Cain Abby vs Reference 3a De Capo i

Anyone compared these, ive auditioned the De capo's several times and love them, but have no way of auditioning the abbys,
assuming the abby's are close in sound quality to the De capo's they may represent better bang for your buck as they sell for about half the price on the used market, and when you factor in the cost of stands for the decapos its even less...still as i said before i havent heard the Cain's yet..

any thoughts?
I have a pair of Abbys and a friend uses de Capo's. I haven't heard them in the same system, but I have heard them with the same amp.

IMO the Abbys are not as good an all-around speaker as the de Capo - they don't have as much extension top and bottom, they don't have the dynamic capability of the de Capo, and there are obvious resonances that the de Capo doesn't have. What the Abby does have is a wonderful sense of life and presence in the midband, and they image like bandits. However, I think the de Capo would be a more satisfying speaker for most people over the long haul.

One thing that would help the Abby is a subwoofer or two, and not surprisingly they now make one for it called the Bailey. That doesn't help the high frequencies, though. A whizzer is no substitute for a real tweeter.

The de Capo is a speaker you can build a real high-end system around. My friend has done that, and with a sub and good room treatment he has a high end system that leaves little to be desired. In my opinion, in its unadorned form the Abby barely edges out of the "toy speaker" category. It looks great, and as I said above its sound has some grins, but I couldn't live with them as a main speaker.

There is a dealer here in Atlanta that carries both (Earthshaking Music, which deals primarily in pro gear but also has a hifi room). I've owned the non-i de Capos and heard both the de Capo i and Cain & Cain Abby there, but I didn't audition back to back. The Cain to me sounds more like a planar speaker, wide, deep soundstage, open sounding, esp. the standard version of the Abby, which I preferred over the higher eff. version. Very smooth sound, great for jazz, chamber & vocal music etc. The de Capo also images well and is open-sounding, but to me a little more more dynamic than the Cain. Moreover, I think the i-version is slightly more dynamic than the non-i version that I owned, but IMO still not enough for large scale orchestral music. I'd have to hear both back to back on the same system to tell you more. Good luck,

Good question and great comments by TLH and Gliderguider. I am pretty
much facing the same decission, and those two are exactly on my list as well.

I am considering Soliloquy 5.6/6.2 or De Capo's for regular type speakers
and the Cain Abby or Omega Super 3 with Adire subwoofer(s) in the single
driver speaker category.

I am also note sure whether an efficient allrounder like the De Capo or the
Cain Abby would be the way to go. I very much feel like experimenting a little
more with the single drivers. In particular the possibility to try different
Fostex drivers sounds very interesting. On the other hand, as Glider
mentioned, the De Capo would be more of a long term solution and quite
worth it to assemble a nice hi end system around. The Abby should be worth
a very good system as well, but ultimately might limit the type of music you
can listen to.

Well, I am very undecided as well. Hopefulle HE in NY will provide some
answers to me. I am certainly planning to give the Abby's a good listen.

Good luck on your search!

Long term doesn't depend on your taste in music.Any speaker can work in the right system with the right gear in the right room with the right owner. Is there a such thing as a long term speaker? I seriously doubt it. Your more likely to change because of that itch more than any thing else. What type of music you listen too won't be the big factor, if you do your home work.

It would be unrealistic to think otherwise!

Gliderguider your more than welcome to send them toys my way! And please give me the definition of a real high end system. Let me guess.. is it the one where you get reamed
by paying for nothing more than a cabinet?
I think the single-driver + supertweeter is the key to ultimate greatness. Properly executed, single drivers have very little holding them back, plus they allow superior but lower powered amps. Throw in a pair of subs and you lack for nothing, plus all the special things that multi-driver/crossover arrays will not touch.

If you're curious about the Fostex line, another way to check out the hi-eff sound is build some. A pair of 167's or 206's will put you out about $170, build some boxes, give them a nice massage, and they really work a treat. I built some and they've taken me on one wild ride!
Gmood1, "get reamed by paying for nothing more than a cabinet" actually describes my reaction to the Abbys pretty well. Lots of show, not much go IMO, and I have a pair with Terry's wire upgrade sitting in a storage room. They're just not my cup of tea, it's not a federal crime.

My definition of "real high end" is one where the gear disappears and leaves the music floating in the room. The Abbys don't do that for me, but the de Capo i's in the right setup do.
The disagreement between Gliderguider and Gmood1 is almost entirely a matter of taste. If you're looking for utmost extension at either end, the Abbys ain't gonna get it. If you like to rock and play it loud, it's no contest.

For transient response and "live" mids though, nothing but Nothing can beat a single driver. They have their limitations and quirks, and for me it's a no-brainer. Give me the Abby any day.
Gliderguider LOL !! I had to crack my side at your last post! It is hillarious ! I have no problem with the speakers not working for you. As I told you before ..why waste the space.Send them my way. I'm sure Miklorsmith will take them off your hands as well.

It was the "real high end" comment that got me going. It must be a lot of unreal high end on Agon..cuz there sure is a lot of it for sale.

Looks like your pro canadian too. Nothing wrong with that...I guess! :-)
I've seen pics of Terry's version of the Abby with the tweeter built into the surround. I think a nearfield version with that addition and a pair of Bailey subs would probably sound pretty special. I know the Abby/Bailey combo got a fine review at 6moons.

As Miklorsmith says, it's all about personal sonic preferences. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same stuff.

About the Canadian thing, it's really more a matter of those two speaker companies (Coincident and Fab) making products that appeal to my musical and philosophical sensibilities. My amps have come from China, France, England and the US. In 2005 there are no borders when it comes to taste.
I've been reading alot of posts where people like to pair a supertweeter with the Fostex drivers.

In my opinion, it would be money better spent to step up to the Lowther drivers, which extend to 22kHz by themselves and need no supertweeter.

I've used both, and IMO, there is no contest between Fostex and Lowther. The Fostex is very good for the money, but on an ultimate performance scale, there is a wide gulf between them.

Just remember, single drivers don't end with Fostex, that is just the entry level. Lowthers aren't perfect either, but they have more of everything that people like about single drivers.
Twl, now I am curious: Has anyone here tried Lowther drivers in the Abby? I have seen the different measurements for different Fostex drivers on 6moons, but no Lowther. Did you or anyone here do a listening comparison between a Fostex w/supertweeter and Lowthers?
TWL I notice your a big Lowther fan. I understand where your coming from as well.But single drivers also do not end with Lowthers. There's several brands out there, I would love to try. It is only the beginning for me. My next stop are the hemp drivers. From there maybe the F200a Fostexes. If the Hemps can give me what I want, I may slow down a bit. The Lowthers are on my list also. Sometimes this hobby can get overly addictive...but man is it fun to hear new things. The Fostex is a good way to get a taste of the single driver's got me hooked! I doubt I'll be going back to a speaker that uses crossovers.

Good listening!
Speaking of speakers, Srajan has bought a pair of my favorite speakers and will be reviewing them soon. He's gonna review them with my (and Gmoon1's) favorite amp if he can. Can you say "ultimate fidelity"? Can you say $3,300 for amp and speakers? How about "Conduit to the recording"? Srajan will be saying all these things, and not too long from now. You may not believe me, but you might believe him.

My taste and your taste and the dude around the way's taste are not far from obsolete. These preferences, I believe, are personal variations of which compromises are acceptable to each of us. There is a grand paradigm shift brewing as I write this which will whisk us all away to a new and amazing place where compromises become minisule. I seen it and it good. Very good.
I just ordered the Abby and will be getting it on the 20th. I also own the 3a's. I'll post when I can make some comments
I have owned both, built many other loudspeakers with both fostex and lowthers ,pretty much all models.Abby is a nice loudspeaker but suffers from dynamic compresion fe166e [fe168e is better as is fe166es-r]has only a little cone ,cabinet resonace problems too but over all its a fun loudspeaker the De capos are more detailed play louder but dont have the filled out sound of the abby.As far as lowther being better than quality fostex my findings are that lowthers have a bit more space to the mids but have a rough trebile responce ,droning bass in most all cabinets ,cost way to much ,need regular maintance and only realy show there best side in front horns or front and back horn cab like tp1 or yamamura.F200a is much better across the board in sound quality , deeper bass with much detail plays just as loud but needs a bit more power than lowther has better trebile detail and is just flatter across its range no annoying peaks.I can see why lowthers are well liked but f200a fe208 e sig with tweeter are more enjoyable to me and the others who have heard these systems in my home or there own as alway YMMV and we all have dif taste
Paul voight helped developed lowthers using a voight pipe cabinet as far as I know,Terry changed it a bit for fe166e but the designs been arround for many decades with lowthers.