Pure and simple, that is the goal at PureAudioProject, the makers of a speaker that is part DIY and part manufactured. It’s flashy, yet practical. In some respects it’s pure lunacy, and in others it’s pure genius. It goes by the name the PureAudioProject TRIO 15TB Speaker, or the TREO 15 BEYMA 150H, or the TREO 15 HEIL AMT depending upon the configuration of the middle driver. To me it is pure fun!
I have always loved variety in audio experiences as much as any aspect of the hobby. I have built and rebuilt audio systems endlessly for over 30 years, each time in wonder at the endless variety of sound audio systems have. For years before I became a reviewer, I habitually swapped speakers to gain the benefits of dynamic and panel speakers, allowing me to afford ownership of more than one speaker. The PureAudioProject 15 series is my kind of speaker fun! I see little emphasis put on variety in the hobby, likely out of space constraints at home or the search for “the best.” For me variety is the solution to keeping the activity of listening fresh. Imagine the possibilities for owners to have three options for sound with their audio system – in one speaker? It doesn’t get much better than that for people restless for new experiences. I will be covering all three of these versions of the TRIO series.
The man behind PureAudioProject is Ze’ev Schlik, who operates the company from the Israel office and laboratory. Having traveled to Israel several times, when I look at the TRIO 15TB I can almost feel the philosophy behind the speaker. Israel is a country where economy and yet thoroughness of nearly every endeavor are paramount. It’s a small country, an area just over 8,500 square miles (22,000 sq. kilometers) and only 2 percent of it is water. Yet, one sees densely populated areas and extensive use of the land through irrigation. Israelis must be efficient and sensible to prosper, and I detect principles applied to the PureAudioProject.
Along with a silent partner, Thomas Sulentic who runs the fulfillment center out of Iowa, Ze’ev has sourced components of the speaker globally. The Plyboo panels, which is essentially Bamboo plywood, on the site it is called “Three Layers Bamboo,” for the review speaker’s blonde appearing natural finish baffles are CNC cut and hand finished in Iowa City, and the metal frames to hold them are manufactured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The crossovers are from Mundorff in Germany, and the German Oak panels are from Holzbodenmanufaktur. The aluminum frame forms a triangular, open back and the panels are affixed to their front mounts by recessed bolts with finger-tightened nuts.
Included in the four separate shipments were Eminence 15” Alpha 15a bass drivers that to date were upgraded by Eminence for PureAudioProject to a more advanced Neodymium model and Tang Band W8-1808 coaxial 8” high efficiency full range drivers. Two 15” woofers and a Tang Band are used with each speaker, the bass drivers above and below. When assembled, the speaker viewed from the front looks nearly conventional, until one spies it from above or the side. Then the open construction becomes apparent revealing it to be an open baffle design. The speakers sit on smaller adjustable spikes, a smart move for flexibility in setup.
The black metal frames and “floating” individual panels for the drivers present a clean, modern look that should fit well in most rooms. The Bamboo panels also come in Carmel color. Alternatively, one can order German Oak panels with Natural, Natural Oil, Natural White Oil, Smoked White Oil, or Smoked Coffee Oil finishes. Images of these are found on the PureAudioProject website under the tab “Trio15.” As indicated on the site, all components are shipped flat pack directly to customers.
Before you get to the “Audio” in PureAudioProject you must tackle the DIY assembly of the speaker. Well-packaged but unmarked bags contain the easy to identify hardware for assembly. Assembly instructions are found at a link on the PureAudioProject website. One does not need a high level of technical skill to assemble the speakers as they are entirely modular and assembled with few tools. Ze’ev downplayed the time involved in assembling the speaker, indicating that his team can set a pair up for a show in one hour. I found that time estimate to be quite low for a novice who wishes not to rush. Below is a walkthrough, in notation form of my assembly experience:
-Several large boxes come over several days – not getting it set up with just drivers or panels!
-One Mundorff crossover is broken; the intermediary shipping the crossovers didn’t pack them well enough. A call to the U.S. contact in Iowa City, IA had another shipped out, no objections before I had even returned the broken one.
-One hour assembly? Hardly! Took me over half an hour to put the frames together!
However, I am the careful type; I don’t rush projects.
-Mundorff X-overs look weird, parts sticking out that seem quite low to floor after assembly. Spikes definitely needed.
-Overall fit and finish looks good, tolerances for hardware not bad, everything going together without too much prodding.
-Where’s the bolts for mounting the TB driver? Need to contact Iowa for mounting hardware for TB drivers (Note: They were sent out the next day)
-Wiring for x-overs looks adequate, but my first impression is to seek alternative wiring. Then again, real PITA as the wiring uses slip on connectors. I would have to terminate alternative wiring with identical connectors. I would have preferred better connections for wire upgrades, even if a bit more expensive.
(No, I’m not at this all day, only an hour or so. Can’t do much more, as the parts are arriving in waves.)
-Still assembling; unless an uninterrupted afternoon or specialized tools versus an Allen wrench (supplied) you won’t finish in one day.
-Eminence drivers look nice coming out of box!
-I mistakenly mounted one of the bass drivers’ L/R connectors coming out the rear of the speaker to the left and the other to the right. Perfect! Mirror image placement will look good when setting up system!
-I don’t see any hardware to go between the x-over and metal framework at bottom of speaker. Bought O-rings to act as protection and dampening.
-I can foresee problems with some heavy speaker cables. Speaker posts are set down into metal framework with limited room for connecting speaker cables. Cables with larger, stiff collars at terminations could be tricky. Can always get some Banana adapters if necessary…
-Careful mounting drivers! Hold drivers in place with one hand while inserting mounting bolts; don’t let it slip! Also watch out for paper waveguide on Tang Band driver!
-Keep fingers clean when assembling Bamboo panels so as to not dirty them with residue coming off bolts. No dirty fingerprints on my virgin Plyboo!
-Sweet! Cardas single Banana adapters I ordered for a different application arrived today, so I’ll use them to “lift” the connection point for the TEO Audio Liquid Speaker Cables, which have very long, inflexible leads. There is enough room, but not to approach from any angle desired.
-Snap on connections for the wiring not great. Gold plated, but some are wiggly. If I change out the wiring, I can’t do so permanently, i.e. with solder, because the wiring will have to come off in order to put in different crossover for Heil or Beyma drivers.
-Finished! Woa! These things are deceptively heavy. Careful when moving so as to not crush the tender Tang Band paper waveguide!
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