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BluesDog
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Ideas For Upgrading Athena AS-F2s

I have followed Old Audiophile’s quest with curiosity and found myself transformed by his interest. I think my room could handle the Aerial Acoustics 6T and the MA Silver 500. A properly functioning Triangle Silver Australe might be too much speaker for my listening space. I went from having some very few (for me) opportunities to listen to speakers not just read about them to thinking that my own needs for upgrade might be worth thinking about. My modest equipment consists of a Pioneer Elite SC-61 (4 ohm capable) , Athenas AS-F2 towers for stereo listening. Ruben Reina and John Atkinson, Sound and Vision gave decent reviews of the Athenas. My Athenas have been good for treble and midrange and excellent for bass and bass extension. I like tuneful and contributing bass notes in speaker performance. I’m starting to think about an upgrade under $4,000 that improves extended air and midrange while not compromising bass capabilities.
I would like to hear the Revel Performa3 F208 (maybe get a demo/) and also want to be able to say I heard the 228BE with that Beryllium tweeter. I want to hear the Legacy Audio Expression and Classic and want to be able to say I heard the Focus SE.

Kal Rubinson
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Who is Ruben Reina?

Who is Ruben Reina?

BluesDog
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Ruben Reina

Hi Kal. Pardon me. ROBERT Reina used to review budget components for Stereophile back in the early 2000's. Since taken over by the very capable and wity Herb Reichert. I have had these Athenas since 2003 and they have done a good job for me. Respectfully I would like to have signed a nondisclosure agreement, sat with you guys during the mystery in Manhattan speaker review, not say a word while sipping an industrial strength martini.
link for Stereophile Athenas review beloe.

BluesDog
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Athenas Link

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/645/index.html

Kal Rubinson
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Understood. We miss Bob a

Understood. We miss Bob a lot.

It's not as if we could have made open invitations but, had you been there, your comments would have been welcome since the real purpose was to help my friend choose which one to keep.

We all go through this process but most of us do it on our own and I know that my friend appreciated having our input and corroboration.

BluesDog
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Our Magnificent Obsession- MO

Yes.
The closest I can describe to how we all became welded to our MO (Magnificent Obsession) is that we all had “that moment” when we heard something amazing in the 60”s vinyl that gave us an auditory glimpse of the sublime. And we are continually trying to recapture that lightning in a bottle ever since. May also be why I still like a judicious tincture of warmth in speakers.

Not audiophile but funny. I usually have just 1 martini or vodker and tonic a week (albeit robustly made) that I savor while watching a movie or listening to music I often laugh about my father’s definition of a dry martini. He would take the cap off of the vermouth bottle and wave it over the weapons grade rocket fuel he had prepared.

BluesDog
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Kalman's Aerial Acoustics 7T Review

I read Kalman’s excellent review of the Aerial Acoustics 7T and had a few questions:
When you say that the 7T does well when not near large objects does this mean it shouldn’t flank a 5 foot wide tv stand with a 65 inch tv? If no, would this also be a factor to consider about the smaller 6T as well. Would both of these speakers do well if the front baffle was 2 feet from a rear wall? Thanks.

Kal Rubinson
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That comment was based on the

That comment was based on the presence of an antique Yew-wood sideboard cabinet on the left side of my listening room. It presents a large reflecting surface which impacts decisions of positioning the left speaker front-to-back and laterally. I am not sure whether the 7T is more sensitive to this than other speakers with respectable lateral dispersion, such as my present speakers, the Revel Ultima2 Studios.

What do you mean when you say "flank a 5 foot wide tv stand with a 65 inch tv?" If you mean really close and in the same plane with the stereo pair, that is a problem for any speaker. If the speaker plane can be quite forward from the screen, that would be good.

FWIW, I have 65" OLED on the wall in my CT system with three MA Silver300s in front but the screen is above the top of the speakers and the speaker fronts are more than 2 feet from the front of the screen. Works great.

BluesDog
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The Long Game

Thank you, Kalman. This has been very helpul. Because my Pioneer Elite SC-61 is 4 ohm rated, I think I will also audition the Martin Logan 60xti’s as well as the Revel 208, a demo Aerial Acoustics 6T and the Legacy Classic previously mentioned. I am working on things in stages. I hope to soon replace my 10 year Samsung plasma with a 65 inch C series OLED. In the following 6 months I hope to upgrade my speakers. I also hope further down the road that my tolerant (and savvier then she wants you to know) wife to be able to get a 3 channel amp for my mains and center. I have a full 9.1 speaker setup (including an SVS SB-2000 sub.) Although I’ve read about the Anthem MCA 325, the Rotel 1585 (to also bi-amp the 2 mains), and the Parasound Halo A31, I’m likely to end up with the Parasound. 1 question I have if I use my Pioneer as a preamp would be, would the sound/power output from adding an amp for the fronts overwhelm my surround sound if the Pioneer continues to power the remaining 6 speakers?

Kal Rubinson
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The answer is no simply

The answer is no simply because you would use the channel balance setup in the Pioneer to balance the levels and, at high outputs, more is asked of the L/C/R (and the subs) than of the other channels.

BluesDog
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Thank you, Kalman

Thank you, Kalman. I appreciate it.

BluesDog
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Concert To Keep The Covid Away

Last phase of the Long Game for me would be the Marantz AV8805 which might be more affordable that far down the road to replace the Pionee. Really wish I hadn’t zagged (twice) when you zigged, Kalman. That’s what you get when you respond too quickly. I had some challenges (that I resolved) where balancing the channels between my Athenas and other speakers forced me to smother a lot of the Athenas output. All works well now. I appreciate your time and help and thought I would suggest a playlist of music. Majority is by Jesse Cook and features Spanish guitar, steel drums, violin and other instruments. For you might be “Been there, done that.” Might not be your cup of tea. Variety of instruments will challenge a speaker’s ability to resolve detail as well as the range of a speaker’s capability.
Double Dutch- Jesse Cook
Scorpion- Young and Rollins
Jardin- Strunz and Farah
Hembra- Jesse Cook
Alumbrar- Vekhavaara and Simone
Matisse The Cat- Jesse Cook
Santa Marta- Jesse Cook
Dance Of Spring- Jesse Cook
Tempest- Jesse Cook
Mario Takes A Walk- Jesse Cook
Gipsy- Jesse Cook
Rattle And Burn- Jesse Cook
Switchback- Jesse Cook
Café Mocha- Jesse Cook
Havana- Jesse Cook

Kal Rubinson
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Thanks. I'll sample on Qobuz

Thanks. I'll sample on Qobuz.

BluesDog
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A Big Challenge To Buying New Speakers

Just my personal observation. Aside from the budget involved, one of the most difficult challenges to upgrading speakers is getting used to what your current speakers lack. For many audiophiles this is quite often well controlled and extended bass response. Many audiophiles are well trained and appreciative of a great midrange and extended air. But when the low end is improved it can throw off your sense of hearing until you are better used to bass contribution. You may mistakenly think a speaker lacks air but perceptually you are distracted by bass you are unused to. Some friends of mine have speakers that are very lean in the bass and this gets hidden by the type of music they listen to. I call this “choosing your opponents wisely.” I feel they need to train themselves to listen to more bass and music that conveys it well. It has been thoroughly beaten to death but the opening tom toms in the Eagles Hell Freezes Over Hotel California is a good specific test of your speaker’s bass. Other music that is good in this regard are Keiko Matsui’s “Stingo” and “Dream Seeker.” Jesse Cook’s “Double Dutch” can cause quite a few speakers to hurl by the side of the road.

When auditioning speakers I try to bring music that covers a speaker’s range (including the low end) as well as it’s ability to resolve detail. If a speaker goes thuk, thuk thuk and thak, thak, thak I know the speaker is compressing in the bass and faking it. When the standup bass, the kick drum and other bass instruments are in balance with the midrange and treble you get a more full complete sound.

Of speakers I was audioning with a friend before Covid 19 hit, I was astonished at the performance and bass capability of the Aerial Acoustics 6T. I never would have believed such (on the small sie) drivers could produce good, controlled bass to the overall sound. I’d like to listen to it’s bigger brother, the 7T. And, as expressed previously, I’d like to listen to the Revel3 F208’s as part of making an informed purchase sometime in the future.

BluesDog
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Fare Thee Well, Art Dudley

Fare thee well, Art. You are one of the reasons we will continue to hold forth around the audiophile campfires and keep the special stories alive.

BluesDog
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Art Dudley And Why Marantz Preamp

Hope Kalman liked my elegy for Art Dudley (above) My main reason for considering a Marantz Preamp is that I would need a 9.1 capability and, although there are even better preamps out there choices are far less for 9.1

BluesDog
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9.1 Preamp Choices

I should probably add the Anthem AVM 60 to these considerations but I'm leaning towards the importance of e-arc in the scheme of things.

BluesDog
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Blues Party

Yo, Kalman.
Since I AM a Blues/ R & B man, here is a suggested playlist . Eclectic but effective mix for driving, listening, “waking up the Weber” and having a vodker and tonic. Here is stuff to give Qobuz a workout.

Blues Party
Boogie With Stu- Joe Bonamassa
Comin” Home To Mardi Gras- Gabriel Mark Hasselbach
Treme Song- John Boutte
Green Onions- Dual Drive
Man Size Love- Klymaxx
Think- Steve Cropper
Unsquare Dance- Dave Brubeck
I Get Evil- Joe Bonamassa
Smokey Joe’s La-La- Googie Renee
The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt- The Shadows/Hank Marvin
Apache- The Shadows/Hank Marvin
What’cha Gonna Do- Bill Massey
Room To Move- John Mayall
Bernard Jenkins- John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers
Still Is still Moving To Me- A Reggae song with Willie Nelson AND Toots And The Maytals (Honest ta gad!)
The Party Is Still Going On- Marcia Ball
A Letter From My Baby- Timmy Shaw
Let’s Roll- The Orange Bird Blues Band
Backwood Blues- The Orange Bird Blues Band
The Boys Are Back In Town- The Busboys
I Can’t Quit The Blues- Buddy Guy
New Shoes- The Busboys

The Blues ain’t nothin’ but a person feelin’ bad, thinkin’ about someone they loved and are no longer with.

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