i've owned 3 pairs of avalons over the past 10 or 12 years: eclipses, ascents and eidolons. i've also listened extensively to the radian and several other avalon models. before purchasing my eidolons, i did several weeks of critical comparisons between that model and my prior ascents, played in my system (i have a very good dealer, who's also a good friend). the eidolons better the ascents in every way. they have considerably lower bass output, more life-like mids and smoother highs. the eidolons are also slightly easier to drive than the ascents, tho they love high power/high current amps. the radians don't come close to the eidolons. indeed, if i were considering a lower priced avalon model, i'd look to the opus. it shares some of the same variety of drivers as the eidolon and comes much closer to the sonic attributes of the latter model than do the radians. these are, of course, only my subjective opinions. YMMV. -kelly
Hello Jet, I owned the Radian HC and upgraded to the Eidolon almost a year ago. The Eidolon to my ears is by far the better speaker. Both bass extension and speed in the bottom octaves is quite improved over the Radian. As good as the Radian are at soundstaging the Eidolon takes this to another level. Images have an uncanny presence because of the correctness of timbre and texture of tone. This high resolution comes at the cost of needing to mate the Eidolon with quality components upstream though. It surley will let you know if something is colored in the system. If that's the case, you would get better overall results with the more forgiving Radian. I never heard the Opus myself, but from what I've read Cornfed is correct that it also would be a better choice for you. It's my opinion to go for quality over quantity for a power amp, especially with the Eidolon. Of course your personal taste in music, room size, and the volume levels you listen at come into play choosing an amp for the Eidolon. Good luck in whatever your choose and if decide on the Eidolon I hope their "magic" is as profound to you as it is for me. Best wishes, Tom
I went to one dealer and compared the Maggie 3.6s and the
Avalon Eidolons. I could not understand the furor over the
Eidolons. They were good but not 25,000 dollars worth. I called them salon fluff in another thread. Confedboy was
not happy with my assessment but that is what I heard.
I respect Confedboy's opinion even though he was pretty
hard on me for my statements. So I gave the Eidolons a
second chance at another dealer in New England. This time
they were set up properly. They sounded much much better.
The soundstaging/imaging were almost perfect. They presented
a three dimensional picture of the musical event that I have
not heard before. They bested the Maggies in every facet
except what I call transparency, but it was very close.( I
think transparency is related to stored energy). There
are a few buts...1. The room acoustics have to be near perfect to get the best possible results 2. The electronics
must be the best possible(ie Spectral or ARC), no inferior
stuff here or I believe it will kill the system. So if
someone goes the Eidolon route they must be prepared to lay out close to 100k dollars to bring out the best this system
is capable of producing. If this is the system of your dreams go for it!!!!
shubertmaniac: i appreciate your thoughtful post. while i agree that eidolons need high quality electronics, cable and ic's to bring out their best, i think your $100k assessment for a system that includes them is a bit high. even if you bought everything new and paid full-bore, you could get by nicely for under $60k (cd only). (BTW, if anyone is inclined to do as i posit, please send me a private email--i've gotta a lot of stuff i'll sell ya.) one last thing, the MSRP on the "standard finish" eidolon is $21,520; it's the premium finish that goes for $25,090. --kelly
Hi Shubertmaniac, I would like to make some comments about your post. To my ear the Eidolon is remarkably transparent. Before owning both the Radian HC and Eidolons, I had ML CLS2z and the Quad USA 63. Some would argue that within its range the CLS is the most trasparent speaker ever. The Eidolon IMO is every bit as transparent except for in the mid-bass. As with most things in life there are tradeoffs, and decisions to be made. Dynamic woofers give you the extension, weight, punch and authority in the bottom octaves, while panel speakers do have the speed. I guess everyone has to decide for themseleves what gives them the illusion of reality best. I think what you might be confusing for transparency, is that panel speakers breathe. The fact that you mention the magical soundstage you heard when you listened to the Eidolon can attest to its remarable resolution and trasparency. The better component will always give you greater insight into the recording venue along with more palpable images within the soundstage. While the Eidolon is expensive for most of us, compared to some other speakers that I've heard that were much more expensive, I think they are a bargin. As always no two people hear it the same and we all have to decide what sonic virtues are most important to us. Thanks, Tom
I never considered transparency and soundstaging to be the
same. I never considered high resolution either to be confused with transparency. It is like being in a concert hall and the first notes float from the stage to your ears.
You are so taken aback by the sound by the way it wavers
and conjures its magic. Sorry but planars/electrostatics
do that same conjuring magic that most dynamic speakers cannot but the Eidolons have come the closest. Again I am not saying electrostatic/planars are better(not by a long shot) but they have that something magical I crave(even addicted to). I am a musicophile(?) before I am an audiophile. Having said all that, personally if I had to, I will listen to Schubert (merrily I might add) on CerwinVegas before I give up music. As I stated in my previous post the Avalon Eidolons are fantastic speakers! Enjoy them to their fullest! One small question, both places I auditioned them, used Spectral(which I own and respect) but do they get the best out of the Eidolons???
Hello Shubertmaniac, I think we are both trying to describe the same qualities that planers/stats possess but using different words to describe them. I do feel however that soundstage-transparency, high resolution all are interelated. I'm not very technically inclined but I think the word that best desribes the quality we both hear in panel type speakers is "breathe", panel speakers breathe in a way that real sounds do in real life. I'm glad you can enjoy the music that you love on any system, as do I. BTW, I prefer the virtues of good tubes over the virtues of solid/state. To my ear, great tube gear seems to have the magic for me that I have yet to hear from solid/state. All the best, Tom
Tom, I own both tubes and s/s amps/preamps. Spectral and ARC
equipment. However I think solid state would do more justice to the hi rez capabilities of the Eidolons plus better bass response for them to boot. The output impedence of tube amps is usually very high (except the Wolcott amps) which gives it a low damping factor which causes the speaker/amplifier bass response to be less than the speaker is capable of producing. Also I find that the S/S stuff gets the most out of a CD/record, more ambient low level material off the recording which I assume an Avalon owner would crave. Of course this presumes a s/s amp/preamp combo worthy of getting this material off the recording and putting it to good use by the speaker. Though on the other hand, I love the midrange warmth that those tubes throw at you. Dilemmas
I can live with...
Hey Thanks for the thoughtful responses.
I initially got into the audiophile addiction when i heard a pair of maggies. Breathing seems like a good verb to use. I have always found the sound to be nearly liquid as it envelopes you. I have never heard quite that sound from solid state and a cabinet speaker. Still, for my ear I enjoy the great detail and soundstaging that a superior speaker like the eidolons give. By the way for everyone out there, the speakers are mated to spectral monoblocks and spectral preamp. the processor is a theta gen 5 a. I am hoping for some really great sound.
I heard the Eidolons for a short time and was not ultra impressed. This could have been an electonics issue among other things. When I asked the dealer why they seemed a bit bass shy he told me that it takes a long time for them to break in. He then proceeded to tell me it takes a minimum of 9 months for total breakin. How about it Eidolon fans is this true. This is a reputable dealer in the Northeast
Hello Snook, The bass is improved big time with break-in. You would never think it was the same speaker. Shubertmaniac, you are very fortunate to have both high quality tube and s/s electronics for your system. I drive my Eidolons with BAT mono VK60's and a BAT50se preamp. My next major upgrade will be my amps. I hope to get a pair of BAT VK150se mono amps. I believe the BAT gear has something very special going for it. They seem to combine the best that s/s and tube gear has to offer. Regards, Tom
I have had teh good fortune to listen to the ascents, radian hc and the eidolon.
I have to say the current best deal is a used ascent. It is very similar to teh current eidolons at a fraction of teh cost. I consider an impressive feat for avalon to have made such an excellent speaker as the ascent that although it canbe improved upon, the improvement in my opinion is not that much.