here is an email from 'Beaglebump' who just had his Athena's updated to the version 2. btw, he is a professional musician who teaches music at a University.
Really enjoying all the work you put into the Athena. Admittedly, listening time has been here and there, late nights, etc, due to schedule, but still, the improvements are not subtle and really impressive! You know, I was hesitant the day before I packed these up, listening to them and thinking these are really in the pocket right now, love the presentation, and can't imagine there's much else there. However, now they just sound wide awake.
Rather than try to put this into some polished narrative, let me just throw out a few of my initial raw listening notes (for what they're worth/in no particular priority):
- Low frequencies in better balance within the spectrum - seems much more cohesive, firmer.
- These were always exceptionally neutral, organic to the recording, but now it just really seems to put you there. No cabinet signature (never has been).
- Soundstage seems twice as big. Source placement, etc. everything related has improved dramatically.
- Really nice, clear transients - pop right out w/o artificial enhancement. Wow - pno and acoustic guitar envelopes are spot-on. Rides, hats, snare, shakers, implement identity are crystal clear.
- Envelope is so rich and alive.
>Reference examples from Alex de Grassi, Michael Hedges, Eric Mongraine, Antonio Forcione, Jeff Hamilton, Alan Broadbent, knocking me out here.<
I'm really not for want of anything.
All I can say is, thank you very much. Its really tough to pull away from listening, but when most of it begins after 11 p.m., at some point I have to cash it in to make that early start in the a.m.! Looking forward to many years of happy listening with the Athena.
btw - thought you might like to see a pic of my "listening partner" (you can still see where he was shaved at the hospital). Always appreciate his discerning ear!