Aloha from Hawaii.
I am looking for a pair of Apogee myself, to buy. I just posted an ad on AudioGon looking for some.
Apogees are known to be hard to drive, but many more recent high current solid state amps can do the job. Bi-polar amps rather than Mosfet.
See www.apogeeribbons.com and www.apogeespeakers.com for info on repairs, models, etc. Condition is a key issue in the speakers you are considering.
Hope that helps. Where are you located? Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Apogee Diva is hard to beat, given any other speaker, other than other big Apogees. Terry is right in saying amps that can power the Diva are plentiful. Given the Diva is a 4 ohm speaker, it has always been fairly easy to find tube and solid state amps that can drive the, Now, with the advent of digital, the very depths of these grand speakers can be explored quite inexpensively. I have the much more difficult to drive Scintillas powered by $3k H2O monos. this is a marriage made in heaven.
I have apogee caliper signature II's and Magnepan 3.6R, and the Maggies are way better than the calipers. I know the calipers are not Diva's, but it's the closest comparison I can give you. Maggies are also very amp dependant, I've been through quite a few amps, each time you unveil a little more of their potential. They are great with tubes, but Cary V12 Monoblocks at 200/watts do not provide enough power. I'm using a Krell FPB200 which has the power but not the warmth and finesse that is needed.
I used to own Apogee Stages and ran them with a Krell amp. I now have Maggie 1.6 and use a McCormack amp. I much prefer the later combination.
Of the 3 different models of Apogees I have heard in my life (Diva, Duetta, Stages), I always found them to have a very narrow sweet spot. They were exciting speakers for sure and tended to give me "goose bumps" more than the Maggies (1.6 or 3.6), but that said, the Maggies are easier on the ear and draw me emotionally into the music more. My McCormack (DNA-1) amp tends to add to this with a warmer sound even though solid state in design. You should definitely talk to Steve McCormack at SMc Audio about the mods for his amps. Many here on the AGon are thrilled with the sound of them for the price. His amps will drive the Diva's or Maggies with grace and ease.
Thanks to all for the responses. There is a pair of Diva's up on Ebay right now from a guy who lives near me (he's a really decent guy - hope he does well with the auction). The Diva's had very good bass response and could put out more volume than I ever heard Maggies put out (although I haven't heard the 20.1's). However, I felt the upper mid-range and treble to be a little veiled relative to the Maggie 3.6R's. This could be the room though...Sounds very, very good...Thanks again! Bob
Buy the Diva, put a couple of H2O amps behind them, and you will never look back.
I would also go with the Apogees over the Maggies.
The Apogees have so much potential - but you do have to
set them up properly since they are more setup sensitive
than the Maggies.
If you don't optimally setup the Apogees - they could easily
lose to the Maggies, which are more tolerant of poor setup.
But setup the Apogees properly, provide them with the
amplification they need - and the Maggies can't touch them.
Dr. Gregory Greenman
I've owned Apogees and Maggies 3s in the past. If you can find the right amp, the Apogees will sound more transparent and coherent than the Maggies. Also, you'll get more dynamic and extended bass. I think the Apogees are harder to set up and more amp dependent than the Maggies.
I would guess that the Apogee Duetta Signature would be the model to compare with the 3.6's as far as size. The Divas are larger and harder to drive.
IMO, all of the full-range Apogee need a fairly large room and need to be well away from the wall behind them. While I understand that you can stick any speaker in any room...it's not going to sound as it should.
No speaker is hard to drive with the advent of the $2k H2O. The best of all Apogees, IMO, is the 1 ohm Scintilla. That too is easy to drive.
Given the right electronics the Divas are hard to beat. I lived with mine for over ten years and through many upgrades. Like most panel speakers they need high current and high power to come to life properly but that's not to say that you can take any crap sounding high power ss amplifier and expect them to sound good. They're magic with the right electronics but there are so few good sounding high power/high current amplifiers out there! These days I prefer SETs and high efficiency speakers.
Whatever you decide make sure that the Divas weren't modded. There are plenty of them out there with less than ideal modifications to the crossovers and wiring.
Good point, Dkarmeli. I have bellowed against mods some Apogee owners have flocked to. As I stated above, the H2O is all an Apogee owner needs. It is based on the analogue module built by B&O. It's sound is akin to that of SET amps, but with a tiger in the tank.
Wrong. The maker is Virginia citizen, Henry Ho. Watch for upcoming
Whoops, that was the eAR, I made a fatal mistake, I thought h2o was water Muralman1 ! (kidding of course)
I have heard the monoblock H2O's on the Scintillas at Henry Ho's house and that combination was very impressive! They drove the Scintillas like they were an easy load. The only question for me is whether to buy the monoblocks or two pairs of stereo amps to biamp! I have Scintillas so this amp is a no brainer. Bob
Henry is a very talented EE from Virginia who was persuaded by the members of the Apogee board to bring his designs to the market. The results have been revolutionary in their ability to drive even the most difficult Apogees with ease. He uses the Ice module licensed from B&0 and backs it up with a power supply second to none. He does this with very reasonable pricing with the stereo version going for $2000.00. Apogee owner's are drooling over his offerings. Bob
This sounds very interesting, do you have a contact no. for Henry Ho?
Mama, this is a startup company. A chasis builder of good quality has been secured, and they are now gearing up for production, which should begin in a month. A web site is awaiting pictures.
Some of us Apogee club members have been lucky enough to have procured hand made amps by Henry. I have the monos, and love them to pieces.
Henry's number is 804-873-8974. He is in Virginia so he is in EST.
Thanks, this is very interesting. There's always been good sounding SETs and tube amps at this price point but never a high current musical ss amplifier for 2k. Actually there are hardly any musical high current ss amps at any price.
I am a Klipschorn addict but once demoed top of the line Apogee and found that soundstate was incredible. You could almost watch the people move across the stage as they sung the musical CATS. However, the subwoofer that was used with them could not even come close to the Klipschorn.
The fact dynamic speakers are slower than ribbons, or panels, is why I don't use a sub woofer with my Apogees. They straight line down below 20Hz, anyway, so why bother?