AV123 LS6 Line Source up and running


I got my piano black LS6 delivered today! I paid the shipment company $50 to set them up for me, which was nice to get out of the way.

Here is the picture:

AV123 LS6

There they are, next to the Merlin VSM Mxe's. Pretty interesting comparison... comparing a true line array, with a very, very nice point source. Look at the size difference!

I've had a chance to listen to some music today... and I must say, wow. I don't want to jump to any hasty conclusions... but the dynamics on the LS6 are incredible. Very musical and non fatiguing sound - even in this room that is way too small for them.

The Merlins replaced some very nice Dynaudio monitors with a Velodyne DD15 sub. The Merlins were so much more transparent, and an open window to detail.

Unfortunately, I can't keep them both... I haven't had a chance to A/B, but the non-burned in LS6 is pretty amazing... the question in my mind, though, is can they match the Merlin's transparency? I'm not sure...

Running them with Cary/AES Sixpacs (55WPC EL34 tube amp), and it is a great match with the amp. Currently using the Anthem D2 as a complete preamp. Still waiting on the ARC (EQ) in the mail, which will help with the room responses.

Comments are welcome. Thanks for reading.
I'm betting on the AVs. Be mindful that they are so transparent that they will reveal weaknesse up stream. Most likely the Anthem. Regardless, you want to transition to a fully differentially balanced system to fully appreciate what the AVS can do.
Hi Tweak,

Thanks for the reply.

You are right about the LS6 - they can reveal weaknesses upstream. Same with the Merlins.

As I said, right now there are no systematic weaknesses that I hear... But I am able to hear a different speaker's signature.

While the Anthem might not be the best preamp on earth, it is very transparent. My usual preamp is a Supratek, which is currently being repaired.

Thanks for the comments about the balanced system... but it has been my experience that single ended systems can sound just as good as balanced ones, with the quality of either depending on the execution.
Any further observation in your comparisons?
Would be hard to tell sound quality's having loudspeakers next to each other. Pressure in room will move drivers in loudspeakers not power a bit like a passive radiator. Why demos in rooms with other loudspeakers in close proximity is flawed. Also with such a close set up baffles will also sum to a degree and the large pair would add some boundary reinforcement. Another - sonically. So maybe move a pair and listen before you decide. You can move a pair a bit out of the way and toss a heavy fabric cover over non used pairs or if to much work turning loudspeakers backwards might help a bit but still if too close see above..

Regarding comparing speakers that are next to one another... I agree there is "some" effect, feel free to disagree with me, but for ME, I can easily hear the major differences in designer priority with the speakers right next to one another. When comparing cables and looking for subtle 1% differences, then I can agree that minor factors like this can skew the results... But for this test, the differences that I hear are not significantly impacted by the other speaker being there. I have confirmed this by moving the speakers out of the room.

With that being said... both of these speakers are really, really good sounding. Neither is "better" than the other in an overall sense, but definitely, one of the two can be "better" for any given person depending on listener goals and priority.

Which of these two completely different designs you will prefer really depends on your answer to this question:

If you had to choose, what is more important to you? - a BIG powerful and macro-dynamic sound (ultra wide and deep soundstage, MEGA capabilities with bass pressure and big-scale dynamic swings), or a tight, clean sound (pinpoint imaging, absolute clarity, ultimate transparency)

It probably goes without saying, but to be extra clear, the LS6 are the first speaker, and the Merlins are the second.

In a perfect world, I would play my less than 100% recordings on the LS6s, as well as my rock and big scale classical recordings, and play my best recordings on the Merlins, especially smaller ensembles.

I want to be ultra clear that the LS6 are not vague, muddy, or anything like that. The highs shimmer with those ribbon tweeters, and they are actually quite clear sounding. Much more transparent than the Dynaudio S1.4s that I had before. They get probably 90% of the Merlins clarity, but they aren't quite there.

With the Merlins, again I want to be clear that they cleanly extend down to the mid 30hz with the BAM in my room. They throw a great soundstage as well, probably a more accurate one, but they don't do the uber-big scale presentation and dynamic swings of the LS6s.

So instead of invalidating either speaker, for me, this comparison only validated the very real strengths that each design has. Which one you would prefer ultimately depends on your goals and your room. If you have a smallish room, the LS6 simply won't work, unless you go nuts with treatments and/or EQ out bass problems.

It was not an easy choice, but at this point in time I've decided to go forward with the line arrays. I'm working with Rives audio to build a dedicated 2-ch room in my basement. (I have moved since the picture in the original thread was taken.)

I would not hesitate to strongly recommend either of these statement designs to a friend, assuming that I know what type of sound they are looking for.

Hope that helps!
Hey, I agree there is a effect as I said. And it will alter the sound of your loudspeakers. And what you describe as a sound characteristic seemed to me to be caused by your set up. A slight muddying of sound field would be the end result. If this isn't a problem for you great but it exists you admit it does and you should be happy someone took the time to try and help you out. You asked for comment did you not want a honest helpful one?
Thanks for the comments... as I mentioned in my last post, I confirmed all of my observations with moving the non-playing speakers out of the room. There was no noticable change to the overall character of either speaker with the other out of the room.

Also, as I explained in the last post, though they both sound very different, neither speaker sounded muddy.
Congratulations on taking delivery on an excellent speaker. Consider yourself lucky that you actually took delivery. Soon thereafter customers were sending in full payment for the new line arrays (and other products as well) as Schifter/AV123 went into meltdown mode and customers never saw any speakers or refunds.
I was one of the folks who didn't recieve a sub I paid for. I did however receive a beautiful pair of LS6's in piano black made in China. The LS6's made in Columbia had issues. They were freakin amazing speakers. Top to bottom extension to die for. I chased a High Frequency issue for a year then sold them before I discovered that the HF problem was due to an issue with my AC voltage. Those 2X array of ribbon tweeters will let you know if you got issues! Fixing the AC solved the problem and wow.

By far the best sale, folowed by worst sale of my life. And I'm not talking about the undelivered sub.

I'm still looking for a speaker that can approach what those line arrays did.
Hey guys,

I just saw that this thread had been revived.

I've since moved on from the LS6. I really enjoyed them at the first apartment I was at when I was running Anthem ARC to tame the huge bass output. At the new place I was running an analog preamp (no EQ), and was looking at major, major room treatments/rebuilds to bring the bass anywhere near flat.

Just another case of the room dictating the speaker - Ironically, I'm back at the first apartment now! (well, same complex, different unit, same floorplan)

Currently running Gallo 3.1s - another real nice speaker, with different pros/cons. For those who haven't heard them, they have the transparency of maggies, with actual dynamics! I'm really enjoying them, but man I miss the LS6! And the Merlins... : (

RIP AV123 and the LS6