Avalon vs Kharma


How does the Avalon Eidolon & Opus compare to Kharma 2 & 3 series? The diamond tweeter is out of my price range. Anyone with first hand experience? Thanks
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I have heard the Kharmas from the Midi-Grands all the way to the biggest and badist 600 pound monsters with diamond tweeters and all the mods plus Kharmas top wires. FANTASTIC!!!!! Avalon uses the same drivers. Yes the speaker guys all say they mod the speakers before they install them in their cabinets. I spoke with the people at Avalon (GREAT guys) and they have been using them for years. Even longer than Kharma. I'm trying to audition Avalons knowone in Michigan or Ohio carries them. I might have to head to Illinois or maybe out east. My sound room is in the living room (dedicated for audio only) and my wife doesn't care how I use it but it has to look good. It's the first room people see when they come in. I have good taste and I like the way Kharmas look but my wife thinks they are ugly. So I'm searching for Avalons to audition. By the way, B&W makes their own drivers and now owns the cabinet shop. People like to knock them and the other larger companies and they are not the "Designer flavor of the month" but the Nautilus Signature Series is fantastic!! The Kharmas are owned by a friend and are in a dedicated room driven by the latest fab gear(EMM-Tenor,etc). Good Luck! Peace and Good Listening, Pat.
both are great speakers. one significant difference is that the Kharmas are generally easier to drive......and 50 to 100 tube watts are plenty for them in medium sized rooms......whereas, the Avalons typically like at least 150+ watts or more.

i own the Kharma Exquisite 1D's and do prefer the Kharma's in general to the Avalons.....but i like the Avalons. the Kharmas to me are slightly more refined and coherent (but the Avalons can be pretty good in this area too).

the Avalons may be a little more 'punchy'.....meaning slightly more slam and bass energy.....although i overall prefer the bass articulation and accuracy of the Kharma.

system and amp matching would be a big part of the answer to your question.

good luck.
I have a friend who has the Avalon Eidolons and they are absolutely fantastic! Probably the best stereo I have ever heard really. I believe everyone who has ever reviewed these speakers has said that you need top notch electronics to drive them. (FYI, he uses a 400W/ch. Classe amp,and an ARC Ref. 1 preamp and a VPI HRX, with Koetsu Urushi. Pretty top notch, huh?!)

That being said, I have heard the Kharma 3.2 at one of the stereo shows in SF last year. It too was very impressive. (I prefer the Avalon, but that might because I am more familiar with it.)

I doubt you could make a mistake in choosing either of these great speakers. (I am jealous you can afford either, since I can not.)

Good Luck in making you choice!!
Hello Gali, I have owned Eidolon's for the last 4 years and very shorty will be moving up to the Eidolon Diamond. Before making up my mind on the Eidolon Diamond I did audition the Kharma Midi-Grand Ceramique and also the the Grand Ceramique. I haven't heard the Kharma 3.2 or any of the Kharma's Exquisite line of speakers.

IMO the "plain jane" Eidolon is the more accurate and neutral speaker of the out of the Kharma's I have heard. The Eidolon is harder to drive and picky about what's in front of it. Go for quality over quanity for the amp as I've found it's not quite as hard to drive as some people might have you think. With proper set-up and the quality components in front of it the Eidolon is extremly faithful to the recording, and those magic recordings of music you love will have you in musical ecstasy!!

Most important is that you should try to audition for yourself if at all possible, this is a lot of money and you need to be happy with the decision.

All the best!

Tom

Thanks a lot guys. Is the Opus Ceramique better than the Opus is a 16 x 24 room?
Hi Glai,

A freind of mine owns the Opus so I got to hear it a few times in a home environment. The Opus is a great speaker but the bass is colored and sounds out of character with the rest of the frequency spectrum. I haven't heard the Opus Ceramique but from my understanding it does not go as low in frequency but what is there in the bass is much more accurate. The Eidolon does it all and would work great in a 16'x 24' room. If I were you I would skip the Opus and shoot for the Eidolon. Good luck to you and I wish you all the best!

Tom
I agree wtih Trcnetmsncom, skip the Opus. Those downward firing woofers just muddy up the bass, IMHO. I was not impressed with the sound of them when I was doing my speaker search. Stick with the Eidolons.

(By the way, if you have the big bucks available, you might want to consider the Eidolon Diamonds. I hear that they are even better than the regular Eidolons. So much so, that while I have seen plenty of Eidolons on Audiogon, I have never, not once, seen a pair of the Diamond Eidolons on Audiogon. That, to me, says a lot!)
One thing is that I heard that the Avalons are very sensitive to speaker placement...all speakers are to some extent and the Kharmas benefit too but the Avalons are apparently doubly so.
Guys, Ain't got no big bucks, man. The diamond is most definitely out of the question unless my 1(900)FengShui start picking up. Maybe bringing Krispy Creme to China? William Hung Fan club?

I was hoping to repo an used Eidolon, Opus Ceramique or new Ascendant or a used Kharma. Guys, don't mention price cause my girlfriend look at my threads.

I don't need big base so I was hoping the two way Ascendent or Kharma would be more transparent & coherent? Any thoughts. The Eton drivers are good but may not be as good as Accuton ceramics.

Thanks
I haven't heard Kharmas but I've auditioned the massive Avalon Sentinel with Rowland amps and the Lumenwhite Whiteflame speakers with Ayre electronics at the respective dealers. Both these speakers use Accuton drivers. To me, the Lumenwhites were better balanced, cleaner, faster, superbly transparent and very musical. If you are in HK, it might be worth your while to pay a visit to the Lumenwhite dealer located at the Entertainment building in Central for a different perspective. Good luck.
Hello,

I just wanted to address what has been my experience regarding placement of Avalon speakers in general. I have found that Avalon speakers are relatively easy to set-up to get a good sound. (really good!) The integral grille helps in a big way with speaker-room interaction. I sware one Eidolon images well. Becauce of this most people stop there and don't explore it any further. Therefore they miss getting the speaker to perform to it's full potential and don't realize just how much performance is there to be had. The Eidolon setup well in a good room with quality componets in front of it should totally disappear and image to no end.

Setting up a speaker is a balancing act between tonal balance (especially in the bass) and soundstage width, depth, and focus. The better the speaker is suited for the room the less amount of trade-offs will have to be made.

All the best!

Tom
Hello,

I just wanted to address what has been my experience regarding placement of Avalon speakers in general. I have found that Avalon speakers are relatively easy to set-up to get a good sound. (really good!) The integral grille helps in a big way with speaker-room interaction. I sware one Eidolon images well. Becauce of this most people stop there and don't explore it any further. Therefore they miss getting the speaker to perform to its full potential and don't realize just how much performance is there to be had. The Eidolon setup well in a good room with quality componets in front of it should totally disappear and image to no end.

Setting up a speaker is a balancing act between tonal balance (especially in the bass) and soundstage width, depth, and focus. The better the speaker is suited for the room the less amount of trade-offs will have to be made.

All the best!

Tom
Where does the Wilson WP 7 fit in here. I heard the Kharma 3.2 and the upper and mid range is fantastic but there is something missing in the botttom. The WP 7 has a tighter cleaner bass response IMO.
the Wilson is slightly less coherent than the Kharma.....and is not really friendly to middle power range tube amplification (under 150 watts). the Kharma's mid bass is more integrated and articulate. the Wilson is more dynamic and punchy (even more so than the Avalon). the WP7 is fairly tame in the treble (unlike the WP6 which i owned) and doesn't tend toward edgyness like the WP6. the WP7's are much more 'like' the Kharma than the WP6's were.

ultimately the Kharma will challenge your ability to hear the drivers......it will completely disappear like a small monitor.....but you won't get that 1/2 bottom octave with the 3.2's.

neither the Avalon or Wilson can quite pull off the disappearing act. you will be more aware that you are listening to a speaker (for all the right and wrong reasons....you will enjoy the parts of what those speakers can do).....is that important to you? it is ALL important to me that i listening to the event and not speakers. this difference is subtle but significant. i don't mean to infer that the Avalon or Wilson are not coherent.....just coherence is the Kharma's biggest strength and it is amazing to live with and spend extended listening sessions with.

the bigger Kharmas have plenty of bass extention but also disappear unlike any dynamic full range speaker i have heard (especially one that weighs 565 pounds).
I can only compare the Kharma 3.2s to earlier Wilson models - Mike lavigne wrote an absolutely spot-on description of the Kharmas - the coherence is what amazes me; a seamless presentation down to about 35Hz - but I dont miss the reduced bass response as I listen mostly to Classical, female vocals, opera, chamber music mostly and they are the most non-fatiguing, musical, wide-soundstaged speakers I have ever heard with highs and mid-range to die for. I bought the WWPs 12 years ago when bam-wham-bass was more important to me. But now, after all the $$$ laid out and angst over spending dollars for new amps and speakers. this combination of OTL amp-Kharma 3.2s will do it for me for the next decade or two............I didn't buy the midis because I was told that they need to be at least 5 feet from the rear wall and WAF rejected that.