I have an A318B and my friend had a Melody I2A3. We hooked my Almarro to his system and it was MUCH better. More bass control and 3-d imaging. We were both impressed.
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I have the Omen Defs and I have had two I2A3's in my system, that is how much I liked them. I have not heard an Almarro, but I tried to buy one twice and lost it as it sold quickly. For the price used, either one would be fantastic for you I would believe. I can say with vocals the melody is fantastic.
I think you would get more bang for your upgrade buck by changing amps and trying out a new DAC. I have found minor changes in my Zu system with pre-amp changes and huge changes with my amp and Dac changes. However, the good and bad about Zu speakers is that:
1. Every weak point in your system will hold it back. That could be your Dac or your computer, or both for example. Even power conditioning and the like.
2. Every upgrade that you make will bring noticeable changes to the system as long as there are no obvious weak links.
And finally I would suggest in your price range a Tekton mini Lore or Lore. You will not find a more tonally accurate amp for your guitar, violin, etc IMO.
To be fair to my friend, the I2A3 is a very good amp. The build quality and looks are top notch. It is a great sounding amp also. The difference was mostly in the bass area. The A318B is hard to beat in bass for a S.E.T..
Also, he listens at low level volumes at night while his family is sleeping. The volume attenuator was not sensitive enough for his listening style. The A318B has a linear volume that is much more sensitive to low volume listening. He no longer has the I2A3 amp. He went with a Ayon amp with remote control that is suited to his listening style. The Ayon amp is a very nice amp, but more money also.
I do not remember which capacitor it was size wise, but they are Mundorf Supreme Silver in Oil. Yes you would have to remove the drivers, and I am sure Zu could tell you the size. Also replacing the drivers (from Zu) would also be a huge upgrade. Both of those for around $500 would greatly improve the speakers.
There are three differences between the Omen Def and the Superfly.
1. silver in Oil Mundorf caps
2. Internal Silver wiring
3. HO Drivers
I have all three so I cannot comment on which is most important. However, I can say that the upgrade is very very significant. Increased intimacy, better imaging, and much smoother mids and highs.
I'm in the Bay Area if anyone wants a listen or demo. And I may be downsizing my collection soon so they may be for sale soon.
Thanks. I have one more ignorant question.
I am tempted to connect my Prima Luna preamp into the Almarro and see how does it sound, because I read a post that someone put a preamp with Almarro and he likes the result ( I can't remember where I read it)
My question is, it won't have any harm on my unit by doing so, am I correct?