3 best 10k speakers now imho


If I was about to pull the plug to replace my present Verity Audio Rienzi, I would consider those 3 contenders as my first choices.

1_ Revel F228BE
2_ Magico A3
3_ Spendor D9

I strongly believe those 3 pack the hardest punch right now at 10k.

Revel F228BE offers 2 x 8 inches bass woofers and a beryllium tweeter, this is a lot at that price level if you consider you have to go up to the Sopra 3 at Focal to get the same. Also ceramic composite drivers like Raidho, very light and stiff cone material.

Magico A3 has been compared favorably to Kanta 2 and Sopra 2 by online reviewers, Plus you get an all aluminum casing. Back ordered at dealers everywere, they seems to attract a lot of buyers.

Spendor D9, those are really special speakers imho, they are the « sleeper car « pair between the 3... often forgotten. Very quick and snappy, pratty drivers. EP77 cone material makes for a very natural midrange, a bit like Harbeth but without the thin wall resonating casing. Very nice soft dome tweeter also that has proven to be a musical, reliable winner for Spendor all these years. ( made from SEAS I believe)

What you guys think?
techno_dude
Never heard the Magico. Personal taste never liked Revel speakers. My local dealer carries the D-9 and it's excellent. He usually partners it w/the Luxman 509-x. I would also include the 10K Paradigm Persona and the $10,999 Aerial 7T.

Would have included the Paradigm Persona's as well.
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Thiels also were never designed for bi-wiring either. The Late Jim Thiel never believed in bi-wiring.
Von Schweikert E3 MKII offer the best bang for the buck.  Just listen to them and you will smile.  They compete with speakers in the 20 K range.
Those 3 speakers mentioned are very respectable but internally lessthen top quality Xover parts . They too have a budget 50% for the dealer maybe $3k in parts ,but in some ways there are several monitors with a good subwoofer that image better with lower 
Bass frequencies.  Everythingatthst price point has a lot of trade offs .$20k and up now is where premium parts inside and out can be used .higher costs allow this .I have not only been in Audio over 35 years but 
have owned a Hifi store and have learned a ton about modding 
electronics ,as well as speakers .just upgrading the wiring 
and Xover  for $1kto $1500 can take your $5k speaker in many circumstances well past the $10k mark. The majority of speakers $10k and under use at best Average Xover parts such as Solen 
or lower end of the name brand line such of MundorfMcaps 
or Evo line , Entry Clarity sa ,or many others  . TonyGee has helped me going back 15 years 
of humble homemade Hifi capacitor test fame ,one of the best .
my point is take something thst is already using quality drivers 
the Xover and wiring is over 50%of its weakness , 
i just took a $2k pr of the new Monitor Audio Studios monitors  with direct coupled sand filled stands and easilly meet any speaker 3x its cost ,and 
with their w12 sub just added $600 in partsfor the Xover and wiring .the Majority of Audio speaker designers skimp for most people donot know or care what is inside as long as it sounds 
respectable ,it is just knowing the Sonics of the parts being used 
and it is not difficult most Audiophiles know someone that is into either electronics ,or Loudspeaker mods. My point is you can save $$1,000s just on some sensible parts upgrades ,
the same applies for electronics . I have spent 20 years learning 
just on upgrades. You would be surprised even Shocked on parts qualityused even in very well respected electronics and speakers.
in my case I look inside every piece of audio I buy and always 
upgrade something . Just enjoy your music ,and everyone has a budget to what they are willing to spend. The older I get the more
i want quality as well as value. I admit I am the exception to the rule ,but just look at Modwright and premium speaker companies 
when you have say $20 k to spend parts quality is not so much an issue for less then a 3rd if the cost on average goes into the product the rest overhead and profit and 40-50% for dealer markup. 
We just took delivery on the Magico A3 and it is outstanding in our rig. Wyred 4 Sound Seperates (SX 1000, ST Preamp and DAC 2 DSD. A VPI Prime and Soundsmith Aida are the analog front end along with a Jolida JD5 phono stage. Cables are Morrow SP7 and MA4 interconnects as well as the PH 6 phono cable. Not cheap, but stupid good value to me. The only thing that would even come close in this rig would be the Wilson Sabrina (17k), Focal Sopra 2 (14k) KEF Reference 3(14k) and the Vandersteen Quatro Carbon(14.6K). There are better in a large room but cost WAY more IMHO. Our room is about 800-1000 cubic ft.
Spendor D9, those are really special speakers imho, they are the « sleeper car « pair between the 3... often forgotten. Very quick and snappy, pratty drivers. EP77 cone material makes for a very natural midrange, a bit like Harbeth but without the thin wall resonating casing. Very nice soft dome tweeter also that has proven to be a musical, reliable winner for Spendor all these years. ( made from SEAS I believe)

Yes; nice summary.
I replaced my Magico S1 mk1s with the D9s, and am very happy with the D9s.   The A3 will definitely be an interesting speaker to compare with them instead of the smaller S1. 

I could be wrong, but I thought Spendor  manufactures the LPZ tweeter.  Either way, it is a nice tweeter.  I don't find it quite as quick or detailed as the tweeter in the S1, but it still has plenty of detail and snap without getting in your face.   The mid-range really pulls you in and the very solid bass and high frequencies integrate very well.
At best average quality parts in $10k speakers is robbery. Without knowing it somehow I didn't even consider anything that 'inexpensive' unless perhaps selling direct brands. When the upgrade time comes I'll get $20k new speakers for $6k used delivered, and not a cent more.
I thoroughly enjoyed the PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn 1 when I reviewed it for Dagogo.com, and it is under $10K. Its configurability makes it a compelling option. I have pics of it in my virtual system. 

Sounds like past tense, Doug? Is it?
phil....when I asked Richard Vandersteen about his cable connections he said after very long listening sessions, his connections sound the best in this application.
You can add easily the Proac Response D48r to the top 3 ,one of the best speakers today on the 10k range.
For me, the best at that price: Audio Monitor PL II
david_ten, well, the comment was past tense, but the enjoyment is present tense! I typically do not discuss publicly all that is going on with speakers. The Horn 1 is still  with me on loan, very happily so, for continued review purposes. 

Especially since I can use them in either Portrait (normal) orientation, or Landscape orientation (see pics of my virtual system, and comments in review) they are very special to me. Their configurability also is a strong inducement to using them. With most speakers the owner is stuck with one configuration, but with the PAP Horn 1 and other variants of the design such as Tang Band and Voxativ one has several alternatives, including the "internal" wiring. 

No, my friend, the passion for the Horn 1 has not waned at all. It's marvelous at well below $10K. The experience converted me into a horn speaker fan (in this case hybrid) along with the other genres that are so enjoyable.   :) 
@mountz I totally agree.  I have a pair of E-3 Mk2 for over 3 years now.
What amp(s) are you using? Speaker sound is very much depends on the amp - speaker connection.
Personally I would go for easy-driven speakers that you can use with tube amps.
Thanks for your response @douglas_schroeder I’ve been following your posts regarding your PAPs and your work with them, including the Dagogo review. It all comes across as a destination worth not just visiting but staying at for quite some time. Good to hear that you are still there!
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Me thinks I would prefer one of the other 2. What I don’t understand about Magico is they still use high order 24 db crossover, when everyone else is going with gentle slopes maximising drivers natural rolloff.

So for me, the question is ...can the new Revel compete at the same level of the Spendor D9. Guess I will have to go listen to both.




I could be wrong, but I thought Spendor  manufactures the LPZ tweeter.
They use the same wide-surround soft-dome for all their current models. The only difference is the D-line tweeter is hidden behind the LPZ (linear pressure zone) "microfoil" plate. 

The nice thing about buying a Spendor is one gets all their best tech and components in each model. The cost differences result from cabinet size, cabinet construction complexity, and the size and number of drivers. All their current models get magnesium alloy driver baskets, EP77 cones, the wide-surround tweeter, Van Den Hul wiring, high quality crossover parts, and impeccable veneers. 
no love for B&W 804 or Focal 1038 ?
Also consider the GoldenEar Triton Reference.  

It's not a super fancy speaker and is still an MDF-like cabinet albeit now with some shiny parts, but when you use your ears and really listen to what the speakers are putting out, they are quite amazing, and they save you a grand under the $10K price point.

I was at Axpona this year in Chicago and heard lots of nice speakers; I definitely preferred the Tritons over the Magicos and Spendors.  With all the on-line hype, I hoped to be blown-away by the Magicos, but I wasn't.  

Revels are quite nice and I could see owning a pair at some point.

I can honestly state that there were only a handful of speakers I heard that bested the T-Refs, and those included the flagship Sonus Fabers and the Wilson Audios.  It's hard to beat the folded ribbon tweeter in the T-Refs that is so smooth yet revealing coupled with all that dead-accurate, (adjustable) revealing bass and smooth, tight mid-range. 
Wow, all three speakers sound way different.  Maybe just to me  
Mountz if a 10k speaker 
Compares to a 20 k speaker.  These speakers 
Guys will sell it at 19k. Who wouldn't. 
twoch, most if not all the speakers mentioned are sold through dealers, which means ~ 30-50% price increase over manufacturer markup + shipping .

Enter Emerald Physics (open baffle) their diminutive size belies their huge performance capability. Their newest versions use carbon fiber woofers. Internal wiring is provided by Wire World OFC. 

I have been enjoying the $2500 KCIIs (with WW OFC upgrade) for ovr a year, replacing my 3.5R maggies: think comparable maggie speed and soundstage, with bass punch BT with begnine sensitivity and high efficiency.. I drive mine with a Audio Alchemy stereo amp (125w/channel)  

The  EP 4.8 (carbon Fiber) is available with/without DSP 

EP has an incredible deal right now. If you are flush, run don't walk

One pair of the new EP4.8 speakers   3 way-15" carbon fiber woofer & 12" Carbon fiber mids In a gorgeous $2000.00 Cocobolo gloss Tri-coat finish Full range single amp 3 way crossovers with a $500.00 BOM bass manager List $10,995.00 Sale $4,999.00/pair delivered

 
@dimora
It's hard to beat the folded ribbon tweeter in the T-Refs that is so smooth yet revealing

This is one of the worse tweeters around. Hard to imagine an experience audiophile fall for that. Even JA was alarmed, time to get the wax out ;) 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/goldenear-technology-triton-reference-loudspeaker-measurements

  



helomech, +1 about spendor

They use the seas 22 tff, that tweeter is imho one of the best soft domes. Looking at its measurement graph, very impressing. I feel Harbeth should use this tweeter instead of the seas aluminium dome along with a supertweeter in their super HL5+. More natural sound, better dispersion made by the ring dome technology. Nevertheless, I do find their RADIAL midwoofer a masterpiece  of technology and sound.

About B&W 804d3, sure they can compete. But I think the 3 enumerated in op offers a tad more performance for the money.


techno_dude

Why would you consider replacing the Verity Audio

jafant, The more I think of it, the more I believe I will keep the Veritys.

But you know how it is, would like to have something more alive and quick, more dynamic and pratty...Sopra like or D9 like.

If you really want value, build yourself a set of Linkwitz LX521 or Linkwitz Orions.

http://linkwitzlab.com/

You can do either project, with amplification, for $6k or less, and have something beyond extraordinary.
Well I would definitely put the Paradigm Persona 3f in that group. In fact I have both the Revel 228be's and the Paradigm Persona's in my room right now. I had a get together over the weekend to judge these two speakers. And all of us picked the Paradigm Persona's as the best. My wife loves them. And two 20 year olds love the Persona's. So don't discount the Paradigm Persona's as the best 10,000$ a pair. And whether you like the looks or not. They truly look like they cost 10,000 a pair. 

In fact I will be selling the Revel's for a great price.
Put saved search on HiFi Shark for a pair of Otello's.  Still too early yet but a pair will show up eventually. Another option is to call Paul at High Fidelity Services and ask him to put out feelers for when a pair is traded in for a higher model.  
@ rhale64
Lol, if the price is right, maybe I'll take the 228s off your hands!  And when you get tired of your 3Fs.....
@russbutton
If you really want value, build yourself a set of Linkwitz LX521 or Linkwitz Orions.

You are so right!  I have the Orion's and they will compare favorably to virtually all other speakers, as will the LX521's. 

Though, I'd still prefer the Legacy Audio Aeris - the Orion's and LX521's are close, at a fraction of the price.

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/open-baffle-speaker-kits/ 
@audioman58 Magico speakers do not have a 50% mark up. Far from it. We sell them, contact me if you would like to know more.

These 3 $10k Speakers are amazing. 
To all the DIY crowd. 
After 35 years of trying, I came very close to building speakers that sound almost as good as the best manufacturers. 
But unless you have the design expertise that comes with an engineering staff like that of Harmon International, (Think JBL, Floyd Toole and Kevin Voecks) behind the new Revels. The Spendors have 45 years in Bussiness and Tweeter that no else has, and can't be bought anywhere else. The Magico A3 and its aluminum cabinet are truly stunning. 
I am an owner of these speakers and I work in a sales environment where we sell these speakers. 
If you would like facts instead of hearsay please contact us directly.
Hello Brooks Dave from Audio Doctor here, we couldn't agree more.

Every home builder/small manufacturer wishes they could spend millions of dollars on research and development the reality is they can't.

We sell both KEF and the Paradigm Persona lines both companies have spent about $4 million dollars in research and development and it shows in the advanced driver technology employed by these large companies. 

Reducing distortion by better engineering and superior parts quality is going to equal a higher resolution product, part of the reason some of the people here don't love these products is that they have heard them setup in less optimal circumstances not everyone has a good dealer such as Brooks store or ours and many small dealers or custom shops don't have the matching equipment to make these superior loudspeakers come to life. 


Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I owned an Audio store for 8 years in the U.K i state the facts 
the mojorityof speakers have a minimum of a $40% markup 
some even more .  The 3 speakers you picket are solid but everyone has different taste and type of speaker.i have been in audio over 35 years and have had systems approaching 6 figures .
enjoy what you have .
@audiotroy ". . companies have spent about $4 million dollars in research and development and it shows in the advanced driver technology employed by these large companies. ."
Thanks, Dave. Retail outlets such as yours and Brooks are appreciated. We need a place to listen and give Sound advice. Pun intended.
The a Sonus Faber Olympia-3 can bebought foraround $10k is verygood sounding and probably the nicest looking. The Focal Sopra another great
speaker close to the $10k mark with discounts.
Audioman58,  your point about markup is just stupid. 

How much a products profit is nearly immaterial in running a business.

Profit isn't measured in just the difference between wholesale price and retail sales amount, it is measured in your business total costs  subtracting the products cost, which then equils what you actually make.

You miss out on store rent, electricity, credit card processing fees, staff costs, insurance, cost of the demo product, breakage, theft, internet costs, advertising costs, shipping costs. etc.

I don't know of a single store owner who is actually wealthy from selling high end audio, do you?

The real profit from most stores is in the range of 10-20% after you factor in all of the above. Most reatailors survive on custom installation jobs which are generally much more profitable and for larger dollars then most high end audio sales. 

Hence the lack of brick and mortar stores vs internet warehouse operations which generally have lower costs. 

You really need to paint the total picture. 

If high end audio was that profitable there would be a lot more stores not way less.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Dave, I don't think audioman58 said what you apparently think he said.
Mtrot here is his quote:

" I owned an Audio store for 8 years in the U.K i state the facts
the mojorityof speakers have a minimum of a $40% markup
some even more . "

Unless that is a weird typo that is exactly what he said. 

The market reality the only dealers that are really getting rich at this business is Crutchfield, Musicdirect, Audio Advisor and a few others.

Someone said Cruthfield is selling like $300 million dollars a year of product, now they do sell lower profit items like panels and video products and they have a large warehouse and a large staff I am willing to bet Mr. Cruchfield doesn't have a financial worry in the world.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


Thanks Ken if you are ever in the area please make an appointment and stop by. 

We got a lot of cool toys on display,  

The industry would be much healthier if more people apperciated what a good dealer and do for you.


Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ



@audiotroy
But Dave, saying that a speaker has a ~40% mark up is not the same as saying a dealer has this or that profit margin.  He didn't say anything about a dealers "getting rich" or not, nor did he say anything about overall profit margin or income.  I don't understand why you felt it necessary to call his comment "stupid" when it's well known that his actual comment about speaker mark ups is pretty accurate.  Why are you so defensive about it?
@mtrot 

+2

They are just a couple of buttinskies, and can’t help themselves. Have pity.
The comment was made as gross profit has nothing to do with net profit.

People who often look at these posts are therefore assuming inaccurate information. For a dealer to talk about profit is just wrong it doesn’t determine anything and encourages people to think that because a product has x margins they should get x percentage off.

However with that being said there are a few brands on the market with really big markups that often encourage game playing with price.

When in reality most businesses are not making that much real profit when you factor in the true costs of running a business.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I would add the Aerial 7t. A while back there was a shootout with the Revel Ultima Salon 2 on AVS and pretty much everybody preferred the 7ts over the Salon 2s, which was surprising since the 7ts were using some relatively inexpensive Vifa drivers, but I guess it’s all about the implementation.

Also you should not forget ID brands either, as they tend to have less fancy shaped cabinets but much better drivers and crossovers than their equivalent ID counterparts (I know this somewhat contradicts my point on the Aerial 7t....but a good value/$ should be worth something too).

Salk Soundscape 8 for example uses some pretty serious drivers and is around 9k. You also have Ascend Acoustics which sells a crazy souped-up version of their Ascend Sierra Tower for under 10k using the Seas T29D001 diamond tweeter (a $7000/pair tweeter that plays flat from 40KHz down to 600 Hz...).