Are you KIDDING??? The OLD three box Calderas that I once heard were the finest I can remember (except for probably the Intuitive Design Summits--see footnote). The OLD Calderas were a very special speaker and probably among the most fantastic loudspeakers ever produced! You should be giddy, just GIDDY about having snagged a pair at that price (it's about two dollars to the pound, right?)! YOWZA :)))))
The Intuitive Design Summits are the speakers which I now own, and am thrilled about, so thrilled that I wrote an unsolicited review about them right here on Audiogon. I think the Summits MAY sound even better than the Calderas to which I listened a long time ago, but it was a long time ago and there was never a direct comparison between the two. I had considered the Calderas to be my holy grail loudspeaker for YEARS and YEARS prior to the Summits, and I tried to discuss a subjective, mental comparison between the two in that review based on my memory of how phenomenal the Calderas sounded. In that review, which is posted on Audiogon, I stated that it was a close call, and that there never was anything like an A/B comparison. So my statement about the Summits sounding better is heavily qualified even in that glowing review.
BOTTOM LINE: The OLD, three box version of the Caldera was PHENOMENAL when I listened to it. NOTHING ELSE I EVER LISTENED TO OVER A PERIOD OF MANY YEARS EVER CAME EVEN CLOSE TO SOUNDING AS GOOD. It's the ONLY speaker I have personally heard--EVER--that is a legitimate rival to the Summits' sonic excellence, in my opinion.
Ok! Yeah i always wanted some AP's. I love speakers that can disappear and image well. I hope they image as good (hopefuly even better) than the Virgo III's.
The Dynaudio Confidence 5 speakers were my favourite ever i think. It will take some speaker to bear them!
I'll check out the speakers you mentioned. I'm not so familiar with them but they sound really interesting!
Thanks for the response.
I'd be EXTREMELY surprised if you didn't just LOVE the Calderas. The older ones retailed for around 20,000 dollars US and even though that's high, I thought that their performance was in line with that price, although I couldn't afford them even at the 50% discounted price of 10,000 that they were being offered for at the time. Although not all loudspeaker lines offer models that sound progressively better up the price point line, I'd GUESS that the Calderas are much, much better than the Virgos based on what I've read.
The point of my original post was this: If those are the Calderas I'm thinking about, you got a PHENOMENAL deal, assuming they haven't been submerged in a flood or dropped onto concrete surface from a 10 story building. As for imaging, I was blown away by the Calderas. I wasn't trying to push the Summits, although I just LOVE them, and am still in shock about how excellent they are. It sounds like you've already MADE your purchase anyway. Congratulations again!! YOWZA!!
p.s. When I said,
"I'd GUESS that the Calderas are much, much better than the Virgos based on what I've read..."
...I did NOT mean that the Virgos were bad or even sub-par in any way, shape or form. The Virgos are pretty much uniformly praised, and the only point was that I'd expect the Calderas to be even better than that already fine loudspeaker. Like you, I've long been fascinated with the Audio Physic line, and for precisely the same reason (if I'm inferring correctly from your post), i.e. IMAGING. Congrats.
p.p.s.---> Please let us know whether you end up liking the Calderas, either way.
Well??? How do the Calderas sound in your system? I am sincerely interested in your experience with this legendary speaker, which presumably you've received by now.
Unbelieveably i havent yet! They are on their way from Switzerland hopefully this week. I had to postpone payment due to a family member having an accident.
I'll let you know!
Thanks for the update. I hope your family member is okay! Prediction: You will find that these were worth the wait. Just a prediction, will await your impressions.
Any news yet?
I owned the Calderas for 4 yrs, and still have extremely fond memories of them. They are some of the finest imaging speakers I've ever heard. I wrote a full review of them with comparisons to Kharma and Talon speakers for Ultimate Audio just prior to the mag's demise. The review got posted on StereoTimes, and you may still be able to find it there.
The only two caveats I had with the three-box Calderas were the challenge of getting a proper tri-wire cable set for them, and optimizing the Calderas to get fully integrated, pleasing bass response. I ended up inverting the bass cabinet, bringing the side-firing woofers up under the mid drivers rather than near coupled to the floor. Your experience may be different. Make sure you bring them out into the room a ways for ideal imaging and spatial presentation.
They are definitely a member of my personal, speaker hall of fame. You got a smoking deal, and IMO, they are far better than the latest crop of AP speakers-- after Joachim Gerhard left AP.
The Virgo 3's are a good speaker, but they are no Caldera.
Ah, I found the link to the review:
That is a great review! Thanks for sharing the link. By the way, what did you replace them with after four years? (I'd think that with one or two Rel sub-bass units, with the crossovers set waaayyyyy low, they'd have even more closely approached sonic perfection.) Just curious, as the Calderas had achieved "holy grail" status in my mind after listening to them years ago.....
By the way, I've heard things similar to what you said above about the newer AP products, but have no direct personal experience, so cannot make any judgement about them.
I own the Wilson MAXX2's now, which seems a dirty word here on 'gon, but I am very happy with them. Even built a room with Rives to optimize their performance.
If I could own a second pair of speaks they would easily be the Calderas due to their refinement and dissappearing act. They are also easy on the eyes with flawless wood work.
Thanks for the follow-up. I don't understand the Wilson "controversy" for two main reasons:
1. First and foremost: I've never heard Wilsons, ever, so it's not even remotely possible for me to understand the arguments.
2. Second: Even if I had heard them, I'd continue to have no problem whatsoever with people purchasing what they want, and would continue NOT presume to know "better" than someone else what sounds good, or even what "should" sound good, to THAT PERSON.
However, I am still willing to PREDICT that the Calderas will sound very good indeed to Richard! :))))
Are they there yet?