Wilson & ARC for me...

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Congratulations Bobvin. Fellow member Al M. and I auditioned the Rossini against the new Berkley Ref DAC and the Rossini was clearly superior. "More natural flow to the music" was precisely one of the reasons we so enjoyed it. And absolutely no obvious audible digital artifacts. It is a great component. The sound should further improve with the re tuned REF XLs.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Dear Bob, Did Bonnie take measurements of the room before the renovation started and when it was empty of stereo equipment?

Or were her first set of measurements with your stereo operating in the original, pre-renovation space?

After the renovation and after your stereo was reinstalled did Bonnie take measurements again? Did she have any subsequent fine-tuning to do in response to measurements taken after the renovation and after your stereo was reinstalled?
 
I haven't posted anything here for quite some time... so here's an image from a few months back. With the 160s in the room, the overall aesthetics of have gone up a notch -- they are great looking amps. Since this image the Denali 2000 has been removed and the power cables are both now Sigma NR.

snow_REF160.jpg
 
Amps are directly into the wall. I have two dedicated 20amp circuits, one for source, one for power amps. The circuits are identical length to reduce ground loops, but I might have another installed so each amp will have its own. Getting the length the same could be a little difficult, but access in the crawl space is pretty open so I am guessing the electrician could get it pretty close.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Bob, Have you decided definitely to switch speakers?
 
Bob, Have you decided definitely to switch speakers?
Ron, I’d switch today if the Minister of Finance would approve... but we have a few expenses on the horizon so it’ll be a while before I move to the Diesis. I had considered just an upgrade to Alexia v2 (or v3 when it comes), possibly moving to Alexx but hearing the Diesis changed all that. As I mentioned, what I heard from the Diesis “Roma” changed my thinking completely — having the benefits of a horn system in a room friendly size. If you’re in NYC you really must arrange a listen. Some real magic in what Diesis has developed.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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I believe you!

How did the Roma sound on vocals (girl with guitar type music)?
 
On vocals, you will just melt... tonality is sublime, with nuance, articulation, and resolution without a hyper-detailed clinical effect. and the 3D presentation trumped anything I've heard before. There was just something about the ease and flow that made my Alexia, in comparison, seem forced.

That is not to say my system doesn't sound great with the Alexia -- but I feel if compared side-side, the Alexia would be clearly second-fiddle.
 
Last edited:

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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On vocals, you will just melt... tonality is sublime, with nuance, articulation, and resolution without a hyper-detailed clinical effect. and the 3D presentation trumped anything I've heard before. There was just something about the ease and flow that made my Alexia, in comparison, seem forced.

That is not to say my system doesn't sound great with the Alexia -- but I feel if compared side-side, the Alexia would be clearly second-fiddle.
I understand every comment you made.

So on vocals you found the transparency and the in the room “presence” and believability to be better on the Roma than on the Alexia?

(I am zeroing in on this because in my horn exploration thus far I still hear horns as not quite achieving the transparency and resolution and in the room presence and believability of vocals that I hear on ribbon and electrostatic speakers. Jeroen’s Zetas are the best I have heard horns achieve on this thus far. I love what horns can do, but I am a single-issue voter on vocals transparency and in the room presence and believability.)
 
Hey Ron... my listening to the Roma speakers was not an audition. I was in NYC because my wife came down with a ruptured appendix and peritonitis while in NY for business. She spent 8 days at NYU. I flew out to be with her and made a point to visit Bob @ Rhapsody. It was more a social visit to hear some music. Bob played some Goldmund speakers which were pretty damn amazing and then played the Diesis. It wasn't long after the Roma's began to play I started to pay attention—"what the hell is this?" Song after song I was amazed what I was hearing, there was just so much life to the music, such ease in the presentation, with all the audiophile goodness one could want.

Now, I will say before I ever were to pull the trigger and order up a pair, I'd spend a bit more time with them listening a bit more critically. There would undoubtedly be areas where one might pic nits if comparing. And, of course, it all depends on what your criteria are evaluating speakers. I know, for example, I could be very happy with a pair of Wilson Sabrinas, in no small part because my room allows me to get the best from what any speaker can deliver. Ultimately can I dim the lights and enjoy the music without feeling I'm missing something? Others are much more critical and in pursuit of the grail.

All that said, it has been a very long time since I came home to my system and felt it lacking in some way. It took a few weeks before I enjoyed my Alexia without comparing them, in my head, to the Roma. When I think of what I heard compared to just about any box speaker design the differences were not subtle. I did play a few tracks via Tidal just to compare—I like WAR for this, "All Day Music", "The World is a Ghetto", "City-Country-City," all great jams with percussion, horns, vocals. Was it the horn? Was it the 98.5db efficiency? Was it the open baffle? Was it the pair of of 15" drivers? I don't think I understood "ease and flow" until I heard the Romas, but the realism was clearly a large step above and I attribute that to the ease with which the music just seemed to fill the room.
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
On vocals, you will just melt... tonality is sublime, with nuance, articulation, and resolution without a hyper-detailed clinical effect. and the 3D presentation trumped anything I've heard before. There was just something about the ease and flow that made my Alexia, in comparison, seem forced.

That is not to say my system doesn't sound great with the Alexia -- but I feel if compared side-side, the Alexia would be clearly second-fiddle.
Bob,

If the Alexia sound forced it is probably system, setup or room. I have listened to them sounding great and miserable - yes, they need some care in pairing and positioning. In a proper system and room, they make music flow. My honest advise would be re-evaluating everything.

However the main reason of preference is our particular taste and wishes - if the Diesis really move you and are disturbing you, sell everything and start a completely new system in a new room. La donna and the audiopihle è mobile, as sang by the Duque of Mantua. :)

BTW, can we know what was the complete system being played at Rhapsody?
 
Microstrip... my Alexia v1, in my room (very well detailed in this thread), with current rig and placement, sound amazing. Most of my audiophile buddies as well as members of the Portland Audiophile Club say it is one of the best systems they've heard. Many have said it is the best. (OK, its Portland, not LA or NYC.)

The Alexia don't sound forced -- until you hear the Diesis. After that, every box speaker, in my opinion, sounds forced. There are a few other mfg's out there attempting to combine a horn with open-baffle drivers. I have not heard them. Giuseppe, the Italian engineer/designer, brings some of that Italian flair to Diesis. I see the brand like Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, or Pinifarina. They'll never likely have the market of Wilson or Magico, but the product competes.

Here's the note I wrote to Bob after returning from NYC:

Last night was my first listen to my own system after returning from NYC... with the lights down low, the system well warmed up, I listened to a few WAR tracks. Closing my eyes and letting the music flow, probably at ~ 90+ db levels, I heard *nearly* everything I heard with the Roma, but the difference was just how easily and instantaneously the Romas created the sense of realism. Comparing them to Wilson offerings like the Alexx or even the Alexandrias, the higher resolution is comparable but the ease with which the music flowed from the Romas, the layering and pinpoint placement, the air around instruments is a huge step above. It took the Dagostino Relentless amps, playing into the Wilson Alexx, to create a similar sense of ease and flow (but still I think I'd lean towards the Diesis with a sweet tube amplifier) Thanks for sharing what you've found.

As to the system, I can't provide details other than I believe Bob said the DAC was nothing special, and the amplification was a Jadis integrated. We didn't listen to vinyl. The speakers surely were not optimised in terms of setup, Bob's place has a crapload of gear crammed in. An open baffle speaker isn't supposed to have anything behind it—but in Bob's space there were Goldmund speakers, big Wilsons (Alexandrias I think) and a lot of electronics.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or disparage anyone else's speakers/system. Just sharing with the forum what I have been sharing with friends here in Portland—I recently heard some speakers that changed my perceptions and expectations of what speakers can do.

And another room? My wife would look you in the eye and say your f___ing nuts. She puts up with my hobby and even enjoys listening, but speading to another room... that just isn't going to happen!
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Your wife is probably correct
 
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bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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I understand every comment you made.

So on vocals you found the transparency and the in the room “presence” and believability to be better on the Roma than on the Alexia?

(I am zeroing in on this because in my horn exploration thus far I still hear horns as not quite achieving the transparency and resolution and in the room presence and believability of vocals that I hear on ribbon and electrostatic speakers. Jeroen’s Zetas are the best I have heard horns achieve on this thus far. I love what horns can do, but I am a single-issue voter on vocals transparency and in the room presence and believability.)
Diesis is not exactly a horn the kind you have experienced with Cessaro, tune audio, etc. It is the OB type sensitive efficient speaker I keep telling you about where you will have the same transparency you get with panels on vocals, plus more as they can actually run on 2a3 type sets. At different levels, pure audio project, DIY guys, Oswald mills all make some variety of open baffle horns. Those are different from tune audio, Cessaro, pnoe etc in presentation giving more of the open soundstage as well as backward layering you get with planars but keeping the flow and tone that you get from horns due to SETs and simplicity. The issue with OB designs is that bass/weight can lack and has to be managed carefully.
 
Jan 16, 2013
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NYC
I will jump in with the system details that Bob heard at Rhapsody. This was just a system that was "hooked up" when Bob visited, it was not set up for a demo as Bob has said. It was a social/friend visit and I just through on some tunes etc.

We ONLY listened to Tidal/Qobuz streaming

Rockna server (next week Taiko Audio EXTREME server is arriving, along with 15 Daiza platforms)

Aqua Formula xHD DAC.

Jadis I-88 integrated

Diesis Roma


I don't want to say that this is Rhapsody's "C" level electronics as it sounds great with this "recipe", BUT we have a Kondo Ongaku, a Kondo Kyoeun (original Kondo 2A3 amp) and our favorite amp on the Diesis the Evento Diesis hybrid integrated that we used at Munich. The Jadis I-88 just happened to be connected when Bob popped in for a visit.

We have Tidal/Qobuz sounding VG, but of course if you played high-rez files, Vinyl or R2R the sonic presentation increases dramatically. Although with saying that, I pretty much listen to Tidal/Qobuz 100% of the time for my personal listening because it is at a level that I can forget about "the system" and just focus on the music....and it's so convenient.
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
(...) I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or disparage anyone else's speakers/system. Just sharing with the forum what I have been sharing with friends here in Portland—I recently heard some speakers that changed my perceptions and expectations of what speakers can do.

And another room? My wife would look you in the eye and say your f___ing nuts. She puts up with my hobby and even enjoys listening, but speading to another room... that just isn't going to happen!
But IMHO changing speakers will oblige you to change a lot in your system. It seems to me that a room designed for Alexia's will not match OB speakers such as the Diesis. My only experience with the Diesis was the Roma Diesis in a show two years ago - Diesis is not a just arrived new brand - in what I consider a very unfair demo where they sounded very poor, so I consider that it is not relevant. Perhaps my disappointment was bigger because I had high expectations on them... But contrary to horns, that are highly directional, I expect OB speakers to be room sensitive. I have found that acousticians default are box speakers from the F. Toole school and they design mainly for this type of speakers. Anyway, next time I will travel to Madrid I will not miss listening to them again at Ars Audio Antigua, their local distributor!

(...) It took the Dagostino Relentless amps, playing into the Wilson Alexx, to create a similar sense of ease and flow (but still I think I'd lean towards the Diesis with a sweet tube amplifier) Thanks for sharing what you've found. (...)
I find intriguing that a different amplifier could recreate a similar sense of ease and flow in the Alexx. Audiophile life is filled with unexplained facts!
 
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Jan 16, 2013
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But IMHO changing speakers will oblige you to change a lot in your system. It seems to me that a room designed for Alexia's will not match OB speakers such as the Diesis.

>>>>The comment that I would make is that in the Rhapsody listening room, which is much more like an equipment/speakers laboratory vs. a properly set up listening space, the Romas are getting accolades that I have not ever experienced. I will not mention names, but several well known audio reviewers and recording engineers have had similar reactions to the Roma as Bob did. Actually anyone that hears them at Rhapsody has had the same reaction.

The Romas are set up with speakers and electronics around them, speakers behind them, too many speakers and electronics, period. The result - mesmerizing sound, with pretty much any amplifier/electronics that are connected to them.

My point is that I would question whether Bob or anyone would have to change ANYTHING in their room or system to hear the glory of the Roma. I've tried it with SS, SET's, high power tubes, high power SS.....all streaming Tidal/Qobuz and have not been dissapointed yet with a "bad match". And this is in a "zoo" of a room.

The ONLY item that needs to be addressed is that because of OB the Roma or any of the Diesis five models should be at least 1M off of the back wall and it gets better the further out in the room that the speakers are placed.

Up against the back wall as you might do with a sealed box cabinet is a no-no.



My only experience with the Diesis was the Roma Diesis in a show two years ago - Diesis is not a just arrived new brand - in what I consider a very unfair demo where they sounded very poor, so I consider that it is not relevant. Perhaps my disappointment was bigger because I had high expectations on them... But contrary to horns, that are highly directional, I expect OB speakers to be room sensitive. I have found that acousticians default are box speakers from the F. Toole school and they design mainly for this type of speakers. Anyway, next time I will travel to Madrid I will not miss listening to them again at Ars Audio Antigua, their local distributor!



I find intriguing that a different amplifier could recreate a similar sense of ease and flow in the Alexx. Audiophile life is filled with unexplained facts!
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,594
1,005
113
Beverly Hills, CA
Diesis is not exactly a horn the kind you have experienced with Cessaro, tune audio, etc. It is the OB type sensitive efficient speaker I keep telling you about where you will have the same transparency you get with panels on vocals, plus more as they can actually run on 2a3 type sets. At different levels, pure audio project, DIY guys, Oswald mills all make some variety of open baffle horns. Those are different from tune audio, Cessaro, pnoe etc in presentation giving more of the open soundstage as well as backward layering you get with planars but keeping the flow and tone that you get from horns due to SETs and simplicity. The issue with OB designs is that bass/weight can lack and has to be managed carefully.
The Roma apparently has a compression driver which is horn-loaded and has separate super-tweeter. I understand these drivers are not mounted in enclosures and are open at the back. None of this is novel.

The more novel part seems to be the open baffle 15 inch woofers which also are not mounted in enclosures and which are open at the back.

I see nothing in this design which would explain why this particular speaker does not suffer that tiny loss of transparency and in the room presence on vocals I have found with all horns thus far.
 
Jan 16, 2013
543
306
63
NYC
The Roma apparently has a compression driver which is horn-loaded and has separate super-tweeter. I understand these drivers are not mounted in enclosures and are open at the back. None of this is novel.

The more novel part seems to be the open baffle 15 inch woofers which also are not mounted in enclosures and which are open at the back.

I see nothing in this design which would explain why this particular speaker does not suffer that tiny loss of transparency and in the room presence on vocals I have found with all horns thus far.
Ron, too bad you did not hear them in Munich this year. You are always welcome for another visit to hear for yourself, then you will know whether they meet your transparency criteria vs. "thinking" what they sound like. Come on over:)
 

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