Update on Sprout speakers?

Paul mentions the Sprout speakers in the comments section for his January 14 post. I was wondering if he or anyone else could update us on this project.

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Well, not much to announce yet until we’re further along. However, yes, we will be making some sprout branded speakers (of a couple different sizes) and my hope is to have them available this year.

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Sweet

THAT, is going to make a lot of budding audiophiles very happy.

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Thanks for the information, Chris! I will be looking forward to hearing more.

Any info on prototypes? Sealed? Ported? Ribbon tweeters?

Well, how about I turn the question around to you? What would you like to see if a speaker or speakers to pair with a Sprout 100?

Do you think that something like a Elac Debut Reference or KEF LS50 meta, or something else is the price range and performance to beat?

The challenge that I have with doing planar/ribbon tweeters is that the less expensive ones perform worse than an equivalent dome. You need to have a rather more expensive tweeter (closer to the one that we developed for our aspen series) for planars and this may not be the best place to put our design budget.

Would you want a speaker with a “champagne” tweeter and more of a less expensive finish and or other components?

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If paired with a Sprout it shouldn’t cost more than 1.5-2k.

For speakers to be paired with Stellar, maybe up to $9k.

For speakers paired with BHK, $15-25k, or FR30 I guess.

Just one opinion since you asked

I would consider a closed back solution for a true bookshelf experience. There’s an opportunity here for not only apartment living, but also for those of us who want a quality desktop experience. For instance I use ProAc Tablette Anniversary for my desktop listening. Desks are typically backed up to a wall, leaving no room for a rear ported speaker.

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You’re spot on with what I’ve been recommending to the guys here.

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Port can be on the front or down-firing. Hell, it could be in the side or the top if you wanted it to be.

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Exactly.

In my experience I’ve found that speakers in the sub $1200/1500 category to sound a little hot in the uppers. Personally would love a speaker as you describe as a ‘Champagne’ tweeter and a lower level of finish to fit the price category. Especially with the option of a adding a sub (or two) to help with the lowest frequency’s. I think it could be a really interesting proposition not only for the sprout level but the Stella level as well.

Bookshelf speakers with a paired/matching sub/s would make for great sounding system for small places.

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Chris, these are the 2 speaker systems that I have. One is a 2-way on stands plus subwoofer. Very clean, uncolored, 3-dimensional, but lacking a bit in the upper bass region. One idea is to see something similar but with a larger enclosure.
The other is a larger 3-way design idea, but with a custom ribbon midrange driver (and tweeter) instead of using a woofer for the mids. And, of course, with your new PS Audio woofers.


I’m looking for Stellar(ish) level speakers. Floor-standing. Good bass, but I am assuming most will apply subs (I will), so bass is not as important as mids to highs. I do love ribbon/AMT tweeters so I am kinda stuck on that. I really love my Wharfedale EVO 4.2’s and that is what I would be looking to upgrade from in a year or so. I think how Wharfedale matched the soft-dome mid and AMT tweeter is truly remarkable and provides just the sweetest highs and mids. Something like that would be ideal. But I’m really open to whatever you guys produce.
I know Paul has mentioned his fondness for ribbon tweeters (and I share that), so yes, a higher end ribbon tweeter would be more important to me than the overall aesthetics.

Also, I recall when Paul was working on the original AN-3’s that they had a prototype Sprout speaker with a 6 1/2" or 8" woofer and a ribbon tweeter. Are those still in the mix?