So Many Apogees for sale, and so few takers

There seems to be a plethora of Apogee speakers for sale here on Audiogon lately. I've been regularly searching for used Apogees in my area for the last 2 years, and have seen few if any come up for sale. Yes, I finally snagged a pair of mint Duetta Sig's.

But all of a sudden there are more than several over the last few months, but the ad's seem to linger for a long time. I would think people would jump on these speakers - there are few speakers out there today that can do what these do, regardless of their age.

Signs of a withering economy?
Just a summer slump?
you can find lots of speakers for sale and no takers. shipping is too much to pay nowdays.
These "Why so many XXX for sale" are funny. Every few weeks or so some product is mentioned as a worry question of: Why so many"xxx for sale.
First who cares? Does it bother the op? is it a conspiracy? is some major flaw discovered and everyone is dumping? is some new product coming out?
Generally it is the standard distribution of probability working. Sooner or later a bunch of an item WILl show up at the same time.. eventually.
Though the day My Audio Research PH-2 shows up in multiple copies for sale I will be suprised. The most were two in a one month period. One of which was super underpriced... And in a six year period, only a hlaf dozen for sale at all... Anyway, WHO CARES???
And for the op here, don't worry, be happy. What it all means is just a coincidence, and soon, none will be available. If you want to buy one, rejoice, if you want to sell a pair, just wait... soon enough....
Yes, why wouldn't anyone want monolithc speakers that take up the whole end of the listening room and are so inefficient and reactive that amps almost as large are required to drive them? It's a head scratcher, that's for sure.

Ahhh, comedic sarcasm; that's my favorite!

Many years ago (20?) I remember hearing a pair of Apogee Divas, powered by
two Krell KSA-250 amps, at a HiFi show in London. To this day, I still think
these are the best sounding speakers I have ever heard. One day I plan to buy
a restored pair of Divas. Yes, they make you feel like a guest in your own living
room, amplification can be ridiculously costly and heat the room up. But, who
cares, this is the sound of classic HiFi at its best!
I agree with part of Viridian's post. For me I was daydreaming about adding the Apogee Calipers in my system but then I wondered if I have enough amp for them. Seems like they require the biggest and baddest amps around to make them really sing.
Someone who responded above me can be such a debbie downer . The op cares . That is why he asked the question . Time to find a new website to let the neagativity loose. Seriously ! why reply when it is of no help whatsoever .
To the original point, my gut says that its getting harder to move expensive hifi items period, just from following listings here. The difficulty of shipping fragile speakers just exacerbates the problem.

Also the current crop of Apogee speakers seems to be optimistically priced (with exceptions of course), especially the pair of Grands currently listed.

BTW, I am a current Apogee owner. Primary speakers are Studio Grands, and I have a pair of Duetta Signatures on hand as well.
Isn't Bob Carver releasing (unleashing?) a new line source?
These could be amazing!
I think Viridian nailed it...
whatever the intent of Viridian's post was, I find it to be the most realistic reason to the OP question.

Things have changed a bit from the 90s---most of the newer gear is more compact, more aesthetically pleasing, less of a box or panel, nicer woods, rounded shapes---even designed to look nicer without grills (ie nicer looking drivers)
Maplegrovemusic: I agree. That certain someone has had annoying posts on this site for some time. It doesn't bother me that they disagree with someone, but the manner in which they do that gets on my nerves. It seems the majority of that person's posts are very bitter. Frankly, I'm getting tired of reading them.
Devilboy/Maplegovemusic, You are absolutely righ and those who agree with that certain person are just as bed. All of their posts are purely negative and I don't need it.
Rrog / Devilboy / Maple - Let me 4th your comments.

So tiresome with the comments. But seeing the same trying to justify complete PC or fuse nonsense is just as bad.

Maybe be good to try our the asylum for a while and see how well such nonsense goes over, no?
I walked in to a local dealers and found a mint pair of Divas with a very realistic price. I use to have Duetta Sigs
years ago and knew what it took to make them sing. To get the best from Apogees you have to work at it, they are not plug and play. I gave it a brief thought but kept walking.

In my experience speakers are the hardest item to sell, the last pair I sold I was constantly lowering the price to generate interest. They eventually did sell but at an almost give away price for a few year old 'A' rated Stereophile speaker.

Why are Speakers so expensive anyway, a new car or a new pair of speakers, does that make ANY sense?
08-01-12: Viridian
Yes, why wouldn't anyone want monolithc speakers that take up the whole end of the listening room and are so inefficient and reactive that amps almost.....

Viridian, just FYI, the Apogee speakers are not reactive. Ribbons are rarely reactive - they are in fact purely resistive with a resistance that is very low. hence the need for monster amps.
I'm not trying to change your opinion but the wordings in your post tell me that you don't understand the matter. Thus, it might have been better for you to not post & not show your ignorance in such a flaming way....
The problem has always been shipping. Unless you have the original crates, there is always high risk of damage. Safest bet is local pickup. If you must ship, best to insist on UPS doing the packing and shipping over nite.
No Dude there are many great speaker!!
If you gents take issue with someone, it's not necessary to tiptoe around the issue. Name names, we are all adults here. It's OK to disagree with the content of someone's post and equally OK to dislike their delivery or style. Let's not try to be so PC that we cant engage directly.

Bombaywalla, I stand corrected. Unlike certain electrostatics, the Apogees are not capacitive, being a purely resistive load as you pointed out. As far as insensitive, well we'll let the lab tests speak for themselves:

Thanks again.
Yes, I agree with much that was said above ...

- Apogees are not WAF friendly
- Apogees are inefficient and need a high current amp capable of driving 3-4 ohm loads
- Apogees are fragile, so shipping them can be an issue, and costly
- Apogees are out of production, and support is minimal and costly
- Apogees are finicky to set up, where 1/4" movements make a big difference

However, Apogees are still one of the best sounding speakers I have ever heard, price be damned. They are more "of a whole" than anything else, because tweeter and woofer are both true ribbons and not a mix of different materials like most other speakers. And unlike most other panels, when amplified properly, they actually have a kick like a cone speaker.

There are some good bargains for sale here. I'm just suprised they are not selling. Adding to the issues above is the bad economy, and the fact that it is summer months, when things generally slow down.

Thanks for participating in the discussion guys.
The aging demographic of high end enthusiasts could have something to do with it too. By the time I could afford a nice 4-dial chronograph I could no longer read the smaller dials. By the time I could afford a genuine WIlson NFL football, I had no kids at home to toss it with. Similarly, pushing 59 I don't have the bandwidth to baby big, heavy, fragile out-of-production speakers that require amps that are comfortable driving 2-ohm loads. Nothing against Apogees, but I'm at an age where I'm trying to simplify and consolidate and still maintain excellent sound.

Fortunately the industry is cooperating. Folded ribbon tweeters are making their way into ever more affordable speakers, and companies such as Monitor Audio are putting very sophisticated light, stiff drivers (e.g., ceramic matrix or layering) into <$1500 speakers. And I heard a $999 Marantz integrated amp that sounded so good I could dump my three-box stack (phono/line/amp) and actually improve my sound quality. Trends like that leave little room for a vibrant Apogee market. Those with the energy to deal with them have probably never heard of them.

And as far as uniform-sounding ribbons go, isn't that what the fuss is about with the Maggie 1.7 and 3.7?
There are a couple other reasons. The Apogee forum is no more. It flamed out about 2 years ago. That forum led me to buy two pairs of Scintillas. Yes I happen to be that crazy! Another reason is that they are very fragile and there is only 1 source to buy ribbons (Graz.) You must also use one of his installers to bring your speakers back to life and that is an expensive proposition especially when you add on shipping.

I no longer have Scintillas but they are fantastic speakers. They take a lot of amp to make them sing.
Baranyi, yes indeed, they do take a lot of amp. One amp that drives them surprisingly well is the Lazarus h1a, used as monoblocks.

I know a guy with a pair of Full Ranges that he bought new which he could be convinced to part with. To the best of my knowledge they're in perfect working condition. At 350 lbs. each they are massive, and they require beefy biamplification.
appreciate your very civil response. :-)
everything is slow in the summer too. In february I listed my Von Schweikert VR-33s for sale and had 5 people ready to commit in 48 hours before I reconsidered and decided to re-evaluate things. I listed the same VR-33s now in late July and barely any interest... I think folks just focus on the hobby less durring fairer weather.
IMHO, I think that people that post things and subsequently "reevaluate" and "reconsider" are wasting our time and abusing the system.

Figure it out first, then post.
Gopher: Maybe in the winter months people go out less and spend less money which would make a February purchase possible, but I also think that income tax checks right around the corner has a lot to do with it also.
I agree with some of the posters that pointed out that some of the asking prices seem exorbitant. While I admire the effort, and despite numerous auditions, I've never heard the Apogees set up well. The rest of the gear seemed up to the task, but the various rooms I've heard them in all presented with a lumpy frequency response and a downward tilt. That they've attained a somewhat legendary status leads me to believe others have had more success with them. As far as amplification, I can understand why some might balk, and yet other just embrace the requirements. All in all, they don't seem to be the most appealing choice for most.
Unsound, I've heard some bad sound from Apogees as well. Some of the early models had voicing problems, and also differed within production runs. You can see this in the reviews and the response measurements. Overall performance and consistency improved radically over the years.

In two channel reproduction of recordings made in large venues, it's long been known that a downtilt of 4-6 dB actually sounds better than flat. For small ensembles, flat is better. This is a shortcoming of two channel recordings, not the speakers -- basically, forward-facing cardioid microphones don't pick up enough ambiance, which, in a large hall, is attenuated in highs, and close miking is even worse. Some speakers take the flat approach, some the downtilt approach. I don't think one or the other is right.

One problem Apogees do have is a hollowed-out bass response, with a peak at the very low primary resonance. Essentially, they traded away flatness for superior bass extension.

Still, they made some superb speakers. I think one of the main reasons they aren't more popular now is that despite Graz's life-saving support, the woofers are very costly to refurbish. I've seen long-time Apogee lovers say that they're no longer an economical proposition for that reason. This may explain relatively high selling prices -- if you'd spent a lot to repair yours, you'd naturally want to recoup some of it. And of course, the larger planars will always appeal to a relatively few people, e.g., those with dedicated sound rooms or dirt on their wives. The Tympanis suffer from this problem as well, which I think is why they can be purchased for prices that are insanely low compared to more reasonably-sized speakers of comparable quality.
Yeah, Apogees are definitely not something you would put in your livingroom or home theater system. But then again, neither are Maggies, and there are tons of Maggie owners.

I would go so far as to say, Maggies are probably the best sounding speaker for the price available new today. Perfect? No, definitely not perfect in many respects, but damn fine sound for the $$$.

However, if you are a Maggie owner/lover and haven't heard an Apogee ... when you do you may become an Apogee convert. Apogees improve on many of the things that Maggies don't do so well, like dynamics, bass response, synergy between tweeter and woofer panels, etc.

I agree, then probably need a dedicated room, but if you have that available then you may be lucky enough to own a pair of these at prices that are a steal for the sound you get out of them.
Jason Bloom of Apogee was the biggest jerk I ever met in audio. When you would walk into his room at CES he was so arrogant and he would not let you play music you knew well. He was the kind of person you would want to kick in the ass. The exact opposite of say Jeff Rowland. The best I have heard them were with two Classe 25 watt all class A amplifiers. I liked them better than when I heard the speakers with Krell or Threshold. Another good amp sound was with the original Meitner Amps.
One huge difference is that Maggies are still made, and supported by the company. They'll refurbish almost all of their speakers, even custom-build drivers for discontinued models if you need one, as I discovered when Fedex did a job on my Tympanis. You can replace a treble ribbon for a fraction of the cost of a Graz ribbon -- not criticizing Graz here, but he's a relatively small volume operation. If your bass drivers are delaminating and you have a weekend, you can fix them yourself with Magnepan's kit for $40, where a new Apogee bass driver would cost you thousands. It all makes Maggies a much more practical option.

I do wish I could get my hands on a couple of Apogee midrange ribbon drivers, though, and put them in my Tympanis. :-) This is one of the few areas I think in which an Apogee will beat a Tympani, but it's a crucial one, since the midrange is the soul of the music. There are some DIY midrange ribbon projects on DIY audio, but it looks like they'd take a summer.

I think it's also true that there are a lot more Maggies out there, and both the new and used prices offer inimitable bang for the buck. Apogees were more expensive to make and repair, which is apparently the main reason the company went out of business.
I think they went out of business as a result of Magneplanar suing them for patent infringement.
I sued to think that, too, but apparently it wasn't the case. It seems they went out because they were too expensive to make and repair (they had a large number of ribbon failures). The Grand in particular, while by all accounts one of the best speakers ever made, was too expensive to make. The company that bought them looked at what they owed and at the state of the high end audio market, and decided to close them down.

If you do a search you can find some accounts of what happened.
Essential Audio we gave the Lazarus H1A's a good try unfortunately it never came to pass. Hope you are doing well. Bob

"few areas an apogee will beat a tympani"

Depending on which Apogee you mean I doubt the Tympani could do dynamics like an apogee. The sound of rattling on bass drums would soon appear with the Tympani.

I had both apogee and maggies of all sorts. I loved them both. The Apogee with all new drivers and modern xover is hard to beat. Having said that a decent xover in a maggie is up there too, but those older maggies couldn't take dynamic swings. Although still a fabulous sound if a little constrained and woody.
I too was looking into pair of older apogees a little while back. But, after talking to an expert about restoring an older pair(cant remember the name), he mentioned that ALL the original condition apogees need complete makeovers nowadays given their age. So, unless you buy one fully restored, you are in essence purchasing a project speaker that will costs thousands to get back up to spec not including the shipping costs. Granted, they will sound freaking amazing i am sure once completed, if you have the funds.

Just an FYI for those buyers looking for a bargain apogee. There are none. Buyer beware.

That is absolutely not true!!! All is much too broad of a generalization! I have Mini Grands that look and sound great. Original owner and handled with TLC and high quality amplification. They have many years left in them before they need any doctoring.

I had Tympani 1-D's for many years, and used to play them at fuse-blowing levels with a wide range of material -- classical, rock, movies. I never heard them rattle on a bass drum. The only time the 1-D's woofers ever got into trouble was in the cannon shots on the Telarc 1812.

The Tympani IV's and IVa's play even louder and deeper. Satie, over on the Audio Asylum measures >120 dB SPL's on his modified Tympani IV's (midrange replaced by BG Neo-8's). He uses a 2500 watt pro amp on the woofers to get those levels. As I recall, Satie does give the biggest Apogees a slight edge in dynamics over the Tympanis,, but complains that the Apogee midrange ribbon can become unstable and shrill at high SPL's.

In any case, in my experience, the Tympani bass isn't at all like the single panel bass in this regard, which is why I have a pair of IVa's now. To me, the Tympani woofers have the ideal combination of near-dynamic SPL's and extension and planar naturalism. Now, if only I could score a pair of Apogee midrange ribbons to put in them. :-)
Hi Bob (Baranyi), I'm doing great and hope you are, too. Sorry to hear you weren't able to try the Lazarus, but so it goes, and I gather you gave up on the Apogee project. Anyway, stop by next time you're up this way, I'm open just about 24/7 :-)
Hi Josh358,

It's been a while since I heard the Tymps. I take your point. They were lovely. I cannot imagine them capable of 120db no matter how much power was used.

If only I was bright enough to do the maths! I'm guessing but 4ohm and 85db/w@ 1m sensitivity would need a lot of power for 120db. Surely into 3 or 4,000w to even get close let alone to not burn out something.

The type of startling dynamic swings I am meaning are not possible with planars unfortunately. The only reason I moved away from them to be honest.

Power only gets you so far. I tried. You can get grip and deeper bass, but never that confidence that someone hit something really hard or blew a trumpet ffff without that slight softening. Get someone to blow a trumpet loud in your room. You will jump out of your skin!

As brilliant as the planars I had were in every other area, there was always a constriction that one gets used to once you get beyond a medium to high SPL.

I used multiple subs to help pressure the room which helped to a point, but I doubt I could get much higher than 100 db peaks effortlessly with full programme music.

Try Kraftwerks minimum maximum on the maggie and measure the SPL. I reckon at 90db the bass panel will be compressing and rattling against the magnets or resonating the panel with the bass drum. Even with an arc welder as an amp and spiked braced stands with weight on them. But I completely understand your love.

Have a word with Graz re your Apogee mids... You will be sorted right out. His ribbons are excellent.

I had epic listening sessions with modified Maggies and reconditioned Apogees. Fabulous speakers.

I fell for high sensitivity horns in the form of the AG Trio with flea power amps. My final resting place! They have the naturalness and speed with dynamic freedom you can only dream of in planar land. It allows the use of extremely linear amps with single gain stages. This alone is a revelation in sonics especially for layering, naturalness and timbre.
Hi Chadeffect,

According to the manual for my IVa's, they "can exceed 110 dB RMS at the listeners seat in a 16' x 25' room with an amplifier rated at 200 watts at 8 ohms."

Someone on the Audio Asylum measured some Tympani woofers and I think he said they started to compress at 105 dB or so. I don't remember the exact figure, but it was over 100 dB. This is in the ballpark of a dynamic woofer, which is one of the reasons I like the Tympanis so much -- the combine, for me, planar clarity with near dynamic slam and extension. The dynamic range can be increased even more if you cross a dynamic sub over at 40 Hz, relieving the Tympanis of some bottom duty.

OK, so with my somewhat smaller 1-D's, my woofers didn't bottom or rattle at fuse blowing levels, which was with the 2-1/2 amp fuses. That would be over 25 watts RMS = more than 250-2500 watts on the peaks (since music has a 10-20 dB peak/average ratio), and we're only talking about the tweeters. As I think I said, the only time the woofers ever bottomed or sounded unhappy was on the Telarc 1812.

That SPL capability is why Satie went with the Tympanis -- there was a long discussion about 120 dB+ SPL levels from planars on the Audio Asylum. He put a 2500 watt pro amp on the IV's woofer panels (a bit less efficient than the IVa's) to get that kind of output. No problem, the woofers aren't even fused because they have so much thermal radiating area. You'll hit the magnets before you'll risk melting them.

At the same time, in my experience, while the Tympanis will do peaks in the 118 db @ 1 meter + range that's the bare minimum for plausible if not completely accurate reproduction of classical music (and too low for jazz), neither the Tympanis nor most audiophile dynamics can put out the uncompressed levels at the listening seat tht you need for reproduction of peaks at natural levels.

Big studio monitors can do this and it's one of the few areas in which I found the sound in the studio superior to home reproduction. Horns can as well. So I know exactly what you're saying about dynamic freedom. And I agree that almost no planar will do it, and almost no consumer dynamic. (I say "almost" because the Wisdom planars will apparently put out that kind of SPL and more, at IIRC $60,000 per side. They use some very interesting technology, including silver foam to remove heat from the planar tweeter.)

Great suggestion about Graz, BTW, thanks.
Hi josh,

Very interesting. I wonder if maybe some of the lower perceived loudness from the panel is about phase? There can be a diffuse nature to planar sound. Lacking that initial impact you get from a big studio monitor or horn.

Placement from the rear wall and side wall with soft furnishing behind the panel always helped in my experience. Somehow focussing it and making it more coherent. Also using extremely good source and amps of course!

I had forgotten about Wisdom speakers. I have never heard them. But there was a model I admired from afar. I think it was the called the LS4. It seems to hook on the wall. I wonder how they get around that congested sound you would get it you tried that proximity to the rear wall with a maggie or Apogee?

Anyone know why Wisdom speakers are so expensive? Or is that just their wisdom?
All planers seem to be finicky suckers when it comes to setup. I think it is because their design inherently integrates the room, rather than trying to diffuse and or eliminate it with sound treatments and such with monitors and other cone designs. They also have very narrow sweet spots. But set up properly I don't hear any of that diffuse nature, at least not with my Apogees.
I think its the decision involved to invest extra $$$ into a amp that can drive the apogees if your present amp(s) do not have that capability;I will probally run into this when I try to sell my soundlab m2's.
I am with you, a properly set up one is one of the best playback experiences.

My Apogees where never diffuse. But definetly came to life with power. That diffuse trait was more a trait of the older stock maggies. Something that replacing the caps in the xover improved a great deal btw.

I always thought of my planars as headphones. Very large headphones!
Hi Chadeffect,

I think I know what you mean about the diffuse sound. I've always wondered if that wasn't due to comb filtering from the out-of-phase backwave. This is something that doesn't occur in life -- you do get comb filtering from reflections but the backwave is usually in phase. I've sometimes wondered idly whether this didn't have something to do with their reproduction of space as well.

There are lots of other differences, though, so I'm not really sure.

A lot of people use diffusion behind the speakers, at the first reflection points. I just got some duffusers from GIK today, so I'll be trying that myself some time in the next few weeks. I have a troublesome fireplace mantle that I'm trying to tame.

The LS-4 was what I had in mind. Wisdom also makes a smaller version called the LS-3. They're made up out of modules, with a central quasi-ribbon tweeter and bass panels on either side. These go down to 80 Hz and then they use separate shallow subs below that. There are some pictures of the modules in a show report on the Stereophile site. Basically, they're architectural speakers that are designed to mount in the wall. That means they have enclosures with absorptive material, like large, shallow dynamics. I haven't heard them either, but those who have speak highly of them.

I imagine that the cost of the Wisdoms reflects several factors. Enclosures are the most expensive thing in a speaker, so that alone would make them more expensive than the typical planar. Then they use neodynium magnets -- these are super efficient -- and neodynium has gotten very costly, it would add thousands to the selling price of the speaker. They also use that esoteric spun silver technology to bleed heat from the tweeter -- there's an interesting demo/rundown somewhere on You Tube if you can find it. Finally, I think these are a pricey ultra-high-end product that's made in small quantities. Maggies benefit from the economies of mass production and are designed to be affordable -- they consider themselves a value manufacturer and would rather sell a lot of moderately-priced speakers than a few highly-priced ones.

The people behind Wisdom are Boehlender and Graebner, the guys who started BG, which makes the Neo-8's that Satie used to mod his Tympanis, and also the RD- series drivers that are used in the big Genesis, etc.
thanks Brian(Essential Audio.) Will do!