Another Apogee thread? You bet!

dr k

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Did the Apogees Jason set up have Symo cable? I have found this to make the biggest difference next to experimentation with slight toe in. They are tricky to set up, but my Scintillas are very well balanced in my room. Not bass heavy at all. However, it is a long room and I’m essentially getting no rear wall reflections behind me (the wall is angled and probably 15’ behind the listening position). I have also been able to get amazing sound from Mini Grands using a Rhythmik sub and disconnecting the Apogee subs. So I’m essentially running Stages with a sub. This might be my best sounding set up. I have a pair of TSW Scintillas on the way with all new ribbons. I’m excited to see how they compare to my older Scintillas and Mini Grands.
Yes, Jason highly recommended the Symo cables which were probably the best cables for the apogees at the time, even maybe to this day.
 

christoph

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Right now I’m using (believe it or not) a pair of monoblocked Acoustat TNT-200’s rebuilt by Roy Esposito. I have an H2O Signature 250 also, but the Acoustat amps sound much better. I have Mark Levinson ML-9’s coming to try with the new Scintillas from TSW. I came close to springing for Rowland 7’s, but I’m going to try the ML9’s first to see how I like them.
I tried dozens of amps with my Scinnies and by far the best sounding were Lamm M1.x hybrid monos.
Maybe you should add those to your list as well. In the states, they are not that rarely available second hand
 
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Zero000

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I’ve always had a soft spot for apogees. The Duetta was the first truly great high-end speaker I was exposed to along with the original Martin Logan CLS (warts and all) and Maggie Tympany 1D.
They're still mind bending.

Somebody heard mine, then heard the Alsyvox Caravaggio setup at Hi-Fi Deluxe and preferred my Duettas.

I'd rather have a Caravaggio setup myself, but the price is quite frankly absurd.
 
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christoph

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Yes, Jason highly recommended the Symo cables which were probably the best cables for the apogees at the time, even maybe to this day.
I VERY much prefer Goertz foil cables over Symos
 
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dr k

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They're still mind bending.

Somebody heard mine, then heard the Alsyvox Caravaggio setup at Hi-Fi Deluxe and preferred my Duettas.

I'd rather have a Caravaggio setup myself, but the price is quite frankly absurd.
Every one has different taste and to compare two speakers set up on two entirely different systems in different rooms is pretty useless. I’m sure the guy genuinely preferred your speakers, but his comparison is completely invalid.

Having said that, I applaud any one who makes significant strides in improving apogees. Like I said, I would very much like to have a listen to the Interstella. You’re in England? Do you plan on taking your speakers to any hifi shows?

Caravaggios are insanely priced out of reach of 99.9% of all audiophiles. But if you want what apogee could have ultimately built, if the company and original designers were still around and wanted to build a cost no object design with modern technology, then the Caravaggios are it. I’ve always thought about what I would do if I were to build my ultimate apogee from scratch (90+dB efficiency, 20Hz-40kHz extension, manufactured metal frame, drivers made of same material from bass to super tweeter with each driver covering proportionate octaves with elegant 1st order external crossover with proven high end components, bass driver excursion rivaling dynamic drivers, select cabling and binding posts, and beautiful aesthetics). Everything I wanted is in the Caravaggio. I would get a speaker like this than any high sports car like Porsche or Ferrari, which to me are endless money pits. To each their own.
 
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christoph

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dr k

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I tried dozens of amps with my Scinnies and by far the best sounding were Lamm M1.x hybrid monos.
Maybe you should add those to your list as well. In the states, they are not that rarely available second hand
How does the Scinnies compare in sound compared to other apogee models? Scinnies are the only apogees I haven’t listened to. The Scinnie midrange/tweeter arrangement is so unique.
 

Zero000

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Every one has different taste and to compare two speakers set up on two entirely different systems in different rooms is pretty useless. I’m sure the guy genuinely preferred your speakers, but his comparison is completely invalid.

Having said that, I applaud any one who makes significant strides in improving apogees. Like I said, I would very much like to have a listen to the Interstella. You’re in England? Do you plan on taking your speakers to any hifi shows?

Caravaggios are insanely priced out of reach of 99.9% of all audiophiles. But if you want what apogee could have ultimately built, if the company and original designers were still around and wanted to build a cost no object design with modern technology, then the Caravaggios are it. I’ve always thought about what I would do if I were to build my ultimate apogee from scratch (90+dB efficiency, 20Hz-40kHz extension, manufactured metal frame, drivers made of same material from bass to super tweeter with each driver covering proportionate octaves with elegant 1st order external crossover with proven high end components, bass driver excursion rivaling dynamic drivers, select cabling and binding posts, and beautiful aesthetics). Everything I wanted is in the Caravaggio. I would get a speaker like this than any high sports car like Porsche or Ferrari, which to me are endless money pits. To each their own.
I must admit I did buy a new Porsche a few years ago. A cheaper model, though.

The parts to make decent planars aren't that expensive, although a set of neo magnets for Duettas comes in at about £4K last time I checked it a few years ago. What costs is the skill, time and need to make a profit etc etc.

I am in the UK. I did think about taking them to a show but didn't in the end. I have had a lot of people round to hear them, though not since Covid.

Here's a video I posted a while back on this forum. It won't tell you much apart from the fact they work, but when you're in the room this does sound pretty ace. Speed, clarity, detail etc all top notch.

 

dr k

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I must admit I did buy a new Porsche a few years ago. A cheaper model, though.

The parts to make decent planars aren't that expensive, although a set of neo magnets for Duettas comes in at about £4K last time I checked it a few years ago. What costs is the skill, time and need to make a profit etc etc.

I am in the UK. I did think about taking them to a show but didn't in the end. I have had a lot of people round to hear them, though not since Covid.

Here's a video I posted a while back on this forum. It won't tell you much apart from the fact they work, but when you're in the room this does sound pretty ace. Speed, clarity, detail etc all top notch.

They do sound very dynamic given the limitation of YouTube.

I love Porsches for their vehicle dynamics, a true drivers car and one of best around. However, I can't handle the cost of repair if anything fails. Even if I had stupid money, I'd be happy with the Caymen.
 

Zero000

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Just got some Accupanel samples in.

In the flesh, this stuff is lovely. It's destined to go on the front wall surrounding the 100 inch screen, with a carpenter making me an equipment rack out of it at the bottom of the front wall to house the UST projector and hi-fi.

Plus the rear wall has a kitchenette against it, the remaining exposed wall of which will also be covered in this stuff.

In front of the kitchenette will be a vinyl storage/bar area custom made and covered in this stuff again.

I'm not fond of the floor so that will change too, I expect.

May not happen for a while there's quite a bit else that needs doing with the property. Just spent a lot on a large resin bound driveway.

The bar idea came from the shots on this page.

IMG_20220209_211800.jpg IMG_20220209_211713.jpg
IMG_20220209_211659.jpg
 
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Parker65309

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Did the Apogees Jason set up have Symo cable? I have found this to make the biggest difference next to experimentation with slight toe in. They are tricky to set up, but my Scintillas are very well balanced in my room. Not bass heavy at all. However, it is a long room and I’m essentially getting no rear wall reflections behind me (the wall is angled and probably 15’ behind the listening position). I have also been able to get amazing sound from Mini Grands using a Rhythmik sub and disconnecting the Apogee subs. So I’m essentially running Stages with a sub. This might be my best sounding set up. I have a pair of TSW Scintillas on the way with all new ribbons. I’m excited to see how they compare to my older Scintillas and Mini Grands.
You hit it on the nose regarding the Symo speakers cables - more specifically the LS4X. My Duetta II Signatures sounded sublime once my dad took Jason Blume’s advice and bought these Swiss made cables (which can be found these days for not much money). Apogees, certainly the Duettas, are extremely picky about which speaker cables are used. I can’t wait to get my Duettas completely restored/upgraded by Bill Thalmann @ Music Technology in May (newest Graz ribbons, crossovers, paint, etc.). These speakers have always been driven by big BAT solid state amps and BAT tube preamps with great results. I just noticed your reference soothsayer to new True Sound Works Scintilla’s you just bought. We’ve been conversing on Audiogon, correct :)?
 
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Parker65309

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Have you heard a pair of Duetta’s set up by Jason Bloom? Have you talked to him about the design of the speakers and how he personally tuned every singe pair? I may not have credibility to you, but he definitely should. I’ve been listening to apogees for almost 40 years and that is my experience. Yours maybe different. Over the years I’ve listened to over a hundred different pairs of apogees from owners and dealers who claimed they knew how to set up these speakers properly. Every single time, it was a let down compared to what Jason Bloom could do. I literally spent 2 years trying to make my apogees sound correct with different speaker positioning, with and without room treatments (Jason dogmatic about no treatments behind or along the sides of the speakers), modding the crossover, and using different amplifiers and speaker wires. But I couldn’t replicate what Jason could do. By todays standards, apogees were poorly made, but to me they were the best planar speakers if set up correctly. Jason listened to every pair of apogees and tuned the crossover, so there were no standard values of crossover components.

Falling apart in the bass could be a combination of mechanical/structural weakness and the single ended design of the woofer panel. I think the latter was the limiting factor because I’ve heard rebuilt apogees with new drivers and internal MDF completely replaced with other far stronger material. Although the bass improved, if you cranked the speakers with dynamic bass material you can hear and see the woofer panel lose control.
No idea what you are talking about. My Duetta II Signature have neither produced “fallen apart” bass, anything but actually, nor have other owners I’ve conversed with noted anything like what you’re claiming. Apogee was known for quality control issues at times and shipping boxes that weren’t padded enough, but those would have been very early ownership issues.
 

dr k

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No idea what you are talking about. My Duetta II Signature have neither produced “fallen apart” bass, anything but actually, nor have other owners I’ve conversed with noted anything like what you’re claiming. Apogee was known for quality control issues at times and shipping boxes that weren’t padded enough, but those would have been very early ownership issues.
I like to play dynamic bass tracks very loud on occasion (95-100dB+) and Duettas, Calipers, and Stages will distort. I’m more sensitive to bass distortion than most. It’s just the limitation of the design and not an indictment on poor quality. This won’t happen at reasonable listen levels. Having said that Apogee can produce the best quality bass I’ve ever heard, barring Alsyvox.
 
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Soothsayer

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You hit it on the nose regarding the Symo speakers cables - more specifically the LS4X. My Duetta II Signatures sounded sublime once my dad took Jason Blume’s advice and bought these Swiss made cables (which can be found these days for not much money). Apogees, certainly the Duettas, are extremely picky about which speaker cables are used. I can’t wait to get my Duettas completely restored/upgraded by Bill Thalmann @ Music Technology in May (newest Graz ribbons, crossovers, paint, etc.). These speakers have always been driven by big BAT solid state amps and BAT tube preamps with great results. I just noticed your reference soothsayer to new True Sound Works Scintilla’s you just bought. We’ve been conversing on Audiogon, correct :)?
We’ve been messaging on this site, not Audiogon.
 

BillK

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I like to play dynamic bass tracks very loud on occasion (95-100dB+) and Duettas, Calipers, and Stages will distort. I’m more sensitive to bass distortion than most. It’s just the limitation of the design and not an indictment on poor quality. This won’t happen at reasonable listen levels. Having said that Apogee can produce the best quality bass I’ve ever heard, barring Alsyvox.

I haven't heard them distort, just that nasty thwack as the ribbons run out of extension room and contact the frame.
 

BillK

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I think that isn't quite accurate any more than a conventional driver hyperextending would be considered "distortion," but that's a discrepancy in terminology; obviously undesired in any context.
 

dr k

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If a planar magnetic or dynamic driver can’t reproduce the original signal accurately, it is distortion. Question is to what degree. AFAIK, a planar magnetic driver thwack is heard when the driver suddenly stops reproducing music signal because it runs out of excursion and is physically overstretched hitting the magnets and frame. It’s akin to an amplifier clipping, one of the worst forms of distortion. Keep on doing it and you’ll permanently damage the driver. If you’re still arguing this isn’t distortion, by all means thwack away and see what happens. I do agree with you that it is undesired in any context.
 

Soothsayer

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I received my TSW Scintillas a few months ago. Unfortunately, they arrived with a slight resonance at about 250hz that was only detectable on certain songs and a howling that was prominent on other passages. Rich felt the panels were damaged in transit. Scintillas are known for not traveling well, evidently. Lots of internals can shift. I crated them back up and sent them back (TSW paid for the return and was absolutely wonderful to deal with). The plan was to give them a good look over and fix the issues. Well….the crates arrived at his facility absolutely destroyed. They had been dropped in transit and the speakers were essentially toast. He is now building me some Duettas. I still have an old pair of buzzing Scintillas if I ever long for their sound. So for now it is my mini grands with a servo sub until the Duettas are done in a few weeks.
 
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