First, a little about me. I'm a chubby 72-year-old who has been retired for almost 16 years (lucky me!) and has been an audiofool since my mid-teens. I've had dozens of systems over the decades, but one thing that hasn't changed is my love of large-scale Classical and movie music and movies.
I bought a pair of Vandersteen 5As perhaps a half-dozen years ago, improved them slightly (note 1), bought a pair of 650-into-8 McCormack DNA-750 poweramps that I improved substantially, and thought I had the very-best-sounding system I could imagine. But...a couple years later I got tired of what I perceived to be occasional hardness and started looking around. Meanwhile, I had fallen under the influence of audio-guru Jeffrey Glowacki of Sonic Craft; he told me of a speaker, the Super-7s, that he had heard at Danny's shop--they're long-time buddies--that he thought was simply excellent overall--not the best at anything, 'just' simply excellent overall--that I really ought to hear. I contacted Danny, he pointed me at a pair sort of on demo in Albuquerque, and after many conversations and a couple goodguys having to move the speakers to a different house, etc., a friend and I drove over (c. 350 miles one way), heard them, and brought them home. The latter occurred during a late-winter snowstorm in northern AZ, but we got them and us home safely.
Here's what they looked like early...
Note the Coincident Frankenstein II 8-Watt SET monoamps, the speakers' 'flying nun' bases, and the lack of toe-in. Note also the pair of WAVAC 805-based SET monoamps (the version that retailed for $22K and that also had been retrieved in Albuquerque) far right in the pic. Altho both pairs of these amps warmed the air in the musicroom nicely, neither warmed my heart, so I sold them.
Bought one and then two Nelson Pass First Watt J2s...
...25WPC-into-8, all-class-A, all-JFET stereo poweramps...http://s89.photobucket.com/user/jeffreybehr/library/J2%20amps?sort=3&page=1
...and wired the two channels in parallel for 25 Watts per chassis into 8 and 50 Watts per chassis into 4.
They sounded very smooth, detailed, and musical, and I improved some parts in them and used them for quite a while.
During the last couple years, I alternated a couple times between the S7s and a pair of much-loved, much-improved Audio Physic Avanti IIIs, and this January (2016) after I had taken the Avantis to an audio-club meeting, the S7s went back into the system. While the Avantis were in active duty, I had bought a 250WPC c-j ET250S, stereo, hybrid poweramp that sounded excellent with them, and I left that in the system when I reinstalled the S7s. In spite of having about 220WPC more power than needed, the ET250S sounded excellent on the S7s, too, so that's where the system is now. FWIW, since there's now 250WPC driving the panels of the S7s, I installed a 110Hz HP filter before the amp. (I used no such filter while using the SETs or 50-Watt J2s.)
Since the system sounded and sounds SO good, I decided to improve crossover parts from the good-to-very-good stuff Danny used to the best I could manage (2). Without boring you with too much detail, I've replaced the 10uF tweeter-series caps with 10uF combination of two Platinums and a smaller SoniCap-I, the 15uF MR-shunt cap with 13uF of SoniCap 'propylenes plus 2uF of Platinums, and the 56uF MR-comp-network-shunt cap with 56uF of SoniCap 'propylenes and a half-mic of Platinum. All three coils are now or will be Goertz/Bridgeport copper-foils...
The wiring will be all Neotec-UPOCC-solid-in-Teflon--23g. silver on the tweeter and 18g. copper plus 24g. silver on the MR. These will be soldered to speakercable I had Sonic Craft make--again all Neotec UPOCC-silver-in-Teflon--18g. stranded plus 22-, 24-, and 26g. solid per pole. The bass-system wiring I'm not touching except I've replaced the box-to-amp cable with a longer one.
The system sounds REALLY good--EXCELLENT in all aspects but perhaps a tiny
bit less transparent than the best systems I've ever had (3), but they're also a good bit more spacious sounding and more extended and have the highest-quality bass I've ever heard. I spent considerable time adjusting the bass-amps' controls (4) to achieve that bass quality and still have a bit to go. FWIW, I use 31-band equalizers in the bass system; they help a lot.
So the S7s are my keep-for-a-long-while speakers, while the c-j ET250s is that poweramp. Thursday and Friday I received, installed on the back wall, and tweaked a pair of Rythmic F15HP 15"-driver subwoofers, and the system sounds even better.
(1) with a crossover as complicated as this...
...'slightly' is all I could manage.
(2) Fortunately, my friendship with Glowacki allowed me to accumulate a bunch of 5-star-quality SoniCap Platinum caps, sometimes used take-outs, sometimes preproduction versions, etc., so this wasn't unaffordable.
(3) The Avantii IIIs and V-steen 5As were best at transparency...or at least that's what my feeble memory indicates.
(4) the more flexible electronic devices are, the longer it takes to get them adjusted correctly and the easier it is to adjust them the wrong way.
I hope other S7 owners will post here; maybe we can find all of them. As of Feb. 24, 2016, I know of 3 pairs--mine, Danny's, and an acquaintance's in Flagstaff, AZ.