Racquel,you told me that story before.I know of your gender,but was kidding!Happily married with two kids,am I.Sorry,the Nova and almost all vents/ports,trans lines are not accurate,compared to a really good sealed box.The Dunlevy's "played out" long ago,and had driver integration problems,yet my Avalon Ascents are a "classic" example of "spot on" mid bass accuracy.That is why they will most likely be with me in the "nursing home".SO good are they!!BTW,I said mid bass,as I have employed(very successfully)a REL STENTOR for low bass impact/augmentation.A KILLER combo.Yet everyone likes their own stuff,so I remain questionable,except to my own little audio group.-:)Sorry for the conceit.
BTW,I too heard the Zanden combo on the NOVA's,and at the time I auditioned them,they were stunning.NO over the top treble,which I have always heard on them before.I heard them with music I was intimately familiar with,and was very impressed.All other times I heard them(numerous)they were Hi Fi-ish.This last time was a winner,but a huge room.
I had always loved the original Utopia's,and heard J Skull's home set-up on one occassion.Sorry,but although very good,compared to the Ascents,the midbass was overly damped.However he had a HUGE room,and I believe the Utopias were a better fit,then his previous Ascents(but he insisted the Ascents worked well,there).
I still like the NOVA's very much,and I once A/B'd the original Utopia to the Avalon Eidolons.It was NO contest,using the Exact componentry(all SOTA,btw).The Eidolons went bright far too quickly,and were smoked by the Utopias.Not to diss the Eidolons,but the Utopias sounded more like live music,that day.
It was at this time that I decided the industry had good enough technology in sub bass systems to move to a REL.Previously,I was interested in augmenting the Wilson sub,but held out.I simply LOVE the "AVA-REL" combo,but you must take the room into account.If I were in a very large room(mine is 13x22.5)I would consider the Nova or maybe the Strads,but the Ascents,as driven are rediculously good.230 lbs of sealed box,with external croosovers,and detail matching the "a bit overhyped" current crop of drivers(spouse factor had to impact the decision to discontinue,as four huge boxes won't make it in many living rooms).The "crossover of a speaker is far more critical to voicing,and almost any really good driver can suffice in a given design,but consumers are impressed by what they actually see".This is a quote by a WAY famous speaker builder.
I am sorry if I give the impression of absorbed with what I own,but I have heard it ALL,and there is too much hype surrounding the hobby today.A boatload of "classic" designs easily competes with todays priciest stuff,and there are ways to mod stuff to incredible degrees of performance.I have one pal who modded his Infinity RS-1b's to a level that many would never believe,but he knows what music should sound like,as he reviewed the Mercury collection,and I never question him.Best ear I know of.
BTW...I take back my proposal,but you are still a nice fellow hobbyist.Best to you. -:)