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ARCHIVED FORUM -- March 2012 to February 2022
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This is the second Archived Forum which was active between 1st March 2012 and 23rd February 2022

 

Beolab 17

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BeoCom 1401
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BeoCom 1401 Posted: Fri, Feb 18 2022 6:32 AM

I've been on a strange ride lately, and now I'm enjoying the first day of Beolab 17 ownership. 

Huge thank you to forum member Curly for connecting me with a dealer that somehow had a pair still available for sale, and more incredibly - for an absolutely fantastic price. 

After recently switching from a pair of Beosound Balance to an A9, and now grabbing the 17, I'm in a unique position to compare all 3 side by side (OK, not literally in the case of the Balance, but my memory is good enough to make broad, sweeping generalizations). 

Considering these are my first Beolabs, I moved up into the big leagues with high expectations. Wow, did these little speakers ever deliver. My mind is blown by what Geoff and his team can accomplish. I know the 17 has always gotten plenty of love here on the forum, but they received almost no press coverage during their time on sale, and what a shame that is. 

These speakers can absolutely compete with any bookshelf anywhere near their price. When "proper" audiophiles dismiss B&O, and we all know they do, I'm confident those traditionalist types have never auditioned this remarkable speaker. 

As for how it compares with the other B&O speakers I have now and have had recently, well it demolishes the A9, which should be expected considering its price but... the A9 is considered a masterpiece by so many (I love it too, that's why I have one), I was genuinely surprised by just how much better the 17 is. I expected the stereo separation and other obvious things that come naturally to 2 speakers competing with 1, but the bass response simply shouldn't be better on these speakers compared to the A9. All the laws of physics have been broken and no longer apply. 

B&O seriously - why did you discontinue these things? They're so, so damn good. 

Back on topic, compared to the Balance it's a really fair fight. They're about the same price per pair (at least when the 17 was still available) and the specs are quite close, with the Balance's bass response reaching a bit lower, according to B&O's measurements. It should have had much better bass, but that's not my recollection. While perhaps it goes go deeper, I'm not so sure in room it actually has more impact, and it's also not nearly as controlled. The Balance lacks the cohesion of the 17, the sonorous midrange and precise vocals, and the 17's treble is far more lifelike. 

I would never tell someone who prefers a Balance that they'd be wrong for that selection, but to my ears the 17 are the winner in all facets. Now, I should add that I have no interest in some of the "cool" features the Balance has - directing sound left/right, omni mode, and GVA features. The latter I actively don't want, the rest I would never use. I wanted amazing stereo and I got it. 

Thank you again Curly. My stereo quest is finally over. 

Now I just need to pick a color for new grilles. I have the silver/white and I'm definitely going to order either black or blue. Decisions, decisions. 

Beolab 17, A9 MK IV (soon to be sold), Stage x2, H95, E8 Sport, A1 V2

pig30n
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pig30n replied on Fri, Feb 18 2022 11:50 AM

Totally agree with what you wrote.

I have a setup consisting of Beolab 17+18+19 in the living room and a standalone Beosound Stage in a small bedroom (wall mounted, no TV).

While the Stage does rock that bedroom it does not come anywhere near the BL17s. Take whatever you like: mids, heights, bass, stereo image ... they are in another class when played on BL17s. I tested them in that bedroom, just for fun, and the wardrobe doors were roaring to the 17's bass :).

CB
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CB replied on Fri, Feb 18 2022 1:38 PM
BeoCom 1401:
now I'm enjoying the first day of Beolab 17 ownership.

Thank you for sharing your experience Yes - thumbs up

You did not mention the source for your BL17 ? It is certainly also important in the final result…
Curly
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Curly replied on Fri, Feb 18 2022 4:05 PM

I'm so happy this worked out for you--primarily because I just love BL17 so much and it makes me so excited to experience someone ELSE experiencing their talents for the first time--but also because it's good to make friends on the forum, connect customers with dealers, etc. Win-win for everyone involved and I'm so pleased those 17s made it to a good and appreciative home. (No affiliation with the dealer or those particular speakers--I just know they had been available for a bit and saw the price dropped recently.)

Not enough can be said about BL17 and frankly, they are so good, I find myself wondering if I should get a second set for which I have absolutely zero use at the moment. But if they are never replaced, maybe pulling the trigger on a good pair soon would future-proof me. I guess the idea of buying something I absolutely do not need that I KNOW will sit in a storage unit feels silly. And then there's the possibility that they DO get replaced (BL27??)...

Decisions, decisions.

But the point is, the 17s are absolutely fantastic, underrated and I'm so glad a new forum member has learned this firsthand.

B&O, please do not forgo replacing BL17. Please give us a BL27. (Balance does not count!)

Cheers!

P.S. I drive my BL17 with a Core using Toslink cables. No issues at all; works perfectly.

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, Beosound Level, Beosound A1 2nd Gen, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Halo, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

BeoFrederic
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Curly:

They are so good, I find myself wondering if I should get a second set for which I have absolutely zero use at the moment. But if they are never replaced, maybe pulling the trigger on a good pair soon would future-proof me.

That’s thought-provoking. Is there any software involved with the BL 17s, or any item that would provide a nasty surprise if you pulled them out of the garage after 10 years? Rubber surrounds, foam rot, etc…?

Curly
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Curly replied on Fri, Feb 18 2022 5:36 PM

The only software on BL17 is WISA-related.

And I suppose everything will deteriorate with enough time but... I wouldn't be too worried about BL17 foam rot, rubber surrounds, etc. I know that BL18 production was vastly improved vs. BL8000 specifically as far as the driver surrounds, which on BL8000 would rot after a while. Since BL17 and 18 were produced concurrently, I imagine they were built similarly.

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, Beosound Level, Beosound A1 2nd Gen, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Halo, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

BeoCom 1401
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CB:
BeoCom 1401:
now I'm enjoying the first day of Beolab 17 ownership.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience Yes - thumbs up

 

You did not mention the source for your BL17 ? It is certainly also important in the final result…

 

I added a Core as the source and it works flawlessly. Up and running in mins, Powerlink is awesome. There is definitely value in everything being wireless, like you get with Mozart, but the rock solid stability of the Core + Powerlink is comforting, especially after I had so many technical issues with my Balance pair. 

Beolab 17, A9 MK IV (soon to be sold), Stage x2, H95, E8 Sport, A1 V2

BeoCom 1401
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Question for 17 owners:

How the heck do you change the covers? I bought a pair on eBay and the instructions show to remove 2 screws with an Allan key. But the Allan key in the box is too big to fit into the screws. 

Did the eBay seller rip me off here, or did B&O actually provide the wrong size tool to change the covers. I was expecting this to be really simple, but it's been anything but. I'm afraid of stripping the screws and being stuck with white covers forever, which I really don't want. 

Any help would be appreciated. 

Thanks

Beolab 17, A9 MK IV (soon to be sold), Stage x2, H95, E8 Sport, A1 V2

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