Audio Physics ...Bright or forward?

I have been auditioning some Audio Physics speakers and they do things I have never heard other speakers do, even more expensive ones. Their bass is very tight and defined and the musical trimbe is excellent. But I think they are forward, not bright but have a lot of presents. I am afraid they will be fatiguing over time. I have home auditioned them twice. I need to make a decision, either I buy these from the local dealer buy something else site unheard some where else. I am basically looking for someone to confirm or denigh my thoughts on Audio Physics.
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Which Audio Physic speakers did you listen to? I own the Tempo (original Tempo). They are on the neutral (rather than full) side with extended highs, but I certainly would not say bright. Maybe a little forward, but that depends on upstream electronics (and I have somewhat of a preference for "forward-sounding" speakers).

They are not fatiguing to me, anyway. I've owned them for 3 years and have never grown tired of them. I have a friend who normally hates metal-dome tweeters but really admires the sound of these speakers.

Audio Physic makes great speakers, but like anything else it depends on your tastes. You seem to like most things that these speakers do. I don't think you'll go wrong with buying a pair.

Believe it or not, all Audio Physics speakers do not sound the same. Which model are you talking about???

I owned the Virgo II's for a while and thought they were a touch bright with certain material and equipment, but not overly so. The Virgo III's are reported to lean even more toward prominent treble. But of course there are other AP models you could be talking about...
I've owned two pairs of Virgo IIs and have had the Avanti IIIs
for a few years. If they sound bright you need to look elsewhere in your system. They are not bright.
Narrod, consider that what is not "bright" to you, may well be "bright" to someone else. It's a very fine line we're talking about here, and a person's room, equipment, and personal taste are all factors that influence which side of the fence one sits on.

With certain gear and wiring, in my room, the Virgo II's were definitely tilting toward the bright side of "neutral." With tube gear and/or capacitive wiring, and room treatments, then the Virgo II's may not sound bright at all. One man's perception is not the rule for everyone, and that includes my judgement, as well.
Usually, if you are concerned that something will be fatiguing over time (to your ear in your room), it will be. IMHO.
Fair enough but I'm convinced any brightness is the result of the speakers exposing something elsewhere in the system. I've used tubes and solidstate, digital and analog, and they simply
communicate what is put into them.
The specific model I have been listening to is the new Tempo. I did not mean to say they were bright, just very forward. I have been listening to them with tube gear and the BAT integrated (hybrid)and a tubed cdp. With Transparent cabling they become less forward, but I am not a fan of Transparent cable. For me, when I play a cd all of the instruments sound perfect and then someone starts to sing and my smile turns to a frown in a hurry.
I haven't heard the new Tempo so I can't comment. See if you can borrow some Cardas Cross interconnect and speaker cable. This might take care of your problem. Check with the Cable Company. Good luck. Wendell
Audio Phyics speakers are very 'transparent' as some may call them. IMHO, they are a bit agressive, forward, or ,yes.....bright. That's why I've never bought a pair.

However, pair with the right equipment (easy rolled off gear) they probably could sound fabulous.

I agree w/Jeff-- if you have doubts now, chances are you'll have doubts later. IMHO, a speaker should let you know unequivocally whether it's for you.
Bojack's statement makes alot of sense. If you don't like them now you probably never will. Good advice.
I have the spark 2's.They sound great to me,I never got tired of them.Infact I put them back in the box so I don't get used to them.And thats where they've been for 6 years.But I do love the sound of them.
I have heard only the Yaras and found them to be neutral and honest. It depends on what type of music you are listening to. I stongly believe that the Audio Physic's target audience listens to Jazz, Classical and vocals - the speakers are most suited to those genere. I have not auditioned it with other type of music.
I agre with JeffJones and Bojack, if you think they are too forward now, they will probably just become more irtritating over time, not less. This has been my experience, too.

I think you make a distinction between bright and forward, which is important. There doesn't seem to be a lot of consensus on these terms, but I see bright as being excessive very high frequencies, stuff that comes out of the tweeter only, like cymbals and sibilants (S and T sounds), while forward is excessive upper midrange sounds. like women's vocals, trumpets, electric guitars. Do others agree?
I appreciate every one's thoughts. I did not check my post well enough and it does not read right. I truly believe in supporting my local retailer. He has brought the speakers out to my home twice,(25 mile drive one way) and has worked hard for the sale. If I don't buy from him, then I must buy site unheard from somewhere, with no support, and then probably be stuck with the speakers or take a big restock hit if I don't like them. Neither of those is very appealing, I have already been though that! I was just tring to confirm what I heard, I know I should not buy just on the retailers thoughts. Yeah, I think he has a better ear than me, and is more knowledgable, but ultimatily its my cash and I know that. I am just in a tough spot.
There is no rule that says you are obligated to buy since he worked hard on the sale. If you had them in your home twice and still aren't sure they are right for you, they probably aren't. Doesn't your dealer carry other brands? Try something w/ a soft dome, they tend to be smoother and less fatiguing.
You never mention--"how many miles,on 'em?" Most all new speakers need at least 2 months of 24/7 before a final judgement, yes?
Mike (Brm 1):

It sounds like you're working with a heck of a great dealer. That kind of customer service is outstanding and absolutely warrants support, IMO. What OTHER speakers does this dealer carry?

{{{{The only Audio Physics speakers I've ever personally heard were the old, 3 box Calderas, (retail 20 K--sheesh!) and they were phenomenal. They were "forward" only in the sense of the soundstage, which was projected in "front" of and between the speakers. They didn't seem "bright." }}}}
I would kill for a dealer like you have. I have the Avanti 3 speakers which are brand new, so I am still in the process of evaluating them. I bought them without hearing them after extensive research via internet, etc... I have a good dealer, but he does not stock any hi-end gear. My speaker evolution: JBL S-38I, Harbeth C7-ES2, JM LAB Micro Utopia BE, to AP Avanti 3. To date, the Avanti's are the best speakers I have had, but at 12,500 list, they should be. I do not consider the Avanti to be bright at all, and I have never been fatigued at any time while listening to them. I might like to one day try out a pair of Sonus Faber Amatti's, but for now, I believe I have jumped off the speaker-merry-go-round. My only slight caveat is that I might like a little deeper bass. The Avanti's have good tight bass, but I would like to have that deep bass without losing the high frequency range of the Avanti's. It sounds like you may not like the HF range of speakers like JM Lab or Audio Physics, so you may want to go with a speaker like Harbeth, Spendor, or Proac.
The new Tempos have a soft dome tweeter! The only other speakers these guys carry are Aerial(metal dome), Triangle( man do I hate those speakers), Wilson audio...I wish and AP's. They are more of a SS house, they only carry VTL for tubes neither of which is my cupo tea. But absolutely great people to do biz with. The Sound Environment!
Why don't you buy a pair of entry model from him and negotiate a 100% trade toward upgrade within a year. if you do not like them, your loss is minimised. If you do, you are in business. Cable-wise, try DH Lab Q10, a steal and the right sweetness yet revealing. Or Audioquest if you can afford it, used Gibraltar for example.
I'm quite familiar with the Virgos, have heard the Calderas, and I've owned AP Avanti Centuries for the past few years and do not find them fatiguing in the least. When AP speakers are set up properly the sound field is laid out wholly behind the speakers which simply disappear. Follow the guidelines in the AP positioning guide to get started - proper setup will pay big dividends - presumably your dealer can help with this. Like any other speaker, the APs will sound better with certain cables over others. I'm inclined to agree with Narrod - look elsewhere in the reproduction chain for a cause of 'forwardness'. Do you hear the same characteristics in the dealer's setup as you do at home? Of course my comments are relative to my system - YMMV.

It might help if you could describe the rest of your system.

Good luck!
For me, a speaker needs to be love at first listen. That is how it was with my AP Spark IIIs. I wouldn't necessarily call them bright, but they are indeed detailed speakers. I listen to a lot of rock and heavy metal and these speakers really are up to the task. With a Nait 5 they are fabulous with drums and do a great job of producing the energy of electric guitars.

I auditioned the Spark III against the Tempo III and preferred the Spark...give them a listen before choosing the more expensive Tempo.
Vaughn3d said:
"I auditioned the Spark III against the Tempo III and preferred the Spark...give them a listen before choosing the more expensive Tempo."

EXCELLENT point, IMO. The best sounding speakers within a line are NOT necessarily the most expensive, or even the more expensive between two models. My experience in listening to other brands tends to support his point. Usually, the more expensive speakers within a product line sound incrementally better, but NOT always.
I have to agree with the poster who said that if the AP speakers sound bright, look elsewhere in your system for the cause. I've heard many supposedly great speakers, but few have the sheer musicality and insight that the mid-to-upper level AP speakers offer. I'm now with Avanti mkIIIs which are stunning.
ap speakers are pretty darn revealing of the electronics used...

they have a unique presentation in that they are room and listener position they can sound bright, thin, diffuse, bass shy if improperly positioned or fed a poor source...they are not a forgiving speaking like a vandersteen 2ce...

when set up correctly, they offer a beautifully cohesive presentation in which the speakers totally disappear and you are in the recording venue....

i ran across the same thing when i auditioned them in my room ( i have heard them sound good in different systems) and after 6 months of tweeking with gear and postioning them ( remove the spikes, buy a laser on a tripod, be wiling to change you listening position - and check out

btw, they will do bass...believe me, when set up correctly..
I wonder how many of these responses come from someone that has virgo's and the appropiate equiptment to do them justice,or people with very in expensive systems that wouldnt know great sound if they heard it
I listened to the all new Avantera. One thing i was not satisfied with was the forward sound. I had hoped they would be more homogenic. In my experience, bass did not at all integrate well with the top. The mid and tweeter felt much more forward. I really felt all vocals sounded close-miked. The side mounted bass section was a disappointment, talking integration.
I also hoped for a better resolving ability.
I've heard Virgo 25, Scorpio 25, Avanti and Cardeas.
Heard the Virgo, Scorpio and Avanti in one showroom, Cardeas at a friends place.

I agree with an earlier comment that AP speakers actually have quite different characters. Whereas the Virgo and Scorpio had somewhat similar sonic signatures, the Avanti was touch different. I found the Virgo + Scorpio significantly more musical & delicate and more hologaphic, but a little to the point of having almost too much 'glitz' and blurring dynamics a bit. This might be what you mean by "bright"
On the other hand, the Avanti threw a wider stage but was neutral to the point of feeling a touch thin. Very critical type of sound.

All AP speakers seemed quite difficult with positioning to me, and need to it rather deep in the room to bring out their potential.

Showroom was running them off Simaudio & Trigon gear.

Won't comment too much on the cardeas as (I'm sorry to say) my friend positioned them in a way that was quite evidently unfavorable (due to practical living space requirements)
Insomniac, i heard the Cardeas briefly at a show. After my arranged demo of Avantera, the store and importer, both told me Cardeas is way more demanding from room, position, electronics and cables. They also adviced towards Avantera. Perhaps due to the fact, i felt they were trying to tell me, system should be totally rearranged for the Cardeas.
Avantera was positioned well, but bass was shy compaired to my own PL 300. I found the top section coherent, but less resolving (example: hi-hat (open close, cymbals: crash, ride etc.
All was less resolved than my own PL 300. Bass seemed coming from rows back and not very coherent in soundfield. As that was not all, bass was heard as lower in volume and had no weight. The top section seemed way more forward. I grew tired even though we changed source and re-positioned them. I listened to sorted genres of musical styles, with very well known recordings for me. For the money, it was simply not worth it. I doubt i had even paid same as my PL 300. I could not settle for these, feeling at home. I listened 3 hours to be sure.
Even so, store claimed this was the best speaker they've used in this room. Looking at the room, i am sure my system had been doing better all in all.