If you have checked in with Dagogo lately you have seen the recent review I conducted with the Daedalus Ulysses floor standing speaker and the accompanying BOW woofer system. If you wish to know the mind of Doug Schroeder regarding normal use of the Ulysses, as well as the light technical discussion of its composition, you will need to read that review. This, however, is the article about the Ulysses you do not expect! For in this review I will put the world topsy-turvy; I’m going to discuss how I prefer to use the Ulysses speaker system horizontally! Yes, that is correct, I prefer the Ulysses when used on its side, and here I will explain why.
This article is not so much a review of the Ulysses as it is a discussion of an alternative application for use of tower speakers. As such it is not limited to the Ulysses but can be attempted with any number of speaker systems. When I say ‘attempted” I mean an activity with no guarantee of success, such as a person attempting to climb Everest; it may work for you, or it may not. But the attempt can be awfully fun and may lead to some incredibly good times! Some things attempted can bring disaster and pain, such as attempting a double flip from a high dive. What I propose here should not cause any pain, unless you drop the speaker on your foot! The results, however, can be far in excess of anticipation.
I am not going to discuss at length the systems used with the speakers. To see the attending components one can, again, reference the traditional review. I also will not spend time on impressions of particular musical pieces, as the effect is universal. Play whatever you like and the reorientation of a speaker system will holistically be altered.
Before I plunge into the meat of the discussion, I would like to thank Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio for his openness to the project. Understandably, Lou is cautious about his reputation as he wants an erudite and serious acceptance of his gorgeously designed speaker. If I was the owner of a high end speaker company would I want some reviewer trying alternative configurations with my product and writing it into a surprise review? No, I would not. That is why I informed him of my intent in discussing the dual positioning of the Ulysses before I started writing. Normally I do not discuss what I do with products; case in point, I just finished a Legacy Audio XTREME HD Subwoofer article due for publishing, in which I state that in order to optimize the subs for my taste I turned them backwards and placed hockey pucks under them!
Just because a product is expected to be used in such a fashion does not mean there is no alternative use which can be efficacious. But that implementation may not make it into the official review. I knew that Lou could make a stink if he wanted and ask for a different reviewer. But to his credit he didn’t, perhaps because Daedalus is also in the professional speaker market and Lou has given more than a passing thought to such sideways positioned speakers.
Other manufacturers have done something about it, such as Westlake Audio’s low oversized monitors for home and professional use. They are by no means cheap, since Westlake isn’t playing games with its gargantuan speakers. When I scouted online for additional subjects for this article, one dealer returned my inquiry about larger center channels with a suggestion of the VMPS RM40, a five-foot-tall tower speaker. There will be quiet minds that read what follows and give it very serious contemplation. Ironically, the market for home theater has conditioned the younger generations to glom onto center speaker bars. The landscape speaker concept is similar, however done up audiophile style.
In order to give Lou an out, that is an excuse if he is besieged by irate audiophiles who insist that I am an idiot, he can say this is not the official review and that he asked me to show discretion with writing the review. I know how to read between the lines; I promised that I would write two articles to protect his interests. However, by doing so I lay claim to the method; the following is not a Daedalus Audio method, it is mine. It also is not solely applicable to the Ulysses. I have already made arrangements to receive a pair of Legacy Audio Marquis center channels, which are more formidable than many towers! These also I will use in horizontal position and add to my body of knowledge with the technique. So, if you don’t like what you read here, do not blame Lou. However, if you do like what you read here…
Yes, I actually did it
Yes, I actually laid the Ulysses speakers on their lovely artisanal sides atop speaker stands meant for small monitors! Yes, I know it is not kosher, proper, accepted norm and a proper audiophile thing to do, but nothing new of a noteworthy nature happens when all one does is follow convention. What you, the sophisticated, surprised and skeptical Dagogo reader needs to know is that this is much more than a gimmick. It is a legitimate alternative positioning of these speakers. How legitimate? Consider that I enjoyed the speakers while reviewing them in a traditional upright position, but I bought the speakers to use them horizontally!
“Why not sideways,” has been a question on my mind for the better part of twenty years. I would guess that a large percentage of the audiophile population may have asked the same question, and a not insignificant number have done something about it! Maybe you only calculated, deliberated, and then let the thought dissipate. My “Hmmmm…,” however, didn’t dissipate but coalesced. I have turned all the bookshelf speakers I have owned on their sides to hear the result, and I assure you that interesting things occur.
It is a little different, however, when placing a nearly four-foot-tall floor standing speaker on its side! The vast majority of tower speakers are not ideal for such an application. The cabinet, driver configuration, room, and of course the ever present WAF may conspire to kill any experimentation. What if the conditions were Goldilocks right, what would be the outcome? This article is about the culmination of a long time search for a serious, audiophile reviewer-worthy “Landscape” speaker, and the Ulysses is the first to be vetted.
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