$40.000 speaker advise. Check out my list

Hello all,

I'm currently owning a system which consists of Mark Levinson 33H amps, Mark Levinson Nr 32 Pre-amp, a Wadia 860x Cd player and a pair Revel Ultima Studio speakers. Cables are Nordost Valhalla/Valkyrja.

I believe my speakers are the weakest link in my system and am considering upgrading. I listen to all sorts of music, from jazz, classic to pop/dance.

I have a few speakers on my wish list but they are not easy to find to listen to them so I want ask you opinion first before I start searching for a dealer the have one or more of these brands.

Could you please go through the list and rank them from 1 to 6, best to "worse" speaker and explain why you think the list should be in that order.

The speakers I am thinking about are (in random order):

1. Sonus Faber Stradivari
2. Verity Sarastro
3. Lumen White white light
4. Rockport Antares
5. Revel Ultima Salon
6. Avalon Eidolon Diamond

Thanks a lot for your help.


Holy cow Max! That's a lot to ask! I don't believe anyone here has heard all 6 of these speakers. I would be shocked if you found even one person who had. Those are great speaker choices to be sure, but I'm not sure that your speakers are your weak link. From my experiences with ML gear, Nordost cables, and Revel speakers, my ears are bleeding just looking at your set up. I'm to assume that you love detail, but are missing musicality, correct?
I would swap the ML 32 preamp out for a ARC Ref 3, and change cables to Stealth Indra/Dream and then see how you feel. You may be surprised, and feel no need to change speakers.

FWIW, the Sonus Faber and Verity speakers will be smoother and richer than the others on your list, which may or may not be what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying for a smoother, richer sound, the tube preamp and cable change will definitely help. If you are happy with your current sound, why not just try the Revel Ultima Salon?

Happy hunting,


Why is the Montana KAS not on your list ?

on your list i did not like revel ultima. just couldn't get the idea why they should be so expencive when i listened to them @ces.
Here is a simple rating. These are all excellent speakers - and I have not heard them all. I'd put them in two camps, those with rigid lightweight drivers and those without. Personally I prefer damped cones (paper, woven fabric, polypropylene etc) - I'd rate the damped cones higher than those with aluminium or ceramic (rigid). Call me old fashioned if you will but I tend to find rigid drivers all too often have a fatiguing presentation in the mid-range.
6 - 1 - 4 - 5 not familiar with 2 and 3.

Keep the preamp/amp for now.

Definitely get decent speaker cables: Transparent, Purist, Synergistic, Audience Au24, Siltech, Acoustic Zen, Kubala-Sosna (Audioquest, Cardas, MIT, Blue Jeans, Signalcable, Monster, NOT!)

Use XLR (balanced) interconnects between your preamp and amp, if you aren't at present.
What is the size of your room. Most of those speakers need a lot of space. If you are committed to the ML, I would think the Verity line would work very well with SS and provide some added musicality. I love the Avalon line, but I would make a move to tubes. So let's start with the size of your room, and are you committed to your current electronics?
do you like your revel studios? that is a good place to start from if you want suggestions.
From your list:

1. Avalon. The designer does an excellent job of getting good power response out of his speakers. If I were going to carry an ultra-high-end "conventional" speaker, Avalon would be among my top choices.

2. Either Sonus Faber or Rockport. Rockport wins in dynamic constrast and scale, and the Sonus is warm and very pleasant. It's a matter of taste. In this case I'd pick the Rockport, but wouldn't blame you if you preferred the Sonus.

Neither the Lumenwhite nor the Revel really tripped my trigger. I haven't heard the Verity.

Best of luck in your quest,

I am off topic but I dont think you need to spend that much for great sound, the Vandersteen 5A is an awesome speaker for $20K
Hi all,

Thanks for giving me your thoughts. I only recently bought the Mark Levinson combo so I am not planning to buy any new amp in the near future.

Obviously you I can include more speakers in my list but I wanted to leave it with this otherwise I would never be able to make a choice.

John, you got to absolutely correct. I do love detail a lot, but with my current system I would like to add a bit of musically.

Hope I get more views of people.

The Avalons
Hi all,

Missed out one more thing I wanted to add. I also would like a bit more bass. Have the feeling the Revel Studio doesn't go as low as I would like too

Hi all,

Last thing, been to keen to give my reply.

My listening room has the following size:

Length: 30 ft
Width: 26 ft
Height: between 10-13 ft

I've heard 3, 4 and 6 - and was most impressed with the eidelon diamonds. Wish I could afford a pair!
Hi Max, some audiophiles say the Apogee Diva (or the original Apogee) is the best speaker ever made regardless of money. You really want to have a dynamic type of transducer? In this case I would choose for the Sonus Faber or Kharma. Maybe you can buy a used pair of Kharma Exquisite 1D.

>Why is the Montana KAS not on your list ?<

Peter, good question. I haven't heard the KAS, but am a big fan of your work, currently owning the EPS2. If I were in the market for a super speaker, these would surely be the absolute first ones I would audition.

Max, don't overlook PBN speakers just because they typically fly under the radar. They sound extremely good and offer superb value.

IMO the MAXX ll not only should be on your list but tops the list in that price .
I would go for evolution acoustics MM3 (that I ordered), Magico Mini or Kharma, at least if you like very transparent sound (but not sure they will match well with ML gear). I listened to a lot of speakers over the last 6 months in Hong Kong / Taipei(the one you listed + JM Lab Utopia, Maxx2, VS VR5, VR7, VR11, FM acoustics, Ascendo M and a lot of others I forgot...) to my taste the Magico Mini and MM3 were superior to the rest of the pack. MBL101E were also special.

Otherwise 6-4-1 are all quite nice, didn't like 3 and 5. Never listened to 2
I'd add Tetras to the list, and they are only $33K
Dali Megaline, I thought were at the top of the Dynamic drive speaker Nose bleed heap ? I would definitely put them at the top of the list if I was in the 40 k territory for sure. I know this guy is a pretty respected audio guy here, check out his system in link below, but maybe they need tubes, I would think the ML gear would be pretty awesome with them too. Of course they are huge line arrays probably about double the size of most the speakers mentioned here, but if you got the space and money anyway so what!

I am jealous that you have the opportunity to upgrade to any of these speakers! I have heard several of these, (albeit most at CES or Dealers rooms), so I will give you my impressions.

1. Sonus Faber Stradivari

Heard these both at the dealers, as well as at CES, (with my friend, whose system I will discuss later).
My friend and I were very impressed with these speakers at CES. They sounded great. They filled a very large room, and were a fantastic speaker at soundstaging and imaging. They did not seem to have that really warm sound that most SF speakers have.
Highly recommended (2nd best sound, easily beating out the third place Avalon Diamonds, IMHO, as they have better bass response.) And gorgeous too boot!

2. Verity Sarastro

Sorry, never heard them.

3. Lumen White white light

We heard these at CES as well.
They sounded very good, but not as good as most of the other speakers on your list. I was more impressed than my friend with these speakers. He did not seem to like them much at all. Aesthetically, these are not my favorites either.
(Fourth best sound, barely beating out the Salon.)

4. Rockport Antares

My friend recently upgraded to these speakers. These are by far the best speaker I have ever heard. They do every thing my friend's previous speakers did (i.e. the Avalon Eidolons), but better. They image and soundstage incredibly, and the frequency response is definitely full range. I think the best thing about these speakers is that the bass is only there when you need it. The bass never sounded boomy at all, which is amazing considering what the bass can sound like when playing a bass heavy piece. (We played a Taiko drum piece and our jaws just dropped.) These are relatively efficient speakers, but you'll need every bit of the power you already have, and you might even need a bit more. My friend uses the hybrid Lamm M2.2 (220 wpc) monoblocks with these and they sound great. The DarTzeel stereo amp (100 wpc) sounded great with them too, however, it could not generate the bass response like the Lamms could.
Definitely the best (First Place!), and not by a small margin. (I like there looks too, but I like modern looking speakers.)

5. Revel Ultima Salon

I have heard these at shows and at dealers, so I know the sound of these, and I too own the Revel Studios. The Salons are obviously bigger, beefer Studios, as you are obviously aware. They have great bass response, compared to the Studios very good bass response. (However, they can sound boomy in a small room, but that should not be a concern to you.)
These speakers also need TONS of power to get the most out of them. Your Levinson 33Hs are probably not enough, even though they work fine with the Studios. (I use Lamm M2.1 (200 wpc) monoblocks with my Studios, and I have spoken with several Salon owners (that upgraded from the Studio to the Salon) and they like to use double that to get the Salons to come to life.
Obviously, I like these speakers, but you've listed some really good speakers, so they come in fifth, slightly behind the Lumen White Light.

6. Avalon Eidolon Diamond

I have heard both the regular Eidolon (my friend used these for years) as well as the Eidolon Diamonds (my favorite dealer uses these both in his home as well as at his store, and I have heard them there quite a bit).
The Diamonds are a great speaker, no question about that. I think like the Stradivari slightly better than these, but it is a very close call.
The one thing that these can't do is get the absolute bottom end bass notes. (This is the reason my friend upgraded from the Eidolons to the Antares). Otherwise, these are incredible speakers that do everything very well. One point though, these, like the Salon, need lots of power in order to really get the best sound out of them (especially to get that last bit of bass response they are capable of).
Third best speaker, (due to the slight lack of bass response.) Again, gorgeous speaker, especially with some of the fancy wood finishes!

My recommendation is to get the Rockport Antares. I think these easily beat out all the other speakers on your list.

Good Luck with your search!

PS Other speakers you might want to check out would be the Avalon Isis (this adds that last bit of bass response the Diamonds lack) and the Dali Megaline speakers, (although a warning that these require bi-amping). Although neither will (IMHO) beat the Antares, as it lacks nothing. But in case you want a different look, these speakers will do the same job, based on my research, but not on my listening knowledge, unfortunately.
of course, if you'd like to save a lot of money, a dunlavy VI is about the most neutral speaker I have ever heard. I have not heard all the speakers on this list, but the razor sharp quality of them is quite an interesting thing. Some people find them too brutal and of course, John doesn't make speakers anymore so you've got no support. But i'd always listen to some for comparison for midrange detail. It can be illuminationm choosing other speakers when you listen to these or the full range apogee's.
are you averse to panel speakers, such as analysis audio, magnepan and soundlab ?

I have heard 4 of your six in depth and describe them below. And I have also heard the Sonus Faber with to many variables present to comment on it specifically.

This is if except is from my system page here on the GON with MY PERSONAL speaker rankings. JUST MY 2 CENTS.

1. I have heard a new Speaker that
swept me away. I will list it here if I can ever get a fair deal on them, but as of yet I have not been able too. I don't want to mention it here for selfish reasons, because it appears I am going to have to wait for a pari to come up for sale on Audiogon. (Luck for me, my spare speakers kick but, ATC SCM 20's)

2. MBL 111e or 101e: The closest to live music I've ever heard. I don't know how they sound in a "real world room" because the room I heard them in is very good. (Ultimate Audio Video in Chicago, IL). These speakers have an awesome "live" presence like no other. And were not as tonal as the Rockports in the same system. But they do have very good tone. The good tone when combined with the presence makes them pretty special.
I have to admit I would like to hear them again, because I bought the Brikmann Balance Turntable after hearing it in this system that day,and not the MBL's. The Balance brought my ATC's to a whole new level. So I don't know where they may rank now. The ATC's tone may make the MBl's presence novel now. But they can stay number one, its nice to have a dream.

3. ATC Anniversary 50's (Best "real world speaker"). These do not require $30,000 worth of amps. They have awesome tone and impact the Second best midrange of all speakers. However, they are not the last word in treble or bass response. They do bring electrostatic-like cohesiveness to drivers. They have awesome "tube like", or "music like" tonality in the midrange, not lush "tube like", think Vac PHI 300 or your own personal best tube reference. Then, imagine a very good solid state amp on the bass. Basically, you get great tone from top to bottom, with great image palpability and natural image size.

By far the best sonic value for the dollar, and a damn fine speaker and amp combo regardless of value. To beat them you would need to spend an ADDITIONAL minimum $40,000 on speakers, amps, and speaker cables.

4.0 Quads 2905. I loved these alot, the BEST midrage of all speakers. However, they are only SLIGHTLY better in the mids than the ATC's. So when I factored in the lack of impact, and that they also could not capute the power of the piano, the decesion was easy for my tastes. These
make Martin Logan's and Maggies, look very bad by comparison. The image size is more accurate, and bass good. Quads are the second best value after ATC's. They should be matched to the finest electronics. They deserve $30,000 to $40,000 in front of them not $8,000-$9,000 their price might suggest was balanced. They excel at string tones and vocals.

5. Von Schweikert VR-9 gives up midrange tone to the ATCs and real life presence to the MBLs. However, it adds thunderous bass and ultimate high frequency response.

6. Verity Sarastro (Please note the auditon was in a dealer setting with all his own equipment, which was top notch Shindo, and his turntable was a Basis with my same Dynavector XV-1S cartridge, so I felt no reason to use my own equipment.) I liked many things about this speaker: its speed, transparency, and its tone is first rate. However, in the room I heard them in, which was rather live sounding they, were not "intimate" enough for me. I don't know
exactly how much was the room, and how much was the speakers.

7. Goldmund Active Speakers were very nice, but for $33,000, I expect a speaker to go deeper unless it can put a LIVE violin in my room, which it could not. However, it is a fine speaker!!!

8. Rockport ($30,000 version) sounded similar to the ATC's. They had slightly better bass; but I had $15,000 to $28,000 worth of amps in use. I have no sonic complaints, rather just value issues, as compared to the ATC's and others. If I were going to have that kind of money in a speaker and amp combo, I would go for the MBl 111e with two VAC PHI 300's; you would be much closer to live music.

8. Martin Logan Summits: are the third best value after ATC's and Quads. (But I must say QUADS ARE WAY BETTER THAN THESE.)They should be matched to the finest electronics. They deserve $30,000 to $40,000 in front of them not $8,000-$9,000 their price might suggest was balanced. Like the Quads they excel at string tones and vocals, but they falter on wood tones. However, their biggest issue is image size and palpability. They are too transparent!!!!

9. Revel Salons are a very balanced speaker. They are good at everything yet best in class at nothing. They are a very well designed speaker.

10. Avalon Diamonds: Sonics, remind me off Revel Ultimas. Which is not a bad thing. But these are way overpriced for their sonics, and their fit and finsh at their asking price is laughable.

11. Kharma 3.2 Fe At this price point $20,000 in my opinion you should get more bass. But I can live with lack of bass, but they over image everything.

12. Maggie 20.1 Great tone, but images larger than life at "real world" listening distances. But if you had a huge room and a far listeing distance they would be hard to beat, for acoustic music and classical.

13. Classic Audio Reproductions T1 (Horn Speakers).
The only speaker besides MBL's that will put a drum set in your room. They are explosive as hell. For rock and roll they are my favorite by a mile. However, on chamber music they falter, and I listen to chamber music often, so they are not a good match for my music taste.

This is my separation point. I could not live with any of the below long term.

14. Vandersteen 5A. -To Dark and Boxy)
15. Wilson Chimera -Drivers do not blend well, which should be no surprise, given the configuration.
I found myself listening to one driver at a time.
16. B & W 802 D To much like good HI-FI, not like good music.
They highlighted certain aspects of the music in an artificial, or enhanced manner and in doing so called attention to themselves.
To paint a visual, think TV's at Best Buy. They have them adjusted to make real life look more bright colored and vivid than it actually is. These speakers do the same to music.
17. Wilson 7.1's , and or Sophia's (Explosive dynamics, very Average midrange tone. Great for home theater!!!But not for the music lover.
Sorry to not directly answer your question in my long post.

1. Verity, 2. Rockport, 3. Revel, 4. Avalon, 5. Sonus Faber,
6. Lumen have not heard.
Especially, MAXX, your should consider the Wilson MAXX-2's.
take 30k and go party like its`1999...then get some used avalons when you get back.....seriously
At $40k, I would definitely add ESP Concert Grand SI's to your list. Elliot Midwood of Acoustic Image has been using these at a few audio shows (review from HE 2006)and I can't say i have ever heard anything quite like them. Simply incredible. He drove them with Wavestream Kinetics V-8 tube amplification (300 watt monoblocks, as shown, $35,000, 150 watt stereo model, $20,000), Messenger preamp($30k), and a vinyl front end to die for.
You might want to schedule a visit to a Gallo dealer and check out their latest and greatest - they MAY just wail on the speakers you listed...If they do, feel free to send me 1/2 of the $30k I just saved you [smile].

Nucleus Reference 5LS:

I would check out the Dynaudio Evidence Temptations as well.
Dlanselm brings up some great points.

But I think anyone considering a reference system in this price range should fly if necessary to hear the Soundlabs. I have been in love with this sound for many years, and I understand they have gotten much better with recent technology. I am about to heat the latest U1's in a friend's system but he doesn't quite have the room you have to let them breathe.

Yes, I think you should count travel costs (for auditions) as part of the overall cost of assembling a system. If someone were super serious about this endeavor, I'd even invest in a $999 PS audio DLIII DAC. This way you could travel with the very small yet excellent sounding DAC and a laptop (with USB and ripped CD files for best sound) and a set of XLR and RCA cables you are familar with. This will really take some of the variability out of hearing different systems, and you could sell the DAC for a few hundred loss afterwards. An unfamilar CD playback system could really add confusion to the process, and listening to the PS Audio unit in your system for a week or 2 would really get you familar with it's sound . (BTW I really happen to like mine and am getting it modded to increase it's performance to compete with much more expensive DAC's, however my CD playback rig is modest and will remain that way, compared to my LP rig)

I recently heard the Quad 2905 and was impressed, especially since I used to own crosby-Quad 63's. I think these require a sub to really get full response - which is not a bad thing.

I love MBL 101e's however at the latest NY Hi fi show, they sounded like they were being driven too hard in the large room they were in. There was a distinct hardness to the sound I had never heard before in smaller rooms.

Also I think you should really listen to the Sceana's. IMHO they had the best sound at the NY hifi show. (there were soundlab Prostats there, but were set up in an Ambisonic array, that didn't show them in nearly their best light)

Also I think if your after the ultimate in playback, you may have to consider some different electronics. I would look into Atma-sphere gear. I have new MA1's coming this week and can't wait. There is something special about triode OTL's, (even if driven through an autoformer which can accomodate any speaker impedance)

I truly believe that any speaker on your list would sound considerbly better when driven with a good tube amp, but that's me.

Has anyone heard MBL 101e's on Atma-sphere's? I think that could be quite a combination. I also really like bi amp systems with variable gain amps on the bottom to dial in the right amount of bass per recoding and listening volume. Once I went to this type of system I dont think I could go back. Bass quantity I think is the most highly variable in the mixdown/eq of recordings. Having the ability to to make the bass integrate correctly per recoding (and even sometimes per track) and for a given listening volume has really increased my listening pleasure.

I would add Cerious Technologies Reference to you list but that will be difficult to hear. I believe they just did a demo for the Chicago AUdiophile Society. I have their smaller speakers and don't think I could ever go back to MDF cabinet speakers again after hearing what Ceramic cabinets sound like (or rather don't sound like) Which is why I am so attracted to non tradational box and planer speakers. I just wish I had the room for Soundlabs or the new large Quads. If I did I would have bought those (1/2 price at $16K) Soundlab Prostat demo's listed here from time to time without even auditioning them. They are local too! Damn sometimes I hate New York CIty apartments.
tetras all the way musically far superior , no matter what type of music you listen to, have heard most of the others great speakers , but everytime i hear the tetras they blow me away
I would check out the Wilson Audio Maxx 2 speakers as well, since it fits in the price range.

What I think of any of these speakers in relationship to each other isn't as important as what you think.
17. Wilson 7.1's , and or Sophia's (Explosive dynamics, very Average midrange tone. Great for home theater!!!But not for the music lover.

You obviously haven't heard them in a well set up, well treated, dedicated room.... The midrange is crystal clear and transparent on both of thse speakers. I've never even heard of the term "average midrange tone" before... What does that even mean? This doesn't even make sense in terms of pitch, unless you are referring to an average between two other pitches.
I noticed in my response that I had a typo.
I inadvertantly wrote "easily", rather than "barely", in my review of the Sonus Faber Stradivar.

The sentence should have read: 2nd best sound, "barely" beating out the third place Avalon Diamonds, IMHO, as they have better bass response.

Sorry for the confusion.

Again, Good Luck in your search!
For the price that you are going to spend I think it will come down to synergy with your room,equipment and personal taste.

The music that you listen to will also come into play.

My speakers are similar to Wilsons at a fraction of the cost. I will peobab;y never want another set.

I would narrow it down to 2- sets and have them auditioned in your set up before you buy.

You might find a dealer that will work with you in your area also.
Then there might be the case that you will need some room acoustic tuning to get the most from the speakers you choose.

I would not get a speaker system that is easy to drive,efficient ,having your setup.

Hope you find what you are looking for and once you have it don't mess with it as t second guess and play the audio merry-go-round like many do and mess up a good thing.I have done that before and regret it.

Have a good life!

Thanks a lot for your thoughts. Also a lot of, to me, unknown speaker brands have come across. Unfortunally I will not be able to listen to them all.

What I do see is that from the people that listened to them the Rockport Antares and Verity Sarastro are both excellent products. The only thing I heard was that the Verity performs better with Jazz/classic music than with any other type and the Rockport is a bit more versatile.

With my current Revel Studio's I believe I lack a bit of bass, therefore most likely (when I read the posts) the Avalon's probably suits my listening room less than the Sonos Faber Stradivari.

This means I will focus more on and try to listen too the Verity, Rockport and Sonus Faber in order to decide. I might even try to purchase a used pair although I don't often see them being listed.

I have no experience with Quad, but a lot of people seem to like the new reference Quad. How does the Quad paired with a reference sub woofer (eg Revel Sub 30) will stadn up against the Verity/Rockport/SF?

Again appreciate everyones help.



For the Mark Levinson combo, my first choice is Revel Ultima2 Salon with Revel's subwoofer/s.
You should also try TAD Reference One, Isophon Arraba, B&W 800D & Sonus Faber Elipsa, at half of your budget.

Quads shouldnt be that hard to audition somewhere relatively close.

They would at least give you a sense if you like 'stats.

Honestly If I were in your position, (especially since you have good speakers already) I'd really take my time, listen to everything I could, even if it took 6 or 8 months. Go to the next CES or THE show. Unless you are in a financial position to get a 40K speaker then a year from now hear something else and then just dump them, that's another story. I really like the idea of finding a speaker whoose sound really gels with me, then tailoring the system to that, even it if means swapping out other components or cables.

Since you are starting at a pretty high level of reproduction to begin with, I think you want to make sure you end up with some significantly better, not just "different."
I haven't heard them all, but I think the Strads need a very large room to do their thing. I'd personally do what Emailists recommends, find the speaker that you like best, then re-jig the system to work with them.

From your list, I haven't heard many, but I'm a Verity guy - I'd get the Sarastros (talk to Matt at pitchperfect, he has one there) and consider a Shindo or Nagra rig with them. But that's just me.
I'm with Dlanselm on the Eidolons. Just saw them and am completely underwhelmed at their price. More finish coats are in order, at least.
Antares: very nice, natural sound. Would be my first choice as sound is a safe bet if buying unheard as it's not too warm, bright, analytical, etc. Just well balanced and good for a large room.
Verity also nice but too much bass in the Parsifals unless you have lean electronics like Musical Fidelity A3cr. Maybe your Levinson would work.
Would also put the MBL's on the list and maybe the big Soundlabs.
Wouldn't even consider the others as the sound is far from neutral IMHO and limited listening - I didn't hear them in my living room :-). Although depending on your musical taste maybe the Sonus Faber or Avalon.
Hi all,

One speaker I forgot to mention in my list. What do you all think of the Eggleston Savoy speaker and where does it stand in my previous list?

Do you think all of the speakers on my list are able to work properly in my listening room which has the following dimensions

Length: 30 ft
Width: 21 ft
Height: between 10-13 ft

Final question (I think).

Do you recon that my Levinson 33H are powerfull enough the drive the Egglestone and other speakers.
Allthough they are "only" 150W / 8ohm I often hear that it seems that the 33H have more power than other brand that have 300W / 8ohm.

Again thanks for your reply.

Although I personally like Eidolons Diamond very much, I doubt that they would make a great match with your system, as some ppl sugested. Same goes for lumen white and other Accuton (ceramic) based speakers. They do require an amp with "musical/organic" sense, natural timbres and an easy flowing liquidity. Preferably a good tubeamp.

Those my expiriences from trying 20+ different amps on my Eidolons Vision anyway.
Length: 30 ft
Width: 21 ft
Height: between 10-13 ft

It will be a matter of proper placement and voicing for each individual speaker rather than a question of if any will not work at all. Just make sure the small end of the room is in the front and not the back if it is a sloping ceiling.

I still think you should check out some Wilson speakers also, if you haven't already... Preference is a fickle thing, I wouldn't want to see you miss out on something you might possibly like better.

- Jeff
Save yourself $27K and buy a pair of Green Mountain Audio Calypso's. 6moons.com will be doign a review on them in the next month or so. I'm betting they will be highly impressed.
Best idea yet, send $32,000 to children that are dying of starvation which will probably save about 7,500 starving children and spend $8,000 on some awesome used speakers here on agon.

Your conscience will give you more joy for doing a good thing for humanity then what any $160,000 speakers could give anyone. Just a thought!!
Better yet, do the smart thing...

Take whatever income tax writeoff amount you have available and give it to those charities. Then use the speakers as a business expense for your conference room (HT *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*) where you show clients and prospective clients powerslides/presentations of things you are working on. This way you can write that off as well.

Then use the money you didn't waste by just foolishly giving it away without thinking about how to use it properly, and reinvest it in order to make compound interest on the investment and in order to make future investment income. This way you can do the same thing all over again next year when your invested money makes more money for you!

If you just give your money away without being creative, you won't have anything left to give to charity very soon. If you use an intelligent investment strategy, you can keep giving to charity for the rest of your life. Thus you can give a lot more money to charity over the long term, rather than making yourself a charity case in the process by foolishly giving it away without any foresight.

See, you can own the some of the best speakers in the world, such as my Wilsons, and still help save the third world, all at the same time! Go figure!