Another Apogee thread? You bet!

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,220
779
113
E. England
#1
Just a few words to describe a bit of an epiphany I had at the wkend
Ked has been spreading the restored Graz Apogees line for a long time now, and keeping word of them as a going concern, as a Bucket List component, to be heard at least once before you die, even if you don't end up owning a pair
I had missed the opportunity to hear the "Interstellar" Duetta Signatures of Justin/User211 last year, but finally got the chance on Saturday after picking up my recently serviced NATs Utopia tubed preamp
If I'm honest I went to Justin w as low expectation bias as you could imagine
I'd recently heard frustratingly underperforming Apogee Divas, and Analysis Omegas ribbons don't hit the spot for me
Within moments of Justin firing up a bass torture electronic dance melange, I was hooked
There was NO way any non cone spkr should be producing this level of bass, both depth and extension, weight w amazing agility
Now I'm finally getting the concept of planar dipole bass, hefty but nimble
As we progressed onto Genesis, Nirvana, Miles Davis and Bob Marley, the breadth of these v special spkrs really became apparent
Superb imaging, depth and width, transparency way beyond most transducers, a really intoxicating and energetic treble, and fascinatingly a unique holistic/of a piece continuousness w the bass having no seperate quality from the mids and treble, and all frequencies coming from the same location
So what I got was a sound that hybridised the three fave sounds I have atm
The immediacy of Blue58's AG Duos horns/45 tubes amps, the power and bass impact of Audiophile Bill's Focal Utopia box spkrs/Analog Domain SS amp, and the involvement of my Zus/NATs 211 SETs
And all of this pwrd by 80W/ch 211s SETs, pretty much what my NATs provide
Any weaknesses?
None that I could hear
It's been a long long time since I've been so floored by a component
And it's got me very seriously thinking about a radical upgrade that at one fell swoop will transform my sound from excellent to stellar w'out having to spend the kind of budget that would break the bank
Kudos to Ked for the repetitive prompts, and to Justin the owner for offering the invite
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
3,128
362
83
Switzerland
#2
Just a few words to describe a bit of an epiphany I had at the wkend
Ked has been spreading the restored Graz Apogees line for a long time now, and keeping word of them as a going concern, as a Bucket List component, to be heard at least once before you die, even if you don't end up owning a pair
I had missed the opportunity to hear the "Interstellar" Duetta Signatures of Justin/User211 last year, but finally got the chance on Saturday after picking up my recently serviced NATs Utopia tubed preamp
If I'm honest I went to Justin w as low expectation bias as you could imagine
I'd recently heard frustratingly underperforming Apogee Divas, and Analysis Omegas ribbons don't hit the spot for me
Within moments of Justin firing up a bass torture electronic dance melange, I was hooked
There was NO way any non cone spkr should be producing this level of bass, both depth and extension, weight w amazing agility
Now I'm finally getting the concept of planar dipole bass, hefty but nimble
As we progressed onto Genesis, Nirvana, Miles Davis and Bob Marley, the breadth of these v special spkrs really became apparent
Superb imaging, depth and width, transparency way beyond most transducers, a really intoxicating and energetic treble, and fascinatingly a unique holistic/of a piece continuousness w the bass having no seperate quality from the mids and treble, and all frequencies coming from the same location
So what I got was a sound that hybridised the three fave sounds I have atm
The immediacy of Blue58's AG Duos horns/45 tubes amps, the power and bass impact of Audiophile Bill's Focal Utopia box spkrs/Analog Domain SS amp, and the involvement of my Zus/NATs 211 SETs
And all of this pwrd by 80W/ch 211s SETs, pretty much what my NATs provide
Any weaknesses?
None that I could hear
It's been a long long time since I've been so floored by a component
And it's got me very seriously thinking about a radical upgrade that at one fell swoop will transform my sound from excellent to stellar w'out having to spend the kind of budget that would break the bank
Kudos to Ked for the repetitive prompts, and to Justin the owner for offering the invite
Just for clarification: you heard restored Duetta Signatures? With what electronics? I have always liked DSs driven by a good hybrid amp. I had partially restored Caliper Signatures with Sphinx PJ 14mkiii in a smallish room and it was very good...Acoustat Spectra 2200 was better though in all ways you described but especially low level information retrieval.

It took rather special sounding horns to get me to move away from planars so I understand your excitement... similar to how I felt first time I heard a pair of Audiostatics...my jaw dropped and started a 10+ year love affair with planars (electrostats and magnetostats).
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,269
82
48
Pleasanton, CA
#3
After listening to panels over a period of time, you'll also start "hearing the box" of box speakers when you shift over to systems with them. You will re-adjust to box speakers again, but you will wonder why you never noticed that before.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#4
Just for clarification: you heard restored Duetta Signatures? With what electronics? I have always liked DSs driven by a good hybrid amp. I had partially restored Caliper Signatures with Sphinx PJ 14mkiii in a smallish room and it was very good...Acoustat Spectra 2200 was better though in all ways you described but especially low level information retrieval.

It took rather special sounding horns to get me to move away from planars so I understand your excitement... similar to how I felt first time I heard a pair of Audiostatics...my jaw dropped and started a 10+ year love affair with planars (electrostats and magnetostats).
What, you bought trios now? :rolleyes:
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#5
Marc, time to move in together, you think?
 

christoph

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Dec 12, 2015
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Principality of Liechtenstein
#6

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#7
After listening to panels over a period of time, you'll also start "hearing the box" of box speakers when you shift over to systems with them. You will re-adjust to box speakers again, but you will wonder why you never noticed that before.
When I owned Martin Logan Summits, I could not appreciate any box. But a few months after I sold them and unlearned that sound, I started appreciating boxes, especially large ones like Alexandria. I then tried seriously considering Vivids and also bought Verity to see if I could adjust. Everytime I felt aspects of hifi sound good but lack naturalnear that I find in horns or planars. I did like a Rockport MTM design, the grand mira II, which is the only MTM in Rockport like apart from Arrakis (and I don't like other Rockports). In fact I heard it in the same room as analysis audio omega and preferred the MTM. Then I liked YG which is not exactly a box. These were better than normal planars. But then a well restored apogee to me just beat the hell out of everything, and only Yamamura could top Apogees, along with a couple of bespoke big horns, and I would say a trio with bass horns would top the smaller Apogees but not the larger ones.

Yes the one that Marc heard was a restored one, spec's by Justin (user211) and built by the UK restorer jon, reality audio. Using 211 amps, and the first Lampi.big 7 built with a normal laptop using jriver, basic cabling, and in a 18 x 11 room. Basic valves too
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,220
779
113
E. England
#8
Re Ked's suggestion to move in together
What I love about living in the middle of nowhere is there are SO many places to hide a dead body...
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,173
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#9
Re Ked's suggestion to move in together
What I love about living in the middle of nowhere is there are SO many places to hide a dead body...
Lol
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,173
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#10
You are right about the whole and linear sound, remember the discussion on seamless? I have never found a more seamless, whole sound, where it sounds so crossoverless (because it’s all ribbon).

FYI, Justin did not play you what would have been the single most impressive audition track for Apogees – a 180 bps mp3 drum track. When you hear how they play the drums across the space, how dynamically, you will find it tough to listen to that track on a cone.

From Ron’s vist to Henk thread

"Postscript: I visited Steve today to catch up with I'm before I go back to London. I brought with me a CD of the Genesis album with the “Drum Duet” track -- with Phil Collins playing the drum kit on the left side of the stage and his colleague playing a drum kit on the right side of the stage. (Henk very kindly gave me his CD of that album.)

When the track was finished at Henk’s place my wife and I turned to each other and each of us basically said “Oh my God, that was amazing!” So I was really curious to hear this drum track on Steve’s very full-range and bass capable system. (Steve supplements his big Wilsons with JL Audio Fathoms.)

On Steve’s system the drum track today was very good but it was not involving and mesmerizing like it was on Henk’s system. Listening to the drums on the Grands seemed to my wife and me like an experience.

This is absolutely no criticism of Steve’s system. As I have written many times I love the sound from Steve’s system. I am very confident what I heard from this track on the Grands versus on conventional cones means that Kedar was correct about the amazing bass reproduction on the Grands: the woofer panel on the Grands -- which covers about 70 Hz to about 250 Hz -- is the best reproducer of that frequency range I have ever heard in my life. I do not think any dynamic driver speaker -- not Wilsons, not Genesis woofer towers, not Pendragon woofer towers, not any set of cones -- is going to reproduce 70 Hz or so to 250 Hz or so with the articulation and realism and power of those big, trapezoidal woofer panels on the Grands.

Before Steve played the drum track on CD we listened on LP to a new jazz album he recently received. I think the music on this jazz album frequently activated the Fathoms. When we played the drum track I don't think the Fathoms were activated often, if at all.

I think that Henk knew exactly what he was doing when he demonstrated the Grands with “Drum Duet.” He wanted to show what the Grands’ woofer panels could do above the two 12 inch cones in the Grands."

The above is also true for duettas as I tried that on Duettas, and Justin's drum track will show the same thing.
 

User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,256
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#11
Basic valves my arse Kedster. Have you checked out the price of Amperex or RCA 211s in decent condition?

Also, I don't generally use new production valves for a reason. Ultimately they don't sound as good to me as NOS production ones do. So Marc did the whole session on Sylvania VT-52 in the B7, which is my fave for my Lampi B7 (Ked's 10% Lampi LOL - I have heard current GGs including Ked's and I see no reason to by one.). Indeed there are no non-NOS valves in my system at the mo.

I prefer VT-52 to the KR PX4, which I also own. The KR, whilst impressive, does hype things to sound impressive where VT-52 does not. Unfortunately, the PX4's mid range is a bit to hot to handle through a genuine ribbon.

What the heck is that 180 bps drum track? Pretty unusual data rate for an MP3 encoding.

The speaker is called Interstella (not Interstellar). The amps are parallel push-pull.

I may post an Apogee world first in the next day or two.

The Duettas are NOT standard Duettas and any memory from people who owned them originally should be dispelled. Their performance, IMHO, is considerably above those.

I have spoken, LOL:)
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,220
779
113
E. England
#12
Major highlights of Genesis concerts from 1977 onwards were the drum duets of Phil and Chester Thompson
If the Apogees can replicate even a bit of what I've heard live many times, I'll be impressed
Based on the uber liveliness of what I heard at Justin's, I have a reasonable idea that this kind of material could be stellar on the Duettas
There were so many "firsts" at Justin's
One such first - the first time I really have heard dipoles properly appeal to me
This includes three decades of listening to various Quads, ML SL3s, Prodigies, Scripts and Neoliths, Bastanis and Alpairs OBs, and most recently Rich Murry-modded Apogee Divas
In all of these examples, despite some attributes of dipole sound being appealing, the whole illusion was always broken by some aspect
To the point that I started to reasonably conclude that maybe I actually like the sound of the box
This Duettas experience has come along to shake that up and be 100% convincing that dipole is truly appealing
Another first - seamless continuity from bass to treble w the sound all emanating as a true point source
Again, this is impossible to appreciate until you experience it
So, I've heard tall electrostatics like stacked ESL-57s and 63s, other tall panels, and tall multi driver box spkrs
Again here the sound is tall, but never convincingly seamless for me, and often at unapproachable prices
This seamless continuity of sound across the full spectrum just coming at me for the full ht of the spkr was a real suprise on Saturday, and just something that can't easily be imagined until experienced
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
11,173
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#13
Basic valves my arse Kedster. Have you checked out the price of Amperex or RCA 211s in decent condition?

Also, I don't generally use new production valves for a reason. Ultimately they don't sound as good to me as NOS production ones do. So Marc did the whole session on Sylvania VT-52 in the B7, which is my fave for my Lampi B7 (Ked's 10% Lampi LOL - I have heard current GGs including Ked's and I see no reason to by one.). Indeed there are no non-NOS valves in my system at the mo.

I prefer VT-52 to the KR PX4, which I also own. The KR, whilst impressive, does hype things to sound impressive where VT-52 does not. Unfortunately, the PX4's mid range is a bit to hot to handle through a genuine ribbon.

What the heck is that 180 bps drum track? Pretty unusual data rate for an MP3 encoding.

The speaker is called Interstella (not Interstellar). The amps are parallel push-pull.

I may post an Apogee world first in the next day or two.

The Duettas are NOT standard Duettas and any memory from people who owned them originally should be dispelled. Their performance, IMHO, is considerably above those.

I have spoken, LOL:)

I was talking about basic valves on Lampi. And for 211, you should get the KR valves. You haven’t heard my GG since it does not mate with your preamp properly – there is some gain issue

I agree your Duettas are not standard Duettas, and yes, when people come up saying they owned one twenty years ago, I wonder how limited they are due to their own experience.

Marc – it is not possible to imagine the reproduction of that drum track since nothing we have heard before in our audiophile experience is similar to it. It is like the drummer is banging hard away on the vertical plane – the air in front of you seems to be breaking – sledgehammer punches aimed at you across the vertical plane – instead of down on the floor below. I do agree about your limitations of other non-apogee planars and preferring cones to them after a pricepoint (used Quads and Acoustats are still a steal at their price, but as budget goes up there are better cones like YG, stenheim, etc, more so if people choose bass, and many horns).
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,220
779
113
E. England
#14
Ked, I know we disagree about a lot, incl this one
The last big spkr that gave me this visceral thrill was the Cessaro Liszts
But in comparison the Apogee bass and continuousness makes the Liszts seem like they're playing at playing music
I remain a big fan of Duos, esp the pr at Barry and his beautifully optimised set up
But even here, the Interstella bass integration and extension is in a different league
 

User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,256
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#15
Marc - Ked's right about that drum track. It has to be heard to be believed. And solid state is the best option for that particular track, though the 211s do a damn fine job anyway.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,220
779
113
E. England
#16
I'm fully aware SS is the smart choice for Apogees, essential for Scintillas or FRs
I can quite imagine the impact of those drums would be maxxed w a Krell or Gryphon in tow
But I can't imagine the character of the drum sound, swell of tone, decay, in effect the character of the drums and the drummers' intentions would be better served by SS
I went to Justin's in the expectation he'd be running his Accuphase SS
I may have been wowed too, but in the knowledge I'm a tube guy for life
But hearing Justin's Interstellas thrive on 80W of tubes was like a magic trick
 

es347

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,570
1
38
Midwest fly over state..
#17
You are right about the whole and linear sound, remember the discussion on seamless? I have never found a more seamless, whole sound, where it sounds so crossoverless (because it’s all ribbon).

FYI, Justin did not play you what would have been the single most impressive audition track for Apogees – a 180 bps mp3 drum track. When you hear how they play the drums across the space, how dynamically, you will find it tough to listen to that track on a cone.

From Ron’s vist to Henk thread

"Postscript: I visited Steve today to catch up with I'm before I go back to London. I brought with me a CD of the Genesis album with the “Drum Duet” track -- with Phil Collins playing the drum kit on the left side of the stage and his colleague playing a drum kit on the right side of the stage. (Henk very kindly gave me his CD of that album.)

When the track was finished at Henk’s place my wife and I turned to each other and each of us basically said “Oh my God, that was amazing!” So I was really curious to hear this drum track on Steve’s very full-range and bass capable system. (Steve supplements his big Wilsons with JL Audio Fathoms.)

On Steve’s system the drum track today was very good but it was not involving and mesmerizing like it was on Henk’s system. Listening to the drums on the Grands seemed to my wife and me like an experience.

This is absolutely no criticism of Steve’s system. As I have written many times I love the sound from Steve’s system. I am very confident what I heard from this track on the Grands versus on conventional cones means that Kedar was correct about the amazing bass reproduction on the Grands: the woofer panel on the Grands -- which covers about 70 Hz to about 250 Hz -- is the best reproducer of that frequency range I have ever heard in my life. I do not think any dynamic driver speaker -- not Wilsons, not Genesis woofer towers, not Pendragon woofer towers, not any set of cones -- is going to reproduce 70 Hz or so to 250 Hz or so with the articulation and realism and power of those big, trapezoidal woofer panels on the Grands.

Before Steve played the drum track on CD we listened on LP to a new jazz album he recently received. I think the music on this jazz album frequently activated the Fathoms. When we played the drum track I don't think the Fathoms were activated often, if at all.

I think that Henk knew exactly what he was doing when he demonstrated the Grands with “Drum Duet.” He wanted to show what the Grands’ woofer panels could do above the two 12 inch cones in the Grands."

The above is also true for duettas as I tried that on Duettas, and Justin's drum track will show the same thing.
..can't find the drum duet cd...link please
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,173
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113
London
#18
..can't find the drum duet cd...link please
PM Ron. And for Justin's Drum mp3, he will post it here when he reads this.
 

es347

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,570
1
38
Midwest fly over state..
#19

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,173
1,235
113
London
#20
The CD is a proper CD, and there is another mp3 track that Justin uses. I have texted him to hop over and provide details. The two drum tracks are different
 

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