Avante Garde horn speakers.....

Any impressions?
AWSOME! Once you try them you will never be satisfied with anything else. Of course they have flaws, everything does. Their plus so outweigh the minuses that the flaws are irrelevant. Don't listen unless you are prepared to buy. Boato2
Their home page lists the speakers frequency response but gives no measure of 'flatness'. I am looking forward to a formal technical analysis of them in one of the Audiophile rags. This may seem academic as everybody who has heard them seems to really like them. However; I would want this information before I would be willing to buy a pair as we aren't talking about chump change here. The Avantgarde home office is in Cumming GA. I have asked a buddy of mine who lives in Cumming to check them out. Will let you know what he has to say later.
Boato2 I was hoping that there would be a few more comments. It may be due to the fact that these are relatively new speakers and that not many have experience with them.
I was hoping for more responses as well. I did listen to these at a show (not the best place to listen) and I was shocked at how good these are. I've heard no speakers put the musicians in front of you as these do. Great transparency, and very "live" sounding. They also open up some great possibilities in terms of amp matching, 300B lovers take notice of this. A great party speaker if you ever need it to be, everyone at the show just loved these.
the treble and midrange are very good,but the lower frequency's do not blend well with the mids and treble.
I have a question for Jetmech057. When said the lower frequencies do not blend well what do you mean? Are the lower frequencies lower in volume compared to the rest of the spectrum? Your observations point out the importance of having more information on the frequency response in the area of flatness. Jman's comments make since because of the great dynamic range and efficiency of the horns. On a positive note it looks like some speakers are starting to show up on the used market.
I have a question for Jetmech057. When said the lower frequencies do not blend well what do you mean? Are the lower frequencies lower in volume compared to the rest of the spectrum? Your observations point out the importance of having more information on the frequency response in the area of flatness. Jman's comments make since because of the great dynamic range and efficiency of the horns. On a positive note it looks like some speakers are starting to show up on the used market.
I'm guessing that the bass not blending well is an issue of the speed (or lack of) from the conventional woofers vs the horns. Same problem with earlier (and still to a lesser degree) hybrid electrstats. I believe the current version 2 generation of Avant Garde has addressed this (but I can't say for certain)issue of better blending of lows.
I sold my duos 4months ago,they had the upgraded woofers, pre-amp and pwramp was cary triode single ended.could never get the upper mids and treble to blend musically with the lower bass.BASS was to slow in comparison to the upper registers. In talking with folks who have also sold theirs, one particular guy had his modified to no avail.I must say the speaker has great potential,but it needs improvment in this area.AS THE comment made above alot of them are starting to hit the used market.
Sorry about the double post. What caused it to happen was that I chose the reload option from my browser after I entered my comment. Looks like you need to get all the way out and then come back in after you post a response. Still not sure what members mean by slow versus fast. Is this a level issue? Since a woofer produces low frequencies I don't understand the term fast when applied to them. The active feedback (licensed from Velodyne?) should keep the distortion low. One thing I noticed is that the sub-woofer is being asked to work up to 170HZ in the case of the Duos. The velodynes upper limit is 120Hz. A posible problem may be a mismatch in efficiency between the horns and the subs causing the frequency balance to be shifted up at higher output levels.
Hi, What they mean when they say the bass is slow is... The bass is out of character and not coherent with the rest of the frequences. When you listen does the bass sound like it's sticking out like a sore thumb? Does it disappear into the sound-stage or does it sound like the bass is coming out of a box? Does the bass linger into the sounds afterward and sound disconnected from the rest of the music? All of the above characteristics discribe slow bass. I hope this helps. Good luck and ENJOY, Tom
It sounds to me like Avantgarde may not have the equalization right between the subwoofers and the horns. With the 10dB gain produced by the horn structure I would expect extra gain would need to be added to the bass frequencies to keep the balance right. As far as quickness I would think that this would not be a proplem for the subwoofers due to the integrated design and active feedback. Hopefully, an impartial third party review with frequency response measurements will be forthcoming.
Frequency amplitude response isn't the only way to measure a speaker. The "speed" aspects refer to the transient response performance, or how well the woofer's cone can follow the signal it gets fed, and how fast its decay time is. Automatically assuming that, since the sub is servo feedback controlled, there will be zero intermodulation distortion, is a mistake...both with regards to the cones themselves, and also with regards to how the system behaves in its enclosure, and then in the room. Not all servo subs sound alike with regards to "rhythm and pace", after all. Just ask any equipment reviewer or manufacturer. Don't depend on a sales guy to answer these questions...
Carl I was thinking about the Velodyne subwoofers which have low distortion numbers. Have you heard the Avantgardes? I would like to check them out; but, have not had time to do so since I moved to Dallas in early June. I used to live 20 miles from their home office; but, found this out too late. As far as the amplitude match I was thinking that the horns are so efficient that relatively high sound levels for the mids and highs may be achieved before the subs start to kick in. This is pure speculation on my part. As stated previously a frequency response curve would be nice.
The problem just doesn't seem to be amplitude related, going by what the guys who've owned these have said. Since you can adjust the sub's output level, and since guys usually don't buy these to pump a lot of power into the horns, it seems like it's more time domain related, than amplitude related.
Perhaps you are right Carl. More comments by Boato2 and Jman would be appreciated. I wonder what their impressions on the bass response are.
I've listened to the whole line on any number of front-ends and electronics. My review: They are very well painted, though you'd be much better off buying the Audi or Porche. Com'on, these are plastic horns and sound like it. See how many dealers have picked these up--virtually 0 in the USA. Might that tell you something? It should.
I appreciate your input, but would still like to audition them. My interest is due to the postive reviews by people who heard them at the CES in Las Vegas.
Don't be too discouraged, "corn fed" people would have to spend a lot of time in the lavatory, and probably aren't as adept at listening to music, as the rest of us.
i heard a pair of the *duo's*, a couple years ago at a small shop - deja vu audio, mclean, va - & they were fantastic! this was the version w/the older subs; still no integration problems. they were being driven by some home-made 1.5wpc set tube amps. not the best room, but still amazing sound. unbelievable detail, but still not fatiguing - i was there for over an hour at lunch - got back to work *way* late!
Carl, any chance of talking you into giving these thing a listen? I want to check them out; but, its going to take some time. New city and new job has me working like a galley slave.
I had the Duo's at my house for 3-4 months running all Audio Note gear and I thought they were pretty damn good. Woofer were sub par. Would have purchased them except really couldn't live with their aesthetics in my living room. Candy Apple Red horns were to much of a statement for me, but still attractive to others. Also, a close friend has the trios (that red color) and they are even better sounding. BTW, Trios look better if you have the room. He has an incrediable Audio Note Japan system the exceptions are Sony SACD,Aesthetix Io {yes I am guilty} and a very dumb 24" hartley built in to house that he loves. The system sound really good. Transparency, tonality and dynamics that shine on orchestrial, chamber, Opera and jazz. I have never heard Rock or Movie scores on this system so I can't speak about insane loudness levels and movie sound effects dynamics. The hartly is barely on and crossed over about 60 cycles but sounds a little one note to me. Going back to the Trios, I was impressed well each voice or instrument sounds so natural with that phoney detail that etchy speakers. These horns are not etchy, They are natural and with all those AN SEs amps, Aesthetics, Koetsus, etc this is a sweet system. Hard to fault these horns. Some of the critical posts are overly emphizing the weak points of these fine speakers, and Cornfedboy, the Avante Gardes have had USA distributors problems that caused lack of dealers. Hopefully, that is behind AG now. They sell very well in Europe and are in many of the High end shops.
7p62mm, I don't believe there is an Avantgarde dealer within 200 miles of me in any direction, but I'll check. I would say that if you are seriously considering horn speakers, these are very likely some of the best (the Trios were a couple of the heavy weight reviewers "reference", at least until they heard the Pipedreams speakers). I don't care for horn speakers as much as some do on here, but I do like speakers that are dynamic. IMHO, dynamic range and dynamic contrast (with low distortion) are the main aspects that still separate the best loudspeakers from true "realistic reproduction". Try this test sometime: Take a spoon and a wine glass, and have someone stand between the speakers and clang the spoon against the glass HARD (just shy of breaking the glass). Record this with a DAT and quality microphone, and then play the recording back. Then you'll see what I mean. Even if you can't record it, do something similar with some other percussive instrument, and just try to imagine your system reproducing it. Seems like everyone feels that the recording medium would be the primary limiting factor, but I feel that it is secondary to the limiting factor of the speaker system (and the room set up philosophy, to a lesser degree). Speakers must transduce electrical to mechanical energy at a high energy level, so the losses are terribly difficult to overcome.
Carl, Thanks for the response. Your idea to tape a percussion sound and then to replay it is a damn good idea. I completely agree that if a person is using decent electronics in his system then the speakers are the most important part of the system. From my experience with the Ohm Walsh 300's the lower frequencies are the ones that really put a speaker system to work. I suspect that speakers that do a good job with the midrange and highs mated with dedicated subwoofers such as the Velodynes will provide good dynamic range with low distortion. Current budgetary constraints prevent the purchase of a pair of Avantgardes any time soon. Evidence that the gold market is being held down in the face of a huge supply/demand imbalance plus rising inflation makes me think that any extra money should be used for the purchase of gold and unhedged gold stocks at this time. If I am right these investments should provide capital for audio upgrades in the near future (six to eight months).
Sounds very good to me. I'm thinking of trading stocks online myself. Tech stocks are so low now that it seems like a good time to buy a few solvent ones...
I have lived with theDuos for three years now. Having reviewes many hundreds of speakers I cannot say that the integration of the bass is a problem. It is not easy to produce a frequency curve for these speakers as the drive units are effectively so far apart. However, with careful in-room siting, and 3m and 5m measurements you can get a +/-1.5dB flat response from 28Hz to 19kHz. The other thing to remember about bass is that it travels more slowly, but decays less quickly whereas higher frequencies travel faster and decay more quickly over distance. EVERY speaker exhibits this phenomenon. It is more likely that with their minimal cone excursions, that horns with an active sub are the best bet yet. Better that than slow tweeters! The horn material characteristics are also well outside the audible bandwidth. They are rigid enough to do the job of providing a channel for the sound, but their (low) frequency resonances and their mechanical integrities do not impose themselves on the sound passing through. Essentially thay are a 'rigid floppy' channel. The last thing to bear in mind is that the Avantgardes will reveal everything about what comes before them. If your amp or source is flawed, that's where the problem will lie, and not with the speakers. They are only as good (and in most cases (with 18 years or reviewing behind me) better) than most of the available electronics. If you really want to hear what they're capable of try a pre/power amp from Vocale in England. There's no resistor or cap in the signal path, and boy do they let the music through. You can contact Vocale on vocale@aol.com Just think about it. with 100dB+ efficiency, the noise floor with 100watt electronics will make more noise than the signal on a 100watt amp....... before you get deafened.
I had the privilege to be invited to hear AG Trio last week. AudioNote shop set it up with a pair of $200k GakuOn or OnGaku monoblocks, I forgot which. The sound was overwhelming and really large for the small listening room i was in. But the mid & high freq clarity is fantastic on a wide range of music/vocal selection. This didn't bother me because I wouldn't mortgage my house to buy that setup. That was the best 1-hr i had in my whole audiolife! BTW for the Horn Loading Physics folks, there's an old website forum (www.audioasylum.com/audio/speakers/messages/4048.html) Phil.
I agree too. They fit in with my decor and my husband thinks they're great. It took a while to convince him to buy them, though. He wouldn't swop them now! We use the vocale amps too. The New Tube is taking them on I think; a reall good match.
I agree too. They fit in with my decor and my husband thinks they're great. It took a while to convince him to buy them, though. He wouldn't swop them now! We use the vocale amps too. The New Tube is taking them on I think; a reall good match.
They are fantastic. They need to be set up properly, however, otherwise the woofer won't blend well with the horns. When set up properly, however, they make a mockery of most high end speakers I could name.