My Meadowlark Swifts

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
41B126D9-9AD5-4675-A6FD-A03C326CCC59.jpeg It’s great to find a forum with a section dedicated to Meadowlark speakers. I’m a huge fan and love mine. These are my Swifts. I was recently able to obtain and install all NOS tweeters and drivers thanks to @Pat McGinty. They sound fantastic. Pat also shared his knowledge of this site with me. I’ve read every thread in this Meadowlark sub-forum. It’s great to see Meadowlark evolving their designs and building again. Who knows? I might upgrade at some point. Till then, I look forward to learning more about Pat’s new approach.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Howdy, Prime Minister. Thanks for hosting such a good cool site. Yes, the drivers are 5”, or 5.5”. How do they compare to your Shearwaters? I’m guessing, based on reviews I’ve read that your Shearwaters will walk all over my Swifts acoustically, but I don’t know because the only set of Meadowlarks I’ve ever heard in my life... are mine. And, that wasn’t until they showed up on my doorstep. I bought them sight and sound unseen and unheard.

I’d decided to try a tube amp, but a Primaluna was a bit out of budget, so after reading more reviews I snapped up a Jolida 202a. Then I began to look for complimentary speakers. Multiple reviews mentioned Klipsch Heresy, La Scala, and I think Cornwall, but they were all much too large. Then I found a review that mentioned Kestrel 2s. I loved they way they looked and began learning as much as I could about Meadowlark. Sometime later the Swifts presented themselves. They’re very similar to the Kestrel 2 I think. But, smaller, which I really liked... so I bought them.

They seemed very musical and detailed to my ears, but not allot of bass, which is just what many reviews had said. So, I rolled a few tubes, upgraded my TT/cartridge combo, and replaced the drivers. Now they sound pretty darn good. Seem to have plenty of bass for my taste. I recall reading an opinion that the original HR Kestrel sounded better than the Kestrel 2, but I just love the athletics of the second generation. I always keep an eye out for a pair of Kestrel 2s, but after learning more... I’ve added Shearwaters to the list too.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Holy Moly... a set of Swifts came up in Southern Cal. They are Cherry with socks, feet, and spikes. I want them so bad, but I’m not a collector or a hoarder. Can’t afford them damn it. Someone snap them up. They’re gorgeous. Meadowlark Swifts.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
I’ve been traveling for the past three weeks. When I’ve had the opportunity I’ve popped into record and stereo shops during the journey. Invariably shops ask about my system. They always give me a courteous acknowledgment as I describe my setup... until I mention my Meadowlarks. Then they light up. This happened almost every time. Always makes me smile. :smile:
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I can totally see that. Now that I have my Shearwater Hot Rods, I've even stopped thinking about new speakers, let alone shopping for them. The only thing that could move me from here is perhaps Pat's new line. I just can't imagine what I could "upgrade" to.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
I’ve made a lot of changes to my system lately, so it’s a bit unclear if one or more changes made the most difference. But, these Swifts are singing like never before. I know the last tube roll helped even things out immensely; and the new phono stage has introduced so much more separation, depth and a ton more detail than I ever had before. But, I also think one of the best things going on is that the new drivers and tweeters must be breaking in as well. Thanks, @Pat McGinty for helping me with the NOS parts and for introducing me to this forum.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
My rebuilt Swifts are breaking in nicely. I listen mostly to vinyl and the new Primare R32 has really complimented the Swifts as well. That and the Primaluna Classic amp that I slipped into the system. It's been fun learning how different components can dramatically affect the sounds that a pair of speakers can produce. I've also experimented with three pair of speaker cables as well: WireWorld Eclipse, Nordost Blue Heaven and Nordost Red Dawn. Without doubt the Red Dawns are the best with the my Swifts.

I've also had the opportunity to switch back and forth between three pair of speakers: PSB Alpha, ProAc Tablette Anniversary and my Swifts. I swapped speaker cables and rolled tubes looking for the best combination. The PSBs are... well, they're what they are. They were great rears when I had them in a surround setup, but they can't hold a candle to the ProAcs or the Swifts. The ProAcs are a full sounding beautiful speaker. A bit deeper sounding that the Swifts. They are beautiful. At first, I described the Swifts as brighter, but I'm not so sure that's a good description. The Swifts have plenty of bass now. Lots. But, they also seem to showcase things like acoustic guitars and other string instruments in a way that is really pleasing to me. Pianos that hit sustained lower and short higher notes are so much fun to listen to on the Swifts. To me, and I know this is subjective, the Swifts seem to fill the room and give me much more of the music, the way I want to hear it. After having a chance to really compare them to speakers at the low and higher end... I really have a new appreciation for how special the Swifts are.

It's hard to believe these were Pat's entry level speaker so many moon ago. I can only imagine what the Kestrels and Shearwaters must sound like. They really have me wondering what the Little Wings with the new room correcting DSP technology must sound like. I keep thinking that these may be my next set if I can save enough.
 
I've also had the opportunity to switch back and forth between three pair of speakers: PSB Alpha, ProAc Tablette Anniversary and my Swifts.
Comparing the Swifts to Proac Tablettes is interesting. Back a few years when I was using the Original Kestrels as my main speakers I thought I'd do a major upgrade with a pair of Proac Response 1.5s. I bought a used pair from a guy within driving distance and let them settle in. The Proacs were a very nice looking, and sounding speaker for sure. After a few months though, I swapped the Kestrels back in to the system and heard the magic all over again and sold the Proacs shortly after. I used Kestrels as my main speaker for probably 10 years and always loved them.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Looks like Swift’s will be staying in the lineup for quite sometime now. I’d been saving and saving for a new pair of Meadowlarks after reading all the goodness from Prime Minister and Pat. Unfortunately that plan was changed when my one and only favorite brat Basenji dog suffered a massive seizure. We raced him to the hospital at 1:00am Sunday morning on Labor Day weekend. Turned out he’d suffered a major stroke followed by a lengthy seizure. He ended up in doggie ICU for five days, but the good news is... we saved him. It’s been several weeks of patient rehab to learn how to walk again and get use to the heavy meds. Better news is that he’s climbing stairs again while supervised and this morning he began trotting again during our morning walk. Little by little he’s getting better. We’re thrilled.

Bad news is that it set us back big time. New equipment budget is completely gone, and then some. I could of had some of Pat’s new monster speakers for what it cost. Don’t regret it at all. It was a pretty emotional ordeal for the last several weeks. So while I won’t have a new pair of Meadowlarks anytime soon, I still have my dog and a damned good solid pair of Swifts. Life is good.
 

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
Sorry to hear about sweet brat Basenji dog's setback. Thank goodness he has a loving family and pulled thru to enjoy another day.

Please give him all of our love.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
No speaker is worth more then a beloved dog. I'm glad he's got a loving family who look after him so well.

And if it helps, it's not like you are slumming it with any pair of Meadowlarks.
 

Kpatch

Junior Member
Comparing the Swifts to Proac Tablettes is interesting. Back a few years when I was using the Original Kestrels as my main speakers I thought I'd do a major upgrade with a pair of Proac Response 1.5s. I bought a used pair from a guy within driving distance and let them settle in. The Proacs were a very nice looking, and sounding speaker for sure. After a few months though, I swapped the Kestrels back in to the system and heard the magic all over again and sold the Proacs shortly after. I used Kestrels as my main speaker for probably 10 years and always loved them.
Man, that’s saying something. With the exception of their awkward black sheep Future Ones, I never heard a pair of Proacs I didn’t like and owned several. I also liked every pair of Meadowlarks I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with.

I’d travel some distance for the chance to hear a throw down of comparable Meadowlarks, Proacs and JM Reynauds.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Man, that’s saying something. With the exception of their awkward black sheep Future Ones, I never heard a pair of Proacs I didn’t like and owned several. I also liked every pair of Meadowlarks I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with.

I’d travel some distance for the chance to hear a throw down of comparable Meadowlarks, Proacs and JM Reynauds.
How comparable?

I have Kites and Shearwaters.
 
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