I do not own the Amadis but have heard them three or four times. I am very familiar with and very much enjoy the sound of Verity speakers. I use a pair of Taminos and Fidelio Encores in separate systems and have heard the Finn and Leonore.
For my primary system, I wanted and selected a speaker that can play all types of music extremely well. I chose the DeVore Fidelity Reference Silverbacks and continue to be thrilled with them. However, the Amadis is the first speaker that I have heard that I believe I would prefer in my primary system where, again, an essential criterion for that system is that the speaker excels in all types of music reproduction (or at least all of the types that are important to me). Whether the Amadis at ~$30K is better enough than the Silverback at $16.8K is another matter entirely. I continue to be AMAZED by the Silverback. It would be very interesting to see what John DeVore could develop speaker-wise at the ~ $30K price point.
As to what I prefer about the Amadis over the Silverback, I believe the reproduction of piano music is a bit more accurate on the Amadis. I also felt the bass response on the Amadis was a little better. Finally, since you also mentioned the Leonore, I will tell you that both the Amadis and the Silverback are better overall than the Leonore. The latter comment is significant to me insofar as the Silverback and Leonore are very close in price.
All of this IMHO, of course. YMMV.
I've not knowingly heard a pair of Amadis, but , but might be able to add a bit of perspective anyways as I have Parsifal Encore's. Before purchasing the Parsifals, I listened to the Finn and Rienzi as well. My feeling was that the Finn didn't quite fit in with the family sound - which I'd categorize as coherent, rich & detailed. The Rienzi and Parsifal, though, were quite similar in character to my ears. The Parsifal just has much more scale and a deeper bass - basically, it sounded like a bigger, bolder version of the Rienzi.
My guess is that every step in Verity's ladder is similar - if you like the Leonore, you're likely to LOVE the Amadis, as long as your room is big enough for them.
One thing...make sure that the speakers are well broken-in before you audition. It'll be hard to do, but I'd stay away from your dealer's showroom for a few weeks after they get the speakers in.
Also, to comment on 4musica's mention of the Silverbacks - if you have a Devore dealer near you who stocks Silverbacks, do give them a listen. In my area the top-end Devore that's available is the Nines, which is a great speaker, if a bit drier and lighter sounding than the Verity's (don't know if the Silverbacks maintain that characterstic, but would love to hear them). I personally have a preference for a richer sound like the Verity's for serious listening, but I'd imagine that anybody who likes one, will like the other.
Thanks for the feedback. As for Devore, that is one of many brands that has no representation anywhere in Georgia, let alone here in Atlanta. I know lots of folks would say it would be worth the trip to visit an out of state dealer and while I'm sure it would, my schedule doesn't really permit that.
My Verity dealer just informed me that the Amadis demo units won't be in until more like mid-April. That's certainly disappointing, though I did just have a great demo of some Burmester speakers that the same dealer also carries. So, I'm mulling over whether to wait to hear the Amadis and compare or just go ahead and get the Burmesters that I have already heard and really liked. I'm not sure what I'll do as I have some concern that the delay could wind up being longer than even this new estimate.
For this much $$$, I'd wait...a few months is nothing compared to a lifetime of listening! When I did my search, I took several months and listened to everything available in my area, listening to most of my favourites more than once. The speaker shopping experience can be fun, enjoy it and take your time!
Don't be too concerned about not having Devore's around - just listen to what you DO have around. Most of these companies are small and have incomplete distribution chains, so it's impossible to hear everything.
And know this...if you wait for 2 months, then hear the Verity's, and decide that you like the Burmester's better...you'll be far more confident with your choice than if you choose before hearing the Verity's. You wouldn't have posted this thread otherwise.
I'll keep my ears open at the Montreal Salon Son & Image next weekend - there's usually a lot of Verity speakers around (being that they're a relatively local company), so I'll let you know if I get a chance to hear some Amadis.
I know that holding out is probably the right thing to do for all of those reasons. In the end, I probably will do just that while hoping that the set comes in sooner than expected. My dealer is going to keep working with the distributor and Verity to see if there are any creative solutions available. I'm just hoping that it doesn't push past this new estimate.
rgbyhkr, I talked to the owner of Playhouse Audio in Atlanta a few years ago about Devore speakers which he carried at the time. I never made the trip because I was living in NC at the time and I don't know if he still carries them, but look him up to see if that is an option for Devore in Atlanta.
Well, you learn something new every day. I had looked into Devore and the dealer page of the website and wasn't surprised to see that there wasn't a GA dealer listed. Beyond that, I hadn't heard mention of Devore here locally. So, I was surprised to see the dealer mentioned by Hchilcoat whom I had never heard of. Sure enough, I found their website and they do indeed list Devore as one of the brands they carry. They also carry Nola, which is interesting as the Baby Grands get quite a bit of praise. I think I'll be giving them a call early next week to arrange for a listening session. If nothing else, it gives me an additional source of comparison leading up to the Amadis demo.
Thanks Hchilcoat, that was very helpful.
One other note. I was hoping to hear something with ceramic drivers at some point as well since I've always been curious. However, attempts to locate a local dealer selling lines like Marten Design, Avalon Acoustics, Tidal, Evolution Acoustics, etc. all came up empty. I guess this whole market has no love for ceramic! :)
I guess this whole market has no love for ceramic!
IMHO, that is not the case. Even though Atlanta is a major city, it seems to have less going on than NYC, CA, or even Denver. I certainly hope that changes, while the places mentioned get stronger still.
Hi, Jeff, glad Playhouse Audio still carries Devore. I talked to the owner and he seemed like a good guy. He also runs a great concert venue in Atlanta although I forget the name.
I have made contact with Steve and he's going to arrange for a demo of both the Silverbacks as well as the NOLA Baby Grands. The latter is out of the range of my budget, but the Metro was mentioned as an obvious alternate that supposedly has similar a similar sound. I figure if I don't like what I hear from the Baby Grands, then the Metros wouldn't be worth pursuing anyway.
I'm excited about getting to hear 2 possibilities that I have certainly seen mentioned on the forums but never heard for myself. Who knows, maybe one of them will become my new favorite. :) The Amadis delay has opened the door and since I had been curious about these others, there's no reason not to check them, out.
I heard the Amadis last year at the Montreal show and they made a great impression on me. They were playing a tape version of a live Shakti concert from Montreux on the Amadis in the Verity room. Stunning clarity, invisible and excellent percussion reproduction. It was a larger room than I will likely ever have but I understand from talking to Verity that they can be placed in smaller rooms and closer to the back wall quite effectively.
The Verity's were being driven by Nagra gear from what I recall - often the case in Montreal. I have them at the top of my list if I ever find a gently used pair at an affordable price.
BTW the Finns were also at the Montreal show. I think they were paired with Ayre gear and they sounded amazingin a very small room. They had "tuned" the port a bit with foam or something.
Let us know what you think when you hear the Amadis and Devore's.
just found the details about the system on stereophile's site
Reading that comment from Stereophile, I know which room that was (since Verity speakers all pretty much look the same, I sometimes don't know which one I'm listening to). It was a bigger room than most others, but not that large in absolute terms - it's just that most manufacturers had small rooms with huge speakers, so in comparison this room looked far more logical.
What I remember from that room was that it was the first time I'd heard a hard-drive-based server system through a DAC sound absolutely world class. Prior to this, I had only hear those systems sound somewhat lacking in liveliness - but in this room I learned that with enough $$$, hi-rez server/DAC can be absolutely top notch.
It was definitely one of the best rooms at the show, but so was the room with a Leben integrated and a Devore 3XL...it was the rare case of a system that fit well with the room it was in.
This year's Montreal show is just a week away now!
So I was at SSI this weekend, and heard a LOT of good sound. Unfortunately, the Amadis weren't on show this year - there were Sarastros in 2 separate rooms, and both were excellent - the room where they were paired with the new Nagra 300B integrated amp was mind-blowing, probably the best in the show. A big part of the wonderful sound was the fact that they were (a) playing real music and (b) playing it at a comfortable volume, which nonetheless did a great job of filling the big room with music.
The Burmester room also sounded fantastic - but unfortunately, the only music on display in the room was the Burmester demo CD - a CD designed to sell Burmester gear. So it was a bit hard to determine what was what...but the sound was incredibly smooth, rich and detailed throughout the frequency range.
The Devore Orangutans also sounded wonderful in a much more modest system with a Leben integrated amp.
Basically, all of the above are excellent choices, and it'll come down to personal preference.
I had a listen to the Verity Leonore this past week for comparison to my Devore Silverbacks.The Devore sounded deeper,fuller,smoother and less analytical to me. The value to me is in the silverbacks compared to the Leonore for the same price.
Rugby1 - I reached the same conclusion as you about the Silverbacks versus the Leonore. I use a pair of Verity Fidelio Encore in a secondary system and I was expecting a lot more from the Leonore, which replaced the Fidelio Encore.
Full disclosure: I have not yet heard the Amadis but have heard every single product in Verity's their current line (and past) and have owned two Verity products over a 12 year span. So take my comments for what they are, just an opinion!
Ever since the Parsifal back in around 1996 or so, Verity has been pretty conservative and guardian of their ''sound'', which is refined, with strong qualities in the low-end region, an articulated and maybe ''soft'' midrange, and a slightly limited top-end extension. Fit and finish are first rate for every speaker.
Their coherence within their product line is remarkable and is for many (and surely for the company owners) their greatest strength.
I feel this coherence may be their weakness also.
I believe that the incremental gains in sound quality between their speakers are smaller than in the days when they had fewer models to choose from of course. But the laws of diminishing returns kick-in on a larger scale, unfortunately, than with the competition at the prices these Veritys are going for.
They make nice speakers that sound good and that will grace any decor, in a polite and conservative way, staying in line with conformity. This also applies to their sound if this is what you are looking for, and theres nothing wrong with that. It can be a very good and secure thing, but I for one prefer a bit more life out of life. And hell, we only live once Id like Verity to surprise us for a change instead of giving us a tiny bit more or a tiny bit less taste of the same dish.
Both coherence and spice can be achieved for example one could point (in electronics) Naim Audio for being conservative and yet, their recent products are quite innovative yet in-line with their own party politics.
Those additional responses and impressions are interesting. Hopefully, I'm only a couple of weeks out from the Amadis arriving here and at this point I'm not quite sure how it will play out. My expectations are high, as they should be for this price category, so we'll see how they measure up to what hasbuiltup in my head over time. Since the pair will be new, there's also the break-in period. I'm going to give them a serious listen and likely more than one because of that factor but I won't get them if I don't love what I hear after a few sessions. I hope I do love them because at that point I can stop looking and just enjoy a great choice. That being said, I have this small but persistent feeling that given how the wait has served to further build up the anticipation, a let down might not be put of the realm of possibility.
Soniqmike's comments do hit home to a certain degree as I kind of felt that way during the progression upward from Finn to Rienzi to Leonore. The big jump in reaction to the sound never happened and the ROI on the Leonore compared to the Finn just didn't seem as good. It was to me as if the sonic improvements just did glee pace with the price. I certainly understand diminishing returns but to me this seemed magnified with those 3 models. With the Amadis, I'm certainly expecting a very noticeable improvement and again, for good reason. If that doesn't happen, then I'll know for sure that Verity is just not for me. It wouldn't be the end of the world but certainly would be disappointing to have waited just to get that result. The good news is that I have a very strong alternate choice in the Burmesters and there's still listening to be done on the Silverbacks, Nolas, Focal Scalas and MBL 120 and 101 (those last 3 are new additions that I will get to hear at next week's AXPONA show here in Atlanta). So, wait may have side benefits to either confirm the Amadis choice or perhaps instead offer up very good alternatives.
Jeff, I think you are right on the money with the Verity break-in period, and since you already like the Verity sound, you should be very pleased with the Amadis- it all depends by how much ''more'' there is of the good stuff you already like!
I really am hopeful that the Amadis is what I want it to be and with any luck, it will be. I just got confirmation of another demo, but from a local owner this time instead of a dealer. I guy who lives near me has a pair of Avalons and invited me to come take a listen. I will be doing that this weekend so that certainly should round out a pretty darn good comparison. The next 2-3 weeks will be interesting.
Based on the 4 different Verity speakers I've heard, I'd say that there is definitely a house sound. But, I would disagree that the differences are insignificant.
I found that the Rienzi is noticeably better than the Finn - even if they have very similar specs, the Rienzi has much better detail retrieval and richness throughout its bandwidth. Tonally, the Rienzi much more closely matches the higher-line Verity's than the Finn does.
The Parsifal retains the basic tonality of the Rienzi, while offering (again) enhanced low-level detail retrieval and richness due to its world-class mirange. Another big advantage over the Rienzi is that it's really a full-range speaker (down to 25 hz) that is equally adept at all parts of the range, and that difference is easily noticeable. The Parsifal just sounds much bigger than the Rienzi.
The Sarastro, IMHO, is a different beast than the Parsifal...not better or worse, just different. It's a high-efficiency design that excels at playing music at low volume levels - the Parsifal, while still excellent at low-level listening, is more of a dynamic and "exciting" sound - which makes sense based on the expected amplification of each speaker. The Sarastro has an incredible smoothness to it that is very beguiling...but it may need a bigger room to maintain this ease/flow.
I've never (knowingly) heard the Leonore, but my local dealer has told me that they usually don't recommend that model (and they don't stock it for auditions). They prefer Rienzi or Parsifal in terms of what they do for the $$$. With a dealer, YMMV, but based on what I'm reading here, it sounds like others may agree with him.
Counting backwards, you wrote that ''But, I would disagree that the differences are insignificant.''
Who ever wrote that this was the case? I wish you would read the whole thing before jumping to quick conclusions. Insignificant or not is not for me to judge, I was meaning that the incremental benefits are not great, and that diminishing returns kick-in rapidly - but it is by no means ''insignificant'' and even if it was, for a lot of folks in this crazy hobby - ''insignificant'' improvements is good enough to warrant shelling out a lot of cash for. It is what drove me away from this hobby on to more sensibly-priced gear, with not as big a loss in overall quality. But that's a different topic altogether....
My situation was one where I started off liking what I heard on the Finn and also liked the Rienzi but still wanted more bass than what either of them provided. This was prior to really looking into the specs of the model lineup so going into the Leonore, I figured I would get that. In many speaker lines, increased bass output quite often accompanies moves made to more expensive models. In Verity's case, you get very similar bass output across the first 3 models before making a jump when you get to the Parsifals and then again at the Amadis. That was my experience with those first 3 and what I expect from the Amadis based on specs. That being said, I've read more than once that Veritys are not bass monsters. And really, that's ok. I just wanted more than what those 3 gave me.
In the absence of additional bass output on the Leonore, I was expecting more improvement in other areas to justify the price increase. For me and my taste, I just didn't see that. As such, the value proposition was not there for for me for that model. Certainly I understand diminishing returns in this industry, but as Mike says, that scale will be different for each particular listener. I still saw very good value in the Finns and the Rienzis (which were actually a trade in pair that I could get for less than the Finns, which improved their value further). As stated above, I have high expectations for the Amadis. I expect to get better bass output as well as overall sound refinement. I don't think I would be going too far by saying that I need to really be wowed to justify them at their price point. If they do, I know full well that they may not for others and the reverse might wind up being true. It's all subjective as different listeners have different preferences. I fully expect to find a very good choice at the end of this journey, whatever that final choice might be.
Jeff, the way to get more bass with the Verities is get two JL Audio 113's subs, an external crossover and a discrete 2 channel SVS sub equalizer. This will give you completely flat bass response from the subs, and very good integration with the Verities (which drop if nice and steep around 35Hz - at least mine do base on in room measurement). I do this at home using a cheap Xover and only using the low pass signal to the subs. The verities run at full range. You can also get a better Xover and use a high pass filter for the verities. I personally prefer not to have the additional filter in the main signal path.
There are a few advantage to this approach:
Although by no means cheap, it is far more cost effective than going two three models up in the main speaker product line, which is what it would take to get this amount of additional bass extension.
Since the subs are active and 2x 1,500watt class-D works just fine for subs, the savings on amps is also significant.
You have full EQ on the bass, which is where most room response problems occur. The mains signal stays pure and clean in the analog domain.
If you wish you can listen to the results of this setup, because I live very close to you. I have the old partifal encores.
Soniqmike...to my understanding, "incremental benefits are not great" is the same thing as saying that the differences are insignificant. We're talking pedantics here. But if there's a significant difference to the comments, then we can let the readers determine that.
Back on topic...I would say that IMHO, the Leonore's main role is to be a high-efficiency design of a speaker similar to the Rienzi, so if you don't need that enhanced efficiency, the Leonore is a poor value at nearly double the price of the Rienzi. But, I say this looking at specs only and not having heard the Leonore in the flesh, so take that for what it's worth. But of the 3 Verities I've heard (Finn, Rienzi, Parsifal), the difference is notable and easier to grasp than some other brands that I've heard when moving up the line.
Thanks for your very detailed response. I've been a guy who long prefers fuller range floorstanders over sub integration. I know I could achieve sime incredible results, but I just prefer to listen to music without them. Part of that is a sub integration issue that I have played with at various times and never been able to get quite right and part of it is a room location issue so that my wife doesn't feel like the room is overrun. It's just a preference, though I have admittedly heard some excellent music setups using 2-way monitors plus a sub.
As for the differences between Verity models I will say one last thing. Had I had the chance to hear the Parsifal Ovation, I would have gone that route instead of jumping to the Amadis. My expectation for them would have been similar to the Amadis based on specs, comments from reviewers and owners as well as the price step up. There's still the question to be answered for me about value for the Amadis. As in, even if I like it, do I like it at that price? That will be one I'll have to answer myself and compare that listening impression and associated price with others, including the Burmester B30 at about half the price.
Speaking of the B30, your comments on the differences between Parsifal and Sarastro are interesting. I absolutely found theB30 to be a "fun" speaker to listen to. It was perhaps less adept at critical listening than its B80 big brother, but that fun aspect made for an appeal all its own. I wonder how the Amadis will sound in that regard? I expect that the Sarastro would be more on the critical listening end for me than a fun speaker. If the Amadis is somewhere in between, that could make for a very good mix.
One thing I should point out...the difference between the Parsifal and the Sarastro that I noted may not be entirely attributable to the speakers. Keep in mind that the Sarastro's were being powered by a 300B tube integrated by Nagra - I'm powering my Parsifals with a far punchier, less exotic amp in the Ayre AX7e. So conclusions can really only be made on one system vs. another. Of course, the speaker is the most significant contributor to the sound...but the amount of drive present can certainly be traced to the amp as well.
For better or for worse, Verity does seem to be going in the high-efficiency direction...all their recent models are higher efficiency than what came before (or are just all-new high-efficiency models). As such, I'd expect the Amadis to sound more like the Sarastro - by the specs it's just a Sarastro for a smaller room and a soft-dome tweeter in place of a ribbon.
I agree about preferring my speakers in a 2-channel setup to be full-range (or as full-range as possible). I prefer the experts to design the crossovers, and not to mess with it myself. For those who are happy to get involved with crossovers though, some $$$ can be saved by getting subs with cheaper speakers - you could just get Parsifal Ovation monitors for a lot less money than any Verity full-range system, and add a pair of subs.
The Burmester B30 is the one I heard at the show last week - it sounded very good to me, but I wouldn't classify it as being any more or less "fun" than the Sarastro - both were phenomenal speakers, among the best at the show and better IMHO than the more expensive MBL's that were on display. Neither seemed to lack for fun nor for critical listening, their differences being as much driven by the different amplifaction each was using as anything else.
That's a very valid point regarding the usual show pairings you see with Verity. They do seem to love the Nagra amps and while I can appreciate both that route and the amp pairing flexibility that the sensitivity of the newer Verity models provide, I won't be using tubes. My current amp as a Mcintosh MC252, though I am considering potential alternatives. Additionally, the best sounds I've heard at my dealer's place have been pairings with a Burmester 911 Mk 3. I'll likely continue testing with that amp at my dealer's place but I will also test with McIntosh as the dealer sells that line as well.
Just as an FYI, unless there were 2 Burmester rooms, I think the model you heard was the B20 vs the B30. I saw pics of a Burmester setup as well as a video from one attendee (http://www.youtube.com/user/Proacguy1#p/u/28/FMIItsyBOD0) and asked Jeff Dorgay (form Tone Audio) which model they were. It was his room and he said they were the B20s. I really enjoyed the B20 as well but if I went that route I'd likely choose the larger, but extremely similar, B30 due to my room's size.
Well, there's been an interesting development. The Amadis pair that was being built had some cabinet imperfections. I don't know if Verity will hold those back or still have them produced given that they were intended as a distributor demo pair. Either way though, I was not going to buy that particular pair because the finish color was not black (I would evaluate the Amadis and then, if I liked them, would order a pair in black). Therefore, that particular pair was going to have ot be shipped again after a period of time at my dealer's shop. An alternative was offered up which was the black pair of Sarastro IIs that were shown at the SSI show a couple of weeks ago. The thinking here is that if I like them, I could buy that pair and not have to wait on a new set to be produced, etc.
So, that pair are on the way to my dealer's shop and should likely be received next week. It's funny how a quest to originally try and hear Parsifal Ovations has now evolved into a listening session with the Sarastro II... :)
Rgbyhkr - any impressions on the Amadis?