Shahinian Hawks or Obelisks

Hi All

Looking at upgrading my Shahinian Arcs for Obelisks or Hawks but was concerned about the high drive requirements for the Hawks. Currently running Audio Research VT100mkII / LS26 and Meridian G08 into the ARCs. I probably wont have the opportunity to hear the Hawks or Obelisks with my setup.
The question - is anyone running a VT100 into Hawks or know if it would be powerful enough to drive them ?
Many thanks in advance.
I have Hawks and I think a lot depends on what kind of music you listen to and how loud. My experience is heavily based on loud classical orchestral music, so keep that in mind.
I originally drove the Hawks with a VAC 100/100, a big heavy tube amp (KT-88) not altogether unlike the AR VT100. The sound was beautiful, dynamic, timbrally very accurate, gorgeous violins and winds, even at relatively high volume. If I hadn't wanted more power, I'd have been pretty happy with the sound. If you do not listen to music with peaks over about 100 db, I think you will be happy with the AR. The bass is a special situation, because of the transmission line design and the passive radiator. I believe your Arcs use the same design, though a bass driver with a slightly smaller magnet structure. If the AR successfully controlled the bass with the Arcs, I should expect yoyu won't be unhappy with Hawks.
The Diapasons, with twice the bass drivers, may prove too much of a challenge for any --or at least most-- tube amps. High current appears to be a necessity here, though I cannot speak from personal experience. With my Hawks, more seems to depend on the amp itself than just the fact of high current. I did not find the VAC objectionable in the bass. I do get more detail and tautness with solid state amps, but the difference is not so great. There could easily be compensatory factors.
Both Dick Shahinian and his son, Vasken, are very happy to try to answer questions and work toward solutions regarding any of their speakers, current or not. You can call them (or email) for much good and constructive conversation. Their contact information is on the website:
Many thanks for reply Rpfef. We do listen to Symphonic works however I would probably say we listen more to chamber music and also listen to a bit of pop/rock. I must say I have never listened to chamber on the Hawks (but have on the Obelisks)...... still good on the Hawks ?
I have both Obelisks and Diapasons, and after playing around with a lot of amps, my conclusion - and that of a friend who has both speakers, too - is that indeed, all Shahinians do need a lot of current, of a powerful solid state amp, to sound their best.
In our experience, strange as it may sound, the Obelisk is a more difficult-to-drive-beast than the Diapason. It needs a lot of current especially for the bass to sound controlled, which is true for the Diapasons, and probably Hawks, too. I do not know your AR amp, but it being a tube amp, I suspect it to be less than optimal for either the Obelisk or the Hawk. If you are determined to go the Shahinian road further, I would look into Plinius, Naim, Densen amps, to name a few which have proven to sound good with shahinians.
Florian Hassel
Hi Pugget,

I have gone through some of the Shahinian line as it sounds you are about to do. Obelisks to Hawks, Hawks to Diapason. Your AR amp should be fine to start with. However, one advantage to the Hawks is that you could, if you so desired, bi-amp the pair. This would give you the sweetness of the AR with, possibly, the control of the bass with a ss amp. I am so glad to hear that another person appreciates these wonderful speakers. Having owned hi level Thiels, Wilson's etc, They are the best on the planet! To echo previous comments - Call Richard and Vasken - Such nice people with great advice.