this is a lovely compact speaker, won't eat up your floor real estate, easy to drive and matches well with other products in the chain. You won't be going half mad in search of the perfect cable or interconnect because of screechy treble or agressive midrange. Still, you want the best you can afford, because this speaker knows the difference. Tasteful without being boringly polite. Assertive without being annoying. Yin in balance with Yang. Maybe that's the secret of the Veritys. Instead of trying to maximize one parameter at the expense of another, the found darned near the golden mean. You'll forget about then faster than you will with many other brands. The focus shifts to the music and away from the hardware. At this price, an outstanding bargain. One small quibble is the use of stone in the space between the upper box and the lower wood cabinet. Stone, even dense igneous stone like granite, have a distinct ringing "bing" sound when tapped or struck, especially thin sheets of it. The ancient Chinese had stone gong instruments which took advantage of this property. Would verity consider offering the option of Black Diamond Racing carbon fiber/phenolic material or Polycrystal instead to take out the last smidgeon of spurious cabinet resonance ? THAT would be a classy move.
The midrange driver so well-implemented by these fellow Canucks is astonishingly good! WAFs required that I get a smallish floorstander, yet I wanted a proper-height tweeter. B&W803s sounded too recessed in the midrange, with a loose, boomy bass and that out-of-control wart on top they call a tweeter. Although I liked the 803 way off-axis (sounded good from other rooms!), it just didn't work in the near-field (7' triangle). The Aerials (7b) were too warm, the JM Labs 915 too pinched/recessed in the mids. My wife couldn't handle the looks of the Revel F30, but I loved its midrange! (My room is 24x14x8, lotsa doorways and furnishings; speakers are set up 3-4 ft out from the sidewalls, along the short wall) The Fidelio has the same great midrange as the Parsifal Encore, but the 3/4" tweeter comes on too late and too hot, so its integration is not as smooth as the Encore (but still nowhere as bad as the B&Ws). As my setup requires placement 8-10' out from the front wall (grand piano in between), the rear-firing woofer setup didn't work in the Fidelio. As a matter of fact the low mids and upper bass were much leaner than my old two-way monitors. The same was initially true, but to a lesser extent with the Encores when setup rear-firing. Too much cancellation was occuring around the 150Hz crossover. (My dealer even thought I was exciting the piano soundboard!) When I set them up forward-firing everything came together! (I even measured them both ways, and then the satellite-tops alone; interestingly, IN MY ROOM the satellites alone measured the flattest, but started to roll off steeply below 65Hz. I was tempted to just get the satellites and then chase a separate powered sub, but the guys at Verity Audio strongly suggested such experiments by others weren't completely successful due to the TEMPORAL mismatches that resulted. In other words the Encore's woofer is SO FAST (it has to keep up with that incredible midrange), that it's just better to use the complete setup. Verity says that about 80% of the time the rear-firing works better, but then again that's true only if they're out a few feet from the front wall, not 8-10 feet. My original budget didn't allow for the Encores, and I really wanted to love the Fidelios, but it was no contest! If I had to keep it under $7k I would have bought the Revel F30 or the Aerial 7b over the B&W or JM Labs or Thiel 2.3. If the Fidelios work in your room give 'em a try. Move 'em back and forth from the front wall until the bottom flattens and fills out. I suppose if the Fidelios allowed reversing woofers like the Encores I probably would've stopped there.
I initially auditioned these choices with a borrowed Audio Refinement Complete Integrated, which is an incredible amp for a G! So much more open and smoother than NAD, Acurus, and much preferable to VAC Avatar (see review) or CJ 11/12, even! I felt that I needed a bit more power for the Encores (they have a 4 ohm woofer), so I'm now using Aleph 2s. But since I haven't a preamp yet I'm continuing THAT hunt. Front end consists of a rechipped Rotel 855, which I know I have to replace. Interestingly an ARCAM 9 didn't sound as rhythmic or punchy, although it was more lifelike in fleshing out the midrange (bloomier?). I wonder if the Wadia 830 will solve both of my remaining needs...? Comments would be appreciated. Customer technical support at Verity Audio (Quebec) is wonderful: patient, knowledgable in the extreme, very helpful, and truly interested in creating musically-satisfying implementations.
I have for the first time the ability to readily hear small ancillary changes in the system, but without edgy artifice or harshness. The spectral tilt IN MY ROOM is pleasantly warm (NOT lean in the very low mids) and utterly natural. Treble quality seems completely at the mercy of upstream info, of course. Most CDs sound fatiguing, edgy, and somewhat harsh--I didn't realize until now how multifaceted digital grunge is in its manifestations! I'm hoping a CD player change will ameliorate this a bit.
The Encores sound exceptionally good at ANY loudness. They don't need to be pumped up to come alive. Maybe that's why some folks are trying out SETs and triodes on 'em. Although all iterations are 88-89dB/w, the Encores now sport 4 ohm woofers, so it's my feeling that 50+ watts/ch is a good minimum for orchestral peaks. My point is that they will play exceptionally loudly for their size. Multiple timpani and bass whacks are portrayed with wonderful weight and, more importantly, proper attack. (NOT like the B&W) In my setup I clearly have a room res at 80 Hz (any help in taming that?...WITHOUT moving the speakers?), but for now I'll live with it, as the imaging is positively holographic (even with my Steiway B in between the speakers!...I swear Diana Krall is seated at MY piano while crooning out those Love Scenes!) Likewise Nojima playing Lizst, and Radu Lupu with the Schubert Sonatas. Standup bass is so completely right with these speakers that I have a bass-player friend (who's also the premiere acoustic pickup maker for guitars, basses, etc.) and his custom guitar-making partner in awe at the presentation of these loudspeakers. Same response from a violinist friend, and older friends with 40 years experience listening to live jazz! I spent a long time trying to find under-42" three-ways that sounded as coherent as my custom-made two-ways, but there was no contest here. Ribbonlike transparency and smoothness with lightning-quick transients (even in the low-bass), a natural frequency response, great macro and microdynamics at any volume level, and a super-easy load due to high sensitivity and a benign impedence curve add up to a speaker system I'm grateful to be able to have in my life, and hope I'll enjoy for many, many years. Call or write if you have q's or can help with my CD/pre hunt. Thanks. I'd give a 5 star for value if I felt more people could afford them....
Who should buy these? Orchestral, chamber, vocal, acoustic jazz lovers will be completely enthralled. Rock and electronic jazz hounds will perhaps equally be satisfied if the recordings are up to snuff. Again, be prepared to upgrade your whole system. The ONLY inexpensive amp clean enough for these speakers I've found is that YBA off-shore Complete Integrated. Verity Audio claims great success with the Electrocompaniet ECI3 also, but I haven't tried it. My closest dealer thinks only the Watt Puppies compete in the midrange under $20k. Again, the Encores have a much more refined integrity of presentation than the Fidelios, and excell in dynamics as well as bass extension and tweeter integration. Sam Tellig's review notwithstanding, I'd say the Fidelios are 60% of the Encores, not 80%, if one is forced to try to quantify these comparisons!