I am installing the upgrade this coming weekend...will post thoughts once I've formed some impressions. Grapevine is very positive on this...
17 responses Add your response
I have only owned my Duo's for a couple of months, but would like to hear from anyone who has done the upgrade as well......... I've got to say the cost seems Crazy out of line though........ From what I can tell from the pictures, we're talking four drivers, a few resistors, and about four feet of wire...... Simply crazy.
OK, here's my first take after only a couple of days' break-in (maybe 10-12 hours of music time):
- treble is significantly better; simultaneously more air & detail, but w/LESS glare. Amazing, like an electrostat with balls.
- definitely more overall ease & detail throughout the spectrum
- my 18 watt amps, which admittedly have always belied their modest power rating, now have seemingly unlimited power & dynamic authority (still using 8 ohm taps, will experiment w/16 ohm taps shortly). Compression is simply not on the menu.
- at a loss to explain this, but perceived bass level is higher at same settings on subs (likely greater clarity in lower range of mid horn, which goes down to 170 Hz).
As things open up more over the next few weeks (?), will post further impressions.
Thank you Triode for your initial impressions... Consistent with feedback on Avantgarde's web site.
How difficult was installation? I am told it is easy to do. How long did it take you?
As far as pricing, I received one response for $8,000 and a second response at $7,500. Your stated cost was $7,000. I have not pursued explanation of such differences at this stage of my decision process.
Incidently, I run my Duos with Fi Audio of NY 2A3 Monos and Fi Audio full function preamp. Interconnect is Kondo Silver throughout. Speaker wires are Kondo Copper (bi-wired). I'm very happy with that combination. The 2A3 Monos seem to have plenty of authority with the Duos. I've not been bothered with any glare, or bass integration issues, at least to my ears. I think the Duos are great speakers, yet apparently the Omega upgrade makes them even better.
Further impressions with more break-in: all of the benefits I noted earlier remain, but in addition there is better integration & authority in the upper bass/lower mids - the new mid horn drivers are obviously more responsive at the bottom of their range. I ended up lowering the crossover point on the SUB 225s a couple clicks. The speakers sing with a more unified, integrated voice and are warmer...yet provide more detail. This is definitely "having one's cake and eating it, too" territory.
Herman: in my system, the $7K was well-spent, but I may have differing sonic/financial priorities than others...have recently spent quite a bit upgrading my amps and other items, to the point where the overall system is a significant investment indeed...in a more modest system, the funds might yield just as much benefit elsewhere. Also, keep in mind that the upgrade price is equal to the price increment for the Omegas over the standard Duos, so we early adopters have not been penalized.
Fineito: I had an experienced service tech (unfamiliar with Avantgardes, however) help with the soldering and assembly...took the two of us about 3 1/2 hours, proceeding carefully and following the very thorough instructions to the letter. I would definitely recommend a second set of hands, even if you're an experienced solder slinger. As to pricing, I ordered mine a few months ago and just got around to installing it...was told that price was increasing due to freight issues from Germany, so it may well be higher now.
Triode, I have recently ordered the Omega upgrade for my Duos. I have heard from a couple of sources that the installation is quite simple. Your desciption however, suggests it may be harder than I have been led to believe. I must admit, taking a soldering iron to my Duos has me a bit nervous. Could you elaborate a bit more on the installation procedure?
Soldering is only required for the internal cable from the mid horn to the binding posts - the original cable must be de-soldered at the binding posts, then the new one soldered in place after the driver is replaced. Be sure to get some good solder w/high silver content! This is one of the easiest parts of the whole procedure. Just take your time and follow the instructions precisely - they give you a photo of each step along with the written procedures - no sweat.
Hi. To amplify on Triode's details on his upgrade. A most informative and comprehensive walk thru each step of the upgrade is available to peruse at 6 moons. This should assist in determining if you want to perform this job yourself. Avantgarde Duo Upgrade Article/Pictures.
Tubes108: my pre is Cary SLP-98L with oil caps and direct coupling, with some groovy NOS Tung-Sol black glass round plate 6SN7s, and my new amps - the single most amazing piece of electronics I've ever "heard" - are Lamm ML2 monoblocks. Just retubed the Lamms (including NOS Tele 12AX7 smoothplates) and I'm in heaven. The system literally astounds me every day...