take a deep breath, and then keep your avalons. the merry-go-round isn't as much fun as it used to be.
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i haven't heard the new anniversary's, but i've listened to every other variation of the 100 that spendor has made. don't get me wrong, spendor makes really nice speakers, and normally i would certainly recommend them. you have however, one of the finest dynamic driver loudspeakers ever made, and thats compared to pretty much anything i can think of. a classic, even by avalon standards....and that pretty much says it all. balanced, neutral, weight, open top end, and they are friggin beautiful to boot.
I have the older S-100s, which use the same drivers. They are very good but since I don't know the Avalons I can't comment on the differences. I have had Spendors since I brought what were probably the first pair into the country. I have used many others but have always found the Spendors to disappear more completely than anything else I have used. They are a wonderful speaker to simply forget about and listen to. BUT, the others are giving sage advice, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Don't change for changes sake. Try to hear the Spendor before you think about changing.
Let me elaborate on my response just two posts above, as I have been facing a similar dilemma from the opposite side: owning a Spendor (BC-1) and deciding whether to buy something else.
If your original selection was good, then relative to other newer offerings in the market, your speakers' dollar value will depreciate far more than their sonic qualities. You can spend a lot of money and end up with no sonic improvement or very little improvement. I know that my speakers are not the best in the world, but they are so good to my ears that a meaningful improvement would have cost much more than what I was prepared to spend.
Two caveats to this: First, if after careful audioning you really like something and can afford the difference, by all means go for it. Second, for experimenting around when you are not sure, buying used eases the pain a little. If you buy carefully, you can usually sell them for no loss, although shipping such heavy speakers back and forth is not something I look forward to (but YMMV).
So if you feel like experimenting, a used "SP-100 R" is listed at A'gon (I have no connection with that sale). If the price is agreeable, go ahead and try them - and please remember to post your findings here. :)
While I can't comment on the merits of the various Spendors mentioned above, I can add from my own experience in moving from a pair of Logan Ascents to a pair of Verity Parsifal Ovations. In this case, it started 2 years worth of component changes, and other stuff to get the Verity's to where I "knew" they should be performing... do I regret the swap.. occasionally... there is still a touch of magic that only 'stats can bring to the table that is missing. However, tonally, and timbre wise, (also imaging) I have made major gains.
My point here, is that we often seek change, unaware of what the act of making the change may entail.
If you are "up for it" then move forward .. and don't look back.
If I read GAREBEAR right, and knowing enough about the Avalons, I suspect the change he seeks might be better served by swapping out some components upstream. This will provide you with change, and yet not toss the baby out with the bath water. The Avalons are beautifully expressive of what they are connected to, and perhaps the change in something upstream will give you new reasons to still love the Avalon.
I think that, upon reflection, if I had persued this option FIRST, I'd still have my Ascents.
It depends upon the rest of your system, your room and your listening preferences, but if it were me, I'd go with the Spendors. They won't image/soundstage like the Avalons, but they'll play louder, go deeper and vocals will sound more natural. You should also consider the bigger Harbeths. The larger the room, the more I would tilt towards the Spendors.
garebear....the spendors are great speakers, but i suspect you are going through an 'i'm bored' phase, which we all do. no amount of money spent cures this for long. i do think your speakers are among the finest available, and the rowland gear is more than up to driving them in spectacular fashion. you could go with a nice push pull tube amp for a bit of variety(keep the rowland), and spend less than on the Spendors. I go between mac and revox and back all the time just to mix things up.