Apogee Grand: best speaker ever ?

What are your opinions on this discontinued Apogee's flaghship ? Who really heard them and what's your memory about ?
I heard a pair many years ago in the dealers showroom run by all Krell. They are drop-dead gorgeous!

Immediately afterward, I went to the Cello showroom to hear their big system. Not as good looking, but I remember liking the sound better.

Disclaimer: All Apogee speakers are very room dependant, and that could have been a factor. Also, no one can demo a product better than Mark Levinson (who was running the Cello demo for me.)

Mr. Corey Greenberg wrote about it in Stereophile vol. 14 no. 8, page 87

"The Best Sound at the Show: a group of one I've saved the best for last. Because while there were several really fine-sounding rooms at the Chicago CES, one speaker stood out so far away from the rest of the pack that it redefined my expectations of what can be achieved in the art of sound reproduction. I've heard great-sounding systems and I've heard GREAT-sounding systems, but I've never heard anything even 'remotely' as good as the demonstration of the new $60,000 Apogee Grand speaker system. Not even close. Driven by a Krell digital front end and preamp, the longest runs of Magnan wire I've ever seen, and $40,000 worth of Krell amplification, the big Grands, which combine a three-way ribbon with a dynamic subwoofer, were simply awe-inspiring. With effortless dynamics, unequalled coherence throughout the midrange, bass definition heretofore unheard by me anywhere outside of live music, highs as free of coloration as the real thing, the Grand demonstration was, for me, the highest expression of music reproduction I've yet heard. I know all of this sounds like typical over-the-top reviewer gush, but I'm not alone; the Grand reduced a room full of the cream of high-end reviewing crop, men who've seen it all and heard it thrice, to a gaggle of wildly jabbering geese. To expect a chance to review these speakers is to be hallucinating like a mofo, but I can assure you that when Stereophile gets a pair of the Grands to review, I'm packing a sack full of pork ribs, slapping on my leathers, and pointing my motorcycle toward the Mexican border".

Mr Robert Harley from the same issue of Stereophile (page 99):

"Now that we're finished with new digital products, I'd like to briefly list what I thought was good sound at the show. I'll start with the Apogee Grand loudspeaker. The Grand is, in my opinion, a stunning breakthrough in loudspeaker design. Even in a less than optimum listening position, the beauty and majesty of this remarkable loudspeaker were unmistakable. Driven by eight Krell MDA-300s, Krell MD-1 transport, and Krell SBP-64x, the Grand produced the best recorded sound I've ever experienced. It was transcendental - the kind of sound you'd mortgage your house for. I'd love to hear it with a topnotch analog front end. The sobering fact, however, is that the Grand coss between $45,000 and $60,000, depending on finish, and requires a fairly large room. I hope that the technological breakthrough that made the Grand possible will find their way into a smaller and less expensive product - I'll be in the first line.
Bravo, Apogee!"

There were only 25 pair made...I'm thinking that not many people have had a listen to these monsters. I wonder how many pair are still in use out of those 25...less than half I'll bet.

Check this picture out!!!! They look rather large for a dealer show room Richard...I'll guess that setup was a problem.


It is a shame that the results of the Magnepan lawsuit put this fine audio company out of business. Imagine what they would have done by now? Why doesn't Magnepan incorporate the Apogee Technology into their speaker systems as they reportedly won the rights to it?

What an excellent photo!
I own Mini Grands & hope to buy a pair of Studio Grands, some day. I missed out on the last pair that sold locally here in Phoenix. The Studio Grand is attainable & affordable!
As long as Magnepan sits on their hands & refuses to put that true midrange ribbon from the 20.1 in the 3.6, the "Ribbon Pilgrims" will continue to chant "Apogee"....
Thanks for your opinions Drrdiamond, Sogood, Sgr and Daniel.
Sogood, I read this article on Apogee speaker users... any other experience from someone who heard the Grands ? Thank you, Luca.
I owned the Studio Grands powered by a pair of Krell 300S, I sold them in fear of never being able to get support in the event something broke.

I now use a pair of Magnapan 3.6 powered by Audio research Ref 300 MkII.

The Apogees were POWERFUL, delicate and involving. They were a complete nightmare to setup - just when you thought you had them placed in their optimum place, you would move them a 1/4 of an inch and they would sound completely different. I got tired of wondering if I had the best placement.

The Magnapans sound better in some ways - maybe more relaxed and musical - but they lack the authority of the Apogee's.

I'd have to say the Studio Grands were the best sounding speakers I have ever heard (also the most work to listen to).
Thanks Kwb for your post. Anyone that had the opportunity to heard the Grands (not Studio or Mini, the Grand itself) ?