Well, I’ve been enjoying the Athenas now for a few weeks, and while living vicariously through the posts of Pez and others on RMAF, I’m prompted to jot a few initial impressions now that they have settled in and found their synergy within our system.
Firstly, the cabinetry is truly beautiful. Solid as a rock, the tongue/ groove joinery and organic approach to the finishing process makes for a piece of heirloom quality.
These are instruments of great sensitivity to the source. I greatly appreciate the authentic tonality I’m now hearing with respect to the instruments themselves. This, in turn, allows the artistry of the performance to be what it was intended to be – unique (IMHO). I really find this to be true partic. in bass reproduction – very natural.
I am struck with a subtle but constant energy about these – very non-fatiguing. Whether my fav references (e.g. Esperanza Spalding, Antonio Forcione, Alan Broadbent, etc) or an oldie cleaned off for the first time in years, the Athena’s transients, sense of true stage, separation, and lack of any hyper-extension is ear grabbing. As a musician, I can easily discern not only cymbal size/thickness, but type/weight of stick bead on several jazz references (notably, Jeff Hamilton, Peter Erskine, etc). I like the opt. for tipping the upper freq up/down. The +.5/-1 db is admittedly minute, but effective. For my tastes, I keep it neutral for digital, but enjoy it tipped up a bit for some analog. Their efficiency is incredible, and for the first time, I’m enjoying a listening experience w/ a solid state power plant at low volume levels and not feeling compromised.
I’m honored to have what I believe is Lou’s first demo’d example of this design, and only wish my gig allowed me time this year to get to Denver and meet him, and hear the newest Athenas, as well as other Daedalus speakers. Having been a long-time devotee of Pat’s Meadowlarks, I can truthfully say these Athenas have redefined what I thought possible in the reproduction of ‘live’ music (at least within a musician’s income!). Thank you Lou, and would enjoy hearing impressions from those who visited the 2 rooms with the Athenas.