Joseph Audio Pulsar2 vs dynaudio confidence 20 vs tad-me1

Which one would you choose and why? 


Why do you ask?
(Hint:  it's nice to provide more details in a post like yours, e.g. what you are looking for in a speaker, why those particular models have caught your attention etc).

he has obviously selected some of the most expensive bookshelf speakers that currently exist. 

Not all of these speakers have the same bass extension, and the average listener will tend to prefer the bassier speaker since 30-35 percent of psychoacoustic weighting tends to be based on bass performance.

I heard the Confidence 20 at RMAF--demoed it for about 30 mins when the show was over. I listened to the JA Pulsar and TAD ME-1 at dealer locations. My order of preference is TAD ME-1, Pulsar, Confidence 20, in that order.

The TAD ME-1 has the most uniform dispersion, TAD’s stuff is all derivative of Harman’s research as Andrew Jones used to be a Floyd Toole disciple, and will be closest measuring to the ideal Harman Spinorama curve. It’s a lean sounding speaker and needs a subwoofer to fill in the bass, or you don’t have high output requirements you could try boosting the lower range with REW or Dirac Live.

The Pulsar is a good speaker, and it’s a good design choice for off the shelf drivers. If you don’t have the tools to fashion your own waveguide to match directivity at the crossover region, the next best thing is to pair a tweeter with a driver under 6", that way you reduce the effect of tweeter bloom beyond the crossover point. The Seas millennium tweeter is somewhat directional above 5.5k though, so the on-axis is a bit overly airy, and the off-axis sound is a bit overly mellow in comparison. With these speakers, you can play with toe-in to adjust treble tonality. My personal preference is for more uniform dispersion in the highs (i.e., the Harman ideal), like with the SB Acoustics TW29BN tweeter, so placement isn’t as important.

The Dynaudio Confidence 20 during my demo had similar tonal qualities to the C1--very extended and bassy, but had the same imaging issues. No waveguide and an excessively large bass driver means exactly what you would expect--dispersion that varies noticeably by angle and while the speaker sounded great in the nearfield with the speakers pointed right at you, small shifts did change the tonality somewhat and I'm reticent to drop big money ($10k+?) on something that didn’t at least get the polar response right, especially when there are very inexpensive ($500 or less) speakers that can pull it off.

It would depend on the room size. For my small room I was considering the TAD ME1 with Luxman. A great combo and not lean at all. Only reason I had a change of heart is that TAD raised the price again from $10K to $15K. That kind of stuff don't work with me.
Interesting analysis, thanks.
Fascinating that you reference greater directionality in the upper frequencies of the tweeter used in the Joseph speakers.  They have a wide reputation for a wide sweet spot and consistent sound off axis.

It’s all relative aint it? The performance of the driver isn’t unknown, the measurements are publicly posted by the manufacturer. It’s up to end user it determine if that's what they are looking for.
Thank you gyoungblood. Your experience is helpful to know. I heard the pulsars, although they sounded good, but didn't wow me enough to open my wallet. I don't have dealers near by where i can audition the TADs, it looks like most everyone who heard it like them a lot. I am going to try Confidence 20s soon. Love the new look and the bottom port is interesting design. 

You can also consider the KEF Reference 1. When I demoed the TAD ME-1 at a dealer they also had the Reference 1 which we put them head to head in a 2 hour or so demo, I went there with 2 other friends. We all agreed the TAD was a little more detailed but somewhat more fatiguing too, possibly due to the slight wiggle/rise at 1K, but the Reference 1 was a lot more tonally pleasing with the much deeper bass extension, and also it’s slightly rolled off treble extension was more conducive to long listening sessions. We all ended up preferring the KEF Reference 1 by a small margin. Maybe if the TAD had a sub it would've done a little better, but for pure 2-channel I think the Ref 1 has it by a hair.

I own the Kef reference 1 and a pair of JL Audio subs. Hard to beat this combo, but I’m still looking.

I did a quick search to see some reviews and opinions on the TAD ME1. Much everything served up is in line with my own personal opinions on the mighty little ME1. Maybe too lean overall for extended listening sessions. Fatiguing too from just a brief test session. Dynamics are there , just as they are for most high end studio monitors. I guess the decision must come down to the preference for a studio recording or more live and intimate setting for your music tastes. As the ME1 might just take the fun out of listening with it's clearly clinical and proudly analytical touch. I would have to listen to the ME1 again to conclude they even suck the life out of your music. Something so mechanical in nature about these TAD speakers. One of the very few top end bookshelf speakers that never seem to disappear in a room nor have a soundstage wide or high enough to forget they are there. So, $15k for an incredibly underwhelming and unsatisfying experience. Making the Magico A1 and Dali Epicon 2 seem a bargain , not to mention an easier choice as supreme all round performers in comparison. 


panerai, where are you located?

In the past.  Like over a year and a half ago.

In the past.  Like over a year and a half ago.

I've arrived from the future to LOL at that comment!

TADs are step above in both build quality and sound reproduction compared to the both speakers. Don't 100% relay here on what the folks have to say. Some will give you sincere experience but some will claim what they have is best of the best although they never heard TAD speaker. Just arrange an audition for the ME1 and you will see for your self :)  Good luck

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I've owned and sold Dynaudio Excite X12s and the floorstanding Sapphires (5 yrs) and although both were fine, I'd far prefer Joseph Audio, and love TAD floorstanding speakers as well, but am not familiar with the ME1. (Get a sub if needed.)

Both seem more long-term listenable to me than the Dynaudio models I owned.

You have some nice models to think about, and listen to. Good luck.

Interesting subject.  I am primarily a OB dipole listener.  I would like to have a reference stand mount speaker for rotation.  Whatever chosen will be electronically crossed over to either a Linkwitz Lab equalized "H" style open box woofer or GR Research "H" style servo woofer.  Using a general 60-120Hz crossover point.   So lower octave of so is removed.  I especially like the Pulsar 2 even when used full range.  Limited experience with Dynaudio, Focal and TAD.  Feel the B&W 805 D4 is in the running.   More opinions.  I am blessed with two rooms; 450 sq. ft. and 900 sq. ft..  

I worked for Magnolia and got to spend a lot of time with the 805 D3, and I’m also very familiar with the Pulsar.  The 805 is a nice, clean-sounding speaker, but to me the Pulsar does just about everything better and just plays at a higher level overall. Just my $0.02 FWIW.