..mike..i do not have the piega model you have..mine are c-40's...but have had 4 different piega speakers in the last 10 years and can only say that they all have been superb..i am sure that the 'tc' line is no exception..good luck..you will love them..
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I've owned the Piega C8 Ltd, TS5, P5 and P4XS MKII speakers. I used them with many different sources and both tube and solid state amplification and was never disappointed with any of them.
As for the previous post, Bright is certainly not an adjective that I would apply to any of them. They all sounded quite warm with an addictive sound quality.
I owned a set of Piega C-40s for a while...
In my room, they were the worst speaker I ever owned. Overly bright and harsh, small, compressed soundstage, completely unforgiving of all but a handful of recordings.
I was using Goldmund amplification and Piega speaker wires.
I sold them for a song (poorly sung) and was glad to be rid of them. I licked my wounds and went back to a set of Dunlavy Vs. I still own and enjoy the Dunlavy's today.
Lofimike, like you, I've not heard the Piega speakers before, but you're getting varying opinions (3 in praise of them/ 2 critical of them). This reveals that the Piegas like any other speaker require careful system matching. I suppose the room folks would say room matching too. Hope the Piegas are a good match to the rest of your system and room.
Like the other posters, I have not heard the tc 50`s, so take this FWIW. But I have heard other Piega models (and own the C-10ltd) and find them honest to the source material and quite captivating. I've owned large ProAc, Genesis, Dunlavy, Talon and Selah line arrays and the Piegas are, overall, the best of the bunch, to my ears. Soundstaging and layering of instruments is excellent and realistic and really draws you in to the performance.
I suppose one man's 'bright' is another's 'great inner detail.' They are more relaxed sounding than my Piegas. In my room (measured with Tact equipment) the C-10s don't sound bright and don't measure bright either -- they show a very gentle rolling off in the highs from 2k on, with a 3dB dip centered around 3.5k -- more neutral than any other speakers I've measured here.
IMO, the Piegas combine electrostatic-like detail and resolution with great musicality. And yes, they sound fast. My only complaint with mine is a lack of bass power (compared to say, the eight servo-controlled Genesis woofers I used to have). And I think the sensitivity ratings can be slightly misleading, as they require more power than one might expect to open up.
To respond to Spudco's remarks: While I realize people have a right to change their minds, it's interesting to read your prior posts on the Piegas. You say, "They are absolutely astounding... I can't even listen critically to my second system any longer (dunlavy V speakers)" and "These are so good, I'm even listening to some classical just to here the strings!" Obviously, you later changed your mind, but your characterizations sound like a nasty divorce.
Good luck with your speakers, lofimike. I hope you like them. You may have to change your moniker to 'hifimike.'
I bought my P-10s 18 months ago and completely stopped looking at other speakers. After owning 17 different pairs of speakers in the last 10 years, I guess you could say I was "searching" for something and not finding it. The Piegas aren't perfect, what is? But every time I listen to them I find myself wondering what more I could ask for.
As for the brightness, I am using them with Canary Audio tube monoblocks. But I also ran them briefly with a Plinius SA-102. While I ultimately like them better with tubes, the SS Plinius did NOT make the Piegas sound anything like some of the other comments in this thread. I consider them wonderful speakers that are a huge bargain on the used market.
Richards, you nailed it about Spudco.
>I'm currently listening to Piega C-40s. The break in was lengthy and they need lots of current to really fill a large room, but the sound is really something special. I have never been a ribbon fan, but these are very smooth with incredible detail.
French horn on Fanfare for a common man was in the room. Tower of Power was really rocking the house with completely clear horns and percussion. The percussion on American Beauty Score floated thought the room and the bass was haunting, deep and full. As a former player, I'm very snooty about piano and these are the best speakers for the wide range of overtones and dynamics I've ever heard. A Hammond never sounded better unless I was sitting at it. The bass on Lou Reed's Paranoia in E was full, deep and crisp. Never boomy in my room (32 X 18 with high ceilings). Guitars ring like you are in the studio. These are so good, I'm even listening to some classical just to here the strings!
The cabinets are also beautiful. You should really try to give these an audition.<
Reads like a fickle lover BEFORE the romance turns sour. Bad grapes indeed.........
I am ready to admit that I was impressed with the Piegas early on. On about 15 of my 2,500 disks, they sounded good. Like many new owners, I wanted to believe I had found a great speaker. I realise that I was blinded by my need to feel that my hard earned dollars were well spent. The bottom line is that the Piegas were like a airheaded hot babe with a topside beef-up...fun for a short time, but no staying power. Good for a thrill, but not worth my time.
The fact that I sold them as new for 20% of what I paid should emperically demonstrate how little I liked them. I felt lucky to be rid of them - it took many months to sell them.
The truth is that my Piega based system was so bad that I gave up listening to music for many months. I just couldn't reconcile how easily I had bought into a hugely expensive system and how little I enjoyed it.
Now I can enjoy music again. I can easliy listen to most of my collection without cringing at the recording.
Of course, everyone is free to make up their own mind.
Fair enough. Tastes are different, as is hearing, among the audiophile community. I think what was reacted to was the inflammatory way you expressed your feelings. Obviously many folks are moved by and connect with the sound of the Piegas. It wasn't your cup-of-tea. No problem.
I like my Piegas way better than the Dunlavy Athenas I owned a while back. But I won't disparage them, as I know some really like them. We audiophiles seem to keep moving on till we find what we like. If we can be respectful and civil with our personal experiences, we can help each other in this quest.
I'll agree that Piegas are very expensive compared to other loudspeakers. But name one thing coming from Switzerland that is NOT more expensive than the same product coming from anywhere else. There is a reason for the expense. They are very labor intensive to build, and aren't haphazardly thrown together with off-the-shelf parts. The tweeter/midrange is built from the same stuff they wrap spacecraft in for goodness sake. Why? Because there is nothing else out there that will withstand the heat, and is light enough to play at 60kHz all day long.
As for them being "bright", I will agree with that too. But only if they aren't setup right, or your system is bright. If you feed them bright, you're going to get bright. If you want wooly, then don't buy Piegas. I listened to Spudco's setup back in the day, and I agree with him that C40's were not the right speaker for his application. They will not do a house party like a Dunlavy 5, nor will they have explosive and overly muddy bottom-end like a Vandersteen 5. If they aren't setup properly in a nice room, they won't do much of anything.
It took me 9 months to get my C3 Limiteds placed correctly in a dedicated room with thousands of dollars worth of treatment. I will admit, I could not do it alone. I had to have a guy come in with a RTA. But after 5 minutes with the RTA, and some laser alignment, I have never heard a better speaker. I've heard plenty of speakers that sound near as good, and one (Revel Salon 2) that I might consider trading the Piegas to acquire. But I didn't consider it for long b/c the Piega looks, and sounds prettier than the Revel.
Some say Revels are bright. And they're right too. If your system is bright, you're going to get bright from Piegas without a doubt. But I can honestly say that I swapped 20-30 pieces of gear in and out of my system in a year or two, and I found only a couple combos that made the Piegas sound bright. Remove the offending component, and they aren't bright.
If you like truth, and emotion, you will love the Piegas. If you like to fill a 5000 square foot home with tunes for parties, don't buy Piegas. If you aren't skilled at picking components that don't suck to go with them, then these probably aren't your speaker.
Also, Lofi, if you like the TC50, you cannot imagine what adding that planar midrange will do for you.
"Revealing," "airy," "fast," usually means elevated mid-treble. That does not translate to bright IF all else is flat. Bright is elevated low-treble or a generally tilted up response through the midrange. Piega gets away with it because everything is flat except 5k-8k Hz, hence some hear this as bright and others say it's revealing. Some instruments will expose this, muted brass, massed violins, certain organ stops.
I have a pair of C8s and a pair of AP3s.
Regarding the C8s, which I'm listening to now. I recently swapped out some Cardas N. Ref. speaker cable with some Nordost Heimdall...lemme tell ya (I'm pushing the C8s with a Pass X150.5)...the Cardas gave me the low end and harmonic richness a lot of you guys may be looking for/found missing with the Piegas. I'm also running Heimdall ICs and found that the Nordost IC/Cardas speak. combo was really nice. I may pop the cardas back in or try out some AZ Satoris. The ICs will stay.
Update...Actually got some crazy low end out of the C8s...latest config: Pass x150.5 running with balanced Nordost Frey to a Ayre k5xe Pre. Speaker cables still Nordost Heimdall. It's out of control. The Freys' make everything disappear, and now it sounds like I've got a sub in the system. Totally unreal. And alive and transparent !
I'm a bit late to the party, but I have the C-8 Ltds and find the top end to be some of the most naturally extended airy and delicate highs I've heard. I run them with Manley NeoClassic 250 Tube amps, a pass X1 pre and have cardas golden ref powercords sprinkled throughout. They speakers have almost no toe-in and I haven't heard another pair of speakers I'd rather own. I am really really sensitive to harsh highs so I'm really surprised by the bright diagnosis. I mean I have a hard time listening to JM Labs tweeters, or those revelator tweeters, or those usher speakers, and almost all ribon tweeters because of my aversion to abrasive highs. I don't think anyone would consider my system bright by any means, though with some wrong toe-in and some solid state amps and maybe bad silver interconnects I could manage it if I tried....
In any case how are the TC 50's?
I've owned Piega C8 LTDs for 5 years - the longest I've held
onto any speaker - and have zero desire for anything else.
They are very open, fast, transparent sounding speakers and
are not what I'd considered laid back. My guess is that some
people who hate these speakers just don't like this type of
presentation. Pick your poison, I've owned Harbeths and Verity
Audio's and didn't like either one, though they both have huge
followings and fans. If you're a fan of electrostatic speakers
the Piega's might be up your alley. Note, I've only heard
Piega's w/ high quality tube amps.
Thank you all for your comments. What strikes me is that NONE of the responders have direct experience with the TC50, although many have owned or heard other models of Piega. I still think they sounded great in the showroom, but what this tells me is I'm likely to have a terrible time if I ever want to sell them.
Sorry folks, I was replying to the wrong thread! Although my reply was equally applicable in 2011 as it is today. If you'd like to add anything you've learned over 8 years, please feel free to respond to my 2/7/19 post at: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/take-a-chance-on-piegas