Reference 3A line updated

For those of you who follow Reference 3A, it seems that their entire line has been updated with:
A new, high tech, sound-absorbing finish called "Nextel."
A new, beryllium dome tweeter on all models, including the entry-level Dulcet.
Two new models, one called the Nefes, and a huge, 7-driver model called the Sena.
Hoping somebody out there going to Vega for THE Show next week can check out their room and report back.
The Ref 3A web site has had a nice redesign, too.

Maybe more older versions will come up for sale on Audiogon now! I still need to replace my Triangle Titus so I can donate those to my sister.

Couldn't be happier with my Grand Veenas.

I see they decided to go with the Murata tweeter again. The prototype I saw in a show report had only the BE tweeter. Bet the new models sound sweet.

Nextel's been around for years. Dahlquist used to use it on their Monitor Series. I believe it was in the early eighties.

I think I'm disappointed in 3A. I just looked on their website. Their speakers are ugly now. Do not want prison grey! I was seriously considering buying a pair of the Dulcets in high gloss red maple.

But besides the ugly concrete grey I am also very skeptical of the new tweeter. There was no reason to upgrade as they were getting rave reviews the way they were.

I have a feeling 3A is going for more definition and clarity like everyone else in the industry seems to be doing these days. Chasing that elusive goal of trying to give us more. Usually in this process it just means a brighter and more fatiguing sound for us.

I think I'll try to grab a pair of the old Dulcets before they're gone.
I'm kind of wondering about the switch from a cloth dome tweeter to a beryllium tweeter. Fairly or unfairly, metal domes often get a bad rap for imparting a harshness to the high end, so I'd love to hear the revised models, too.
Thanks for the info. Nice speakers.
they don't look like much, but i heard a pair of 3A's many years ago and they sounded amazing. i don't know too much more about them, but they were very musical and very well made. and very small...
I think they are convinced that the Nextel really does something for the sound and they decided to go with that conviction for the whole line.
Yeah, if you can get a pair of the Dulcets in one of the wood finishes, go for it. Maybe Reference 3A still has some of those cabinets in stock. I when I had mine they were gloss black and looked gorgeous.
As for the BE tweeter, I'm curious to see how they sound. Wish I could get to Vegas for THE Show, but I just can't.
I was lucky enough to grab a used pair of De Capo i in high gloss red cherry from a member here on Audiogon. According to the seller, who owned them for less than 6 months told me they were of a late production, 2010/2011?
When I unpacked them, I was quite taken by the lustrous finish, the black drivers and brass screws gives out a nice contrast against the high gloss finish.
I'm also curious to hear any feedbacks from anyone attending THe Show!

After months of research for efficient bookshelf speakers, I was ready to pull the trigger on the DeCapos. That is until I saw the new line. The tweeter and extra bracing are nice upgrades. Far more important than the exterior coating. Curious why they decided not to incorporate the tweeter lens like the Nefes speaker. For me, the Nextel gray aesthetic is a deal breaker. There is no way I would put those ugly gray speakers in my living room. Maybe in a studio, but IMO the gray is truly ugly. If they offered them in other colors - maybe. I prefer veneers or better cabinet material not just a one color exterior coating. I'll guess I'll have to pay more attention to used.
I wonder why the Veena, GV and Episode are the only speakers that aren't offered in that finish. It is ugly to be sure, but the performance of the 3A speakers is beyond reproach.

I wonder what that finish looks like in person. If it absorbs light the way it's supposed to, then it may not be so easy to photograph. Maybe the photos don't do it justice.
Anyone ever heard the Reference 3A La Suprema speakers?
Those were great speakers from the 90s.
Oh no! I'm breaking in a used pair of de capos and don't want to upgrade yet!
I was in touch with Tash at Reference 3A earlier in the week and it turns out that upgrade parts (like the new, beryllium tweeter) are available to end-users to upgrade their speakers. So all is not lost if you decide to go the upgrade route, eventually. Don't get me wrong – your new speakers are wonderful as they are.
So, I ordered the replacement, Beryllium tweeters from Reference 3A (birthday present to myself). Once I have them installed in my De Capo's, I'll report back.
Apparently the Nextel looks very good - but it is easier to photograph a gloss veneer finish. Eventually the entire range will have the new finish.
Meh.....I will keep my plain looking piano black finish.

I'd really like to see that new finish in person. When my De Capo's have the new tweets, they'll be up to current spec except for the Nextel finish.

I am curious to hear what you think about the Be tweeter. I can't imagine my GVs sounding better, but I like to keep an open mind.

BTW, how much for the upgrade?

They cut me a bit of a deal because my speakers are so new – I bought them only a couple of months before the new line came out. Let's just say "very reasonable" and "you could easily spend more on a fancy power cord." :-)

For the heck of it, why not give them a call and see?
Thanks for letting me know, Rebbi. I'm still in love with my de capos. Listening to them now as a matter of fact. Eager to hear your report on the upgrade. Are you going to do the work yourself?
I think I am. Just need to remove the old tweeters and solder in the new ones. Ref 3A even provides the solder. I'll report back on how hard or trivial a job it is.
I know what you mean about the De Capo's. I'm regularly struck by how they keep getting better as they continue to break in.
Break in seems to be key with Reference 3a speakers. I have only put around 150 hours on mine. They were reported to only have ~30 hours on them previously. I still don't think they are fully broken in and continue to get better every time I listen.

Just heard from Ref 3A that it'll be a few weeks before the tweeters can be shipped because their tweeter supplier is behind schedule and they Ref 3A needs to get new speaker stock to their distributors first. So, good things come to those who wait. Good folks, though; I've no doubt they'll come through ASAP.
I scored a mint condition set of the Beethoven piano concertos on Columbia Odyssey records with Glenn Gould at the piano and Leonard Bernstein/Leopold Stowkowski conducting various orchestras. Through the de capos these records sound magnificent. The de capos do piano extremely well. They are also very good with acoustic music and jazz. Just can't say enough good things about them.
On a very different note (no pun intended) I was listening to my De Capo's a couple of nights ago and had Sade's "Promise" on the turntable. It was glorious.. I'd never experienced such a sense of a coherent performance on that album. Very special.
Glad you feel the same way Rebbi. Yesterday I was listening to Yehudi Menuin and Ravi Shankar on an album calles East Meets West. Shankar's sitar reverberated through the room and Menuin's violin sounded like it was right next to my right ear. Absolutely marvelous. Can't wait to hear how your upgrade goes. May follow your lead if it goes well and easily done.
Here's a report by Scott Hull of on the Ref 3A room at THE Show in Las Vegas.

Apparently, the BE tweeter was added to the line because the Murata super tweeter from the Grand Veena and Episode is no longer made. Interesting read.
That doesn't really seem to be very positive. I am pretty sure I read in another show report (TAVES maybe?) that the "B" version of the GV still had the Murata. Maybe that was a mistake. I'm glad I got in before the change.

Wow, this looks exiting. I have a pair of GV's powered with either the AQ1006's or Hurricanes'. They are awesome in every respect. With an asking price of around 5 - 4.5K used, they are the deal of some proportion! The new lineup looks fantastic. If they out perform the GV's... it will be beyond words, maybe I could paint a picture to relay my thoughts;)

I just bought a pair of PMC FB1i's for a smaller second system for some reason, I have always wanted a pair of PMC's; it may have been a mistake. In a word they are quite good for what they are, though expensive. Compared to the GV's they lack badly. Should have picked up the Episode!
Yeah, Scott was kind of wishy-washy on the sound in the Ref 3A room, and I have to agree that the cosmetics of the Nextel finish aren't as nice as the veneers. Still, I'd like to hear the new line for myself.
need an update on the new and improved line

Well, I got word a couple of days ago that my new, Beryllium tweeters for my De Capo iA's have shipped! I'll report back when I've installed them.
Rebbi..what r u using to power the del capo's
I am looking forward to hearing your impressions.

A pair of Manley Mahi's in triode mode... 20 watts/channel. More than enough power for the De Capo's. The Mahi's will also run in ultralinear mode at 40 watts/channel. You gain some slam in the bottom end, but lose some of that midrange magic.
How much did the Manley Mahi's run used??
Gosh I don't remember. It was 2.5 years ago. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
You have been very helpfull already..thanks
you were quite helpfull already
New, beryllium tweeters arrived via FedEx today! I will be posting once I've had a chance to install them.
Thanks Rebbi
Does anyone here knows how much is the msrp for Ref 3a SEMA
If you email reference 3a website they will tell you
Aprica88: They may not yet have an MSRP for the Sema... I don't know if it's in production yet. But generally speaking they offer free shipping, a small discount, and a 3 week in home evaluation period to customers who don't have a local dealer. Also, if you decide to move up the line within 3 months, they'll give you full price paid toward a your new model.
Okay, new, beryllium tweeters have been installed in my De Capo's! The slightest bit tricky in a couple of ways so that I called to get advice. But really not very difficult at all as long as you can handle a soldering iron enough to attach the new tweeters. Only had the briefest few minutes to listen to them after installing them. They sounded great, but I will put off posting about the change until after they've had some time to settle in. I think that Reference 3A puts something like 75 hours on all their drivers so that they can more accurately match them in pairs. Presumably, then, these tweeters have had that much time on them, and given that the rest of the speaker, including the main driver, is already very well broken in, it shouldn't take all that long I would think for things to settle down. Impressions coming soon.
I asked them the specs and approx cost for Sema but I got no reply.

BTW, is it possible to change the older capo's capacitors to mundorf capacitors?

will there be a significant improvement?
I purchased a pair of the latest back in August after a 3 week audition and have commented on other threads of my early impressions. Actually the finish is very neutral and doesn't bring attention to itself. What is more interesting is that there isn't more emphasis on what really sticks out like a sore thumb, the white acoustic lens, why not grey or black so it is less noticable?

In any case these speakers have set a benchmark for me in what one can expect from a monitor speaker at their price and way above. I listen to all genres of music. The gestalt of an orchestra, the intimacy of a solo singer, the joy of a solo piano performance, try Murray Perahia's "The Aldenburgh Recital" List Hungarian Rhaposodie #12. These speakers are just so convincingly musical, dynamic, resolving and just "right" sounding. Don't be put off by the "ugly" unless beautiful wood veeners are your Raison d'être for ownership, they're much deeper than their looks. I haven't heard any of the previous models. Maybe Tash might consider some color other than white for the acoustic lens?