In depth Quintet15 Horn1 with Pass Labs XA-25 Review

Quintet15 Horn1 Open Baffle Speakers by PureAudioProject with Passion Labs XA-25

I am a longtime horn speaker user.  Over a 17-year period I have combined various horns with high efficiency 15” woofers for ported bass.  For a long time, I had been thinking about mating open baffles to horns.  I wanted to get the directional acoustic benefits of dipole lower midrange and bass in my large but somewhat difficult room.  I craved a fully boxless sound like I have heard in open baffle systems at shows and high end stores.  At the same time I wanted to stick with the dynamic and r ich sound of 15” woofers.  

I wasn’t sure exactly how to proceed with my plan – until last fall when I read a review of the Pure Audio Project Quintet15 speakers.  I immediately realized they were the solution I was seeking.  I was also intrigued with the mix and match modularity aspect.  I read everything I could find online about PAP speakers.  I contacted Ze’ev and soon the boxes with modular components started rolling in.

I feel like I hit the jackpot.  Out of the six horn systems I have owned, the Quintet15 Horn1 speakers are the best: accurate tone, highly resolving yet smooth, great imaging, dynamic.  With the brilliant Leonidas crossover the Horn1 compression driver blends really well with the open baffle woofers.  Bass is so realistic and nuanced and enveloping… Charles Mingus lives!

I love the possibilities of the modular design.  I have the option of swapping out the horn and trying a wide range or ribbon driver.  If I move or my wife redecorates, I can easily change the baffles to match.  Speaking of the wife, she really likes the look of the speakers.  But the curvilinear frame isn’t just for looks since it physically time aligns all the drivers to the ears at the listening position.
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After trying a variety of amplifiers,  I decided to use a Pass Labs XA25 with the Quintet15s.  It’s a terrific match, a sexy little dominatrix that can show those eight woofers who is boss.  Meaning: the speakers are quite efficient and don’t need a lot of watts, but they do like firm control via high amplifier damping, and the compression drivers like the sweet but very detailed Pass Class A sound.

For icing on the cake, I use Juice HiFi Audiolense software to provide flat psychoacoustic frequency response at the listening position in my challenging room with lots of windows.  The software works extremely well with the PAP speakers and the Leonidas 1st order crossover.   

My full system is listed here:

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