Sure..as an unbiased observer/listener, and owner of much high end over the years, I think they sound fantastic! They sound like a Thiel and a Dunlavy combined really. They're clear, dynamic, detailed, coherent, etc. I actually had the pleasure of visiting the plant, talking with the designer, and evaluating the big top end speakers at the reps house. Very nice!
Great drivers, excellent enclosures, and very dynamic. Your description of a combination between a Dunlavy and Thiel is pretty accurate in my opinion. If there is one thing that I can critisize about Montana, its that they don't sweat the details on their crossover voicing (some are even outsourced designs!). I think this is the only area which keeps Montana from being at the very top of this kind of speaker offering (Large WMTMW configuration).
If you want to consider an alternative to the Montana, take a look at the AV Reality LuxAR speakers at http://www.acoustic-reality.com/portal.asp .
The LuxAR speakers have extremely exotic drivers (that no other manufacturer that I know of uses because of their cost). The drivers themselves have edge of the art impulse responses and are cost no object designs. These speakers also have a killer sounding crossovers and are WAAAAAAY underpriced as compared to Montanas (or Dunlavy, Thiel, Dynaudio, etc.). You can get them with the newest form of digital amplification that will be re-defining what we can expect from amplifiers too!(This amp will be taking the audiophile world by storm from what I have been hearing from others who have heard it).
Personally I think this is one of the greatest speakers currently offered at any price, even though it is a fraction of what Montanas or the big Dynaudios cost. I even believe that they will crush the super expensive Wilsons and Pipedreams too!
I heard a pair of Montana XPs over the weekend for the first time. They work hooked to a Bryston 4B, ARC transport, Perp Tech P-1a/3a and a preamp I can't recall. I was listening to modern jazz and overall the sound was big and flowing, but not as big as I would have expected. Soundstage was focused and acceptably deep, but not as wide as I would have liked. Also, there was a bit of grain that made it a bit difficult to listen to during spirited passages, but overall the music was enjoyable. I list all the components because this was my first exposure to Montana speakers and I don't know which piece[s] I'd attribute the graininess to. Physically very big too.
I'm biased because I own a pair of the KAS's but I do love them. Deep bass, very seamless, top end crisp but not bright, airy, very smooth overall. I sold my Thiel CS-6's which were blown away by the KAS -- and I loved those Thiel speakers but had to spend a lot of time taming the brightness. Didn't notice any grain (could be that my ears are not as trained as some though) but they did put out a very wide soundstage in my prior listening room (I'm moving so they are in climate controlled storage right now) -- acoustics and placement have a big bearing on that.
Ehider, interesting link. But no prices. How do you know they are WAAAAAAAY underpriced?
Are they even available in USA?
I have owned three different pairs in a 5year span...and will NEVER buy another set.I guess I am/was a slow learner.I own a pair of KAS,that can be had CHEAP!
I saw the WAS on their website..what is that?750 lbs..that must be the heaviest speaker ever built...
Ttathomp, could you please elaborate a bit? I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts. Thanks.
Ehider. Another simple question - have you ever HEARD the Luxar speakers? Or ANY of the Acoustic-Reality speakers? Just curious.
I also think the prices are available now. $20K range (and up) does not appear to be 'WAY less than Montana or Dunlavy. I'd agree that with the drivers they use and the series crossovers they employ, that they probably sound pretty good though.
This statement on acoustic reality's home page makes me nervous. Maybe you digital only guys will not be bothered.
"Do you remember how big the improvement was when you did switch from phono LP recordings to Compact Disc recordings? Now it is time to an even much larger step. Let your loudspeakers be controlled in the way they deserve to be controlled."
I also noticed that everything they manufactured was shaped like a pyramid. This apparently occurred after the designer made a trip to Egypt.
I guess that is OK style wise, but not the most efficient work space for electronics.
I just puchased a pair of the Montana EPS's and replaced B&W 802's. Huge difference and great natural sound. For the money they're a bargan. The EPS's are Stereophile Class A rated. What's a better bargan for under $8K---B&w's don't even match the natural quality sound.
I bought a used pair of SP II Signatures a couple of months ago and love 'em. Very substantial cabinet, excellent drivers and crossover components. They aren't the last word at the frequency extremes, but plenty satisfying for me.
I have a pair of the bottom line DPS and these are a good sounding speaker for the money. I have listened to Martin Logans, Vienna Acoustics, and Magnepans that cost more money but don't sound any better. I owned a pair of Magnepan MGIIIa and these are overall better. The detail is almost as good and they don't freak out on saxaphone parts. The bass is much better.
My only criticism of the speakers are the midbase they use. They use that Scanspeak Kelvar midbase, which i think can sound edgy. I wish Montana would use the Scanspeak revalator midbase or the Scanspeak paper midbase. I think those drivers sound so much smoother then the Scanspeak Kelvar midbase.