Of the two speakers, I prefer the Wilson, no contest.
That's Just one mans opinion, you will undoubtedly receive many comments on this topic.
That's Just one mans opinion, you will undoubtedly receive many comments on this topic.
With what are you driving the Avantgardes(tubes or SS), and using what interconnects/cables? They are very revealing of any shortcomings upstream. Not to say there has to be junk before them, but any stridency/glare/grain at all could become intolerable, given their high efficiency and frequency extension. For instance: If tubed- ditch the EH's and find some nice bottom-getter Sylvanias from the 40's. If you were using silver interconnects, a high quality copper might aleviate the problem(ie: Kimber's KS-1121). If your source were a Sony SCD-777ES, you might want to have the piece tweeked(as many others have) as they come from the factory with an upper-mid/low-treble edge. Unless you audition the Wilsons in the same system first: you may buy into the same issue, given that they are also very extended, though not nearly as efficient(93db vs 103db/1w/1m). Either of these excellent systems will act like a magnifying glass toward the rest of the soundstream.
I have a pair of Unos and do not experience any brightness or glare, I would not trade for wilsons as your speakers when set up properly are state of the art and outperform any Wilson.Make sure that your room is properly treated, this is very important, do not use any silver speaker cables or jumpers as they are bright on Avantgardes. I use Mit Bi-wire, low going to the bass, high to the midrange, with a Mit Magnum jumper from midrange to tweeter. Get the best Mit cables you can afford.Use an Set amp, I use an Art Audio Diavolo, and your system should sing.Remember that the problems you are experiencing are system related, not the speakers. When everything is set up right the speakers are unbelievable.
# 1 neither speaker is remotely part of the same sentence. Believe me minus maybe that new Wilson 8 I know I have heard the big dogs from wilson, whatever the cost was the time I know was well into the 100 k plus range model. Anyway also at the same dealer avantgarde.. Believe it or not the Wilson with VTL mono's that were about 30 k were no contents with the avantgardes on a 40 watt 700 dollar integrated amp! They were way more real, smoother, and of course due to the efficiency far more detailed and powerful without breaking the bank.
Beyond that room acoustics and on both otherwise you will get grain or bright on top, many other balance issues. And My honest opinion is selling the duo's for 9,000 and buying into a wilson that would become worth of the new 27 k a pair would be a mistake. I would go and buy the Omega upgrade kit for your avantgardes which with the Mundorf Silver oils in the new crossovers etc... will really smooth out and turn your horns into liquid. Yeah its pretty expensive at 8 k but better than the losses and barley parallel move you would make going into a whole different speaker that will required 5 times the power amp size, and have its own issues.
I don't own either, and both were a tad bright in the rooms I have heard them in, but still the wilson was really edgy which is a bit weird. 2 people were with me on a few occasions we visited both of these super costly speakers, every time we all gave the nod especially for size and value to the Duo's.
When the basic system is revealing the little things really matter- tube rolling, Herbies Tube Dampeners, vib control- even in the rack (if you have one). I filled my Solid Steel rack with play sand and it still rang, so I stuck a bunch of Moretight on it and replaced the stock spikes with Sound Care SuperSpikes. I also isolate each shelf with vibration products from Herbie
The two are really very different, both are excellent but in their own way. I have heard duos extensively and the big issue is getting them set up properly. It is not easy and if they are set up poorly, or even just ok, they will not sound their best. The new omega is a big improvement as far as an upgrade but expensive (though cheaper than new speakers). The duo sound you know but it is very dynamic, as befits a horn. If they are bright up top it may be the ancillary equipment or your room, classically it is not a problem with them in my expereince.
The wilson sound is much different. I have friends with wilsons and those that like wilsons, like them period. They also tend not to like speakers like duos. I have other friends who can't stand the wilsons. It sometimes takes a bit of listening to figure out which group you fall in. Its not that they are bad at all just a very different presentation. Wilsons also need proper set up but as a whole I suspect they are more tolerant than the duos.
Since it is always cheaper to fix your current system than buy new stuff I would suggest make sure proper setup, consider your room acoustics and the ancillary gear. If those are not remedial then by all means audition the wilsons but try to listen in house with them.
Of course it comes down to personal taste and whatever makes your ears happy and puts a smile on your face. I have Duos and, as you know, setup is critical with these speakers. While they have never failed to please, I can relate to a little high end glare on some material even though I perceived it more as having just a little too much bite on aggressively recorded material. When I did the Omega upgrade, the sound was much improved, better detail yet more relaxed and coherent. Absolutely no "bite". The upgrade is not just a small small step but a substantial improvement and worth the investment. Keep your "BMW".
Thanks All. The Duos remain. My amps are SET, Lamms.
They stay. Just added the Placette passive remote. It
is fresh air, a big improvement. Ah, yes, room treatment.
There's the rub. Awkward room with mirrors, windows,
odd shape. Rugs and soft furniture but poor location for
my needs and no drapes on large expanse of windows curved
to reflect back into the room. They focus the sound back.
Probably the worstest config. Have not heard of the
Omega upgrade. I'd pay for a set-up maven to advise me
in-house. Have floundered in hi-fi for forty years
without learning anything. I can tie my own shoes, though.
As others have noted, these are quite different speakers. Both can be quite fussy about setup and precise location. But, if your overall concern was with excessive brightness, there is no question that the Wilsons would be the wrong direction. Add to that, the difficulty of driving the Wilsons with Lamm amps. The 93 db/w efficiency of the Wilsons, while fairly high, hardly tells the story. These are quite difficult speakers to drive.
considering your room explanations anything is a toss up then, so make it optimal for any speaker would be the key.. The omega upgrade would help I am sure as well.. its pretty heavy on improvments from what I read.. see the 6 moons writeup on it if you have not really good reading, and not sure the link will post here without being blocked, it has colored pictures and intricate details of the involved omega equipment as well.
Once again, treat your room, get curtains for all that glass, some asc tube traps for the corners,some half traps at the first reflection points, some room tune corner traps at the ceiling, Then walk around the room and clap you hands, wherever you can hear a slap echo, treat that area at the ceiling. You have invested so much money in your system it is a shame not to be able to hear it perform at its best.Once your room is properly treated you will not believe the difference, only then would I consider the omega upgrade and only if you have the itch to upgrade.
Good that you made a decision.
I've had both and now own the W/P 8's. Why, because they make better music in my home environment with my system. Truly, its always comes down to that - a combination of factors in your home environment and your system components. In the future at your price range, always do a home trial if you are considering a change,
enjoy the music
For all you wonderful responders, I have a belated up-
date: Still have the AV Duos. After auditioning the
passive Placette remote volume control and heard its
wonderful transparency, I realized that my "front end"
was where I was finding my fatique. Traded my cdp and
got the Raysonic CD 128. Clear improvement. Finally
relented and went for better interconnects and power
cords. All revealing and confirming their worth. Yes,
wire does make a difference. Lamp cord just does not
deliver! Well engineered CDs sound great. Trash still
disappoints. It still holds true: You get what you
pay for. BG
I had the Raysonic 128.. Great player! Very good and dynamic midrange without fatigue.. I suggest replacing the 6922 tubes in that unit if they are stock, 5 times better using a vintage philips or like RCA, even Mullard 6922... They can be had between 40 and like 80 bucks a matched pair, they will be far more smooth, bass, sound stage etc... They will be as effective or more than cable upgrades, and the raysonic deserves a good power cable, I liked Copper designs best, and shielded might be an advantage but I did not experiment enough.
Bgordon, FWIW I agree with Undertow re changing out the tubes in the 128. Initially the EH's are impressive (big bass) but I found the tube lacking in bass resolution and the highs a bit too much. I ultimately chose EI6DJ8's, but realize that tube selection is as much a system synergy issue as anything else. I also liked Amperex Bugleboys as well. Anyway, do take the time to explore this - it really makes a big difference.
As much as a better CDP or preamp or amp can improve things, they can't begin to compare to getting the speakers to "play the room" with the components you currently have.
Buying more or better components without first fully addressing the potential of a speaker's interface with the room is - if you'll allow one more opinion - a near total waste of money.
That goes for Wilsons, Avantgardes, Magneplanars, Quads, or really any speakers.
Just my two euros...