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Avalon Acoustics Monitor
4 Reviews
rating  4.75 of 5
MSRP  3295.00
Description: 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers - 7" Kevlar Woofers and 1" Dome Tweeter


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris Olenik a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2003

Bottom Line:   
How can I describe my recent listening experiences with the Avalon Acoustics Monitors without sounding biased? The monitor's only weakness is one of it's inherent strengths; the ability to honestly convey the quality of the recording. I have spent the last three months going over my cd collection like a child discovering insects for the first time. There was so much texture, depth, and ambience which I missed with my previous speakers. Of course this depends on the expertise of the recording engineer in the studio. What I mean by this is that not every recording engineer is at the top of his or her field when it comes to quality. Some recordings appear to sound bright, while others are mastered with the care and consideration of a Mozart Symphony. These speakers are not apologetic, but brutally honest. But if the artist you're into was considerate enough to hire a good recording engineer, not a just someone the studio recommended, then your experience with these speakers should be enlightening to say the least. The soundstage width and depth along with a very neutral presentation is truly amazing. I have been enjoying these speakers and will continue to enjoy them until I can increase the size of my listening environment and upgrade to the Opus Ceramiques'. I know that we all make mistakes along the way when it comes to audio purchases, but this is definitely one that I will never regret. If you have the chance to purchase a pair of monitors on the used market, and your listening environment is a small or should I say more intimate than usual, then do yourself and your ears a favor and snap them up!!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   audiogon

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by catale a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I've been enjoying this monitors for almost 8 months now and my satisfaction increases day by day. I really can't understand the review from Wayne Zwemmer giving it only 1 star. Either he didn't listen to the monitors in a proper setup or his opinion is biased on purpose. I have listened to a lot of equippment and in my opinion these monitors are worle class without any doubt.
Simply put, these loudspeakers are as close to neutral as possible. If the rest of HIFI components is of medium or bad quality, they will show it. If you feed them with a first class signal they become the best monitors in the world.

The sound could be described as very close to reality. These are the first speakers to which I can listen after a live classical concert withour feeling frustrated. The sound produced by the Avalons is very close to reality (not identical but as close as I have heard). Moreover, the dynamics are terrific while sounstaging is as good as it can be. What is really surprising is the bass extension: although the manual says they reach 60Hz (in an anechoic chamber I suppose) in my listening room I've measured bass down to 30Hz, which is absolutely incredible for a speaker of this size. And the bass is tight and well defined, not boomy or boxy.

The Avalons produce no listening fatigue at all, wen paired with the right equipment, and are beautifully built and finished. Each pair are a piece of art, like all the Avalon models. In general Avalon is a brand that does not appear very often in the HIFI press although it is the best speaker manufacturer in the world, at least from my point of view.

If you can afford them, buy them without hesitation (second hand now since they are out of production), although you will need to spend an additional amount of money to pair it with classy equipment.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   second hand

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rob Kleisterlee a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Its the smallest from Avalon, but great in perfomance.
For excample with unplugged instrument the sound is very natural and clean.
For te size of the speaker, it's unbelieveble how low the speaker can go.And how powerfull it can be.

recommends for music:
Hugh Masekela: album: HOPE (the coletrain) very dynamic!!
Pink Floyd: The wall (MFSL) gold, original master recording.
Jazz and fusion
Lorena Mckennit: The Visit

in combination with:
Sphinx pr2 with pr12 mono. cd: Sphinx Myth 9
cable MIT and Siltech.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1997

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Eduardo a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 27, 1998

Bottom Line:   
To paraphrase the following, the Avalon Monitors are great speakers but are highly demanding on all counts.
I bought my pair second hand at an amazing price to replace the Chario Syntar 4 MkII three-way book shelf speakers. Equipment as follows:

Linn LP12Valhalla/Basik Plus/Blue Point Special (analog to last a lifetime, extremely tweaky table)
Audiomeca Kreatura CD player (sounds like analog and looks like a steel and acrylic shoebox)
Exposure XV integrated, soon replaced by Classe CAP-80 integrated amp (per Avalon's recommendation) and Densen DP-02/DP-Drive phono stage after purchasing the Avalons
Target AER-5 welded equipment stand
Taralabs RSC Prime interconnect for CD
Cardas 300B Microtwin interconnect for the phono stage, then changed for NBS Dragon Fly interconnect
XLO pro-650f speaker cables (14ft/side), first a single pair, then bi-wired after the Avalon purchase.
XLO pro power cords (green) for the amp and CD player, bought some MAS MASter amplifier power cable to try, and not liking it too much so far. May be it needs some break in time.

As you can see, almost everything except the sources were changed after the Avalon purchase. Although the process was kind of painful, the end results are worth it. The fact that my listening room is tiny may have a lot to do with the trouble I had. The acoustics is actually not bad at all, but the small size forces you to hear each and every change.

Step 1: Plopping the Avalons into my then existing setup. Difference: Beautiful treble, tight although less (compared to the Charios eight inchers), smooth midrange, thick lower midrange?, flat soundstage??, lacks dynamics at peaks?)
Step 2: Fiddle with positioning. Soundstage got better but was far from the Avalon standard that I recalled.
Step 3: Leveled the speakers. Imaging is back!
Step 4: Running the single speaker wire to the Treble terminals instead of the bass terminals. Midrange not as thick but treble deteriorated and dynamics gets worst.
Step 5: Money spending starts. Experiment with different footers. Makes significant differences here and there but the changes are compromising.
Step 6: More Money spending. Bought another pair of XLO speaker wires or "amplification cables" as Paul Rubin of Avalon would put it. Treble, midrange, and bass got better but still a little compressed.
Step 7: Wrote to Paul Rubin of Avalon. He promptly replies that my amplifier could be at fault and recommended a Classe or Rowland. The quality service makes good impression and the sound of the speakers are improved psychologically!
Step 8: More and more money spending. Ran into a demo Classe CAP-80 at a good price and tried it with a pair of Avator which it drove fine. Bought the Classe. HELLO dynamics. Although the Exposure might be a bit more natural sounding at lower volume settings, its 35W rating is simply too puny for the demanding Avalons. In fact it seems that even with the Classe, the Monitors could use more power. Maybe bi-amping with a Classe P-101 is the way to go when I have some spare money. (Looking at the money I have spent so far since buying the Avalons, it could be a long time before that happens) The remote that comes with the amp is also great. However, the Classe does not come with a phono stage so I had to buy an afforadable one. Ended up with the Densen since I like its innovative power supply solution - AC driven lights that shine on solar cells to regenerate electricity to drive the electronics. It's one clean sounding affordable phono stage well worth checking out. The analog setup sounds too forward with the Cardas cable. Bought a pair of Dragon fly and changed the spindle oil to something thicker. Voila! Great sound. Nothing beats good old analog!
Step 9: More fiddling with footers and mix and matching cables and power cords. Now the sound is basically dialed in.

After all the hard work, the results is great. Open sound, clean mid range, extended and smooth treble, tight and rhythmic bass, good imaging and natural timbre. If I have to be a nit-picker, I would say that the stands that come with the speakers could be better. Single pillar stands that tall is simply not rigid enough for speakers that heavy (31 lb/pc). I know that Sound Anchor should have been able to do better, just look at the ones they make for B&W 805. Another pointer. Doing without the grill but leaving that heavy felt pad on is the best sounding combination at my setup. I kept the pad on using some Velcro. To avoid ruining the finishing, I used a little Blu-tak (the audio tweak for all-purposes) to stick the Velcro onto the driver frames.

In conclusion, the Monitors are great speakers worthy of the Avalon name but leave wondering whether you are toying with your hobby or your hobby is toying you!

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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