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PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1 open-baffle speaker system

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What about its size and my room?

My custom listening room has dimensions of 23’ x 13’ x 7.5’, which means that with the thick Berber carpeting and pad underneath, the top edge of the Quintet15 sits approximately 5” below the drop ceiling! When in discussion with PAP about the review of the Quintet15 I had to do some double checking to ensure the speaker would actually fit into the room.Imagine how I must lower the hand truck substantially to navigate the doorway of the room. With my 6’ 5” frame I can manage this, but it might be best for shorter persons to have assistance with moving the speaker.

Why would I review a speaker that is so disproportionately large, well beyond the received wisdom that a speaker has to be proportionately sized to the room? There are many things in audiophilia that I do not accept as absolutes, including the size of the speaker relative to the room. Principally, one forfeits a huge amount of performance when opting for a smaller speaker due to fear of having issues with bass integration. Often the more diminutive speaker purchased is fundamentally lesser than models higher in the line. Audiophiles too easily give away the whole package of superior performance when settling for a speaker with purportedly appropriate size. The Quintet15 rises as the tallest of any speaker I have used, but since it curves toward the listener at the extremes, it does not suffer a noticeable ceiling or floor bounce of the bass. I counted on that when I studied the design, and it proved to be true.

I am very pleased with how closely I can place the speaker to the side walls, closer than I anticipated. Having them only 14”-15” from the side walls poses no difficulty; again, there is no perceptual drawback. If there was, I would simply draw them in a bit closer until any undesirable reflections were eliminated. But note that I toe in such speakers and do not have them parallel to the front wall. I did not have to place them closer together, so the scale of the performance from the Quintet15, if not the exact placement of performers in the soundstage,was as large as the enormous Legacy Audio Valor Speaker System! If, however, my room was not nearly as well-damped but instead had windows or tile floors, etc., I daresay that these methods would not work, and perhaps this speaker might not work well at all in my room. In that case I may be limited to the Trio15, so wisdom should dictate the selection between the two speakers and integration into your listening room.



When PAP first entered the market with its open-architecture-style speaker, it was a touch more industrial. The framework was angular and cut to abrupt ends, lending a DIY feel to it. With time the frames have been softened in appearance and models with grill cloth covering, a more friendly appearance for domestic sensibilities, have arisen. Make no mistake; a model which is cloth enshrouded will not project as well as one sans shroud. That is not only true for PAP, but for all speakers. Suspect anyone who tries to sell you on the idea that a speaker is unaffected by a grill. However, for all but the most hardcore listeners, this is not an absolute determinant of the worthiness of a speaker.

The beauty of the PAP open baffle speakers lies in the simplicity and color schema of the panels in combination with the primary driver. The horn’s auburn wood is warm and inviting to the eye, and it matches well with the baffle color options offered.

The new baffles are mounted differently than the old, the baffles from the earlier model being screwed into the panel from the rear, while the new NEO-15 woofers, identified as having a large phase plug visible underneath the mesh dust cap, are mounted from the front. Note that the dust cap doesn’t stop dust, but allows more free air flow for the wave launch.

There is an obvious mismatch if the old woofers and new woofers are paired, so if the customer is obsessive about such imbalances and is transitioning from the Trio15 with the older woofers to the Quintet15, simply get all new woofers.


Speaking of sounding good

With the Quintet15 Horn1, an unexpected phenomenon is occurring: I am listening at lower, quite comfortable levels and not sensing that I am missing anything in the performance. That is unusual, as I most often automatically raise the listening level of speakers in order to enjoy them more fully. In this instance, though the Quintet15 looks like a bruiser, a killer, it is adept at playing the part of the delicate transducer. Not that it cannot belt out the tunes —trust me, it can! I had harder-edged rock, electronic, and alternative music all loudly playing, and the speaker gave no indication of being stressed. I think a large part of that is due to the sensational Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra multi-channel amplifier in use. I recall hearing the Trio15 at AXPONA a few years ago, when it was paired with the Whammerdyne Heavy Industries 2A3 SE Model DAA3 + RAM, a lower-powered tube amplifier.

You may imagine that it is a completely different experience hearing the Horn1 with 600 wpc of the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra amp! The Quintet15 is an alert, lithe giant of a speaker when such pristine power is applied to it. With this amp there is zero noise, no hiss or buzz whatsoever coming from the high efficiency horn. Combine that with the immediacy for which horns are known and, when I wish, I can make the speaker sound mighty impactful!

A point I wish to emphasize is that while the same primary driver is used in both speakers, the perceived character of the horn changes significantly when transitioned from the Trio15 to the Quintet15, and the chief benefit is a sense of it settling, or seeming more relaxed. When in use with the two 15” woofers per channel, the horn is quite forward relative to the output of the bass drivers. That makes it seem brighter, with less bass to counter the high-end output of the horn. Most often, I paired the Trio15 with the Legacy Audio XTREME XD Subwoofers in order to add low end presence, as I often work with big speakers having extreme LF, and the Trio15 benefits from the addition of a subwoofer to extend the LF. With the addition of two more woofers per side in the Quintet15, not only is the lower bass enhanced, but also the mid-bass on up to the lower midrange, bringing some warmth that is not possible with the Trio15. If the owner wants to have a speaker with a lot of upper end energy, and a seeming cleanness from midrange on up due to less bass, then in that case only, perhaps the Trio15 would be best. In most cases, however, the Quintet15 will deliver performance that holistically exceeds that of the smaller speaker.


4 Responses to PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1 open-baffle speaker system

  1. Alan says:

    High Doug, very nice review. I first heard the PAP speakers at the NY Audio Show about 4 or 5 years ago. Got to develop a relationship with Ze’ev And finally pulled the string about 2 years ago. I have the Quintet 15s with Voxative AC pi FEs. They are just superb. A few months ago, after several conversations with Ze’ev, upgraded the wiring to the Espirit Cables and the crossover with big Mundorf Silver Gold Oil caps. Not cheap but very noticeable and definitely worth the investment.

    Since the speakers are 96-97 db efficient, I drive them with a 300B amp that even in a moderately large room has never had to approach clipping.

  2. Alan,
    God’s Joy,
    Thank you for the complement! Yes, there is another level of magic involved with upgrading the “internal” parts, as you have done. It does enhance an already desirable design. Over time I would like to explore additional wiring and caps options for the Horn1.

    Douglas Schroeder

  3. Satyam says:

    Doug, fabulous review! I am a PAP user since a year I’m using a Trio with the voxativ pife. I raelly like the voxativ but have been intrigued about the Horn1 ever since I read your trio horn1 review.

    I use a DeHavilland KE50A amp to drive them, would you think it would be worthwhile going to horn1 say vs going up the ladder in the voxativ rage, a field coil?

    Also I’m assuming you used the same listening room to review the quintet 15 as the trio 15? Besides being imposing thats another thought I have, maybe do the quintet 15 simply because I couldn’t but worried if it would overpower in the room.

    Currently the trio 15 has good solid bass in my room clean to around 30hz hear and feel, would the quintet help it furthur or there is a risk of it going out of whack?

  4. Satyam,
    God’s Joy to you,
    Thank you for the comments, much appreciated!

    I did compare the Trio and the Quintet in the same room. Regarding the bass and the room that is a difficult question; it would depend on the size, how the speakers are placed in relation to the front wall, whether you would do some room treatment if needed, etc. I did not feel the added bass was a problem; it deepened and was more consistent in output, but I did not feel it interfered with the room.

    Regarding primary driver, I understand the upper end field coil is the best available for this speaker. I felt the horn was more vivid and had a bit more clarity than the lower end Voxativ driver. It is a bit more point source sound, but one adjusts to that pretty quickly, and it is overall more balanced in output with the four bass drivers and Quintet crossover. Remember that you can also tune the speakers with capacitors and “internal” wiring to drivers! This is very effective!

    Douglas Schroeder

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