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Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

I have a set of Ruark Talisman II's which I love. I have to downsize my listening room though so can someone give me any details regarding their smaller speakers? (ie where they fit in the line up/what they sound like). They'll need to be standmounted rather than smaller floorstanders.

So far I'm seeing Swordsman II Plus, Icon, Epilogue, but I can't find much if anything about them on the net or if there are any I've missed.

Thanks

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

You should be looking at Sabre IIIs. There's been a couple on Ebay recently. Don't think they are made any longer, so s/hand market is probably the only place to purchase.

TBH, they are fabulous speakers and, although rear ported, are very flexible in terms of placement. Originally they retailed around £900, but s/hand you can pick them up for around £400. It may be a wait before you see any others but well worth it IMHO.

http://www.whathifi.com/review/ruark-acoustics-sabre-iii

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

I have an original Ruark brochure from the 90's that gives the full run down of their range at the time. Their range went as follows, in order of price/quality/size:

Icon (stand mount), Sabre (stand mount), Templar (floor standing), Broadsword (stand mount), Talisman (floor standing), Paladin (floor standing), Crusader (floor standing), Equinox (stand mount & floor standing hybrid), Accolade (floor standing).

From experience the Icons had an 'out of box' sound, as though the music came from 'around' the boxes instead of from 'within'. Fairly bright, bold presentation with good bass definition they worked well reproducing vocals and had a wide soundstage. On any quality stands, they worked very well in small lounges. Very, very fussy with positioning but once you got that 'sweet spot' they sounded like three times their worth! Originally retailed for around £400, 17 years ago. I've seen them pop up on E-bay now and then. All of their range were very well made and respected speakers. The timeless design of their cabinets meant they never really went out of fashion.

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Heard some Swordsman years ago and was not impressed at all, rather dull, maybe they are better now but plenty of others around £400-£500 to choose from like Kef, AE, Epos, sounds like you will have them near a wall, try to get a home demo, you could also try Rega RS1s and B&W 685.

 

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

MusicalRabbit wrote:

From experience the Icons had an 'out of box' sound, as though the music came from 'around' the boxes instead of from 'within'. Fairly bright, bold presentation with good bass definition they worked well reproducing vocals and had a wide soundstage. On any quality stands, they worked very well in small lounges. Very, very fussy with positioning....

 

Annoyingly that sounds like the opposite of being close to a corner wall on one side then....

 

I love the build quality of my Talisman's, and the emotional influence they have on the music. I've never heard Damien Rice/Seal/Michael Buble/Fleetwood Mac or even The Foo Fighters sound better than through these. I assumed the smaller models would replicate this to a degree. Does anyone have an opinion on the Epilogue's?

On the subject of other manufacturers, Mission 751's maybe? Or are they a lower level overall?

Thanks for the information so far

 

 

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Gibs_MK wrote:

Annoyingly that sounds like the opposite of being close to a corner wall on one side then....

 

With the Icons, they had the drivers offset instead of being inline, as a left/right mirror image pair. You could swap them around to bring the tweeters firing inside towards the listening position to counter bass being blurred by corners of rooms.

Gibs_MK wrote:

On the subject of other manufacturers, Mission 751's maybe? Or are they a lower level overall?

My first speakers were Missions. They sounded okay but in black ash they were a bit on the ugly side and looked cheap.

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

I've had some Ruark Epilogue II's from new for about 8 years.  I've run them with two amps, a Cambridge Azur 640A and my current AV receiver Pioneer VSX-2021.

I love the Ruarks to bits, but they do need to be partnered carefully.

They're extremely fast speakers; wonderful with electronic beats, acoustic guitars, drums.  For their size they can surprise with their bass depth too.  When I ran them with my Cambridge amp (60wpc), the treble could be pushed to hardness with certain types of music; particularly electric guitars (so most 90's Britpop).  However my Pioneer AV receiver (120wpc claimed) has taken the edge off the treble and they sound fine with all types of music now and the extra power of the Pioneer gives them some serious bass welly.

I heard them sweetest when I originally tested them with Roksan Kandy amp and cd; the power of the Roksan amp really held a tight grip on the bass, and the treble was a tad sweeter than my Cambridge partnering, but the Kandy was a little over-budget at the time.

The only thing I've noticed when looking at Ruarks on Ebay is how badly many people look after their speakers (what are you like people??), so you'd need to be patient to look out for decent ones.  But having listened to a wide range of speakers at the Bristol show last year, there were only a small handful I would have exchanged with my Ruarks.  So sad they don't make them anymore.

All the best with your search.

Bluray: Pioneer BDP-450; TV: Panasonic TX-P42G30B; AV Receiver: Pioneer VSX-2021; Speakers: MA Radius R270HD/R250HD/R90HD/R370HD; Spotify>iPad>Airplay

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

MusicalRabbit wrote:
With the Icons, they had the drivers offset instead of being inline, as a left/right mirror image pair. You could swap them around to bring the tweeters firing inside towards the listening position to counter bass being blurred by corners of rooms

 

But I'm guessing they'd sound best with the tweeters on the outside edge of each speaker?

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Gibs_MK wrote:

MusicalRabbit wrote:
With the Icons, they had the drivers offset instead of being inline, as a left/right mirror image pair. You could swap them around to bring the tweeters firing inside towards the listening position to counter bass being blurred by corners of rooms

 

But I'm guessing they'd sound best with the tweeters on the outside edge of each speaker?

It really depends on your room and your set up, that's why they were designed like that, to offer sonic flexibility.

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

In an ideal world, where would you position them?

(I now have some Icon's to try and I'm intrigued by this "sweet spot" you emphatically described!)

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Gibs_MK wrote:

In an ideal world, where would you position them?

A good starting point would be within about 15cm of the wall behind them, about 2 and half metres apart, well away from corners, facing directly out without toeing them in. And then start tweaking. They may benefit with toeing them in slightly but they were designed to fire straight out.

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Thanks. And with the tweeters on the outer edges?

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Gibs_MK wrote:

Thanks. And with the tweeters on the outer edges?

To start with I'd be tempted to have them on the outer edges, yes.

When I had a pair of Ruark Icons I found if you needed a brighter presentation you had the tweeters nearer to you. It was useful if you had a smallish listening area and to pull the speakers away from the wall to reduce bass wasn't an option. I also had a pair of Mission speakers and they were just plug and play. I think out of the two pairs, the Icons gave more hands on value.

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Right now the Icon's sound really disappointing. I think something's suddenly afoot with my amp. I can't see any damage but I have been doing various unplugging of interconnects and speaker wire in the past few days. Connections and phasing are all correct

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

I love my Epilogue IIs. I run them with a Naim Nait 1 which I have just had re-capped and when warmed up, they sound fantastic. Listening position is key and they are about 6 inches from the wall with a slight toe in.

I am thinking of replacing them with some EB Acoustics EB 1s though since I am thinking they might provide a little more warmth and depth. I have seen them on ebay for around £150. Money well spent for a well looked after pair, like mine.  Wink

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RE: Ruark's smaller speaker offerings

Something in your eye? Blum 3

 

I've actually got a pair of Epilogue's on the way, but the MK1 version, Do you know the difference?

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