Alon/Nola sound

in general, associated amps notwithstanding, how would you characterize the Alon/Nola sound? Bright, warm, open, laid back, etc?

I was in an audio store the other day and in discussing my setup, the salesman felt that the Nola Viper iias were bright, which stunned me. I'v never thought they were bright, but definitely detailed and open. Do we all here that differently? Just curious.
if the store where you were having this discussion is not an Alon/Nola dealer it does not surprise me in the least ... audio salespeople LOVE to criticize gear they do not sell. if they do not represent the line, it cannot be any good
They can be very revealing of upstream equipment. Lesser electronics will not sound as good as the better gear. Alon/Nola have an open, electrostatic quality. If you get a chance, please listen to them. There are a couple of reviews out there that describe their sound pretty accurately. Some speakers that have super resolution, to me, are fatiguing to listen to for extended periods. Nola speakers let you focus on the music and the performance. I like mine.
I have the Nola Viper iia and I like them. This dealer use to cary Alon/Nola, and one of the shop owners use to rave about them. Jrinkerptdnet, I guess you're right about some sales people, if they don't sell it, its not as good as the stuff they sell.
Resolving, fast, and clear are words I would use, but I might also add "slightly dry" unless used with tubed equipment, which is their sweet spot IMO. Unfortunately, the sensitivity is not that high so they require pretty beefy tube amps if you go that route. The open baffle design provides a different perspective compared to conventional dynamic speakers.
I agree, for years I have had the original Alon Model 1, I can't find anything I like better. And should I move on it will be into the current Nola series. These speakers let you quit listening to speakers and involve one with the music. Do need better than average components to really appeciate their performance.
I agree with all of the above. I liked the Alon sound from the moment I heard the Alon I's and II's in the early 90's. I heard them with Mccormack and Acurus power amps at first. Don't recall if I ever heard them with tubes. I would still love to get a pair of the II's if I could find them. Lost out on a pair last year on craigslist. Oh well, maybe next time.
what type of sources are you using? CD, vinyl, Itunes? and what manufacturers. I currently have a Musical Fidelity A5 cdp which I like. Im looking into turntables, but that purchase won't happen until a few months from now.
Hello ,

I had the opportunity to here the Nola grand last night and did not find the top end bright at all played thru McIntosh/ AR tube gear. The room was well treated with traps et al and source was 24/192 via PS audio CD transport.


The sound was open and powerful with a smooth delivery and with good presence. Very good dynamics with good recovery with a solid feel. I did like the remote x-over setup and the cabinet finish was first rate.


The bass was not extended and there was some mid/upper midrange smearing causing a softening of air around instruments and voices . Imaging was good , not great and not as good as one would expect from speakers in the lofty 50K+ price range.... IMO

Overall a pleasant sounding setup , nothing offensive regardless of the recording and with the big macs the power was immense, of course the usual configuration/room caveats apply, worth a listen for sure if you are shopping in that price range.

My 2 cents ....

$50,000 speakers have to sound pretty extraordinary. Unfortunately, I don't believe I will be in the market for such a speaker unless I hit the lottery!
I'm with yah ................. :)

Now that my room is done, and the system is almost completely set up,I need to check one of my midrange drivers. Thanks to Nmusician, I will obtain a voltmeter to test if the midrange driver is working.

If the driver is not working, off to Miller Sound it goes. If it does work, then I will have to get inside the cabinet to reconnect whichever wire that got jarred loose during shipment.

Cany anyone provide me with details for the best way to get inside this cabinet?

A friend owns the Viper Reference three's , I no I'll take some flack for saying so , but I was not impressed , at least not for the price . They did have the feeling of freedom , but the overall coherence and balance was not what I expected for $15,000.
Tmsorosk, you won't get any flack from me. While I have been hooked on the Alon/Nola sound ever since I auditioned the original I's and II's back in the early 90's, I realize their cost to performance ratio is nowhere near what it used to be. And While I would not spend the money for them new, they are extremely hard to beat for performance on the used market.

For example, a pair of used references for about $6K will knock the socks off anything close to it in price, new or used. Another example, I bought my Viper IIa's for $1,200 off the 'gon a year ago, and if there is something out there for $1,200 that can top them, I haven't heard them.
At any rate, I'm still looking for help with getting into this cabinet. Any thoughts out there, please let me know. Thanks.
According to the DVM, the midrange driver is fine. So, now that means going inside the speaker. Any ideas anyone?
One issue all Nola Viper series owners need to be aware of and that is that the Positive and Negative terminal tabs on the midrange drivers need to be adjusted so as not to come in contact with the cabinet. The midrange opening on the baffle is VERY tight around the back of the driver and the terminal tabs could come in contact with the inside of the midrange baffle opening.

This has a very adverse effect on the midrange if contact is being made as the cabinet vibrations are modulating the midrange driver terminals which results in a somewhat forward/hazy/hard midrange presentation and diminished musicality.

A quick and easy fix is one can take a small flat blade screwdriver and gently pry the terminal tabs up and away from the baffle opening or one can remove the drivers from the baffle and carefully bend the terminals with a pair of small flat tipped pliers. Only a small adjustment is necessary.

I have had this issue three times on my Viper 1X's with the first being the stock Ceramic midrange drivers, the 2nd when I swapped to the 2nd generation AlNiCo midrange drivers and again recently when I upgraded to the new rev lll AlNiCo midrange drivers. The driver tabs already come bent to a ~90 degree angle but additional adjustments have been necessary.

I urge all Viper series owners to inspect and adjust the midrange driver terminal tabs on their speakers as the results are NOT subtle, it's easy and it's free!

The Vipers are working, thanks to a fellow audiogoner helping me with what to look for. There was a wire that came loose from one of the resistors on the crossover board. The vipers are sound pretty darn good, and I haven't even dialed them in yet.
I haven't posted in this thread for quite some time. I just need to let it be known that I have installed outriggers on the front of each speaker, and have tilted the speaker back slightly. Improvements were heard immediately. Soundstage and imaging improved substantially.
To this day one of the most impressive systems I've ever heard included one of Carl's four-tower reference speakers at a NYC audio show several years ago. The man knows what he's doing. In my experience his speakers are never bright sounding, just exceedingly natural. One of my top five speaker designers, although I will say some of his designs look a little more like woodshop projects compared to some of the more polished cabinetry out there. Not that those pretty speakers sound as good, which is what matters most at least to me.
The early versions of the Alon speakers were a little hard on the top and with the open top end design and Alon using a larger woofer in some models IVs & Vs they could sound like the overall coherence and balance was not there and as mentioned not what I expected for $15,000. I am cheap so I purchase most of my components used for a better ROI. The early versions use pretty standard caps which can be a DIY upgraded. The next generation depending on model had a better overall balance. Most people I know who came from a more box type of speaker heard something different and may find the Alons unbalanced. Being more open with more speed the bass did not always keep up and that effected the sound in the mids. The newer versions I thought sounded excellent but not on all material. Value for the buck, well not for me. I'll wait to find a used pair cheap. Also I found that placing come dampening material behind the speaker If you cannot get them out in to the room helps with the any hardness in the top end. Since they are so open, you get more room interaction.

Happy Listening.
I recently purchased a pair of the Nola KO's and am VERY happy with their performance. Currently have them with Pass Labs XA-100.5's but Carl says I haven't heard them until I try tubes with them, going to have to do that as if they're better with tubes it's going to be heavenly....
You mention that you've added outriggers and tipped the speakers back slightly. I have Viper II's and per their instructions I use the longer spikes in front, and the shorter in the rear, in order to give a slight tipping up of the speakers. Are you tipping yours a greater amount than this stock spike setup? I'm curious, because I'm happy with mine as they are, but if I could gain ground by tipping them up more, it would be worth a try.
I have Alon IIs and there's nothing bright or hard about them. Also, the overall coherence and balance is outstanding. The "problem" with them is that they are extremely revealing of everything else in your playback chain, which means if brightness or imbalance is being introduced elsewhere, you'll definitely hear it through the Alons. They're also sensitive to room placement. Bottom line: They have near 'stat transparency but with dynamics to die for.
with quality source equipment no alon or nola will sound bright use crap any speaker will sound crappy