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 four Pi kit
I spent 3 serious hours with the new speakers early this AM ..
 5 of 5 Stars!
three π kit Reviews  three Pi kit Reviews
Product: three π kit  three Pi kit
From: Jacky Cheung
Date: Saturday 19 July, 2008

I came across the pi speakers when I was looking for a pair of high efficiency loudspeakers. I have no speaker building experience but Wayne was very helpful. He provided several suggestions to help me to save money, and even help me to get the right screws for the woofers. The great customer service from Wayne was one of the reasons why I chose the 3 Pi. At the end I bought the crossover, the B&C tweeter and the horn from Wayne, and got the woofer from a local source and build the cabinet. Below is a review on the 3 Pi speakers, which is also posted on my website:

Now I have lived with the Pi speakers for over 3 months, and I can say I am really happy with it. The soundstage feels very real and natural, not exaggerated. I find that I do not need to concentrate on 'audiophile qualities' such as imaging, soundstage etc anymore, but rather, on the music itself. Just like listening to live music, you won’t try to locate where the musicians/instruments are on the stage, they are 'just there'.

After living with the Merlin TSM-MM for 3 years, and with the Harbeth LS3/5a for a couple of years before that, I am really glad to have a pair of floorstanders in my listening room again. While the Merlins have exceptional good bass for its size and have a very balanced sound (unlike the LS3/5a, which is bass-shy), a standmount is still a standmount. It cannot produce enough air movement with its 6 inch bass drive, thus the lowest frequencies are missing. On the other hand, the Pi 3, with its 12inch drivers, can go quite deep. Both the quality and quantity of bass are very good, and some music that sound a bit thin with the TSM is now more balance and enjoyable. Listening to the first track 'Prologue' on The Book of Screts by Loreena Mckennitt, the bass is deep and very powerful, which is lacking with the TSM.

Another desirable quality of the 3 pi is that it is not fussy about positioning (both the speakers and the listener). You don't have to lock yourself on the sweet spot to get a good soundstage and focus. I have a 3 seater couch in my listening room and I can sit at any position and still get very good sound/soundstage from the 3 pi. This probably has to do with the horn loaded tweeter/midrange, and maybe a wide cabinet design?

While the Pi is not harsh sounding at all, it is not as smooth as the Merlin TSM. I can listen to the TSM for a very long time without feeling any fatigue. I can hear a bit of midrange grain on the Pi, which could make it sound a bit 'rough' on some music. I may try to swap in better caps in the crossover to see if this can be improved.

In conclusion, while the TSM and the Pi are completely different speakers, I can live with either the Merlin TSM or the Pi for a long time. They are both very musical. The Merlin TSM sounds smoother and more transparent, with a deeper soundstage. It images very well (focus very well). On the other hand, the Pi, being a full range speaker, is a bit more fun and can play just about any kind of music without strain. It is much more forward sounding. It has a sense of 'ease' and produce life size images/soundstage. And it is very efficient (98dB sensitivity) so you can drive it with just about anything.

Rating:  5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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