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RE: Best Speakers

chebby wrote:

The ADM9s are, no doubt, superb (and truly minimalist for someone needing only one compact source like an ATV or SBT), but they are not 'the future' except for those well heeled enough to consider £1250 - £1400 'good value' in a world where most of the population think a £99 dock (or mini-system or PC speakers) to be lavish excess Smile   (I have seen people far, far wealthier than me agonise over whether to spend the extra on a £200 set of plastic 5.1 'lifestyle' speakers when buying a new TV.

The future is plastic and it costs £99 and there is a fair chance it's made by Logitech.

I agree with the price being 'not exactly cheap', but then I do think that they are value for money. The future bit is really the all in one solution rather than AVI specifically.

However, my viewpoint is skewed slightly as I didn't pay anywhere near £1200 for my new 9Ts, but I would still not hesitate recommending them to people looking to spend between say £700 and £2500 on a system, if second hand was also considered.

If I had £1200+ to spend, I'd have probably gone for Event Opals (used), as I already had a DAC preamp in the form of the DACmagic Plus (still do actually), but I'm certainly happy with what I got.

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RE: Best Speakers

Overdose wrote:
I'd have probably gone for Event Opals

Now there's an ugly speaker.

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RE: Best Speakers

atticus wrote:
As for being a speaker you "can't compare with any other"; I can't see how this is AVi's fault. There are pre-existing 'price points' within the market but these are created by bigger manufacturers with wider ranges of offerings so that one product doesn't impinge upon the 'selling space' of the next product. And AVi is under no obligation to fit a given price point, anyway. Their stated intention was to build the best speaker they could - but at a price point that could be afforded by more than just a handful of uber-rich. You have to remember that AVi is just two guys and they have bills to pay and livings to earn, just like the rest of us - they're not doing undertaking a HiFi vanity project and they're not a large company with a huge infrastructure and support mechanism. It matters to them if the ADM40's dont sell, whereas a larger company is better placed to absorb a 'duff' model.

I think AVi have - unintentionally - established their own price point, rather than trying to fit into one that was already there. That is one of the benefits of being a (very!) small company. The downside is that, if the products fail to sell, they have so much more to lose than larger companies.

First point, it is AVIs fault, they decided to build on order, which means you can't head down to Audio-T and compare them with anything else. It also means you're committing a lot of money for an act of faith - in the end, no matter how good they are, if their voicing doesn't suit you, you've just blown a lot of money. That's one reason why I'd be very concerned if I were them at the moment. The other is that, with so many newcomers from larger companies offering better specs, they no only don't have the market to themselves any more, but their marketing model is beginning to work against them. I mean, if you can head down to Audio-T and audition some different actives, why would you bother with AVI which is mostly sold over the web and you can't audition?

The point you make about their size is a good one. To be honest, if I were them I'd be accepting the first offer that came along. If there are only two of them, that doesn't bode well for trying to shift into the larger market which they must be thinking about. I mean, if I'm heading back to Oz, Tonga or Saskatchewan why would I even thing of AVI? Zero support outside the UK, whereas my local hiFi shops, assuming one or two are still going, can offer brands  like Dynaudio or KEF with global support.

Just speculating here, mate, AVI might be doing well at the moment, who knows, but my guess is that's going to change in the near future if it hasn't already.

 

P.S. I hope AVI continue to de really well, don't get me wrong. It is an increasingly difficult climate for them now, though.

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RE: Best Speakers

altruistic.lemon wrote:
.... which means you can't head down to Audio-T and compare them with anything else. It also means you're committing a lot of money for an act of faith - in the end, no matter how good they are, if their voicing doesn't suit you, you've just blown a lot of money.

AVI offer to demo them on appointment at their own factory.

Also AVI owners are very keen to offer demos of their own speakers in their own homes. (I see this service offered so many times.)

It might be that opportunities to demo AVI products are more widespread (and more flexible in hours) than Audio-T's ability to demo their more conventional fare.

Of course that doesn't allow for comparison with lots of other kit,  but that's largely a moot point as Audio-T (and most other dealers) don't usually stock actives. Especially the floor standing variety and even less so at the ADM40 price-point.

Anyway, whats wrong with home trial and a refund if you aren't happy?  AVI still did this the last time I looked. (With a few provisos concerning the condition of the returned item and postage.)

 

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RE: Best Speakers

altruistic.lemon wrote:

. . .  you're a bit muddled there, mate. ATC (where AVI learnt their craft) . . . 

 

It seems to me that it's you that is muddled, and badly mis-informed.

 

AVI was started by Martin Grindrod, in the '80s.  His background is from University, research, and employment in a special electronics design capacity by a major PLC Defence systems manufacturer.  -  Nothing to do with ATC.

 

Ashley James went to ATC with an objective to assist the company in avoiding impending financial difficulties and potential bankruptcy.  He was successful in that regard, but realised that ATC were compromised both in design terms, and their company structure.

 

He realised that ATC loudspeakers performed better with AVI amplification than with their own.   He was sufficiently impressed to want to invest in AVI, and so the present situation evolved.  There is no doubt that AVI has prospered as a result, but it's nothing much to do with ATC, except perhaps learning some of the lessons of what not to do.

 

I know this because I was a director of a computer company that developed expertise in computer systems as a high quality sound source, which is how I came to meet Ashley and Martin.

 

JC

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RE: Best Speakers

altruistic.lemon wrote:

atticus wrote:
As for being a speaker you "can't compare with any other"; I can't see how this is AVi's fault. There are pre-existing 'price points' within the market but these are created by bigger manufacturers with wider ranges of offerings so that one product doesn't impinge upon the 'selling space' of the next product. And AVi is under no obligation to fit a given price point, anyway. Their stated intention was to build the best speaker they could - but at a price point that could be afforded by more than just a handful of uber-rich. You have to remember that AVi is just two guys and they have bills to pay and livings to earn, just like the rest of us - they're not doing undertaking a HiFi vanity project and they're not a large company with a huge infrastructure and support mechanism. It matters to them if the ADM40's dont sell, whereas a larger company is better placed to absorb a 'duff' model.

I think AVi have - unintentionally - established their own price point, rather than trying to fit into one that was already there. That is one of the benefits of being a (very!) small company. The downside is that, if the products fail to sell, they have so much more to lose than larger companies.

First point, it is AVIs fault, they decided to build on order, which means you can't head down to Audio-T and compare them with anything else. It also means you're committing a lot of money for an act of faith - in the end, no matter how good they are, if their voicing doesn't suit you, you've just blown a lot of money. That's one reason why I'd be very concerned if I were them at the moment. The other is that, with so many newcomers from larger companies offering better specs, they no only don't have the market to themselves any more, but their marketing model is beginning to work against them. I mean, if you can head down to Audio-T and audition some different actives, why would you bother with AVI which is mostly sold over the web and you can't audition?

The point you make about their size is a good one. To be honest, if I were them I'd be accepting the first offer that came along. If there are only two of them, that doesn't bode well for trying to shift into the larger market which they must be thinking about. I mean, if I'm heading back to Oz, Tonga or Saskatchewan why would I even thing of AVI? Zero support outside the UK, whereas my local hiFi shops, assuming one or two are still going, can offer brands  like Dynaudio or KEF with global support.

Just speculating here, mate, AVI might be doing well at the moment, who knows, but my guess is that's going to change in the near future if it hasn't already.

 

P.S. I hope AVI continue to de really well, don't get me wrong. It is an increasingly difficult climate for them now, though.

Thank you for clarifying your first point, a.l. I took your remark 'you can't compare them to anything' to mean "there is nothing to compare them to", as opposed to "you cannot audition them in a normal hifi shop first, alongside other speakers". That's a fair point. I did audition the ADM 9's in Stonehouse and, when I asked the owner if I could take them home to try for the weekend, he said "no sorry, there's not enough margin in them to be worth it". He had a valid point and I respected it. I'd just spent 2 hours listening to them in his shop and if I'd taken them home and auditioned them, there was nothing stopping me from buying a pair online, direct from AVi. The whole exercise would have been a complete waste of his time and resources, with absolutely no return for him. I made sure when I did buy the ADM40s that I ordered them through him; I made it clear to Ashley James that it would be wrong of me to buy direct, for the above reasons. 

And you're right on another point, it is a hell of a leap of faith to buy speakers you've never heard. However, I had already spent the best part of 8 or 9k over a few years, buying new cables, PSX-R power supplies, interconnects etc etc for increasingly slim returns in sound improvement (yet consistently and suspiciously high outlays of funds), and frankly, I was getting bored with the ever-hungry Black Hole sat between my bank account and an insatiable, parallel universe of high-end retail HiFi (pleasant and helpful though the staff were).

The only reason I came across AVi was that an ex-colleague living in Denmark was raving about them and saying how popular they were over there. Since I have high respect for most things Danish, I sought them out, found that Mr AVi lived 40 minutes away and was only too happy to invite me over, to his house, offering me lunch - all handsome gestures in and of themselves. So I did hear the prototype ADM40's, liked the whole 'streaming' from an iPad thing, and eBayed my hifi, knowing what I got for it would more than pay for the new setup and would also rid me of all the boxes, cables, dust trap and CD-dominated storage space.

I don't think AVi have plans to move into a larger market, just make more of their speakers and sell them to more people who hear about them. As to after sales service, while I agree that you're hard pushed if you live in Australia (a calculated risk of living in Australia is that you are on the other side of the world for many things, not just small town hifi firms), my experience of the after sales service of large companies is that it is generally sporadic, over-priced and; by and large, sh*t.

As we move, inexorably, to an online-based economy, I think the existing hifi shops have had their heyday and will need to do some serious restructuring to avoid going under altogether. I am told that the merging of Audio-T and Sevenoaks was an abysmal failure, and am completely unsurprised by this. You had two competing shops who'd always hated each other suddenly being told they were all part of one big happy family?! That was never going to happen at store level and it certainly didn't happen at corporate level. And so, to end this rant with a point; we are moving to an online economy where the wealth and immediacy of information and user reviews available on the Internet will out-pace and out-price the ring-fenced and hallowed environments that hifi shops previously occupied. And inhabit it rather snootily many of them did, if the truth be told.

And so it is this new, more level playing field that allows smaller companies such as AVi to have, if not a competitive advantage over larger companies, then at least a decent, Everyman platform from which to sell their product; in a new economy that is no longer dominated by brick and mortar businesses, snug, smug and secure in their ivory towers - if you'll pardon the rather laboured construction metaphor!

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RE: Best Speakers

Who want's to deal with a shop assistant, when you can deal one to one with the directors of the manufacturing company anyway.  You do get much better info, better service, and a mutually respectable relationship.

 

JC

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RE: Best Speakers

jjbomber wrote:

Ajani wrote:

I may not like the claims AVI makes, how they talk about traditional audio brands, mags and audiophiles or how they "advertised" on this forum in the past, but I don't doubt that they make a quality product. 

 

And that is the whole point isn't it? AVI claiming that people who go to hi-fi shows are not normal. It makes me want to give them a wide berth. The way they ''advertise'' under false names on the forum. Would you trust their business model? No, me neither. 

No doubt the product will suit a small number of people in the hi-fi market. that's fine and nobody has a problem with that. If someone has £1,500 and wanys active speakers, then great. However, we have seeen them recommended for someone looking to spend £350 on speakers, another one was £600 on a DAC, another one £800 on a CD transport (which he'd still need, even with active speakers), £4,000 on a CD Hard Drive etc. So in the end we have no other option but to laugh at them.

 

 

You still haven't answered jj, how extensive is your experience of listening to AVI speakers?

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RE: Best Speakers

jcbrum wrote:

Who want's to deal with a shop assistant, when you can deal one to one with the directors of the manufacturing company anyway.  You do get much better info, better service, and a mutually respectable relationship.JC

What's a mutually respectable relationship, mate?

I want to be able to compare on set of speakers with another so I can decide what is best for me. MDs would be the last person you'd want to speak to - don't you think they might have a touch of bias? As to service - I can get worldwide warranties on lots of gear. Can I with AVI, or do I have to send the stuff back to them each time?

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RE: Best Speakers

Overdose wrote:

 people who go to HiFi shows are in fewer numbers I'd imagine than actual owners and people who take their own kit to such shows are much fewer still, so define normal in this context. I don't know whether or not AVI themselves make any claim in this regard, but I personally have questioned the reasoning and only found out recently that that's what some people do. Normal or not, it's certainly not for me as I don't feel the need to validate my purchases.

So laugh away all you like (in a maniacal way I'd imagine), I think you might be in the small and decreasing minority, ie not normal.

 

So people who go to hi-fi shows are not normal, whereas people who invite strangers round to come and listen to their AVIs in their own house are normal. Yes, I shall continue to laugh at you.

 

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RE: Best Speakers

jjbomber wrote:
So people who go to hi-fi shows are not normal...

Erm...  from my only experience (in the early 1980s) I'd say 'not representative' (being polite).

All men (apart from my wife), mostly there to get bags full of brochures rather than listen to hi-fi and most of them a bit ...  (I have to say it) ... strange.

We scarpered off to the beach (the show was in Brighton) without the Linn/Naim fanatic acquaintance who'd taken us there.  (It would have taken  too much time to find him and explain and there weren't any cellphones back then.) 

Once we had escaped the 'hotel of the dead' we had a great afternoon and evening and went home by train. I promised myself  - and my wife - that I'd never do it again.

I am sure it's the same with large numbers of hobbyists from any walk of life all in once place (trainspotters, trekkies whatever), but unsettling nonetheless.

Maybe it's better nowadays. Maybe lots more women, couples and younger folk go to them now. Maybe when the music is really good you get some dancing! (Or at least some smiles!)  I hope so.  Never again for me though.

 

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RE: Best Speakers

I think it's pretty normal to let friends and aquaintances who are keenly interested in your domestic  hifi, have a listen to it, if that is convenient to you.  Lot's of people do that as a normal part of enjoying music and hifi.

 

If your antagonistic and somewhat malicious attidude, is representative, jj, of people who go to hifi shows, then there is justification to think that if they're all like you, they might not be 'normal', and are possibly best avoided.

 

JC

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RE: Best Speakers

altruistic.lemon wrote:

jcbrum wrote:

Who want's to deal with a shop assistant, when you can deal one to one with the directors of the manufacturing company anyway.  You do get much better info, better service, and a mutually respectable relationship.JC

What's a mutually respectable relationship, mate?

I want to be able to compare on set of speakers with another so I can decide what is best for me. MDs would be the last person you'd want to speak to - don't you think they might have a touch of bias? As to service - I can get worldwide warranties on lots of gear. Can I with AVI, or do I have to send the stuff back to them each time?

Unfortunately for you, you are going to find it hard to demo the ADMs back to back against anything and given your reluctance to buy on faith, these speakers are really not for you, so you might as well forget about them.

For many other people though, they are ideal.

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RE: Best Speakers

jjbomber wrote:

Overdose wrote:

 people who go to HiFi shows are in fewer numbers I'd imagine than actual owners and people who take their own kit to such shows are much fewer still, so define normal in this context. I don't know whether or not AVI themselves make any claim in this regard, but I personally have questioned the reasoning and only found out recently that that's what some people do. Normal or not, it's certainly not for me as I don't feel the need to validate my purchases.

So laugh away all you like (in a maniacal way I'd imagine), I think you might be in the small and decreasing minority, ie not normal.

 

So people who go to hi-fi shows are not normal, whereas people who invite strangers round to come and listen to their AVIs in their own house are normal. Yes, I shall continue to laugh at you.

 

To add to what Chebby said, at the Manchester show a few years ago there was a fairly high proportion of normos in the first room, looking at TVs, especially the new 3d tech. As one progressed, the populous became stranger: still ok with av receivers but increasing proportions of wonky teeth, badly cut beards and cross eyes by the more esoteric rooms upstairs. Still not as bad as the radio ham rallies my dad took me to as a kid! Whereas, pretty much every household, whether into hifi or not, let other people into their house day in day out. 

 

Jj, are you going to keep ignoring my question? Very poor. 

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RE: Best Speakers

jjbomber wrote:

Overdose wrote:

 people who go to HiFi shows are in fewer numbers I'd imagine than actual owners and people who take their own kit to such shows are much fewer still, so define normal in this context. I don't know whether or not AVI themselves make any claim in this regard, but I personally have questioned the reasoning and only found out recently that that's what some people do. Normal or not, it's certainly not for me as I don't feel the need to validate my purchases.

So laugh away all you like (in a maniacal way I'd imagine), I think you might be in the small and decreasing minority, ie not normal.

 

So people who go to hi-fi shows are not normal, whereas people who invite strangers round to come and listen to their AVIs in their own house are normal. Yes, I shall continue to laugh at you.

 

They are certainly in the minority, as are those that buy Hi-fi as in stuff that costs more than the average 99 quid logitech chebby described so aptly.

Compared to cheap micros, roberts radios, all-in-one DVD systems etc the above is probably a minute representation of the average home. True actives in homes are even more rare and I wouldn't expect that to change.

Most folks have never made it to separates and are quite happy with an iphone and a set of headphones, which can give as good or even better soundquality anyhow.

Its not about who is right or wrong but most of my friends would never even spend £200 on an amplifier or a set of speakers.

regards

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