if your system is a lower watt/tube based system, even klipsch heresy II's will exibit routinely what you liked in the avantgarde. they can sit in the corners of your listening room and they are quite the value given their lifelike sound compared to horn systems which are 10 times more money (and are tempermental to specific placement). if your coming back to dynamic drivers i would suggest auditioning gradient, but understand that power is essential.
Get the Trios, tell the kids and the wife to play outside!
check out the acapella fidelio monitors. they sounded incredible at the past 2005 nyc he show. around $6.5k with stands.
You might look at the Classic Audio Reproductions T-5, which is an extemely dynamic loudspeaker in a reasonably sized package. If you can swing it, the larger T-1 is even better. Let your wife put knick-knacks and whatnots on top of the T-1's; designer John Wolff routinely shows them with porcelain dogs on top.
Folks, many, many thanks for the excellent suggestions so far - please keep them coming. I will check each of them out (except the Trio's - that would be like rubbing salt into the wound :).
All the best,
I own Avantgardes and I know what you are describing. You might look into a single driver speaker like Cain and Cain, Rethm, Beauhorn, or even the inexpensive Hornshoppe speaker. Although the Bass might be a tiny bit light, the resolution and dynamics are even better than the AG's. All these brands have speakers that are smaller than the AG's too.
There are some single driver systems that are reasonably compact that have the dynamics, life and texture of horn systems, but few have the reasonable tonal balance and relavitely mild horn colorations of the AGs. Good horn systems, like Edgarhorns, also are reasonbly free of coloration, but they are also pretty bulky. Still, you should look into Edgar Titans.
Classic Audio Reproductions makes some original speakers and reproductions of classic speakers, like the JBL Hartsfield, that sound pretty good. I heard one of their original models (D-1, D-3? I can't recall the specifics) that sounded pretty good and were not that unwieldy or strange looking.
I quite liked DeVore's Super Eight speaker that I heard at The High End Show in Vegas. This is a compact floorstanding multi-way speaker that, while not having quite the incredible presence and life of horn systems, was not the constipated, lifeless lumps of BLAH, that so many current speakers have become.
The French company Triangle makes a whole range of reasonably lively sounding speakers, but they can be bright and thin to some tastes. Still, they warrant an audition.
Another reasonably nice speaker that is quite compact, nice to look at and very versatile when it comes to placement is the Gradient Evolution.
I also like Gershman's GAP 828 speaker, but, it is a bit big and somewhat weird looking (essentially an obelisk with the top half bent forward).
When I was about to move up from my Lowthers I gave AVG's a passing thought. My room is just to small. I went with the SAP Audio Quartettes. In size they look like your typical floor-stander.-(17 deep,47 high, and 10 wide.) Seems nobody has heard of these. They gave me my "horn-fix"; never heard the big horns tho.--There is just something most decent horns do that cones don't do.---I am about to be able to compare my horns to Merln MMs.(arriving this very Thurs)--Don't have a clue how it'll go.
I had Quartettes for a short while before trading up to the SAP J2001s with the twin 12" woofers.
The Quartettes are very exciting and dynamic and can focus images in a way virtually no other speaker is capable of doing. BUT, it is one of the hardest speakers to locate and get the bass right. Also, it is not very kid-friendly, as the top portion is precariously perched on three cones and is very easy to tip over.
101 db efficient, single driver + supertweeter. 40 hz - 20 khz, even response.
These are neutrally dynamic and cover the range except the first octave with style. They have pop WAY beyond any multi-way I've heard.
Interestingly, Avantgard-owner Srajan Ebaen of 6moons has recently acquired a pair. I asked him what he thought:
"They're here breaking in. First impressions? Fu@#ing eh! Gutsy, ballsy, very good bass, no brightness, peakiness or weirdness, ability to play *very* loud without breaking up - the only thing missing right now is a bit of detail. That driver looks like it'll need mondo hours to cook. I'm tickled pink already - this is a VERY good design." (edit mine)
If you're a small-amp guy, these are the real deal.
Folks - this is just what I'm looking for. Many, many thanks to everyone for taking the time to contribute.
Has anyone heard the Living Voice Avatar OBX speakers? I realize this is not a horn speaker and doesn't have the efficieny of one, but was just wondering how it stacked up on the coherency and dynamics side compared to one of the good horn speakers out there.
Three options on my screen as nicely sized high efficiency speakers are the SAP speakers already mentioned and then Fab Audio Model 1's or Stonehenge's and a speaker not quite to the market yet, Tocarro (it is a remake of Rehdeko's which wer last produced in the late 60's or so).
Hi Larryi- I got tired of tiping the cones just while changing speaker wires. I got some 4in wide webbing--now the whole speaker top and bottom move as a floor stander. No,'taint 'purrity';but saves my nerves. Then I always had the fear a top cab. would fall onto the tube amp.--'caint be havin none of 'dat.
Hi. Are coherence and drivers integration the same thing? If yes, then you should go hear the Magneplanar.
I have my SAP J2001s on Symposium Svelte Shelves. I know of several Quartette owners who have their speakers on the Svelte Shelves too. It makes a big difference, particularly with the Quartettes, as far as smoothing out the bass and making it easier to integrate the bass with the rest of the frequency range.
I wonder if a shelf between the top and bottom half of the Quartette will have a positive effect?
My wife didn't like the idea of the red trios until she heard them in our living room.... Healing time went way down...
.....the ol' "beg for forgiveness" rule!
Try Tonian Labs
I have first hand experience with the uno's and prefer the Tonian monitor.. it's also a much more conventional design
That's my opinion on the subject
I went from Trios to the Beauhorn Virtuosos and never looked back. They are more seamless and coherent and much faster. You will probably want subwoofers, however. But I used mine up to 60 Hz which is more than an octave lower than the Trio woofers are expected to cover.
Zu Definitions. I bought them instead of Aavantgarde. You will get the dynamics and speed, but you will not get the horn tone. Moreover, the Avantgardes just don't integrate. No matter how far I can position myself from them, I hear each driver separately. Definitions will give superior coherency. Also, for domestic environments not totally handed over to audiophilia, you can't beat the Definition's space utilization: in 1 square foot of floor space in a column 49" high, you get a speaker that is neutral, natural, coherent and consistent 16Hz - 25kHz, with an integrated sub-bass array.
get the Gallos, good sound good budget good realestate
I second Phil's suggestion. I owned the Gallos, then the Druids, and now the Definitions. I'd take the Druids over the Gallos in a nanosecond and the Def's are beyond belief.
Srajan Ebaen went from Avantgarde Duos to Druids to Definitions and is tickled. He's documented his journey well for any wanting to follow.