Eidolon vs Opus

I am thinking of upgrading my speakers from the Avalon Opus to the Eidolon. Assuming my system, and listening room, is commensurate with the Eidolon, what should I expect from the upgrade?

Rich Maurin
The Edolon's will give you a bigger sound with greater extension in the bass.

I would strongly suggest you listen to the Kharma speakers. They are much more coherent and much more transparent and resolute. They go deeper and are a HUGE step over the Avalon's.

Are you going to CES? If so, they will be shown with the Tenor's and the LAMM's.
You might want to go to www.avalonacoustics.com and post a question on their forumn. I'm sure that question has been asked before. I have heard both and the Eidolon takes your wonderful speaker to a new level. I'm thinking you like Avalon speakers since you are considering staying in the family. To me they make some of the best speakers around. Try and give them a listen before making the jump but I bet you will be very happy if you move up.
And since then Kharmas have anything more or less listenable under 70 Hz. No wonder that their Ceramic 3.2 are this best sounding model and all their larger models (more bassy) are just a pile of audio junk.

last week ,i listened opus with graaf and eidolon with pass amps.
and as jtinn,
i think that kharma (1.2 or 2.3) are much better.
Rich, The Eidolons continue to be the best speaker I have ever heard, but I've not heard the Kharma's, Sound Lab A-1/U-1 or some other contenders. If Jtinn is not using a fair amount of hypberbole in his comparison -- you should buy the Kharma (but which model is not clear). Jtinn has always seemed to present very fair and balanced information in this forum.

Nonetheless, for my listening preference (acoustic music, primarily classical), the Eidolons are superb speakers. They match the speed, clarity and coherence of electrostactic speakers and they present a holographic soundstage that must be heard to be believed. They are a reasonably easy load to drive, but they will be extremely revealing of everything in the signal path.

To your specific question comparing your current Opus to the Eidolon, Robert Harley wrote an excellent review of the Opus for TAS (Issue 122, Feb/Mar 2000) and made a very detailed comparison of the Opus to the Eidolon. At the time of the review, he had lived with Eidolons for a year and it served as his point of reference. You can download the review from the TAS website for a fee:

Key points of Harley's comparison:
* Opus has a bit more relaxed sound, being a bit less forward in the upper midrange. It also is described as more forgiving of source and amplification shortcomings.
* The Opus has a similar sound through midrange and treble (same drivers).
* Very different bass reproduction, with Eidolon being "exceptionally smooth and uncolored, with amuscularity and extension not even approached by previous Avalon loudspeakers." The Opus has more midbass coloration, but perhaps more impact that some listeners may prefer - "a better party speaker, the Eidolon a more accurate reference monitor."

Hope this helps. If you like the Opus and value its strengths, I think you will really enjoy the Eidolon. For me, there is a very signigicant and worthwhile improvement in sound reproduction that goes well beyond just a more bass extension.
I find Jtinn's strong comments on the Kharma vs. Eidolon a bit perplexing. Eidolons with fast and resolute electronics, like Spectral and the top ARC amps, is as coherent, transparent, and resolute as I have heard, very close to electrostatics in many ways. I have heard the Kharma Exquisite and Lamm combination only at shows, and it was clear that the Kharmas are excellent speakers with fuller, more fleshed out bass than Eidolons; however they were probably imaging the bloom provided by the Lamm tubed electronics. Eidolons will also image bloom from tubes, as was evident in Harley's many comments on the ARC/Eidolon combination.
In the end, you should listen to both Eidolons and Kharmas (which Kharmas?) with your own choice of electronics. I can't imagine being disappointed with the Eidolons, which have been widely praised for the same characteristics that Jtinn mentions.
Flex: I am not dismissing how good the Avalon speakers are, I am very familiar with them and they are quite good.

I have heard the Avalon's with Spectral, ARC, Ayre, Atma-sphere, and many others and my conclusions were always the same. Personally I thought the best combo I heard was with OTL's.

The Kharma's are just amazing. The Avalon speakers do tend to be on the thin side and do not integrate the bass and midrange as well as the Kharma speakers. As good as the imaging and staging is with the Avalon's, the Kharma's take it up a few notches.

The Kharma / LAMM synergy is quite good, however when matched with the Tenor amplifiers, they are the most lifelike speaker I have ever heard.

MES had the combination of Eidilon's and ARC Ref 300 MK II's. He hated his experience with them. He found the lower midrange to be very bloaty.

As a reminder, I am a dealer for Kharma and not for Avalon. If I liked the Avalon speakers enough, I would carry them.
Jtinn, nice follow-up. Thanks for the additional clarification and for reminding everyone that you are a Kharma dealer. I must admit that I don't hear the mid-bass bloat you say MES complained of with the Eidolon and ARC Ref 300 MK II's. I run my Eidolon's with Atma-Sphere MA-2 MkII's and find the integration to be outstandlingly good. Given what I hear with the Eidolon/Atma-Sphere combination, the Kharma truly must be outstanding.

BTW, you never did clarify which model of the Kharma you're referring to.
After reading this post I think everyone can see that what works for one person doesn't work for another. Go listen for yourself and go with what you like best. If someone buys Kharma and another buys Avalon they both will have great speakers to them. To others they will not like those speakers for one reason or another. What I find funny is today its Kharma, next week its Avalon, the week after that its something else. I always like reading old post where one person will say something is the best they have ever heard until they hear something else. I have been very lucky (I think) to have owned many speakers and all have their strengths and weekness. One of the best systems I have every heard was with Avalon Radians. Now does that make Avalons the best, no but they where nice.

This is starting to sound like the person who buys a BMW just to hear another person say they use to like BMW but now Mercedes are the best. They all are very fine and I would love to own either.
Ha, Ha, Ha -- well said, Bryans! And in the meantime we've lost any additional replies to Rmaurin's original question about what to expect if he upgrades from Opus to Eidolon.
I have not heard the Kharmas yet, I have plans to do it very soon. I do have a fair amount of experience with Avalons(they were my last speakers), I always felt myself wanting something I just couldn't obtain with them, not to say they were bad I just felt they were on the lean side and pretty far from the last word in coherency. I am currently using a MUCH cheaper speaker and everyone who has heard before and after agrees the current set up is better on every plane. The things I felt missing from the the avalons is exactly what I am told the kharma's do so very well. The model I believe they are reffering to is either the Midi Grand(30k msrp) or the infamous 3.2 monitor(19k msrp) so they are on par with the mid-twenties from the Avalon Eidolon. I do think you could do better for the money the Eidolon's cost, I at one time lusted after Eidolon's more then anything and now they are not even on my list any more :( They do look incredible though! You owe it to yourself to do a little auditioning at this price level.
I think this is a fair statement. Feel free to disagree if you are inclined. Though many people like Eidolons with tubes, I think they excel with coherent and fast solid state, where the Eidolon transparency, staging, and resolution really shine. They are holographic in the sense that electrostatics are, and in that sense they are thinner than a traditional tube presentation is, though in every sense musical. I simply disagree about coherency, having heard Eidolons with Spectral's best amps and latest DMC-30sl preamp and with excellent room acoustics and vibration control. The stage is tightly coherent, wide and deep. Eidolons mirror the signal fed to them.
On the other hand, if you prefer a warmer, fuller tubelike presentation, then Kharmas appear to be well-matched to electronics of that type. My impression of the $70k Exquisites with Lamm is that they portray, say, a guitar in the same room with you in a more vibrant, organic way than Eidolons, while Eidolons will excel in portraying realistic soundstages with fine low level detail.
I haven't heard the midi-Grand or Ceramiques, but there is probably a family resemblance.
Basically, I'm suggesting there is a style difference in the two speaker lines which would probably be revealed by a/b'ing with similar electronics.
Please do not misinterpret my observations as those of an expert. I am not; however, I have owned (and loved) the Avalon Eclipse. On several occasions I have listened to the Avalon Eidolon with both top-of-the-line Spectral and a Spectral digital/Arc Ref1/Arc VT200 setup in a room with over $20,000 in room treatment. And I now own a pair of Kharma Ceramique 1.0's.

Some will call me a heretic, but I actually preferred the sound of my Avalon Eclipse to that of the Avalon Eidolon. The Eidolon's in the room I heard them had a huge holographic stage and were very nimble, particularly with the Spectral gear. However, to me they sounded somewhat thin or light in balance. The ARC gear helped add some body, but ultimately for just musicality and coherence I preferred the Avalon Eclipse (2 way sealed box) with big tube amps.

I recently purchased a pair of Kharma Ceramique 1.0's without auditioning them, partly due to my desire to venture up to a new audio summit and partly due to A-goner's advice (such as Jtinn) who own the Kharma's.

As I wait for my Atma-Sphere MA1 MkII.2's to arrive, I am still amazed at what the Kharma's do. Mind you that I am temporarily using a 60w/ch Marantz integrated amp ($1200 retail), but the density of tone, the size (particularly height and depth) of stage, and even transparency is simply amazing. It is not as refined and detailed as the Eidolons I heard, but let's just say $20 grand in room treatment and tens of thousands of $ in components has just a little to do with that. I cannot wait to hear what they are able to do with my cd player plugged directly into the Atma-sphere amps.

Hope this helps a little on the Kharma/Eidolon differences. As for the Eidolon/Opus debate, I cannot offer any real help as I have not heard the Opus's. I was a little skeptical of the downfiring woofer, but after owning the Eclipses, I have enormous respect for Neil Patel and his designs. Clearly, he and Charles Oosterum (Kharma) bring a certain genius to the design of speakers and particularly crossovers. IMHO, they are more alike than not, which is to say that they are on the summit of my speaker designer mountain. Anyway, FWLIW!