I had 10Ts for 3 years:
Good on any disc; makes poor recording sound nice and listenable. Great, smooth midrange, silky highs,
non-fatiguing, relaxing but not boring. Can listen for hours. Vibrant and exciting, but no tizz or grain or
hash at all.
Strong but not abusive bass. A real bargain.
Worked well with Cardas Golden Ref speaker cable.
Nice, beautiful, angelic vocals, especially with a Pass X350 amp.
The Bad (sins of omission, not commission, a good thing IMHO):
Little soundstage at all in any direction (no depth or layering or wide-stage affect). Very aware of 2 separate speakers, little transparency. Not very detailed. Sound does sound like
it comes right from the drivers unless you are in a very
narrow sweet spot.
If you are not counting on all the audiophile tricks,
they are a great choice.
For more bass and a more relaxed or laid back perspective with no loss of detail check out Von Schweikert's Vr4sr mk2 or vr5 anniversary. They may be what you are looking for.
I don't want to do the lead shot in the Vr4's and the Vr5's are out of my price range.
Thanks for the thoughts, though.
Two totally different speakers. The Parsifal is a finesse speaker that really can't play big, while the 10T's can do big music, yet are somewhat lacking in finesse. Both are great speakers that do a lot of things right, but they are really not competitors. Of course, the Verity is still in production in the latest iteration, while the 10T has not been made for five or six years. Both are great in the right system (but that can be said for a lot of high-end gear).
I second Raquel's comments. Both speakers have large followings and many strong points, but are very different, and therefore not truely 'clear competitors'. The Parsifal is a finesse and intimate speaker, while the 10T have a bigger, bolder sound, though they can take a lot of power to drive them.
FWIW, I own the Parsifal Encore's, and my main musical genre is acoustic jazz. I'll be the first to admit that these speakers (Parsifal's) are not the best for rockin' the house. What they do well though they do VERY well.
Frederick21: The Von Schweikert VR-4Sr. does not use or require lead shot. You must be thinking of the VR-4Jr. The 4Sr. is vastly superior to the Aerial if you're looking for coherency, dynamics, clarity, soundstage and realism. I have not heard the Verity.
I guess I should put the Vr-4sr on my list.
A refined speaker like the Parsifal could also be more my taste. My room size isn't large but is open to one side.
Whoever contacted me via email, please re-respond. I deleted hastely. Thanks.
Keep the Totems and look for improvement in other areas.
RGS92 said the downside of his 10T's is their inability to dissapear.
"Little soundstage at all in any direction (no depth or layering or wide-stage affect). Very aware of 2 separate speakers, little transparency. Not very detailed. Sound does sound like it comes right from the drivers unless you are in a very narrow sweet spot."
As a long term Aerial 10T owner, I couldn't disagree more. In my setup, they are sonically invisible. Nothing seems to come directly from the drivers, just a huge, well defined soundstage suspended in the air.
I dont get a fantastic amount of depth or layering, but that's probably due to the fact there's a massive mirror behind the speakers (see my system pics).
RGS, maybe you should try adjusting your speaker positioning or try some room treatment.
Sorry I have not heard the Parsifals so I cant give the OP any advice there.
The Von Schweikert VR-4Sr are nowhere near the performance of these two speakers. I have hear both in the same listening room and I would buy the Verity but that's just me.
I wonder why the previous feedbacks are focusing on points
that not subject to good & better selection.
Sound Quality of any system can be modified to a certain extent with change of components, inter-connects, sp cables
or even power cables. But " detail-ness " is one thing
you can improve from rather from low level to a better level with the components/cables changing. To some extent, no more changing of components can add to detail-ness as
the speakers can do no more ( expcet loudness ).
Up to the Parsifal level, the detail-ness you can have is not the other speakers can give you with any trial of cables change.
Of course, with Parsifal, upgrade of cables/components
can still go further, since the sweetness and detailness and rich-ful-ness is there
with them you may even willing more to invest furhter later
as you will love them more and more daily.
A more natural competitor to the Parsifal in that they sound more alike than different is the Merlin VSM-MXe. Both highly resolved speakers. With all the speakers I have heard over the years, my favourite two were Verity and Merlin - I chose Merlins, but could have been happy with either.
Interesting comments on the Parsifal. I bought one of the first pairs of
Encores back in 1999 (?) and have owned them since. At the time, I was
spread bicostally over 3 homes and, about the same time, also bought VSMs
for a different house. I have owned both speakers since. For the last 3 years,
I've been in 1 house and rotated the P/E and Merlins (now upgraded to
current status) in my room.
I half agree with Pubul, in their current iteration, the speakers are converging.
In the old versions, the Merlin sounded somewhat overdamped and light in
the mid-bass. There is much more weight there in the current version, but
the Parsifal is still warmer and the Merlin is still more revealing.
The Parsifals do full range very,very well, but the bass alignment may limit
definition in the lowest octave (or so). I'd still take issue with the notion that
these speakers are inappropriate for full range (orchestral) music. For that
50hz kick drum, I'd certainly acknowledge the design's limitations.
Martyk1, I agree with your comparison between the two. Both great speakers.
There are literally four generations of Parsifal. The original was introduced in 1995. The Encore was introduced in 1998-99 timeframe. In 2002, a new version of Scanspeak tweeter was introduced, and upgrade was offered to owners. The Ovation was introduced in 2005. The revealing issue that Martyk1 spoke of is no longer an issue with the new tweeter, IMHO. So if you are buying used, be sure to find out which version you are buying.
Verity is no longer offering the tweeter upgrade. But two worthy upgrades should still be considered by every Parsifal owner. One is to replace the granite sandwiched between the monitor and bass unit with the newer version used on the Ovation or Symposium's Svelte platform. Cost is around $500. The other is to get the new jumper cables from Verity. I believe these were made by Discover cables. Verity charged me $70 for the cables. To me, that's pretty darn cheap in high-end standard.
I've also had better results using BDR #4 cones under the speakers than the stock brass feet on hardwood floor. By the way, I have the version 2 Encore with all the upgrades.
Have you made any selection yet?
I am bias, I own the Ovations and would recommended them over the Merlins. I am somewhat limited in my listening to the Merlins, however, I believe they are much more system dependant then the Ovations.
I have reviewed several pieces of gear (amps, pre, CDPs) with the Ovations and found the speakers to perform at their best with each piece.
The Merlins, so I am told, are much more sensitive to its upstream components. So, unless you get to demo at home with your gear and/or you are prepare to overhaul the whole rig, then the Ovations may be better suited for you.
Sound wise.....I just love the Parsifal Ovations and, because of the ribbon tweeter, I could only see upgrading within the brand...
Good luck and enjoy the journey!
The Parsifals are indeed wonderful, and can understand anyone choosing them, especially with the ribbon tweeter. The Merlins were a bit more finicky with amplifiers in the past, they defintely worked best with tubes. I still use tubes, but they worked very well with Pass SS, and other users have chimed in that the latestest interation indeed works better with SS than previous versions. You can't loose with either brand in my view, it goes down to personal taste in sound and appearance, but the Merlin significantly less expensive than Parsifals; if money is a consideration.
As stated earlier- there aren't many speaker dealers in the area to audition.
I started with listening to Von Schweikert VR-5SE's. I thought they would absolutely blow me away. I don't know how to say this politely, but I was not impressed. The higher and highest of octaves didn't sound natural. Even after I had the back firing tweeter turned off, there was a bit too much top end that didn't work for me. The midrange would get a bit muddy with deeper voiced females. This could have been the source material (more about that later). Bass was top notch.
I then hunted down a pair of Aerial Acoustic 20Ts (I was hoping to hear the Model 9). Done. End of story. Tight, not overdone bass- just perfect. Mids clean and clear- no coloration. Highs sweet and clean. I'd like to see a version of this without the ribbon, though- slightly too directional with this setup. This speaker is too big for WAF and room (as it was for the room I heard them in), but if I get 80% the sound in the Model 9 as stated by the owner, I'm in. I'm ALL in.
I have a pair of Model 9's in rosewood sitting in my office. My wife is going out of town for the weekend and they will be moved in then. Also found out my neighbor is going to be away the entire weekend. How perfect is that!
Source. Both guys used hard drive based systems to access music (one was the Memory Player and one was something like a Kaleidescope players (movies and music)). There seemed to be much too much fumbling around with them to find music, but I'm being picky.
I did make a couple of attempts to contact the Parcifal listing on Audiogon, but he never responded back. His loss, or mine? I'll know in a few days.
I am afraid it is your loss if you don't.
Parsifal is more like a Palace whilst others
like a good arena or some even a stadium only.
I agree the Parsifal should be auditioned, it is a wonderful speaker, but their are other contenders - no product is "best".
Frederick21: You're judging world-class speakers like the VR-5SE's with sources like that? Let's just say you haven't heard the Von Schweikerts. Also, great speakers won't blow you away. They just reproduce music. Go to a rock concert or listen to a pair of Klipschhorns if you want to get blown away.
Frederick21 did you finally buy the Aerial?
Rgs92. There's plent of soundstaging with my Model 9s. Depth is amazing. I'm very pleased with these. Much, much moreso than with my Mani-2s. As to source material, I listened to the personal reference system (home system) of a Von Schweikert dealer. If that's what he put together, it's not going to get much better. The Klipsch comment was such a cheap shot. As to 'being blown away'- I meant being drawn into the music, having the music wrap around me, having the hair on my arms stand up, open my eyes to see if the vocalist or instrument is actually in my living room. I'm not looking to have the skin on my face pinned back like in some centrifuge chamber. I, too, want to listen to well reproduced music. As to source- there are two diverging segments- analog and digital. IMO, digital is going hard drive based whether we like it or not. I found it interesting the two speakers auditions were with hard drive systems. And this is where I jump off the train, the convenience is what my wife and I want. Sure I may be putting a governor on my listening with my source, but it is nice to know there's plenty there if I choose to seek it out;)
Argyro. I did buy the Aerial Model 9s. I set them up this past Thurs. I didn't want to chance purchasing the Parsifal's without any listen whatsoever. Did you listen to the Model 9 or 10T along with the Parsifals? What were your thoughts / differences noted?
MacroJack. "Keep the Totems and buy a sub". I listened to a few tracks with my Totems and switched over to the newly set up Aerials- uh, if you were here you would never make a statement like that again. Don't even try to pass that off on someone. Direct head to head comparison: Totems are more forward in vocal (probably because there is so much more lower mid warmth in the Aerials). The Model 9s play noticably louder at the given volume 'on the dial'. The Totems don't have the depth or width of soundstage but image just as well. The air and weight of the music is much bigger with the Model 9. These Model 9s are a big step up. Big. They are in very different categories and that is what I was looking for.
Dpang233. Everyone's opinions have been great to read. Research into past posts on Audiogon by a few of you give me background on where you may stand with your personal choices and why you recommend what you recommend. We all can become biased and why shouldn't we?
Music. I see why Peter Gabriel tracks are often listed as music to audition speakers. There is so much in the lower octaves that is critical to his music. I never heard most of it, not this way. I always wanted to listen to more classical but found it rather unlistenable with my Totems. The Aerial does classical beautifully. I should know, my wife worked for the Houston Symphony for years- I know what live classical music should sound like.
Wrap up. I've not had nearly enough time to give a formal opinion. All I can say is over the past two days I have listened to a ton of my music. I'm thrilled with what I have heard. I have subtleness, slam, soundstage, depth, accuracy, warmth, musicality and breath. I wonder if these speakers are even broken in- either that or I am closing in on great speaker placement. The Model 9 hasn't been 'published' like other speakers for the simple fact Michael Kelly hasn't played the magazine game, i.e. buy a splashy ad, get a review. The last reviews I've read are all glowing anyway, is it because everyone is making a much better product? It's a shame, though, what these speakers can do with four 7" bass drivers is truly amazing. I'm happy I didn't take the bait of buying the much more batted around 10T.
A buddy of mine is coming in later today. He has a pretty good ear, in my opinion. I'll give you his unbiased opinion when I have the chance.
Thanks, all. You've been great!
There's an authorized Aerial Acoustics dealer in Conroe:
2112 West Davis Street
Conroe, TX 77304
If you can, I think you should also check out the Mirage OMD-28 and the Acoustic Zen Adagio or Crescendo depending on your budget. I think the nearest Acoustic Zen dealer is Audio Zeal in Austin. The Mirage website lists Magnolia Home Theater as a Mirage dealer, but I don't know if that's still current. Still, it would be worth calling them (lots of Houston locations) to see if any have a pair of OMD-28s or at least OMD-15s.
I have to say I miss my 10Ts. They didn't do all the audiophile sleights of hand, but the relaxing ease of all musical components (EVEN ON BAD RECORDINGS) makes you (well me, at least) want to listen forever. It heals the wounded recordings like a champ. But it is not a dull or reserved or boring or distant sound that makes you think something is missing. That is the 10T's (and maybe other Aerials?) main strength and why I believe it was (and is still) so popular. I think they were really perfect for the early digital sources, as they seem to avoid the digital glare and etch and other forms of distortion very well. And the bass is nice and deep and nicely controlled, if not too detailed. As I said, I didn't hear walls or ceilings disappearing from some huge soundstage, but I heard a good small stage with smallish images, but still realistic enough to do the job. They are a great bargain at used prices, I think.
Hey Frederick. Congrats on your new speakers!
Im sure you will be happy with them. Yes I listened to the 10T and although it is a great speaker, the Verity suited ME better. Dont let that get in the way of your listening pleasure!
You purchased an awesome speaker.