Used Rockport's under 20 grand show up on here once in a while. I saw 3 last month alone.
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Tboooe did the dealer have anything else that sounded similar? Since the Atria is a new model it's really hard to even find any reviews. At least you got a chance to listen to them. They are on my short list to audition but I will need to travel the hear them as well as the Verity speakers. Good luck on your search!
Hi Goose...this particular dealer only had Rockports. I will admit the Atrias sounded very good. If I get these I would hold on to them for a very very long time. Its just the price tag that has me a bit bothered. I just wondering if I could spend say $10K and get 90% of the performance. As with most things in this hobby its the last 10% that increases price exponentially.
"While I am willing to spend $20K on speakers I would of course prefer to spend less even if it means giving up some performance."
Yeah right. Who you think you talkin' to here? You know as well as the rest of us those Rockports infected your audiophile soul, and every time you hear something from other speakers that doesn't "draw you in" like those Atrias you'll sit there thinking about it rather than the music. Just face it, Andy Payor messed with your mind. If you're willing and able to spend the $20k then just suck it up and do it and stop mocking the rest of us who surely would. Otherwise just shut up and wait for a nice used pair of Atrias to show up somewhere. Good luck with that. Life is too short.
I suppose as a distant second choice a pair of Miras may show up used and they may at least get you in the general ballpark. Maybe some Verity Audio models might get close as well. I hate myself for even bringing these things up. Just spend the $20k and put us out of our misery already. Dammit.
If you want "poor man's Rockport Atrias," you have to seek other speakers with characteristics similar to what makes the Rockports so compelling. I figure it's a combination of very heavy and inert cabinetry combined with well-matched drivers plus a beryllium tweeter on top. You won't get that airy high end without something that has the resolution and rise time of a beryllium tweeter. It doesn't have to be beryllium; it could also be a diamond tweeter, a true ribbon (e.g., a Raal), possibly a quasi-ribbon (Magnepan), or a folded ribbon (Aurum Cantus or Heil-type air motion transformer as used in Martin Logan Motion and GoldenEar speakers.
Unfortunately, beryllium and diamond tweeters are pretty expensive as are many ribbons of various designs.
Perhaps you should audition some speakers from the Focal Electra Be (beryllium) line and see if they get you into the same sonic ballpark. Currently there is a pair of Focal Electra 1038Be's in the classifieds without so much sticker shock. Focal also has great drivers and goes to great lengths to keep cabinet resonances at a minimum. The ones I've heard have great room-filling dispersion.
Personally I'm partial to the Magnepan/premium subwoofer approach. Some people would find a pair of Magneplanar 3.7s plus a pair of JL subs equally satisfying.
IMO, Soix has given not so terrific advice. For every miracle speaker there is another which is as good, or perhaps even better at a much lower price.
Feel free, go ahead and spend the $20K if you wish. But in no way does it assure you have done the best you could do either value-wise or in terms of performance. :(
Spend the money, go to a show, as it will be SO worth it to hear the other offerings and help you to find your dream speaker within your parameters of system building.
Further, it is the system which makes the sound, not just the speakers. It is possible to get a speaker which is slightly lesser in absolute terms (subjective evaluation, of course) and yet outperform a much more costly/better speaker IF the correct components are chosen. I am not interested in arguing this point. If you disagree, so be it.
Best to keep talking, listening, attend a show, etc. I have absolutely nothing against the Rockport speakers; I think they are terrific sounding. However, if the goal is to save $5-$10K the solution is not to simply blow it.
Finally, if you have the space you may find that an approach like mine, holding more than one pair of speakers, can have incredible appeal and satisfy more than chasing "the One," the supposed be all speaker! So, yeah, a panel to add could be a great solution. :)
Possibly the Salk SoundScape at 8k is the cheapest full range speaker that will play with the big boys. It has a very thick cabinet, transparent Accuton midrange and top quality design. The Accutons are near the top for transparency for simple coned speakers, but generally dont sound quite as full as some high quality sandwich cone midranges. The Salks make up for this and a bit more, by using a hybrid open baffle to add fullness, excitement and transparency.
Thoooe, good luck on your quest! If you do find a speaker that gives you 90% of the Atria at $10k let me know since I'm also very interested in the Atria. At that price point and below there are a lot of offerings. I like the idea of supporting a USA manufacture where you don't pay a penalty for currency differences and the importers mark up. Of course the Rockports are top notch relative to their design and and component selection....but they are expensive (at least in my world, yikes I haven't told my wife yet that I'm considering them, I better get that seed planted).
Jwm, if I can get a decent price on the demo units I will definitely pull the trigger. At full retail I am not so sure....
Goose, finding a $10k speaker that gave 90% of the performance would be the holy grail for me! As I typed that I realized how crazy $10k speakers would sound to 99.99% of the people in this world. We are a crazy bunch. Btw, I love you listening room. I wish I had a bit more space.
I think you should audition more speakers just to be sure. This is a significant investment. Magico, Wilson, Vivid, Sonus Faber and many others - just to be sure.
IMHO - the Magico S5 is a better speaker and the new Magico S3 might be a better foot print for your room - depending on your room size. I found the Rockport tweeter a tad bright after a while. YMMV.
I would say buy a Rockport Mira 2 speakers.
The Mira 2 uses the Rocport custom made Skaaning Carbon fiber midbase, where the original Mira speakers use the Skaaning polypropylene midbase. The Mira 2 speakers sounded really good when i heard them.
The Mira 2 with the new midrange driver designed by Rockport.
The driver is also used in Avior.