wait until you get to hong kong before doing anything. they have lots of audio/video stores.
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I sympathize, Leonard. I have had to say goodbye to speakers I loved. My experience tells me that it is very possible you will find new ones to care for, though--I did--and don't forget that you have made a buyer very happy too.
My lost speaker love was a pair of ESS AMT-1s back in the mid-seventies. They had a wonderfully open upper range, and I mention it because you might enjoy speakers with the Heil tweeter that made it possible. ELAC and Oskar are the modern manufacturers that come to mind.
I hope you will remember your Alons warmly, and never feel the need to compare your memory of their sound with the sound of your new ones, to the disadvantage of the new.
While I have never owned the N 805s, the best I ever heard them sound was in a store in Ft. Worth being driven by McIntosh, but sorry I do not remember model. I do remember they had a pair of 802 in the same room being driven by.....opps, not sure. But I do remember on female vocals the 805s sounded better to my taste. Good luck in your move and happy listening.
You might want to post another thread inquiring into the typical pricing & sales tax rates in Hong Kong. If equivalent gear there costs more than at home, you might be better off bringing something with you.
I beg to differ with your original assumptions. It's not that expensive to ship overseas, and if you have original packing, & insurance, you are unlikely to have a problem w/damage. Sure, it happens sometimes, but a small % of the time. I've sold speakers and shipped them to Korea by Fedex and BAX Global with reasonable cost and no trouble.
That being said, there's a pr of Alon IIs on A-gon for $925. A big improvement over the Is, and would be fine w/your amp. Make it an upgrade day, not a sad day! Cheers,
Sell the rest of your U.S. system before you go and buy everything new in H.K. Zu has a very large presence in Asia, much bigger than here and a much better speaker than the ones you sold. I have some Chinese tube equipment that is both excellent and cheap here in the States. Have to assume it is even cheaper there.
I agree with Jaybo, shop over there where high end is flourishing.
I have owned a pair of Alon Circe's for about 4 years now so I know where you are coming from. The Alon's are very underrated. I have been looking at possible replacements for a year now and nothing I have heard for under 25k has been a clear improvement over the Circe's.
Good luck on your move and hope that you find audio bliss in HK!
Another vote for staying with Alon. The closest you will come to the Alon sound is with planars, and even then the sound will be quite different. Alon's have a certain soundstaging and imaging that is quite unlike anything else out there, again, planars come closest. Any box speaker will sound relatively closed in once you've become accustomed to the Alon sound. You should also try the Nola website, Alon is now called Nola, virtually the same speaker line, Carl still in charge.
Moving up in the Alon/Nola line is also quite ear opening, the Alnico drivers are really quite fine.
Thanks everyone, for the support and well wishes. This is why I love the community at Audiogon!
I would really love to stay with Alons, but Hong Kong is a much smaller and crowded place (think Manhattan)...hence I'm not sure where I will be living can accomodate such large speakers. I think it would be more practical to move to quality full-range bookshelf speakers or mini-floorstanders. A sub could be added to help with the bass later, if needed.
Any suggestions in the bookshelf realm that are open? Does anyone know about the Nola Mini's? I'm really not looking to spend more than $2-3k.
If you're going with monitors or mini-monitors, for a small place in Hong Kong, go with the Reference 3A Dulcet mini-monitors or the Decapo i monitors. I think you'll be happy with either of these without sacrificing what you had with the Alons. I have the Dulcet and am very pleased with their musicality. Good luck.
Well, I just wanted to try to finish off this thread (thanks for reminding me).
I ended up with Reference 3A, specifically the Dulcet model they have described here: http://www.reference3a.com/dulcet.htm
Hong Kong is a small place with small apartments, so I figured large speakers wouldn't go well here. These mini monitors are truly outstanding given their size. Very open and clear, and well defined bass. However, speaker placement from the rear wall (as they are rear ported) and in the room and stands seem quite crucial to get best mix of soundstage, clarity, and bass definition. I have yet to finalize the best position, as I have just moved into a new apartment.
They are very transparent (almost as transparent as the open baffle design in the Alons) and go well with tube amplifiers. But I have a feeling they go even better with solid state, because I used them with a solid state for a short while before going back to tubes. (Also, from what I've heard, it seems that the mm de Capo i goes even better with tubes...but this was somewhat out of my budget.) Well, I shall I have to wait until my tube amplifier calls it quits to take it up another notch.
Overall I'm happy with the Dulcets and I would definitely recommend them if you're looking for an Alon-ish sound in a small space.
I'm glad to see that you are settled in your Hong Kong apartment with a system to enjoy. I also still have my Dulcets powered by VAC Musicbloc tube amps. I can't imagine solid state sounding any better. You are correct in that the Dulcet need to be pulled away from the back wall a bit in order to balance the bass and fill out the soundstage. I'm sure that with a little tweaking of your room and system, you'll be able to come up with an enjoyable sound system. Also, remember to use the best interconnects, power cords and speaker cables in order to extract that ultimate final sound quality. Enjoy your Dulcet.
In my experience that once you go with an excellent open baffle design it is very hard to go back, There are open baffle designs that will work in a small apartment but as you know you will have to pull them out from the front wall when you want to listen. I would look at the Plutos by Linkwitz. That particular design may work very well and is inexpensive to boot.