Best mid-size speaker, cost no object

Hello all,

I am looking for some ideas as to the best mid-size speaker available (i.e., < 54" in height and 250 lbs in weight per speaker). In particular, I may be moving to a new, smaller residence in the near future, which would force me to part with my Genesis 300s for something a little more reasonable. So far, I have listened to, or plan to demo, the Avalon Eidolon, Vandersteen 5, and Meadowlark Nightingale. I have also heard good things about the Piega P-10 and Verity Parsifal Encore. Any other suggestions?

Rest of the system (if you are interested):
Silver Rock Pot
Audiocom'ed Sony SCD-1
Dodson 217 MKII D
Verdier/SPJ/Magnum Opus phono
Silversmith cables

Thanks in advance for your comments.
listen to the Kharma Midi-Grand Ceramique if you can.
I own and can certainly recommend the Vandersteen 5s-- spectacular bass and great mid-range clarity. Have you auditioned them yet? I see the new 5A is now (or will soon) be available, but starting at about $14.5K. Good Luck. Craig
Take a listen to the Kharma 3.2.
B&W Signature 30
Ross Perot but I think he is taller than 54". I doubt he's cheap.
Otherwise: ATC active 20's or 50's, Harbeth, or B&W (sugarbrie is usually right on with rec's).
I have to say that from what I heard at CES, the Avalon Diamond beat out the Kharma Midi-Grand Ceramique and the Vandersteen 5 hands down. I say this without referring to the electronics driving them or those that you have. I found the Kharma to have nice tonal balance, good soundstage depth, but too much bass (a bit muddy, could have been the room modes). The diamond impressed me in all ways. Just my 2 cents. Good luck and let us know what you end up with!
chalk 2 up for atc active 50's. . .
Definitely try the verity audio's. The Revel Studio's may be slightly over 54" but would also be a contender
I would go for the MBL101D. This speaker can play simply anything, from jazz to rock, you name it.
In addition to the fine lines mentioned thus far I would definitely consider the piega but the p series is no longer being made. You can still get a new p10 on audiogon but I don't think that will last for too much longer. The new c limited series are definitely worth a listen. I have the c8ltd and love them but the c10ltd or c40 are also in your size limit. If you ever have questions I would be happy to help (by the way I have no relation with piega just a happy owner). Good luck
I'm currently listening to Piega C-40s. The break in was lengthy and they need lots of current to really fill a large room, but the sound is really something special. I have never been a ribbon fan, but these are very smooth with incredible detail.

French horn on Fanfare for a common man was in the room. Tower of Power was really rocking the house with completely clear horns and percussion. The percussion on American Beauty Score floated thought the room and the bass was haunting, deep and full. As a former player, I'm very snooty about piano and these are the best speakers for the wide range of overtones and dynamics I've ever heard. A Hammond never sounded better unless I was sitting at it. The bass on Lou Reed's Paranoia in E was full, deep and crisp. Never boomy in my room (32 X 18 with high ceilings). Guitars ring like you are in the studio. These are so good, I'm even listening to some classical just to here the strings!

The cabinets are also beautiful. You should really try to give these an audition.
i will second the previous post by spudco only go a step less expensive and give my vote for the new c-10 ltd does,imo,everything the c-40 does,perhaps even better bass,but at a price that is much more affordable.i,currently, own piega p-10s' but will be trading up to the c-10 ltds in the spring.they are the best speaker i have ever heard and do not take as long to break in as do the c-40's. they need to be heard if you truely want to hear the best.
a Starbucks Grande Americano!!!

After returning from CES, I can reiterate what I have always thought about this hobby - that we all hear differently and we all have different tastes and different frames of reference (not to mention the unique nature of our system synergy and room interaction). Consequently, I try to qualify all my statements with this in mind and try never to make absolute statements like "Speaker A sucks" or "CDP B is the best" I also try to refrain from putting down anyone's system as their system is based on their tastes and budget constraints. Don't get me wrong, I AIN'T the politically correct type, I just think this hobby is far too subjective for such absolutes.

I had to laugh when, on Saturday at CES, I witnessed two gentleman listening in a room where I was standing behind them. When they had listend to 2 or 3 songs, I talked to them separately outside of the room and asked what they thought of what they had heard. Paraphrasing what they said, one said the bass was bloated and too "big" and the other said he loved the sound but thought the bass was weak and thin!! I had to laugh. Was either wrong? IMHO - No. Was either right? IHMO - they both were because that is what THEY heard.

I also witnessed again first hand how much some "audiophiles" (sorry for the expletive) get so offended and take it so personally when someone else does not like or share the same opinion of their gear.

I noticed above that Peter said he thought the Kharma Midi-Grands had a nice tonal balance but too much bass. Forgetting whether I share that opinion, I could ask how they could have tonal "balance" if the bass was out of proportion. But why should I? I am not picking on Peter's opinion. JUST the opposite, I am saying that I have no doubt he heard it that way and he liked the Eidolon's better - and he sould not have to defend that opinion or worry if I or anyone else thinks differently. Peter also astutely noted that the room may have contributed to what he percieved as the problem. (BTW Peter, I too enjoyed the Eidolons [as well as the Kharmas]).

In the end, what I was MOST amazed by at CES, however, is that for a 48 year old guy like me who remembers the days of Marantz, SAE, Heath Kits, Dynaco and Tech HiFi where, although some of those designs may have been timeless, we had very little choices compared to the INCREDIBLE selection of different gear of all types and at all price points that we have today!! For me, that is what I am thankful for. My hat's off to all the gifted and dedicated designers and music lovers at CES!

Sorry for venting, I am OK now, I have taken my meds!

PS -- Spudco, any guy who rocks out on Tower of Power is my kinda guy!! Rocco, Doc, Mimi, Dave and the gang can sure funk like nobody else!!!
Even with "cost no object," listen to the Von Schweikert VR4genIIISE's....
Fmpnd - I agree with you that sonic impressions are generally subjective and often relative to budgetary and other constraints. I hope I didn't come across too absolutest - these were simply my impressions. My impressions were also not consistent with my own budget :( Oh well! Also, to be more specific on the Kharma, I liked the tonal balance of everything outside the bass range! I guess that was an apparent contradiction. Cheers, Peter
Peter, I didn't take your post as absolutist at all, just your opinion. And I also understood your statement on the Kharmas (so I hope you didn't think I was being critical). Myself, I am sad to say that I was underwhelmed by most of the megakilobuck speakers that I heard (even taking into consideration show conditions and the point of diminishing returns which I believe is inherent in high end audio) and I was actually looking for new speakers.

I am fortunate in that the Kharma Midi-Grands that were at CES are coming to my home tomorrow so I can hear them in my system and in my room. I wish I could hear the Eidolons side by side.


If you got the bucks, check out the new Talon Firebird-
picture at:
Vandersteen 5 or JM Lab Mezzo Utopias would be my choice
I use ATC active 50s and would obviously recommend them, but for any price around this size, I would recommend 100s.
Never heard them myself, but the Harbeth 40s and 30s seem to win universal praise.