Wham1000, I used to have the Duo's paired with the Wavelenght Cardinals X1's. They sounded pretty good, excellent mids and hi's. That being said I would go with the new X2's. I also used the 47 Labs but the Wavelenghts blew them out of the water. I don't know what your budget is, whether you prefer SS, tube or Digital? You might talk with Henry Ho of the H2O digital amp fame. I don't know if his amp has been tried with the Duo's but when his amp connects it really connects.
I heard the Audiopax Stereo 88's (30W) with the AG's, and
they did not lack for anything, save an usher to have escorted me to the seat of that 'concert'.
The leaness you describe is an inherent property of the duo's. You must play with the subwoofer output and speaker position in the room, to flesh the sound out. Copper cables may also help as interconnects. More importantly donot use mettallic supports under any of your equipment including the power amps. Tubes are inherently warm, it is therefore not your amps fault. Try MDf wood under your amps etc.
I have now abandoned the duos as I found a speaker that beats it in every area and matches it for dynamics. The unbelievably cheap Hyperion,s. Bass has detail, tonal variations and sounds real unlike the duo's active woofer, which is at best only average in quality in my opinion. The duos are beaten easily for transparency believe it or not. Notes stop and start exactly as it was meant to making the performance more coherent and musical. You get a real soundstage with appropriate depth and image size, unlike the more vividly blown up sound on the duo's.By the way this comparison was made after the duos were rewired with silver coated copper dielectic wires, which replaced the quite frankly awful wire used in the duos. What ever you do, never use the external cables supplied to connect the various horns and subwoofers to gerthere, they are atrocious.
I run my Uno 2.1's with Sun Audio SV2A3, FI Super X with 2A3's or 45's, and now with Audio Note Neiro PSE 2A3. I have clipped the 45's, but lean sonics is not what I heard. You certainly must ensure that the midrange horn and the tweeter are set at the right height and that the speakers are placed for best results. They are amazingly particular to these issues. I have found that in my system, silver sounds best.
I also would recommend the Audiopax...while I did not specifically use the Avantgarde I was using a 103 db horn and had both the Audiopax 88 mono's and a pair of wavelentgh custom 45's which were designed to be superior to the venus. I also had a pair of custom Fi 2a3's as well as a pair of Komura 845's. The Audiopax was the overall favorite but all were excellent...the Fi and Komura otstanding but offering a bit too much noise for my rather low listening levels.
The gent I bought the Audiopax from had the trio's and was upgrading to the Lamm ML2.1's (the SET's)...after a month I'm not sure he was convinced he had made the right choice.
One of my customers is using Kronzillas with his Duos and likes them...
I am using the Audiopax 88s with the Duos and they are very musical and plenty powerful to play at live levels. They have a very quick warmup 10 minutes to sound good. The timbre lock controls are one more way to dial in your sound are quite useful.
The Duos are very picky speakers about everything in the system being just right especially the positioning of the speakers and the crossover setting.
I am convinced that Luke above did not exhaust his efforts in making his Duos sound good, otherwise they would sound great. The Duos having a powered subwoofer and crossover control are anything but lean sounding. Even though there are only 2 controls there is a lot of possiblity for integrating the woofers to the mid horn and if done right they won't sound lean.
You ask about Art Audio's Jota. I believe that for use with Duos, Art Audio recommends their fine PX-25 amp, either the stereo or the monoblock versions. Your specific requirments would determine whether the monos or stereo version would work best for you. I talked to Art Audio a while back and they use Duos in-house, so for sure they would be a great resource for you if you contact them.
I have a pair of Duos at home (paired with Tron Meteor and Quad IIs). The Duos are so efficient, you don't need more than 4-5 watts. However, whatever you use must be quiet and good as the Duos are very revealing. I have heard the Duos with the Tron PX25s (5 watts) - sublime. I agree with Ejlif - play around with positioning and subwoofer setup. that's crucial. Mine were set up at home by Graham Tricker from GT Audio (UK distributor for Avantgarde and manufacturer of Tron amplifiers) - that's part of his service in the sale price.
In my room (35 x 20 feet - 12 foot ceilings), the subwoofer crossover freq is set at 170 and the volume at the 12.30 clock position.
I didnot say the duos did not sound very good, I was merely indicating that it has some of the typical traits of horn speakers. One of these there is an overall 'sketchy' feel to its presentation. A lightnesss and speed that is common more or less in many horn designs but probably less so in the Avantgardes. I have played around with the duo set up plenty hence the advice regarding supports to give the musicians more body and warmth.
Ultimately compared to the hyperions their faults become obvious, especially in the region of musicality, clarity, transparency and bass. Read comparisons steve rochlin makes with his reference avantgardes with other speakers, on enjoythemusic especially when he compares it to the Galante rhapsody at a fraction of the price. I have heard the duos and trios in various settings and the sound is characteristic, a lightnesss of touch which takes them away from a truely realistic reproduction.
They were one of the best speakers in the world a few years ago, but I now have evidence that they are being overtaken by several of the price breaking newcomers.Only when directly compared with these in ones own set up can the weaknesses truely become apparent.
There is a German DIY site which tries to address this one failing with the Avantgardes. They inform us that the metallic carriers for the horns can be filled with deflex material and the crossovers upgraded with warmer sounding Jensen Caps. I have not tried these yet, but even if this did improve the sound, the subwoofers still need an awful lot of work to get to sound anywhere near as good as a passive integrated one. Having to use solid state amplification in the actives is certainly degrading in my opinion, and judging by the very poor quality of the supplied cables I would be suspicious about the amount of thought that went into the design of the subwoofer.
In my exprience the difference between amplifiers can be considered minimal when compared with the differences between speakers. Hence the advice to the original author of this thread.
This may be a dumb question, but if horns are sketchy at reproducing the clarity, transparency and musicality of a recording, then why are they used at every live performance? Or in movie theaters? I'm not asking this as a challenge. I really don't know the answer. I just know that I've not heard any speaker match the immediacy of a horn.
Thanks in advance for the education.
In a nutshell it sounds like you were saying the Duos don't sound good, which is fine. I don't think they sound lean, in fact they can have as much weight as you want with the controls. Obviously these speakers have their weakness which is the bass and integration. So far I'm not as bothered by it as some. It's the dynamics and the ability to connect to the music as in a live acoustic event that makes the horns awesome. I've not heard a box speaker that can match the horns for dynamics and that is where the energy and excitment comes from. Those Hyperions must be something worth checking out if they can match the Duos for dynamics.
Hi Ejlif and Boa a
Once again may I please reiterate that the duos are excellent speakers, as I have mentioned on each of my two threads I have lived with them for over two years. I was bowlled over by their astonishing dynamics macro and micro,the detail that comes with this and their looks. But I was always well aware of the bass deficiencies,and that does not just mean their integration with the rest of the sound spectrum, but of the individual notes. In order to get a full single note with a start a clearly evident middle bit with the final section that by the rules of physics should tail off (in volume with changing harmonics) unless the bass player decides to turn off the microphone suddenly or suppress the plucked string with the side of his hand. I indeed wanted to get all of this. I told you the wiring used internally and externally with the subwoofers are were very poor, I substtituted them with far higher quality ones, and i squeezed better but not dramatic performance from them.
I finally added two further active rel subwoofers with minimal volume setting and cut off at 22hz. And yes it adddd to the soundstaging (which are not deepest or widest in the world by a significant margin) and solidity of the imaging.
The term sketchy is there to describe that painting a musical event can be drawn with pencil like skeletal outlines or with strong heavy thicker and more colourful brush strokes. I believe both horns do contribute to some sketching leading to a lighter touch to proceedings.
I have owned audio physic avantis with various solid state and valve amps, I was disappointment with them. Prior to these,I ownwed a pair of Harbeth 7ES, classic British company that speialises in the vocal range. The midrange just went on and on and on forever. Bass and treble however were poorly integrated and probably close to sounding average only. No other mega dollar speaker has ever matched the midrange of this speaker in my opinion, and that was a cone design.
Why does one particular show have an unusally large representation of a particular product? My theory on this is purely speculative and in no way is suppossed to accuse any manufacturer or distributer of unfair play. In my opinion this finding may be due to heavy promotion of aunit that happens to be the flavour of the month or year. Why was last years London Hifi show full of AVID turntables, or the year before that Clearaudios. The flavour of the month through initiation by in house chitter chatter or the distributer can help stimulate so much interest that all other dealers know it would be worth using the 'flavour of the month' for their show. But it does not mean it is a bad or poor product, in the case of the duo's a very good product.
All I am now saying is that I do no longer have to put up with its weaknesses, as newer and better speakers are coming out all the time. You should try reading the opinions of the on line magazines.enjoythemusic, positivefeedback and more recently 6moons. These are online hifi magazines requiring no funding, investigating all those products you might never have found out about in the mainstream magazines until they have made a name for themselves on the audio critique circle. You will be amazed at how different every reviewers speaker is. Why does a fair proportion of them use the same product as in the shows????I only know of one reviewer on Hi fi news who uses the duos, and one on stereophile, and only steve roachlin on enjoythe music out of what say 60 reviewers in total. I stand to be corrected on the actual figures as I have not investigated this thoroughly I am only using this as an illustration.Indeed best speaker of all time accolade can go to twenty different models. There are many many high quality speakers each offerring something special there is no one single winner. Unless you read widely and deeply you will never get a full picture of the soundstage its periphery or ceiling! BUT you can compare speakers and find that one may be better overall than another.
Thanks for the post. Clearly, everyone hears something different. When I heard the AG's, they seemed to paint with a pretty full brush, as opposed to the sketch to which you referred. I've been wanting to hear the Hyperion's, as they certainly garner a lot of positive attention.
Frankly, however, I've just never heard any speaker do dead-on, spine-chilling midrange like a horn. That is, I literally get the chills running down my spine--when the component synergy & placement is right, of course--and I cannot assess the music in advance of actually feeling it. Everything else to this musician's ear sounds massaged. Not inaccurate, necessarily. Rather, it just sounds smoothed over, as if the intention is to make the music more pleasant, or more palatable.
What I am asking in regard to horns & live shows, however, is with respect to actual artist performances. I think you thought I meant audio conventions. I am sitting in front of my 27 yr old horn speakers right now, and it sounds like the vocalist is smacking his lips on my ear lobe. The immediacy and urgency of the sound is physically verifiable, and I'm just wondering if horns are indeed NOT the most accurate at reproducing the music, why then are they used at every live concert and performance? Every concert hall uses them. Every theater. Every comedy store. Why wouldn't they project by another speaker format if it indeed had more accurate presence and dynamics than that of a horn?
What's the difference between home audio and a live performance, if not simply the swapping of a CD player or turntable for an actual person? And why don't we ever see a row of twenty Hyperions (or Wilson's, or Apogee's, or Magnepan's) chained up at the rock arena, or on the stage at Carnegie Hall if they were believed to be a more truthful purveyor of the source?
That is my question. Again, I'm not trying to challenge anyone to a duel. I know what I like, and I respect the listening preferences of others. OK, so I don't quite get Norah Jones. But hey, that aside, can anyone answer this question for me?
I listened to the AG's a few times.
I would match them with something really fast + good sounding amps.
Atma-Sphere OTL for example, or Pass Aleph amps.
Horns have been the mainstay of live musical events for ages, because they are so efficient, not because they are more realistic. Which means engineering costs and physical sizes of cones can be more manageable, and power amps can also be more manaegeble. Furthermore, the speakers are there for an artificial purpose, that is to increase the volume of the musicians to an ARTIFICIALLY hiher volume level to allow every one in the audience to be able to hear the music clearly.
The 'smacking of the lips'that you refer to is simply detail you are hearing as a function of the microdynamic capability of horn speakers. BUT that is not to say that cone speakers are not capable of such microdynamics. Detail is often described as transparency and this often comes at the expense of broad brush strokes which communicate more tonal warmth.
I donot think we are talking with the same understanding of the terms we are using, and it may well be difficuult to demonstrate what we each mean without being in the same room with the speakers. Nonetheless if you would kindly read steve rochlins review of the Galantes compared to his reference duos you will understand better what i am trying to describe to you.
Boa, I believe it would have been far more accurate and useful statement if you had proposed the following:-
Why is it that audiophiles who fill the pages of audiogon forums, audioasylum, reviewers etc etc. are all using horn speakers? which of course is the opposite of the truth. Afterall it is the audiophile that spends hours upon hours comparing his units with his audiophile mates, using repeated precise mental assessment of the pieces he hears. PA system designers and users have other more important practical issues to consider, and I know for sure sound quality is not at the top of their agenda's.
Seems that the answers are more than what I bargained for. Unfortunately apart from Seadogs no clear answer to my question.
David Berning Siegfried 300b: Simply amazing resolution, transparency, and dynamics. Never heard better along these metrics. No congestion with classical music. I also didn't think the amp was lean in any way. However, the amp is no longer made and my friend won't sell mine back to me. I regret getting rid of this amp. I would highly recommend this one for the Duos. I think it would suit your purposes perfectly.
Kronzilla SM: Full bodied and good timbre. This is my current amp. It's a decidedly warmer sound than the Berning. Also not as forward. The soundstage emanates from behind the speakers but is coherent and stable. I don't like the fact that it emanates from behind the speakers but others do. All-in-all a great choice if you like a warm, full-bodied sound. Again everything is relative. It's a neutral amp but is on the side of warm and full-bodied but not to a fault.
Viva Sentesi: Similar to Kronzilla but not as resolving and the top end seemed rolled. Everything else was good though, especially at the price point.
Hope this helps. Someone I know uses the Kondo Neiro's with great results (not surprising).
Hi BOA, I thought it was clear that the answer was that it was not your amps that were at fault but other components? Please read all e mails carefully.
The bass of a pair of Avantgarde DUO's can be substantially increased and improved by the following means:
replace the subwoofer cords with Cardas Golden reference Power cords. This really sounds both nutsy and (slightly) expensive, but it really works and if you have enough money for DUO's you probably have enough for the cords. I was opposed to getting pricey cords til I heard them first.
upgrade the external wires to DUO 3.0 Cardas jumpers - available only from Avantgarde. (if you haven't done that already)
much much more warm bass!!