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New great monitor speakers.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I wanted to add a power amp & some smallish monitor speakers to my headphone rig (using my headphone amp as a preamp) and I got these

Lahave Mela monitors & they are awesome, much better than Harbeths and Dynaudio C1s.

In fact, I spent a long listening session at a demo of $37,000 TAD monitors (no I can't afford those) and  I  *think* I actually like the Lahaves better, as they are more natural,

with awesome vocals. They replaced Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors I first tried (which are nice also, but not as magical & natural to me).

Someone on audigon (not me) said they like these speakers better than Magico Minis ($20,000+). I never heard Magicos.

They sell for $6000 new but used ones sometimes show up.

They are from Canada.

I have no connection other than a satisfied customer who wanted to let headfi folks know about these.

The sound reminds me of my Audeze LCD Rev2s (my favorite phones now)-- clear & natural but not rolled off with great palpability and no fatigue and not dry, but live & real

with a you-are-there sound.

(I remind you that I am referring to theLCD2  Rev2s, not the Rev1s, which were too liquid and not well defined enough. I love the Rev2s, not the Rev1s).

The Melas are 17 inches high & have a roughly 8x11 footprint and are 32 lbs each.






There is a dealer site with some user feedback about Lahave in general and the predecessor to the Melas:




Lahave Mela

post #2 of 14

Beautiful speaker. What kind of wood is that?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't know, but they are the joint work of a woodwork craftsmen and an sound engineer, both longtime audiophiles they say.

They look as good as they sound, but the look is only of modest importance to me, & I decided on them based on the sound alone.

post #4 of 14

Interesting design. My favorite monitor around that price range is the Vapor Cirrus, which also beats up monitors at twice its price. I wouldn't put in the same league as a speaker like the TAD CR1 though. Surprising that no one seems to have ever heard of them. It also doesn't seem like the used market is snapping them up. There's one on Audiogon for half price that's been sitting for a month.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I also considered the Cirrus, but the Lahave was highly recommended to me by a friend with a lot of experience who just heard everything at RMAF, so I went with it.

If I was looking, I'd snap up the used ones on audiogon. Small names that are under the radar always have less demand on the used market, but that's the price you pay for

getting (what I think) is sound that is much better than it's big-name competitors at similar prices.

I was at the NY Axpona show and heard lots of speakers from the better-known names (Thiel, Eggleston, KEF, Totem, Revel, Joseph, etc.) and wasn't motivated to get any of them,

as they sounded OK, but didn't soar. I have owned/heard other big names, and the Lahaves are my favorites. They are just simply really nice,

and I have nothing to gain from this recommendation, it's just my own enthusiasm and my desire talk about a job well done.

I did take a long listen to the Joseph Pulsars, and was tempted, especially because of the coherency and nice bass, but the Lahaves have better, more palpable, natural vocals with more complex

texture (this goes for instruments, too).

So to me the Lahaves do soar. A lot of speakers tend to either the clinical or boring side of things, and the Lahaves are neither to me. They just let things flow without hiding things but are not

ruthlessly revealing. I've had Wilsons, Aerials, and Kharmas in the past. I do have a soft spot for the Apogee Stages I owned long ago, but they broke one too many times on me.


Edited by rgs9200m - 11/11/11 at 9:51am
post #6 of 14

I query whether the side steps you have taken in spkrs (SHL5 - Cremona - C1 - Mela ) really make sense. Is your room treated? Different positions tested? Cremona and C1 are difficult loads for amps, In that regard, which amp did you use with those? SHL5 is not really ideal if you like LCD-2 v2, Monitor 30 would be a better fit with smoother highs and more transparent mids.


Magico mini is very difficult speakers to drive; I would not hesitant to put some >300W monoblocks behind it. With the right equipment (really need top of the line source to shine, K-01, DCC2 SE, Puccini, etc,) mini sound sublime.


Edit: I don't understand why you would feel the need to pimp a spkr on multiple forums - smells like conflict of interest

Edited by chesebert - 11/11/11 at 10:54am
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Nah, room is not treated, good point.


I'm not "pimping" the speakers, as I'm not selling them or in a position to gain at all if someone gets a pair.

I just think there's a lot of so-so sound out there and wanted to let people know about these things they probably never heard of.

I kind of think it's my obligation to do so since I rely on headfi and a'gon for honest impressions & advice, so I'm just pitching in.

I'm no salesman.


And point taken, these were sidesteps, and I was too impulsive to pick something up used when I could. I have a couple of amps-- an Edge NL12 & a Luxman 507 integrated.

And you are right on about the SHL5, as it was not resolving enough for me, but it got so many raves that I tried it at home out of sheer curiosity.

I have an EMM XDS1 cdp.

 'can't afford Magicos right now (maybe someday & if I stop being so lazy & sell some stuff).


Thanks for the free advice! Best to you.


Edited by rgs9200m - 11/11/11 at 8:20pm
post #8 of 14

If you're looking to spend Magico levels of cash, and you have a room of at least moderate size, I would suggest looking at Rockport instead. Magicos are impressive to be sure, but I feel like Rockports are better integrated, particularly in the treble region where a Magico can sometimes be a bit aggressive. Of course it also doesn't hurt that a speaker like the Ankaa has considerably more low end than the Magico Q1.


Who ever's in charge of marketing for LaHave (if there even is a guy) should be fired. The website is bad, and there seems to be two different URLs for what seems like the same company. I found a one sentence blurb from 6moons about hearing them at a show - from 5 years ago. If you want to sell your speakers, it helps if people know who you are.

Edited by DaveBSC - 11/11/11 at 8:30pm
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Dave, what do you think of the Miras if you have heard them?

I heard some big Rockports at the NY audio show about 6 years ago and liked them a lot, very profound but balanced (too small a room for the bass, but that's common at those hotel shows).

 Yeah, it almost seems like Lahave doesn't want to sell its own stuff. Maybe it's a Canadian thing (that's where they are).

You can't even tell what the progression of the history of their speakers were, and the testimonials talk about models not sold anymore.

But they do have a 15 year history, but it seems totally hidden.

And they have this really nice tweeter called a "Jordan" tweeter (that they mention on the site), but don't tell you anything about it, what it's made of, or who makes it.

But it's a nice sounding tweeter though, detailed and smooth an un-hashy at the same time.

It sounds more pleasant than the berylilliums I heard on JMLabs & Ushers, and with more fleshed out images than the ribbon tweeters I heard (like on Piegas).

Edited by rgs9200m - 11/11/11 at 10:57pm
post #10 of 14

All of the Rockports I've heard have been incredibly impressive. I'm a big fan of Egglestonworks' latest speakers like the Andra III and the NOLA Grand Reference series, but when I think of *the best* I think Rockport. I'm not a fan of JM Labs Utopia Be series, or JM Labs in general. Every single one I've heard including the Grand Utopia has been cold, flat, and boring. Beryllium tweeters don't seem to live up to the hype. Same thing with the Accuton ceramic tweeter. I'd much rather listen to an Air-Circ or an Esostar. The RAAL and Raven ribbon tweeters are incredible, but many of the others are not. At some point I would like to hear the Jantzen diamond tweeter that Marten uses.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks again Dave for all that. I'll try & hear some Rockports if I can.

Yeah, tweeters are so hard to get right IME.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

If anyone wants a pair of those Lahave Mela speakers (new in box, new in wooden crate, actually) I have, email  jonathanhorwich@me.com (in Chicago).

They are hard to get. I have no financial benefit or any other benefit from the sale of these, I just love them after cycling thru or hearing lots of others and want to help a fellow headfier

who I think would be lucky to get them. That's a photo of one in this post. IMHO they have a $20,000 tonality for 30 pounds each that can sit on a small sturdy table. No biwiring or

anything special needed.


Edited by rgs9200m - 5/24/12 at 7:46am
post #13 of 14

Belated post...


As you now know... I bought Jonathan's Horwich's LaHave Melas (you mentioned above) in beautiful mahogany / burgandy color - true works of art... with a sound to match!


It was a great find - World-Class sound in an incredible package at a reasonable price.  Few speakers can match these at 2-10 times their price.  


Thanks for the referral!


post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the photo!

My Melas are still going strong, the longest I've had any primary speaker. They are great with my Pinnacle as the preamp for them.

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