Prana Fidelity Fifty90 monitors

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#2
Weird interview, almost painful to watch, but not because of Peter.
 
Sep 27, 2016
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California
#4
Zombie thread revival... I've got to say that it's rather surprising to me that Pranafidelity is basking in obscurity to this day. But I recently discovered them at LAAS earlier this summer, and soon will own a pair of the Prana speakers. Steve Norber, owner/designer, was showing the Fifty90's replacement at LAAS this year: the Bhava. The Bhava had a larger cabinet and updated crossover circuitry. Versus the Fifty90, it seemed to offer a new level of refinement. And for me, it was simply stunning. One of my two favorite rooms at all of LAAS, Pranafidelity speakers (and gear) were just hard to beat at any price. The Bhava speakers were mated with Steve's own electronics, including an amp designed around the NCore-400 Class D modules, a preamp of his own design, and the Kuzma Stabi M table with Kuzma cart on a 14" 4-Point arm. All interconnects were Furutech. And the result was a simply gorgeous, natural, soulful sound that was super engaging as it just tugged at your heartstrings. Incidentally, the speakers have a couple unique features which Steve demonstrated in the suite. With two toggle switches on the back side near the binding posts, the user is able to customize the sound in two ways. First, by switching different resistors in or out of the crossover network. This is a qualitative adjustment, as the different resistors vary in type (wire wound, ceramic, carbon composite) but are of equal value (resistance). The non-inductive wire wound resistors were the default setting, and provided a neutral transparent sound. The ceramics added a bit of incisiveness, and the carbons added warmth. For most source material, I found the wire wounds preferable. The second toggle switch offered a quantitative adjustment to the frequency response by allowing for either a flat response or a slight (I think 2-3 db) rolloff of high frequencies starting around 12 kHz. I generally preferred the latter.

At the end of the two days, I'd logged at least a couple hours in Steve's Pranafidelity suite. One thing audio shows make me realize is that in high end audio, there are really very few truly special products. Higher price does not ever necessarily equate to better sound. And Pranafidelity was one of the very special sounds at this show, as well as a great example of the price vs performance paradigm.

Peter posted a video of the 2017 LAAS Pranafidelity suite a few weeks back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihj4Wq7oDxc

 
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