How big is your room.This important.
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I own a pair of Avalon Avatars. Little brother to the Radians and I've fallen in love with them. They are a little picky on placement but not as bad as other speakers I've lived with. They are perhaps a little layed back so matching them with the proper electronics and cabeling is important. I'm driving them with Gryphon SS amplification and a Audible Illusions Modulus 3A. They simply fill my room with music, they just disappear. They go quite low given the simple two way design and 8" driver. The mids are their strength and the highs are velvety and fast. The highs are very smooth and are probably a result of the "layed back" sound I mentioned. I like the sound but I've had a Sim Moon pre in the system and the highs were a little more aggressive than with the AI Modulus - its a matter of taste. As far as the radians are concerned you will want a good sized room. My room is 18'x22' and the Avatars are plenty of speaker for that sized room. I've heard the Radians and the Eidolons (not in my home) but they have similar characteristics as the Avatars but are more, bigger, deeper and seem to pull a little more detail out of the recording. I've simply fallen in love with my Avatars and really don't desire to make any changes there for the first time in my life. Then again I really would like to take the next step in my pre-amp and if I ever do that who knows what will next need to be upgraded (an insideous illness this is!). If you plan to spend that kind of money you simply need to listen. I never heard the Total Eclipse so I can't compare but the Avalons are a beautiful speaker both sonically and aestetically. My wife actually likes them. If you ever get to the Chicago area look up a shop called Quintescence Audio...It's a great store that really knows how to set up a system and a room. You will hear the Avalons in the best possible light. The owner of Quintescence is a true pleasure to work with.
Gvwaudio- Cornfed is quite right. I've listened to the Eidolons and the Total Eclipse. If you want SET amps, go with the T.E. If you're willing to trade the sound of SETs for extremely high quality ss (which means $$$), then the Avalons are a consideration. You have to match the speakers to the amps and then the room. It's always a matter of synergy. Good luck.
Room placement for side firing WOOFERS should not be a problem at all. That is, unless they are actually MID-woofers and placed up too high on the cabinet. If the woofer is crossed over higher than 200 Hz (at most), expect problems. If the woofer is mounted up high in the cabinet, expect problems.
For speakers to work optimally, they SHOULD have been designed to take into account room loading effects. On top of that, the manufacturer should make you aware of what works best with them and offer specific suggestions in terms of placement.
Look at the manual before buying ANY speaker. While many will tell you what a WONDERFUL product it is, very few will give you useful information in determining if it is suitable for your specific room and listening tastes. If the manual does not go into specifics as to why they were designed as such and how they work best, they probably put just as much thought into the designing and building process. After all, if they really DID do all of the testing and research that they claim was necessary to come up with "the best possible", they should know EXACTLY what it takes to make them "tick". Even with these guidelines though, every room is slightly different and you will still probably have to fine tune them somewhat for your specific application. Sean
Side-firing woofers CAN require getting used to if you're not familliar with working with them.
(My statemet repeated from another Coincident thread):
Placement: Because they have side-firing double woofers that are not on a straight line vertically from each other, the speaker can be a little tricky to place in some rooms. The staggered woofer configuration can make it difficult to determine the best placement based on room dimensions in relationship to the woofers. I recommend the Cardas speaker placement formula; see their website.
Perhaps I was "slow" to adapt to side-firing woofers because I was so used to all-front firing drivers, but it took me about a couple months of diddling around to get a bass bloat to go away when I started using the Coincident Super Eclipses. Maybe I am just 'slow.'