Acapella vs. Avantgarde

I currently run a Cary CD-306, Cary SLP-05 preamp, and Cary 805AE monoblocks with a pair of ProAc D38's (see system). The combination is sweet and involving, but the combo just does not boogie when asked to play a large orchestral piece, by Mahler/Wagner/Shostakovich. When the volume is turned up, dynamics are poor and the system starts to sound compressed. I suspect that the 50W Cary's simply does not have enough guts to drive the ProAc's, so I am considering replacing them with a more efficient speaker. Since most SET afficionadoes love horns, this led me to look into Avantgarde and Acapella.

I live in Melbourne, Australia. Avantgarde is available through a dealer here, but he does not have any in stock. The Acapella dealer is in Sydney (a plane flight away). I am looking to spend A$30,000 - which will buy a nice Avantgarde Duo, or a secondhand Acapella High Violon.

I have read plenty about the dynamics of the Avantgardes, but my concern is if they have horn coloration. Also, how do they image? Are they sensitive to room placement?

Would the Acapella High Violon's be a better buy, considering the pair I can potentially get my hands on have been heavily discounted? I have read that Acapella's suffer from disjointed sound because of the three different driver technologies (plasma tweeter, horn mids, conventional woofer). How much is this a problem? And are there any room placement issues? Given that the Acapella's have lower sensitivity (91 dB/W/m) would I be achieving a real upgrade by moving from the ProAc's?
I've watched this thread for a while. Wasn't gonna get involved, but here I am...

I don't see the Acapellas and Avantgardes as a logical either/or choice. Not really different from, say Watt/Puppies vs. Avantgardes.

The lower end Acapellas are nice, a bit compressed, but nice overall.

However, the Acapellas at this price point offer no advantages of a horn design, whatsoever. The energy and life of the music is sadly compromised in all but the largest models.

So I'm unclear as to why the two would be selected for comparison, other than they both have a mid-horn from a visual standpoint. I've never heard one valid explanation for why they use the horn in a low efficency design. But it does look cool. And I do love their tweeter!

In over six years as the US Avantgarde distributor, I've had countless listeners, including well known reviewers, dealers, music directors, advanced audiophiles, etc. come to listen. NOT ONE could ever detect where the SUB 225 left off and the DUO mid horn began. That's ZERO.

So when people say they've heard the bass not work with the horn, I'm certain they're correct. Doesn't mean it can't. Just means they haven't heard it yet.

I no longer have Avantgardes here, and I have no horse in this race. But I do have substantially more experience than any poster here, and distributor or not, the Avantgardes can be awesome.

Best regards,

Jim Smith
Since this thread has attracted a lot of knowledgeable Avantegarde owners, I wanted to see if any of you have experience with a couple of mods available.
Ozhan Atalay designed these to decouple his tweeter and mid from the frame. Anyone tried them yet or something similar.

Audio Consulting's Wiring and Crossover mods
silver wiring, silver crossover coils, and paper and oil caps for the tweeter, plus the option of moving the corsover outside of the speaker. Any experience?
I'm not against mods. I personally know of some that actually improve the speakers.

But what has bothered me in the past is actually getting to hear some of these mods, on the (mod) designers' personal systems.

Unfortunately the basic set-up was ghastly, reflecting no basic voicing and set-up knowledge whatsoever. I guess they thought the mods would (or did) do something. And probably they did.

But mods from folks who have bad sound in their own systems?


Best regards,

Jim Smith
Question for Jim Smith , DUO (Omega) midhorn with no crossover, plasma tweeter from Acapella, and 2 JL Audio f113, how does it sound to you ? Thanks,
I have no idea how that would sound. Probably pretty poor.

Most woofers aren't linear to an octave or more above 500 Hz, which is required for the DUO system to blend properly.

A subwoofer of any kind would be a disaster, unless it was used to crossover to the DUO SUB 225 woofer.

The plasma tweeter would be interesting, IF it could be mounted and time aligned without diffractions off the mid horn. And IF it has sufficient sensitivity to mate with the DUO Omega 107 dB sensitivity.

Best regards,

Jim Smith