If you are looking for an improvement in sound quality then try an active speaker. You can get top of the line pro gear with your budget. There are many active designs to chose from and they are all better than passives.
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having owned the Andras, their only real deficiency (to me) was the midrange, which lacked a bit of speed and transparency (the bass and treble left little to be desired).
other than that, finding something significantly better is going to be a real chore, especially considering their musicality, especially on strings and piano. i eventually replaced them with von schweikerts, which do possess a state-of-the-art midrange driver. but even the VS's, again, IMHO, bear a close resemblance to the eggleston sound, just quicker and more open. however, i'm a bit surprised you didn't enjoy listening to the andra's alot more. of course i confess to spending a small fortune on transparent wire, which took the speakers to a whole new level, with deep bass and a big 3-D stage.
Vandersteen 5As would be the strongest candidate others are Intuitive Design these will be hard to audition but would be worth the effort especially if your about to spend 20 to 30 grand. And Green Mountain Audio C3s. I am sure the Conrad gear will be great with any of the above. I hope you will keep us posted as you audition and make a decision. That is a big decision.
Gina, what in the world was wrong (lacking?) with your Andra 2s? Are you sure your 5 year sojourn for speaker nirvana not rooted somewhere else? Maybe if you give us some more info about your rig, and the things you've tried that you were unhappy with? There's enough audiophools here to drive you wild with choices. Fasten your seatbelt, it may not be a speaker thing at all, but then again...
Boa2, S7Horton, am I missing something? The 50 hours listening time you guys mentioned: Where o where does that come from?
Gina, getting back to you for a moment. If the 50 hours of breaking in time is the deal, I agree: call off the sale. You have a pair of speakers that I cannot imagine aren't delivering you the goods. Please give us more to go on...we'll be gentle...lol...warren
I don't know anything about the Andra's so I can't recommend a replacement (though the Vandersteens are a good choice). What I would strongly suggest, if you haven't already done so, is to invest heavily in room upgrades. Get with a company like Rives and have a room worthy of $20k-$30K speakers designed for you! It's highly probable the room is what is causing your dissatisfaction.
Thank you all for your feedbacks. Unfortunately, I only have about 50 -70 hours on the Andras. I am not sure where you get this information from but it's pretty darn accurately. My intial reason for selling the andras because I am down sizing to a smaller listening area but now that plan changed. My new listening area will be 38X45X10. I already sold the speakers so I can't look back now. I have been thinking about the Savoys but can't find a lot of info on them. Hear are some of the speakers I owned in the last 5 years:
Maggies: 1.6,3.6, 20.1
Martin Logan: Prodigy
Wilson: Sophia, Watts 7
Gershman Acoustic: GAP 828
To be honest with you, my reason for selling the Andras ignited by moving but that is not a real reason. The real reason is that I have problems keeping anything more than a year and always want something better???
Avalon Eidolon Diamonds would be my recommendation.
The Eidolons are incredible speakers and with the new diamond tweeters, they are even better.
(Wish I could afford them actually!!!)
My friend with the Eidolons is very similar to you, in as that he loves to experiment. However, since he got the Eidolons, he has been cured of that, at least in regard to his speakers. (He has kept them for about 4-5 years now.)
FYI, his list of past speakers looks a lot like yours, in as that he too tried the Thiel 7.2s, the Martin Logans, etc..
(BTW, he uses the Lamm M2.2s to drive his Eidolons, and they work great! He tried out about half a dozen amps before coming to that conclusion, btw!)
The only thing I will warn you about with the Eidolons is that they are ruthlessly revealing, so your electronics need to be up to snuff (quality wise), as well as very powerful (200 wpc for SS amps, or 400 wpc for tube amps).
My two cents worth.
PS They are gorgeous to look at too!
Boa2, S7Horton, am I missing something? The 50 hours listening time you guys mentioned: Where o where does that come from?
From Ginas current ad for the Andra IIs , which states: "I have about 50 hours of playing time at moderately low volume settings with high end electronics from Audio Research.
I love the Andra II as well. Gina, that is some list of speakers that didn't work for you. I get the tingles thinking of those Maggie 20.1s with the room and right amplification. Your new crib has some serious cubic feet. I'm in agreement with Pmotz. There are going to be oodles of problematics with a space that large, and designing the space to fit the speakers may be the best way to go. Maybe not less expensive, but will help you hit the sonic bulls eye. Perhaps you may go back and purchase one of the speakers you use to own. Would that be a trip?....lol...
What type of music do you want to reproduce?
If you want speakers that get out of the way of the reproduction better than just about anything in existence,that are state-of -the -art imagers,true point sources and reveal previously unimagined textures and timbres in your recordings---and are naturally dynamic with no shouty,horn-like colorations,
then investigate the new Ocellia top model with dual concentric driver and no crossover.The top model would be as full range as most any music system would ever need.They really do everything when it comes to music reproduction.
Not for soundeffects,though.
Would probably be better off selling CJ amp,whichever model, and pairing with top flight SET of at least 8 watts.
A speaker to get off the merry go round with---if that is what you really want to do.
Thank you all for your inputs. Warrenh and Pmotz, I have tried many things related to speakers and electronics but have not thought about working on the room (professionally done). Are you suggesting that I should partition the room to make it smaller because it's too big???? Do you know any dealers that I can go to experience a well designed room? Lastly, would you build a dream system around the speakers or the other way around? Can you also give me a list of electronics, mainly amps and preamps, that you would recommend for the following speakers:
1) DALI, Megaline
2) MBL 101
5) Usher Be20- This one is new to me but was recommended by a friend. Any comments?
Thanks again for your time.
You just because you have a tough time settling on a speaker, does not mean I do. Still have the Zu?? You raved on and on about the Caravelles.....forgot what it was you raved about prior to Caravelles...and now it's Zu. What next in your "different speaker every year" list? Seems rather odd you give advice on speaker purchases when you cannot settle upon one speaker yourself.
Ellery911, a great speaker is a great speaker. One post or 100. GMA builds great speakers. I am hardly the only one saying that. Do some research.....you seem to be good at that.
Again call Roy Johnson at Green Mountain Audio. Will cost you a couple bucks for a phone call. See for yourself.
Found a Stereophile review on these speakers. Looks like your listening perception is quite good.
"Predicting how these three nearfield responses will sum at the listening position is difficult; shown to the left of fig.4 is my best guesstimate, with the acoustic phase and path-length differences taken into account. note the enormous measured suckout in the upper crossover region on this axis, centered on 3kHz. I must admit that I didn't find the Andra to be as free from coloration as WP did. I noted a slight degree of hollowness that made violin and viola, for example, sound a little as if played with mutes. The tweeter is 33" from the floor, which is on the low side. (Tom Norton's research has shown that a typical listener's ear in a typical chair is 36" high.) Fig.5 shows the Andra's response at different heights; it can be seen that the crossover-region suckout is worst on the tweeter axis. The broad overlap between the tweeter and twin midrange units does appear to make the speaker very sensitive to listening height. Perhaps the flattest measured response is obtained 10 degrees below the tweeter axis (the trace at the front of this graph). However, this represents a listener with his ear around 20" from the floor. By contrast, fig.6 shows the Andra's measured response 10 degrees above the tweeter axis, which represents a typical listener sitting in something like a director's chair. While there is still a lack of energy in the speaker's upper crossover region, it is much less severe than on the tweeter axis. Again, the crossover suckout is worst directly on-axis, the "horns" between 2 and 4.5kHz to the sides of this graph suggesting that the speaker's total output into the room does not feature a lack of energy. Only in a small room, therefore, with the listener sitting close and low, will the Andra sound hollow. The larger the room and the farther away the listener, the better-balanced the EgglestonWorks will sound. Despite its sloped baffle and low-order crossover, the Andra is not time-coherent on typical listening axes. (It will be time-coherent around or below 20" from the floor, which suggests the tiltback of the baffle is too mild.) Fig.8, for example, shows the step response on the tweeter axis. The tweeter's output is the sharp up/down spike just before the 4ms mark, followed by the midrange units in the same acoustic polarity. As with the frequency response, the nature of the Andra's cumulative spectral-decay plot depended very much on the measurement axis. Fig.9 shows the waterfall plot associated with the response in fig.6, 10 degrees above the tweeter axis. In general it is impressively clean, though there is some low-level hash present in the mid-treble. But if the microphone was lowered by 5 degrees, nearer the tweeter axis (fig.10), a resonant mode at 4.7kHz appeared, associated with a response peak at the same frequency. This and the excess of top-octave energy might tend to make the balance rather bright, everything else being equal"
Interesting to note Stereophile felt the larger the room the better, yet some here are urging you to make your listeing room smaller. Also interesting is that on the manufacturers website, this speaker is claimed to be time/phase coherent and Stereophile measurments prove otherwise. Can believe everything you hear or read Gina.
Ginas- It's not so much the size but how you proportion it (I could have said something else but ...). The object of the room is to not contribute or remove anything so you need either LOTS of time or professional help to identify what can be done to optimize the room. To do it right it can be a very expensive endeavor but if the absolute best performance is the goal it's a must. Check out member Mike Lavigne's effort to do just this: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue16/lavigneroom.htm. There are other Audiogon members who have done this too, check out the member systems or search for Rives. Robert Harley of the Absolute Sound also did a similar effort with his system, but I don't recall the issue (it was a couple of years ago). I wish I had the space and the money to do this but alas, I don't and probably never will!
Hi Ginas, I have a couple of suggestions... The first is professional room treatment, as has already been suggested. The second is dedicated power, if you don't already have it. I'd look at LAK and CINCIBOB's systems here on Audiogon. If you go with a dedicated subpanel, I'd go with a Square D QO subpanel box and breakers. The QO designation is just a commercial box and breakers at not much more money than the cheaper residential model. Make sure that your Romex wire is large enough. I'd go with 10 gauge from subpanel to duplex outlets and 2 to 6 gauge for your run to the subpanel--depending on the length of the run. Also try this, this is after talking to SEAN on Audiogon and trial and error on my part. Have your electrician do the following to the wiring inside your subpanel box: 1.) For ground-- On your ground bus bar-have the digital closest to your ground exit from subpanel (digital grounds first), then the preamp, and finally the amp(s). 2.) For Hot/Black--Have the power go to the amp(s) first, then the preamp and finally digital last. The same goes for the White/ Neutral-starting at where the Neutral enters the box at it's bus bar--amp(s) first, then preamp, then digital last. I know that it's hard to believe, but it made a huge difference in sound with my system. For my system, this gave me the best dynamics, detail, clarity, and lowest noisefloor. When some of the order was changed from what I suggested earlier, the sound was either aggressive or dull, depending on the order of things. I know I'll hear about this from some of the Audiogon members, but this is what worked best for my system. As to your speaker choice, I haven't heard enough of those fine speakers to really comment. I am kind of partial to the MBL 101e's, but I don't know how they match with CJ stuff. French Fries made a good point about wiring. The cables that I've seen matched with the Andra II's most often are Acoustic Zen, Nordost, and Transparent. I know from phone conversations with Egglestonworks that they use both, Nordost Valhalla or some type of Transparent cabling, in their in-house audio room. Also, Halcro is Egglestonwork's choice of amps for the audio shows that they attend. Hope this helped. Best wishes. Stan
GMA, DK design, Zu, H2O, and the list goes on. What do they have in common? Shills who use every opportunity to drone on and on about them.
You'd figure if they were that good they'd be listening to them rather than have the time to plug them in over 100 posts, but that's too simplistic I guess.
Shills have rarely contributed anything positive to a product, usually the more the hype, the greater the suspicion that they would require all the "help" from the promoters.
Give it a rest, we've heard it all before.
All I can say is that I personally will Not call anything the Best. That is because there are lots of things out there that I may not have heard or are not very familiar with. I will say however that the big Kharmas and Tenors are definitely amongst the elite and amongst the best available. I will also say that the Evolution Acoustics is the BEST speaker I have ever heard. When you hear them, it is not like listening to a speaker due to the way they disappear and their UNBELIEVABLE level of purity, clarity, resolution, etc. It is really hard to put into words, that is how impressed I was and that is why I can't wait to get my personal pair of MM2's. To understand my taste, I have been impressed with the following speakers: Verity Sarastros, Kharma Exquisites, Avalon Eidelon and Larger Avalons, MBL 101e's, big ESP's. These are all fantastic examples of super HiFi, but the Evoluton Acoustics transcended HiFi.
Correction to 12/27/06 post: First, I'd like to say that part of my post should have gone under Tech Talk and shouldn't have been piggybacked on this thread... Second, After looking under the hood of my subpanel, I realized that the order of my grounding was different than what is stated above. It should read--For ground- the order should be amp(s) first, then preamp, then digital. The amps ground first. The amps receive power first. This is the best combination that I found to work with my Pass Labs 600.5 amps and Egglestonworks Andra II speakers. From Camus, a french folk blues acoustic resonator guitar artist, to Yes's Fragile, everything sounds the most balanced and extended throughout the frequency spectrum. The music is very dynamic, musical, and 3 dimensional. As I said before, I'm surprised that the wiring order made any difference at all... but it does... and of course everything should be on the same phase. Sorry for the confusion. Have a healthy and prosperous year all! Stan
Ginas, I would suggest listening to Tannoy Westminsters.
Can't comment on GMA since Roy and crew will NOT allow you to audition the speaker before buying. Believe me, I tried but every dealer from NY to AZ said "I'm sorry, I JUST sold my demo pair but I'll ship you a pair to audition at home". Funny coincidence, don't you think? After saying I'd wait for a store audition I was put-off by some tricky talk. Now we have internet schill's pushing Roy's stuff, hmmmmmmmm.
Ginas,call Jtinn if you have the money to spend,He is the
right person to talk to.Many times I ask Him about amps
and speakers,He is always right on the money,Extremely
knowledgeable audio dealer.I love the Andras I own one,It
takes time to set them up,and to find the right matching
for them,they like tubes...
Thank you very much for all your help. I took the advice from Tom Loomis ( don't know his users name) and currently at the CES show. I was able to arrange to purchase the following systems. My quest was to simpy search for a new pair speakers and I ended up with 3 brand new systems.
Without going into details about pricing, here are what i ended up with after a day of shopping. This is a disney world for audiophiles. It's too danger for me to go back hear again. I think I just spent the money allocated for our vacation home.
1. MBL show room- It was an unbelievable experience....If you love music, other than actual live performance, this is a must hear system whether you can afford it or not. The sweet spot is everywhere in the room. I am in process of buying a pair. The distributor is going to find a nearest dealer in my area to assist with the purchase or he's going to flying to my house from Arizona and install my system himself. have never heard any that good, period. They also offer beautiful sounding electronics as well. Very EXPENSIVE. Not sure if I am going to buy just the speakers or the entire system. This definitely is a KEEPER.
2. I also listened to the Usher Be-20s and they were exceptional so I bought a pair as well. These speakers will be powered by C/J premier 350 and CT5. I will also try them with my LP140s. Most likely I am going to use the SS for the lows and tubes for mids and highs. Will let you know they work out. I think the warmth of C/J products will work very well with the Be-20s.
3. Cary Audio Electronics:
SLP 05 tube pre amplifier
CD 306 SACD player
New Basis turntable
Have a happy new year!
Self described passion for audio:
I have problems keeping anything more than a year and always want something better???
Comment after a one day shopping spree:
I think I just spent the money allocated for our vacation home.
I see you weren't kidding...enjoy!
Oh, BTW, hopefully you still have enough money left over for a digital camera or a cell phone with a camera... let us see some pics! (Not that I doubt your shopping spree I'd just like to see it all and drool...LOL...only fair after all the help you got from Audiogon members!)
If I had all that cash, I would probably do the same thing as Ginas.....
Enough dreaming and back to my desk job and reading about CES on the internet all day. Sigh... I hope my boss does not read this.
Tonight: Listen to my $4,000 speakers which I got used here for $2,500 in my 16X15 foot spare bedroom. But only when the significant other is not home. Double Sigh...