Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I really enjoyed your review of the Definitive Technology BP-8020ST SuperTower loudspeakers ($1198/pair). I wonder whether you've heard the DefTech StudioMonitor 65 ($898/pair)? I'm curious to know if it might solve the problem of the detached bass you mention by its not having a powered, built-in subwoofer.

On the subject of the StudioMonitor 65, I'm hoping to compare it to a set of PSB Imagine Bs ($1099.99/pair), which the Crutchfield people think are more suited to music -- a wide range of classical in my case -- than the StudioMonitor 65. Any thoughts on that? Finally, have you heard the Epos Epic 2? The few reviews I've read sound promising, but there's nowhere to audition them in my state that I know of.


The BP-8020STs are great speakers. For rooms on the smaller side, they're super compact, and the built-in subwoofers make them reasonably full-range. While I haven't heard the StudioMonitor 65s, I would bet they are quite good. They use DefTech's newest BDSS midrange-woofers, while the 8020s use a modified older design. However, the 65s would also require stands, and they wouldn't have the output capability of the 8020s due to their much smaller cabinets, or the bass depth due to their lack of built-in subs. I would suspect, however, that the 65s are more seamless in their driver integration, and probably have a more sophisticated midrange sound, courtesy of their BDSS drivers. It's also worth mentioning that the 8020s are bipolar, which will make them sound much larger than the 65s.

While the detached-bass issue is worth taking into consideration, the greater concern for me would be the tweeter on offer. The DefTech aluminum tweeter definitely has a crispness, a liveliness to the treble that something like the PSB Imagine Bs probably lack. The PSBs will probably sound a bit smoother through the highs, while sacrificing a little bass extension when compared to the DefTech StudioMonitor 65s. I have not heard the Epos Epic 2, so I can't offer anything on that front.

In all, there's no clear winner among the speakers you mention. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. On an objective level, I imagine (sorry . . . ) that the PSBs offer the most evenhanded and resolving performance, while also having a nicer cabinet, but at a premium in terms of price. My choice would be the BP-8020ST, simply because I like the enormity of the bipolar sound and the ability to have nearly full-range performance for about $1200. Hope this helps. . . . Hans Wetzel