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.
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.