Verity Parsifal or Magico V3 or Wilson Benesch ACT

I owned a pair of the original Verity Audio Parsifals and they were fantastic in my room (19'x15'x8' - speakers on the long wall). I went high efficiency route for a while (Avantgarde Uno's then Duo's) but am looking for a dynamic speaker again.

These three are on my list, but I would consider others as well. I have not heard any of these, and nobody around has the WB Act.

I would prefer something that I could drive with around 50-100w of tube power.

Would appreciate any comments on these.
you can go home again..the veritys
Doesn't seem like a bad idea. If you like them stick with them.
I have heard the Parsifals though not in my system and was impressed with their presentation but I have not heard the V3's. I have the Wilson Benesch Act's and they are superb speakers which I drive very easily with an Accuphase A50V in a room slightly larger than yours so there is no issue with them being driven by your amplifier. Superb sound staging and a highly revealing speaker. Definitely worth a listen.
Seems to me there is no way you could go wrong with any of your choices. The Verity's have only improved since you had them and if you liked them then....

Otherwise, you might simply choose on the basis of which you like the look of best, they are all superb sounding speakers.

Thought a bit cheaper, you might also want to consider the Reference 3A Grand Veena - that was a pretty impressive sounding speaker, especially at its price below $10k.
I vote for the Parsifal Ovations, just as I did.

Can't see how you could go wrong,having owned them in the past...and they have been "improved" since then too...unless you just want to change it up and go with the current flavor of the town.

I owned the Parsifal Encore, and they are truly a great speaker. I drove them for a short time with the Accuphase A50V amp. I would just add here that the A50V is not your typical 50 watt amp, if in fact it is rated at 50wpc. That, I am not sure of. My point here is that I would think closer to 100 tube watts, than 50. The Parsifal is still an 89db, 4ohm speaker. I have heard the Magico once, and again, another wonderful speaker. I spent a short period with the WB Curve as
well, and the WB line is also worth consideration IMO. I would
say all your choices like a bit of power, especially the V3. The V3 sounded wonderful with the Vac Phi 300.1's 150 watts
This one may come down to your associated equipment. If I didn't make things difficult enough, Rockport technologies also makes a few speakers worth consideration. Goodwin's High End carries all these minus the Benesch. I just reread my post, and just to make clear. The A50V was more that enough power for the Verity. They had a deep , tight controlled bass. In this area, better than C-J premier 8A's.
It would take a lot to recommend anything other than the Verity to you as they undoubtedly excellent speakers if they already proven to be your cup of tea - trust your prior experience, it is a lot more important than anything we might have to say.
Haven't heard the others but the W.B. ACT's are really really good. Accurate with great dynamics in a relatively small footprint. The bass is very accurate with no mibass "hump".
Read the article on the December 2008 issue of Stereophile. There's an article on the Verity Parsifal Ovation. The article stated that you need some juice to drive these babies.

My own experiment confirms that observation as well. I have the Encores. I had emailed Verity regarding power requirement and they told me 40wpc would be enough for my room. I then drove them with my Pass Aleph Os w/ 50wpc in class A. The sound was lacking air and dynamics. I switched back to the Pass X350.5 and never looked back.

r32nj, perhaps you could tell us why you are going away from the Avantgardes and what you are looking for in a speaker. What are you chasing? What didn't you like about the Avantgardes?
The Avantgardes sounded dynamic and fast, but the bass integration and especially the imaging were not great (in my room anyway).

I would say my top priority is speakers that throw a large soundstage and dissapear as a sound source.
For point source soundstaging and cohesiveness across the spectrum, it would be hard to beat Merlin VSM-MXe (30 watts should be enought), but they are -2b at 33Hz, full-range enough for me and my musical taste, but maybe less than you would get with the Verity. But a very easy speaker to drive with tubes, and my choice after hearing a lot out there. That being said, the Verity and WB were defintiely on my short list - you considerations are in good company.
Magico V3! But as mentioned in post above, will take slightly more than 50-100watts (I would say a minimum of 150 'quality' watts), to do them justice and fully extract their mesmerizing capabilities..

However, as all three are serious contenders, in the end, as always, it boils down to taste, preferences and synergy with partnering equipments. Best if you can do some auditioning prior to decision. Would love to hear your comparative notes on them too.
I had the opportunity to hear the Verity Sarastro's. I am a Wilson benesch dealer and am always on the lookout for really good sounding speakers and not simply big brands. I thought the Verity's were nice sounding, a little laid back, with good sound stage. I don't think they are as convincing as the ACT's or as musically involving or as transparent. One thing you should consider is the Verity has a rear facing woofer. This means you may need to bring it out into the room a ways as well as providing acoustically treatment for the room.

In regards to power requirements at the RMAF we drive the ACT's with a 50 watt single ended deHavilland GM-70's with rock music volume when needed so no problem there. The ACT's are made from carbon fiber so there is no cabinet design that is more technologically advanced, not even the Magico's.

Well that is my two cents worth and don't forget I am a dealer so there must be some bias there. Of course my bias just could be for equipment that sounds good!
..from carbon fiber so there is no cabinet design that is more technologically advanced...

What a silly thing to say. Where do you get such nonsense from? Just because the word Carbon is in the sentence, it does not make it automatically ” technologically advanced”. In your ACT case, it is actually a cheaper way to make a curved box. And actually, not a very good one.
Sounds real audio,

Did you hear the Sarastros at the RMAF? I heard them there too, several times over the three day period. They sounded a little better than last year, but I don't think those Artemis tube amps were up to the task for a room that size. I had heard them before in L.A. driven by all Nagra equipment and they sounded fantastic. That led me to begin looking into the Parsifals as an upgrade from my previous speakers.

Virtual Dynamics had a pair of Parsifal Ovations at the RMAF. Rick Schultz got really good sound out of them. I suggested to the guys from Artemis to visit the Virtual Dynamics room to get a reference of what those speakers were capable of.

I had heard the V3 at a local dealer last year with Alon Wolf present. Dealer was using Metronome front end + VAC amplification. I believe the V3 was paired with more expensive system than the Mini. But about 60% of the people thought the Mini sounded better. (Supposedly, the vote went the other way the week before) The problem with that setup, I thought, was that the amp used was just not powerful enough to really drive the V3.


I didn't get to hear them at the RMAF. Kind of busy in our room. You can see our room on our website.

Just as a side note. Carbon fiber is used to build the Stealth bomber. When the radar waves hit the carbon fiber they are almost instantly absorbed and dispersed and turned into heat. That is a near perfect solution for speakers where you want to get rid of the back waves off the drivers as quickly as possible so as not to smear the sound. The speed of sound through wood is 3300 meters per second. The speed of sound through Carbon Fiber is 18,350 meters per second.
Oh, dear… So according to your theory, a thin steel sheet metal box will be a better loudspeaker enclosure then say a 2” MDF one since the speed of sound through steel is faster than MDF? Pleeease do not answer that...
I do agree with you that carbon fiber is widely used in product design as a marketing tool. However in the case of speaker design, Wilson Benesch has demonstrated that it is not neccesary to form a "Univerity of Sound" :), but have a couple of engineers not afraid to wisely experiment with different materials and re-thinking speaker design development.
The WB's ACTs cabinet secret is, in my opinion, not the use of layers of carbon fiber, but the use of a cabinet made of a sandwich of composite materials with a core of high density foam. This ultra-light external structure instantly absorbs the energy generated from the drivers.
The combination of a very light external enclosure and a heavy metal internal matrix structure is a great approach to speaker cabinet design. The overall sound is superb.


Have had WB ACT in it's latest incarnation for quite some time.
partnered it with some fine amplifiers, but i experienced it as a somewhat technically sounding speakers.
they need a very dominant amp for sure, and come to life with Naim very well.
they sound seamless, indeed have no midbass hump and sound mature as a whole.
but they did not touch ANY emotion with me.

it is fairly silly to argue and 'get right' over the carbon versus MDF.
there are many ways to Rome my friends...

If you want to be touched moved and inspired by music: Verity.
no need to explain, no need to extalt over technical things. let the factory sort it out, time is short, enjoy music!
i put it this way:

Most speakers have many promises.

Many bring you impressive sounds.

Some sound superb in every technical way.

Others give you a feel good Starbucks experience.

Or bring you ‘something’ anyway.

Few speakers keep your attention.

Only a hand full speakers give you peace of mind in the long run.

Verity Audio invites you to listen to music.

one totally happy Verity owner.
Given the OP's choice, I would select the Pasifal all day long. It is a very natural sounding speaker with beautiful tonal purity.

The WB ACT is much too clinical and Magico V3 incredibly overpriced.

All of course IMO and I have no financial interest in any of the companies.
I think what the WB dealer means is that since Benesch are made of same material as Stealth bombers, they would do the disappearing act much better....some people should fly UNDER the radar screen of marketing non-sense and partisan bigotry.

Given the OP's choice, I would select the Pasifal all day long. It is a very natural sounding speaker with beautiful tonal purity.

There is nothing natural about a speaker that is 6-8db depressed along its entire presents area (1K-7K). Have a look at Yes I am sure it is pleasant to the ears. So is ear plugs.
ACTs cabinet secret is, in my opinion, not the use of layers of carbon fiber, but the use of a cabinet made of a sandwich of composite materials with a core of high density foam. This ultra-light external structure instantly absorbs the energy generated from the drivers.

Nonsense. You can’t eat the cake and have it too. It you are stiff (Carbon) you are not absorbers. You may add absorbent material inside the enclosure to deal with drivers back waves but it you depend on the Carbon skins to do so, you got a problem. It is not a surprise you do not see any WB measurements online. Unfortunately, for WB, Stereo Sound in Japan has measured these in issue 156. Quite a train rack with severe 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion through the entire frequency range. That can be a resolute of many things. Poor enclosure design can be one of them.


You are mixing two separate but very important issues.
Number one a cabinet should be very stiff to avoid resonance. Resonance as when a violin resonates when the strings are plucked. Most speaker manufactures boast about their thick 3/4" mdf walls with some having 1 1/2" front panels, all this to avoid cabinet resonance.

In many instruments resonance is a good thing. In a speaker cabinet resonates is not so good. At what resonance to you want your speaker to "sing"?

The second issue is eliminating the rear waves of the drives which carbon fiber is also excellent at achieving. This is not the same as cabinet resonance.
Two different and very important goals that WB manages to achieve.

In my opinion WB will take on the sound of the upstream electronics. At our shop we emphasis that point and marry them with deHavilland electronics. If your amp/preamp are analytical then you will get that kind of sound. Any audition/purchase of WB should take that into consideration.


You are way over your head and insist of making a fool out of yourself. I would gladly enlighten you but you do not seems to be the kind who seek knowledge. It is a lot easier just to mumble some nonsense to your clients and apparently the world. A common phenomena in this industry. What a pity.
Whatever the measurements, the WB sounded darn good at RMAF with deHavilland electronics, and for that matter so do the Parsifals when I've heard them at various shows. Whatever the measurements say, if the speaker sounds good to me, I don't care. Everyone else in the room must have been deaf too the harmonic distortions, most everyone seemed to really like them as well. I prefer the Verity speakers, but the WB are certainly worth an audition. Or you could buy my favourite speakers - Merlin VSMs, which I think actually measure well in all respects, absent the deepest bass below 28Hz.
Whatever the measurements say, if the speaker sounds good to me, I don't care.

Nothing wrong with that. Assuming you know what you are listening to. But if you are going to make some stupid claims, like the Stealth bomber bla bla bla… analogy, you better be prepare for some scrutiny. But in a sense, once you say ‘you do not care’, it opens the door to all sorts of BS.
I would also add the Vandersteen 5A s to your list
The Five as offer a Battery Biased High pass that relives your tube amp from doing low bass and dramatically lowers the whole systems distortion improving clarity and transparency. Each speaker also has a self contained 400 watt self powered bass amp with a unique non digital
room compensation feature that's a real world solution with
each speakers in room response.
Best Johnnyr
>>12-01-08: Dhaan
You are way over your head and insist of making a fool out of yourself<<

He's just trying to sell his products here.


By all means enlighten me. Tell me exactly why carbon fiber cabinets are not technologically advanced compared to most other options. I believe Marten Coltrane speakers at 60K are made of carbon fiber. Perhaps their engineers are fools like me.
>>Perhaps their engineers are fools like me<<

Now you're enlightened.
Dhaan, I agree that if you make claims for your technology you need to defend the rationale for the performance improvement. When I say I don't care about theory, but prefer to listen, it's because theories are indeed many times more based on marketing differentiation then anything else. I always trust my ears, and how the designer gets it done is there business. Helps from getting caught up in flavor of the month pursuits, every time a new techonology is tauted - I'm not saying there isn't some advantage to the use of carbon fibre, there might very well be. The WBs to sound good to my ears, as did the Vandersteen 5A that Audioconnection mentioned.

I think that people in general trust their ears too much. I mean do you really prefer/like the sound of a recessed midrange? And if so, why? This is not a condescending question. I think that you should be interested in the reasons you like the sound of a faulty design (Parsifals). Otherwise, it is all a crap shoot. God only know what goes in someone head when he listens to stereo. 90% of it probably have nothing to do with sound. Are you in a good mood? What have you had for lunch, are you trying to feel the “Stealth bomber” effect, etc. Why do you think that blind testing usually does not work? How many times have you convinced yourself that what you have just bought, that sounds like crap, actually sounds great (only to change it few days later)? I too have my preferences but I like to be more careful in my conclusions. It is very easy to make wrong assumption by ‘trusting’ your ears only.
the goal may be to reach peace of mind on the long haul.
we see indeed many great speakers and gear in general for sale again within a relative short time.
you can see certain brands of gear at the second hand markets very soon, and in large quantity too.
there are brands who build and emphasis greatly on 'stealth bomber' and 'space shuttle' or (great one too) the US nuclear submarine technology. others dweep with 'as found in time of the cold war' i'm sure the imagination has no holds to marketing.
if YG can claim it has the "best speaker on earth period" for sure another could claim theirs is now "best in universe" or best in whole galaxy.
who are we as audiophiles that this marketing apparently works and sells? it must surely work to sell more speakers, otherwise this company would noy invest such enormous amounts on advertising.

i further believe reading reviews of actual owners that the YG speakers are very fine indeed! for me no need to 'proof' this in almost agressive advertisement.

back to topic, i do not only trust my ears when listening to great music, my heart sings too.
that is what Verity audio is about. whatever technology.
Verity has a large community of mostly dedicated long haulers.
some sell their Verity because they *think* they found *better* speakers else, only to buy a pair of Verity again within time.
that feeling of coming home is not unknow to me :-)
btw i worked some 10 years in aerospace industry, with all the exotic materials to be found. carbon fibre is great stuff, do not inhale particals, never sand dry. particals cause lung cancer absolutely.

R32nj: where are you on your choice up to now ?
keep em spinning.
Dhaan, I used to be purely in the objectivist camp like you. I could never understand Wilsons appeal based on their measurments. Somewhere along the way I discovered that there are lots of things to like about listening to music that can not be measured and that what I look for in a speaker is not applicable to others. Let them have their fun. If someone gets joy from listening to a 'flawed' design then who are we to suggest that he shouldn't be joyful. Of course the stealth bomber stuff is marketing B.S. So is " revolutionary" in reference to a box speaker with dynamic drivers. As a disclaimer I own W.B. Chimera speakers and love their sound. My feelings are not hurt that you don't like their design or their sound ( if in fact you have heard them). I cant comment on a Japanese mags measurments of the ACTs. Whatever the ACT's measured harmonics the Chimeras sound extremly accurate to me. I am not a musician but my wife is and I have spent alot of time listening to live music including in the studio. I listen to music every single day. Yes, I too could be "foolish" or " over my head" or whatever else you want to call me. The tenor of this debate with you and audiofeil making personal attacks and impuning the motives of others because they disagree with you is unfortunate. Didn't we get into this because we love music ? - Jim
Please, read my answer again. What I wrote before is that the WB's ACT cabinet uses a sandwich of composite materials w/ a high density foam core.
The ACT's cabinet is made of an internal layer of fiberglass, a high density foam (Last-a-foam) core material and an external layer of carbon fiber. What sounds-real-audio is trying to explain you, is that the carbon fiber will add rigidity to the enclosure while the high density foam will absorb unwanted resonances very fast. That is why you cannot use a thin metal sheet to replace the carbon fiber as you asked. The ACT cabinet is not just made of a thin rigid layer of carbon fiber, which would not absorb the sound, but layers of different materials. The overall cabinet thickness is around 13mm.

In my opinion, for such a small footprint the ACT's have, the unwanted resonances are very well controlled.

Thank you.
I read your posts very carefully. I object to marketing slogans like "structure instantly absorbs the energy generated from the drivers". What does this mean? You know that you do want to hear the energy generated from the front of the driver right? No to mention that Sounds_real_audio was talking about drivers back waves which is different subject all together form cabinet resonance control, which I assume is what you are talking about.
What you are describing is a typical way to build light, yet stiff structures. You get the stiffness all right but Last-a-foam is a very rigid material that will do very little, if anything, to damped vibration. One more thing you do not get with these type of enclosures is the necessary mass to damped high freq vibrations. Go ahead and tap your WB, they have a high pitch sound to them, and that is not a good thing.
I had WB Act. Maybe I had not the right amplification (ML 27.5, ML 331 and than Aronov integrated) or cabling (top of the line Siltech and Goertz MI2 and Elrod, Nordost valhalla, Shunyata powercords), but I never was able to get them properly singing. It was a nice non-offending musical sound, but it lacked body and warmth of music. I almost exclusively played on them classical music.
Here is the ultimate primer on speaker-cabinet design to deal with resonances. It is an interview with what might be the best in the industry in this regard, Andy Payor:
I think I am going to wait until the Magico V2 is released to give them a listen. So far I have only heard the Verity and Magico Mini. Both sounded excellent, but they were in different systems with very different electronics.

I wish their was a dealer with the ACT's in the NY/NJ/CT area.

Interpreting anechoic measurements is an interesting excercise. Depending on testing technique, results may vary considerably. Assuming that the graph you cited contains no measurement artifacts in the bass (no sure thing, at all), I'd still read this graph much differently than you do.

These speakers aren't 6-8db depressed in the presence region. The full treble region is shelved down about 3 db from the bass/mid and you are seeing that transition. This downward tilt in anechoic response is almost always a good thing for in-room performance. Unless your room has a major bump above 80hz (and many do) to balance the increased presence/treble energy experienced in most rooms, flat anechoic response theough the treble will sound awfully aggressive in-room. If you employ a Hemholtz resonator to correct for this bump (bass trap, bass busters, etc), you will certainly appreciate the Verity's response pattern.

The graph looks worse than it is because there is also a troubling looking suckout in the lower treble from about 3K to 5K. (This range begins in the highest octave on a piano and extends past C7, well above what I'd call "presence".) II've never noticed this issue on my (pre-Ovation) P/Es, but it may be unique to the Ovations. It might make these sound a bit darker than mine, but again, this is tough to predict in-room. In any event, I would never dismiss a speaker based on this anechoic test result.


BTW, have you ever actually heard them?

Unfortunately, these measurements, and the Sarastro one on SP exhibits similar flaws that indicates a serious lack of some very basic loudspeakers design criteria. The reasons for the shelved upper mid and mid bass is simply a lack of Baffle Step Compensation ( A very basic thing to start with. Next, is the totally wacked transition from the mid to the tweeter. It is due to a phase mismatch along the XO poles between the drivers(If the mid even have a low pass XO). This contraption will not pass speaker building 101 in middle school. So if I dismiss a speaker based on its anechoic test result, it is not because it is not flat, in fact, that is hardly what I am looking at. And yes of course I heard them, how can you not if you are in to this silly hobby.
Dhaan, what handful of speakers do you like based on their measurements?

The reason I asked if you've heard them is because your reaction to the speaker is unique IME. Incidentally I've never heard the Ovations, so please understand that no disrespect was intended.

Over the last 10 years, I've played them for - literally - dozens of people who own high end speakers and not one has commented on problems with the tonal balance - other than to note a slight warmth (my own opinion). BTW, I also own Merlin VSMs, which lean the other way, and played back to back, most people like both. The Merlins absolutely polarize opinion more than the P/Es which are IME universally admired.

If these speakers really sound dull through the presence range to you , then it's either peculiar to the "next generation" of Verity or peculiar to your taste. Notwithstanding "speaker building 101", you are the only person I've ever heard dismiss this speaker on this basis. BTW, the review attached to the FR graph you linked was a flat out rave.

If there is a body of opinion out there more critical of Verity, I've never seen it. This doesn't make you wrong, merely (as far as I know) an outlier.


I appreciate your civil reply, but please understand that the points I made are not opinions, sound reproduction is not a subjective matter. Unfortunately, you do not need a license to build speakers. I always felt that, in audio, what people like have very little to do with ‘objective qualities’. I never fully understood it. Other then egos, I could not come up with any explanation. Discussing people listening impression and taste is a lost cause. God only knows how our brains are interpreting what we actually hear. Not to mention the ‘power of suggestion’. Have you ever read a negative comment from anyone here about a recent purchase of his? Everyone is totally in love with what they just bought. Yet, you can count the days before that product will be changed or upgraded etc. I do not know why people like the Veritys or the Wilsons or the Sonus Fabers, if these were cars, they will not go very far. Even if they cost a lot or have a nice finish. Audio, funny business…
"sound reproduction is not a subjective matter"...
hmm pls tell us more it really get interesting now!
presume there actually IS an perfectly objective speaker made by the schoolbooks and it sounds horrible?

pls mister Horowitz, could you play your violin in an more objective way? my brain detects a subjective loss at 450 hertz.
Oh and could that timpany guy just hold back for 4 dB pls?
i need more objective timpany all the time.
yeah its a funny world :-)

This is one of those agree to disagree things.

I have never seen any set of specs that acurately correlates to my experience of in room performance - including on-axis frequency response and power response measured at the listing position (I have done both). Certainly no manufacturer's spec comes close. I'm not suggesting magic - just that the speaker and room together are the relevant system, and no manufacturer can predict that (though some try!) unless they do room correction. Further, FOR ME no single in-room spec captures all the relevant data.

My comment about the uniformity of opinion re: Verity was not restricted to owners. (BTW, I'm an owner and, ironically, prior to you, I thought I was the most "Verity critical" voice on the forum, though mine was more "nits"). Scan the threads and you will find TONS of Wilson bashing and Sonus Faber bashing to use your 2 examples. OTOH, you are the first I've found to dismiss Verity.

I will not take issue with your comments regarding design flaws in the Parsifals, I am not qualified. OTOH, design and performance, though related, are not the same thing. You say the car will not go far, I say the bumblebee indeed does fly, even if you don't want it to! In this regard, you should acknowledge that your theory of "objectivity" puts you in an odd position:

If the performance of the Verity is obviously flawed, there should be a community of opinion pointing that out - just as there are for Wilson and Sonus Faber (not that I agree or disagree with their position). For Verity, you seem to comprise that community. Hence, my characterization "outlier". Gallileo was an outlier. You may be Gallileo or you may be wrong.

I think we should all thank our lucky stars we have Dhaan around to point out these huge design flaws that the folks at Verity obviously missed! I’m sure that Dhaan could teach all of us a thing or two about speaker design. I’ll bet he’s read enough Time Life how to books, not to mention measurements at Stereophile, to qualify for a speaker building degree at one of the prestigious online universities.

I’d just like to thank Dhaan for letting us little people in on his expertise. I’m astonished that the CEO’s at the big companies like Revel or Wilson or Paradigm haven’t already hired Dhaan away as Chief Speaker Designer. Gosh, what are those guys waiting for?
hmm pls tell us more it really get interesting now!

I will gladly tell you more but first, let’s make sure you understand the difference between creating sound from a violin and reproducing sound from stereo system.