Reference 3A DECapo "BE" spk a major upgrade??

In looking over some past threads, I happened to notice several discussing the value and merits of the Reference 3A DeCapo, and DeCapo i speakers Some of the responses date as far back as 2011-2012.

Since then, Reference has introduced a few new and different speakers, BUT still continues with the DeCapo series. The new version is the DeCapo MM "BE" speaker that has introduced a new tweeter which is made of beryllium, and also changed the veneer to a gray Nextel. I have seen one very good review of the new version on the Soundstage blog, and a few comments here and there, but surprisingly not much else in the way of press.

Therefore, has these changes improved the sound quality of the speaker, or POSSIBLY downgraded it??( not that uncommon for any "new improved" speakers) However, some AG members claimed the older model could compete with many floor standers in $3200 price range. However, since 2012, there are many fine speakers in the $3200 to 3500 range like the Sonus Faber Venene 3.5. a few KEF Reference speakers; B&W's 800 or 805 series falling between $3000-4000

Personally, I was unconvinced by the claims of sonic improvements by Usher in their monitor 718BE which may have the first to utilize this type of driver. Several owners claimed it sounded bright or edgy.

So, has the Reference 3A De Capo "BE" perfected this type of driver, and has it improved the sound quality of the speaker by an extension of the highs?? If you have owned both the older version of this speaker, or the new version, please let us hear from you. Thanks
Sunnyjim I would only say this, first off I've never heard the Decapo i's so can offer no opinion. Second I have read pros and cons for the BE over the original tweeter. So you are probably going to get many different opinions and different conclusions that you will only be left to draw your own by listening there is no other way.I WILL say this, that I found the speaker to be a bit bright when I first heard it which I felt quite confident to be break-in related which was borne out. I auditioned in home for 3 weeks before committing, I have a very flexible dealer :).The Decapo BE can play BIG with remarkable bass for a stand mounted speaker. I am speaking of large scale orchestral music in a large room. They really are quite remarkable in this respect. I have listened with 4 different amplifiers and 4 different pre-amplifiers all with good results and a few combos with spectacular results. I have a subwoofer in the wings but have not felt compelled to try it such is the bass although truth be told, I'm not a bass freak. Very natural presentation and IMO a superb value, YMMV as always.

I DO have a friend that has a pair of L'Integral with the Corian front baffle, purchased used after he heard the Decapos in my place. There ARE differences in the tweeters that are noticable. I find the Decapo BE are more open and transparent than his L'Integrals, with similar coherence and the house sound. Imaging goes to the Decapos as well. The L'Integrals, a floor stander, go lower in the bass. I expect much of the added transparency is related to the BE tweeter. I wouldn't pay much attention to a listening impression derived from a brief showroom audition. Ideally you would like to hear a pair broken in, it takes time.
Tubegroover. Thank you for the comments; they are very helpful and useful.

I recently communicated with Reference about dealers in SoCal area, but they have none, but offer a thirty day in home trial. That is nice, but if you return the speakers to them, you are responsible for roundtrip shipping cost!!

I am sure, after they broke in, they would sound as fine as advertised, but I could also lose $150-$200 in shipping costs from Los Angeles to SOMEWHERE, Ontario should I return them. To their credit, they ship them to customers for free.

Despite this thread, I am beginning to lean toward the Golden Ear Technology model 7 which is $1400 per pair and offers a lot of sonic value; they are also small and relatively light to move around. Another contender is the new Magneplanar .7 also at $1400 a pair........However, who am I kidding, I never met a pair of Maggies that were NOT a pain in the ass to set-up, and also were finicky about electronics. Thanks....SJ
Well it seems you have locked in on a couple of highly regarded speakers Sunnyjim. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for. I hear you about the Maggies. I DO like them very much but they are fussier indeed. I am also very curious about the Golden Ear lineup particularly at their price point. Good luck and happy hunting!
Owned a pair of reference three a grand Veenas BE for a while. I found the new tweeter to be beautiful sounding not edgy at all but definitely more extended. The only thing that would concern me with the reference three a offerings would be the efficiency. Someone once referenced an article that had tested the De capos and they were something like 88 DB instead of 91 that was claimed. I like to run 300 B tubes so for me that is a concern. If that's not a concern for you I think you will be very happy with the speakers!
And to be fair I think many speaker manufacturers suffer from this problem.
I did love my grand Veenas but I switched to the Tannoy prestige line which cost a heck of a lot more. The things that drew me there were slightly richer sounds and the better imaging. Otherwise I could've happily lived with the grand Veenas for a long time.
If I were you choosing between the three you mentioned it would be hands down the DiCapo.
TO Analogluvr Thank you for the comments and recommendation of the De Capo's which would make good sense if they were not so much more than the Golden Ear Technology Model 7. As you probably know, buying speakers can be somewhat of crap shoot. What may sound great in the showroom, may be disappointing when you get them home.

In my experience, a few times I have seen it go the other way, because a buyer's system has a synergy with a particular speaker. After having owned about 6 different speakers over the last 25 years, sometimes it is better to err on the side of practicality. In this case the GET model 7 is a winner at $1400 a pair, because if I do not like them I can go back to the dealer for other choices or sell them outright on Audiogon, and probably take a loss.

I foolishly considered about 2 months ago investing in the new Harbeth HLF 5 Plus Super speaker priced at $6700. I could have been anywhere from dismayed to grossly disappointed with their sound quality, and then have to negotiate with the dealer to trade them (NO dealer wants to take back a $6700 speaker purchase and issue a full refund) You may offer a trade-in. but you will get beat up, or if you sell them out right, regardless of how new or how few hours on them, the buyer is going to take a 20% percent loss and possibly more if he sells them.

I am a believer ( whether right or wrong) in looking for a "dark horse" that is, a speaker that punches way above its retail price. One such speaker I owned around 2007 was the Silverline Prelude II, then only about $1100 a pair, and I choose them over another sleeper, the Audio Monitor RS-6, also excellent; both were slim profile floorstanders It took a while for the Prelude II's to break in, but when they did, they sounded exceptional,that is, natural, and sccurate. I drove them with a Creek Classic 5250 integrated which was about 75 RMS but overall lacked the low end balls to really open up the speakers excellent low end which was rated to about 35Hz.

So, I will have to see how the GET model 7 work out.