A Great Deal on Audiogon

There are currently a pair of Avantgarde Trios for sale on Audiogon for(a mere)$13,000. While this is a lot of money for a speaker it nonetheless represents a terrific deal for the dedicated,(reasonably insane) audiophile. I thought I would bring this to the attention of any folks contemplating an upgrade to their stereo or those who might just have a passing interest in them. Let me say at the outset I know nothing of the owners and have no connection with the sale of them. I am just surprised they have not sold. Because I own a pair of these and am intimately familiar with them I thought I would pass on some of their benefits to interested parties. If you have heard the Duos or any of the other AG speakers and are thinking they sound similiar, they don't despite their similar pedigree, not even close. They also do not sound like horns in a "shouty" sense, if anything they are a bit mellow. They have the micro and macro dynamics one associates with highly efficient drivers but they also have a number of other advantages that a lot of speakers lack. I will just be brief and list some of them and leave it at that. They are not very room sensitive, and sound quite good in a smallish room despite their size. They are not placement sensitive within reason. You can just shove them up against a wall, tow them in a bit and you have it. While they beam a little, less than most speakers, their wave launch is large enough that you can move fore and aft without collapsing the image. They are not particularly amplifier or cable sensitive. No need to spend megabucks on an amplifier although to my ears they sound best with tubes. The bottom line is just how good they sound with a minimum of investment in upstream accouterments. I have rarely lived with a set of speakers more than two years and not started "looking". The longer I have had these the more I like them. I'll say no more.
Its a valid point that the ability to work well with most any amp is an advantage in terms of getting good sound with minimal tweaking.

Avantgardes do get a lot of accolades but I think their cost size and unconventional looks (which I like) make them perhaps more of a niche speaker perhaps than their overall performance alone would merit.

Personally, they are one of the few designs I have heard out there these days that I would be thrilled to live with long term, but unfortunately they are just not practical in my case. Maybe someday....

The thing I would question is how many really need speakers that big and that efficient in their home? They could become lethal weapons (to the ears) turned up too loudly or in the event of some audible electrical mishap. Probably only a select though perhaps lucky few.
Dean, what subs are you using with your Trios? I'm seriously considering the Trios but the sub integration is scaring me.
A number of folks have raised questions about the integration of the standard issue 225s with the horns.

The prior owner of my Trios added a third pair of 225s. I cannot say why but everything sounded much better with a third bass unit (larger wave launch at lower volume=faster response time ? ? I don't know). That is what I currently use.

You already know the 225 has variable freqency range and volume. There are a lot of parameters to play with.

225s are pretty cheap on the used market. They also appear to be reliable over the long haul.

I'm using just one pair of the CTRL 230s. Bass integration can certainly be problematical with the Trios (and the Duos), but the Trios can be crossed over at a lower frequency than the Duos, so I feel the bass integration is respectable (though certainly not the best I've ever heard).

Avantgarde has a new line of subwoofers that replaced the 230s like mine, and they do sound much better (at significant cost). Nonetheless, once you get the setup right on the 230s, they integrate quite nicely. I've found that (in my room) the best setup is when the woofers are placed outside the Trios, immediately adjacent to the flare of the lower midrange horns. This placement seems to allow for near perfect time alignment between the woofers and the lower midrange driver at the listening position, and this greately improves the perception of bass integration.

There are some advantages to having four (or more) of the 225s in some applications. For example, you can use a lower crossover point for one pair of woofers vs. the other pair. In this way, you're able to achieve greater bass power in the lowest bass (all eight woofers are working in unison) and have only one pair providing most of the output in the upper bass. I've also found that multiple sources of bass information tends to break up room aberations.

The Trios lower midrange horn is specified to be 3db down at 100 Hz, but in most samples of the Trios, this spec doesn't hold up. As such, you will need to find a higher crossover point for the bass to integrate, and this split arrangement with four woofers is often times the better solution.

Dean, thanks for your response. My brother has the Uno's so I'm familiar with the 225. He upgraded the board in the 225 and it made a huge improvement but I can still hear 2 distinctive sounds coming from the horn and sub.

Running 4 225 sounds interesting ... I was considering Trio since sub only has to integrate up to 100Hz.