A Great Deal on Audiogon

There are currently a pair of Avantgarde Trios for sale on Audiogon for(a mere)$13,000. While this is a lot of money for a speaker it nonetheless represents a terrific deal for the dedicated,(reasonably insane) audiophile. I thought I would bring this to the attention of any folks contemplating an upgrade to their stereo or those who might just have a passing interest in them. Let me say at the outset I know nothing of the owners and have no connection with the sale of them. I am just surprised they have not sold. Because I own a pair of these and am intimately familiar with them I thought I would pass on some of their benefits to interested parties. If you have heard the Duos or any of the other AG speakers and are thinking they sound similiar, they don't despite their similar pedigree, not even close. They also do not sound like horns in a "shouty" sense, if anything they are a bit mellow. They have the micro and macro dynamics one associates with highly efficient drivers but they also have a number of other advantages that a lot of speakers lack. I will just be brief and list some of them and leave it at that. They are not very room sensitive, and sound quite good in a smallish room despite their size. They are not placement sensitive within reason. You can just shove them up against a wall, tow them in a bit and you have it. While they beam a little, less than most speakers, their wave launch is large enough that you can move fore and aft without collapsing the image. They are not particularly amplifier or cable sensitive. No need to spend megabucks on an amplifier although to my ears they sound best with tubes. The bottom line is just how good they sound with a minimum of investment in upstream accouterments. I have rarely lived with a set of speakers more than two years and not started "looking". The longer I have had these the more I like them. I'll say no more.
Hey! I could drive down and pick them up too...
Now if you want to give me $13,000 I would be happy to grab them.
Paragraph man, PARAGRAPHS! Can't hardly read it.
What is your point....
Elizabeth wants money (13K) to pick them up .... :-)
This is great. I feel like I've learned something.
I think they look ridiculous, a fact not mentioned in the post.
I actually think they look kinda cool and no less riduculous looking then many of those monster planar type speakers out there
The red ones, right?

Very cool!

$13000 is a good deal if everything is in good working order. I wish I had the $$$s to drop and a place where I could put'em.
I wish I'd paid more attention when I visited RMAF.

Wouldn't one need the subwoofers as well to make a system? As far as I can tell, that's listed separately for $7K. So $20K.

Though it's interesting browsing around that someone drives it with a Altmann BYOB and is happy... so I guess one can save on amplification.
I have a friend who owns a pair of the Trios and I enjoy them immensely but he would disagree with your assessment they are not room sensitive and easy to set up. He finds them to be one of the most difficult to get right and probably the most sensitive to electronics driving them They will reveal every weakness upstream. However, once dialed in they offer transparency and realism like no other. The price is fantastic.
Price doesnt include subs fyi
Keithr, you make the salient point--no subs included in the price. The seller is selling the subs separately for another $7K taking the price to a mere $20K!

The speakers look to be in fine condition, and with subs, $20K is not unreasonable, but, IMHO, it isn't some kind of a steal.

Lubachl, I'm the Trio owner that Hifimaniac referred to in his post. Indeed, your experiences with the Trios is quite different from my own (though I do agree they tend to sound better with tubes and that you can listen to them nearfield if set up appropriately). Perhaps you have a room that, for whatever reasons, is complimentary to your Trios. Either that, or you are a lot less critical of their sound than I've been. It has taken me years to get them to a state of respectability. I find the Trios are extremely revealing of anything and everything upstream.

Don't mean to be contrary, but that is my experience.

it appears these are rated at 19 ohms and wouldn't require a beast of an amp to drive them properly, sounds like a Set lovers dream. FWIW there is a sale pending
High sensitivity speakers are like listening under a microscope. Trios are one of the highest efficiency designs out there I believe! Amp power becomes more irrelevant but every nuance of the source is exposed more so than most. That would typically mean a lot of trial and error and tweaking, more so than in most cases, to get things just right. Not for the detail oriented yet faint of heart.....

But once you get everything dialed in, I would expect the results to be hard to beat.
The speakers I had prior to this were more conventional speakers but were very sensitive to amplifier requirements because they required a lot of power to drive them. This in term required carefully chosen cabling. And, for whatever reason even a millimeter change in the tweeter and midrange position would change the soundfield. I was forever tinkering with all these parameters. The Trios by comparison seem forgiving. I am not saying they are not sensitive to all this stuff but rather that they sound great with a minimum of tinkering. The highlight of their sound is an absence of upper midrange distortion. That is what sets them apart from any other hi-end speaker I have ever owned. My sound room is fairly heavily damped, concrete floor, foam ceiling panels and carpeting. Perhaps that is why they tend to be more forgiving. I will concede that. Yes you will have to pick up some subs unfortunately adding to the cost. My summarizing point in this discussion is having had a lot of gear over the years I am surprised this particular speaker has not garnered more accolades. That it has remained unchanged over many years is a compliment to an intrinsically good design.
Its a valid point that the ability to work well with most any amp is an advantage in terms of getting good sound with minimal tweaking.

Avantgardes do get a lot of accolades but I think their cost size and unconventional looks (which I like) make them perhaps more of a niche speaker perhaps than their overall performance alone would merit.

Personally, they are one of the few designs I have heard out there these days that I would be thrilled to live with long term, but unfortunately they are just not practical in my case. Maybe someday....

The thing I would question is how many really need speakers that big and that efficient in their home? They could become lethal weapons (to the ears) turned up too loudly or in the event of some audible electrical mishap. Probably only a select though perhaps lucky few.
Dean, what subs are you using with your Trios? I'm seriously considering the Trios but the sub integration is scaring me.
A number of folks have raised questions about the integration of the standard issue 225s with the horns.

The prior owner of my Trios added a third pair of 225s. I cannot say why but everything sounded much better with a third bass unit (larger wave launch at lower volume=faster response time ? ? I don't know). That is what I currently use.

You already know the 225 has variable freqency range and volume. There are a lot of parameters to play with.

225s are pretty cheap on the used market. They also appear to be reliable over the long haul.

I'm using just one pair of the CTRL 230s. Bass integration can certainly be problematical with the Trios (and the Duos), but the Trios can be crossed over at a lower frequency than the Duos, so I feel the bass integration is respectable (though certainly not the best I've ever heard).

Avantgarde has a new line of subwoofers that replaced the 230s like mine, and they do sound much better (at significant cost). Nonetheless, once you get the setup right on the 230s, they integrate quite nicely. I've found that (in my room) the best setup is when the woofers are placed outside the Trios, immediately adjacent to the flare of the lower midrange horns. This placement seems to allow for near perfect time alignment between the woofers and the lower midrange driver at the listening position, and this greately improves the perception of bass integration.

There are some advantages to having four (or more) of the 225s in some applications. For example, you can use a lower crossover point for one pair of woofers vs. the other pair. In this way, you're able to achieve greater bass power in the lowest bass (all eight woofers are working in unison) and have only one pair providing most of the output in the upper bass. I've also found that multiple sources of bass information tends to break up room aberations.

The Trios lower midrange horn is specified to be 3db down at 100 Hz, but in most samples of the Trios, this spec doesn't hold up. As such, you will need to find a higher crossover point for the bass to integrate, and this split arrangement with four woofers is often times the better solution.

Dean, thanks for your response. My brother has the Uno's so I'm familiar with the 225. He upgraded the board in the 225 and it made a huge improvement but I can still hear 2 distinctive sounds coming from the horn and sub.

Running 4 225 sounds interesting ... I was considering Trio since sub only has to integrate up to 100Hz.