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Phantom Gold Confusion & Expert Pro Question
@snbeall and all the others in this thread,

today I did a tour at dealers and listened to:

1) PS Audio Directstream, PS Audio BHK Pre, PS Audio BHK 250 Amp on Magico S3 (latest version).

2) PS Audio Directstream + T+A PA 2000R on Piega 711. VS. Devialet 440 Expert Pro on Piega 711


1. The Piega 711 is a far superior loudspeaker than the Magico S3. Piega 711 is much more detailled, transparent, natural sounding, musical sounding, tighter bass, more plankton, better PRAT and so on. Just a better speaker in every way. The Magico sounds metallic in comparison.

2. The Devialet 440 Pro sounds great with SAM on 100% on the Piega 711 especially the bass. It's really tight, a lot of headroom, the speaker is absolutely vibration free and uncolored.

3. The PS Audio + T+A amp sound better with the Piega 711 than the Devialet 440 Pro. Although the bass was a bit more loose (Amp was not the greatest), and the impulses weren't as hard hitting, everything else sound more natural and detailed, more richness to the sound without being colored, more 3-dimensional, much better imaging, left-right, front-back, better micro-dynamics and so on...

This has confirmed my previous findings:

1. One of the best 3 loudspeakers ever build for a home environment is the Piega 711 (which also has a great WAF and looks awesome).
2. Devialet electronics have clear strengths but in many ways the can't match other (more traditional) high-end gear. The 130db signal-noise ratio for example holds true for the amp section but Devialet is not giving out any numbers on the MagicWire (DAC) section of the amp. My PSAudio Directstream for example has -150db noisefloor. You think that's irrelevant? it's definitely not! Every db can be heard as it brings out more details. I can hear humming of the recording studio gear as the noise floor on the DAC is so low. Not with the Devialet...

Beautiful/nice looking speakers for the home:

Piega 711, 511, 311
Manger S1, Manger C1 (incredibly natural and correct sounding but lean sounding)
Amazing Line Source by Bob Carver
Avantgarde Acoustic Zero Models (very nice dynamically but as with the phantom the details and inner note logic is missing, they image better though)

Now that I come to think of it, there are very few loudspeakers that are of highest sound quality AND beautiful aesthetics...
Interesting - particularly the Carver ALS inclusion. Have you heard the compact Carver CRM ribbon based holographic satellites? And given the ALS inclusion, would you add Bohlender Graebener (BG Radia) stuff to that list? I know it's no longer available, but it does come up used... Also surprised no Martin Logan on the list?
(04-Jan-2018, 18:25)ondastar Wrote: etch opens a great door with his thread. Head to head system evaluations Phantom vs "the audiophile world". In the pix below you can see my evaluation setup. Wilson/Levinson's vs Gold Phantoms head to head (ignore the rear woofer on the couch). As a life long tweaker this is quite a journey. I have outboard eq and sig gen gear along with my ears (and those of some friends), and as with etch the most significant observation to date is that Phantom's are great for "LOUD" and AudioVideo, the Wilson's win on Jazz,symphonic, acoustic and vocal.
Ongoing fiddling with Phantom eq and time alignments continues.....

OMG! These pictures are jaw dropping. I don't know what half of them are, but I sure appreciate something good. Weldone for your devotion.

And to everyone else here, I thank you for the immense knowledge you share. It's helped me enjoy my own setup flawlessly.

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