Trust me, it is worth every mile of a 5-6 hour drive and, at least for my preferences, one of the few ultra high end mega-buck speakers actualy worth the price of admission. Even if you don't end up likng them (unlikely IMHO if you love music), you will have peace of mind and that is priceless at this price point! Just my $.02
I have not heard the Altair, but I have heard two other Rockport speakers, the Antares (an incredible full range speaker, and my personal favorite), and the Mira Grand (a incredible almost full ranges speaker, only missing the lower half an octave). Both are excellent speakers, and if I could afford either, I would gladly buy either one.
My opinion is if you can afford the Altair, and want to have speakers from one of the premier speaker manufacturers in the world, you should take the time to go and listen.
I don't know where you live. But if practical, you might consider a vacation trip to mid-coast Maine. You could listen to all the Rockport speakers at the Rockport factory in Rockport, Maine, a pretty town between the larger, nearby cities of Rockland and Camden (those two cities are about 15 miles apart). I would recommend Camden as the place to stay, although Rockland has a splendid art museum. In any case, you would have an opportunity to enjoy the coast of Maine as well as hear the speakers.
The Altairs are the best speakers Ive ever heard. Ive listened to them on a couple of occasions and they represent the best audio experiences Ive ever had. They just sound like music. It is also the most beautifully built speaker Ive seen. These are my dream speakers. Youre very lucky!
I have listened to the rockport Arrakis
And well it was great in a way but finally very boring
I don't believe anymore in speakers that need more than 20W to work well
It does not exist an amplifier mega watt that is musical to my hears
So whatever speaker you put after it will sound poor and disapointing
If you really want to go this way, the only speaker that require power AND is musical is the Avalon Isis
the rest is just SO boring (verity audio, wilson , magico etc)
Blingblingthegod, firstly interesting name you have chosen for your self. You said "I have listened to the Rockport Arrakis"
Refer to the thread title it is for Rockport Altair have you heard these speakers?
Your comment's are very interesting and as per your post they are your opinions, I use to own Avalon Isis and they are not all that so to out rule the others you have makes no sense.
What does your actual system consist of?
I have heard all of the above mentioned equipment at different times and in many different systems. There is no doubt that the JL products are exceptional, but with a properly engineered speaker, like a Rockport, they can often times take away from the overall articulation and resolution of the bass. I had two Fathoms in my system with a pair of Mira's and found that my bass performance was superior without the Fathoms in the mix. Is that the case for every room and every speaker? Probably not, but with a speaker like the Altair, which has a 15" woofer and an 8" mid-bass driver, more low-end headroom isnt always better. Really depends on what your musical tastes are, but for 99% of the people out there, what the Altair can provide standing on its own feet is more than enough. I would put the Altair up against any loudspeaker in the world, regardless of price, its really that special.
I have heard the Altair.. it is amazing how it demonstrate rocksolid bass with pin point accuracy of the musical elements. with invisible sound from the speaker cabinet, sound stage is rediculously deep. reproduce music is really live. the speaker sound is really separate from the speakers.. To sum up, this is the very best that i have heard so far. but to make it sing it will not be easy, careful matching of the equipment is very important. Speaker placement is also very close to the listening position. and finally source equipment of less than reference will show their weakness..
I have heard the Altair in an extensive demo in a well setup room.
They sound good, for sure, but the thing to keep in mind is that at this price point, it all comes down to taste.
Will you prefer them to the competition? The Wilson Alexandrias, Magico Model 6, or other all out assault designs?
The only way to know is to hear them
Goatwuss, the Altairs are not the top of line Rockport speakers.
The Wilson Alexandrias list for substantially more, aprox. $60K more then the Altairs. The Altairs are not Rockports all and all out assault design, you need to move up in the line.
How much do the Magico 6 list for?
It's great to do comparisons but should be apples to apples, hat's off if to the Altairs if you feel they are direct competitors to the specific speakers you mentioned.
Just a question, whats wrong with guesswork and uninformed opinion. That's what most threads receive and it adds to the fun " Have you actually heard the speakers at all?" etc
i have heard all the mention speakers and then some. i even heard some side by side. i but my money where my mouth is and bought the altair. no regrets. the top of the line is the Arrakis. a fantastic speaker but basicly an altair sitting up side down on another altair sharing the one tweeter. andy builds a great product but gets no respect.
Holenneck, Check out the ultra audio Altair/Gotham review. In it he was able to get improved sound by positioning the Altairs for maximum imaging run full range and running two Gothams low passed @ 80 hz ( no crossover). Looking at the graphs the response was improved and according to the reviewer the sound was improved. Hard to believe but there it is. Makes me wonder if the 3 way Aquilla using a 13" woofer would be a better choice if you're going to use subs anyway. The other drivers in the Aquilla are of similar quality. What do you think ? - Jim
I am sure that you will love the Altair for a long time to come!
Question: What are you using for a power amp to drive them?
That same reviewer has since come to the conclusion that the Altair's bass is superior in quality to that produced by the Gothams. The sound may not be as linear but the slight loss of articulation and coherence was not a compromise he was prepared to make.
Also, the quality of the the Aquila's low end is quite spectacular. It uses the same type of driver as the Altair however it is a few inches smaller. By all accounts, the Rockport room at CES was one of the top rooms at this years show. Of course, the larger the woofer the more low end traction the speaker will be able to reproduce. But then again, depends on the size of the room. More low end capability isnt always better, especially if the result is a coloring of the sound.
krell evo 600's. there is no need for sub's, at least not in 2 channel music, plenty of tight lower end. not a fan of sub's in 2 channel they tend to exagerate and rumble. now movies(action) dif story. the aquila is a great speaker only a little smaller then the altair and 3 way, but great bang for the buck.
The Altair was my favorite speaker system at CES. If I hadn't lost so much wealth during this economic turndown I would buy Altair and call my speaker search quits. Then I would have to up grade the rest of my system - Bananas!
Thanks Holenneck. That makes sense. - Jim