Thanks for the latest installment Doc... I tried some floor standing AV's a couple of years ago, sorry model escapes me. They were quite good, but nothing outstanding.
Well, there is quite some variation in the Audiovector range, with a K and a V series, and the different models within each range (Super, Signature, Avantgarde, Arrete), with upgrades in drivers, cross-overs and what have you; everything but the cabinet actually. Though some of these upgrades are debatable (cryogenic treatment anyone?), I think the ribbon tweeter in the Avantgarde model does a marvelous job.
If you can't be bothered with testing anymore, and just want to listen to as much music as possible, something is very right! It could all be a synergy thing with the Devialet too, of course!
You're absolutely right!
To be fare, like all my home demoes with speakers when I had the Sugden, base was always an issue in my listening room... it would be interesting to try them all again with the Accuphase!
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 speaker cable. Grado SR60 headphones.
I've heard good things about the Audiovectors, and your report is a very strong recommendation. I just hope I'm going to get to hear the Avantgarde models with the ribbon (?) tweeters. I like the idea of the separate HF and LF ports and the fact that the boxes have curved sides. How did the bass feel? Do you think they'd work in your (if you'll forgive me) somewhat compromised space?
As I just stated in my reply to Mac's comment, I do think the tweeter plays a pivotal role in this model, as does the double port.
After the Klangwerk demo, the AV's bass was rich and punchy. I have a demo track with two slapped bass guitars (Victor Wooten vs. Marcus Miller), that often gives a muddy result with lesser equipment, but here it was very taut and punchy, with the two basslines well separated.
While listening, I moved the speakers around a bit, and getting them further into the room surely payed dividends. It was not so much of a bass issue, more of a 'hardening' of the sound, with less 'air' when closer to the wall. Moving them from 20 to 30 cm away from the wall (which would probably still be feasible for me) lead to a marked improvement. Obviously, I'm gonna try them at home if/when we ever move house.
I have a hunch that a diffusor behind the speakers would help too. I'll check that with an expert tomorrow.
That sounds excellent all round.
I guess the improvement in sharpness when the speakers are moved out from the wall is to be expected. Having 'normal' speakers close to a rear (or side) wall is always going to confuse the sound, and with rear-ported speakers the effect will presumably be more noticeable. I now have GIK bass trap panels behind my speakers, which helps with both the bass and overall crispness. These may be a bit big for your situation, and diffusors may be the way to go.
You're sounding a bit doubtful about the new house. I hope that sorts itself out.
What classical music are you listening to?
Yeah, we'll see after the court session on Thursday...
You had plans on moving house too, recently. So what happened? Found something? Or did you call it off?
We were all set to go, and we put in an opening offer on the house. Then the estate agents who'd given us an initial valuation of our house (the same agents who were selling the house we wanted to buy) reduced the valuation of our house by a rather large sum, which made it very marginal for us.
Since we would have been moving into central London, where prices are largely determined by Russian money and seem rather inflated to us, we got cold feet.
A shame as it was a beautiful house and would have given me a huge listening room.
Sorry to hear that, Matt. But at least all is clear: you quaffed the bitter cup, and life goes on...
As for us: I feel like we are treading water for over two-and-a-half years. One of the contractors keeps refusing to fulfil his promises. Instead of 15 days, it's taken him nearly three years and counting. Last year we saw no other option than suing him, but things look even worse since: he now has a lawyer to help him impede and oppose.
Well, at least I have my happy place, here on the forum! I think my wife should have something similar...
Doc, you could always get her to sign up for Macs Music!
Haha, excellent! Will do!
Argh, that sounds like a real trial (apologies for the pun). I shudder to think how frustrating it must be. And lawyers too!
At least in the meantime you have great sounds from your Devialet. Have you thought of getting a nice pair of second-hand speakers which would tide you over and which you could sell on at minimal loss? I've had a lot of fun working on a modest second-hand system for our holiday cottage.
Actually, I bought the Devialet cos I needed some consolation (and because an amp doesn't depend on the room it's used in). It helped me realize my life is mine, and not my bully's. ATM I'm fine with what I have. The speaker quest is more of an escape now, to help me put the building troubles (this emoticon looks very appropriate: , haha) out of my mind from time to time. And it gives me something to look forward to, when we will finally move house!
I talked to my expert yesterday. And while a diffusor panel won't affect any bass boom issues (DSP is the elegant way forward here -- come on, Devialet!), diffusion is certainly helpful for anything >150 Hz, so definitely for the rear firing tweeter, where the effect would be similar to moving the speakers away from the front wall. An absorption panel behind the speakers would rather rob the life out of them, and would have to be very thick to handle real bass, so not an option here.
I hope he can suggest me the right solution for my house-proud other half.
As you might recall, the Anthony Gallo Strada was also on my radar, but very hard to audition here in Belgium. The (Dutch) distributor pointed me to Koen Vaessen (Never heard of him? Nor had I!) in Brasschaat near Antwerp, who had ordered a pair for a customer in Ostend. Unfortunately the timing (speakers going US --> UK --> Holland --> Brasschaat --> Ostend) was too tight, and I didn't make it to Koen's place in time. So the Stradas are installed somewhere in Ostend by now... Meanwhile I had learnt that Koen is a professional speaker builder since 15 years. Two designs of his have been reviewed in 6Moons - very favourably - but are way out of my price league. However, he was about to finish a new speaker type, the Orb, a smaller two-way, costing 5.000 or 7.500 EUR per pair, depending on the tweeter and crossover he employs. The picture on his website is somewhat misleading (they look tiny for some reason), but these are full-fat monitors, with a 8" carbon driver and either a 1" ceramic inverted dome (white speaker, in profile on the picture) or 7 cm Raal tweeter (red cabinet, frontal). The rather wide baffle is covered with a faceted metal plate, which diffuses the reflected soundwaves. The cornerless, sealed cabinets are made of glass fibre (light, mouldable, no parallel surfaces and with a very high resonance frequency). The cabinets can be lacquered in any RAL-colour without additional cost (in a Bentley-certified paintshop!). With their rounded back, they can be used close to a wall, without a real bass-boom risk. The Orb speakers can be used vertically or horizontally (in which case the ribbon-tweeter is rotated), on a pedestal or a wall-bracket.
When I called Koen last Wednesday, he was just about to finish his prototypes; he would start running them in that same day. So Friday I went to meet him and his speakers. When I arrived, the Orbs with ceramic tweeters were driven by a Luxman valve pre-power combo. After some 48 hours of music, the hardest edges had disappeared, so he told me, but it would take some more time before all was working at its best. To my ears it sounded very nice already. But I wanted to hear the speakers, driven by my Devialet, so we switched the amplifiers. Source was a Luxman UDP, connected with a coax SPDIF. When the music was resumed, the sound was... very mediocre, flat, cardboard, not engaging at all! Indeed, that's what a stone cold Devialet amp sounds like! Two or three songs later, everything quickly came to life again. Punch and depth returned. The speakers are easy to drive, with a 90+ dB sensitivity and 8 Ohm impedance (Koen had been running them in with his valve amp, driving both pairs in parallel without any issues). There are no formal specs at hand yet (proper measurements still have to be done), but based on how a double bass is rendered, the Orb seems to dig well below 40 Hz, though the deepest sub bass in James Blake's version of 'Limit to Your Love' is missing - hey, it's a monitor! Driven by the Dev, the Orbs were a bit on the bright side, but nonetheless, I really liked what they did. Most impressive were their speed and dynamics, and the complete absence of box-colouration. They preserve a balanced sound and a proper stereo image in a fairly wide sweet spot too. Koen agreed on the brightness of the combo. But this may get better once the tweeter is run in a little longer. And the speakers can still be voiced to taste (or to match the amplifier) if necessary. After about an hour, we switched to the red speakers, with their ribbon tweeters. The character was very similar, but they had more of nearly everything (well, the bass depth was the same): even faster and sharper, more delicate and more vigourous, more spacious too... And a tad brighter still... We spent the rest of the afternoon browsing through his collection of CDs and DVD-As. I had a great day! Returning home, I wondered if my OH could get past their purposeful looks; maybe I should ask if a grille is an option, to 'civilize' them a little... But when I showed her the picture, she only asked if other colours are available too. As for the grille-less fronts, she replied: "They are speakers, darling. No need to hide that!". I love her. And the Vaessen Orb is put firmly on my shortlist, next to the Audiovectors. Next is the Vivid V1, but that'll be for next year. Merry Christmas, Doc
EDIT: what is happening to the forum? I cannot lay-out my text. It is rendered like a stream of consciousness...
Cheers, Doc, they sound really interesting. Fast and clean sounds good. I'm definitely with you on the advantages of non-cuboid enclosures.
Any idea when these might go into production?
What were they sitting on?
Also great to hear that Mrs Doc takes a laudably pragmatic view of the whole speaker issue. Mrs 49 is also tolerant, though there's a certain amount of eyebrow-raising.
Have a great Devialet Xmas!
Well, he only produces to order, so you can choose the tweeter + cross-over combo, the colour, the orientation, the mounting (which dictates where the speaker-cables leave the cabinet) etc. But he's ready to start production now.
In case you're curious: there's a pair of his larger Galaxy speakers in a 'Boys Toys Exhibition' in the Ideaworks Experience Centre, 206 Great Portland Street, London, W1W5QJ. That's near Regent's Park, if I'm well informed. The expo ends Jan 25th. Of course, you can't audition there. But Koen does home demos, even in the UK...
The red pair is mounted on a stand, which incorporates the speaker terminals. As you can see on the picture: this stand was not properly finished yet. The edges must be smoothened and it will get the same lacquer finish as the cabinet.
The white pair was just resting on 3 rubber blocks, with the speaker cable coming out of the baffle, as to leave all options open for mounting. Prototypes, as I said...
Apart from the sound, it's also the direct contact with the builder and the possibility to customize and taylor that appeal to me. And his design comes pretty close to my perfect speaker (dimensions, sound, positioning, ease to drive, ...). At first I thought I was after a non-existing speaker, but now it looks like I have two options already, with the Vivids still on the menu!
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