Acapella Versus Avantgarde

Beautiful horn products, both. Would like to hear from those who own one or the other or who have listened to both. Acapella is more expensive than Avantgarde, are they worth it?
I haven't heard the acapellas. However, I do own the Avantgarde Duos; I can't really see myself upgrading these now. I use them with my Platine Verdier, Schroeder model 2, Allaerts MC1B driven by Verdier Control B tube preamp with dedicated valve regulated PSU (soon to be replaced by Tron Meteor preamp) and Quad IIs.
I am very happy with the Duos. They need quiet amps though. They are ruthlessly revealing and will show up any noise in your preamp and power amps.
I own the Acapellas and love them. To me they sound more cohearent than the Avantgrades. They are worth the money.
Which model? There are several from each manufacturer. I used the Acapella Violon for a while & the Duo. I much preferred the Acapella.
As an indication, I listen to a lot of classical (and judge by it).
Nice looking speakers on the Acapella site. I never heard of them. But they look awfully nice. Roughly how much do these cost (Violon for instance)?

I've long had admiration for Acapella speakers. It seems you moved to something different after the Violon's - may I ask why and what advantages the new ones had over the Acapella's? Incidentally my preference is certainly Acapella's over AG's too.


I will try yo answer some of the questions posed...

Prices are listed on the importer's website at

We are an Acapella dealer, and we get asked this question, to compare Avantgarde and Acapella, all the time, probably because of the apparent visual simularities (and the fact that they both start with the letter 'A' and they are often displayed with 'sportscar red' horns, doesn't help any).

Compared to the Avantgarde, Acapella's horns have a more substantial construction and design which eliminates horn colorations and resonances.

The higher end of the Acapella line also incorporates a plasma tweeter which is generally acknowledged to be one of the better, if not the best, tweeter currently available.

The integration of the drivers and driver technologies is also done somewhat better by Acapella, as well.

On the other hand, Avantgarde usually has tighter and more forcefull bass response and is usually quite a bit more efficient and can be driven by very small, sweet tube amps (although the top speakers in the Acapella line get up to 98-100 dB, which ain't too bad either).

Just our opinion, of course, but the top-of-the-line Acapella speakers are *so* much better than any other speaker we have heard, and we've heard darn near all of them, that it is somewhat disturbing and really makes one completely re-evaluate the meaning of musical expression and experience.

Well, on that metaphysical 'note', ;-)

-Mike (Acapella dealer)
According to the Aaudio Imports web site, the Acapella Violon ($35K) is twice the price of the AG Duo. By that alone, wouldn't you expect considerably more from it than the AG?

As Mike from Audio Federation suggests, the visual similarities between the two would beg comparisons. However, with the Acapella full horn line running from $26K all the way to $350K, it would seem that we're talking apples & oranges.

Those Acapella's sure are a work of art.
Murray: I didn't actually "change" the Violon for another spkr. Rather, I kept my old spkrs (Genesis V, slightly modded) for two reasons:
- The cost: I *thought* I could manage the asking price -- but changing circumstances decreed that I couldn't
- (minor) Maintenance of the Ion tweet: very expensive to replace.
Otherwise, I loved the sound of these spkrs. The low end extension didn't bother me in the least (I wasn't considering the "extended suboctave" option at all): a dipole subwoof on either side blended in very well for extra energy below 50Hz. Most, if not all of the time, the subwoof wasn't mandatory for in room music enjoyment.
I found the tweet->horn integration excellent and the only cause for slight concern was the low end coupling with the horn(around 6-800Hz). Again, this is nitpicking..
I wouldn't say that the bass wasn't "tight" sounding in and of itself -- rather that coupling the horn with a dynamic woofer isn't easy and there may have been slight phase issues. In any case, I was confident that IF there was serious concern in that region, I could easily communicate w/ Acapella to solve the issue to my personal tastes quite easily & inexpensively (slightly alter the bass q...? X-over config? Change the driver for one with a stronger magnetic field? Many possibilities to play with).

Speaking for the rich, however:), the Campanile is the model to go with; the full intensity of a Mahlerian orchestra is easily felt...
I am also an Acapella owner (Campagnile Highs), have a friend who owns Violon Highs and the new La Campanella and would like to address address several issues: i) maintenance of the plasma tweeter, ii) coherence of the drivers and iii) bass. In over four years, the tweeters have proved almost bullet proof. They have an automatic mode that turns them on only when a signal is running through them, thus significantly decreasing wear on the tubes and quartz rod that generates the plasma. In full time, 24 hour a day use, one might expect to retube and replace the rods after about five years. In the automatic mode, who knows? The tubes are user replaceable and dealers should be able to replace the quartz rods which are not hideously expensive.

Coherence. This is an area where Acapella has been very successful. The mating between the horn and plasma tweeter is extremely good to excellent. The mating between the horn and the woofer can be very good but is dependent on the amp used and on placement in the room and cabling. This improves greatly during break-in but it does take the woofers a long time to break-in/loosen up. As this happens, efficiency improves, the woofers play lower in frequency and are more dynamic. None of these (with the exception of the La Campanella) is really a near field speaker. They benefit from a larger room. In the wrong room with the wrong associated equipment, some sounds may localize on the midrange horn. Having said this, even the Campaniles benefit from a really excellent subwoofer but only with respect to the bottom octave. Acapella seems to have made a conscious choice to design for coherence over having the bottom octave. Normally this is not a problem, but with an really excellent sub there are gains in depth, image density and low end power where present on the software. This is a really easy speaker with which to listen to music.

As you might guess, the Acapella cables are a really synergistic match for the speakers. Acapella uses the Einstein electronics to voice the speakers at the factory and the combination is magical.

Thanks for the explanation Gregm - I have wondered what would move one on from Acapella's - no answer yet then! Hi to Fred too - good to see that you remain very happy with your Camapniles. Despite bothering everyone, over a few years, I still haven't made the jump. My room would be too small and up to now my electronics not up to the speakers, but I'm getting there slowly!

I heard the Avantgarde Trios with Basshorns just recently. I thought they were fantastic. I have Sound Labs and I didn't think the Avantgardes gave too much away in the areas of transparency and inner detail to the big electrostats. As far as integration and coherency goes, this all-horn system is seemless at all volume levels.
I can't see how a speaker like the Campanile could be as coherent across all frequencies at all volume levels when it is using 3 separate technologies. How four 10" dynamic drivers could keep up with a plasma tweeter when volume levels approach 100dB SPL is beyond me.
I've never heard the Avantgardes in any situation that allowed extended critical listening, but I've spent a few hours listing to the Acapella Triolon Excaliburs. As I said in another thread, these speakers redefined for me what recorded music was capable of, and it took less than a minute for me to realize how much better they were than anything I'd ever heard. I look forward to a good demo of Trios at some point, but for now the Triolons are the speaker that dreams are made of. I don't expect that to change anytime in the near future, but of course I'm always open to other speakers being as good or better.

For what it's worth, I heard the Acapellas at Audio Federation. I have no affiliation with them, other than being an extremely satisfied customer (not of Acapella speakers, unfortunately... maybe someday!).