New Speakers: Proac DB3 or DB1

I’m a new member and am looking for some opinions on the above noted Proac mini monitors. My listening area is 13’ x 16’ x 8’h, speakers will be 6’ apart, listening 6’ away and can only provide 26" from rear wall to front baffle. I am firing the speakers across the room. My primary genre of music is classic rock and blues. My front end consists of a ModWright 200w integrated, Aurender streamer and Chord Qutest. Any real world experience with these speakers would be appreciated, audition is not possible in my area.
Thanks!

Hi @Scotty2

I have a room the same length as yours but only about 10’ wide for 75% of its’ length. My ProAc DB1’s are firing across the room, about 6/7’ apart & I sit about 8’ from the front of them. They are only about 5" from the rear wall at their nearest point.

I have owned ProAc ‘mini monitors’ since 1990. Studio 1s until 2015 when the foam around the midrange units started to disintegrate, 118’s until I replaced them with the DB1’s 18 months ago, when I majorly ungraded my system for the first time since going for Naim amps in 1986 & replacing Celestion SL6s with the ProAcs in 1990.

I have never contemplated switching from ProAc in all that time because I have been very happy with them & they produce a sound I can happily live with. I have heard speakers I preferred at demo evenings at my dealers but they have all been large floor standers costing from 2 or 3 to nearly 10 times the price of the ProAcs. Also the demo room is at least twice the size of my room &, from bitter experience in the early 1980s, I just could not get on with large floor standers in a small room. Small stand mounts sounded far better balanced & suited to a small room to my ears.

I did consider the DB3’s but, unsurprisingly given the price difference, felt the DB1’s superior in all areas. The DB3’s were good but the 1’s were better. Rather than trying to describe the sound to you I suggest you read the descriptions on the ProAc website as I feel they fairly describe the sound qualities of both speakers & are close to what I heard with my own ears.

I have always found that speakers which immediately grab your attention in the demo room turn out to be bright & fatiguing listening at home. The DB1’s seem to present all the musical detail in a way which enables hours of continual listening without a hint of fatigue creeping in. This is a very important factor for me.

I should add that my speakers are driven by a Uniti Nova, which seems a good match. Just before I got the Nova they were hooked up to my 1986 Naim 32.5/Hi Cap/140 for about 6 weeks & sounded pretty good. However they sounded even better driven by the more powerful Nova. I had not heard of your amp until your post & see that it is extremely powerful by UK standards so I guess it will be OK with the ProAcs provided you do not wish to drive them flat out! If you are serious about the DB1’s I would suggest checking suitability with ProAc (or your dealer) of using your amp with the speakers before making a purchase.

Especially as you are not using Naim amplification I would strongly suggest that you do try & demo before purchase to ensure that there is no obvious mismatch &, if you can’t, make sure the dealer will take them back if you don’t get on with them.

I think you will find that they are speakers that will improve further the better the amplification that you pair them with. My dealer maintains that one of the best customers systems he has heard are the even smaller Tablettes driven by £40,000 worth of Naim amps, presumably a 500 series setup. Again, the customer is severely space limited.

Like you, my main listening is blues & rock but I do listen to ‘quieter’ female vocal, some folk & classical music & feel the DB1 acquits itself well on all types.

Here is one of my DB1’s with the rest of my system -

image

Hope it turns out well for you.

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Hi Canaryfan

Thank you for the reply. You seem very content with your Proac speakers. I have just sold my Spendor Classic SP2/3R2, loved the midrange, but they were just too large for my space and as a result the bass was unmanageable. I had a pair of Proac D25 before the Spendor and really liked the top end and mids, but again not so much the bass.
I think smallish stand mounts are the right direction for me. I was also considering the Tablette 10, but not sure it would have enough bottom end for rock. Don’t really want the hassle of trying to integrate a sub. I have no option to demo and once purchased the new speakers are mine. In your space would you think the Tablettes adequate or too thin for your listening vs DB1.

You may want to check out the Show us Your Table 10 thread. There are also a couple of other threads where the Tab 10’s are discussed.

I ran a pair of ProAc D2’s and thought the speakers were fantastic and base was mighty fine. I currently run a pair of ProAc D30RS speakers and there are many members on the forum who use various ProAc speakers. Type in 'ProAc in the search and 50+ threads are availble…

Good luck with your decision…

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Thanks sea kayaker, I’ll check that out.

@seakayaker has beaten me to it. I was going to refer you to the same thread that he mentions as I have never heard tablettes so can’t answer your question concerning them.

I would imagine they will also sound good as it has been a speaker in ProAcs range for 30+ years & is now in the tenth version. As with most/all quality speakers, they should sound better as the quality of the amplification driving them increases. Plenty of people must like them &, as I said, my dealer thinks very highly of his customers very expensive system which uses them despite having a preference for other brands, such as Harbeth, before ProAc. I found the small & mid sized Harbeths to sound as if they had a thick curtain in front of them, giving a too laid back, verging on the point of comatosed, presentation for my taste. Just goes to show how different we can be when it comes to speaker preferences.

Moving the other way, the KEF speakers I have heard at my dealers open evenings have all sounded far too bright to me, reminding me of an over sharpened digital image. The majority of listeners who attended these events shared my opinion so I suspect we were all hearing much the same thing. The large, & very expensive, KEF floor standers also seemed to produce huge amounts of distorted bass. Again, each to their own, as someone at the event liked the £18,000 floor standers so much he purchased two pairs that same evening for his holiday home!

Back to the ProAcs. Over the 30 years that I have been listening to them I have found them very hard to fault, in my room & with my amplification. If my room were 10 to 20% larger than yours I would be very interested in hearing the ProAc D2R, about which I have heard nothing but extremely positive noises. A bigger room still & the first speakers I would audition would be ProAc floor standers before I considered any other brand.

The fact that ProAc have been around for 40 years or so & feature in a considerable number of systems whilst doing minimal advertising, must say something about the quality of their product & lasting appeal to their listeners.

This is starting to sound like an advert for them but I can assure you that I have no connection with them other than as a satisfied user!

As before, I hope you find a speaker that fulfils all your expectations & requirements.

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I would seriously audition a pair of D2Rs. Your room’s a little larger than mine and they sound glorious in my 12’ x 13’ x 8’. Pull them about 24" (measured from the ribbon tweeters) from the back wall and they’ll put a big smile on your face. They properly see off competition at double the price.

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I’ve read great things about the D2R, unfortunately they are approx $6000 Can, so they exceed my budget at this point in time :frowning: The Proacs take a big price jump when they travel across the pond!

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I’m now thinking I need to go up to at least the DB1 if not the DB2. Is there is big performance jump when you go from the 1 to the 2, or is it a subtle improvement? Sure wish I could demo these :frowning:

Instead, and with that amplification, I would very seriously contemplate the D2s, but the normal ones with silk dome tweeters, not the new D2Rs with the ribbon tweeter. Personally I find better those with the dome tweeters, with proper treble dispersion and much less fussy in their ubication and sweet spot consideration; and, moreover, much more affordable in its price. Definitely true keepers stand mounters.

Hmmm…
24" stands are typical for the D2?
Are the Target HR series heavy enough?

Scotty, I’ve got my D2rs on 20" SolidSteel stands. They put the tweeter at ear level and because of their geometry, are super stable and work well. 20" is where you want to be.

I’m now thinking at least the DB1 or maybe go for it and get the D2 (soft dome).
I spoke with a dealer today and his thoughts were that both would fill my room and provide decent bottom end. He also indicated that the D2 is a significant step up from the DB1.

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Having bought Tablette 10 Signatures recently, it’s been fascinating to learn more about the range from posts here. I was aware of the D2 from posts, but hadn’t realised that between them and the T10 there sit the DB1 and DB3, with the latter costing only £150 more than the T10 Sig. It seems odd that they make so many small stand mounts. The T10s can produce some very respectable bass but I imagine the D2 would be a much bigger sound, especially if loud rock music is the order of the day.

I’d also never heard of Modwright equipment. The K200 looks excellent from what I’ve now read, and there is a K 225 with a tube preamp and solid state power amp. All that power would certainly get the best from the D2 I’m sure. I think that if I had that amplifier and could get the speakers sufficiently far from the wall it would be the D2 I went for. They are a bit taller than my T10s, which sit on 600mm stands, so 500mm as recommended by Fifty-Fifty above would seem ideal. The Target Heavy 4, now made in Canada I believe, would seem ideal.

I hope it all works out well.

It would be interesting to hear more about the differences between the T10 Sig / DB1 / DB3

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Interesting to note that Kef’s are bright

I’ve been listening to them since 2004 and In my 2005 “ eggs “home theatre system

they’ve never been fatiguing to me

Particularly since KEF as a company likes to keep the voicing of their speakers neutral

In fact I’ve compared my KEF meta LS50 side by side with my Dynaudio focus 260 and clearly can hear that these 2 companies do indeed go for very neutral voicing without any emphasis on particular frequency range

The likes of B&W do indeed sound brighter and measures as such

One can look up the frequency range of the LS50 online looks quite neutral

The D2 cabinet is made from thin wall plywood, does this lend itself to a bit of the BBC midrange magic (Spendor/Harbeth like) that the DB1 might not have with it’s cabinet being made of MDF?

Midrange magic in one of the substantial features of all ProAc speakers. In some of them it is more noticeable than in others, because logically they all do not sound the same; but, certainly, slightly advanced and magical mids are one of the features of the ProAC sound.

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I struggle to understand Proac’s range, wonder if there’s any simple hierarchy ?

I remember back in the days our distributor sold Tablettes, Response 1,2 & 3 and some Studio monitors 100, others I didn’t notice.

…it is laid out on their website from one end to the other. Although they do not put much effort into the website the information can be gained from there and reading reviews and comments from users across the internet.