ejlif
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New speaker to replace Dynaudio C4.. Wilson, KEF Blades
bierfeldt
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I am shopping for a standmount or a smaller floorstander and am extending my budget up to the low end of where you are at, $16K-$18K. I just listened to the Revel Ultima Studio II and am going to look at the the Wilson Sabrinas - I think the Sophia 3s were discontinued and replaced by the Sabrinas. I found the sweet spot on the Revel's to be spectacular but found off axis performance to be lacking. I like Wilson's sound a lot and it seems so natural and room filling and that is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. Thus I am definitely looking at the Sabrina.

Wilson's are amazing and based on my searching thus far I have found two other brands I would look at seriously if you have a dealer in the area, Raidho and Verity.

The Raidho C3.1 is a bit above the Blades but less than the Wilson Alexia as I think it retails at $39K. The C2.1 is very, very nice but lacks a bit of the sweetness you get with the 3.1. The tweeter on these speakers is what makes them ultra special and I feel like I like them better than Wilson's. There is this seemingly effortless, room filling sound that makes me just want to keep listening to them. The soundstage was not only massive but it also seemed like there was no discernible sweet spot. I could move several feet to the left or right and here minimal differences. I am looking at the lower end X-1 or the C1.1. I would take the Raidho's every day over the Wilson Duet IIs but not sure about the Sabrinas since i have yet to hear them.

From Verity, the Amadis S which I think is around $30K is again, spectacular. I was initially looking at the Finn which is awesome and highly competitive at $7200 and am going to go back and check out the Leonore at $16K. These tend to be very efficient and can be driven by smallish tube amps, but again the soundstage is truly room filling, they are unbelievably musical and you just want to keep listening to them.

commsysman
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ejlif wrote:

I have been enjoying the C4s for about 6 years now. I run them from a CODA Ts (400 watts) stereo amp. Fed from a Grace 905 Dac/preamp. I like the C4s and all dynaudio speakers (I have xeo 3 and contour T 2.5 in other systems) but maybe am just itching for a change to something else and just to look at something different in my living room.

The Vandersteen Treos float my boat, and are only $7500 or so.

The Quattro is essentially the same speaker with a integral subwoofer.

Have you listened to them?

My dealer is Randy at Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica, and I can't imagine a more knowledgable or congenial audio pro. He has been selling Vandersteen and Audio Research there for more years than I can remember.

ejlif
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[quote=bierfeldt]I am shopping for a standmount or a smaller floorstander and am extending my budget up to the low end of where you are at, $16K-$18K. I just listened to the Revel Ultima Studio II and am going to look at the the Wilson Sabrinas - I think the Sophia 3s were discontinued and replaced by the Sabrinas. I found the sweet spot on the Revel's to be spectacular but found off axis performance to be lacking. I like Wilson's sound a lot and it seems so natural and room filling and that is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. Thus I am definitely looking at the Sabrina.

Wilson's are amazing and based on my searching thus far I have found two other brands I would look at seriously if you have a dealer in the area, Raidho and Verity.

The Raidho C3.1 is a bit above the Blades but less than the Wilson Alexia as I think it retails at $39K. The C2.1 is very, very nice but lacks a bit of the sweetness you get with the 3.1. The tweeter on these speakers is what makes them ultra special and I feel like I like them better than Wilson's. There is this seemingly effortless, room filling sound that makes me just want to keep listening to them. The soundstage was not only massive but it also seemed like there was no discernible sweet spot. I could move several feet to the left or right and here minimal differences. I am looking at the lower end X-1 or the C1.1. I would take the Raidho's every day over the Wilson Duet IIs but not sure about the Sabrinas since i have yet to hear them.

From Verity, the Amadis S which I think is around $30K is again, spectacular. I was initially looking at the Finn which is awesome and highly competitive at $7200 and am going to go back and check out the Leonore at $16K. These tend to be very efficient and can be driven by smallish tube amps, but again the soundstage is truly room filling, they are unbelievably musical and you just want to keep listening to them.[/quote

Raidho is a speaker that I've seen but not heard. Seems that they get great reviews. A wide sweet spot is something I value. My Salon 2s are used in a studio so they are pretty much only heard in the sweet spot so it's not such an issue with those. The looks of the speaker is definitely important to me since they are going in my living room. Sounds like you have a fun journey ahead picking out a new speaker.

ejlif
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commsysman wrote:
ejlif wrote:

I have been enjoying the C4s for about 6 years now. I run them from a CODA Ts (400 watts) stereo amp. Fed from a Grace 905 Dac/preamp. I like the C4s and all dynaudio speakers (I have xeo 3 and contour T 2.5 in other systems) but maybe am just itching for a change to something else and just to look at something different in my living room.

The Quattro is essentially the same speaker with a integral subwoofer.

Have you listened to them?

My dealer is Randy at Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica, and I can't imagine a more knowledgable or congenial audio pro. He has been selling Vandersteen and Audio Research there for more years than I can remember.

I have a friend with the Quattros and have heard other Vandersteens over the years. I have always found them a little to smooth for my taste. Just a little dull. I think the C4s can lean this way just a bit, I think the Wilsons go the other way and are more lively sounding. That is more of what I'm looking for. A lively sound with nice tight bass.

commsysman
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ejlif][quote=commsysman wrote:
ejlif wrote:

I have been enjoying the C4s for about 6 years now. I run them from a CODA Ts (400 watts) stereo amp. Fed from a Grace 905 Dac/preamp. I like the C4s and all dynaudio speakers (I have xeo 3 and contour T 2.5 in other systems) but maybe am just itching for a change to something else and just to look at something different in my living room.

I have a friend with the Quattros and have heard other Vandersteens over the years. I have always found them a little to smooth for my taste. Just a little dull. I think the C4s can lean this way just a bit, I think the Wilsons go the other way and are more lively sounding. That is more of what I'm looking for. A lively sound with nice tight bass.

I think that whether you get a "lively" sound or a "smoother" sound with most of these higher-end speakers depends heavily on the amplifier used.

I run my Treos with an Audio Research LS26 preamp and a Musical Fidelity M6PRX amplifier, and I would simply characterize them as very very accurate in reproducing what you give them.

From what I have heard of the Dynaudio C4 speakers, I suspect that you might be better off trying several different amplifiers, and see if one of the different ones don't take you where you want to go.

I have no knowledge of the CODA Ts amplifer, so there is no way I can estimate what you hear with it, but it might be interesting to see what happens with some other amplifiers.

ejlif
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commsysman][quote=ejlif wrote:
commsysman wrote:
ejlif wrote:

I have been enjoying the C4s for about 6 years now. I run them from a CODA Ts (400 watts) stereo amp. Fed from a Grace 905 Dac/preamp. I like the C4s and all dynaudio speakers (I have xeo 3 and contour T 2.5 in other systems) but maybe am just itching for a change to something else and just to look at something different in my living room.

I have a friend with the Quattros and have heard other Vandersteens over the years. I have always found them a little to smooth for my taste. Just a little dull. I think the C4s can lean this way just a bit, I think the Wilsons go the other way and are more lively sounding. That is more of what I'm looking for. A lively sound with nice tight bass.

I think that whether you get a "lively" sound or a "smoother" sound with most of these higher-end speakers depends heavily on the amplifier used.

I run my Treos with an Audio Research LS26 preamp and a Musical Fidelity M6PRX amplifier, and I would simply characterize them as very very accurate in reproducing what you give them.

From what I have heard of the Dynaudio C4 speakers, I suspect that you might be better off trying several different amplifiers, and see if one of the different ones don't take you where you want to go.

I have no knowledge of the CODA Ts amplifer, so there is no way I can estimate what you hear with it, but it might be interesting to see what happens with some other amplifiers.

I've tried quite a few amps over the years. I think the Coda Ts is much nicer than the Parasound JC-1 as an example. Also it runs cool and I can keep it in a cabinet between my speakers. I don't like to see a big stack of gear in my living room. I have a Krell Duo 300 amp in my other system and I like the Coda just as well. It's not a well known name but they make a good amp for a reasonable cost. I'd like to hear something like a Boulder amp but that is big money and big and hot and sucks lots of electricity if you leave them on all the time. I agree with you though the amp is almost more than the speaker in terms of what it can do for the system. I am settled with the Coda Ts, it fits my needs and is a really good sounding amp, probably not the best but I'm not willing to deal with the hassles of having the best amp. I just want to try out a speaker that is something different. I may end up thinking in the end Dynaudio is better who knows.

bierfeldt
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I spent a little time with the Scansonic MB-6s, the Magico S1s and the Kaiser Chiaras. In a conversation with the dealer I realized that I prefer monitors and the soundstage they throw. I am expecting to go with a Raidho Monitor (between X-1, XT-1 or the C1.1) or the Kaiser Chiaras.

That being said, listening to the Magicos, I thought they were really interesting speakers and I really liked their sound. Just not exactly to my taste. The S1 MKII, S3 and S5 MKII are in your price range ($16-$40) and getting out to listen to them might be worth your time.

caphill
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ejlif wrote:

I have been enjoying the C4s for about 6 years now. I run them from a CODA Ts (400 watts) stereo amp. Fed from a Grace 905 Dac/preamp. I like the C4s and all dynaudio speakers (I have xeo 3 and contour T 2.5 in other systems) but maybe am just itching for a change to something else and just to look at something different in my living room. I'm thinking of Kef Blades or Wilson speakers like the Sasha or maybe Sophia or even Alexia. I've owned a lot of speakers over the years. I have Revel Salon 2s in another room. I have never owned Wilsons, they have always sounded good to me when I've heard them at a store or a show. The Kef blades I don't know a lot about, I really like the looks of the Blades. Probably looking for something that sounds good out of the sweet spot since much listening is done this way. The Wilsons have always seemed to sound really good just walking into the room. I'm hoping for a little more lively sound than the C4s, I think the Wilsons would do that not as sure about the Kefs. Any thoughts? It's a leap of faith for me that's how it's always been will probably buy used I haven't had much luck with dealers over the years just mostly audio snobs and snootiness.

I own the Wilson Sasha series ii. I drive them with a D'Agostino Momentum linestage analog preamp with D'Agostino Momentum monoblock amps with DCS Vivaldi stacks (master clock/streamer, upsampler, DAC, cd/sacd transport) as my digital sources and as for analog source I have the Linn LP12 Klimax version turntable with Linn Urika phonostage fitted internally and with 2 Linn Klimax Radikal power supply units one for the turntable and one for the phonostage preamp and with other Klimax upgrades and accessories. I really like the way my system sounds whether it's being fed by the DCS Vivaldi stacks or the Linn LP12 Klimax turntable as front ends.
The overall sound is very natural or organic with great musical rythyms and drives with excellent pace and it is very lively and yet has a relax quality presentation to it. It has smooth sweet delicate and slightly recessed highs though perhaps I would associate the smooth delicate and slightly recessed highs with my D'Agostino Momentum monoblock amps and preamp IMO. They seem to have that quality. The soundstage is pretty massive with very precise imaging. And I found it to be very room filling and engaging and it still sounds great out of sweet spot. That's based on my experiences driven by the kind of electronics I have in my setup.

As for the Wilson Sabrinas, I've had a chance to listen to them briefly at the shop driven by the Classe CA-M 600 monoblock amps and the Linn Klimax DSM streamer/DAC/preamp and I found it to be excellent for its price point. The Wilson Sabrinas retail for $17k/pair.

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ejlif-

at this level of performance, get out to your local dealer/retailer and listen, listen, listen.
You will enjoy Wilson Audio speakers. The most difficult part is deciding which model?

Happy Listening!

shp
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I've heard the KEF Blade 2 and liked them. But based on the Stereophile review, you might find them too mellow. http://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-blade-two-loudspeaker#OowSTJ6lCOXXo1rO.97 You mentioned buying used and there is a white pair on Audiogon right now for $15k.

I haven't heard Wilson's in a very long time, though I'd love to sit down with a Wilson/Spectral setup for an afternoon. Here's a pair on sale now for https://www.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-wilson-audio-sophia-2016-12-08-speakers-66212-overland-park-ks for $4,100 and a Sophia 3 for $7,900.

While you're considering options, it is definitely worth auditioning the Focal Sopra and Scala series. They're really nice.

steve59
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These may be worth a listen, Good luck nothing more fun than new speakers. I just added a pair of salon 1 this weekend into my basement!!! 240lbs already assembled. A guy I bought a pair of f52's from had the Acoustic Zen Technologies Crescendo Transmission line speaker mark 2 and they made my lowly f52's sound almost lifeless in comparison, to be fair the AZ were being driven by hi-end seperates and the f52 by a ht recevier.

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