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Opinions on the Avalon Symbols

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particleman
Stammgast
#1 erstellt: 16. Dez 2010, 17:27
I am currently in the market for a new pair of speakers and had the chance recently to audition the Avalon Symbols (http://www.avalonacoustics.com/ - sorry flash site so cannot link to the product directly).

The Symbols are rather unassuming speakers with an unusual obelisk type shape. I was told these speakers would be spectacular and they did not disappoint. Though it has a really slim profile and tiny drivers, the sound it puts out is rather magical. The kind of speaker that wins you over right away.

First impressions:
- Immense soundstage! Like a live concert, it fills the room with rich lively sound
- Natural sound - perhaps its the lack of boxiness but it has a rather warm natural sound
- Very musical - perhaps the most important quality; no dead clinical sound or harsh in your face forward sounding jam, I found myself really enjoying the listen.

I have enjoyed this speaker over others I've heard recently (Monitor Audio Platinum, Usher BE-718). One more contender that will take some planning to listen to are the Blumenhofer Genuins since they are in Bangalore.

I was hoping to hear your thoughts on these speakers. It is the baby of the Avalon family of course and has the unfortunate label of also being a "cinema speaker" but it seemed like a rather serious mid-fi speaker to my simple years.

So what do you gentlemen think? Speakers worthy of considerations? Must buys? Strengths, weaknesses. I humbly welcome your feedback. Thanks.
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#2 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 02:40

particleman schrieb:
I am currently in the market for a new pair of speakers and had the chance recently to audition the Avalon Symbols (http://www.avalonacoustics.com/ - sorry flash site so cannot link to the product directly).

The Symbols are rather unassuming speakers with an unusual obelisk type shape. I was told these speakers would be spectacular and they did not disappoint. Though it has a really slim profile and tiny drivers, the sound it puts out is rather magical. The kind of speaker that wins you over right away.

First impressions:
- Immense soundstage! Like a live concert, it fills the room with rich lively sound
- Natural sound - perhaps its the lack of boxiness but it has a rather warm natural sound
- Very musical - perhaps the most important quality; no dead clinical sound or harsh in your face forward sounding jam, I found myself really enjoying the listen.

I have enjoyed this speaker over others I've heard recently (Monitor Audio Platinum, Usher BE-718). One more contender that will take some planning to listen to are the Blumenhofer Genuins since they are in Bangalore.

I was hoping to hear your thoughts on these speakers. It is the baby of the Avalon family of course and has the unfortunate label of also being a "cinema speaker" but it seemed like a rather serious mid-fi speaker to my simple years.

So what do you gentlemen think? Speakers worthy of considerations? Must buys? Strengths, weaknesses. I humbly welcome your feedback. Thanks.


my apologies up-front 'cuz I have nothing but negative comments to make re. Avalon. The best part of Avalon is their whoopie-de-doo website & their fit & finish on the apeakers i.e. looks. That's where it all ends.
I've heard the Ascendant in a big room driven by the top-of-the-line Boulder electronics & I heard the Orisis (predecessor to the Isis) at a friend's place. In both cases I would say that the speaker performance came in way below what can be expected for a speaker priced THAT high. I also know that Avalon speakers have a whacky impedance curve & that you need some serious amps in your amplifier to drive them. They often do their best with the (squeaky clean & washed out & bleached) Spectral electronics. That in itself is a major alarm bell in my mind - why don't these speakers do well w/ any other electronics? It's because 2 wrongs are assembled to give you one right.
If you might dig the Avalon Symbols, go for it. In the end your system will be built for your pleasure not matter what we say.
YMMV. FWIW.
Arj
Inventar
#3 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 02:49

particleman schrieb:

I have enjoyed this speaker over others I've heard recently (Monitor Audio Platinum, Usher BE-718). One more contender that will take some planning to listen to are the Blumenhofer Genuins since they are in Bangalore.



i really dont know much about the Avalon speakers other than net reviews...but with the blumenhofer the fun siries is something... speak to Square wave as he bought one.
particleman
Stammgast
#4 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 08:47
@bombaywalla

Thanks for the insights. Certainly something to think about. I forgot to mention that I auditioned the Symbols on a similar setup as mine - Arcam A28 75-watt amp and CD37 SACD player. It seemed to drive them satisfactorily but then again this is positioned as a cinema speaker so might be an easier load(?)

I was curious to know more about the "whacky impedance curve" you mentioned. I am afraid I don't understand what this means and what effect it will have. Would be grateful if you could enlighten me. Also, what you meant by underperforming. I have heard some criticism of poor bass resolution and a "sameness" of live sound on every recording.

Yes, I found the speakers rather pleasant but I would like to know about hidden pitfalls as well, as you have pointed out.
particleman
Stammgast
#5 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 08:49

Arj schrieb:
i really dont know much about the Avalon speakers other than net reviews...but with the blumenhofer the fun siries is something... speak to Square wave as he bought one.


Thanks, Arj. Square wave was good enough to provide a very detailed description of his impressions of the Fun 17 which he owns. It seems remarkably similar to my take on the Symbols.
deaf
Stammgast
#6 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 16:27
Dudes,

Please consider the Amphion Argon 3L @ 2.35Lacs.

Deaf
particleman
Stammgast
#7 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 17:17

deaf schrieb:
Dudes,

Please consider the Amphion Argon 3L @ 2.35Lacs.

Deaf


Thanks, Deaf, can it be auditioned in Mumbai? What would you say its strengths are?
bhagwan69
Inventar
#8 erstellt: 17. Dez 2010, 19:23
Hello !

I cannot comment of the model you are looking @, however, I have listened to Avalons for a while now...

The 1st one I heard was way back in 2003.
The Last one was in August, 2010.

I have a lot of good things to say about Avalon Acoustics....
I just never liked the Opus, but the Time / Isis / Eidelon etc. are 'excellent' speakers.

I only have good things to say about Dr. Neil Patel's designs.
They just need to be partnered with top end electronics & work best with MIT Cables....

All the Best with your auditions....

I just suggest that you call for what ever you want to buy - to your house - set it up & listen to it....
Listen again & then decide...

All the Best !

If you are in Mumbai - Need any help - suggestions, please do feel free to ask...
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#9 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 03:56

particleman schrieb:
@bombaywalla

Thanks for the insights. Certainly something to think about. I forgot to mention that I auditioned the Symbols on a similar setup as mine - Arcam A28 75-watt amp and CD37 SACD player. It seemed to drive them satisfactorily but then again this is positioned as a cinema speaker so might be an easier load(?)

I was curious to know more about the "whacky impedance curve" you mentioned. I am afraid I don't understand what this means and what effect it will have. Would be grateful if you could enlighten me. Also, what you meant by underperforming. I have heard some criticism of poor bass resolution and a "sameness" of live sound on every recording.

Yes, I found the speakers rather pleasant but I would like to know about hidden pitfalls as well, as you have pointed out.


particleman,
a whacky impedance curve is like the one shown below of the Avalon Eclipse speaker (from Stereophile review in 1995):
Avalon Eclipse impedance curve
practically the entire audio freq range is consumed by the 2 massive peaks which are due to the bass porting. Notice the phase curve (the dotted line) - how much undulation there is. This means that such a speaker is a very hard load on the power amplifier.
Here is another Avalon impedance curve of the Avalon NP (from a 2008 Stereophile review). Many years have gone by & the speaker designer should have learnt but what do you see???
Avalon NO impedance curve
This impedance is just as devilish!! And, there is a lot of phase shift (see the phase curve - dotted line) implying that the x-over components are wreaking havoc on the phase of the original music signal. So, what you are likely to hear is extremely coloured sound, which to me is just hash. To add insult to injury your power amp is going to get a strenuous workout.
bhagwan69
Inventar
#10 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 04:38

So, what you are likely to hear is extremely coloured sound, which to me is just hash. To add insult to injury your power amp is going to get a strenuous workout.


My 'technical' ability is a bit below par, however, on a practical front - I did mention in my earlier post - Avalon's need 'blue blooded' Electronics.....

p.s. Interesting to see that you use Solitone Cables;
Just wanted to know, where did you get it from ?
particleman
Stammgast
#11 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 05:18

bombaywalla schrieb:
particleman,
a whacky impedance curve is like the one shown below of the Avalon Eclipse speaker (from Stereophile review in 1995)...
...So, what you are likely to hear is extremely coloured sound, which to me is just hash. To add insult to injury your power amp is going to get a strenuous workout.


@bombaywalla
Thanks!! That was quite an eye-(ear?) opener. I see now what you mean and though grasping the finer aspects of the theory is beyond me, I do get how this would impact the listening experience. Also greatly appreciate your helping me avoid a purchase I might have come to regret. If I may trouble you just once more, is there a pair of speakers in this neighbourhood (viz. < INR 3.5L) that you would recommend? The qualities I attributed to the Avalons in my first post of natural and detailed sound are mainly what I am looking for.
particleman
Stammgast
#12 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 05:35

bhagwan69 schrieb:
Hello !

I cannot comment of the model you are looking @, however, I have listened to Avalons for a while now...

...If you are in Mumbai - Need any help - suggestions, please do feel free to ask...


@bhagwan69

Thank you, bhagwanji. How kind of you to offer your help, much appreciated. I wonder if I might trouble you with the same request, i.e. your recommendation for speakers in the INR 250-350k neighbourhood with a natural, detailed sound.

I am still some years away from acquiring "blue-blooded" electronics but I am hoping that my other intended purchase is at least approaching the realm of nobility. I am referring to the Accuphase E-250 amp that I am planning to get over this weekend. I understand the 450 is the more popular model but anything above the 250 is a bit tough to pull off right now. I am also offered a Bryston B4SST power amp to pair with my Arcam as pre but I would be in over my head with a pre+pro combo as I would not know how to "manage." This is also a step up from the Musical Fidelity M6i that I was considering in large part due to its 200w output.

Regarding the Solitones, both speaker and IC cables are purchases from hifi-forum members. The speaker cables from msb1 and the ICs from abhi.pani. They are presently "too good" for my system but I am growing into them.
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#13 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 06:05
particleman said:


Thanks!! That was quite an eye-(ear?) opener. I see now what you mean and though grasping the finer aspects of the theory is beyond me, I do get how this would impact the listening experience. Also greatly appreciate your helping me avoid a purchase I might have come to regret. If I may trouble you just once more, is there a pair of speakers in this neighbourhood (viz. < INR 3.5L) that you would recommend? The qualities I attributed to the Avalons in my first post of natural and detailed sound are mainly what I am looking for.


Particleman, I am Greatly concerned to read your obedient comment to reject your Prime choice of speaker, based on:

A loudspeaker Impedance curve, which you admit, you dont fully grasp or understand.

2. Someone else's audio preferences. Have you heard that person's system or even shared an evening with him listening to music together to judge whether your musical preferences converge ???

As Bombaywalla has correctly stated

If you might dig the Avalon Symbols, go for it. In the end your system will be built for your pleasure not matter what we say.


Let me ventilate my views....

I have always subscribed to " Measurements are for the guidance of the wise and blind following of fools... "


We have still not learned to measure the correct parameters that will provide a solid handle on how a speaker will sound ....

The 'whacky impedance curve ' indicated for the " Avalon NP (from a 2008 Stereophile review)." is typical of MOST modern day speakers.

Do browse the Stereophile site and check out ....

The huge peak in the impedance curve that you see, simply indicates the Bass characteristic / off of the speaker. IT IS NOT THE BASS FREQUENCY RESPONSE OF THE SPEAKER. MOST Speakers will have this peak.

If you want a smooth impedance curve, then look at only single driver speakers. Even those will have an impedance peak at the lower cut off freq.

Regarding the varying Phase plot, that is VERY COMMON in speakers that have multiple drivers and complex Cross overs. These include speakers from most stalwarts like Wilson Audio, B&W, and Many, Many more.

The phase variations are inevitable when a speaker designer decides to cut off the signal sharply to each of the drivers in the cabinet. They argue that its best to let each driver handle only those frequencies for which its best capable of, and avoid distortions like Doppler distortion.

Incidentally, the Avalon Eclipse speaker referred to as the most villainous and implied to represent the 'typical' performance of Avalon Speakers, was designed and manufactured NOT BY THE EXISTING AVALON DESIGN TEAM.

That speaker was made by Charlie Hansen, who later sold Avalon to Dr Niel Patel. Hansen now restricts his skills to audio Electronics and has started Ayre Electronics... the current 'darling' of stereophile magazine.

If you like what you hear, certainly ask around for opinions, but do have the conviction to stand by what you like. If you do take another person's opnion, make sure his musical preferences converge with what you like, or you will regret not having bought what you liked in the first place.

Just my 2 cents and FWIW.

P.S;
There are LOTS of Great speakers to be had in the budget that you have, and if you are open to buying Pristine Pre-Owned peakers, the choice will be even bigger !!!

As an example, I am aware of a pair of Pristine QUAD 989 Electrostic speakers on sale for Rs 2 L. ( PM me for contact details if you are interested ). No they are not mine, and No i am Not a rep in India for Avalon or Quad. Yes, I AM an engineer and I DO understand measurements..

Take your time, and BUY WHAT YOU ENJOY LISTENING TO, not some curve that is or isint something...
particleman
Stammgast
#14 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 07:13

Amp_Nut schrieb:
If you like what you hear, certainly ask around for opinions, but do have the conviction to stand by what you like. If you do take another person's opnion, make sure his musical preferences converge with what you like, or you will regret not having bought what you liked in the first place.


@Amp_Nut

Guilty as charged, sir. Thank you also for the clarification. I am going to listen to the Avalons again this afternoon on a few other amps and across more recordings to get another impression.

I think I will not rush this decision but spend the coming months listening to as many speakers as I can. Now that I am getting a beefier amp, drive will not be a problem. Would heartily welcome your recommendations as you have said that there are many other options. How I wish your Sonus Fabers had been on sale now rather than earlier.

I am afraid the Quad electrostats are way too big for my very small living room. I remember my very first time when I spent almost a year simply auditioning speakers (much to the chagrin of a few dealers) -- while I cannot shop around so actively I will at least make sure I don't miss any opportunities to sample recommended speakers.

Thanks again!
SNV
Stammgast
#15 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 07:20

particleman schrieb:
How I wish your Sonus Fabers had been on sale now rather than earlier.

Thanks again!


Dear Particleman,

You may still consider a Sonus Faber speaker. The speaker in your budget would be the Liuto Tower.

Why dont you visit Lakozy and audition this speaker or better ask Priyesh to give you a home demo.

Do let me know if you need any help on the same.

Regards
SNV
Arj
Inventar
#16 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 08:28
Great post AN..and i would fully concur.
measurements are only a guide. eg what bombay walla has shown are potential areas for you to check.
if you are going for an Accuphase, it is well worth going for the higher Class A IF you can manage it ..my guess that else the 250-450 are the same with additional power reserves. so for easier speakers you may be ok with this.

For speakers, SF are of course one of the most beautiful speakers which are no slouches in the sound dept.. Blumenhofers are not great in looks but also sound really good. And considering the Accuphase are so refined ..i would guess they would drive just about any speaker as long as they are reasonable to drive

BTW are you upgrading you CDP too ?

B'walla a bit OT, but from my quite limited understanding , the impedance being very high in two areas. my guess is tht this may not create problems for most amps to drive it may reduce the current and hence there could be some lack of detail in the midbass and lower treble ?


[Beitrag von Arj am 18. Dez 2010, 17:55 bearbeitet]
The-German-HiFi-Connect...
Ist häufiger hier
#17 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 09:02
I just want to add the impedance curve of the Blumenhofer Fun17 which you can find here: http://www.stereo.de...7%20Lautsprecher.pdf All measuremnents have take place in an anechoic chamber. At a listening place they may look a bit different. And the step response looks also pretty good compared to some highly reputed speakers. The flat impedance curve makes this speaker ideal for tube amps also. And the soft peak in the bass region can be still flattened out with the bass impedance correction which is available as an option. You can find some information here: http://www.blumenhof...ance_correction.html with this the speaker can be driven with low powered SET tube amps also. Therefore particle man should also consider tube amps when making the decision.
deaf
Stammgast
#18 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 12:42

particleman schrieb:

deaf schrieb:
Dudes,

Please consider the Amphion Argon 3L @ 2.35Lacs.

Deaf


Thanks, Deaf, can it be auditioned in Mumbai? What would you say its strengths are?


Hi, forget my 2 bit,

'Hear' below is the real deal.

http://www.amphion.fi/pdf/AmphionArgon3L_english.pdf

Please see the speakers that it is being compared to.

Deaf.
deaf
Stammgast
#19 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 12:54
By the way, if you want to hear the Argon 3L, my Surat dealer Jignesh has a pair in his world class showroom Absolute Sounds.
Anand Lulla in Pune has the bookshelf Argon 3 in his rocking shop AVXellence. When I first connected them in his place, they just smashed every other speaker he had in his place to smithereens. Go there for a demo with your dics by all means but do not forget to play his Trentemoller CD, you will be blown away, I promise.
Deaf.
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#20 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 12:56
I think its interesting to objectively compare the "devilish" impedance curve of the Avalon NP (from a 2008 Stereophile review) indicated by Bombaywala.

The Peak inpedance is Off the chart.. ie above 20 Ohms, probably touching 22 or 24 ohms.

No compare this to the "soft peak in the bass region " of the Blumenhofer Fun17. Have a look its ..... 32 Ohms peak !

As the Dire Straits song goes :

2 men say their Jesus,
One of the must be wrong ....
The-German-HiFi-Connect...
Ist häufiger hier
#21 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 14:21
508Ushfig1
I think it's more the erratic nature of the impedance curve that may drive many amps beyond their capacity. Whereas the Blumenhofers have a rather flat, smooth and gentle curve except of this one bass peak, which can be also flattened out with the bass impedance correction, like I mentioned. I want to add the curve above as an example. This looks to me quite horrific and my conclusion is that this speaker probably can be driven properly only by a handful of amps.
deaf
Stammgast
#22 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 14:57
http://www.audioemot...e/Argon3l%20test.pdf

The above link should give a good insight into things.

Deaf.
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#23 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 15:15


I think it's more the erratic nature of the impedance curve that may drive many amps beyond their capacity....

I want to add the curve above as an example. This looks to me quite horrific and my conclusion is that this speaker probably can be driven properly only by a handful of amps.


The curve shown by you is certainly unusual.

However, a High Impedance is infact EASIER to drive (as mentioned by Arj.

The impedance peaks are infact EASIER to drive portions, for amplifiers.

Amps will break into a sweat when the impedance DIPS to unusually low values ( Below 4 ohms ). THAT is what one REALLY needs to look out for, specially if the low impedance is simultaneously coupled with a poor phase angle (ie a phase angle significantly different from 0 degrees, say 45 or 60 degrees.).

As the phase angle shifts from Zero degrees ( in either + or - direction) the amplifier has to deliver higher current )

For the 508Ushfig1 plot posted by 'The-German-HiFi-Connection' the impedance fals to its lowest point of approx 4.5 ohms at 3KHz. At that point the phase is a not-too-bad-at-all 20 degrees - ie capacitive.

With a phase angle of 20 degrees, the amp will be called to deliver only 8% more current than if it was feeding a simple 4 ohm resistor. This is unlikely to make it break out in a sweat, unless its not designed for a 4 Ohm load....
abhi.pani
Inventar
#24 erstellt: 18. Dez 2010, 17:16
Particleman, of all the speakers you have mentioned I liked the Blumenhofer the most. Avalon, well I have heard the Isis driven by Ayre electronics and it was average to my ears. Sonus Faber too has never impressed me enough. But I do get some idea of the kind of speakers you like (also because your choice of cables are known to me) and so I say, PLEASE listen to the Blumenhofer before buying any other speaker (whatever it takes). You can thank me later .
bhagwan69
Inventar
#25 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 04:38
bhagwan69
Inventar
#26 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 04:40
http://img109.imageshack.us/g/avalonacousticstimehkau.jpg/

<embed src="http://img109.imageshack.us/slideshow/smilplayer.swf" width="426" height="320" name="smilplayer" id="smilplayer" bgcolor="FFFFFF" menu="false" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="id=img109/avalonacousticstimehkau.jpg"/>


[Beitrag von bhagwan69 am 19. Dez 2010, 04:43 bearbeitet]
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#27 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 04:54
particleman said

I am going to listen to the Avalons again this afternoon on a few other amps and across more recordings to get another impression.


Were your thoughts any different on your re-listen ?

I must confess that the few times I have heard Avalon Speakers, I have found them un-involving..

But then, I dont care for most DynaAudios either ...

To each their own,
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#28 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 06:37

particleman schrieb:

@bombaywalla
Thanks!! That was quite an eye-(ear?) opener. I see now what you mean and though grasping the finer aspects of the theory is beyond me, I do get how this would impact the listening experience. Also greatly appreciate your helping me avoid a purchase I might have come to regret. If I may trouble you just once more, is there a pair of speakers in this neighbourhood (viz. < INR 3.5L) that you would recommend? The qualities I attributed to the Avalons in my first post of natural and detailed sound are mainly what I am looking for.


welcome. let me say that I showed these example Avalon impedance curves to explain to you what I meant by a whacky impedance curve as I felt that a pix (or a couple of pix) was worth more than a 1000 words & you had asked. The intention was not to scare you away from Avalon but more to make you more knowledgeable about the product & that you should go in with your eyes open.
Amp_Nut offers some good counter advice for you in that you should weigh all the advice & finally make up your own mind (like I wrote before). Even tho' Amp_Nut writes that most speakers of today have this sort of whacky impedance curve, it does not make it right (for speakers to have such a whacky impedance curve). I have been an owner of some speakers that have similar whacky impedances & these days I own speakers that have a much better controlled impedance. From my own experience I can say that any speaker that has such wild impedance fluctuations cannot do a good job of serving the music. However, you might still like the sound - so be it.
while it is true that the Avalon Eclipse & the NP were designed by 2 different teams, looking at their whacky impedance curves tells me that probably only the ownership changed & the same engineers stayed put.
The Quad 989 that Amp_Nut is suggesting to you has a much better impedance curve:
quad989_impedance_curve
even tho' there's a resonance at 80-90Hz, the phase of this speaker goes only mildy capacitative (from inductive) unlike both Avalon impedance curves that I shared with you. In the Quad 989 observe how flat (relative to the Avalons) the phase is between 100Hz & 6KHz. This is very good in comparison to the Avalons & the sonics from this speaker will taint the incoming music signal much less & will therefore give you many more hours of listening pleasure. And, if you read various users' experiences that's exactly what you find. Same for the original Quad ESL-63. This particular speaker is very old but those who have it, won't listen to anything else. So, the Quads are loved world-wide & their impedance curve seems to speak the same story.
Anyway, it's good thing that you are going to listen to Avalon Symbols some more today. You will get a better feel for them.
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#29 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 07:18

Arj schrieb:

B'walla a bit OT, but from my quite limited understanding , the impedance being very high in two areas. my guess is tht this may not create problems for most amps to drive it may reduce the current and hence there could be some lack of detail in the midbass and lower treble ?


Hi Arj, it is partially true that the load put onto the power amp at higher impedances is not as much as when the impedances sink to lower values. If you look @ the Avalon NP impedance curve (The Ascendants borrow a lot from this speaker) you see the wild phase fluctuations along with the wild impedance changes. So, at any given time the amp is driving a real part of the impedance & an imaginary i.e. reactive part of the impedance. You can see that at 60Hz the speaker is inductive while at 70Hz it is capacitative - in just 10Hz. The current supplied by the amp into an inductive load has to go somewhere when the load becomes capacitative - it goes back to the amp & interacts with the current being supplied to the capacitative load. So, the inductive load is supplying the load current until its effective magnetic field collapses + the power amp is also supplying the load. The German Hi-Fi Connection correctly wrote that it is this erratic behaviour that drives amps beyond their capacity & I concur. Plus, the capacitative load tends to make the amplifier more unstable (unless it is designed to withstand such wild fluctuations in phase). So, the amp is flipping between stable & unstable in the 60-80Hz region. In Jazz this is the region for the double-bass. I seriously doubt that this speaker can do justice to the double-bass sound - the timing, the start-stop of a plucked dbl-bass note & the clear dilineation of successive notes played. So, it's not just the lack of detail in the midbass, I believe that the entire PRaT in the midbass is pretty much shot.
Further note that this speaker goes inductive-->capacitative in the 1KHz - 3KHz presence region. The ear is very sensitive to this region & this distortion will be picked up in a heartbeat by any serious listener. Also, notice the 2KHz peaking, which tells me that this speaker is likely to beam when the artist's voice is in this region (I had this issue with my B&W Kevlar midrange drivers. Calculating the resonance freq using the diameter of the driver I calculated something like 1700Hz. Sure enough when Diana Krall sang, she was ahead of the plane of the speakers, closer to me & when Frank Sinatra sang he sank back to behind the speaker plane. Classic problem of speaker designer trying to wow the market by using a large diameter - I think it was 6" - midrange & simply not understanding what it did in the midrange freq. The issue was worsened by the use of look-at-me-yellow Kevlar for the midrange cone. I believe that these are the kinds of speaker designers that Amp_Nut was endorsing in his earlier post saying that whacky impedance curves were the norm hence OK & that phase shifts were inevitable as speaker designers used steep slope filters. Yup, there are speaker designers & then there are speaker designers ).
bombaywalla
Stammgast
#30 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 07:22

bhagwan69 schrieb:
Some pics of Avalon Time & me in HK @ Audio Show - August, 2010....


http://img109.images...cousticstimehkau.jpg
http://img513.images...cousticstimehkau.jpg
http://img522.images...cousticstimehkau.jpg
http://img196.images...cousticstimejeff.jpg
http://img209.images...cousticstimejeff.jpg
http://img252.images...cousticstimejeff.jpg
http://img213.images...cousticstimejeff.jpg
http://img580.images...cousticstimejeff.jpg
http://img696.images...cousticstimejeff.jpg


the fit & finish of these speakers is simply very good. No doubt about that. Very nice wood veneer, wonderful glossy finish. Ek damm p-h-a-t-a-k!
BTW, which watch are you wearing in these pix?? Avalon Time??
particleman
Stammgast
#31 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 07:30

SNV schrieb:
Dear Particleman,

You may still consider a Sonus Faber speaker. The speaker in your budget would be the Liuto Tower.

Why dont you visit Lakozy and audition this speaker or better ask Priyesh to give you a home demo.

Do let me know if you need any help on the same.

Regards
SNV


Thanks, SNV. I will be sure to put down the Liutos in my list as well.
particleman
Stammgast
#32 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 07:46

Arj schrieb:
BTW are you upgrading you CDP too ?


@Arj

Me? Oh no, I'm extremely happy with the CD37 as its the best player I've heard under 300K and not too bad compared with an Accuphase CDP. Also, this may be my last player as I hope to get onto the HDD playback bandwagon. My new Accuphase amp has an expansion slot for a DAC-20 card and so I would like to plan a media server config down the road.


The-German-HiFi-Connection schrieb:
Therefore particle man should also consider tube amps when making the decision.


@The-German-HiFi-Connection

Thanks, however I have already made my amp purchase and I am very happy with it. This is the Accuphase E-250. I auditioned it on a variety of speakers and loads in a room much larger than mine (will ever be). It drove a pair of 83dB impedance Morels with the same power as it did the top-end Monitor Audio Platinum tower -- didn't even break a sweat and we're talking about a ten o'clock position on the volume dial. If anything I had to ask Grattan to turn down the volume a bit. (For reference this is one of the Allan Taylor SACDs). In A/B comparison with the 200 watt Musical Fidelity M6i, the E-250 not only outdid but outclassed it; far more musical, full of the kind of contagious energy I am looking for in an amp. I am a very happy man indeed (well, happier once it is delivered to me).


deaf schrieb:
Hi, forget my 2 bit,

'Hear' below is the real deal.


@deaf

Thanks. I spoke to Vijay Singh of Boomarang and he tells me uses the Amphion standmounts at home and is quite happy. Will add this to the list.
bhagwan69
Inventar
#33 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 07:46
[quote="bombaywalla"][quote="bhagwan69"]Some pics of Avalon Time & me in HK @ Audio Show - August, 2010....

the fit & finish of these speakers is simply very good. No doubt about that. Very nice wood veneer, wonderful glossy finish. Ek damm p-h-a-t-a-k!
[b]BTW, which watch are you wearing in these pix??[/b] Avalon Time?? [/quote]

The JLC - Master Geo [watch i.e.]

The 'time' is a good speaker - I liked it.
It was the 4th or 5th best sound of the show for me !!
particleman
Stammgast
#34 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 08:01

abhi.pani schrieb:
Particleman, of all the speakers you have mentioned I liked the Blumenhofer the most. Avalon, well I have heard the Isis driven by Ayre electronics and it was average to my ears. Sonus Faber too has never impressed me enough. But I do get some idea of the kind of speakers you like (also because your choice of cables are known to me) and so I say, PLEASE listen to the Blumenhofer before buying any other speaker (whatever it takes). You can thank me later .


I have a feeling you are right about the Blumenhofers just as you were right about your cables and I am thankful for both. I assume you are speaking of the Fun 17?

I have ruled out the Avalon Symbols and have noted why below.
particleman
Stammgast
#35 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 08:36

Amp_Nut schrieb:
Were your thoughts any different on your re-listen ?

I must confess that the few times I have heard Avalon Speakers, I have found them un-involving..

But then, I dont care for most DynaAudios either ...

To each their own,


Very different indeed. I came away rather disappointed...

To set the scene:

We had the Musical Fidelity M6i, the Accuphase E-250 integrateds, the Monitor Audio platinum FS (model?), the Avalon Symbol FS, the Morel FS.

First listened to the MA Platinums on the M6i. Quite a bit of power from the amp, awful plasticky sound from the speakers. Switched over to the Accuphase and what a difference -- made even these god-awful speakers redeem themselves to a measure.

So then, we switched to the Avalons on the Accuphase which had by then proven itself as a capable reference point. First impressions -- the speakers disappear completely; it's true, even to my primitive ears this was almost like a feat of magic and I just could not tell where the sound was coming from. That's the good news.

A bit more listening to a variety of albums (Allan Taylor, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan, etc) leads to some disappointing discoveries. There is indeed a sort of 'sameness' that envelopes all recordings -- the dynamics and force is gone and they all sound like they are flower children tripped out on acid, just takin' it easy man, don't harsh my mellow...

The Symbols are great if you listen strictly to acoustic recordings but for everything else, grab a cup of double-shot espresso because you'll need it. There is an incredible amount of detail -- the various instruments on Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone are separated rather nicely and presented as rather discrete entities. On the other hand they are, to use Amp_Nut's term, "uninvolving" and that is how I too would summarise them.

(remarkably, I read this gentleman's review later and it is spot on: http://forums.naimau...8019385/m/4381973594)

I hope my review isn't too harsh; it has also reminded me that speakers need repeated auditions before one can know them well. I think the Symbols would do well if priced at even half their cost, they are simply trying to box outside their weight class.

And so, the Avalon Symbols are out of the running and not without some reluctance.
deaf
Stammgast
#36 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 08:42
Dear Particleman,
I hope you have read the review of the Argon 3L, it is very good, from a reasonably neutral online site. I hope you make a decision that is wise and less related to brand labels and names. If your room is within 225 sq ft, I even suggest the PMC speakers TB2i SE for 1.55 Lacs for your electronics.
Deaf
deaf
Stammgast
#37 erstellt: 19. Dez 2010, 08:46
Dear Particleman,
What is the outlay you are looking at? Very important question.
Deaf.
abhi.pani
Inventar
#38 erstellt: 20. Dez 2010, 07:54

bombaywalla schrieb:

Arj schrieb:

B'walla a bit OT, but from my quite limited understanding , the impedance being very high in two areas. my guess is tht this may not create problems for most amps to drive it may reduce the current and hence there could be some lack of detail in the midbass and lower treble ?


Hi Arj, it is partially true that the load put onto the power amp at higher impedances is not as much as when the impedances sink to lower values. If you look @ the Avalon NP impedance curve (The Ascendants borrow a lot from this speaker) you see the wild phase fluctuations along with the wild impedance changes. So, at any given time the amp is driving a real part of the impedance & an imaginary i.e. reactive part of the impedance. You can see that at 60Hz the speaker is inductive while at 70Hz it is capacitative - in just 10Hz. The current supplied by the amp into an inductive load has to go somewhere when the load becomes capacitative - it goes back to the amp & interacts with the current being supplied to the capacitative load. So, the inductive load is supplying the load current until its effective magnetic field collapses + the power amp is also supplying the load. The German Hi-Fi Connection correctly wrote that it is this erratic behaviour that drives amps beyond their capacity & I concur. Plus, the capacitative load tends to make the amplifier more unstable (unless it is designed to withstand such wild fluctuations in phase). So, the amp is flipping between stable & unstable in the 60-80Hz region. In Jazz this is the region for the double-bass. I seriously doubt that this speaker can do justice to the double-bass sound - the timing, the start-stop of a plucked dbl-bass note & the clear dilineation of successive notes played. So, it's not just the lack of detail in the midbass, I believe that the entire PRaT in the midbass is pretty much shot.
Further note that this speaker goes inductive-->capacitative in the 1KHz - 3KHz presence region. The ear is very sensitive to this region & this distortion will be picked up in a heartbeat by any serious listener. Also, notice the 2KHz peaking, which tells me that this speaker is likely to beam when the artist's voice is in this region (I had this issue with my B&W Kevlar midrange drivers. Calculating the resonance freq using the diameter of the driver I calculated something like 1700Hz. Sure enough when Diana Krall sang, she was ahead of the plane of the speakers, closer to me & when Frank Sinatra sang he sank back to behind the speaker plane. Classic problem of speaker designer trying to wow the market by using a large diameter - I think it was 6" - midrange & simply not understanding what it did in the midrange freq. The issue was worsened by the use of look-at-me-yellow Kevlar for the midrange cone. I believe that these are the kinds of speaker designers that Amp_Nut was endorsing in his earlier post saying that whacky impedance curves were the norm hence OK & that phase shifts were inevitable as speaker designers used steep slope filters. Yup, there are speaker designers & then there are speaker designers ).


Good post Bombaywalla. I normally never relate the sound from a speaker to its specs/measurements (may be because I am not techie enough). I just listen and judge (like most audiophiles). Interestingly I did notice the Avalons to have a thick muddy bass region and overall some kind of a coloration which makes them sound "Sophisticated", that you have concluded from the measurements as well.

Quoting from the NaimAudio forum:

There is just something with that soundstage. At a certain point it creaped up on me that all CD's produce a similar (but huge) stage. Being either a recent live-recording or an old'n dusty shut-in Steely Dan record from 25 years ago. As if the speakers do a very clever trick of some sort.


I call this fairy tale presentation. Every song sounds like a Fairy tale. Neutrality is right outside the window .


[Beitrag von abhi.pani am 20. Dez 2010, 08:02 bearbeitet]
square_wave
Inventar
#39 erstellt: 20. Dez 2010, 10:32
I would say all of you go with your ears ! Almost all folks listen differently.

What floats your boat with your music at this point in time is what matters ! When the time comes to change, you will know.

I have seen folks moving from wilsons to avalons and from avalons to wilsons or vandersteens or from brand "x" multi drivers to single driver full ranges or whatever !

Only one advice - Listen as much as possible and on different days with as big a variety of music as possible before you pick up a loudspeaker. If in doubt, go again and listen.
particleman
Stammgast
#40 erstellt: 20. Dez 2010, 15:44

deaf schrieb:
Dear Particleman,
I hope you have read the review of the Argon 3L, it is very good...

What is the outlay you are looking at? Very important question.
Deaf.


@deaf

Yes I did read the ones you posted as well as others I could find. All seem very positive about the speaker and I am now rather keen to hear them. As for the outlay, I am looking at 2.5 to 3L.


abhi.pani schrieb:
I call this fairy tale presentation. Every song sounds like a Fairy tale. Neutrality is right outside the window .


@abhi.pani

Very well put. Truly a disappointment about what they got wrong when so much else was right.


square_wave schrieb:
I would say all of you go with your ears ! Almost all folks listen differently.

What floats your boat with your music at this point in time is what matters ! When the time comes to change, you will know.

I have seen folks moving from wilsons to avalons and from avalons to wilsons or vandersteens or from brand "x" multi drivers to single driver full ranges or whatever !

Only one advice - Listen as much as possible and on different days with as big a variety of music as possible before you pick up a loudspeaker. If in doubt, go again and listen.


@square_wave

Indeed, I will be doing a lot of meticulous auditioning to pick the next pair so that they last longer than this one. I am far more confident this time around about the kind of speaker I am looking for. I will be doing just that -- listening to each pair of speakers as many times as I can before taking a call.
bhagwan69
Inventar
#41 erstellt: 21. Dez 2010, 02:25

square_wave schrieb:
Listen as much as possible and on different days with as big a variety of music as possible before you pick up a loudspeaker. If in doubt, go again and listen.



Yes;

Listen & then buy.

However, I recommend that you listen in your house.

That way all is equal.
Same room [acoustics]
Same Electronics

This will help you to decide.

If you can spend 3 lacs, all dealers will get the speaker to your house. I know I would...

All the Best !

p.s. I still like tha Avalons...
The-German-HiFi-Connect...
Ist häufiger hier
#42 erstellt: 28. Dez 2010, 08:00

Amp_Nut schrieb:


The curve shown by you is certainly unusual.

However, a High Impedance is infact EASIER to drive (as mentioned by Arj.

The impedance peaks are infact EASIER to drive portions, for amplifiers.

Amps will break into a sweat when the impedance DIPS to unusually low values ( Below 4 ohms ). THAT is what one REALLY needs to look out for, specially if the low impedance is simultaneously coupled with a poor phase angle (ie a phase angle significantly different from 0 degrees, say 45 or 60 degrees.).

As the phase angle shifts from Zero degrees ( in either + or - direction) the amplifier has to deliver higher current )

For the 508Ushfig1 plot posted by 'The-German-HiFi-Connection' the impedance fals to its lowest point of approx 4.5 ohms at 3KHz. At that point the phase is a not-too-bad-at-all 20 degrees - ie capacitive.

With a phase angle of 20 degrees, the amp will be called to deliver only 8% more current than if it was feeding a simple 4 ohm resistor. This is unlikely to make it break out in a sweat, unless its not designed for a 4 Ohm load....


I know someone who drives these Usher speakers with a 12 or 15 watt (I'm not sure now) Leben amp. He complained to me about a loose and bloated bass and a rather uninvolving performance of his combo. Though Leben amps have got the reputation of a very involving (sound)performance. I am sure that these speakers just can not be driven by an amp like this. Though this amp probably does not break out in sweat at a 4ohm load.
Another such example. When I was in Germany last time I wanted to audition Valvet bricks (Single Ended Class A monos / 10 watt into 8 ohm) once again after I had heard them sometime back performing superbly with some DIY 98dB hornspeakers. So I went to the local Valvet dealer to audition them on some 90dB or so 8 ohm speakers. I wanted to get some conclusion how these amps would perhaps perform with the Blumenhofers. But the dealer had hooked them up to a pair of Gamut Phi5 a speaker which I heard once with some powerful SS amps (Trigon) and the performance was pretty good. Not so with the Valvet bricks which certainly also should not break out into sweat at the nominal 4Ohm impedance of the Gamuts. But they just couldn't drive them in my opinion. Again loose and bloated unpricise bass and the combo just failed "to shine". So when an amp in theory should be able to drive a certain speaker does not necessaryly mean it also will be able to do that. That's what I meant.
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#43 erstellt: 28. Dez 2010, 08:05
Hi The-German-HiFi-Connection,

Thanks for sharing your observations & feedback.

particleman
Stammgast
#44 erstellt: 02. Jan 2011, 13:21
My grateful thanks to everyone who helped out. It has now been over a week since I received the Accuphase E-250 amplifier. This is a different direction indeed from the intent that this thread was created with but it has been a happy ending all the same.

As stated above, this amp can drive the kind of speakers suited to my room, rather capably. So, this is just a pause and not a halt to my quest to find the ideal speaker. I will be auditioning all the models listed in this thread and will take my time, as advised, in making the right choice.

I am quite happy with the drive and power of the E-250. The analog meters are also easy on the eyes. It drives my high impedance speakers rather well but also reveals their true nature, which is range-limited and rather bright. I am especially happy about the expansion slots in the amp that let you drop in a DAC or phono board in future; so here's looking to HDD based music in future.

Thanks again to all!
Amp_Nut
Inventar
#45 erstellt: 02. Jan 2011, 14:22
CONGRATS !

The addition of daughterboards in future is a Great option.

Wishing You Watts & Watts Of Music Enjoyment...

bombaywalla
Stammgast
#46 erstellt: 02. Jan 2011, 18:20

particleman schrieb:
My grateful thanks to everyone who helped out. It has now been over a week since I received the Accuphase E-250 amplifier. This is a different direction indeed from the intent that this thread was created with but it has been a happy ending all the same.

As stated above, this amp can drive the kind of speakers suited to my room, rather capably. So, this is just a pause and not a halt to my quest to find the ideal speaker. I will be auditioning all the models listed in this thread and will take my time, as advised, in making the right choice.

I am quite happy with the drive and power of the E-250. The analog meters are also easy on the eyes. It drives my high impedance speakers rather well but also reveals their true nature, which is range-limited and rather bright. I am especially happy about the expansion slots in the amp that let you drop in a DAC or phono board in future; so here's looking to HDD based music in future.

Thanks again to all!


cool!
since you have a 1-box amplifier in the Accu E-250, if you cannot get the speaker to your house for an audition, then I suggest that you take your integrated amplifier to the dealer/seller for the audition. This will give you a better idea how the amp-speaker will perform. The E-250 should be far more portable compared to a pair of speakers.
particleman
Stammgast
#47 erstellt: 10. Feb 2011, 06:12
Thanks everyone, for your valuable insights and for your good wishes (and apologies for my late acknowledgement).

To bring this thread to a close, I am reporting back with my final decision.

I have now paired my Accuphase E-250 integrated amp with an Accuphase MDS DP-400 CD player and the results are outstanding. It looks like the issues I had with refinement and detail stemmed more from source + amp than the speakers. Yes, the speakers are now outclassed by the rest of the chain but they are still keeping up fairly well. Overall, the sound is in a new and better league.

The DP-400 has a built-in DAC (only coax/optical in/out though) and is connected via balanced cable to my amp so I think I'm good with this choice.

And so my quest for speakers now can become a leisurely excursion rather than a mad dash. In the interim, I will remain extremely happy with the sound I am hearing.
square_wave
Inventar
#48 erstellt: 10. Feb 2011, 07:50
Congratulations Particle man. How much did this player cost you ?
Savyasaachi
Inventar
#49 erstellt: 10. Feb 2011, 08:52
nice!!..love the build quality and look of accuphase products.

Have heard a DAC and a CDP of theirs..fantastic front end electronics they make.
abhi.pani
Inventar
#50 erstellt: 11. Feb 2011, 04:01
Super decision Particleman
square_wave
Inventar
#51 erstellt: 11. Feb 2011, 11:41
Partcleman SAID;

" Yes, the speakers are now outclassed by the rest of the chain "

Suche:
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