Daedalus "version 2" speakers

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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #20 on: 29 Sep 2013, 06:20 pm »
Why not?

I believe in another thread Lou mentioned there are many reasons why he no longer posts pricing on his website.
 I find the price for this upgrade to be very very reasonable.


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #21 on: 30 Sep 2013, 01:03 am »
Yes, I agree that the ver 2 upgrade Is very reasonable in cost and Lou, like everybody, has a right to run his business however he wishes. For a commercial endeavor, his speakers are an absolute sonic and esthetic bargain, although I guess the latter is arguable.


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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #22 on: 12 Nov 2013, 10:23 pm »
My DA-1.1AP's just arrived safely in Ferndale for the V2 upgrades--very excited! Thanks to those who have shared your experience with the modifications. It really helped to reduce my anxiety about packing up my gorgeous speakers and putting them on a truck for a trip across the continent. I'll return the favor and post something once I get them back and broken in fully. Thanks also to Lou for offering an upgrade path that allows all of us to benefit from his ever increasing expertise. Just one of the many things I love about being part of the Daedalus family.


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #23 on: 12 Nov 2013, 11:12 pm »
Like Vinyl Lady and others, I have been completely pleased with the V2 upgrade.  The cabinet to one of my Athenas had gotten dented on the side by accident  :duh: and Lou also repaired this so that you can't tell there had ever been a mark.  This must have taken a great deal of time and effort and Lou did a tremendous job. :D  One of the advantages of solid hardwood cabinets is the ability to work with the wood.  A cabinet with a veneer would have been permanently damaged.


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #24 on: 8 Dec 2013, 04:54 pm »
I made the 2 hour drive yesterday north from Seattle to Ferndale to pick up my DA-RMAs, which had gotten the full upgrade, inc. poly crossovers and the V2. Everything except the basic cabinets and drivers was replaced.
I had a nice visit with Lou at his amazing one person operation (I don't know how he does everything he does there!).
My Da-RMAs are the first of that model to get the full upgrades. Lou convincingly demonstrated to me the major changes that break in of the xovers and wires will bring by a/b-ing my fresh pair with a set with a lot of hours on them, and suggest it will take up to 400 hours for full stabilization.
Having set them up and put 6 hours on them, some things are already very clear. These upgrades are a major improvement.
In general, my findings parallel the experience of the others in this thread. While the tonal balance is nearly unchanged, the overall system focus has been turned up at least a couple of notches. Soundstage depth and width, already a strong point, is markedly improved. Front to back layering and lateral positioning is downright amazing, instrumental outlines are in tighter focus, with true pinpoint placement and appropriate space between. Center fill is now total, even with my 50" Panny plasma in the middle. The sound is easier and more refined generally. All these improvements are from top to bottom, and so far I've heard no negatives.
I'll post more on this after I get a lot more hours on them, but already I consider the upgrade a success, worth the considerable price tag. My wife also hears the improvements and is enthralled as well.
As a side note- the cabinets are so beautiful, and my wife is so in love with their looks we are re-decorating our kitchen and bathrooms to match them. She doesn't even mind the exposed drivers!
Here's one of the speakers:

For starters, we bought this slab of granite for the countertops:

After this is complete in another month or so I'll be writing about it. Talk about WAF!
Bottom line- bringing these fine musical instruments up to their potential has brought my level of listening enjoyment equal to the very best I've heard in my 45 years in the hobby, and at a fraction of the cost of the other SOTA systems I've encountered.
« Last Edit: 11 Apr 2014, 05:44 pm by jonbee »


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #25 on: 8 Dec 2013, 11:24 pm »

Congratulation on your upgrade. With support form Lou I changed my Pan order to Athenas, so of course
I am really looking forward to receiving them.
What associated gear are you using to drive your DA-RMAs ?  Thanks Larry


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #26 on: 9 Dec 2013, 12:24 am »
What associated gear are you using to drive your DA-RMAs ?  Thanks Larry
You will love the Athenas, I predict.
I use NCore NC400s, fed by an Audio-GD C3 2 box preamp, and an Eastern Electric Plus dac, w/ Dexas and no tube. I use a windows 7 music server, with JRiver 19 software into a Musical Fidelity V192 usb to spdif converter. Currently running Grover Huffman ZX ICs, soon to be switching to Dave's cables D2 or D3. Speaker cables are Nanotech SR79 hybrids. Power cleansing using a Pi Audio Rev B, which feeds a PS Audio power plant Premier for the sources. Various good quality power cables. I use a James EMB1000 sub for a little weight below 40 hz. or so.
There are lots of good options for Daedalus users. The speakers are very easy to drive, but can take a lot of power, too.
« Last Edit: 9 Dec 2013, 06:03 am by jonbee »


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #27 on: 9 Dec 2013, 02:08 am »
Thanks ,I agree with you prediction


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #28 on: 21 Dec 2013, 05:19 pm »
I've put  ~100 hours on my newly upgraded DA-RMA speakers, and I feel I can describe the effects of the poly and V2 upgrades have had on the sound.
The DA-RMA is the predecessor to the Athena. According to Lou, his intention in creating the Athena was to package the DA-RMA in a single box. (The Athena cabinets did change the sound for the better, though, according to Lou).
I have had an addiction to ribbon tweeters for the last 20 years or so, and I think I have owned or heard all the commercially available ribbon tweeters, including standouts such as the Raven and RAAL. Even the best domes I heard, and that includes nearly all the big $ domes on the market, to me sound closed-in on top. I never thought I would hear a conventional dome tweeter that I would like as well as the best ribbons.
When I bought my DA-RMAs, which like all Daedalus speakers use the German Eton cloth dome tweeter mated to a wide range custom Fostex "paper" midrange, I felt that while the extra midbass energy and soundstage size were an improvement over my Selah Tempestas (which use the $$$ Accuton ceramic mids and RAAL tweeter) in my room,  the top end was not as open, clear and extended. Still very good and superbly natural, and the best of any dome tweeter I'd heard, but not up to the RAAL in focus, air, and extension.
With the V2 I'm happy to say that has changed. Now the top air and detail and separation is there, not quite as prominent as with the RAAL, but fully in balance with the rest of the fabric, as it should be. Not as "WOW" sounding, but spot-on in musical terms. Check this one off - one more audio "truth" shot down!
As to the rest of the sound- instrumental outlines from top to bottom are notably sharper and more defined against a blacker background. I'm listening to the Trinity College Choir as I write this, and I feel I can "see" the choir and EACH singer in the Trinity College Chapel as though I were there, with the wonderful hall ambience as clear and natural as I could hope for.
This improvement in the already wonderful soundstage and image is very substantial, and puts these in the company of the best I've heard at any price in this regard, and that includes a lot of speakers that cost a lot more, up to $200k. 
These improvements come with no downside that I've heard.
More dynamic music is served just as well, with all the threads of  the recordings kept clear and distinct, even in the most complex and dynamic music, whether electric or acoustic, up to very high volumes. My ears give out before these speakers change character.
Before I had the work done, Lou told me the poly and V2 upgrades would "transform" the speakers. I was a bit skeptical of the use of this word, as the speakers already were the best I'd owned, but I must conclude that this is exactly the right word. These upgrades takes very fine speakers and improves them in some very musically significant ways.
While certainly not cheap, the total price tag still makes them a bargain in the high end of the market, and the heirloom quality cabinets are in a class of their own, IMO.
I would recommend owners of previous Daedalus speakers consider these upgrades before considering trading to more expensive speakers, and those looking to the $10k and up market for new speakers should add one of the V2 models to their must-hear list.
While many high end makers are looking to exotic and expensive high-tech drivers and cabinets (makes for good gee-whiz marketing copy, too), Lou has shown me that craftsmanship and attention to detail can equal or better that approach using seemingly conventional elements executed to a T.
Something to ponder.
« Last Edit: 21 Dec 2013, 06:52 pm by jonbee »


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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #29 on: 3 Jan 2014, 12:11 am »
Just a quick post to chime in on this thread now that my DA-1.1's have returned from Washington with the new V2 upgrades. The speakers arrived just before the holiday (great timing--thanks Santa, uh, I mean Lou) so I had plenty of time to let them settle in and do some extended listening. I'll try not to repeat what has already been said here and will try to put together a much more long winded "review" when I have more time but I would certainly agree that this is a "game changer" for Lou's entire lineup which pushes his speakers into an exalted status far, far beyond the price point. I have been fortunate to have had the AP upgrade completed several years ago and that was a big jump in performance--more speed, dynamics, agility and effortless sound without any loss of the tonality that makes Lou's speakers so very special. To my ear the V2 upgrades offer as big a gain as the AP crossover network but of a different type. This is all about refinement and purity, with an added touch of high frequency sparkle and heightened spatial cues--again, all brought forth without any downsides. With the V2 upgrades I find performance much more compelling as the subtle nuances of both voice and instruments are brought to life in my living room. This is really about both the unique qualities of the performers voice and singing style and the way in which instruments sound when played live, with the initial transients and subsequent decay faithfully preserved. For example, one track I played several times was Lyle Lovett's "Highway Kind" from his "Step Inside This House" covers of Texas songwriters. To listen to him sing and play this song is truly a thing of wonder. The guitar is so real, so live sounding that it knocks you over and then he starts to sing and his entire being simply appears before you in the room. At the end of the song he must lean forward or back because you can hear a creak as the guitar strap rubs on the body--spooky, and just like it would sound live. I'm also getting a bit more energy up top with the V2 upgrades--again, with no downside fatigue or lack of coherence. Just a bit more extension and sparkle that sounds more real and natural that before. I listened to a number of well recorded jazz LPs and was completely stunned by the shimmer and decay of the cymbals--again as you would experience them live. I am also shocked by the dimensionality of the sound with the V2 mods in place. The speakers completely disappear and the music emerges from a void in total 3D--eerie to the point where I found myself laughing out loud with my eyes closed--fun! I could go on but will stop for now and say that I could not be happier with the magic Lou has pulled off here. To be able to get this kind of performance jump without having to move up the line and abandon the beautiful custom cabinets that Lou built for me back in 2008 is phenomenal and a testament to Lou's dedication to his clients--many of whom, like myself, consider him family. This is a no brainer for all Daedalus owners and for those who are considering joining the family I cannot think of a reason on earth why you wouldn't want to pull the trigger, given the price to performance ratio and variety of models to choose from. Thanks again Lou--it has been a great ride and I am grateful for all your support and assistance along the way!

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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #30 on: 3 Jan 2014, 08:40 pm »
Thank you all!!!  It really is rewarding to have people appreciate this work.
After many years of hard work I feel like these creations have 'arrived'.

Happy New Year to all and I hope to see many of you at shows in the coming year.



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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #31 on: 26 Jan 2014, 11:43 pm »
Is there room for one more rave review of the v2 upgrade? I bought my Athenas about two years ago and made the road trip from Seattle to Ferndale earlier this week to drop off and then pick up my new v2 Athenas. Since I am in the process of transitioning to new amplification, Lou is also letting me audition his Wywires Daedalus SE speaker cables, which Alex at Wywires makes to Lou's spec. So all of my comments on the sound of the speaker upgrade should be understood to include these new cables.

As everyone here has pointed out, this is a MAJOR upgrade, bigger than several major component upgrades I've made over the years. The upgrade is still burning in (I'm somewhere above 80 hours now), but this is what I've heard:

- my greatest impression is the feeling that someone unclogged a pipe; music is flowing more freely through a fatter pipe and I'm hearing more of the qualities that I've always liked about Daedalus speakers

- greater sense of realism; the music is more alive; even digital has greater physicality and presence; music just pops out of these speakers

- the power zone - 100 to 400 Hz - benefits from greater definition and clarity; this lends a more powerful quality to music (when it is appropriate that the music be powerful) and takes an already strong suit of the Athenas (the mid-bass) and improves it significantly

- greater midrange clarity and resolution; vocals are more intelligible; the human voice sounds richer now

- overall resolution is taken up a notch or two but not at the expense of an organic listening experience; tonality is basically the same, which is to say very even from bottom to top

- ambiance retrieval is better; when combined with a larger, airier soundstage, I experience a more realistic sense of the concert venue (or recording studio, as the case may be), especially on well-recorded music

- I swear certain recordings sound louder now at the same volume level; this goes back to the feeling that there is more music flowing through a fatter pipe

I'll have more to say later about cables (I'll be auditioning some additional speaker cables and interconnects, although Lou's special speaker cables have set a very high bar). Suffice it to say that this is one of the biggest bang-for-the-buck upgrades I've ever made. Well done!


Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #32 on: 21 Jun 2014, 06:12 pm »
I've owned my Ulysses speakers since 2008.  Lou did the AP crossover upgrade about three years ago and that took performance up quite a few notches.  I visit my local audio shop fairly often and always come home appreciating (even more) what the Ulysses can do.  When the V2 upgrade was announced I really wondered how much better the speakers could possibly sound.  Would it be worth the expense and the hassle of packing up the speakers and shipping them to Lou?  With all the rave reviews I sent them on their way out west.

I've had them back from Lou for about two weeks now.  Almost anything I post here will sound redundant but I can say I was not fully prepared for the degree of improvement from the V2 upgrade; increased clarity, focus, imaging in the soundstage, a more fleshed out midrange, and fuller, tighter, more impactful sounding bass.  I would agree with those who have said the V2 upgrade is as significant as the AP crossover upgrade, perhaps even more so.

I attended the AXPONA show a couple of months ago and listened to several speakers in the $45-55K price range.  With the V2 upgrade I'd say my Ulysses completes well with those speakers in every area of performance.

Thank you Lou.  Job well done!


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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #33 on: 14 Jun 2015, 04:52 pm »
Finally got off my butt and got the full v2 upgrade with new trim rings for my Ulysses.   Lou also did some refinishing and buffed out a few iatrogenic blemishes. These are only preliminary observations after 10 hours! of listening yesterday.  The speakers are still sitting on the floor until I finish break in and feel confident that I have nailed the positioning.  As of now, the speakers are pulled more into the room with less toe in than before the upgrade.

-Aesthetics....First off, flush mounting the drivers really enhances the appearance of the speakers.  I had a musician friend over last evening and after inspecting the speakers he stated "the guy that builds these loves woodworking"!  The speakers are beautiful.

-Speed kills...The first thing I noticed at Lou's shop is how much quicker the speaker seemed.  One valid critique of the v1 version was that the sound deviated toward the 'tubey' side of neutral.  (BTW, this was not a 'problem' for me, I'd prefer not deviate to a 'hard' or 'etched' sound.)  The upgrade address this in spades.  The speakers are FAST! 

-The upgrade retains the Daedalus 'house sound'...Everything that drew me to these speakers is retained and enhanced.  The openness and natural 'air' around the instruments is even better.

-Transients are quicker; much quicker...I use Opeth's "In My Time of Need" from Damnation (Koch pressing) as a test for resolution.  Martin Lopez's cymbals are extremely difficult to resolve on this otherwise incredibly well recorded track.  This is by far the best I've ever heard in my system.  The brassy bite of Miles Davis' trumpet on "Seven Steps To Heaven" (mono, WLP) is more apparent and natural sounding.

-Bass is more articulate and may go deeper...I use the 12" single of The Stones' "Miss You" as a reference.  Bill Wyman's bass is nothing short of spectacular.  Greg Kihn's "Jeopardy" from Kihnspiracy is a great test for bass transients.  The articulation of the triplet runs is audibly improved.

-Noise floor seems lower...I'm frankly a little puzzled but extremely pleased by this unexpected benefit.  Hopefully Lou will chime in but if I had to take a SWAG, I suspect that this is a result of solving some phase issues (perhaps related to the driver flush mount and improved 'speed').  Low level details are revealed where they were inaudible.

-Imaging...Everyone of Lou's upgrades have improved the speakers' imaging.  Musicians are rock solid in location.  Soundstage septh is improved.  The soundstage may be slightly wider but further listening will be required to confirm.

-The speakers may be slightly less efficient.  I've gone up one 'click' on my volume control.

This upgrade is worth every penny and they are not even broken in or on stands.  There are very few bargains in high end audio, but Lou's speakers with v2 upgrades punch way above their weight.  Well done!

More to follow...

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Re: Daedalus "version 2" speakers
« Reply #34 on: 14 Jun 2015, 05:42 pm »
Thanks Mark, great observations and with less than 20 hours on them! :thumb:
btw this upgrade takes a good 300 hours and this included the new 2015 drivers.

Yes the bass is more extended, getting down into the low/mid 20's and will improve radically once the drivers are broken in. For some reason these new drivers take longer and improve more with breakin than their predecessor. :scratch:

The V.2 upgrade does reduce the noise floor by going a long way to eliminating phase issues that plague all speakers. Same for the imaging which is not only more precise but can be much wider (at least when the recording has a wide stage). 

The new drivers have a much more even response and there is about 0.8db efficiency loss in the system.  Small price to pay for smoother, tighter bass with about 5 hz more extension!

Thanks for the comment about value. I really feel that these systems have 'come of age' and over the next couple of years we will likely be transitioning to a dealer network with more appropriate pricing.

It will be fun to see your comments as these break in, I know your system and it is one of the most amazing setups!