REFERENCE 3A De Capo BE


What's been your experience with the  REFERENCE 3A De Capo BE?

Interesting speaker. No crossover. I'd like to hear how they actually work in the field.

~Jim
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Second time I have seen this posted. Sorry, but it most certainly DOES use a crossover. Just not on the woofer.

http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/703-reference-3a-mm-de-capo-be-loudspeaker...

This is similar to the venerable Seas A25 and now A26 kits.

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/2-way-speaker-kits/seas-a26-10-2-way-kit-pair-based-on-the-cla...

One issue is, based on the frequency response I have seen I wonder if the tweeter isn’t on backwards? It is a really rough ride from 1kHz on up.
Jim,

I'm not sure about the current BE iteration of this speaker, but the previous version had just a single capacitor used as a high pass filter for the tweeter (I think this is still the case). The mid-woofer runs full range, connected directly to your amplifier, using no crossover.

All Reference 3A speakers that I have ever heard are very good. I enjoyed a pair of Reference 3A MM DeCapo i's in my system for many years. I've tried to buy a pair of the larger floorstanders a couple of times, but lost out via higher auction bids.

As a company, I highly recommend Reference 3A. However, I'm not a fan of the dull finish on the current DeCapo BE. Mine were finished in beautiful piano black gloss and they were very attractive IMHO.
Superb speaker, I've lived with the BE for 4 years. They do require more than a "casual" listen in a dealer showroom. There is a SUBSTANTIAL breakin time for the BE tweeter to realize their potential. They ARE NOT bright after breakin but again it takes time. What to expect in a good set-up is a very natural presentation of the sound field with natural timbres of voice and instruments. Excellent bass and dynamics for the size but most special of all to an ability to convey the musical message in a most compelling way which is what I require over ALL else. 

Read the review on What'sbest forum by Al M. It can be accessed on the 3a website. The other reviews are fluff from professional reviewers with the exception of the Art Dudley Stereophile review of 2003 which isn't current. It is the direct connection from amp to speaker with the high pass filter to the tweeter being the only thing between you and the music, it makes a difference, much like the EPOS speakers. 
 
A fantastic all around speaker. Very easy to drive, even with low powered tube or solid state amps. I have owned 3 different versions of them over the years, and eventually moved up to the floorstanding Reference 3A Episodes. The BE version is slightly better in the highs, but I wish they still offered them with the much more attractive natural wood finishes. The gloss maple and cherry were very beautiful.
@bigshutterbug - Good point about the ease of driving this speaker with just about an amp. I used them in a moderately sized room using 2A3 tube amp (3.5 w/ch), 300b tube amp (8 w/ch), 35 w/ch solid state and 150 w/ch solid state. All of them drove the DeCapo very well IMHO. Maybe in a larger room, or with highly dynamic symphonic music, would you need more than a few watts to drive them.

The beauty of this is that you don't have to spend a ton of money for high powered amps to drive the DeCapos. 
Thanks all. I have a 30 watt Prima Luna Prologue "classic" (original) tube amp. My room size is about 12' x 15', but not entirely closed off.

Hardwood floors.

A local high-end dealer has a pair 8-months old that he took on a trade-in.
@jimspov - Sounds like a perfect fit. Enjoy.....

I used a Prologue II integrated on mine for a dozen years to very good affect .

Now I am using a Dialogue Premium integrated .

Pretty nice combo .

Good luck .

Is anyone using a sub-woofer with their  REFERENCE 3A De Capo BEs? (and if so which one?)
Jim,

I never felt the need for a subwoofer in my room with the DeCapos. Admittedly, I'm not a bass head, but the Decapos had plenty of bottom end for my taste.
Hi Jimspov

I am currently using a pair of REL STRATA IIIs. Adding the first one was a significant improvement in midrange depth and ease along with the added bass. I find less is more for seamless/coherent integration but there are many settings to get things balanced to your particular room and tastes. I set mine up with a spectrum analyzer with an almost flat response at the listening position.

Adding the second brought my wife's attention as to what was going on as she heard the change from an adjacent room. The improvement in every conceivable parameter is readily apparent from dynamics, timbres, clarity, more realistic texture and body to voice and instruments, soundstaging, depth .....you get the idea. And as for bass, well it improves on clarity, smoothness and balance really well worth consideration IMHO. The system plays very big and dynamic with all genres of music including orchestral/choral and rock and with small scale very intimate which the Decapo's excel quite well on their own. I am using a 90 watt Quicksilver tube amp in this setup, it certainly doesn't hurt in my medium size room for the variety of music I listen to.  



jimprov

I have owned the de Capo's. I never took them out into the field to listen so no comment on that listening experience.


I'm late to the party, as usual, but as a owner of a pair of MM deCapo BEs I wanted to make a comment. I bought mine new in May 2017. They are gloss piano black with the beryllium tweeters. I bought the adjustable stands too. At first listen, I thought I made a mistake. They sounded bright and bass-shy. But with time, the bass filled in nicely and the highs mellowed out. And I feel no need for a sub. Initially I drove them with a class A, 20WPC First Watt J2, now I drive them with a pair of class D 200WPC Cherry Amp. I feel these are speakers that will pair well with tubes or solids. In the end, I am a happy camper.
I have been listening to the Decapo-i for ever since they were offered and the Vtl tiny triodes at 35 watts a side in triodes mode.What a great speaker amp combo.Their is as was mentioned a realism to the speakers that defies the mediocre speaker frequencies response graph.Proving among many other factors that specs don't tell the whole story.I will be selling my system in about a years time before I move to Mexico so keep an eye out for my sale on Audiogon.