I've heard the 10Ts two or three times at dealers with highly regarded associated equipment (Pass and Levinson). For the money, they were among the worst speakers I've ever heard. They lacked coherency and just didn't sound at all natural. The exaggerated treble and bass seemed to originate from very different places. Maybe they were defective or just weren't set up correctly, but I was amazed.
I suggest that you check out Von Schweikert, Vandersteen, Usher and Spendor -- just for openers. There are lots of speakers that will beat the Aerials. I think you'll be amazed. Happy hunting!
I had Aerial 10T's for about 5 years and found them mostly very satisfying.
If you want to maintain the full range capability, dynamics, and decent soundstaging of the Aerials but with a much more accurate and satisfying presentation, you might take a look at SP Technology. Anything from the TimePiece 3.0 to big Revelations will easily best the Aerials in most areas. If I could go a little over $10k used, the Vandersteen 5A's would be my first choice. I always wish I'd bought the Vandies, though I love my Merlin VSM-MX's, especially with modest tube amps. Many postings and reviews here on the merits of both.
Get a listen to a pair of new Quad 2905's...They have all the virtues you are looking for. Yes, they have pretty decent dynamics too!
9rw what speakers do you own?
I own the 10t's (see my systems) and I love them. I also own a pair of LR5 which you might like a bit better than the 10Ts. The LR5 are more effecient and sound a little brighter but in a good way. I am saving up for a pair of Watt Puppy 8's for my next speaker.I figure I will have the money in about 10 years, maybe sooner. There is a pair up here now for $ 18,000. They sound great and have a really nice small foot print. The Aerial 9's would also be a good speaker to consider. I like to purchase loundspeakers made in USA if possible (B&W 801's are nice though) and from a manufacturer that will support the speakers and not change models every week and not support older models (like Infinity)
Under 10k, true full range, and beautiful I would recommend listening to some of the Ushers.
Thanks 9rw. Since I've heard nothing but praise about the 10t's, I assumed the only pair I heard were broken.
I auditioned the 10T's about 5 years ago. I found them to have exaggerated upper midrange, as has been described above.
I ended up with Vandersteen 3A Signatures, which, with good amplification, is a speaker that I can highly recommend. It is much less than $10,000.00, even new. Excellent bass, smooth mids and highs. It's not lacking in any part of the sound spectrum and is capable of excellent soundstaging as well. Although not the most dynamic of the Vandersteen 3 series, it is more than adequate in that regard.
You can consider moving up within the Vandersteen line, as well. Vandersteen Quatros have consistently been given excellent reviews, although I haven't heard them. The Vandersteen 5's, the first time that I heard them with Ayre electronics blew me away, they were so good. Superb soundstaging and musicality and resolution. Since then, I have heard the 5's and 5A's at shows and have always been disappointed. Was it a problem with setup and component matching at the subsequent auditions? Probably.
The other speaker that I have heard that I like a lot is the Von Schweikert VR4 JR. Superb dynamics, superb imaging and soundstage, excellent detail and resolution, again, a smooth midrange and treble, and excellent bass -- particularly deep bass -- from a small footprint speaker. They run 2K-5.4K, depending on whether you buy new or used, Mk I or Mk II models. When the time is right and I have money for a bedroom system, I plan to buy a pair.
If you like the Aerial sound, which it sounds like you do, at least listen to the 9's. From the posts above, it sounds like you might also listen to some others, and the Usher's might be a good value.
Weiserb: I own Von Schweikert VR-4Sr. and Dunlavy SC-II. I've also owned the Dunlavy SC-IV/A -- and probably two dozen others (Totem, Vandersteen, Quad, Snell, KEF, B&W, etc.) I wish I had kept the big Dunlavys. For less than $9k I've heard nothing better.They are, however, huge and intrusive-looking. For the money, a lot of people wanted something more exotic, which is probably one reason Dunlavy didn't survive.
The recommendation for Quads is a good one. If you have the right room and associated equipment, they are killer. I've also heard the Wilsons and Andras sound fantastic. The truth is that there are lots of really good speakers. Just find one you like. It doesn't have to be your last speaker. That's part of the fun of this hobby.
One has it as "exaggerated treble and bass", while another has it as "exaggerated upper midrange". Maybe the issue is not with the speakers but with the listener? Notice how no one ever mentions what recording(s) were used in the audition, how long the audition lasted and whether they were in an acoustic environment they knew.
My only recommendation to the initial poster is to do an evaluation of any speaker he is contemplating by himself in a known environment, where he can relax and play records he knows, with associated equipment that remains constant.
All the rest is merely verbiage.
Have you listened to the Eggleston speakers? They have a sound that you might find appealing. You might be able to pick up a used pair of Andras in your price range. They are diefinitely in the same full range as the 10t. What about a pair of B&W 803D? Take a listen.
A good friend of mine replaced his Aerial 10Ts with the Andra Is, and he has not regretted it.
whatever you're looking for is probably 'already there' in the aerials. save the money
Great advice! Keep it coming... I will say that room and placement can make a huge difference with the 10Ts and if they're not fed a lot of power, they're merely ordinary.
I have been giving serious thought to the Ushers... I heard the 8571s about a year ago but the newer Be10s (or 20s) also have me drooling...
I have not heard the Quads in a long time.... have to check the 2905s out. Other speakers in the Aerial line are certainly under consideration, but I want a chance to hear the competition a bit before any decisions...
PBB - I hear what you're saying... but there is so much on the market that it really does help to hear what paths other ex-10T owners have gone down.
Jaybo - Keeping the 10Ts may be exactly what I end up doing - just want a chance to kick a few tires in the process. (hey, it's not like I'm cheating on my wife ;-)
I really enjoyed the 10Ts and came very close to buying a pair. Ultimately, after thinking about it for several years and coming back into a changed market, I went with the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands. The woodworking on the VAs is absolute top drawer and the sound is incredibly smooth and musical. The WAF is through the roof, if that matters to you.
I only spent a few hours listening to the 10Ts at a good dealer, but I know the character of the sound that you liked, so you might also like the VAs.
perhaps a used pair of Rockport Mira's would fit the bill. as of this post, no one has mentioned them. while Rockport Technologies isnt a big company, it certainly is one of the best. no matter what speaker you are replacing, at any price, a Mira maybe a perfect next step....
WAF does play an important role since my system is in our living room (24'x12'x8')... in fact, it's part of the reason I'm considering replacing the 10Ts since they are the all-black ones and, well, not the prettiest speakers around.
Focals. Could do a pair of the new 1027 or 1037 Be's for about $10k. Occasionally, you can find a nice set of used Diva Utopia Be's for $6k-$8k. Divas are a bit more picky about setup, but sound fantastic when done right.
Given that you don't need to play that loud you could do with the 2805s and - given that they are black too - the smaller size means better WAF.
Another option would be the Linkwitz Orion which has the same placement "issues" as the Quads (but your room seem well suited for dipoles, all your dimensions are a number times 4ft so you may need something that has less problems with room nodes). You can get this made using a wide range of finishes, so you could let yout wife choose.
If WAF and sound are both of close weighting then, by all means, look at the Vienna Acoustics line. I've got some really nice furniture and artist wooden boxes and the VAs fit right in. I ordered the maple ones to go with my archtop guitars and a great armoire with all kinds of maple veneer and ebony inlays. They look great together.
the 'waf' is satisfied by keeping the money you would have spent to go on a sideways change. the 10t's are benchmark speakers, even today.
Jaybo, you know my wife... *g*
Actually, I hope you're right... the 10Ts have proven to outlast all other audio equipment I've owned. I just think it would be interesting to go out and check...
If you like the 10t sound, I would avoid metal tweeters
on anything new.
If you can audition a pair, The Montana EPS 2s are worth checking out.
Not everything new is necessarily better than the old.
The 10T was and IS avery good speaker and I doubt you will get much better sound and the same bass by spending 10K.
Wait and save up for the 20T.
You do not see many secondhand 10T up for sale, do you?
People keep them.
Buy a used pair of Wilson WP 6 (les than 10K now) you'll find a great difference (same happened to me some time ago)
I second Kehut, give the Quad 2905 a listen. I heard a pair with CJ SS epuipment a few weeks ago at a dealer and was floored! It was hard to get up and leave! I am considering these myself, just a tad bit concerned about volume levels as I listen to mostly classic rock, blues.
Don't avoid metal tweeters, just listen to what you like and chose based on your ears. Since you own Aerials, you've got a good reference, now just go listen without preconceived limitations.