Another help me spend money thread or maybe not.... going to AXPONA

How to start this thread. Well I have a full thread here which has taken me a long ways to Maggie planar bliss.
Room size is 11.5w 22.5L 8.5h

The cliff notes version of the above is Maggie 20.7 system with a pair of Vandersteen Sub 3 and HP7 crossovers
Recent additions are: Mac 601 monos, AR Ref6, dSC Bartok + AQ hurricane and dragon power + a lot of room setup.

So the only part of my system not questioned in 5 years has been the 20.7's as I really like planar sound. Of course that gets me thinking why should i stop there... for a $30k budget what can I hear.... this is where AG help is needed!!

The system sounds really good now, the Vandy system has now given me all the bass slam of big boxes to go along with that wall of planar energy. But I have the fever. I want to know how good the system is compared to a bunch of hardware I only read about. So I am going to AXPONA and also looking into my local Atlanta shops. 

Which leads me to: I auditioned two disparate systems today, Wilson Audio Sabrina's ($17k) and Wisdom Audio cost no object in-wall line source system (about $100k) which I have never heard of. I use to have WP7's, to me the newer Sabrina's are much better having lost the hot inverted dome tweeter, good but not superior to what i already have. However the Wisdom mutli line source system was just spectacular which was built around multiple Wisdom Sage L75's. These can be had as a floor stander for about $18k pair and they have them. So we go to that room but it was busy and I did not get a chance to hear them. If they are anywhere close to what I heard these go to the top of my list. 

My list (to hear or have heard as a comparison)
heard: Vandy 7 MKII, really good but too expensive
B&W 802D3 - good but not better

for my budget would like to hear at AXPONA if they are there: 
Vandy 5a Carbons 
Martin Logan ESL15A
MBL - just because
Scaena - just because

But what about YG's or SoundLab and on and on... thanks for your inputs!


8c78711e 2b2c 4314 911a 867669410398hughp3
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At the $29K price point, proceed directly to the Vimberg Mino room.  They were simply amazing last year at AXPONA.
If you live in Atlanta and like planar speaker,

I recommend you to audition Arion Apollo speakers at Charlotte, NC.

It can be driven by small power SET tube amplifier.

I had been very impressed with its sound with nice soundstage , excellent dynamics and nuanced details on January this year.
thanks mtrot but looks like Mino is not attending, so far.

shkong78 do you own a pair? looks interesting for sure
Sanders ESLs and Magtech amps!
Dynaudio is another room to hear. I think the new Confidence will be there.

@ hughp3
Correction: It was actually at RMAF last October that I heard the Vimberg Mino.
Vimberg is part of Tidal Speakers. Looks like Tidal will be at AXPONA, and demonstrated in the Bricasti and/or Bel Canto rooms. If Vimberg is at AXPONA, it will likely be demonstrated by Wynn Audio, which is shown as an exhibitor for AXPONA.  You might be able to contact Wynn and find out.

Last year, High Water Sound had amazing sound but wasn't playing anything with lots of dynamics...SET-friendly. KEF Reference was a surprise in how "whole" and coherent they sounded. Doshi was the hot amplification.
Thanks guys keep them coming!

I auditioned the ML esl 15a today. Very impressed, I could jump for these. However going to hear the clx art with subs next. I must be strong though, stay the course and make it through axpona...

Have you considered looking at the 30.7 Maggies?  The 30k price coukd be offset by selling your 20.7s.

I know you were going in a different direction, but I has to put the idea in front of you.
ohadaguy I have auditioned the 30.7 when Wendell was in ATL a few months ago. The system was very good, especially bass which it has in spades. But two things. I don’t have the room, mine is 11W x 22L. Compared to the 20.7, the 15A electrostatic was, to me, startling. cleaner, faster, holographic with great bass. The only issue I thought I heard and only on 1 track was the mid bass did not have quit the impact of the 20.7 otw consistently superior.. but at a price
I just heard some of these att an audio show. The Magico and Focal were fantastic. Some large MBL 101 were equally good and probably closer to the Maggie sound.

Other ones I liked were Vimberg, Kii Three with bass towers, Aequo Stilla, Paradigm Persona 7F and the largest Technichs. I think all of these are very good and the room at the show Will influence the sound almost as much as switching speakers.
I have to agree with roberjerman.  The Sanders 10e ESL has an integrated subwoofer per side.  They are very portable for one person.  With the 2 Magtech amps at 500 watts per channel, they cost $2200.  They include the room correction preamp and all cables needed system price of around $27,000.  They sound is just beautiful, extremely articulate, and sounds great with all music.  They will be at Axpona this year again after missing last year.  Plus, the ENTIRE system is warranted for life for the original buyer.  They will replace anything that goes wrong period.  There are only systems in the $100,000 plus price that can even compete with the 10e in sound--not necessarily beat it either.  There is NOTHING you will want more of when you listen.  Beauty, dynamics, ability to play loud, punchy bass--plus, in a narrow room like yours, the 10e's don't scatter the sound off the side walls.  They direct it towards the listening area.  The room correction makes great sound in any room. 
This system even sounds fantastic in the smaller hotel rooms.  ALWAYS among best in show at each Axpona every year they come and demo.  There is NO system that can compete for the money and very few that can compete with the sound at any price.  It's worth the plane ticket I guarantee you.

Thanks guys I will definetly go by the Sanders room. How do they compare to ML 15a or CLX with the correct ML subs?
headphonedreams I really want to hear the MBL 101 even tho way out of my price range!
The 10e's have better clarity and dynamics with less coloration possibly due to less room interaction.  Everything sounds great, like real instruments.  Bass is deep, impactful with no boom at all.  
Look toward to hearing them. I did a bunch of reading last night. Only repeated issue was very small focal spot, for some too small but I will decide that!
There are a lot of speakers in that price range there. Some to check it if they are there:
Tidal- Piano Diacera
Sanders 10E as already mentioned
ATC SCM 50 actives
Prana Fidelity-very good for the price
Kii model 3
The TAD ME-1
The ones you mention are also good choices.
I am sure there are plenty I am missing, also
On the  Sanders 10e,  I am concerned about the DSP module. I have substantial investment in the pre and dac signal which, i believe, gets re-dac’ed by the dsp. Not sure i like that.  It has to alter the sonic  characteristics of the components i carefully selected. Thoughts? 
@ hughp3
Yes, that is an issue with a lot of these newer speaker systems.  They have all sorts of room correction technology involved with them.  Kii and Eikon sound great at shows, but that is not going to work for me.  Personally, I'm just interested in "plug and play" speakers.  Now, some speakers, such as Revel Ultima, have more basic controls directly on the speaker to adjust bass and/or treble response, which I think would be fine.
In my situation, it's not that I have expensive pre and dac units, but I have a multi-channel audio setup that has to go through an AVR or AVP to be able to play my SACD, DVD-Audio, and Blu-ray movie titles over HDMI.
Makes sense mtrot. I have no idea how DSP could be done for multi channel but i am sure some one has figured it out, however for sure would not work per speaker manufacture! I got a response from Sanders but it did not clearly answer my question. I will just call them... 
Just spoke with Sanders. They answered all my concerns. I will be keeping all my front end. The wild card are the subs which I can also keep if I want but they suggested the cross over point should be 23hz which is really low. I will likely not need them but A/B will be easily then I can make that decision.  Really looking forward to hearing these!
Fwiw, I was just told that both the VIMBERG Mino and Tonda speakers will be at Axpona with the new Distributor Wynn Audio.
i just read about these new speakers, will def demo them. thanks for the heads up.
Spatial.  I have the X2s, and they're giant-killers.
Listened to an expensive box speaker today, $40k. Maybe its me... the demo was great,  fast dynamic bass, very clear. now the but...  it was more pinpoint imaging which I am not used to.  Voices and instruments on the 20.7 are more lifelike, have demension. seem to have more 3d space. Its hard to explain. So far only the  Martin Logan 15a would cause me to jump.  Anyone else struggle going from planar or ESL’s to box speakers?
@hughp3 I was just speaking with "the" Vandersteen dealer in ATL the other day and he mentioned how the system you described in your original post sounded "fantastic" ... i.e, he experimented with top end Magnepans rigged with the Vandersteen crossover and Vandersteen’s Sub Nine’s (he’s also a Magnepan dealer). Is that where you got the idea? Would have loved to have heard that system. I think you’re at the level of the best possible expression of various design philosophies and you probably just need to pick one as your "preference" because at this level I’m not sure you’re going to be able to argue definitively that one is objectively is better than the other. I will say what you have, the Magnepans and the Vandersteen crossovers and Nine subs intrigues me more than anything else you're likely to see/hear at Axpona.
Another vote for Sanders 10e speakers, let all know what you think of them once heard. Once you hear planers it's hard to listen to anything else.
When you have used enough of each genre of speaker you realize that none of them has a lock on superior performance. System setup, gear selection and cable matching for the components is nearly all-determinant of the outcome. 

It's relatively easy for me to make a rig with a dynamic or hybrid dynamic that can outperform a panel in terms of definition/resolution, etc. Then, I can turn around and do the same with a panel. There is far more fluidity to performance than many realize when it comes to genres of speakers. 
I have not found any one genre of speaker that does every parameter of sound performance perfectly, regardless of cost.  
Agree with you DS most different genres of speakers with a little (ok LOT) of work can sound amazing but overall IMHO electrostats when done right, meaning they require amps with lots of current, sound so quick and transparent they take me back to the original venue. 
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yes! david and alan [email protected] buys sold  me on the subs and crossovers(and 20.7 etc  excellent shop great guys) I’m not using the sub nines too expensive, have pair of sub threes and high end HP7 crossovers. Was the biggest change to the system by far and it’s proving hard to beat. Pm if you want to take a listen, could use another ear!
Thanks   For the advice guys. Yeah I just need to make it to Axpona  and hear   What I can. I  May end up not doing anything but I must say the ml 15a are good but I need a second or third hearing. The CLX with subs will Be available for audition in a few weeks. Not doing anything until after the show though
+1 on the Sanders 10e ESLs and Magtech amps. 
My axpona visit is over, sitting in chicago plane delayed by snow. 
The show was a great experience. So much to see but my list as completed. All of the vendors i visited were very nice. Rooms size was not ideal, an understatement, so listening required some imagination. 

My room plans have changed everything. Dedicated 27x20x13 in 6 months

My top speakers in order that fit my tastes are:
Gryphon trident ii - best of show, simply awsome. Vocal and piano were in the room realistic. But too much $$.

Avanteguard duo mezzo xd. Incredibly dynamic, clear, fast, chest bass. I love the looks. My top choice so far

rockport cygnas - tooo small a room and still high quality. Very clear yet smooth, great imagining, great bass. Need another listen in proper setting. Very good.

All of the Luminwhites were good.
The Magico and YG just are not personally the sound for me.

lastly will be demoing the ML Neoliths in a few weeks. With these 3 i think i have every design approach covered.

yes axpona was well worth it anf fun.

@hughp3 did you get a chance to hear the Sanders? Your thoughts?
I did very clear and trasparent. The tracks playing were a little bass shy so cannot judge too well. Would work very well in my old room but i did not spend much time there as i was looking for amuch bigger presence. Better than many magico’s i heard
Just for something different, you might want to give the Nola KO a listen.  They're dipole and also employ a short line array of tweeters and mids, which may sound a little more familiar to you as a Maggie owner.  

Also, if your budget stretches up to $30k you might give the Joseph Audio Pearls a listen.  Just a couple other ideas to further complicate your life.