I think it's one of those things that you don't realize what's missing from the music til you hear the speakers side by side in the same system with the same recordings Now that's not to say that dynamic speakers are bad--they just have other strengths. I also think that audiophiles will tend to gravitate towards ss with box speakers to make up for some of the missing info. Just my 2 cents.
I have the Analysis Epsilons, which I use with active crossover. The Analysis speakers do from 70-3500 Hz, and are augmented with ribbon tweeters and subwoofers for the frequency extremes.
I am a long time Apogee fan. My desire to use moderate power SET's led me to use the Analysis speakers, which are more tube friendly.
I love the Apogee sound. Analysis are true ribbons on the midrange and quasi ribbons on the bass. They sound "faster" than Apogees, but don't have the creamy richness of Aps, but can have more subtle dynamics and transitions.
They have flat impedance, unlike the complex impedance of true electrostats. True electrostats may win the "speed" competition subjectively, but have more trouble delivering a sense of weight or substance. I would put the Analysis speakers somewhere between stats and Aps in that regard.
I also have trouble with box speakers after using planars, though there are some box speakers that are quite notable in transcending the "box" paradigm. However, I am probably a planar guy forever. It is hard for me to justify the expense of massive boxes holding traditional transducers with passive crossovers when all you need to do is get rid of the box and use a more direct, faster transducer.
I like my Analysis speakers a lot, they pretty much do what I want the way I want it in my listening room.
Having owned Accustats, Apogees, Magnepan, and now Genesis (the company), I agree with all the posters above who say that you will find it difficult going away from electrostatics/planar. I broaden it to say that you will find it difficult to leave the world of line-source dipole speakers.
Here's my perspective (of some of my competitors) that have been mentioned in this thread, and more to the point upgrading from your Odysseys.
The Summit X should be on the top of your list. At the California Audio Show, we demo'ed in the same suite with the ML Ethos and I thought that those were pretty spectacular. In particular, the coherence and integration between the line-source electrostatic panel and the point-source bass is now excellent and they were telling me that the ML entry into the "mass market" with Best Buy/Magnolia enabled them to invest a little more into research, and this was one of the areas that they did a lot of work on.
I have not listened to the Analysis audio, but I'll have to make a point to do so as soon as possible.
The Magico V3 - you will miss the openess, speed and "sparkle" (the critics will call it brightness) of your ML, but less so than with other tweeters. I find the V3 far less coherent between bass and midrange then their smaller speakers. But then again, in the Odyssey, I can always find the transition between the bass and the panel.
The Wilson Sophia 3 is far, far improved over the first and if you're auditioned the previous version and found them unmusical, it would be worth your while to give the latest a listen. If the advantage of the V3 is the high frequency, the advantage of the Sophia is the midrange.
I don't have any line-source dipoles in your price range or which would fit your room. But if you are going to come to RMAF, come and listen to the Genesis 5.3's which are the most line-source dipole sounding of boxy speakers. I bought the company because of the original Genesis V.
Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
Genesis Advanced Technologies
I am format agnostic, a full-time music-lover and a part-time audiophile. I listen to as much digital as analog, and I work hard at hunting down the best sounding copy of the music I love. Most of the time, I prefer the analog when both are available. But *sigh!* having had the chance to listen to a 1/2-inch 30ips mastertape, I also know what's left on the cutting room floor.
I've heard the V3 and honestly liked it. My problem is that I have not heard the better ML speakers because their local dealer folded many years ago and nobody has taken up the slack. So I have no frame of reference to make any recommendations for the V3 or any other speaker actually. I do gather that Ack has heard it with Spectrals and liked them.
I'm just curious why there has been no mention of the Eidolons. Seems there are some speakers on the shortlist using Thiel/Accuton drivers but no mention yet of Spectral's traditional partner in crime.
Rather than comment on the other suggestions let me agree with Myles. Transitioning form stats to boxes is not going to be easy, If you live near NJ get over to GTT Audio and listen to YG Acoustics Cadera at $18k. Your search may be over sooner than you think.
Oops! Make that the Carmel. Cadera is a much better name.
Yes I have heard the V3.
Last edited by Gregadd; 10-03-2010 at 09:17 PM.
Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.
Laurie Halse Anderson Author of Speak And Chains
"If the advantage of the V3 is the high frequency, the advantage of the Sophia is the midrange."
I agree w Gary completely. The Magico V3 is not, in my view, a musical speaker as it does not integrate the top with the midbass and bottom successfully. . The Sophia 3, on the other hand, is a masterpiece and a superb value. It is well integrated and sonically pleasing. It has more than a little of that elusive quality of the big boys to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee"