Your post is prettty amusing. You would be (maybe are?) a good writer. Glad you found a combo that works for you. Since you have had so many others, it would be interesting to see how long the love affair lasts.
I too bought the De Capos, reading all of the great reviews, and I hated them. I never had a pair of speakers for such a short time, and I have had quite a few as well.
Keep us posted.
I have little to add regarding your D caps but I am wondering about your pipe that you are smoking on your "front porch" ( are you sure you are on YOUR front porch? ) and what exactly is in your pipe, is it a hybrid?
Thank you for the fine (long awaited) compliments.
For me...... These speakers just did something. I would perceive that they are VERY equipment sensitive. I have heard that the BE tweeter would adjust for that quirk. Right away, the DeCapo's pleased me with just the equipment that I had laying around. Perhaps I was just lucky... But it IS awful hard to make a Jolida amp sound bad. Mine are stuffed with Mullards for "in's" and Gold Lions for "out's". All re-makes, but nice non-the-less.
For some reason, I don't think that my old Edge M6M would have made for a good combo. My Belles 150 may have worked OK, but I don't think the same for my old (tube) Kora Gallaxy. These, of course, are guesses, but educated ones. I lucked out BIG time with the Audio Analogue Int. amp. It is a spectacular combination. Perhaps more on this when I can get the time.
As for the reviews:
The reviews on this speaker ( and quite a few others I might add) remind me of the fable.. "The King who wore no clothes". Once a piece of equipment has been "anointed" by certain reviewers, the rest of the herd feels that it must follow along like caribou driven by Mosquitos across the audio tundra. So I do get your meaning. As for my most humble opinion: ( with the DeCapo's) the vast horizons of Nirvana have produced themselves in the shape of a cathedral-like soundstage, .. the images and shapes of musicians and instruments float in their appointed places, .. And the musicality is amoung the most real that I have ever heard. Proof ? Just listen to Alvin and the Chipmunks singing the Blues. They will gnaw at your soul.
May I ask what you are using now ?
Hi Tubeears, I'm with you LOL. I think the speakers are revelatory, at least the two times I've heard them so far. Here's the tell, they just draw me into the music and their possible warts and shortcomings hides in the shadows, at least for now. Will the dream sustain? Tried and true references will determine their true mettle when I get them into the room for a serious listen next week, a highly anticipated event. I heard them again last week at an audio club meeting with a different amp but essentially same system with the same result, music magic! In the meantime I have been playing around with cables in my long term system after a long hiatus from the cable game, another revelation. This time I am taking a system approach with the cabling that has proven another game changer in my current set-up. Very nice indeed! As you describe, cavernous soundstage, an overall improved coherence and weight that made me wonder how far we explore the options in a given system before, boredom or giving up motivates us to change but often not for the better.
I decided to call Tash back up and have another discussion about one of his favorite subjects and my latest obsession, the DeCapos. We discussed my amp, a Berning zh270, which sounded stellar with this speaker first time around, the room, set-up etc. I enjoy talking to Tash, a music lover of the first order. He also explained some of the technical reasons why so many really enjoy this speaker along with some of the set-up results even in large spaces with the DeCapo. I love large scale symphonic and choral music and Rock along with all types of small scale music and doubt whether an SET would prove viable long term, or so I assume. There are seemingly so many options with this design.
Roxy54, you are not alone. At the meeting last week there were at least 3 listeners that liked another well known single driver speaker w/o crossover over the Decapos. As to why you might hate them I can only guess one of two possible reasons, you like a more laid back presentation or you didn't hear them set-up properly maybe? Since you owned them I can only guess their presentation doesn't hold an appeal. I personally like a lively and immediate presentation. I suspect it would take time and plenty of experimentation to realize their best. But then again their best will probably never be enough for some tastes.
Hey Tubegroover ,
Good to hear your excitement and anticipation over the DeCapos. I just love the things. My new BE tweeters arrived via Fed Ex this evening and they look great. I am a bit to tired to install them tonight so it looks like an early rise some good coffee and in they go. Everything is ready. Hammers, wood chisels and superglue. I'll have the cats scratch up the cabinets so I won't feel so bad when I do it. I'm ready Freddy !!
I will post again tomorrow to tell about my initial impressions. I'm thinking about maybe pounding the old tweeters into the back ports just for additional ambiance .... I hope Tash will be pleased.
Keep us posted with your impressions with the BE tweeters! I
have a pair (3rd pair)of DeCapo i's and love them. Even
though I ordered a new pair of floor standers, (I'm rabid
just as you are):o) I am having a hard time letting the
DeCapo's go again. If I can afford to, I will keep them as
they are such special speakers, and if my new ones don't
work out I will put the DeCapo's back in then depending,
might get the BE tweeters as well. Can't imagine how much
better they can get.
I found they are very system dependent also as I loved my
first pair with one SS amp, thought my second pair was good
but not outstanding with a different SS amp (And they were
the latest version non BE speaker with acoustic lens)and now
my third pair with a Peachtree Nova 125 and the magic is
Looking forward to your impressions of the BE tweeters.
So put the coffee on and get to sleep! :o)
Tubeears and I have been corresponding about some tricks for successfully installing the BE tweeter upgrade for the De Capo. The process isn't terribly tricky but there are a few tricks that'll help. If anyone else wants to benefit from my experience, let me know.
Tubeears, if you think that the De Capo's throw a "cathedral like" sound stage with the old silk dome tweeters, brace yourself for the new BE tweets. They're in another league in that department! :-)
How much are the BE tweeters for the DeCapo's?? I know they
need to break in a bit, but give us some impressions when
Rebbi, Do the tweeters solder in, or are they a clip type?
There we are..... Back online. This Ipad must have seen the new tweeters, got jealous and quit on me. These things will be the end of the world someday. People will be born with 50 thumbs and square eyes.
The price will fluctuate according to the manufacture and the stock on hand for new speakers. Also Rec 3a has a old tweeter return policy if you wish to use it. About a hundred bucks. I kept mine, so I paid a whooping 480.00. That said, if I knew how good that it would make the DCaps sound, I would have gladly paid more. Do not sell your DeCapos. There is a big, big difference in sound. I'll have much more to say later.
Thanks for all the advice. It really helped out. My tweets had clip lugs but I soldered them anyway. Nice job I might add. I am so impressed with the change to the beryllium tweeters that I just don't have the words at the moment. Of course they are far from broke in but they still sound so good. I will listen all night tonight and do a good post tomorrow.
Thanks! Hope you enjoy tonight and look forward to hearing more on the BE's.
Oh I don't know Jafant, entertaining is more like it to me. There are enough very serious people on this site that when a true original displays a witty, amusing style it would be viewed as silly. Smile and have a nice day!
I bought the De Capos based on a number of user comments especially those using the Primaluna amp. Never looked back. They are revealing but oh so sweet.
I have used these with the Primaluna PL2, Vista Audio I84, Decware Mini torii and a Grommes PHI-26 the last 2 low watt amps.
The De Capos have sounded great with all of them. I have thought about sending the drivers back to get the dispersion cones put on but maybe i should just get the tweeters upgraded.
Hey there, I'm back... I have had a bit of time to listen and enjoy these newly transformed works of art.
First, some answers to the questions:
Sounds real Audio:
Yes, my porch.....I spend a lot of time out here just thinking and pondering the universe, and all that is in it. I promise that I will share my notes with you the next time that I am in Colorado. So far I have found that we were originally brought here by a master race called the "Krell", they have since started to die out due to too many transistors in their space ships.
I have smoked a pipe since the late sixties. I have had about as many pipes as I have had speakers. My daughter just bought me one ( probably looking to kill me off for an early inheritance) that is a beautiful white meerschaum, with a fully carved dragons foot (including full claws) with a hand carved Marine Corps emblem on the front of the bowl. Yes, my tobacco is special as well, but not the kind that I had at a younger age.whenever that was. I smoke very good top grade Syrian Latakia mixed with Louisiana Peraok. It is aged in wiskey barrels and shipped with the stave cubes (along with the charred section). I have to sit on the porch to smoke. My wife is very disabled. She is on oxygen 24/7. I am not only her husband, but also her caregiver. Lighting my pipe around her oxygen tanks would send us all (new tweeters included) back to the Krell. I too, am disabled, although not to the extent that my wife is. Years ago, I made far too good of a target (on more than one occasion). On the good side of that, I get my license plates for free and get to walk like a penguin anywhere I go.
Btw: your store looks great. You have an exceptional website and very nice products. I'm very impressed.... Do you have a porch attached to it ? I would be happy to sit on it (listening to your Wilson's behind me) and beating the hell out of the Krell if they came to destroy your fine tube amps. I swing a mean cane.
Yes, I'm silly... At almost 70, I'm lucky to be anything at all. I've seen some pretty silly audio stuff out there as well. Little bottles of rocks and Voo-Doo clocks, speakers for a half mil., and interconnects that cost as much as a new Porche. That is what is real silly to me. But then, ... I watched an elderly lady at the grocery store. She was trying to decide if she had enough money to buy a carton of yogert. She didn't. Somehow all of the silliness in audio left me and was replaced with thoughts of excessive flamboyance for the lucky few. Silly perhaps but lucky we are. Somehow, a carton of yogert appeared in her bags on her way out.
Jayant, going back through your posts, I want to Thank You for showing your support for Veterans on the appropriate holidays. Not many people do that anymore.
Back to the DeCapos.
" I'm going to kill you " she said... If you try to take these speakers out of here. My last brush with death was similar in sound but a different conclusion. "I'm going to kill you" she said... If you DON'T take those hideous speakers out of here ! Those were the Genisis APM'S-1's. like two giant rosewood surfboards mounted on top of a pair of subwoofers. I had just got through trading a pair of Gallo 3.1.'s (those things with little round balls mounted on a Bango bottom) for them. They were OK but their bass sounded like a snake barking in the grass (IMHO). I didn't really guess at how big the Genisis really were until I tried getting them through the door. All of my friends suddenly developed car troubles.
Anyway... Shirley likes the DeCapos. She usually says nothing, preferring to just watch me push my addictions around, cursing and dodging air from my backside, with me looking like an Emu in heat; my head bobbing up and down listening for an imaginary sweet spot. You know the game. Twist this way..twist that way.. Back and forth .. Up and down. Interconnects flying around like Medussa with her nose caught in a wall socket. It usually doesn't take long, in Audiophile time, till your mind and eyes are on another candy wrapper at the A'gon pharmacy.
I am thinking that those days are over. I have slammed head first into a speaker at the end of the long road that I have traveled.
Without going into every Audiophile detail, these beryllium tweeters have turned the DeCapos into a speaker that excels in every area... All of course, but one. Low bass.The DeCapos really don't miss that low bass mark by much. They sound so correct and musical that I am bathed in a rhythmic presentation that no speaker has ever shown me before. I feel that the DeCapos (with this new tweeter) are even better than the Harbeths and Spendors at this. I am sure to ruffle some feathers with that statement. Of course some are waiting for the main "darlings of audio" comparison, the Quad 57, and yes the DeCaps will do that trick well, but with a big leap up the volume scale. Listen through them, not to them .. it is there. Hear wall to wall, floor to ceiling .. it is there. Behind them, into the pasture .. It is there. Quite literally, they are a big bubble of sound and you are in it.
The Genisis APM's exploded into a soundfield that left one breathless. But it's presentation sucked. All those parts, loading up and loading down... Nothing sounded real. The tweeter in them was nothing short of SOTA. A techno marvel round ribbon. It was not even close to this new Beryllium in the DCaps. These things sound " alive" without being in your face. Pardon me, but I am just not fond of that. My face has enough things in it. With the DeCapos using the beryllium tweeter, the brushes sparkle and shimmer across the cymbals with the sound floating into the air... Just magical. Further down the frequency chain, larger instuments have more bloom with a space around them that seems almost three dimensional. All of this, and I am assuming that they are not broke in yet... Someone will have to nail my lips and fingers to the floor if they get much better.
The DCaps just don't seem to have much of a load. My little Jolida 202BRC that is left pouting in the corner, worked real well with them. I'll try the Jolidas EL34's against the beryllium tweeters next week.
I will return later as these things change or there is any questions. I need to go back and listen for awhile.
Sorry that I missed you in my last post.
If you do not have the beryllium tweets already, please get them. Yes, they are revealing as well, but much more tolerant with regards to harshness. In fact, they are smooth as silk. IMHO, those with DeCapos with any kind of wood veneer cabinets are the rare and lucky owners of one of the best speakers around, for both looks and sound quality, providing that the tweeter is changed. I am not fond of the Nextel cabinet. Some people think different. I have to bend and say that Tash is a bit of a hero for standing up for his beliefs. Last of an audio breed. I am certain that the Nextel is better with regard to wave refraction, but just try to take the gorgeous Cherry away from my wife.... Not a chance.
On the matter of the dispersion cones, yes.. I would like them too, but the thought of sending the drivers all the way back to Canada is just too much. Still I just hate the thought of "Rebbi's" speakers being better than mine... LoL.
Moron the BE change up.
Well, I have had them playing constantly for two days. That is still not near enough time according everyone else in the world. However, it has been enough time to detect some small but obvious differences. It is all for the good. The (what I refer to as) "spit-ilance" is going away. That is the irritating "snakes on a frying pan" sound that comes as almost every new or rarely used piece of equipment is just put into play. More than just annoying, it just makes ones skin crawl. On some poor quality gear, it just never leaves... Or if it does, it is in the form of an A'gon ad. Funny that some sellers never mention it, but just look for the ads that just talk about how good the bass is... It's a clue. I have been listening primarily to streaming radio stations thru my Apple TV unit that is Toslinked (via: AudioQuest Cinnamon) to a new Jolida Glass tube dac (12ax7 x 2). Initially I used the wonderful Tung-sol tubes, but switched early this morning to Mullard re-make. Both are great tubes, with neither holding a big edge over the other... Just a slightly different characters. What I wanted to hear came through. This proved the BE tweeters to be true and display subtle changes in equipment. Even with the "break in" snake hiss, they sounded good enough to tell differences in tubes. Switching to analog I used my Mcintosh MR78 tuner dialed into WUGA (PBS) just a few miles away. The antenna is a Magnum DynaLabs ST-2A .. A very good unit, making for near perfect reception. Lucky, Lucky me !! Even with the tubes in the line up, by removing all of the digital nasties the analog tuner proved far superior and let the new tweeters reach upwards to grab more air. Euphoric or not, the tubes could not replace the trueness of the PBS analog signal. It is simply wonderful to hear. These new tweeters just open up a soundfield that seems almost endless in my room.
Ok, I'm going to stop now. All of this is getting to be redundant, pathetic and with no logical end, save one. Moron that next episode later. Without turning this into a complete review of the new DeCapo, we, me or someone has to take this speaker to the line that is lurking in the back of all of our minds. Just how good ARE these things ? Right now, this is NOT the same speaker that I brought into my house some time ago. It is completely different. I can't just tell anyone how good these "tweeters" are because everything has changed. I feel that this speaker has changed in such a way that a comparison should be made with some other contenders. I am also afraid that these comparisons may result in a lack of sleep for the well heeled 'Phile's in the big boy's club. If the low lives in the audio food chain have had a hankerin' for a piece of the Ferrari pie, it is now the time for you to get out your plates and fork. The DeCapo (BE) is now the real deal. You can now cruise thru the pictures of those upper crust systems and know that you too can have a piece of that action. No more wiping the sticky drool off of your keyboard. On the other side of the coin, those of you thinking of selling your older DCaps just to move up, should re-think that motion and rekindle the fire in the little gems.
I feel that with the new beryllium tweeter that these speakers have just DeCapo-tated some pretty big players in the speaker world.
Nuf said for now (IMHO)
Tubeeears, thanks for the update and keep them coming. I won't be able to discern the changes you've realized as I'm auditioning the latest including the Nextel coating BUT I have great expectations as my all tube system is really geared for a higher efficiency speaker with a benign impedance. Yeah, a piece of the Ferrari pie is what I heard in a reasonable but, relative to mine, moderate system. It WILL prove interesting to me how the DeCapo will fare and compare with my current reference in a system built around them. I have been surprised before having one expection and getting an unexpected result.
I hope that all of my rabid belching doesn't lead people to believe that I feel that the DeCapos are the best there is. That would be drawing the wrong conclusion. I'm sure that you well understand my meaning with all of this. These speakers are now so good that to ask for more, touches on pure decadence with regards to maximum returns for the minimum expenditure.
I feel like I want to let people that a piece of the Ferrari pie is there waiting for them... If used and original, easily modified. If new, a bargain at the selling price.
Tubegroover, I am now using JPS original Superconductor for speaker cables. I feel with good results. I also have some Monster Cable Retro Gold Sigma (Lietz). Also great cable, but I have not tried them with the DeCapos yet. I will perhaps later this week. What are you using ? I also have another piece of candy coming in tomorrow FedEx. It is a Nakamichi MR-1 pro cassette deck.... Mint !! It is all balanced in and out and I have a nice set of JPS Superconductor balanced cables to run to my Audio Analogue balanced in section. This I can hardly wait for. I have got some gorgeous cassettes... One of which is a Yo Yo Ma (1984) playing at the University of Kansas recorded with a portable Nagra. Just an amazing performance with great sound. Another is Alvin and the Chipmunks at the San Diego Zoo. Alvin belts out his stunning rendition of "Just Fur You" from their album "I'm all nuts for your love". This cassette really brings the animal out in me..... Look out Shirley ! ;-)
Hi Tubeears I'm currently using all 600 sei Stereovox cabling and speaker cables with various power cords. This has been a constant for about 6 years after going through many rounds with different cables, these were the best until recently. A friend insisted adamantly I had to hear a set of cables he recently purchased to see if it might realize the same result in my system as his. He has watched mine evolve over the years so is quite familiar with it. In any case there was a notable improvement to a point I never would have believed but ONLY when used as a system including the power cords and a power strip with noise suppression.
Believe me Tony, I'm not just influenced by what you are saying but what I HEARD with these speakers, I really connected and hear much potential. In that way, regardless of their price, I feel them special, worth spending some time with to see. I will be getting the speakers at the end of the week and I think my audio bud is almost as excited as I am. He's going with me to pick them up. My big concern is whether they have enough foundation in the lower registers compared to my 12 year Merlin VSM-M which with a custom David Berning tube BAM is fast, articulate and deep, amazing what a 6.5" driver is capable of with that unit and the amp, where's the sub indeed! Will the DeCapos have enough weight or is it important enough? The issue will come down to whether to ship my speakers back for the latest upgrades which I'm not excited about, shipping cost you know, keep on looking or if the DeCapos are the ticket. I'm very calculating about audio expenditures these days. I'll have 3 weeks to decide but should know well before that. You're right, these speakers are better than they ought to be for the price and well beyond in my experience. I'm not looking for the best since it just doesn't exist as you seem to realize. Long term musical engagement without boredom or distraction is and always has been the end game. It's in the details.
I thought you were joking about Alvin and the Chipmunks, you ARE full of suprises! I think my Mother tossed my old "Alvin and the Chipmunk" albums when I left for school and were among the ones I left behind, I'll have to revisit them :)
Tubeears, you really bring out the fun that you are having and the anxiety of our audiophile journey. I am glad you are enjoying your speakers and new tweeters but don't forget that you are treating the symptom and not the underlying nervosa. The very existence of the myriad of options to you cannot be denied not matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise.
Life is so good. I am sitting on my porch, waiting for FedEx to bring the Nakamichi MR-1 that I purchased ( at auction ) here on A'gon. More candy, but I thinking about how good that it will sound with the DeCapos.
You addressed comments on looking for the best in audio.. Perhaps coming to own it. A short story.
Late sixties or early seventies.... Nome, Alaska.
I lived in Nome for about seven years. I moved there after living on St. Lawrence Island (one of the two places in Alaska that one "can" see Siberia). I worked for Nome Light and Power as one of the three lineman for the city of about two thousand (many transient from the outlining villages). I was a fledgling Audiophile at that time. Being an Audiophile was rough work then. Pouring thru whatever literature that I could get my hands on and of course the crazy review rags... most just leaflets stapled together. There was no TV at that time and telephones were sky high in price for calls "outside". One summer, in 71, I think, I took some time off and flew out on an adventure to California for about a week. I wanted to see a place called Stereo Warehouse (Warehouse Stereo ? I can't remember exactly now) many of you old folks will remember that place... They put out a great catalog, packed with info and some very good package deals on assorted stereos. I spent endless hours, sitting on the honey bucket, drooling on the pages. Although I can't remember him personally at that time, Joe Abrams work there... He now has a dealer membership here on A'gon. A great guy, and true to life Audiophile, that is gifted with golden ears. While I was there, looking at the large quantities of audio toys, I spotted the best things that I had ever seen in my life. They were in the very back of their warehouse .... they were a drop dead gorgeous pair of Altec Lancing A7-500-W speakers. The nickname for them were "the Magnificent's" ... And "that" they were. The Voice of the Theater speaker, wrapped in real walnut with walnut lattice grills. Orgasims were not just allowed, but mandatory. I bought them on the spot. My reward for climbing every stick in Nome a hundred times. I had to have them shipped to Seattle, then barged up to Nome, just missing "freeze up" by a short time.
We lived in a converted freezer building that was small, but had thick walls and could be heated with a candle. It had a small but comfortable living room. When they arrived, my wife (at that time) just went completely wild. She flew around the house like a balloon with a hole in it, hissing and making babbling sounds that would make an exorcist run. During one of her moments of complete collapse... I drug them in and set them up. I can't remember just what I had to drive them with at first, but I think that it was a Marantz 250. I know that the turntable was an Empire 598 with a Stanton 681. It was about as close to SOTA as one could get back then. I was so proud. So was the divorce attorney. Could those beauties rock !!! You could hear them all over Nome. And the bass... It was about as good as it could be back then ( except for a few select speakers like the EV 30 inch woofer in the Patrician !). I still remember looking down into the "honey bucket" and seeing the pulsating rings like that scene in the movie Jurassic Park !!
Fond memories of just one of my best. Certainly not even close to the best now. But I guess that is our point regarding the DeCapo vs the "best". It all just keeps on a-changin' ... Just like the DeCapo has.
Come on FedEx... Hurry up.
I'd like to have a little of whatever is in that pipe.....
I will trade you for your Grand Veena's .....
I think I will clip out some of the above text and use it in my obituary..perhaps engrave some on my tombstone..
Certain worthy of that.
Always best to write your own obituary while you are still alive. Never let you X wife do it. She won't portray you quite the way you might like.
Twobeers, er, I mean Tubeears,
Thanks for the offer, but I think I will stay where I am for now.....;-}}
OK, I'll bring it over the top.... Last offer. I'll throw in my old tweeters from the DeCapo's. Stereophile likes them and, of course, "they" were chosen buy the Master Race (The Krell).
Tempting, but I still have to pass at this time.
Glad you are enjoying the speakers, and the new tweeter.
Sounds real Audio
I am getting the feeling that you believe that the Krell are following you.. I felt like that too, but then I found out that they spend most of their time at ohm.
I'm sure that my X would like nothing more than to cram my carcass into a honey bucket and haul it out to the sea wall. She would take great pleasure in watching the ravens pick me clean.
Where IS FedEx ?!!!
Just a true joy to read !!! Even my wife laughed .
Interested in how the tweets will sound . Just as interested in how you write about them . Feelin' good and lovin it .
Happy Tunes & Tokes
Get the tweeters!, there are homeless shelters that you can eat at all day!, everyday, for free!, I am not playing!
I will be very interested to hear your thoughts. As Tubeears said, I have the De Capo with the veneer cabinet and the "acoustic lens" thingie in the main driver. I've been very, very happy with the tweeter upgrade. It's more airy and transparent but not a hint of harshness that I can hear.
I am especially interested because I went from Merlin TSM-mmi's to Dulcets and then De Capo's. Now the VSM goes a lot lower than the TSM, but given the Merlin to Ref 3A journey, I'll be interested to see what you think.
I too did the 3 week trial, btw.
FedEx finally showed up around 6pm and the Nakamichi MR-1 arrived in perfect shape. I jumped on it right away and hooked it up with JPS balanced cables direct to my Audio Analogue Maestro Setantta Rev2 (there go my false teeth after saying that). AA'a newer Rev2 line has conveniently placed balanced in's on there integrated amps. Actually meant for their spectacular Maesrto Rev2 CDPFedEx finally showed up around 6pm and the Nakamichi MR-1 arrived in perfect shape. I jumped on it right away and hooked it up with JPS balanced cables direct to my Audio Analogue Maestro Setantta Rev2 (there go my false teeth after saying that). AA'a newer Rev2 line has conveniently placed balanced in's on their integrated amps. Actually meant for their spectacular Maesrto Rev2 CDP... It is a gorgeous combo. The looks and sound about as good as it gets. If you haven't seen the Rev2's ... Google a drool out and look at them. Read the reviews and look at their electronic intestines... Very impressive. I can say this about the amp, that it is the best that I have ever heard. Better than my Rowland... Better than my Edge and an equal to some of my tube monsters. Hey Sounds real Audio.. Perhaps you should think about picking AA up. They would look nice along with your other fine toys. There is not much exposure to the AA lineup here in the US, but in some other countries they are highly rated. For instance, on the Isles of Langerham, in Sullan ( the capital) the Maestro Rev2 is considered the pancrea for fleshing out the sweetness in a amplifier. Nuf bout amps.
Last night i was on my belly hooking up the Nakamichi....fighting the JPS Serpants left me screaming for Beowulf. But.. I "got 'er done" ! I have a lot of very good cassette tapes and the MR-1 is a great performer. But this is really about tweeters isn't it (?)
Mama... MAAmma ..!!! Come N Saa-LLLap my JOWLs.... Wow, does this EVER sound good..!!! So cassettes sound like crap do they ?... come on over. I want you all to HEAR something. They brushes on the cymbals are right there.. Just wonderful and feathery. As though you can pick out each individual strand. The tweeters are doing their job.... Big time. The sound is full and open, wide and deep. No hint of harshness and just a joy to listen to. I switched back to the CD player just to listen for a while. The hi-end still sparkles with amazing politeness ,.. No glare...no harshness, just pure musical involvement. I've heard it before, through a few of the speakers that I have owned. Most were planers, stats or ribbons. Names like Soundlab and Apogee. I wish that I had them all here side by side to compare. I have a pair of speakers in the back that use the Scan Speak Revelator. They are not even close to what the beryllium tweets offer. The real glory is in the system as a whole. The DeCapo had just begged for a unit like this and with it comes musical involvement like it should be. They have been running non stop now for three days. It is stunning now, if it gets any better, I dont know the words to describe it.
... It is a gorgeous combo. The looks and sound about as good as it gets. If you haven't seen the Rev2's Google a drool out and look at them. Read the reviews and look at their electronic intestines... Very impressive. I can say this about the amp, that it is the best that I have ever heard. Better than my Rowland... Better than my Edge and an equal to some of my tube monsters. Hey Sounds real Audio.. Perhaps you should think about picking AA up. They would look nice along with your other fine toys. There is not much exposure to the AA lineup here in the US, but in some other countries they are highly rated. For instance, on the Isles of Langerham, in Sullan ( the capital) the Maestro Rev2 is considered the pancrea for fleshing out the sweetness in a amplifier. Nuf bout amps.
Last night i was on my belly hooking up the Nakamichi and fighting the JPS Serpants left me screaming for Beowulf. But.. I "got 'er done" ! I have a lot of very good cassette tapes and the MR-1 is a great performer. But this us really about tweeters isn't it (?)
Mama... MAAmma ..!!! Come N Saa-LLLap my JOWLs.... Wow, does this EVER sound good..!!! So cassettes sound like crap do they ?... come on over. I want you all to HEAR something. They brushes on the cymbals are right there.. Just wonderful and feathery. As though you can pick out each individual strand. The tweeters are doing their job.... Big time. The sound is full and open, wide and deep. No hint of harshness and just a joy to listen to. I switch back to the CD player just to listen for a while. The hi-end still sparkles with amazing politeness ,.. No glare...no harshness, just pure musical involvement. I've heard it before, through a few of the speakers that I have owned. Most were planers, stats or ribbons. Names like Soundlab and Apogee. I wish that I had them all here side by side to compare. I have a pair of speakers in the back that use the Scan Speak Revelator. They are not even close to what the beryllium tweets offer. The real glory is in the system as a whole. The DeCapo had just begged for a unit like this and with it comes musical involvement like it should be. They have been running non stop now for three days. It is stunning now, if it gets any better, I dont know the words to describe it.
Sorry about that post ! My ipad must be getting bi-polar, or maybe there is an echo in here. here.
Tubeears, congrats on the new tweets. I have thouroghly enjoyed your posts and the accounts of your latest audio journey. Its always good to learn of others' rewarding audio experiences. But, its far more rewarding to see an example of someone keeping things, and life in general, in a healthy place and proper perspective. Always good to find the humor in the positive as well as the not so positive. Silly?
Not in my book. And write very well, too. Thanks.
Rebbie, I'll keep you posted after I get a handle of these DeCapos in room enough to convey the differences. Well there are obvious differences from the get go but these speakers are REALLY fussy with set-up as I'm discovering and I have to get this worked out first. Not plug and play but the main thing that really jumped out at me, which coincides with what I heard first time is the natural tonality and texture of instruments and voices, a first rate midrange that is just stunning with well recorded material.
Tubeears what's coming next? If it turns out I can't let go of these I may just go simpler like you. Love the idea of an integrated solution what with the separate power supply for the pre-amp and digital, too much stuff you know. I have been seriously considering building one component rack and clearing the clutter up a bit, too many tubes!
What is coming next for me is probably a new CDP. I am sure that it will be an Audio Analogue Maestro. That is the perfect mate to my AA amp. I cannot begin to explain how good it is with the DeCapos. In one of the reviews they used it to drive a pair of Apogee Scintillas. They are a hippo to drive... At one ohm. The amp just locks onto the DeCapo mid/woofers like a giant vice and does not let go. The "grunt" is just fantastic. I love the sound of Cellos, and this amp makes it sound as though I am inside them. As for the mids and highs.... Pure sugar and silk. Much the same as the Genalex Gold Lion re-issue. Just intoxicating.
I am using two different digitals. One the newer Jolida Glass tube dac and the other the Michael Yee Dac one. I like both and there is no need to consider any change right now. The ohmless shelter is already looking at me with suspicious intent. My wife is starting to ask why so much macaroni and cheese... And she is suspicious about all the lint in it. I guess I need to clean my pockets better.
Thank you for the kind words. Going back through your posts, one can certainly say the same for you. I really enjoyed the YouTube inclusion of the sax player, Michael Breck. I will most definitely seek out a CD by him. I just cannot imagine how he will sound on the DeCapos.
I have spent part of the morning trying to figure out what the h... Happened to my ipad to make it "double up" on my post. I actually don't think it was this thing at all, but me pressing " copy" so I could go to the ohmless shelter for some macaroni and cheese. A fine breakfast. Why, oh why, are tweeters so expensive ?
Straying away from tweeters for a moment, but still somewhat in context are my feelings on this silly thing we call can so casually call a hobby. I offer my humble opinion.
Call me old, or call me an idiot... or call me both, it is my personal belief that the term "Audiophile" is an earned title. I always capitalize it. Although there is no specified "right of passage" ( for an Audiophile) it is a privilege that one can anoint upon oneself .. or by others. The rules are simple. Following the Boys or Girl Scouts code of ethics definitely helps, however there is a bit more to it. We all have hopes, some big..some small and perhaps ( for some ) needs. Music is the canvas for one of our oldest needs.... Passion. It lifts our souls and gives us strength. It pulls us deep down into places that we might not like to go, but we still return to explore. We are held tight in its magic to be purely alone, or truly and very closely bonded with others (or loved ones). It can exite us to strengthen our beliefs ... defend them and celebrate us afterward. For some, music is all that they have and for some, it is something to be wished for. After nearly seventy years, I have never met anyone who did not care (for music)... at least in a small way. For those who deem themselves Audiophiles, we have the responsibility to care for the transport of this wonderful canvas. How we help to get it to where it is going is up to our own individual performance. As Audiophiles, we must utilize each of our own unique gifts that we have been granted in life.
So as individuals living our lives as Audiophiles, I feel that we can advance the scope of music reproduction by having respect and compassion for others and their ideals. Dirty deeds have no reason to exist in our little world. As an Audiophile, I have to feel good for those audio companies that advance us in any way, and I have high hopes, for the next time, to those that should fail.
These new beryllium tweeters have flown my musical passion up to a higher branch in my tree of music, and they have set my monkey fingers on fire across this key board. I am in love with this hobby to the fullest.
Being an Audiophile gives me happiness and my hopes will always be that I can give some of it back with my words.
FYI: Some of you that know me already know this but I will throw it in. My life has turned yet another page recently. I just won a bout with cancer. I am now cancer free. I still had to pay for the tweeters. No sympathy.
Great thread! Keep it silly!! Of course, if your sound is as good as it can get, where you can't imagine how it could sound better, does that mean you are at the end of the line?? No more forward progress? No more drooling over the screen of your 'pad during your morning constitutional?? The Gods forfend!!
Either that, or you can afford to buy pudding cups in bulk.
Great read, thank you!
Hi Tubeears, thank you for sharing your joys and triumph, you are a true inspiration and beacon of hope to all that are dealing with adversity, particularly cancer. I have a few friends going through what you have, it is not an easy journey for them or their family. I wish you all the best.
Tubeears has summed things up very well and certainly in a more entertaining manner than I ever could so no need to repeat what he said but AGAIN the one aspect of these speakers that I would like to really get across to those that might be reading this thread with some interest. Yes they image well, good soundstaging front to back etc. dynamics in my space, MUCH better than the dealers' so that was a welcome suprise. Where they grabbed my attention first time and still is the natural tonality and ability to resolve the complex harmonics and nuance of voice and instruments to make it more real, MUSICALITY. They dig deeper into the performance. There is just a rightness that can't be denied regardless of their shortcomings which are getting harder to recognize, oh yeah, they're bookshelfs. While large scale is good it is obvious that a larger speaker is going to be more satisfying especially during very dynamic passages. This is where the larger Reference 3a models might be a bit more convincing but in EVERY other area that is important the DeCapos are just superb and they aren't even broken in and the wire isn't even necessarily ideally suited so there is much to be explored. They are just wonderful speakers and I'm enjoying every moment I spend with them. I REALLY hear you now Tony, enjoy your DeCapos!
Tubeears, I see some members have been critical of your thread. I can see a bit of myself in you however. I know what it's like to put a high end audio system together on a modest salary & tight budget. I have made similar choices at times, go without clothes, eating out, even buying budget food in bulk to get through the week because of audio purchases. Most folks would think you're crazy, but they don't understand your passion and drive to follow your audio dream.
Here is my advice, I own a pair of Magico S5's which have a beryllium tweeter. It is an amazing tweeter and imho is better than the Accuton diamond tweeter. I had a quick look at the Reference 3a BE driver. It looks good, but most importantly if the speaker has been matched to that driver, it should blend in seamlessly. If it won't kill you, i'd go for it!
This is one of the best things I have purchased for my system. The HAgerman Cornet II being the other. If you can get a De Capo i used for around 1200.00 do it best money spent.
You have a great way of expressing your feelings about the DeCapos. Everything that you have said is the complete truth, as I have found it with my DeCapos. I will continue my findings as the tweeters settle in a bit more. It should not be very long now and I am gong to put them thru some more tests. You know the ones: playing them in the bathroom, the closet, underwater, upside down. Critical listening. Rebbi is finding much of the same. Looking thru this thread, there is a ton of expertise to call upon. All of you are true and knowledgeable Audiophiles. I am sure that we can provide a complete review as the time arises.
We all have different equipment and cables and we are varied in our listening tastes. I think that most of the Audiophiles on this post are very interested in the findings.. But a "review" is what people look for in the "Review" section. That especially holds true for future reference, but I still believe that this thread should continue for us driven mad by tweeks amd upgrades. I really did not think that this thread would blossom the way that it did.
Dirty deeds can be done dirt cheap if we progress beyond the context of this thread and move ahead to a full review. We need to know ...Which forum to do it in ? "How" to do it. Should the New/Old and modified (DeCapo) be all inclusive in the review ? Who of us has the newest and most updated form ? I think that most of the Audiophiles on this post are very interested in all of the findings that can be laid out by the owners of the Decapos and by those who have already done considerable research. We now have a real need for a full and formal review (with regards to a speaker that has morphed itself into a new life form)... It is needed for the future potential DeCapo owners seeking knowledgeable documented advice. So rise up
.... Ready yourselves with your new tweeters and stand firm (at the audio version of Thermopile) and ready yourselves for attack by the evil and immortal Harbeths..! OK, maybe a bit strong, I like Harbeths.
The DeCapo does need a new .... And somehow impartial review. Quite obviously, all of us that own them are wallowing In the wonders of this gorgeous little loudspeaker. ..... does THAT leave us exempt from a fair and impartial review ?
The DeCapo capers: The man between the Veena's.
A lonely (and very depressed) Audiophile slowly walked out of the sculptured door of a local Hi- end Audio Salon. Rare anymore. Not many Salons left to keep the flames burning. Their roaring fires have been reduced to smoldering coals that twinkle at the edge of the Internet. The few heroic owners, that still kindle the heat of passion (for true Audiophiles) are forced into new and innovative ways to keep the lamp burning. The dim lights that exist still draw the dedicated few, like moths circling a burning bulb.
As he walks, he sees a reflection of himself in the Salon window....the mirrored image of a desperate man in need of beryllium tweeters (For his beloved :DeCapos). His ghostly reflection slowly crosses over a window sticker advertising the logo of... Reference 3a (the only source for his needs). A little sign below says: Grand Veena's now on display and in stock. Real nice, he thinks, but his tweeters were back ordered.... Thinking back, to just moments ago, talking with the Salon owner (a courteous and refined gentleman) who said , " it will be a long, long wait for those tweeters". The old and haggard face of the owner, chiseled by countless bad sales, turned into a wrinkled scowl, as he softly muttered the words,.... " some Internet groupies have bought them all up ... and YOU will just have to wait your turn". He looked up at the Audiophile, and with a curious smile and said........ "I have the new berylliums in the Grand Veena's though". I could give you a great price on them.. There was a long pause in the air... The Audiophile could feel the warm glow from his Visa Card , even through his wallet. The Veena's could be his.... at 26% interest. He quickly shook off the temptation. "I'm sorry" he said, thinking that his wife would be proud... But I just can't today. ...... The salon owner chuckled and said.... "No problem", but we have ways to help you buy them when we are ready...... He turned and was gone, the sound of his sadistic chuckling fading with him.
As the Audiophile walks by the decorated window.... and then onward toward the dark, trash-filled alleyway, there is a dim figure of a large man standing in the shadows. He wears a shabby brimmed hat pulled low over his eyes. The stench of chemical styrofoam and wet cardboard fill your nostrils. You strain your eyes to get a closer look at him. His long, dark trenchcoat hangs loose over his body ... The gentle crunch of packing peanuts are heard as they stick to the bottom of his shoes. He pushes a couple of large, empty speaker boxes to the side as he slowly walks toward you. You can see the anxious look on his leathery face.
As his hands move to open the front of his weather beaten trenchcoat, you have thoughts of a congressman that may be too excited to text. As his coat slowly opens, you see a faint glimmer of what looks like small, bronze colored bumps all over his body. Your mind attacks you ! Oh NO! A lepor !! Don't let him touch you... your mind begs of you. He could make you a lepor too. He reaches into his coat, as if to scratch off one of the small bumps... He pulls a bump off and reaches out with it .. The Audiophile knows immediately what it is. A Beryllium tweeter ! The man in the trenchcoat HAS them ... You WANT them ! No waiting, no hassle. He looks at you and smiles. " I know that you need them, and They are here.. For you. ..( He says with a raspy voice). I charge a little bit more, he mutters, but you can have them both "tonight" !! The light shimmers from the motel sign behind you... The soft glow glimmers upon the dozens of tweeters hanging under his coat, secured by little strings. A voice beacons at you from inside your mind.... the tweeters could be yours ! You reach for your wallet. Suddenly the door of the audio salon swings open... The owner of the Audio Salon lurches out and screams Don't Do It !! He's a Tweeter Pusher !! ... You watch as the dark shape of a trenchcoat, the only hope for your tweeters, quickly disappears into the gloom of the night. No tweeters for YOU, echoes from the Seinfeld in your head. You cringe as the large hair covered hand of the Audio Salon owner gently covers your shoulder.
I'm sorry about HIM... the owner says with a smooth voice, tempered by years of retail experience. Please, come inside for another moment and I will fix you a cup of tea and you can listen to the Grand Veena's. he gently guides you through the door and the gloom of night disappears behind you. He places you into a nice leather chair, directly between a new pair of Grand Veena's. I'll be back in a moment, I will put some music on and make you some tea. That man must have really scared you back in the alley, he says with a more serious tone. I will call the authorities as well. Enjoy the music. You watch the owner turn and and walk away as his short stature and large hands fade into another room. You are alone. The music washes over you... You close your eyes. All around you is gone... Just you and Diane Crawl together........Bliss.
In the other room.... a large hairy hand opens the back door to the alley. The door opens wide and the dark form of a large brimmed hat and a trenchcoat appear from the deep glom of night. All is quiet, until ubruptly the sound of metal hitting the cobblestone path ( in the alley ) breaks the silence. Rats... Mutters the shape in the trenchcoat. That's he second time tonight !! Cheap string... Why can't you buy me better string to tie these cheap tweeters up with ! I'm sorry, the short figure with the big hands softly replies. I bought them from Machina Dynamic, and they are supposed to help the sound... The face under the large hat took on a bewildered look and then he smiled and said..... there are over 20 tweeters under this coat... And none of them are hooked up to an amp...how can they possibly sound good ? You are an idiot ! His gaze fixed upon the Salon owner, the man in the trenchcoat speaks softly. Do you think that he will buy the Veena's now (?), he mumbles as he lights an old darkened meerschaum pipe with his brass Zippo... The edge of his large brimmed hat momentarily catches on fire. It is quickly extinguished by a passing bird. The Salon owner looked up at the figure standing in the gloom and replied with a small chuckle.... He will buy them them later, he hasn't has his TEA yet. I will pay you after he leaves. The sound of the back door closing breaks the silence and the dark figure in the trenchcoat quickly disappears into night once more. Inside the whistling of a boiling teakettle fills the air and small pills can be heard dropping into a teacup. "Your tea is ready" a gleeful voice shouts over the crawling sounds. A short man can be seen, in the dim light of the Salon, Teacup in his hairy hands, waddling toward ... The man between the Veena's .
Episode two ?
The man between the DeCapo's.
Um, are the BE tweeters really back ordered again? They were when i ordered mine, but it didn't take that long for them to come in. Worth the wait, though!
I'm not sure if they are back ordered now. When I ordered mine, I lucked out and got the last pair remaining. I received them in just a few days. The customer service is first rate at Divergent Technologies. Whoever answers the phone will help you, with whatever you need from start to finish. Nobody there will pass you off to someone else just to get rid of you. That is becoming increasing rare in all business now. There is nothing about the company and products that I don't like... Except for the looks of the Nextel. I understand why Tash made that decision, and I feel that (with regards to the accuracy of the musical values) he was courageous to follow his dream. I just wish that there was an option to purchase the nicer form of cabinetry ... WAF is the real deal.. No joke. To many great speakers have met their Waterloo here in this home because of how they looked.
In my next post, I will start on my assessment of the beryllium tweeter and how it sounds with the DeCapo as a whole. 'Bout time..eh
"There is nothing about the company and products that I don't like... Except for the looks of the Nextel."
Hey get this Tubeears, my wife likes them! I never would have guessed that one right. OK I'm not saying she is in "love" with them but at least they aren't objectionable. So that is out of the way. btw, they really aren't so bad once in the room. Actually it doesn't really jump out at you EXCEPT for the white dispersion ring in the center of the main driver. She doesn't even mind that. Was I surprised.
I am in the process of testing a cable system including speaker wires, ics, power cords and conditioner, same set-up as with the Merlins, stay tuned for more coverage on this breaking development.
On a further note to other Reference 3a owners without the latest upgrades. I suspect the improvements in resolution are not small with the new BE tweeter, it is simply amazing what I am hearing with familiar recordings, I mean jawdropping amazing, the musical detail these speakers extract from the recording. My cavaets regarding large scale music are receding as they continue to break-in and the sound just gets larger and more convincing.
In keeping with the spirit of this thread and to keep it alive I wanted to add my take on the cable changes with the Decapos. Yesterday my friend brought over his cables. When he first brought them over to hear with the Merlins, I had my doubts that there could be too much improvement over what I had. He insisted I would hear an improvement. He isn't one to go gaga over everything he hears and I DO trust his ears. He insisted and I agreed. After the first time I wasnt too sure I believed what I heard, so profound was the difference. So we did it again with the same result. Ever the skeptic I was convinced it was real enough to be able to discern the differences in a blind test when listening to the cabling as part of a system.
Included were 3 power cords, to the amp, pre-amp and my Modwright Oppo 95. 1 IC, from source to pre-amp, speaker cables, and a power strip. The IC from the pre to the power amp since I've put the DeCapos in the system is Coincident. As mentioned in a previous post the cabling was replaced my Stereovox 600 sei ics and Studio copper speaker cables. I also have several different power cords that I choose for my system back when I was going through the cable swapping game. The cabling has remained as is since about 2007, no changes. Ive been happy with the results and I'm not one to continue driving myself nuts with finding the "ultimate" cable. What I have works quite satisfactorily with excellent transparency and no glaring issues. Being the obsessive compulsive lot we are, we all know theres something better but how far to go in finding it?
Not to get into too many details of the process as it was performed over several hours and with the changes I am hearing in the speakers from day to day resulting IME from the drivers settling in, it can be daunting trying to figure out what is going on REALLY. To cut to the chase first the speaker cables. I didn't notice anything substantive. If you THINK you hear something it just doesn't count. Next we put in the IC from the source to the Pre-amp. At this point we both heard the effect that was realized in the Merlins, a greater sense of coherence and clarity, a bit of the richness from the Stereovox was removed but replaced by a greater sense of the instruments and vocals in front of you, more real. Hard to explain this but I can only attribute it to some type of timing phenomenon, who knows what is REALLY going on with cabling you can only believe what your ears tell you. Next we hooked up all the power cables excepting for the digital into the power strip. I didn't want to replace that just yet. I am using a JPS digital power cord that I have been extremely pleased with. I still remember the first day that I got that cable and the improvement it made. All devices are connected to two dedicated 20 amp circuits with cryoed hospital grade receptacles.
When all was in place, particularly with the last change including the power strip it became completely apparent that what we had heard with the Merlins carried over to the DeCapos. The sound just got larger and more natural. The bass went off the charts. Honestly at the dealer there was nothing I heard that would lead me to believe that these speakers were capable of projecting such dynamic drive and energy. The images became larger, on some recordings seemingly as large as life. Reference music during the process includes Reference Recording of Miles Daviss "All Blues" a quartet recording with Mike Garson on piano. Bach's "Little Fugue in G Minor" on Telarc with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. Seals "People Asking Why" and Evgeny Kissin J.S. Bach's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C.
What was focused on in the Bach "Little Fugue.." is the opening oboe with the bassoon coming in. This is very delicate and demonstrated with either cabling the amazing ability of the DeCapos to reproduce the correct timbre of these instruments so correctly, beyond what I consider typical for most box speakers. It is an example of why they grabbed my attention initially, the believability factor. The differences in the cabling were a greater sense of what you are hearing is in front of you and not coming from a box, not unlike Quads if not quite as believable either but pretty darn amazing and very close. This is the coherence part. How does a cable ADD coherence. I dont think it does. What I believe is it subtracts what is heard from the Stereovox, the bit of richness. It is difficult to put into words but it is apparent. And so it went . Most notable on the Kissin recording was the decay of the harmonics. and how this was even FURTHER refined and realistic, a deeper view into the performance. I am a huge fan of great pianists whether in the jazz or classical genre so this is just a really big deal to me to hear these artists perform in your living space that almost transcends the recording. I was again so amazed at what I was hearing. I have a 6 Chickering Grand adjacent to the listening space and know how it projects in my space. To hear one so gifted play seemingly in front of me in my 20X18 room was itself a gift.
The second set of cables just made everything more focused and right. The power cables seemingly increased the size of everything, more vivid and dynamic. On the Seal the sound almost pressured the room. The bass was very convincing, never boomy but clearly defined with all the fundamentals AND overtones resolved. This is due in no small part to the Berning amp which is dc coupled and is as good as anything Ive ever heard in controlling bass and going low. Ive owned it for 11 years and with an ideal load it is about as clear and transparent as anything Ive ever heard. The Berning showed me the true mettle of these speakers and conversely the speakers did the same with the amp. Nothing more ideal than a mid/bass driver with no crossover coupled with an OTL type amp operating at almost zero feedback, and 70 watts of power, about ideal. When I first hooked up the speakers I got some serious boom, this with the front baffle 36 from the wall. I dont know why here, certainly not at the dealers. It was quickly remedied by placing 2 home brewed tube traps behind each of the speakers.
Actually after reading the above it sounds like a review for the unnamed cables. I have left them unnamed because the focus of this thread is the DeCapo, BE tweeters or food. This is a concurrence of what Tubeears is hearing. To me the hobby isnt about changing out gear to hear something different. I love to hear different systems but would much rather do that and come home to something where I can kick back and really enjoy the music, being engaged without that constant desire to chase whats missing. These speakers first of all produce music, the timbre, balance and believability are all there. What I dont think Ive found out is how much there is there, how deep does this go? What I am left with is an unexpected result alright, but in a way I never imagined. Thanks Tony for your kind words. I am just in awe of how superb and capable these speakers are. Their price is a bargain but is partly understandable because of the simplicity of the design, a simple capacitor, no complex crossover, a great mid/bass driver and those BE tweeters all so well integrated, coherent and seamless. I wonder what the Nextel coating and acoustic lens have a hand in what Im hearing?
It looks as though we are a mirror image of each other. My wife doesn't just like them... She IS in love with them. However, if they were in the Nextel, that love would have vanished and the speakers would have been made to disappear within moments of their arrival.
I am looking strongly at my cables as well. I like them very much, but what I am seeing in the DeCapos is a speaker like you have so correctly described. They are now able to flesh out every nuance of every fine detail. The cables themselves had well be able to do that trick ... or the DeCapos won't be able to see those small details (to be able to transduce them). The changes to the DeCapos were far from minor ones (with the addition of the new tweeter) and they can now compete with the big boys. As was the case before the new beryllium tweeters were installed, the DeCapos demanded the best in equipment to allow them to become the tasty meals that they were. Now, with the upgrades, the DeCapos have went stellar.
I talked with a very knowledgeable dealer, one that has considerable experience with the DeCapos, both new and old and he feels much in the same way. Sooooo.... Here we sit with speakers that demand cable well in excess of what the little speakers cost ! They should have renamed them "De-Lemas"... Well, we will eek our way thru it, I'm sure.
Right now, the JPS cables are just fine and I have a back up pair of Moanster Cable Retro-Sigma Gold. They are quite wonderful sounding, smooth and with a very musical presentation.... Stereophile howled about them and the matching IC's. I have a pair of them as well. The point is.. All the Howling in the world doesn't mean that they are the best choice for the DeCapos. The DeCapos are just too big for their own pants. Anymore, speaker cable only means HYPE to me. The for instance the Munster Cable. The little darlings come with a ( Halliburton style) all aluminum briefcase. OK, if that's that game, the DeCapos should come wrapped in VW Touareg (brown leather and TDI, please). Anyway, pale-ease cable companies, Just put the money into the cables and put the cables into a bag and just gimme da bag. If I need a briefcase, I'll need a job first ( and one that pays enough to buy the stinking cables on and on). Sooo, we are in a pickle. The DeCapos are in another league altogether from their ancestors. They have evolved, and they are driving us to evolve with them... Like it or not.
Lend me some help here and let me know where I stand. Before I jump ears first into some kind of odd review of the beryllium tweeters ( in addition to how the DeCapos sound as a whole). I want to hear some ideas and opinions on the equipment that I thought was just fine, and even purchased targeting the DeCapos...
My set-up as it sits now:
Integrated amp: An Audio Analogue Maestro Setantta rev 2. I had not heard this particular amp. Until I purchased this one ( thru A'gon), The only AA amp that I had owned was an AA Puccini just before the dinosaurs died out, and i loved it. This amp sounds astonishing, looks good and the reviews are solid. It seemed as though it is the perfect match for the DeCapos, even if it is solid state. Get your Google gloves on and take a ride to find out about an amp that is world class and a pure joy to hear. Dig deep enough and you will see some spectacular photos of the insides of this beautiful beast.
I also have a Jolida 202brc that stuffed with premium tubes. The 202brc is a real sleeper in the Jolida lineup. Just a honest, straight forward example of what a good tube amp should be, at a lower price level. There are better tube amps, to be sure, but for the money, this one is very musical and has great pace, authority and responds well to tube change.
Dacs: One is the new Jolida Glass Tube dac. Two 12ax7's drive the out puts. I use either Tung Sols or re issue Mullards. Very well made. Extremely versitel and comes stock with parts that are normally upgrades for other units.
The other is a Michael Yee Dac one. His first but an amazing dac nonetheless. MR. Yee is a master with analog. His head amps are legendary and Dac One is a masterpiece of parts quality and workmanship.
CDP: Jolida JD 100. Very musical, good sounding player/ transport.
Again, two 12ax7's for the output. It has two separate analog outputs and a coax digital. I can switch back and forth between the stock CDP, or thru the upgraded Jolida dac or quickly switch to the Michael Yee.
Tuner. Mcintosh MR-78. I like this tuner better than any that I have ever used or heard. A real chunk of audio candy.
Cassette decks. I have two. A Nakamichi MR-1. It is one of the best. Only balanced ins/outs and every possible function. A spectacular deck.
Number two. Another Nakamichi . A CR-2a. A great sounding piece. Perfect to mate and copy with my MR-1.
Cables. JPS Superconductor plus ic and speaker cable.
Monster Sigma. Ic and speaker cable
Music Metre IC's and Digital cable
Vibro-pods under everything, including me. Also many assorted tweaks, Blue-Tac, bean bags .... Lots of little things that I probably should not have spent money on
Apple TV... I use this a lot for Internet radio. I run the HD channels in to either dac.
It sounds just fine for my casual listening. At time it actually sounds better than I want to believe that it can. I kick my own but every day thinking about all of the money that I wasted on XM Radio ! The Apple cost about a hundred bucks at Bad Buy !
Monster cable HTS 3600 line protection. Nice little inexpensive unit. 10 plug Ins and fairly good protection. A Shunyata is next in line.
Tubegroover, the words in your last post are so exact and so much of what I am finding that I am in hope that everyone can read what we say. It is like there is no need for any other loudspeaker to exist at all. What is ..oh so amazing, is that just about anyone can afford them. Even more so with the new Dulcets. These speakers are really a true gift to the Audiophile community. I rejoice every day that I wasn't born a Newt, blind and deaf in a dark cave with no electricity, my little sticky fingers not able to go around the volume knob on my new amp ( and my body to light to force the buttons down on the remote).
Indeed, I am gifted... I am Newtless and proud of it.
OK... There it is. Blast the hell out of it.
Oh.. Ya, I forgot to add what speakers that I have. Ref. 3a, DeCapo's.
And also a pair of the first PBN Montana SP's. they are in the bedroom closet ( a good place for them IMHO). They are a bit beat up from me throwing various tools and things at them, but they work like they should. Stereophile went GaGa over them. They have a crossover the likes of which I have never seen.... Literally dozens of parts.. All top grade, like Hovland and others. If Tash ever seen the crossover in these, he would have a massive coronary on the spot. It takes a half of a CD for the signal to pass thru all the parts in these things. There are probably still a bunch of words and notes stuck inside them that have to be pryed out. I am giving them to a friend next month.
Oh the Montanas, yes I know a few that have them. One set-up isn't so bad and he's had them for years with ARC gear. I couldn't tell you the model number. Certainly not my cup of tea for most music but he is primarily a rocker listens to quite a bit of jazz and some classical, it works for him just fine. I heard a pair of the big KAS many years back at a dealers. He just loved them, their dynamic capability you know. I just didn't get it and couldn't wait for it to end and besides the things were so big they reminded me of two large coffins. Another guy whose large Montana system I only heard once in his huge listening room was all tweaked out with thick slabs of maple under all components, all the cabling with risers keeping them from touching the ground. To me all the tweaking did was highlight all the issues I had with his system. We listened to a lot of old rock and roll that night including Ted Nugent, the Stones etc. and I throughly enjoyed it. But THEN we put on one of my favorite piano recordings of Earl "Fatha" Hines and immediately realized I never knew a piano could sound like that, very interesting. We talked later and I told him how much I enjoyed the evening, which I really did it was a lot of fun listening to rock and roll with the guys. My only regret is I wished I had brought some of my favorite rock recordings. I mentioned I didn't realize he was such a rock fan. He said he wasn't really but was more into light jazz and female vocalists. Now that was a tough one to figure out. Those big Montana's sure could boogie but for female vocals and jazz? As I always say, to each his own. Audiophiles are a real diverse lot but one thing most are not lacking is passion and opinion. I personally find most multi-driver system problematic with a few exceptions. The coherence is generally blown and you end up listening to a speaker instead of music. The older I get the more apparent it becomes.
Now back to the DeCapos. I think the only thing left for me to do is find the right cables. I may have found them after that last session. They don't cost an arm and a leg and they just sound right when used together. The problem is they look like a bad joke, something Rube Goldberg threw together in an afternoon with the ground wires separate from the helix solid cores wrapped something that seems like mylar. The ICs are app. half inch strips of very thin copper wrapped in the mylar type material with unruly ground wires outside the mylar with VERY minimalist connectors that attached to the components rather loosely, not snug like you would expect. The power cords have round plugs that look like they were procured from an electric supply house that went out of business 80 years ago. Remember the old toastmaster toaster with the cloth cord with the wire wrapped in asbestos inside? Well those plugs would be on the end of that cord. I really haven't seen anything like that for years. The power strip looks like the economy model at Wal-mart wired the same as the power cords sitting on a beautiful 6" slab of solid maple. I would hope that it is at least 12 guage, fires you know. I guess I've given it away now. Totally minimilist Tubeers, no fancy leather or solid dovetailed wood cases with thick felt lining with the brand name printed on fancy silk. In any case, before going that route I am going to reconfigure my system, build a new wood equipment rack so if I do decide on these cables, they can't be seen. Besides, too much clutter in the room, its time for a makeover and my wife agrees.
I'm still chuckling over the Montana experience that you had. I have as well, a friend that lives his life for them.. He is only "half" deaf at this point. I believe that Montana's theory is this... The more deaf you get, you progressively increase the size of the Montana that you buy. Once completly deaf, you are left with only their subwoofers and a giant Krell amp on a rolling pallet. I personally do not like my clothes and body hair removed by air waves produced by a speaker the size of a battleship. Ironically, from what I have heard, the founder of Montana, Peter Norbeak (sorry, I'm not sure of the spelling ) originally got his start working at Cary Audio. He put together the Cary CS 301 (or could be the SP301... Not sure). Anyway, it could be bought as a kit. Those are the ones in my closet. They could also be bought pre-built. They were nice looking, sort of Merlin-like and used the De-appolito driver arrangement using high quality Vifa mid/woofs and A Scan-Speak 9500 series Tweeter. The cabinet is a real nice composite of some kind and was black lacquered. A very good arrangement till Peter found a big bucket of crossover parts. After shoveling them onto a board full of silicone sealent, he turned ... What started as "Nice" to "nasty" ...real fast. I'm going to CYA here a just bit and say that all of what I know about all of this is just folk lore and Is just here-say.... Anyway, the way that I heard it , when Peter left Cary (for whatever reason) he formed the PBN Montana line. To me, it looked like he took the speaker he designed at Cary with him, and re-named it the Montana SP. At that time, Stereophile nailed it for a formal review and it was off to the loudspeaker races for Montana. If you look way back to the Sphile reviews, you will find that one reviewer, in particular, was Very enamored (and again, for whatever reasons) by Montanas speaker line up. I don't believe that there were the Montanasaurus offerings at that time. Anyway, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a lust filled reviewer from a big audio rag slobbering accolades on their keyboard for you. So, anyway, the speakers got bigger and the sound got louder. Some people love them. And as you rightfully say, they can engage you with dynamics like no other and somehow remain coherent. As a side note: I don't pay much attention to the magazine reviews anymore. Much of the reason is because of antics of some of the reviewers, their biases and admiration for their chosen demigods. Their reviews seem to parallel watching them climb the rocky cliffs, to their favorite oracle, just to share some fine wine and a piece of cheese... All the while, sitting with their mentors, starry-eyed listening to their most resent product. I much more enjoy and absorb the the words that continue on in the forums and also from what dedicated and informed salon dealers say. Those dealers that are all that is left to display what we so undyingly seek.. I would still pick the DeCapos over the KAS's, or any other mammoth shrouded in exotic finishes belching out SPL's that would cave my walls in. My loud days are.. quite thankfully, all over and if a speaker can't show me greatness at low volumes.... I don't want it in front of me (or sneaking around behind me either). A scant few speaker can play well at below speaking level, and the DeCapo is at the very-most top of that list.
A little about pianos....
I was actually picking out some of my better piano flavored music as I read your post. Technically speaking, I don't know much about pianos... except, I feel that they are much like hi-end audio componants. The best of brands are very much argued about. Some will say... This piano is better ... That piano is better, and on and on the battle for best goes. Owners or afectionatos of them will throw their favorite picks into the ring like big wooden pit bulls to see who's best. I would think that a piano, whatever the brand, could have a fare amount of trick tuning done to it to give it a sound that the player likes. I can tell a difference in brands, at times, but sorry to say that I haven't chosen a preference. I am fond of both uprights and standard. I like most of the piano sounds that I hear, but it is mainly due to the artist and/or the performance. I can put up with poor recordings (to a point) if the artist/performance are there (in the presentation) for me. One great CD that I can't seem to find tonight is my Holy Cole Trio, with the cut... "I can see clearly now" on it. After a just a few lines of just her singing.... a piano makes its amazingly vibrant introduction and ... Wow. Is it breathtaking. I really want the DeCapos to take a look at that. I don't know the brand of the piano. Then of course there are all,of the old Audiophile standards... Lincoln Mayorga and Amanda McBroom .... Dave Crusin and then on cassette tape, most of the Windom Hill recordings. Windom Hill seems to do piano very well, on their tapes.. and on a good cassette machine (like the Nakamichi MR-1), it is so so pleasing and musically captivating. I really envy you for being able to play one of the things. I would give it a try, but I have too many Vibra-Pods stuck to my fingers.
Back to the DeCapos. So far, what piano that I have listened to has been a real surprise. They present a piano in true life form. I did not think that they could create and hold (with substance) the mass of a piano. They not only engage you with the sound, but the emotion of the performer. They cast an image so wide and deep that it feels as though the piano is sitting in the room along with you ...with all else that is on stage. Usually, the vast majority of speakers reduce the piano to a small, vague and smeared outline of itself, with little or no weight. The DeCapos show the piano for what it is. I am very, very impressed. I also feel very lucky, both for myself and others that own them. We have something that so many others are searching for, I'm sure happy my search is finally over. I love the idea of the Grand Veena's, but I'm afraid that my small listening area dictates the use of the DeCapos. I just could not be happier.