We can perhaps agree to disagree, as there are too many things to address, and two guys sniping at one another does not signifcantly advance the discussion.
I didn’t feel that you were sniping. You asked some questions and I tried my best to answer. I asked you some follow up questions. I’m ok to cease the dialogue on this topic. I have always enjoyed your posts and have learned a lot from you. I hope this doesn’t mean we can’t dialogue on other topics in the future.
I welcome others to advance the discussion. Carry on!
If you guys don’t mind, I’ll take off my PS hat for a bit and share my two cents as a run of the mill audiophile that so happened to spend 4 days listening to the AN3s.
The good: the midrange and tweeter were effortless and quite natural. Guitars sounded rich and full, and the tweeter was able to pull out a lot of detail without wearing on me. Piano also sounded quite nice. Scarlet Town covered by Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau is is a reference track of mine and on some systems the piano around 3 minutes in can sound clangy or unpleasant. Not a problem here, though.
Imaging was also spot on, and the sweet spot was wider than I expected.
And last but not least for the good, holy COW does Mahler sound good on the AN3s. We played Mahler’s 3rd performed by the San Fran Symphony and it was awesome. The AN3s maintained their composure, never sounding cramped or cluttered.
The bad: the bass was deep but I found it lacked transient speed. As a monitor and sub kinda guy, I prefer quality over quantity when it comes to bass. Overall I’d consider the bass in the room too much, but I still found the system highly listenable.
Putting back on the PS hat - the servo woofer is the hardest part of the AN3 puzzle. Darren and Paul were tweaking the feedback in the servo nonstop trying to find the right balance. They made a lot of headway throughout the show, though we’re still a long shot from perfect. The sound by Sunday was noticeably better than on Friday because of the tweaks made. We still have a LONG way to go, and the bass is definitely the main area in Darren’s crosshairs to perfect.
I agree with you on most of this. Certainly there are many fine loudspeakers on the market, though none I know of that come even close to what we’re striving for in the AN series when all things are considered: price, full range (true full range), imaging,
musicality, etc. Sure, I’ve heard $50K and above speakers really shine….but nothing like what we’re proposing for anywhere near the price. That’s a tall order and one I have never found in any speaker on the market. It’s one of the reasons we decided to build
Certainly Arnie is not the be all to end all in speaker design. If I come across as a whacky evangelist, then I apologize. I don’t mean to. I have a great deal of respect for the many talented designers out there.
I’m sure it will get very good in normal listening rooms when enough time is spent on it.
I just partly didn’t know what exactly to take serious, as the AN3 developed from „much better than the IRS killer, which was clearly better than the IRS (except for pure impact due to size differences) and now it’s still heavily in development with rather a B rating“. If one reads this backwards it’s not easy to guess how good or bad the IRS is
I think it’s really a question of how much time is given to finish it in opposite to a fast to the market approach. Put one’s speaker in a different room without extensive matching and you rather get a catastrophe than something good, that’s normal. But I admit I expected advantages of the AN design exactly in this room matching.
@Paul cosmetics: Paul I was looking at the AN3’s I know sous is most important, but when spending 15k rom the family budget I bet the spouses have a go at the investment as well. Now here is where I think you can improve aesthetics:
- Position the mid range AMT right symmetric between the tweeter and the bass coupler
- Make the silver Aluminum rim around the midrange AMT thinner
- Add a ave guide shaped Aluminum ring around the bass coupler
- Dimensione the silver aluminum rims such that you can draw a trapezium as follows:
- base line stretching horizontally over the outer diameter of the bass couples silver wave guide
- top line stretching horizontally over the outer diameter of road silver mounting plate of the tweeter
- trapezium side lines between each of the ends of the base and top lines
- the middle of the side lines should meet the middle of the vertical outer lines of the silver rim around the amt mid range driver
Hope this does not influence the sound performance negatively, but is would look like an additional US$ 10k reasons regarding the looks to buy the speaker. All IMHO off course.
Would it be possible to run two AMT midrange in the AN3 to help with being able to play low enough or would that just make it worse?
Yes indeed for spouses it definitely has to look different
But that’s the thing with early prototypes…they don’t sound like the final product, they don’t look like the final product, they even don’t have the drivers of it…imo prototypes are something for die hard fans of the brand and those interested in an alpha or beta version and knowing what to ignore or take serious…not really for the public.
@jazznut Right, that’s why I thought it’s the right time to provide that input, such that they can change it.
Lots of interesting comments on the AN-3. Some I agree with, others, well, you’re entitled to an opinion. As I mentioned previously, and others have stated, we each have our own preferred sound. I like the sound of Vandersteen, I’ve had three pairs, and I think the AN-3 will be in a similar vein. What the AN-3 (or AN-2/1) will probably never be is the best speaker for everyone. We all hear a little bit different and we need to find the speaker(s) that best fit our personal preferences. Both Paul and Darren have said the design is far from done, so lots of room to achieve that A+ rating. I am a little disappointed in the price increase, wasn’t aware of the jump from $10k-$12K to $15k, maybe some of the recently revealed adjustability is adding cost?
I will add that I was intrigued by a couple of speakers at AXPONA, the Kii and the Eikon, that are speaker/amp/DAC combos. The “complete” nature of this type of system is intriguing, though I’m a long way from being convinced I would get better sound out of a Kii for $13k (monitor only) versus my PS Audio system with Vandersteen 5’s. The Eikon goes for around $25k so it’s an even bigger leap. While I was not aware of PS Audio working this way, one of the posts above inferred the AN-1 and AN-2 may have at least a portion of this capability. Of course those speakers will be even more pricey than the Eikon, so it’s an academic discussion not rooted in my reality …
I find it remarkable that the preview of the AN3 has generated so much controversy. I would have thought that PSA would have “loaded the guns” in favor of an unquestioned positive response with very little questioning of the quality of the speakers.
I recall Jim Thiel delayed the debut of the CS 3.7, the successor to the very successful CS 3.6. He kept bringing non-functioning models to shows. I actually called the company and asked why the delay and was told that Thiel was still trying to get the crossover right and would not show a working model until he did. I believe it took him about a year or more to get it right.
I visited Axpona on Sunday (Friday and Saturday via YoutTube)…my experience that day with the AN3s was quite good, due they sound pretty well. I listened to them from two different seating positions, and also while I was walking around the stand. They have a big sound and clear sound, especially considering they are still a prototype. The AN3s in person looks way much better than in pictures (still not convinced with the removable side panels, but also still believe $15K for all that technology, is quite impressive in today’s market standard ($15K price w/ multiple product offering a more/ less similar value proposition - avoid non-aesthetic exceptions)): IMHO loudspeakers should always be able to surprised me song after song, and also looks like amazing (designs on Sopras, 800s, and some B&Os deserve a big credit on that space…).
On the other hand, like always in this kind of event, there were just a few rooms which sounds quite amazing, always with mature and consolidated products which were already presented multipe times before. But…frankly speaking: Trying to reach a Nirvana/ Holy Grail sound experience from an audio commercial fair with a $25 access ticket…hard to achieve. Nevertheless during the few hours where I spent there, were a great time for sharing different kind of musical/ electronic experiences with the audio community, industry leaders, engineers, aficionados of different kind, etc. Axpona’s hours are (specially when the weather was so bad outside) time to enjoy, experience and eventually dream on what’s next to be connected at home …that’s what really matter. For $25 we were also able to share the same audio rooms with some of our “YouTube Idols” and Industry’s reviewers: Such a bargain !!! And @Paul: The AN3s are becoming a big-brother topic…that’s fantastic. Congrats !!!
I am still mystified why this thread is heading in the direction of “why did PS Audio bring a pair of prototypes that weren’t ready for prime time”.
That a few people had comments, and a few others found the speaker didn’t match their tastes doesn’t make for a less than positive launch. That speaker sounded killer and most people I talked with, from reviewers to customers, found it to be one
of the best sounding speakers in the show. I can’t tell you the number of people that returned hour after hour and were amazed nothing in the show came even close.
I was very proud of the speaker and still am. I think what we showed was very much ready for prime time. The looks weren’t what we wanted but from a SQ standpoint I would have that in my home today if I could.
Point being, I think it might be a mistake to take the feelings of a few vocal people as gospel for the general opinions out there.
I am delighted you had such a positive experience in our room with the AN3s. Thanks for sharing!
I am mystified at this comment …
I understand that you prefer to hear the “praises” but if you believe this then that is delusional. To believe that your prototype AN speakers were SO GOOD THAT NOTHING ELSE AT THE SHOW CAME EVEN CLOSE" is totally ridiculous. Even your own staff mentioned that “The bad: the bass was deep but I found it lacked transient speed.” and "They made a lot of headway throughout the show, though we’re still a long shot from perfect. " People should be allowed their opinion without you coming along and trying to embarrass them or make exaggerated statements to serve your own INTERESTS. You opinion is by far the most slanted towards the product since you are building it.
I understand being passionate about building audio equipment but a touch of realism is needed here as well.
Everyone is allowed their opinion. Disagreeing or stating an alternate view embarrasses no one.
And exaggerated statements in audio? Never!
I think a statement like this
“Point being, I think it might be a mistake to take the feelings of a few vocal people as gospel for the general opinions out there.” … is meant to embarrass.
Otherwise one wouldn’t use words like “vocal” and “feelings” and “gospel” … but as you said that is my opinion and even though you may disagree with it - it doesn’t make it any less accurate.
It is accurate to the extent it expresses your opinion.
But I find none of us are good at accurately declaring another’s intent from their posts. I doubt Paul is seeking to publicly embarrass you, but rather is expressing his disagreement, albeit with his typical hyperbole. I similarly believe you are not trying to embarrass Paul or PS Audio, but are instead expressing honestly held views.
I think the product in development and the effort of the involved people didn’t deserve that amount of critical observation (which I might be one of at times).
The reason why the direction developed should probably be examined from a supervisory perspective, considering some psychological aspects involved in people’s reactions to how and what was discussed in advance. Therefore I think it was a great choice of Paul to involve new PSA Forum members who contribute with their own style, enrich the forum and for sure also push PSA business with their authentic speaking.
I think your statement summarizes the problem… it was the product that people were being critical about and “not the people involved”. I think some folks are having a hard time separating the two. Once a company decides to debut a product at an audio show - a public forum - they should expect people to have an opinion - good or bad.