Ryan Speakers and Pass Labs – RMAF 2018

While Ryan Speakers certainly has a flushed out line of floor standers to standmounts, its the new S610 that has really caught our eye as of late. Their room at RMAF this year was a relatively simple one, lined up next to elaborate vinyl incarnations and room-filling giant horn speakers. But it was simplicity with a cold shot of hifi accuracy, dynamics and well… value, all things considered.

The entire system wasn’t what most consider fully¬†budget value, as each component easily sailed victoriously north of $2k per, but rather an interesting mix of slightly more attainable high end. The S610s themselves will set you back around $4k, as will the Auralic G2 Aries Streamer ($3.9) and Vega DAC ($5.7). But combined with the PASS Labs INT-60 this time around, things quickly become very upper crust. And considering the overall size of everything, more downright XMAS miracle. Like Santa-Claus-swing-down-the-chimney wonderful, except instead of toys for all the boys its big boy toys for those who love sonic joys.

Of particular interest was the contrast between last show’s INT-250 ($12k) to the INT-60 ($9k), both of which bring some obvious bonuses to the gang here. Surprisingly, room (and company) manager Todd Ryan gave a nod towards the 60’s bonus this time around, for extra “sweetness” – perhaps tapping into some special AB solid state synergy with the 86dB sensitive, 8 ohm two-way speaker. Also worthy of note, the INT-60 holds on to class A until 30 watts.

The sound was sweet indeed. Chantal Chamberland’s stripped down version of Thinking Out Loud¬†took away some of that Hollywood studio magic from the original and left us with just raw, beautiful vocals and simple guitarwork. Immediate and wonderfully striking, the source > integrated > standmount combo sets an example of what can be done with a limited footprint, but isn’t always achieved even with more (including bigger pricetags). Its the ultimate office setup which also puts many full size options to shame. Do me a big office/study favor though friends, don’t cram speakers in actual bookshelves or up against a wall, they need to breath!

Particulars for the S610 include the previously mentioned two-way design via a 1″ chambered beryllium dome tweeter and 6.5″ laminated Nomex cone. There is also a slight lean to the cabinet design, from the company site:

“The unique shape of the S-Series enclosures allows the acoustic centers of all drivers to be perfectly aligned. A large radius is applied to the front and rear baffles eliminating edge reflections. The S-Series features our silent core cabinet material with internal constrained layer damping. The S-Series enclosures reduce unwanted noise by up to 50dB compared to typical MDF enclosures. “

Consider the bar set for rigs of this style. Not every room can reasonably accommodate a floor stander, and the simplicity of this stellar performer has my interest peaked. What’s the next on the horizon for 2-way bookshelves? And how do the 3-way floorstanding S840’s sound?