Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...

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jonbee

Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« on: 10 Jul 2013, 04:58 pm »
A friend bought a pair of Athenas about a year and a half ago, replacing Devore Super 8s in his great system, and I was floored by them. I wrote up my reactions here at the time.
What really got to me with the Athenas was the astounding 3-d soundstaging- the instuments are spread out in space to a degree I'd never heard, with dynamics, ease, and harmonic accuracy to match.
Meanwhile, I have been truly enjoying my Selah Tempestas, but when a nice walnut pair of DA-RMAs (non-poly) turned up at a great price I had to hear them in my own system.
They arrived yesterday, and the cabinets of course are works of art. My wife was very taken by their looks. One of the reviewers described them as "liquid chocolate", and that about says it. Sculptural beauty.
I was pleased to find that a large dollop of the magic is present in the RMAs. Location of players is dis-associated from the speakers to a degree I've not had in my systems since I sold my Apogee Divas. The other characteristics of the Athenas are there as well.
A preliminary comparison with the Tempestas indicates it is principally the soundstaging that sets them apart. The biggest difference is in the soundstage size - the Tempesta is no slouch here, but the RMA is truly magical in this regard.
The RAAL tweeter in the Tempestas has a bit better extension and air on top, but the RMAs are very naturally balanced on top, not obviously rolled off.
The level of detail is very similar; as is the harmonic correctness. The overall balance in the RMA is warmer, with more mid and upper bass output, as you might expect with an 8 inch vs. 7 in. woofer in a much larger cabinet. This is helpful in my system. The Tempesta is very sharply focused, with more upper range energy (more monitor-like overall), while the RMA is more easy and laid back sounding, but missing no details or dynamics- more like live music.
This soundstage thing has me confounded. How Lou gets this performance from outwardly unremarkable drivers in these wonderful cabinets is a mystery to me, but one I'm happy to live with.
I've read that the poly crossover upgrade is a substantial improvement, and I may go down that road even though it would double my investment in these.
As they are, they are wonderful, which takes nothing away from the Tempestas, which are roughly half the size and price.

System:
HTPC w/ Jriver-> Musical Fidelity VLink 192-> Eastern Electric Minmax plus DAC w/ Dexa op-amps->Audio-GD C-3->Hypex N-Core NC400s
Pi audio RevB conditioner, chained to a PS Audio Power Plant Premier for sources, good cabling carefully selected after much trading.
« Last Edit: 12 Jul 2013, 05:51 pm by jonbee »

vortrex

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Re: Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« Reply #1 on: 10 Jul 2013, 05:16 pm »
I have the Tempesta's now and my new Pan's with the v2 upgrade should be here in a week or so.  I cannot wait to hear this soundstage, because like you, I think the Tempesta is quite good in this regard.

jonbee

Re: Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« Reply #2 on: 10 Jul 2013, 05:25 pm »
I'm sure you're in for a treat.

david12

Re: Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« Reply #3 on: 12 Jul 2013, 10:02 am »
 They are going to get better, believe me. I use the DA-RMAs too, have done for several years now. I thought Lou had withdrawn them now the Athena is available. I would be very interested in knowing how the Athena and DA-RMAs differ, in principal they should be very different. I remember Lou saying there would be a bit more base extension with the bigger cabinet.

 I know a side by side comparison is out of the question, but I think many of us would welcome a description of the difference.
 David

jonbee

Re: Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« Reply #4 on: 12 Jul 2013, 04:39 pm »
I thought Lou had withdrawn them now the Athena is available. I would be very interested in knowing how the Athena and DA-RMAs differ, in principal they should be very different.
I bought a used pair, not new.
My friend's Athenas are driven by Shindo amps, so it is hard to compare with the NCores I use. Subjectively the bass response seems about the same, but I did recently hear the Athenas  in his system with Bakoon SS amps, and the bass was deeper and tighter.
Otherwise the overall signature is very similar, but in his system, with the poly crossovers, there is more transparency and an even sharper soundstage.
After listening a few more days my initial impressions, as written above, seem about right. I will probably give them back to Lou at some point for the upgrades. These are world class speakers, imo.

david12

Re: Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jul 2013, 10:26 am »
My DARMAs have the polycap upgrade and as you probably know, there is an internal wiring upgrade as well now. I would go for both if you are sending the speakers back, as that is costly. I would get the wiring upgrade if my speakers were'nt in the UK, Now that is a really expensive transit cost.

jonbee

Re: Received my DA-RMAs yesterday...
« Reply #6 on: 13 Jul 2013, 02:55 pm »
My DARMAs have the polycap upgrade and as you probably know, there is an internal wiring upgrade as well now. I would go for both if you are sending the speakers back, as that is costly. I would get the wiring upgrade if my speakers were'nt in the UK, Now that is a really expensive transit cost.
Happily for me, Ferndale is a 2 hour drive from Seattle, so no shipping costs or risks.