I home demoed both the VR1 and the GMAs...no brainer...Europas hands downs...unlike the majority of high end speakers that punish all but the best recordings...the GMAs have the uncanny ability of focusing on what a recording is doing WELL...even a poor one...and once you hear a truly phasecorrect speaker...well...game over...
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I have not heard the Epos speakers, but like Phasecorrect, I have compared the VR1's and the Europas. It really was no contest, GMA hands down. To be fair, I did not listen to the VR1's under ideal circumstances. I "auditioned" them at my local Tweeter and the amp, positioning, etc left a lot to be desired.
In the price range that it looks like you are shooting for, its going to be tough to beat the Europa. I won't go into great detail regarding their sound, so much has already been said in this forum, but I have been very satisified to say the least.
Yes, you are very much correct with your comments on the AudioQuest Type 4 cable. Still, I firmly believe that the sonics that I wish to clean up are too far askew for the corrections to be made solely by cables and ic's.
what I need are speakers that produce the overall character of sound for which i'm looking. I'll fine tune afterwards with ic's and speaker cables.
Sorry I haven't compared the three on your list. I have spent some time with the Europas. I spent three hrs yesterday listening to a friends $7000.00 Equation 25 http://www.mutine.com/pages/equation25en.html ..beautifully hand made speakers.These speakers use ceramic tweeters and I mean real ceramic tweeters $900.00 for the tweeters alone with an expensive 8 inch Seas Magnesium Driver in each speaker. The Equation 25s in my book are one of the top two way box speakers in the world! No the Europas can't compete in dynamics with these speakers but for speed,delicacy,airy highs and midrange they truley give them one hell of a run for the money.
Not hyping the speakers since I am still a Maggie Head but I must give them their credit ..these speakers are good and I mean damn good!
What started out as a trip to audition a matching transport (CEC TL-51x) for my dAck DAC turned out to be the discover of this speaker and a search on the web this morning for more information.
Finding more info on these beautifully voiced speakers resulted in Google hits relating to astro physics. The units were driven by the new TL-51x transport and I heard new detail on a familiar recording rendered in a completely natural mannuer. Then the SYNC light on my battery powered DAC dissapeared but what I heard in those 20 seconds was wonderful. Rob (the dealer) then put in an Audiomat DAC that was pretty good...but a little bit less magic for the rest of the audition. If you long for a liquid midrange, making sense of a recording, and decay trail giving you a sense of the musician's interplay, then, you should go to the Mutine link above and find a dealer near you. You will not regret it.
Sadly, this manufacturer seems to not lend out free samples to reviewers and is thus not widely reviewed. It seems to rely on word of mouth. My reference is still the ATC SCM20.
P.S. When I got home, I plug the DAC unit into my transport expecting the worst...music played forth(sigh of relief)...go figure!!!
Mutine page on Equation 25
Atlantic Audio Society meeting featuring Equation 25
Sounstage review of smaller Equation 7...they have a family sound.
I'm glad to see someone else has experienced the Equation 25s. They are terrific speakers..eh, system matching is very critical though. With the wrong front end they can be ear bleeders.I would think your NON OS Dac would be a terrific match. Not an easy speaker to find either. I sold my friend's pair to a nice Agon member in Germany. As far as I know he still owns them.