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #3 on: 11 Jun 2024, 12:11 am »
Jon, what kind of music do you like to listen to?  If you're listening to Jack Johnson play a guitar, that's one thing.  If you're listening to Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov), that's another.

Tyson

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #4 on: 11 Jun 2024, 02:41 am »
If you have the room, the NX series is the top of the line, for a reason.  They really are that good.  But if you don't have the space then the Bully is a great speaker for a tube amp because it's very senstitive and the bass is offloaded to a dedicated, separately powered woofer. 

Montreal_Jazz

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #5 on: 11 Jun 2024, 10:14 pm »
First things first, thank you Hobbs, Corndog71, Jmimac351 and Tyson for taking the time to respond and share your experience/expertise. Although there isn't any fatality choosing speakers to build, still I get antsy and probably read way too much about it!
Jon, what kind of music do you like to listen to?  If you're listening to Jack Johnson play a guitar, that's one thing.  If you're listening to Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov), that's another.

I listen to acoustics, blues, Jazz, classical and unfortunately I do love big orchestra the likes of Scheherazade and also rock! My answers doesnt really help does it?!

If you have the room, the NX series is the top of the line, for a reason.  They really are that good.  But if you don't have the space then the Bully is a great speaker for a tube amp because it's very senstitive and the bass is offloaded to a dedicated, separately powered woofer. 

I do have space, I can easily bring the speakers, 4-5 feet from the front wall. What I like about the bully is what the plate amp brings in terms of versatility and adjustments. I wonder if because of this, The Bully might be flirting pretty close to say NX-Oticas when the room isn't optimal as it is often the case in real life...🤔


1. In terms of dynamics the Bully and NX-Otica/Treme are the most similar, where the NX series wins is in clarity/detail and overall soundstage depth/layering as the NX-series really "disappears". The NX-studio isn't a great comparison as it's much smaller and only 87dB efficient

Well Hoffmans Iron Law is a bitch and I'm not ready to change the atmospheric air with something else just yet ;) Although I was under the impression that when the NX-Studios are couple with say double/triple subs they can be pretty detailed and I can always upgrade later and move them into a second system. Or I go with NX-Oticas with simple/no subs? Then add subs from there as needed?

Tyson

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #6 on: 11 Jun 2024, 10:27 pm »
NX Oticas definitely need subs.

My own experience is that OB speakers actually do much better in difficult rooms.  Especially in the bass.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #7 on: 11 Jun 2024, 11:12 pm »
Well Hoffmans Iron Law is a bitch and I'm not ready to change the atmospheric air with something else just yet ;) Although I was under the impression that when the NX-Studios are couple with say double/triple subs they can be pretty detailed and I can always upgrade later and move them into a second system. Or I go with NX-Oticas with simple/no subs? Then add subs from there as needed?

When paired with OB subs, or even our sealed subs, the Studios are fantastic, but the main thing I feel that lack compared to the Otica/Xtreme is the same level of speed and effortlessness that the larger models have thanks to the additional drivers, especially in larger rooms. In a small or more moderate sized room, that's less of an issue as you're not driving them as hard, though a high-pass filter to roll-off the bottom end does help when you need to crank them.

mlundy57

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Re: Bully vs GR other Open/Infinite baffle speakers
« Reply #8 on: 12 Jun 2024, 01:33 am »
Something else the NX-Otica/X-Treme have over the Studio monitors is a sense of scale. Since you like big orchestra, this is an important factor. Also, tying into what Hobbs said, is effortlessness. These two attributes, scale and effortless, go together. The NX-Tremes have the most effortless presentation with dynamics jumps and provides the largest sense of scale. The NX-Otica is not quite as effortless below 200Hz. The NX-Studio Monitor, while one of the best sounding stand mounted monitors I’ve heard, isn’t in the same league as the Otica or X-Tremes, especially for the type of music you like to listen to.

If you have the room to fit 4 towers (2 speakers and 2 triple threats) and enough ceiling height (the X-Tremes are 7-1/2 feet tall) then go for the X-Tremes. If you have the room but not enough ceiling height, go for the Oticas. If you don’t have enough room for 4 towers, go for the Studio Monitors and Double Troubles.