I don't know about the Mini Grand, but I owned Apogee Duetta Signatures long ago and still regret having sold them.
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The Mini Grand is the Apogee Stage on stands...of course in this case the stands are subs. I have listened to the Stages before but not with their subs or any sub for that matter.
The Stage is a fantastic speaker with one of the best midrange reproductions I've ever heard...the Stage may work in your very small room but I'm not sure about the subs.
The Stage by it's self needs stands of some kind as it is very short. Bass response without it's subs is a very solid 40hz so you may not need or want subs in your room.
The Duetta Signatures (Which I own...see my system pic's) are to large for your room (IMHO) and do not require subs.
My suggestions are only based on room/speaker interface so take them only in this context...both are very good speaker systems when setup properly and used with high quality components.
Thanks for the response Dave. I am in the process of building a new house which will allow me to use a larger room (approximately 19' x 17') with a vaulted 10' ceiling sloping down to a 5' kneewall on either side (10' high portion is centered in the room and about 8' wide). I have added some good components which I will update in my system page. Take care.
I had the Stage with no stands or subs & thought it is wonderful on its own. It produces the most natural vocals you will ever hear, but it is not a very revealing speaker. But it is what it is, & does it's own thing with no apologies. It will give you great listening even with modest upstream equipment as long as it lasts. Mine eventually was afflicted with a buzzing woofer (1 channel) that could never be fixed after repeated tries. For $2000, go for it; it may be the greatest bargain in high-end.
If you would like to contact me I can put you in touch with a couple of fairly new Duetta Sig owners...I don't think they would mind answering a few questions that may help you.
One owner has replaced Maggie 1.6's and also compared Maggie 3.5's to his Duetta Sig's.
The other Duetta Sig owner drives his with Threshold S550e amp...I see you have a Threshold amp also.
No I have not Richard. As I mentioned to Mike above, I do know someone that does own that amp along with Duetta Signatures. I should mention that he is in the process of trying some other amps at this time...I do not know if it is because he is unhappy with the Threshold or just wants to try something a little different.
I have owned the Ksa-250 well before I moved from Apogee Centaur Minors to Duetta Signatures. I used it to drive my VMPS Supertowers at first.
The only amps I've tried with my speakers were Bat-500 and Pass-150...the Krell was better than both of those.
Thinking about giving a few of the digital amps a listen...change does not come easy for me though so I'm still in my research stage and slow to pull the trigger.
I have listened to the VMPS products, one of the bigger VMPS dealers is very near my home. I also own some older VMPS speakers and Sub (not hybrid).
I think they sound very good and are a good choice for someone without the extra room that many of the Apogee models (and others) need to sound their best...the VMPS hybrids can be placed very near the front wall.
They did not sound anything like my Duetta Signatures or any of the Maggies I have listened to but did their own thing very well...integration between the two driver types is very good.
The last pair I listened to were the VMPS RM/X's, these were huge and sounded great but did not make me want to sell my Duetta Signatures...this was at the dealer and I thought the room to small for this speaker.
Had I listened in my much larger room my opinion may be different and they may have taken my Duetta Sig's apart...don't know for sure.
"magic natural vocals"
Vocals are great...not as good as the Stage for sure, of course as an X Stage owner you know that very few speakers are...including most other Apogees!
Dave, thanks! I appreciate your honest perspective. I did suspect that the Stage re-created vocals like no other reasonably priced speaker (or maybe any speaker). I just remember John Lennon, Louis Armstrong, and Joni Mitchell sounding like they were all alive & well right in my room. Grande Utopia BEs (& other megabuck speakers I heard at shows) just never equalled them in this regard. What a shame they are gone; a loss to humanity, I think...
Dave, thanks for all of your information in this thread.
I have been waiting for the right pair of Apogees to try for a while, and was conversing over the weekend with someone who seemed to know a good deal about the brand. In fact, he said the Duetta Signature might be a good option for me in the room I would place them in, as well as the Stage or Mini Grand.
However, after talking to me, in his opinion, while he loved the speakers, he felt that they were quite possibly not right for me, as these models were limited in terms of volume output. He felt to get the volume I was looking for, one needed the larger Apogees (Diva, etc.). Is this also your experience? Will these smaller models do 95 - 100 dB?
Trejla, I can't agree with your Apogee adviser. Having owned both Stage, and Duetta, I can say, with full confidence, both can shake and bake.
The Minigrand requires two amps. While it's low bass integration is not the equal of the Duetta's, the Minigrands subwoofer can rumble.
The Duetta has a higher soundstage, than the Minigrand. It is far more forgiving about placement. It's tonality is richer, but less revealing.
I'll guess that we are not talking 95-100db peaks.
The Stage Mini Grand are out for those levels, the much larger Duetta Signatures will play very loud but are limited by their two way design as the mid/hi-freq ribbon will begin to do a wild dance at those constant spl's...(over worked) as it tries to cover a wide freq range.
The three-way designs have the edge here, the Diva would have no problem. A couple of things to know about the Diva would be:
1. It's very large and needs to be listened to at a greater distance to integrate properly...smaller rooms need not apply IMO.
2. Much more power will be needed...bi/tri-amping will be best IMO
Another thing to remember about Apogee types...Maggies..ect., they do not sound as loud as they are playing, a spl meter will confirm this.
I use my Duetta Signatures (with and without) subs in my 23'x 25'x 9' room at very loud levels at times...what size room are you going to place your speakers in Trelja?
Two of my subs are VMPS Supertowers which are really full-range speaker models (the lower section of these are the large VMPS subs. I could sell these and replace them with the large VMPS subs at no $$$ loss but have not because my thoughts have always been that I might want to use them someday for extream volume levels as full-range...they will play at insane levels!...I have not needed to do this at this point in my room and have come close only a couple of times when I thought the Duetta Sig's or my amp (not the Ksa-250)had reached it's limits.
Would I trade my Duetta Sig's for the Diva to gain higher spl's...no, they play plenty loud for me. Would I rather own a pair of Divas...sure, I have the room for them to open up and they are a better speaker system.
Thanks for the responses guys!
Well, the listening room these would be in is 15' X 13', definitely on the small side for dipole speakers. If I were to commit to a pair of Apogees, I would have to commit fully to them. That means purchase the right type of amplifier, whatever that is, Henry Ho's, Krells, big Jadis monos - whatever. The Divas were never really an option due to the room size, and I am not 100% sure that the smaller speakers are still not too large for me in this application.
The dancing mid/treble ribbons of the Duetta Signatures would definitely be dancing for me, I am afraid...
OK, Sogood51 and Muralman1 - THE Apogee gurus here - what do you guys think about the Apogee Caliper Signature for my room and loudness preferences?
If it's a go, I'd probably contact Henry Ho about moving on one of his creative amplifiers. At that point, it would make sense to pay him a visit at his convenience down in Virginia.
Thank you very much for your sage advice,
Treja, I have heard the Analysis ribbon speakers, in a rather awful room for
dipoles. The Analysis speakers can go very loud, and not loose composure.
They excel in detail, separation, and attack. The bass is not in the same
league as that of the large Apogees. They are suppose to be reviewed at
6Moons, although that has been a long time coming.
I think all Apogees are marvelous. I got to hear the Caliper in the same room I
heard Scintillas. That was at Keith Yates audio heaven. Keith played
Vollenweider's Cave disc opening. I thought the drops were falling from the
ceiling. I wouldn't put them in the same league as the Duetta Sigs. They don't
go quite as high, or as low. Their prices reflect that disparity.
I know what Sogood is saying about the Duetta's ribbon twist going loud. I
can't say for sure that may be amp related. We are talking very loud. In a 13'
by 15' room, I doubt you will be cranking Apogees up.
The Duettas are Dorothy Hamil. The Stage speakers are Tara Lipinski. The
Caliper is a bit of a Tonya. All can be delightful. Which one is better is a
matter of taste, and pocket book.
You don't need power house amps for those three gals. I ran all tubes on my
Stage speakers, and a 150 watt Pass X150 on the Duetta.
The H2O is my amp, and everyone knows that. Do pay Henry a visit. You will
hear the Queen of Apogees, the Scintilla. I think he also has Duettas,
Calipers, and MiniGrands. Some may have been given away.
You problems as I see them:
You will need at least 3' placement from the wall...more would be even better.
You will need at least 6' between the panels, the panels are 28" wide each. This places us around 1' from each side wall if we use the 13' wall...while the side wall is not as big a problem with the dipoles as other speakers...the corners are.
Placement further into the room and away from the corners may help this...maybe not enough.
The Duetta Sig's are 59" tall...the Caliper Sig's are 48" tall, the other measurements are pretty much the same.
You may find near-field listening to help ease some of the problems you may have...a plus, is that most Apogees sound very good this way...much like quads or Soundlabs.
I agree with Vince, volume levels will be MORE than enough in that room...my room is over 5,000 cubic feet.
Is this a dedicated room we are talking about?
Thank you for the advice, gentlemen. You both are the most knowledgeable people here on Audiogon regarding Apogees, by far.
Dave, the dimensions you worked out are just about right. I have pretty much placed all of my speakers about 3.5' - 4' out into the room, with about 6' - 7' between them. Though they seem closer to the walls, one of the walls is actually an opening into another room. I have always preferred to listen in the nearfield, with the speakers toed in considerably - aiming right at me. And, yes, this is, for all intents and purposes, a dedicated listening room (in the guise of a "sitting room").
I have heard that both placement, and vertical angle were keys to getting most Apogees, these Calipers Signatures included. 48" tall is probably ideal for me. While Divas are obviously out, it sounds like the Duetta Signatures also fall into that category - unfortunate!
It sounds like volume will be no problem. One thing I have always heard from people quite in tune with Apogees is that, despite what most think, the bass is absolutely concussive. That's exactly how I like mine.
Vince, I will definitely see if Henry will have me over. If I am lucky enough to end up with this pair, his amps are already on my shortlist. Partly from following you in these threads over time. Tonya Harding and Tara Lipinski?!? I'd be more than a little happier with things if the Stages and Caliper Signatures were Surya Bonaly and Kristi Yamguchi. Dorothy Hamil sure is good enough, however.
Wish me luck!
I would not be too concerned about the room dimensions (for the Stage w/o the subs, at least). Mine were less than 2-feet from the wall behind them, and although the soundstage (depth) may have suffered a little, I really never cared or thought they boomed (as subsequent dynamic speakers did). They were pointed straight with no toe-in.
I sat 8 feet away.