Correction: Above all I value musicality...
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I have two possible rooms:
1- Guest br: 16ft x 12ft (about 18sqm which is less than the 20 recommended) - Could consider room treatments here.
2- Main room: 42ft x 24ft. No room treatments here.
My main concern with the Omega is that I've read that bass integration isn't that smooth, and I get the impression that the Mezzo's would be a more complete speaker. Also, I want to play them at a low volume most of the time, and from what I've read the Mezzo's would do this better.
As for auditioning, save for flying to Germany, I think it will be hard. It's a bit shocking that the dealer wouldn't carry a pair of Mezzo's since I live in NYC (prob one of the top income cities in the US).
Subwoofers I have not because Duos not go low enough, I actually measured them go down to 18-20 Hz. It has more to do with the optimal placement, in doing that for approx. 2 years, I have realized, that a main speakers placement optimal for imaging is not always ( as in never) coincides with the optimal bass reproduction
That forced me to use an active crossover and cut off Avantgardes at 80 Hz , everything below that is handled by stereo JL subs.
An overall improvement has been immense. I have come to a conclusion , that this approach is probably the only correct one.
In your case, I don't think the smaller room could accommodate Mezzos
Yes what you state is actually quite obvious (placement for image vs bass) since these are two different wavelengths. If your room is big enough this is likely less of a problem. Interesting point, never thought of it.
I think I've decided for the mezzo... From what I read elsewhere I gather that the bass transition from the horns and the low volume playback are likely better. Do you have a view on these two points?
BTW... This is completely separate from a TV and such.
The smaller room is too small for any of the Avantgardes - you need to sit a minimum of 10' from the tweeters for proper integration, and the tweeters in that case would be 12' apart if proper ratio is used - meaning that the small dimension of the room must be 14' or more.
As another owner has noted, the Duo Omegas have no practical limitation on bass extension; I find that the bass integration issue some cite is actually due to poor set-up, crossing the subs over too high, and/or setting subs' volume level too high.
Placement is critical, first, you have to position for the best bass response in your particular room- could be tricky, since it might NOT coincide with the best position for the imaging. So you will have to experiment in your own room.
I can tell you though, that farther away they are from the back wall. the better the sound stage depth will be (duh!)
Amp matching- I tried a few, and not surprisingly, Lamm ML-2
SET amps are a match made in heaven. And it is well accepted choice from many other owners.
Owners also say, that Art Audio PX25 is another good choice, but comes with a warning- DO NOT deal with Joe Fratus who used to represent (actually to misrepresent) Art Audio, which is a British company, in the US.
I also tried Tom Eavans Linear A amp, which was good, but not as good, as Lamm ML2.
I heard very positive reports on expensive Audio Note amps with the Avantgardes, but this is not a personal experience
Indeed, the speaker position in the room that yields the best bass response will very rarely, if ever, also yield the most natural midrange, and the best sound stage and stereo image. However, that is very very true for normal speakers, i.e. drivers in a box. With horns, because the directivity of the high and midrange frequencies is controlled, the situation is much less critical. Placing the DUOs close to walls (back wall or lateral walls) is less problematic and in most cases will have only minor effects on the midrange and high frequencies. Beside being a natural amplifier, the horn also minimizes the interaction of the sound field with the boundaries of the room. Consequently, the most important thing to do is to move the speakers in the room and look for the position that gives the best bass response. Tilting and/or changing the inclination of the speakers will almost always solve most problems with the high and midrange frequencies.
Miguel: I agree that it is strange that the dealer in NYC doesn't have the
various models. Perhaps, as an accomodation, the manufacturers- I have
spoken to them- they are very level headed business guys- could send a
pair to that dealer (Rhapsody, right?) for you to demo without obligation-
I have a pre-Omega pair of Duos I bought new, and have posted many
times when people talk about set-up, associated gear, etc. It took a while
for me to get them right, and I did find bass integration with the horns to be
very tricky. I also found that they were ruthlessly revealing of EVERYThing
in the system.
I too use Lamm ML2 amps (mine are a pretty early pair).
As the associated gear upstream from the Duos improved, the sound of the
Duos improved. (Some revelation, huh?).
You are welcome to come up to hear my system (I'm not a dealer). I am
about 25 miles north of the city, near Nyack.
Whart: Problem w the Avantgarde (which is what I'm looking at) is they come in various finishes so there are a myriad of possible combinations. Plus the Mezzo is $54k (+tax) so they get made to order in Germany. Bob Visintainer from Rhapsody in NYC has been very helpful and we will try and arrange an audition of Duo Omegas (+Jadis tube amps).
BTW... Any Duo owners in NYC that would be willing to give me a listen? I promise to bring a gorgeous bottle of red or white, your choice.