Avantgarde or Tonian?


Hello, I am relatively new to the SET world. But I was thinking to match my Berning Siegfried (the 811-10 version, 10WPC, OTL) with either a pair of Avantgarde Unos or a pair of Tonian Classic 12.1. Has anyone had direct experiences with both of them? I know they're both good but I was wondering if anyone had first-hand experience of pros and cons. Thanks.
ggavetti
I own Avantgarde Duos and the Siegfried 811-10. I love the combination. Transparent,pinpoint soundstaging,dynamic,highly resolving. I don't know much about Tonian(never heard them) but would be concerned with their mid 90's sensitivity especially if you have a larger room or play loud music at times. The only problem with the Avantgardes is they need at least 10 feet to the listening position to integrate optimally. As far as I'm concerned I've come to the end of the component merry-go-round and have no intentions of changing this combo or "upgrading". If you are not in a hurry, consider waiting for a pair of used Duos. I thought they were worth the price premium over the Unos.
Thank you Jayarr. Right now I own a pair of Ocellia Kedros, which have the same sensitivity as the Tonians (same driver but the Tonian classic also have a ribbon tweeter), and that's not an issue. The Siefgried sounds loud and clear in a medium-sized room. But thanks for your reply. I have heard different opinions about the Avantgarde (especially the fact that they can be a bit fatiguing) but your long-term satisfaction is a good sign.
Ggavetti what don't you like about the Ocellia sound? I think any PHY based speaker is the more musical speaker over the avantgarde speaker. The avantgardes are good sounding speakers but more hi-fi sounding than musical and in the long run the Tonian or Ocellia wold be my choice.
Ggavetti what don't you like about the Ocellia sound? I think any PHY based speaker is the more musical speaker over the avantgarde speaker. The avantgardes are good sounding speakers but more hi-fi sounding than musical and in the long run the Tonian or Ocellia wold be my choice.
Ggavetti what don't you like about the Ocellia sound? I think any PHY based speaker is the more musical speaker over the avantgarde speaker. The avantgardes are good sounding speakers but more hi-fi sounding than musical and in the long run the Tonian or Ocellia wold be my choice.
Avantgardes are plenty "musical" if properly set up and driven. If you heard them with Lamm ML2s, you'd not disparage their musical satisfaction...have not heard the Bernings, though they have a very good rep.
Interesting and tough choice!

My guess is the Avantgarde has more upside but will be harder to get setup properly and tweaked to sound just right.

I'd probably lean towards the Tonian for top to bottom coherency and towards Avantgarde for dynamics and overall potential, especially at more realistic listening volumes.
Ggavetti what don't you like about the Ocellia sound? I think any PHY based speaker is the more musical speaker over the avantgarde speaker. The avantgardes are good sounding speakers but more hi-fi sounding than musical and in the long run the Tonian or Ocellia wold be my choice.
What does "more hifi sounding than musical" mean? Hi fi used to mean high fidelity. High fidelity was the goal. What in the blue h--- happened?
Hello. I think the Ocellias are great speakers, don't get me wrong. The model I have might have a better extension in the upper frequencies. I have considered adding a supertweeter. Tonians use the same driver but they also mount a ribbon tweeter and I've read superlative reviews. So, I was curious.

By the way, the Berning Siegfried is the best amplifier I've ever listened to (and I had pretty good ones, but for the most part push-pull).
I've heard Avantgardes many a time and they can sound amazing but I can also understand when someone says they sound hi-fi sounding what is meant. They tend to grab your attention and make you take notice and say wow! On the other hand I've owned single driver speakers and now a PHY based speaker and it doesn't have that wow factor but let's me forget about the gear and just enjoy the music.

(dealer disclaimer)
"I've heard Avantgardes many a time and they can sound amazing but I can also understand when someone says they sound hi-fi sounding what is meant."

I can understand it I suppose when someone says this. I suppose its more that I do not agree with the hi fi versus musical distinction. Semantics I suppose. To me, the music either sounds good or not. IF it sounds good, by any sort of objective criteria compared to others, it is essentially by definition "High fidelity". If it doesn't sound good (ie "musical"), then it is not high fidelity. Can't have one without the other.
Mapman, semantics yes but over my 40 plus years of listening all I know is that when a system wows me it also fatigues me over time and I end up not listening for either long sessions or at all however when a system lets me forget about the equipment it's then that I sit back and can listen for hours on end.
I've had this discussion many times with friends. I describe modern hi-fi as giving an incredibly accurate and vivid visual image of the musical event. You can see as if you were at a concert. The best modern speakers all do that. I think that that has increasingly moved us away from the reproduction of music. If you sit in a symphony hall, even if you're close to the orchestra, and close your eyes, you will never be able to locate the instruments with precision. You get the whole picture. That's music and that's what speakers like for instance Ocellia or old Sonus Fabers or old Quads do. I believe that that is what people call musicality. A friend of mine recently got a pair of high-end Kharma. They definitely had an amazing wow factor...but is that what music is about? They certainly offer a sensory experience on steroids (you see into the music) but as far as I am concerned, the reproduction of music is something else.
"I describe modern hi-fi as giving an incredibly accurate and vivid visual image of the musical event."

Agree. At least it is CAPABLE of doing that, in general better than ever, but other factors come into play as well to actually make good things happen (see below).

"I think that that has increasingly moved us away from the reproduction of music. If you sit in a symphony hall, even if you're close to the orchestra, and close your eyes, you will never be able to locate the instruments with precision. You get the whole picture. That's music and that's what speakers like for instance Ocellia or old Sonus Fabers or old Quads do. I believe that that is what people call musicality"

Disagree.

It's a combined function of the recording, the resolution/accuracy of the system (ie how hi fi it really is), room acoustics and how your gear is set up accordingly, and where you listen from that determines the final musical presentation.

Don't blame true hi fi gear if you do not like what you hear. IF you take all those factors into consideration, there is no conflict between hi fi and whatever one deems to be "musical".

ALso remember that the recording is the only factor that the listener has no control over. The rest can be changed/tweaked as needed. Its what you do with the others together to suit your tastes that matter.

Changing the gear is perhaps the easiest thing to do if you can afford to. It might get you what you want. OR it might not be able to get you there all by itself. Or it might cost you a fortune in gear changes to finally get there. It all depends....
So, you disagree that keeping constant room acoustics, source, electronics, listening position, et cetera, and changing only the speaker there has been a progressive movement toward offering a more intense sensory experience, and what I mean by that is the idea of letting you "see" the source of the music be that an orchestra, two people playing guitar, or a chamber group? Do you disagree with this statement? If you do, then we disagree. Most of my auditions of most high-end modern gear (I am talking about $10K plus speakers) reveal an incredible expansion of your ability to "touch and see". I find that to be quite remarkable and most of us like it (we are sensorial creatures), but that's not what you experience in a live concert.
"So, you disagree that keeping constant room acoustics, source, electronics, listening position, et cetera, and changing only the speaker there has been a progressive movement toward offering a more intense sensory experience, and what I mean by that is the idea of letting you "see" the source of the music be that an orchestra, two people playing guitar, or a chamber group? Do you disagree with this statement?"

I agree that it is a key enabler of all that.

I'd also assert that it is a good thing.

But it is not the only factor that determines the results.

AN analogy is HD TV.

The best source material on HDTV pushes the limits in regards to a quality image.

I think there is no denying that?

But actual picture quality will vary depending on the source material. An old sitcom from teh 70's like Laverne and Shirley might look better than ever before, but still be far off the pace in regards to picture quality.

At least with HD video, you don't have to worry about room acoustics although other factors unique to video do come into play, like where you watch from and how bright the room is.
As the equipment gets better we face an even more tricky balancing act between life & sterility in playback. Years ago the equipment itself coloured so much as to change the original recording.

Now ultra low distortion & noise floors now reveal the source/recording as never before. Great recordings can sound great while lesser recordings can become horrible.

Avantgarde are capable of either view depending on the amplifier, set up & source. This is why as an audiophile you need to understand what you want from a system. If not, prepare yourself for the journey.
Avantgardes, if I set them up.... :)
No doubt sensory overload can be fatiguing.

But there are many ways to calm things down when needed. You can't add what is not there to start, assuming one cares.

A bad recording is a bad recording. Nothing can make it something it isn't.
I have made a (Tappered Quarter Wave) cabinet using Raven R2.0/PHY 12" long before the appearing of Tonian's version. Impressive at both low & high freq but the feeling was missing. It seems like the ribbon cannot intergreated with the 12" paper cone. Very different tone, projection & dispersion window. So, I've trade it with the Ocellia Caliope 0.3 Silver but I've witness that the 12" PHY cone, robs the illumination of the midrange and whatever the changes of my system, it was impossible to retain the open & clear mids that I've previously have with Proac Response 5, no matter what amp or source was in the chain.
Then I've auditioned the top of the range Tonian's and I've figured out that this dark personality is a choise by the PHY driver designer

*(It is my estimation that adding an OTL may offers some light to the 12" PHY cones but they are power limits of 25watts if I recall right).
*(Some reported great results by using an Open Baffle with PHY but after spending so much effort to my own cabinetry I didn't have the courage to just throw them at the fireplace)

so, I decide to take a different path in order to find this losted transparency at the midrange.
My first try was the DUO OMEGA but the projection was so much of another planet than my usual listening habits (it was endlessly shooting to my ears every little nuance) that was very annoying. I ended up using a Carfrae LBH with Lowther PM6A Ticonal & integral 2x10" active subwoofers and have added the SEAS Exotic T35 tweeter. By this post I want to stress the point of the strictly personal perception about what is pure or more importantly what satisfies our quest. Some are after energy & resolution while others prefer a calmer & perhaps less demanding aproach to fulfill their pleasure. I'm not a PHY fan but neither I can stand the ruthless attack of the DUO's (although there are some great speakers that integrade successfuly a compressor driver like those which using the Altec 604) and I don't think that everyone can take the Lowther in a Horn path that is very painfull in tuning. May I suggest to ask Johnk about some help.