A visit with "The Man"

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texasphile

A visit with "The Man"
« on: 27 Aug 2003, 10:58 pm »
Hello everyone,

     I had the opportunity to spend a few hours yesterday afternoon with the man himself, Danny Richie.  I was given the opportunity to demo the A/V 1, A/V 3, Criterion, and lastly the Alpha LS.  Danny was kind enough to put my preamplifier (Monolithic PS-1 with HC-1 power supply), my amplifier (Monarchy Audio SM-70 25wpc Class A), along with my Nordost Flatline speaker cables, into his system so that I could get a good idea of the sound that I would get at home.  We began with the Criterion using only his components and it had a very clear high fidelity sound to it.  Vocal based music sounded especially good through the Criterions.  Then my preamp and amp were substituted in and that is when the Criterions highlighted the solid state glare that my components provided to the sound.  My hearing is especially sensitive to the high range of loudspeakers so I found the sound with my components to be too harsh for my tastes.  So we switched to the A/V 1 speakers.  Now, we were talking a sound that I could enjoy!  Danny seemed to think that the highs were too soft compared to the Criterions.  I respectfully disagreed and pointed out that I found the sound of the tweeter on the A/V 1 to be more to my liking.  There was less "air" as compared to the Criterion, but I still preferred the A/V's sound reproduction.  Then we switched to the A/V 3 loudspeakers.  I did not know what to expect since I had never heard an MTM speaker before (I have only owned 2 driver 2 way speakers).  Needless to say I was very impressed with the sound of the A/V 3.  It sounded great with my little 25wpc amp especially the impressive microdynamics.  I never noticed the amp having difficulty pushing the speakers, even though Danny played the CDs at a greater volume than I normally use.  So, Danny had a sale!  I originally came into his sound room with the notion that I would be working on a purchase for a pair of Criterions and instead I found that the A/V 3s were better suited to my electronics.  Lastly, after I had decided on the A/V 3s, Danny asked me if "I was ready to be ruined."  Yes folks, Danny demo'ed the Alpha LS speakers using a 25 wpc amp!  Well, the difference between the Alphas and the A/V 3s is the difference between a clean recording and a live concert.  The Alphas were magnificent and recreated the orchestral recordings as if they were the "real thing."  If you have the money, and also good electronics (although my electronics were not very expensive), the Alphas would be the last speaker that you would ever need.  To sum up, the Alphas are the king of all the speakers that I have ever heard (much better than the Hales Transcendence 5s, which were twice as expensive and sounded very good, in my opinion).  The Criterion is a speaker which requires very good electronics to sound its best.  The A/V line is more suited to those of us who have electronics which are not the top of the line.  I found my match in the A/V 3s and wish to thank Danny again for his hospitality.  By the way, the dAck really is an amazing little DAC, easily besting my 20bit ladder type DAC.

Chris - fairly new to audiocircle.com

audiojerry

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A visit with "The Man"
« Reply #1 on: 28 Aug 2003, 12:24 pm »
Nicely done, Texasphile. Your review really shows the importance of system matching and auditioning before you buy, and credit has to be given to Danny for making auditions a reality for so many. It's hard to imagine that the LS can offer such extraordinary sound for such a low price. No Diluceo's available for your auditioning?

Val

A visit with "The Man"
« Reply #2 on: 28 Aug 2003, 12:24 pm »
A good post and one that shows the importance of approaching audio as a system, with components that are complementary to one another in sound.

texasphile

Diluceos
« Reply #3 on: 28 Aug 2003, 04:56 pm »
Hello folks,

     Thanks for the kind words.  I did not have the opportunity to demo the Diluceos (sp?) but since the A/V 1s sounded very similar to the A/V 3s except in the realm of dynamics (the A/V 3s were better), I would conjecture that the Diluceos would have sounded nearly identical to the Criterions except that the Diluceos would have had better dynamics.  I really liked the extra change in volume between the loud and soft passages of music with the MTM configuration.  I noticed no negatives, although Danny said that walking around changes the sound more with an MTM configuration because one of the mid-range drivers will always be closer to you than the other, thereby changing the sound.  I normally sit and don't move around much so that phenomenon is not a problem for me.  I hope this helps.

Regards,
Chris

jonwb

A visit with "The Man"
« Reply #4 on: 28 Aug 2003, 11:15 pm »
texasphile, very nice review.  It is nice that Danny has that variety in his lineup.  Goes back to that synergy thing I suppose.  Did you buy the kit or finished speaks?

Quote from: audiojerry
...It's hard to imagine that the LS can offer such extraordinary sound for such a low price.


Is that a hint Jerry  :wink:   You'll be glad to know that I'm finally starting to work on my Alphas.  I don't think I'll be banging them out quite as fast as azryan.  I do believe that once they are complete you may want to consider bringing some gear over when you come to listen.  At this point my electronics will not do them justice  :?

Well back to work, your review fired me up texasphile!

jonwb

texasphile

Kit or Finished loudspeakers
« Reply #5 on: 28 Aug 2003, 11:57 pm »
Hello all,

     I got back from picking up my kit from Danny's a few hours ago.  I am working a split shift today which allowed me the afternoon off to go and fetch my kit and pay Danny for the A/V 3s.  I bought preassembled nude (unfinished?) speaker cabinets from him that he had used in some research that he was doing.  I get to attempt the grand feat of finishing the speakers and properly wiring the drivers and crossovers.  Hopefully, I shall do a good job on them given my rather limited mechanical ability.  On a related note, he showed me the absolutely gigantic crates that contained (Jimmy Hoffa?) the new speakers that he has been working on for another company.  You might be able to pry some more details out of him, but the crates must have been 8ft X 4ft x 4ft  (244cm X 122cm X 122cm for you metric folks).  He stated that they had even better sound than the Alphas...  

Regards,
Chris

texasphile

A side note...
« Reply #6 on: 29 Aug 2003, 12:04 am »
Hello again,

    Danny thanked me for my review today and told me that he was especially pleased that I liked the highs on the A/V 1 and A/V 3.  It turns out that he designed them and was happy that someone appreciated his design over a fancier and more expensive brand.  I appreciated his comment as I didn't realize he was the tweeter's designer.

Chris