GoldenEar vs. Morel

The reviews of the GoldenEar SuperCinema 3 (seen in the lower portion of the image above) and Morel SoundSpot Music Theatre 2 Ultra speaker systems came out at roughly the same time. The Morels appear to have better performance and build quality according to their ratings, and yet they are not considered as good a value despite being in essentially the same price category. Do the Morels really sound better, or is their sound measured against how tiny they are?

Stephen Trask

While the GoldenEar and Morel systems are both Top Picks in the same price category (Midrange), the Morel is actually 25 percent more expensive than the GoldenEar. So it makes sense that the Morel got a higher Performance rating with a lower Value rating, though in both cases, both ratings are very favorable.

Reviewer Mark Fleischmann had this response to your question: "The Morels have much smaller enclosures, so they have higher odds to overcome. Both systems sounded outstanding, which is why they're Top Picks. The Morels use a coaxial design, which gives them tighter focus, while the GoldenEars have a pleated ribbon tweeter, which gives them wider dispersion. So it may be a question of whether you prefer focus or dispersion. We always encourage readers to seek out demos at A/V specialty dealers and use your own ears to make final judgments whenever possible."

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askhometheater@gmail.com.

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COMMENTS
Stephen Trask's picture

I really appreciate you answering this question. I, of course, love nothing more than arming myself with the opinions of experts and then trudging off into the field to make up my ears for myself. Sadly, home theater systems have been as disruptive to that activity as they have been for established audio manufacturers. What I have found is that most specialty shops (I've been to a lot in a lot of cities) don't make it easy to comparison shop between competitors in any price segment, particularly not in the budget audiophile segment, so the opinions of folks like yourself are ever more important.

jack_te50's picture

I have to agree with the difficulty buying home theater especially trying to get an objective view from many of the home theater stores in the Boston area. I can listen to the Golden ear speakers at a couple of places but Morel is unavailable to demo. The previous review and comments are greatly appreciated.

K.Reid's picture

Stephen:

I demo'ed the full size Triton Two not too long ago and it is fantastic. Scott mentions the Morels have a tighter focus and Golden Ear's dispersion, but keep in mind that the tweeter used in Golden Ear is a high velocity folded ribbon which is fast and also very detailed. The other point worth mentioning is that the midrange drivers in the Golden Ear are extremely well designed and keep pace with the tweeter, which is often a weakness found in other speakers that marry ribbon tweeters and conventional dynamic drivers.

Might also be worth checking out the Monitor Audio Gold GX series as well. http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/gold-gx/

Stephen Trask's picture

I too have heard the Triton Twos and they impressed me greatly. If I didn't need to go with "lifestyle" speakers I would absolutely think to build a 5.1 system around them.

On another front, and along the lines the impossibility of auditioning and necessary reliance on reviews, I am in New York for 2 weeks a ten minute walk from the only Morel dealer but, while I can go and look at an older model from a few years ago, I can't in any way hear the ones Mark raved about. The dealer and I spoke for about a half hour and he raved and said that he has installed them in the homes of a lot of audiophiles, including a recording engineer, and has heard nothing but raves from his clients. He was very generous with his time but the old "go listen for yourself and trust your ears days" are over for anyone in a budget range between the Magnolia Home Theater and Macintosh/B and W extremes.

Ah, woe is the the audiophile in the 93%.

JoeBlogg1983's picture

Just wondering how these two systems would stack up against the similarly priced and similarly sized Focal Dome's...

K.Reid's picture

By the specs, which don't tell the whole story, Morel's may have the edge. However, JM Focal has the pedigree when it comes to construction/musicality.

The Morels are a coaxial mount while the Focal Domes are not, though their drivers are closely spaced together. Both have spherical enclosures which will aid in reducing internal standing waves that can color/distort sound.

The Focals have a slightly higher sensitivity 88db vs. 86db in the Morels, which could present a slightly less burdensome load for a av receiver or outboard amplifier.

In my opinion, the key difference is the subwoofers, which again by specs, Morel seems to have the edge. Morels PSW10 is heavier possibly suggesting a larger magnet structure for the woofer; greater low frequency extension though +-db is not specified; and larger internal amp, though RMS is not specified; the larger amp could mean more headroom with less chance of distortion/clipping.

The specs don't tell everything, let your ears be the final arbiter.

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