The Audes speakers are amazing for numerous reasons. The build quality far exceeds the retail price. You have to realize that Audes builds the majority of what goes into the speaker, they have a low labor rate in Estonia and they are very committed having purchased a 100,000 square foot MIG plant.
Sonically the speakers have impressed everybody. I have yet to hear any speaker that looks and sounds as good as the Audes at anywhere near their price point. They have wonderful transparency without being aggressive, excellent bottom end, tight and fast, with superb soundstaging.
Having said these things I am a dealer but I have found no need to push the product since once experienced they basically sell themselves.
I saw your postings earlier but was too busy to respond plus I was hoping some customers would comment.
I completely agree with Stewart. The Audes line is IMHO the most amazing speakers no one has heard of. For the money, they are TOUGH to beat. Hopefully, you will get some customers to reply to your post, instead of just us biased dealers ;-) Good luck!
Best Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
I purchased Blues a year ago. Its a killer for the money...the only cheaper way to get seas drivers is to biuld speakers yourself. Associated gear is all solid state
el-cheapo: acurus A-100 amp, Parasound P850 preamp, Tosh SD9200 DVD-A source. I am using them in medium sized room
25 by 16 Ft. Soudstage has good depth and width, upper end is smooth yet very detailed. Being an electrinica junkie i pay a lot of attention to bass and these babies get it right every time. Bass is tight and focused (Doped paper house made cones are big part of it), extending very low (no sub for music is necessary at all). Where these speakers really shine is the midrange spectrum. Two 4.5" seas drivers excell in voice reproductions.
Hope this helps a bit.
I recently have listened to the Audes at a friend's home. It was my first experience with Audes, and I am not a dealer or anything of the sort.
First, the negatives. The speaker is a bit forward. With the wrong equipment, could it turn bright? This is not a speaker in the "Boston bland" mold. That's about it. Yes, I know, a lot people will think I should say these are the positives. Fine.
As the speaker speaker is forward, it will appeal to some, and not to others. If you like a dark, laid back type of sound, this isn't for you. Also, the speakers are pretty large, which some people like, some don't. I do.
Midrange seemed quite clean and clear. Lower frequencies were full, but the smallish room I was in makes me not want to comment too much on the Audes bass in the absolute. The speakers are quite tube friendly and sensitive, but I won't say that they will mate with SET amplification. I didn't find them romantic, I found them to offer an open sort of sound.
I rate the cosmetics and build quality in league of $5000+ speakers. Fit and finish is very good. In fact, I rate just about everything about the speaker to be in the league of $5000+ speakers. The binding posts made me ask if the owner performed his own upgrade. He did not. Suffice it to say even the most jaded will say, "WHOA!"
I was asked to guess how much they cost. My guess was between $7500 and $11000 (in these days of audio lunacy, I have learned to round up).
Would I buy a pair? If I was looking for a new pair of speakers, I would definitely put them on my very short list. At $2000, I am not really sure if they can be beat, but I would still try(not sure I wouldn't go for a romantic type of speaker, but would depend where I was in my audio journey).
I'm a dealer so I am biased but I will say that when we discovered Audes speakers we were really blown away with how good they sound and look for the money.
To address the last post - they are mellow if you put them on the right electronics, but it is true that if you put them on bright sounding gear they could be a little fatiguing. But we don't sell any bright electronics for that reason :)
On mellow solid state or tubes they are dynamite. I love them on SET - they are extremely tube friendly. You can run the Blues on 2A3's if you want, but I generally recommend 7 wpc. or up. We have run them on Audes' own EL34 monoblocks and several 300B monoblocks successfully. The speakers have such a benign impedance than you can use the 16 ohm. taps out of tube amps if you like. This yields fabulous sound because there are fewer windings on those taps... few speakers let you do this. You really need a benign impedance and non-capacitant phase characteristics to run speakers on 16 ohm taps without losing control in the bass and overdriving the amplifier quickly. Suffice it to say that the Blues are easily the most tube friendly 4 ohm speaker we have ever encountered.
So we are big fans of the Audes here because they are so tube friendly and such a great speaker for the money. The build is remarkable - absolutely as good as a $5000 speaker no question.
They are a total bargain at $2000. People come in, listen, look, pick their tongue up off the floor and put down their credit cards. It's an easy sell.
Well, i was wondering if i should put my $0.02 in...i had the experience of listening to a pair of Blues for about 2 hours...they've been powered by all tubes or all solid-state electronics...in both situations they sounded a little bit thin...i'm surprised at the lack of deep bass...don't get me wrong...the bass is there...it is tight, but nothing below 45 Hz...also the highs sounded a little bit screechy...i guess for $2k you get a well finished speaker (i wonder how they get it done for such a low price?), but for the same money you can get a pair of Meadowlark Shearwaters that will blow the Blues away...
I am going to have do disagree with you on that one - Meadowlarks are great speakers, and there are many good choices in the $2000 price range but I have not heard a better speaker for the money than the Blues in all my years in this industry.
I think the Blues need the right equipment upstream AND the right cable. If you use bright solid state or bright tubes, and silver cable, the speaker is going to sound thin and screechy. If you use good copper cable you will not get screechy highs or a thin sound, and you will get deeper bass, and if you use equipment that isn't bright you'll find the speaker to be much more mellow and laid back.
Like any good speaker it sounds like what you hook up to it.
FOLLOW-UP TO MY ORIGINAL POST. I want to thank all members who have responded so far, especially since I posted this question back in June. I currently have some respectable but "dated" high end pieces:Aragon 4004 amp Conrad Johnson PV-8 and a Sonographe SC-1 player.VPI T/T with Audioquest and BluePoint Special. I like Analysis Plus Oval 9 and have read many endorsements of its virtues. I don't know if these pieces will match up with the Audes Blues; and so I must disagree somewhat with the last comments from Symphony Sound. It sounds like the Blues are finicky about electronics. Yes, I know most speakers have some compatibility foible. Nevertheless, I don't have the time or money to play the "Match The Component" game; though, I anticipate my present amp and CD player will be replaced in the next two years. ********** I got no response to my last question about how the Gershman Acoustics "Cameleon" speaker($1800 at current retail) may stack up against the Blues. Hands down the Blues are better finished and more attractive, but from what I can piece together from bits of news and comments on this website since CES 2002, the Cameleons are an outstanding value.They grabbed almost everyone's attention at CES. They also appear to be less particular about upstream gear. For me, who has unfortunately become an "ocassional listener", I need to buy the best and most musical speaker for my "use" quotient and drive them to peak performance with the high end pieces I currently own and may eventually upgrade to....I wish I had the dough to buy either the Revel Studios or the Audio Physic Avanti III, or Verity's Fidelio(used, of course)I have heard all three and they are outstanding speakers, and I'm sure will destroy on any day of the week the Blues or Cameleons. Such is life!! Any additional comments are welcome. Regards, Sunnyjim
These are really great speakers. I am in agreement with all the positive comments on these. I absolutely do not think they sound bright. To my ears they are some of the most neutral speakers I've heard, quite smooth actually. They don't have romantic bloom, but very nice tonal characteristics. I would say one of clear strenghts of these speakers is timbral accuracy. Acoustic instruments sound right through these. Really good with kick and snare, also cello. Not bad with piano, which a lot of far more expensive speakers do not do well. Nice transparent sound, musical events are very clearly separated. Could be great for studio monitoring. Bass is tight, no flab, no boom.
There really is very little that can compete with the Blues at its price. I think they are quite a bit better in almost every respect than comparable Soliloquys, Meadowlarks, Viennas, Thiels, Sonus Fabers, B&W's, Proacs, Dynaudios, you name it. Easily compares with speakers double the price.
Any recommendations on SS amps for the Audes Blues? Some of the posts above suggested that you need to be careful in choice of SS amplification. I'm considering the Musical Fidelity A3, would this mate well with the Blues?