I heard them saturday. They were just 25 hrs broken in.
Unfortunately it was not into my system but in the shop.
I had a moderate positive feeling. I should say that they were driven by FM acoustics expensive amps that I never heard in any other system, so can't compared.
They were very natural sounding expecially on vocals, still bounded in the bass section, not much extended on highs but generally veiled. To be honset I should say that I get acquainted to the transparency of a passive attenuator and many active preamps veil the sound (to my taste)
To conclude, another listening would be necessary in my system when fully break-in.
Feel free to contact me by mail if you want.
I have heard the Avalon Ascendant drive by Jeff Rowland model 302 and synergyIIi pre amp. The sound is better than expected.Fast,open ,sweet natural vocals sound.But still cannot replace the Charles Hansen's Avalon Eclipse Original(Not Classic).Because the soundstage is not so 3D pinpoint and holographic.Avalon Eclipse Original is more dynamic and invisable.But Ascendant have more bass extension.But still ,I think the Ascendant have not broke-in yet.Too early to make a judgement!
I will let everybody tomorrow; I am demoing them tonight with both Spectral and ARC
The Avalon Ascendant is their new entry level model. At $8000+, thy are not inexpensive. But at a 1/4 of the price of the Eidolon Diamond speakers, you hear 70-90% of their attributes. The soundstage was wide and deep with almost pinpoint imaging. The bass was very good for such a small speaker, Mahler's 1st Symphony was as realistic as you could possibly have with excellent dynamics and bass. The transient response with cymbals was also very good. Vocals had well defined pitch and nuiance. The tonal balance was fairly neutral, with a slight prominence of the upper bass. The speakers transparency and presence are not in the same class as planars or electrostats, though very good for a dynamic speaker. As far as electronics go, the Ascendants sounded cleaner, more dynamic, and the resolution, the ability to pick out every little detail on the CD, was the best with Spectral. The Audio Research, was not up to par with Spectral in virtually every respect. Overall, the sound was clean with excellent soundstage and imaging, the hallmark of Avalon. If you are into dynamic speakers then I would give a listen. By the way, the fit and finish are still first rate another Avalon trait.
Is this a replacement for the Eclipse Classic? But with two woofers, it's more like the old Radian.
Thanks Shubertmanic for your accessment on the new Avalon.
I have the BAT VK 200 SS and BAT 30 tube preamp which should work well with the Ascendant. I realize spectral is proably in another league butI will get to listen to them in my setup. Thanks so far with all the replies.
Drubin: Both the Radian and the Eclipse are sealed designs; there is a port on the bottom of the Ascendant. Avalon speakers are not bright at all, so it might sound like the highs are rolled off or muted, but if you meter it out with a sound meter and test tones, they are generally very flat up to at least 16kHz. Truly the only problem with Avalon, and this is with all dynamic speakers is the tranparency issues compared to an electrostatic or planar. They cannot compete with the Maggies or my Acoustats. I personally have the Radians with an all Spectral/MIT setup. As well as the Acoustats with an all ARC/Nirvana setup. Both sets of,speakers just do different things to the music, not better, just different.
Very "boxless" neutral sound for the money, but could use a subwoofer for bass reinforcement. They were at the Pikes Peak Audiofest and would be phenomenal in ANY surround sound system...To me, the McIntosh XRT28's stood out as the best speakers at the show for the money...not cheap at 20k but a bargain. The absolute best at the show regardless of price I thought were the JM Lab Utopia's...they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, so lifelike.
I must tell you that as good as the newer Avalons are there has been a change in company policy in the last few years that makes me suspicious of the newer ported enclosures.Originally Avalon touted a sealed enclosure with a "Q" of point five as the "only means of obtaining accurate bass"response.They supplied an extensive manual with loads of documentation to support this claim.Also the "classic" and unfortuneately discontinued ASCENT mark 2 was built to a standard that is not seen in the newer designs (as good as I'm sure they are).The ASCENT had a 55lb external crossover and a thicker front panel.It was considerably more massive(weight) than the newer EIdolon or Diamond models.More importantly it was a very easy load to drive and all of this along with a stunning transparency make this speaker'even today S.O.T.A.I've been told by 2 industry insiders that it was the best product Avalon has ever made.The point being that these companies are in business to sell product in order to make money.It does not mean that they are not good products,but, an experienced audio consumer should know enough to be able to tell the difference between true high end crafted products and those designed to enhance a corporate bottom line.Any comments would be welcome.
The Classic and the Ascent (and the Radian and Monitor, I think) were the original designs of Avalon's founder, Charles Hansen, now of Ayre. Every model since then has been designed by someone else and so it is reasonable that the design objectives may have changed. Consumers wanted more bass, hence the ported designs.
I own Eclipses (and have had Avatars as well). A good friend here owns the new Ascendant. He liked the Eclpises sound better than his new Avalons.
Drubin.Tou are correct that the original designs were designed by C.H.and that the design goals have changed to give consumers more bass.However when you port a system you are enhancing bass volume (as in loudness)NOT bass accuracy.If you are or were privy to the extensive scientific documentation supplied with these earlier designs(the original owners manuals,which were extensive books)it would be obvious that a great deal of research had gone into outlining to the,then,Avalon owners that the designer felt a sealed enclosure was far more accurate than a ported design.Comparisons were made with virtually all types of low freq. systems (port,trans.line,servo etc.)proof was offered up in the way of graphs and measurements that clearly showed the superiority of a sealed box.I'm not trying to be defensive or antagonistic I'm merely claiming from a practical standard that Avalon felt they could sell more product by encorporating the crossover into a more manageable enclosure and decided to port it in order to make it more room friendly(I don't blame them,but they are LESS ACCURATE at reproducing bass and midbass).Take a look at the comments in TAS regarding the DIAMOND's mid bass quality.Better yet listen to a really well designed sealed enclosure(of which there are to few designs).I really am sorry if I sound Preachy,but I'm amazed at the number of pricey products from companies like Kharma,JM Labs,Wilson etc.that have loads of bass that the average audiophile(not music lover)can't wait to throw their bucks at.I have a friend,a retired reviewer,who has a 22 year old set of Infinity RS-1's(updated crossover) that makes a mockery of the vast majority of rediculously overpriced stuff out there.I don't mean to include Avalon in this category but having heard almost all of their newer stuff as well as the older "classic" stuff it just leaves me scratching my head at what the audio consumer considers acceptable(at these prices).
I pretty much agree with you. I used to own the Eclipses and I read that book cover to cover several times. I always felt, however, that its arguments about the bass were a bit specious--he said something about the Avalon approach conveying what the musician intennded instead of some artificailly enhanced bass. Oh really? A rock musician intends for you to feel the bass, and I rarely did with the Eclipse. And as much as I love what a .5 Q bass sounds like (tuneful to the max), the quantity of bass I got from my Eclipses was ultimately unsatisfying.
I agree wholeheartedly on the Avalon Ascent Mk.2
Ever since I first heard them (plenty of times for hours on end) I maintained the notion that not too much else could hold a candle to them, even to this day.
That's not saying the newer or lesser models are bad, it's just that a lot (including that massive external x-over) went into that speaker, and I hear it too !
I really like the Ascents very much.
I will have a pair soon................ I own Dahlquist.
Drubin.What can I say?Performance is in the taste of the listener.I agree that you could not possibly be happy with the sound of a 2 way,8 inch woofer driven design like the Eclipse now that you have indicated that a priority of yours is to reproduce the kind of bass response that a "rock" musician wants us to hear.I don't think that was a design goal of that speaker.I'm sure there are loads of speakers for you on the current audio scene.Good Luck.
You missed my point. But given your tone of voice, I won't waste any more time on it.
Drubin,I'm truly sorry if my response appeared to you to be offensive.Please accept my apology if that was the case.No response is needed.Just wanted to put it out there.