Sweet sounding speakers?

Another vote for the Audiovector R3 here. We have recently bought the R3 Arrete and love them and also currently have a NAP 250. We were instantly impressed with the smoothness and musicality of these - especially the tweeter which I would say meets your ‘sweet’ requirement. Bass is excellent. No harshness, not brittle in any way and overall a really good soundstage. Also worth bearing in mind with Audiovector is their upgradability if and when finances/taste allow. They look really good in situ too (also in a shared use ‘beige’ room). If you enjoyed the sound of the R1, I would not doubt you would find any of the R3 range enjoyable. They are also lighter than many floorstanders of their size and do not require a crane when adjusting them!


This is valuable feedback. Thank you.

The other shortlisted possibles such as the SF Sonetto 3 and Fyne Audio F501SP are bottom vented reflex designs so can stand closer to the wall, as indeed could unvented ones such as the ATCs. The Audiovector R1 has both drivers vented to the rear, but with the floor standers only the tweeter is rear vented. I assume this gives them a clear advantage as regards placement?

My wife is intrigued by the prospect of a custom finish in some sort of beige high gloss. Me, not so much. The standard Italian Walnut looks gorgeous in my eyes. I would rather spend the extra £500 on wine than gloss finish.

I do envy you the Arreté level ones but have not heard whether the AMT tweeter offers such a sweet treble as the basic Signature level soft domes.

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Who’s going to be polishing the gloss finish?

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Search me. The same person who is not polishing our high gloss cream German made kitchen (but with front panels made in Italy by genuine Italian craftsmen) I suspect.

Better not get gloss black then.

If it helps, ours are 40cm from wall to back of cabinet and yes, they were easy to place. The Italian Walnut does indeed look gorgeous and just right for the speaker cabinet design. We did not listen to the soft dome tweeter, so I cannot offer a comparison there. The AMT version certainly sounds sweet enough for us. We also listened to some Fyne speakers but did not find their sound signature as full or engaging as the Audiovectors. It might be worth adding that from the front the R3s seem to disappear into the room rather than dominate, which might reduce the argument for the bespoke finish if you don’t want them to attract attention to themselves.

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No way I could get near that. PMCs are currently 16cm from the wall, so a total projection of around 44cm. Could stretch to 20cm but not a lot more, which would give the Audiovectors a total projection of 56cm. 40 + 36 = 76cm would be a dealbreaker.

Hmm. Could be back to the drawing board of stand mount and sub then.

If they need to be close to the wall then worth trialling a pair of Proac Tab 10 Sigs (+/- subs). I think the tweeters may well fit with what you are looking for

This is where they have to live, in beige splendour. Or ecru. Or oatmeal. Whatever. No socks on this one.



I’ve heard many complaining about Audiovector being “hard” sounding causing fatigue but might be differences between models then.

Yes, this is why I have to wait for Audio Affair to re-open their demo room. They are the only ATC and Proac stockists in town. But I wouldn’t want the Halibut to think I am slavishly copying him (having taken his advice to target 272 + 250DR). So possibly the D2 or D20 soft dome versions?

Nobody has mention Neats yet, such as perhaps the Ministra or Majistra. I’m wondering if this is because these are not thought to have a very forgiving treble either?

Neat speakers are renowned for having sweet treble units, sweeter than most to my ears. The Ministra’s are close boundary designed speakers and work well against a rear wall. Certainly worth a try i’d say…


I have my ATC scm 11, 15cm from the wall, being sealed they are very easy to place.

Possibly. I took along my Uniti Core to each audition to be sure of playing tracks which illustrated the hard treble sound I now find too much with my new hearing aids. The Sonetto 3 was excellent, the Fyne 501s less so. The Audiovector R1 was excellent, the Fyne Audio small standmounts (F1-5) and Harbeth P3 less so. After a brief listen to the Spendor A7 it was a quick no thanks.

Of course nothing can replace a loan of the intended speaker for a week or so to be really sure, but you have to narrow the field somehow. I’ve certainly become more aware of the “tuned for demo room appeal” trap intended to intoxicate the listener with the dynamism of it all.

Added to the list, thanks.

Good to know. Thanks again. I assume the same would apply to the SCM40s?

Your speakers are fine, the problem lies with the hearing aids, I think.

I have a pair of PMC 20.23s - they sound fine without my hearing aids (Phonak), but they can sound very unpleasant with them on. Strings are the worst, the distortion is audible (up to 5%, according to the manual).
Things improved dramatically when a helpful forum member with the same hearing aids suggested I ask the audiologist to change the settings (there’s a “music” setting on the Phonaks), but it’s not perfect, and I prefer not to use my hearing aids when listening to chamber music for instance.
In any case, the brain adapts, and if your hearing loss has been gradual, listening with hearing aids may make your speakers sound unduly harsh - and you may find the same with other, sweeter-sounding (?) speakers.

@Suedkiez I cannot agree more using the SF Olympica III :slight_smile:

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I should add that they are beautifully built, just not my style. My #1 choice speakers will be delivered on Thursday, but the SF audition at the dealer was so good that I will invite them to bring them over to pit them against the #1 in my room. The SF are wonderful speakers.

Haha @Suedkiez , it’s the joy of our hobby. It’s all about personal preference and the differences between all the offerings are sometimes really small. You chose what you most like.
A little off-track, but I recently heart the Wilson Audio Sabrina X and can’t get them out of my hat even though I don’t like the looks a lot


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But, but, erm, no. That is not my take on it. But I’m not necessarily correct.

Previous hearing aids have not been sufficiently capable of allowing me to hear well into the higher and lower registers. My hearing in those registers has continued to erode. The brain adapts to intercede and allow me to appreciate that which I can still hear, and not miss (or indeed, not be afflicted by) what I can no longer hear. The harshness of the PMC treble has thus not been audible to me until now. I have been shielded from it by the limitations of hearing aid technology. The manufacturers, recognising that some potential customers might not always appreciate the tonality of their tweeters have revised (“improved” in their preferred language) the presentation of the tweeters in this range. The richness of the lower registers rendered by the PMC has been well apparent and continues to be heard and appreciated by me.

As Pete said to Dud, I’ve got nothing against your left leg. The trouble is, neither have you.

Meanwhile hearing aid technology has advanced over the decade and can now more successfully restore hearing into the higher and lower regions of audible sound than was previously possible. The new hearing aids have suddenly restored my ability to hear into those regions and it would take months or years of brain adjustment for me to learn to like that treble sound which these speakers make. I can now appreciate why the manufacturers thought best to soften them and thus please more customers.

As I mentioned upthread my new aids do have a music programme installed which as most people apparently find, doesn’t actually make a tremendous difference to what the patient hears. The thought of using or not using the aids according to the type of music being listened to is one approach, but getting speakers with a less harsh treble is surely a better approach? At least for me anyway.

That the speakers are the cause and not the aids is vindicated by the supporting evidence that other speakers available to me in the home do not sound harsh in the treble, in common with several I have auditioned at a couple of dealers, and the same is true when I listen, with the aids fitted, using my Sennheiser radio wave cordless open back headphones.