Take my word for it. I auditioned both speakers to sell in my store and the Silverlines win hands down. No comparison. I'm not trying to sell you a pair as you already have found a used pair for $2200.00 which is a deal, but only get the II's in any of the Pantellas,Sonata,or Sonatina. You'll thank me a hundred times once you do hear both speakers.
I recently purchased the Sonata mk.11 speakers. I auditioned the Coincident speaker line but like you, I was unable to hear the Silverlines. I bought the Sonata on the reccomendation of a friend and all I can say is that they are superior to the Coincident's and most other speakers costing up to $20,000.
I too have been considering the Sonatina II and have been doing a great deal of research. I'm sure we are both eyeing the same pair of speakers here for $2200.00. I've not yet heard either pair. I have read reviews that suggest the Sonatina loses some of its impressiveness in bigger rooms. Especially in the lower frequencies. It's recommended that the Sonata is better capable in the larger listening area you descibe. My listening area is about half of what yours will be. I think you can hear the both Silverlines at "Sounds of Silence" in Nashua, NH. Hopefully that's not tooo far to go for a demo? I'm sure you know to listen before you buy. I'd be curious to hear how you make out with your choices. Good luck! PS, Both models are fairly common on Audiogon for almost 1/2 retail so take your time to make the right choice!
I beg to differ.I heard the Sonata's many times and my Coincident Super Conquests that retailed for 2499.00 are far better.
The Sonata's are very very nice but I like the Sound of my Coincidents better.
Spent 1 hour trying to like the Sonata better last friday but in the end I would not switch from the Coincident to the Sonata.
The question really is, which speaker, Sonantina or Victory would go better with your Graf 20 watt OTL. Without hearing this exact combination, comments as to which speaker is better without disclosing which amp(s) was used are of little value (ie., the Sonantinas would probably sound better if you used a 100 watt solid state or tubed amp and the Victorys would sound better if you used a 3.5 watt SET.)
I'm currently running a pair of Victorys with a Gaincard (25 watts) with satisfying results. I have tried a 3.5 watt SET with them and they played pretty loud without clipping. The midrange is as smooth as silk. The ribbon tweeter is extended without getting hard or hot. Superb on acoustic music, but can also rock.
The Victory was designed for use with low powered amps, especially SETs. On paper, The Sonantinas will need more the double the amplifier output to keep up with the Victorys at the same volume level (and that is not counting for the easier load the Victorys present, 14ohm vs. 8 ohm). A fairer comparison would be to compare the Coincident Super Eclipse (there is a recent review in the Absolute Sound) with the Sonantinas. If you are at all considering trying SETs in the future, buy the Victorys.
Generally speaking, OTLs have a tough time with loads that drop below 8 ohms. I do not know how far down the Sonantinas drop in impedence, but the Victorys is spec'd out not to drop below 10 or go above 18 ohms. This presents an easier load for your Graf, and you will be able to play the Victorys much louder and with greater ease.
One final note. If you do get the Victorys be very patient. They need a long time to break in. About a 1000 hours before they are fully integrated. Before break in there is a discontinuity between the bass and midrange.
I have also heard Super Eclipses with Atma Sphere M-60.Match made in heaven.
OTL will work better with Coincident.
I believe Ultrakaz (interesting name!) and Natalie both have good points re: the synergy of the amps that are mated with these speakers- it can make all the difference.
I have heard Coincident many times (at the Designer/Owner Israel Blume's house no less, as I live near by), and it was always with tubes (SET). The Coincident speakers have no-compromise build quality, and are designed to retrieve every nuance of the music. This also can make them quite revealing of source and associated componentry- therefore I always take these 'comparos' (i.e. Silverline vs Coincident) with a grain of salt. For someone to make these blanket comparisons, I think it is only fair to list all the associated components as well as room configuration and speaker placement (i.e. for Eclipse models- were Coincident woofers firing inward or outward, etc.). Only when all the factors are considered is it plausable to beging drawing conclusions of this nature.
I am not here to make any blanket statements or judgements on which is prefered, HOWEVER, the one thing I CAN attest to is Israel's comittment to building a quality product- and not just speakers.
Several months ago I purchased his (now previous) personal reference amplifier system consisting of 4 tube amps: a pair of completely rebuilt/modified Golden Tube 300B 7-watt SET monoblocks for mids/highs; plus another pair of also completely rebuilt and INSANELY modified Altec 1570B monoblocks- 170 wpc in triode! using a pair of 811's in each amp for bass duty- all the best NOS, etc. The amps are fantastic, and in a bi-amp setup I would argue world-class at the price point- I drive the 4 amps direct from an Audio Aero Capitole 24/192 CDP using the XLR and RCA outs simultaneously- the Altecs have volume control that allows tailoring of bass precisely in relation to mids/highs when bi-amping. The one amp I have heard that is the equal of this combo is Israel's new one- the Wyetech Labs Topaz 572B- wonderful.
Anyways- sorry for digressing slightly, however my addition to this discussion is not to necessarily offer a proper comparison between Silverline and Coincident (however if I were to, you probably get the idea where my allegiances lie...), because I am not as familiar with the 'Silverlineup'. It is simply to attest to the quality approach that Israel takes towards his business and everything he produces. I am sure that the next post could just as easily contain similar positive statements about Alan Yun of Slverline (whom I have in fact spoken with, and he seemed like a nice guy who is also very committed).
In the end, I am sure either line could be quite pleasing to the listener depending of course on synergistically matched components and listener preference. Re: this discussion, I am not surprised that the Silverline product would get more responses due to a wider dealer network and therefore more availability to audition than Coincident's tighter dealer network- I am not sure as to the total number of Silverline speakers in current use versus Coincident for Audiogon forum members- but that would be an interesting stat!
OK- enough rambling- the system's fired up- got some late-night listenin' to do- later!
almost forgot- with proper SET amplification, the way you can here 'into' the music with the Victory is scary...
Thank you one and all. You've been most helpful. I have yet to make up mind, but as soon as I do, I will update this post. Hopefully very soon...
Just as an FYI, I may choose to trade in my current amp for its big brother the 100wpc OTL in order to address the room size issue which in turn may allow more choices on the speaker front.
For those of you interested in the associated gear, here is my list:
Frontend: Copeland CDA-289 HDCD
Preamp: Graaf 13-B (Tube) and McIntosh C32 (SS)
Poweramp: Graaf GM 20 OTL (20wpc, Tube)
Speaker Cord: "Zero" by FMS
Others who've noted the amplifier/speaker matching issue as the key one are pointing you in the right direction. Having tried Atma-Sphere OTL's (both M-60's and MA-1's) with Coincident, Super Eclipses. I could not imagine attempting to power the Silverline Sonatinas with a set 20-watt OTLs. Unless Graaf does something really special with its design (I am not familiar with it), OTLs really do like high impedance, sensitive loads.
Unless you get one of the ZERO box auto-formers (available from Paul Speltz through the ASOG [Atma-Sphere User's Group]) to aid in impedance matching, I don't think you will have much success driving the Silverlines very well.
I had a 16 x 26 room and much preferred the A-S MA-1 MkII's over the M-60 on the Coincident Super E's (92 dB, not-below-10 Ohms). (My current smaller room would favor the M-60's, but that's another story....) If that gives you any idea of the task your Graaf amps will have, I hope it helps.
My only contact with Silverline was completely negative, but it could have been an anomaly and not worth going into. From direct experience with my Coincident Super E's, I can say that they are revealing, nearly full-range, and quite musically engaging. They take a long time to break in and some of my earlier complaints about them turned out to be cabling or room related, not the speakers. If the Victorys are anything like the Super E's but easier to drive and perhaps more intimate, you are in for a treat! Coincident speakers and OTL amps really are a good match.
I respect and look forward to Philefreak's posts but I have to disagree with him. I have heard both and for me the Sonatina II did not have the the magic that the Coincident could produce using the same amp. The illusion of real people playing real instruments in my room was lost when I listen to any of the Sonata line. I think the Sonata line is a fine speaker and could be very happy with it had I not heard the Coincident. So much depends on the amps and your tastes. With your new room size the Victory may not fill the room as well as the Super or Total Eclipse. I have had the Graaf GM-20 SE european edition on my Totals and could not believe what a powerhouse of an amp this is. If you go with the Victory's your 20 watt Graaf will be over kill as far as power. BTW Jewel, the GM-20 is the most reliable amp in the Graaf line up. IMO the best sounding too. You have heard two totally different views on the comparison between these two speakers. I am no more right or wrong than Philefreak. We just respectfully disagree. Best of luck.
Thanks guys & gals -- I've since changed my mind. I bought a pair of Kharma CE 2.3 (newest revision to version 2 model)-- I'm just waiting for the shipment to arrive -- they ship from the Netherlands. These are rated at 8ohms and 90+ db. I was able to audition a pair of Kharma CE 1.0's (the bigger brother of the version 2's) with my own "Graaf GM 20" 20/wpc OTL -- I was sold. Although the Kharma's cost twice as much as a pair of "victory", I had no doubt I could live with these for a long time.