Tis a sad, sad day...

...for today I sold my beloved Alon I Mk IIs, because they would be very difficult, expensive, and dangerous to ship to Hong Kong, where I am moving to in a few weeks.

I had this wonderful pair of speakers for almost three years and enjoyed their amazing musicality - tuneful bass, silky vocals, and crystal clear highs. They just sounded so open with their unusual open-baffle design.

I auditioned a couple of replacements (that I could have exchanged for) - Spendor's S3/5SE and a pair of Sonus Faber Concertinos - but I still longed for the Alon sound.

For those familiar with it: Is there anything out there that sounds similar? I tried looking up Acarian Systems' current catalog, but their website seems down. My initial thought is B&W's Nautilus 805, which I remember sounds quite open, but I've heard they prefer solid state.

I will be driving them with a 40wpc EL34 tubed Jolida JD202A, modified by Parts Connexion. A Musical Fidelity A3 CD Player and A3.24 DAC will be my source.

Any help in cheering up a mourning Alon lover would be tremendously appreciated.

Best Regards,

wait until you get to hong kong before doing anything. they have lots of audio/video stores.
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.
I still prefer the 805s with vintage MC240 amps. They're still the best sounding combo to me.

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!


I'm with Sbank. Stay in the Alon line and upgrade to remain happy. Good luck and best wishes in your move to Hong Kong.
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.
Just returned from a week in South America. Sherod, thanks for your advice. I'll do my research and try to get a listen to both of these.
Alon backwards... www.nolaspeakers.com
My hometheater set-up has Alon speakers.
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.
Bummer, I was going to recommend these:
Snell K7 $1,250
or their bigger brother:
Snell J7 $1,800

I think they would go well with tubes. Hand made in Massachusetts.
Why don't you take Magnepan into consideration?

I dont if it helps but my friend has the same Alon speakers and went to Tannoy speakers (forget model but they list at $7500 and they really sound fantastic....cheers
Try the GMA' Calypso or the Ridge street audio speaker that is a 2way. Iwas worried when I replaced my 14year Paragon love affair speaker with the GMA's but can truly say the the Calypso are better in every single way.Good luck in your search.Cheers Dennis