Why not a used pair of Utopias since your so fond of the Micros? Deep extended bass from the 13 inch woofer, the hyper detail you like, 94 db efficiency and a steal at 10k used IMO. Regards John
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I own Mahlers (and Salons).
Assuming you have a large room (Sumiko, the U.S. distributor, actually recommends Mahlers over Amatis if you have a large room) and are careful about pairing them with the right speaker cables and a fast solid-state amp with a lot of current delivery, they provide a surprising amount of refinement (resolution, coherence, musicality), great soundstaging and enormous slam. They usually will not work in smaller rooms, as they must be placed out from the walls due to the rear ports, and with each speaker having two 10" woofers and two 7" midwoofers (the midwoofers being the same midwoofers used on the Maxx II), they can easily overload a room with bass. The Anthony Cordesman review of the Speaker for Audio and Robert Deutsch review for Stereophile, both of which are available on Sumiko's website (www.sumikoaudio.net), are, in my opinion, pretty much right on the money about their strengths and weaknesses.
I listen to some very challenging orchestral music (30%) and loud blues and blue-based classic rock (20%), some signer/songwriter (10%), as well as smaller jazz ensembles (25%) and chamber music (15%) (and maybe 2%? everything else). I have had my Mahlers since March 2001 and have tried them with three different amps. First, I ran them with my longstanding Bryston 4B-ST, and with Kimber Select 3033 all-copper speaker cables (Sumiko was then demo'ing Mahlers at shows with Kimber Monacle, and Kimber convinced me that the Select would be best -- there is something about the geometry of those cables that brings control to woofers). With the Bryston 4B-ST fed by an Audio Reseach LS-3 linestage and Madrigal 37/360s combo, plus Aries w/JMW 10.5 arm and van den Hul Frog into a Rowland Cadence phono stage, all components hooked up with Kimber Select 1030 all-silver IC's, the Mahlers were VERY good in all ways, demonstrating excellent synergy and an enveloping, musical, potent presentation. The Mahlers are fun!!
I later ran them with VAC Renaissance 140/140 Mk. III triode tube monoblocks and Kimber Select 3038 all-silver speaker cables. Even when run with zero feeedback, this combo was really, really impressive, as it let through the incredible transparency, bloom and timbre that those amps and cables are capable of, while retaining tremendous wallop and reasonable control in the bass. The bass was just a tad looser than I would have preferred with the VAC's (it was about like the speakers with the Bryston), but it was not something I couldn't happily live with (and I did live with it, at zero feedback, for two years).
Finally, I ended up running them with Rowland Model 6 monoblocks with batteries. This was the best combination yet, as the Rowlands are very high current and fast, and are also voiced in many ways like a good tube amp, but with better extension. With the Rowlands, the speakers came very close to emulating, in a largeish room, the scale and dynamic shadings of a full-boar symphonic performance -- very few speakers can do this, regardless of price. If you buy Mahlers, I suggest you get Bryston monoblocks so that you can really enjoy the power portrayal these speakers are capable of delivering. I actually prefer my Mahlers in some ways to the Salons -- for the money, it is truly a lot of speaker.
As for the Audio Physics Avanti III, I heard a pair at a dealer in Chicago about five years ago. They appeared to be set up correctly (you take your chances with too many dealers in this regard) and I really liked the sound: detailed and natural. As compared to the Mahler, the Audio Physic will emphasize bass speed over bass slam. With your solid-state gear, though, I would think that a speaker like the Avant III, with that ring tweeter, could be on the bright, analytical side.
The Amatis are wonderful, but I would never power them with a Bryston. They love really good tubes amps ($10K+). I heard a pair driven extensively by an all-Levinson system at a dealer and they could not have been more disappointing. If you go with Amatis, you may consider moving to something like a CAT tube amp or VAC tube amp (i.e., a tube amp with the power supplies and output transformers to handle a truly tough load -- there ain't many).
The Thiels are often maligned here, and very unfairly, I think. I would happily drive big Thiels with a Classe Omega or other monster amp known for sweetness and midrange warmth. Your very neutral bryston 4B-SST may be too "honest" for this speaker -- it benefits from a big, romantic amp with a substation full of current (think Classe X.5 series or big McIntosh).
Used Amatis is the best.
As for Amatis I heard them with, Teta dreadnoughtII 4x220, Plinus 102sa, Cary 805, YBA passion and was fabulous, also with yba passion intgre, Sonus Faber Musica, Monrio integrated was very good.
Amati and Mark Levinson don't work together (I don't know the reason).
A friend agoner plays them with Cary 845integrated and is very pleased, so I don't see the reason for "beasts" only for the Amati.
The new one (Amati Anniversario) is eaysier load but out of your target.
A good friend of mine plays cremona auditors with Bryston with excellent results near outstanding.
I would never give such money for jmlab.
Vienna accoustics are fine.
Audio physics I had.....good "highendish" but not goosebumps. Thiel not hearded.
Sure there are other speakers that will do.
Thanks for the response everyone, and keep it coming. However, my post states why I can not go further up the Utopia line. Only the Grand U and the Nova U go down into the range of 20 Hz that I am looking for, and both of these speakers are well out of my 10k price range. I also have a strong WAF factor to contend with,which means that the speakers I get will look something like the ones listed. Floorstanding Utopia's will not make the WAF cut. The Micro's I have are in an armoire which can be closed if necessary.
Jhwalker - I'm interested in what subwoofers you've tried and were unsuccessful with.
My guess is something like a Velodyne DD15 would solve your problem, and save you a lot of time and money. Comes with a mic to and hooks up to your tv to take a freq response of your room, then automatically uses parametric EQ to fix the bass problems with your room. I have one seamlessly integrated with my Dyn S1.4s. The sub is completely invisible - it sounds like all of this amazing bass is coming right from the dynaudios - but in reality, they are high-passed at 80hz.
Room size? This will be most important issue. If your room is not big enough fullrange speaker will overblown it.
I second Kops and Raquel, both used Amati Hommage and Mahler are good choices...
Krell Resolution 1 is also good choice($12000/p)but your 4B-SST might be too weak. It is producing really excellent deep and tight bass.
You have truly statement level monitor so it will be difficult to find all that hyper detail+deep bass in $10K range...
Well, WAF factor aside, I have a pair of Alto Utopia Be's, and I find the bass to be pretty crushing at times. They don't officially drop down to 20 hz, rather 30, but I haven't felt any disappointment in the bass reproduction of these speakers and they meet your 10 K limit. I'd take them any day of the week over the Mahler, the Amatis, or the Thiels. I don't care for any of those speakers. They may go slightly deeper in the bass compared to certain of the JM Lab line, but they lack the high frequency extension of the Utopia Be line. As always, YMMV.
If you can go a little higher I would audition the B&W 802D (and try to get a nice discount from a reasonable dealer). The 802D blew me away. I'm saving for a pair to add to my setup eventually. If you mean 10K for one speaker and not a pair, I would check out the 800D, that is one sweet speaker IMO. One I can't afford in the near future. :(
I'm using a Bryston SP1.7 (in bypass modes for stereo and surround musics) into a Bryston 9B SST with Meridian G08 and Denon DVD-5910, through B&W 703 fronts, HTM7 center, 705 surrounds and an ASW 750 sub.
You can find speakers that are much more musical and less power hungry than the B&W 802D for under 10K. Check out a used pair of Vandersteen 5A, Eggleston Andras as mentioned, Von Schweikert, Silverlines, Kharmas, etc. etc. Lastly B&W almost certainly locks you into non musical amplification such as Krell, Bryston, Classe', etc. Spend your money wisely; look at the number of B&W speakers that are for sale at any time. There's a reason for this.
I disagree with Judy. Most particularly because he/she has an obvious negative bias against B&W as noted in other posts he/she has made. His/Her bias goes far enough to make things up which are not true and cannot be proved.
Besides this apparent negative bias her logic is fallacious. Just because there are used B&W speakers for sale (no matter how many) does not lend credence to any negative inference (which she would like you to infer from her statements).
For instance, my dealer is now selling these used items acquired from me on a trade in: 2 B&W 703s, 2 B&W 705s with stands, B&W HTM7, and a B&W ASW 750. Why? The reason is because I traded them all in to upgrade to a pair of B&W 802Ds. I flooded the market with series 7 B&W speakers to upgrade only my front, right and left, speakers. So one could easily infer from Judy's statements and mine together that people like their B&Ws so much, they upgrade them a lot, and possibly upgrade from a lot of lower end speakers to one or two high end speakers.
I've noticed that a lot of dealers are kind in this respect, I'm guessing the reason for so many B&W speakers being up for sale, is likely because of people like me who got their feet wet and realized after a few months it was better to spend the extra money and build up to a top end system now, rather than re-buy everything later on and waste more money along the way. Then again, there is also the question of upgrading to newer models, which would explain why so many older models are on the market. This likewise proves that people must love B&W, for why would people have bought so many of them, and then sell them when there are new models with newer technology in them available. These are all reasonable explanations. Add to that, the knowledge that B&W is like the 2nd biggest audiophile speaker selling company in the world, or something akin to that, and it makes a lot of sense why there are so many to go around.
Judy's posts that I have read so far seem to follow the same agenda. Trash talk B&W then recommend the same groups of speakers she/he always recommends which leads me to believe there is an ulterior motive involved... like perhaps marketing.
Not 10,000, but 9,000 would be the Zu definitions... Dual 10" full range drivers on the front w/super tweeter, NO crossover.. Plus count em' 4 10" Subwoofer's on the back of cabinet going down from 40hz all the way to 16hz, with built in amplification, not to mention they are 101 db efficient, and running the fronts on any power amp is very good be it tube or solid state, and as near perfect a package with insane design that is so simple that achieves real sound up to 130 db output! They are as good as a pile of 4500.00 parts each can get, its true and you get a 60 day trial period.
I should add, however, that I'm pretty sure the Avanti 3's don't go all the way down to 25 hertz. What you're asking for, at least without a sub, in that price range, would seem to be a rather tall order. I've heard that the Mahlers do go deeper than the Avantis, however.
After I heard the excellence of the small Totem Tabus, I thought that the Totem Shaman, at the time a 10K floorstander, would sound phenomenal, but it didn't, at least not to me, although it wasn't "bad". I was definitely disappointed, however. The older, three box version of the Audio Physic Caldera did sound phenomenal, and was available at the time for "only" 10,000 dollars, which was about half off the retail. But even that speaker didn't go down to 25 hertz, at least not flat, I'm almost certain.
The Mahlers MAY be the best bet of the three based on your criteria, but it would seem that an in home audition would be mandatory. Those reportedly require a fairly large room to sound their best, and it's not clear whether your room dimensions would be optimal for them, based on your statement that there's no room for two subwoofers.
Please let us know what you decide.