Windowsx...I have heard both extensively at my dealer. They are cut from somewhat different sonic cloths. But they are both excellent speakers. At the end of the day, it will come down to preference, associated gear and the room you plan on using them in. My choice between the two is the Rockport Mira. It's midrange is beguiling. It's bass is textured and full, yet still punchy and articulate. It's treble is smooth and grain free but not super extended. I give the Parsifals higher marks in the treble region. Also, I would say the Rockports image well and throw a decent soundstage but they are bettered in these arenas by the Parsifal which are amazing in both these traits. Finally where the Rockports clinch it for me is the dynamic range of the speaker and its propulsive quality. It is a more exciting and rythmically engaging speaker for me (not that the Parsifals are boring...just a relative thing). As I said, it's what attributes that draw you into the music that will make you chose one speaker over the other. They are both gorgeous sounding speakers...they just emphasize slightly different things.
The final consideration is amplification. The Verity speakers generally tend to be fairly tube friendly. The Parsifals are rated at 89dB sensitivity and 8ohm nominal (4ohm min) impedance which are not too difficult to drive but probably within the Verity family of speakers present a bu\it more difficult load than its brethren. Compare it to the newly launched Leonore which is rated at 93 dB sensitivity and which presents a relatively stable 8ohm impedance across the frequency spectrum for example (another contender for you by the way to listen to). The Rockport Miras by comparison do like a fair amount of high quality power and are often mated with well endowed SS amps. They are rated at 88dB sensitivity and 4ohm nominal impedance. I am not sure if they dip below 4 ohms at some point but I suspect they do. So if you plan on using tubes with the Rockports, it will be expensive because you will need a fair amount of tube power put out through the amp's 4ohm tap. If you are a solid state guy, then that opens up a lot of possibilities for you with the Rockports.
Ultimately please make sure to go and listen to them with gear as similar to what you are likely to use them with before making your choice. They are both excellent but at the end of the day it will be a matter of personal preference which of these pulls you into the music more. Good luck and enjoy the auditions.
Thank you for your informative reply. If my preferences focused on transparency and imaging, I should go for Rockport Mira, right? I heard Rienzi which has similar design principles where bass woofer placed on back instead of front or side and I found it performs poorer than my old Avalon Eclipse in terms of transparency and imaging.
Actually Windosx...imaging (and soundstaging) i actually think the Parsifals are a bit better than the Miras. On transparency, they are both very resolving. I think the mids are a bit cleaner in the Miras and the highs a bit cleaner in the Parsifals. So overall, the Parsifals will seem a bit more detailed than the Miras. I know it's tough to audition these sometimes but I would not buy either of them without having a chance to listen to them. Will you have a chance to listen to them at a dealer? What amplification will you be using with either speaker?
Ejlif thanks...I am a big fan of both speakers so I guess i went a little over board with my response. cheers.
Unfortunately, I can't witness neither of these myself due to circumstances in Thailand. Mira isn't promisingly good deal for dealer to make a sale (shipping overseas while margin is quite low this). Parsifal is no where near to in-home audition unless customers make up their minds to purchase any items in store.
For myself, I could hardly believe designing bass woofer on back can bring such resolving and clean sound with good imaging and transparency. I might be wrong though but I think Parsifal should have better staging and Mira should have better transparency. I'm huge fan of Avalon but I can't afford to focus on only classical without juice to rock now.
I wish I could buy both. It's not like I can't have both but I have one pair of ears and one rig to shine.
For amplifier, I use Spectral DMA 180 S2. I also think it matches Mira better than Parsifal.....hmmm... why did I lean to Parsifal in the first place? I forget it now.
Windowsx...remember, the bass frequencies are omnidirectional so there orientation whether pointing bacwards, forwards, or on the side should not affect transparency in any way. Also, on the Parsifals, the bass modules are flexible so you can have them pointing bacwards or forwards. So if your room forces you to place speakers fairly close to the rear wall and the bass module pointing bacward is resulting in too much bass, you can point them forward. In this regard the Parsifals are a bit more flexible in terms of speaker placement than the Miras. At the very least, you should go listen to the Parsifals at a dealer's store to get an idea of what they sound like (this is the dealer in Bangkok: http://www.hienaudio.com/index.php
. If you read the reviews on the speaker, you will see that one of their strengths is how transparent they are. And imaging/soundstaging is superb.
As for the Miras, Rockport's web site says they are distributed by http://www.inventive-av.com/hiend.php
in Bangkok. You should definitely go listen to them at that dealer. This dealer does not have Spectral amplification but they do have Karan Acoustic SS amps, which are also very very good and I expect will be a good match with the Rockport Miras. Check both of them out and let us know how you decide to proceed. Good luck.
I agree, Cmalak has an excellent grasp/review of both speakers.
I am partial to the Parsifals since I own a pair of Encores. Interestingly, I owned 2 pair of Avalon Eclipses and enjoyed them.
Last year, I heard the big Rockports at CES. They were one of the best speakers I listened to, no doubt. This year I did not see or hear them. I am not familiar with the Miras.
The Veritys do everything exceedingly well. Soundstage, imaging, timbre, articulate well tuned bass. In my room I have the bass backfiring, mainly for looks. I think the bass was a tad better front firing but not so much as to remain so. it would be a shame not to show the fine Makore finish.
They are powered by a VAC 80/80. Very affordable tube amp and excellent synergy.
I was on the hunt once I heard the Parsifals at a friends house. He is an avid audiophile with a world class MBL system, but the Parsifuls, IMHO, are my preference for being in the room with the musicians, feeling the emotion of the performance.
Again, the Rockports, the ones I heard last year, are superb, but I think the Parsifals offer more options (amplification, room placement).
Of course, you should listen to both before spending this kind of money.
Either way I'm sure you'll be happy.
Let us know how this turns out.
If you have the budget and can stretch a bit, I vote for the Rockport Ankaas. They are absolutely the best bang for the buck in Rockport's line. It's extremely extended and integrated in the bass/midrange, throws a massive soundstage (if room acoustics allow), images superbly, and sounds very close to live music. The cabinet construction is on another level from the Mira as well, which I think alone is worth the extra price.
If you look at cost/performance, I think the Ankaas are it.
Personally I like some substance/heft on the speakers. Verity likes smaller/slimmer profiles which is a different direction.
Parsifal Ovation will arrive in late Jan but they won't bring them in for home audition unless I decide to grab on their products. IAV won't import Mira for demo saying it's not worth pair for making sales.
To my hears ALL Rockports sound dull and without tremble although they offer the best bottom end available!
Argyro...what amps did you listen to the Rockports with? Your Wavacs are a very nice match with your Sarastros because they are easy to drive (especially given their benign impedance). If you tried the Wavacs with the Rockports they would not have had had enough juice to showcase the dynamics of the speaker. On the treble, you are certainly correct that the treble region is not spotlit, maybe even polite, but the detail is all there. it's just not highlighted. Just curious. Thx
I have listened to the rockports with two different hybrid Lamm amps! Don't get me wrong rockport is a nice speaker I just think the Parsifal is better in what matters most for me, unamplified music! Probably for rock or maybe metal the rockport would be a better choice !;)
Argyro...I am not offended by your preference for Verity over Rockport :-) I like both speakers a lot as you could probably tell from my lengthy responses to the OP above. I was just wondering what you had auditioned the Rockports with to make sure it was a good match for the speaker. You have a beautiful system. I am sure it sounds amazing. Are you in the States or in Greece? Also have you had a chance to listen to Verity's new Leonore speaker (replacement for the Fidelio)? I would be very interested in your impressions if you had heard them. Thx
I found the Rockports to be incredibly tipped in the high end. Very very bright speakers with the highs somewhat disembodied with the mids. The Miras were very lean in the bass.
Madfloyd...they were definitely not set up correctly if that's what you heard. Did you hear them at a show or at a dealer? If at an audio show, poor room sonics or partnering equipment were the likely culprits. I doubt you heard them at a dealer (only 3 in the US) and I am sure these dealers (at least mine in Mass) knows how to properly set them up. My two cents ofcourse.
Madfloyd, i've not heard the Miras, but the Ankaa & Aquila (that i've heard) sound nothing like the way you've described them.
Madfloyd, I've never heard anyone say Rockports are tipped in the high end and very very bright. Not sure what kind of conditions you heard them in but I think if room acoustics were even 50% ideal they wouldn't sound like that.
I have heard the Parsifal Ovations side by side, A/B, with Wilson Sashas in a slightly overdamped room. When placed properly I think the Parsifal's actually outperformed the Sasha's. Better timbre, truer to the tone of instruments, even better bass extension for such tiny speakers. The Sasha's, which were not completely broken in, had better imaging (more "hi-fi" in placement), slightly bigger soundstage, was more forward in nature, but I thought lacked the "truer" musically I thought the Parsifals brought.
Back to Rockports. Where I live, the Parsifals are about US$25k, roughly what you can buy the Rockport Ankaas for here. To me, that's a no brainer. The sheer size and beauty of the Rockports along with fantastic sound (sounds like "live," great integrated bass, massive soundstage height/depth/width to me would make me choose the Ankaas over the Parsifals. Verity's philosphy is is a different direction from Rockports I believe, and personally I prefer the Rockports. Earlier we were comparing the Mira vs the Parsifals, and that would be a different comparison (I may choose Parsifals in that case). To me the Ankaas and Parsifals are in 2 different leagues.
The cool thing about where I live is I can compare just about every top end brand (Kharma, Marten, Rockport, Wilson, Magico, TAD, Verity, MBL, Dynaudio, Vivid, etc etc) within a 15 minute commute. I've listened to them all lately as i was hunting for speakers, albeit all different rooms and setups/electronics. I can say without a doubt, in those very different rooms and setups, from what I heard, that the Ankaas are the best bang for the buck out there. I'm trying to not start a fire, but I'd have to say they are on par if not better than Wilson Maxx 3's in some respects. Again, my disclaimer is that they were all different rooms and setups, but at least they were all in the dealer showrooms (not at a show) where they tried their best to set it up in the best possible conditions at their store.
Cmalak, I am from Greece, Yes. Unfortunately I have not had the chance to listen to the new Leonore yet although I' d love to.
Changster comment about Verity having a great feeling of being there (or live if you prefer) is spot on by the way.
Last year, I did a speaker hunt too with Rockport Verity(aquila & sarastro 2)being prime candidates. Both great speakers with different design approaches. If you want to run tubes, Verity would open you to more choices. My general observation is that Rockport ( at its best) is more dynamic in the bass. They also measure better by stereophile measurements with a more heroic cabinet and better dispersion.
Verity is more transparent in midrange and up (may be with first order crossover & ribbon tweeter). They both use different variants of audiotech. midrange. The Rockport was significantly less impressive when bass drivers firing inward. My concern would be bass cancellations. Bass may vary depending on stereo/mono content of the bass. It is true that bass frequencies is omnidirection. However, woofer direction changes phase of bass frequencies + modal excitiation of the room. My room is narrow so easy for me.
The bass quality has much more to do with the room, room/speaker coupling than just the speaker alone. You would have to pick the speaker with bass alignment (sealed, ported, firing direction) that matches the room (less modal exicitation). Before treating my room, bass was ponderous and fuzzy. Treating the room yield tight impactful bass. This goes for any speaker including the rockports. If you don't treat the room, you maybe better off with sealed port design like Magico or Avalon (bottom ported).
Other good choices are Evolution acoustics, Vandersteen, YG acoustcs, Tidal. These let you customize bass alignment via electrical adjustment or mechanical adjustment.
Ankaa is significantly better than Mira and probably best deal in the line up.
which city are you in? Singapore or HK
That's what I was wondering too...maybe I should go and visit and not spend all this time wondering what Rockport, Totem, Dynaudio, Usher, Acoustic Zen.....sound like
Glai - agree that the bass has a lot to do with the room and placement. Did you get a chance to demo the Aquila in your room? I'd be curious to know whether indeed the side firing woofers would be a problem in a narrow room. I would think Andy Payor thought about this while designing it. I think a big market nowadays for high end speakers is in Asia, and so many rooms in Asia are small.
I bought the Aquila (has not been delivered) because my dealer insisted the Altair and Arrakis (can't afford this) would be too my energy for my room and would have to be pulled away from the backwall too much and I'd be sitting too close to the speakers. My room is is about 5.4 meters x 13 meters but I face the short side (and it's not completely rectangle, it's more like a trapezoid). I didn't worry too much about side firing woofers since I'm on the short end and they would firing into the long end. I can see how you would worry about bass cancellations if you fire into the short end. It'd be interesting to hear the logic/theory whether this is a real concern or if it's just a misnomer, i.e whether side firing woofers are bad for narrow rooms.
I'm in Taipei btw.
Did you order an amplifier? My speaker also has a 13 inch composite woofers with a similar overall speaker sensitivity rating. It took some significant power to get that woofer to work properly. Of course, yours may be different due to cross-over settings etc, but something to consider. Also, 5x13 meters is a very large room. You essentially have no side walls, like me.
Changster - congrats on the Aquila. excellent speakers imo.
5.4m x 13m is indeed a fairly large room. is your room quite "open" (i.e. does it open up to hallways/corridors/etc.)?
Thanks for suggestion. So Parsifal is kind of live sound and Mira is different from live sound. I've just commited to buy upcoming Mira II which is new project planned after CES. I wonder if its price performance can succeed Ankaa.
RTN1 - very nice Avalon's you got there. I had seriously considered the Avalon's as well. I demo'd the Time and the ISIS both for a long time. Unfortunately the demo room was not setup quite right and it didn't reach anywhere near its potential because of room acoustics. I'm sure they are fabulous at your place.
I see you have the Karen amps. Someone had recommended them to me as well but they do not sell it where I live.
I'm about to plunk down for Gryphon Mirage + Colosseum (holy sheeit are they expensive... it's so hard to pull the trigger!!). I currently have the Mark Levinson 326S + 432 which I do not think will be enough for the Rockports, and probably without the body/fullness/control. I could look for the older 33/33H but Andy Payor suggested otherwise (he used to own 33H's).
On your lack of sidewalls - any idea if this is theoretically good or bad? I lack sidewalls but it's not really a rectangle but more like a trapezoid. I'm not sure if this is good for imaging/soundstage either. I've been playing with the Chesky test CD's (Best of Chesky Jazz #2, "Height Test" and "General Image and Resolution Test") and I can't get the height to extend beyond 65% up and the imaging doesn't go all around me on that monkey test (if you know that track). I wonder if this has anything to do with lack of sidewalls.
11flat6 - yes you're exactly right. It's quite open. It opens up to my study and dining room. The shape is a bit odd. I do not have a choice of a separate music room.
Ever have any experience with this type of setups? Probably not very ideal right?
Windowsx - I don't think you can go wrong with the Rockports (nor the Verity's to be honest). What's the scoop on the Mira II's? They had updated the Mira Grand II's to use the carbon midrange units instead of the older ones. I'm guessing the Mira II would be the same?
THESE are 2 different speakers VS is not the case!!
Changster, my room's a little smaller than yours & opens up to a long corridor on 1-side. speakers are also setup along the long wall.
IME, there are both advantages (less side wall reflection) & disadvantages (getting lower freq pressure & fullness) with long wall setups, particularly when the listening room is somewhat large &/or open. having said that, every room is unique (different size/ shape/construction materials/etc.).
it can be difficult to determine how a particular speaker might interact with a room... Verity generally uses wall behind the speakers to reinforce bass & requires more distance btw tweeter & listener to integrate, whereas Rockports generally requires more distance (btw speakers & wall) to create that wonderful clarity & depth. Rockport's drivers are extremely well integrated so it's prob better to sit closer to the speakers (to minimize room reflection).
the real challenge IMO, is finding the "right" speakers to fit one's room, taking into consideration one's sonic & aesthetic biases/requirements - which are all variables that continue to change & evolve (some more frequently than others)... that's why non-audiophiles think we're bloody nuts!!
just my 2 cents.
Exactly. Carbon update and better mid and high drivers. I still wonder if I need to upgrade my poweramp and the rest too.
Windowsx...do you know what the timing is on the new Mira IIs? Also did you find out about it from your dealer or from some other source. I asked my dealer mid-last year and back then he said there were no updates planned for the Mira at that point. Thx
I heard this news from dealer when I was about to place order for Mira. Today I've received another great news that is ALL DRIVERS it uses are the same ones as Ankaa!!!
Pricing should be about $17000. It's supposed to be available in April but they say they'll hurry up building ones soon so it may be sooner than expected ;)
Windowsx...thx for the info. Do you know if the sensitivity or impedance characteristics of the speaker are going to be different from the current Mira? Thx again.
I think it'll be different since it uses different type of housing and drivers inside. You can't upgrade from Mira to Mira II and I'll be crying out of loud if they didn't inform me this before making a purchase. Specs shouldn't differ much from Ankaa so you can use that as reference. I doubt if they'll make the same crossover design.
Agree of most of the points made here except optimal driver integration distance. Verity is actually very good for near field and does not require any more distance betw listening even compare to minimonitor. Rationale is the midrange covers down to 60-70Hz and integration to the tweeter is seamless. It is almost like a minimonitor with (woofer/sub). I have measured this with ETF and no problems even at 7'10".
Rockport is also great design and has large amount of bass output and the bigger models does not need wall reinforcement in bass. I would guess the crossover is a little higher at 100Hz or slightly higher ( the three driver models). ( I could be wrong on this ). Because the side firing woofer handle frequencies into the lower midrange upper bass, this actually may take a little more distance to integrate. The four driver model Altair has three drivers at the front baffle which probably allow the crossover to the side woofer to be set much lower. I suspect this why Andy Pryor said this is the nearfield integration champion of th line. I also feel the dynamics of Rockport is largely due to very even off axis dispersion (power response). Verity's off axis dispersion cannot match the rockports in evenness. The midrange covers 60Hz to 3000-5000Hz depending on the model. The midrange cover a broad frequency range which makes for very coherent sound but a price is paid with restricted dispersion at 3000 to 5000Hz. Depending on the room and what school of thoughts you are in, there are advantages or disadvantage to this.
Bottomline is to understand the difference in design ( advantages and disadvantages) and find one that works for your priorities and the "fengshui" of the room .
I got a call from distributor telling me about some misunderstanding situations based on this topic. Before the situation get more complicated, I'd like to make it clear that most information I shared here are speculations based on point of views between me and distributor related.
The only fact I received from distributor was Rockport may release a new model based on carbon drivers this year or next year. The rest of these information are from our speculations between I myself and distributor I know. I guess I misunderstood Alya for new Mira or something along the lines.
This is miscommunication issue between distributor and Rockport and they tell me it's not certain where they'll plan to release a new ones after Alya. So I guess I'll take Ankaa for now.
I apologize for causing this commotion. I hope everyone who get above information will read this one to understand the real ones.
I am from Italy and interested at Rockport ankaa.
Andrew Payor wrote me some days ago:
"Yes the Mira II will be out later this summer but the entire first production run is sold already. It will have the same drive units as the Ankaa, but the cabinet is not nearly as ambitious in it's build as the Ankaa."
Hope it helps.
I heard from my local Rockport dealer that they will be releasing a 2-way floorstander soon aimed primarily at the Asian audiophile market where living spaces are generally much smaller, like in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Seems they are targeting the same market as the Magico V3. Not sure if this is the same as any of the models already mentioned.
Sorry to be a voice of dissent and not to pour cold water on anyone's choices, but I heard the Aquila recently and I was not impressed. I think there is something to be said about bass cancellation with the woofers mounted on the sides and pointed at each other. Like Madfloyd said, even though he was listening to the Miras, I found the highs of the Aquila to be very bright and prone to distortion on certain material. In general, the tonal balance was very lean. Mids were an issue as violas sounded like screechy violins, almost paper thin. For $45K, I think you can do much, much better.
And no, the Ankaa sounds nowhere near as good as the Wilson MAXX3, and certainly does not better it in any respect, that is some serious crack-smoking talk.
Dylanhenry...the new 2-way your dealer is referring to is called the Alya. Stereophile and Soundstage.com have reported on the new speaker from their coverage at CES.
As for your impressions concerning the Aquila speakers, I am once again surprised by your description of what you heard because Rockports sound anything but lean, shrill or bright. Do you remember what was driving the Aquillas and how large the room was that you heard them in? Was this at a show or in a dealer setting or at a friend'd home? Just curious. Thx
I heard them at the dealer's. Trust me, I wanted to like them as I've always heard good things about Rockports and wanted to hear for myself. I would have preferred to listen to the Arrakis or the Altair, but they only had the Aquila set up. The demo room wasn't big, perhaps a tad less than 300 sq.ft., and the speakers were spaced out around 8 feet apart and around 10 feet from the back wall. Sources included the Clearaudio Statement turntable and a high-end $10K CD player which I forget the make. As for the amps, they might have been Gryphon, though I'm not completely sure. What I remember was that they were 400W Class A monoblocks. This was a dealer that sold exclusively Rockport speakers so I don't think components were an issue.
Have you actually heard the Aquila yourself? If your listening experiences are referring to the Mira, that's an altogether different speaker than the Aquila. From my experience, it's generally not advisable to lump a manufacturer's whole line of speakers together, such as "Rockports sound...". Then again, I haven't heard the Mira, but then with them being priced a third of the Aquila, it would be surprising if they outperformed them.
"I've been playing with the Chesky test CD's (Best of Chesky Jazz #2, "Height Test" and "General Image and Resolution Test") and I can't get the height to extend beyond 65% up and the imaging doesn't go all around me on that monkey test (if you know that track). I wonder if this has anything to do with lack of sidewalls."
This is a good CD. I have all three volumes and they are great for testing the imaging of your speakers. For the height test, that one is really difficult for a speaker to image properly. As they say in the CD, it's more of a test of whether the microphone can capture that height information than the speakers. Having said that, my system does a decent job of it. I think this test also exposes the weaknesses of speakers with the tweeters way above ear level, like the YG Acoustic Anats. There's simply no way a speaker like that can accurately portray height information with its drivers aligned like that. I listened to that speaker recently, not using this disc, but with the Sheffield Drum Record. While the imaging was very holographic and quite convincing, hearing the high-hat 6 feet above ground was a bit disconcerting and by no means "accurate".
I think this track would be a good test for someone using front height channels on Audyssey DSX or one of those formats. Very possibly you could get very realistic height imaging using the matrixed height channels.
The "General Image and Resolution Test" is great too. I love how the tribal sounds come right at you until it sounds like they are right beside you. In my set-up, I can hear the shakers right beside my ears, and slightly behind it as well. I had to double-check I didn't have the Dolby PL IIz on in my pre/pro. It literally sounded like it was coming from my surround speakers.
If that's not working in your set-up, it could be the lack of sidewalls, but there shouldn't be that much reflection off the sides of a well treated room anyway. How toed in are your speakers? If the drivers are pointed right at you, that may be part of the problem. The most I would toe in speakers (if using a triangle set-up) is 15 degrees max. A good pair shouldn't need that much for pinpoint imaging.
From what you write, sounds like you have one of those Asian-style apartments with no walls between your living room, dining room, study, etc. While technically it is all "one" room, it's probably advisable to only treat the area that you are listening in as the "room". In that case, what are the dimensions of the listening portion of your "room". Also, when you say it's in a trapezoid shape, do you mean the walls don't meet at a 90 degree angle? Depending on the angles of the walls and how well your room is treated, there could have a major effect on the imaging, which may not be all negative. Are you using any acoustic panels or bass traps, etc.?
I don't see why you couldn't get the full wrap-around effect on the "General Image and Resolution Test" even in your situation, granted your speakers are capable, once you've figured out the ideal speaker placement in your room. The cool thing is its fun to experiment!
Get off this VS THEY ARE TOTALY DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!