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I have had the Horning Alkibiades for close to two weeks. These speakers have a long break-in, so I'm sure more improvements will manifest with time.
Really big seven footers, they are quite challenging to setup. Once placed in the room they sounded pretty dead for the first week. Then about three days ago, they began to come alive.
They took some getting used to compared to my Vandersteen 5s. The Vandersteens have incredibly precise and palpable imaging, and being time and phase aligned speakers, are much different than the Hornings.
The hornings have two rear woofers that radiate sound, as well as the down firing horn. This lends a more diffuse soundfield.
If I had to give a few words to describe what I am hearing, it would be speed, dynamics, scale, energy and realism. Blues sound amazing with these, and the American Blues Festival from 1963 simply transports me to the event in a way no other speaker in my experience does.
The dynamics are incredibly fast and LOUD (just like real music)! Something like a harmonica cuts through the room in the same way it does in life. Clarinets and oboes have the right tonal color and are incredibly lifelike. Well-miked singers project into the room like they are standing there. The bass is big and realistic. These don't sound like any Lowther system I have heard before! (The Hornings use a modified Lowther for the midrange.) The paper dome tweeter in amoung the best I have heard anywhere, there is no etch or highlighting, but the sound has a light and airy sound combined with attack and sizzle when metal is struck. There is absolutley no 'hifi' sound of edge artificial delineation of notes.
I saw some live music recently, and it's the first time I felt that my system at home had the same dynamic scale and speed of the original.
I look forward to the weeks ahead, as I tweak my system to work with them better and they break in. Next, I'm getting some Mapleshade feet to put under them.
I have owned a pair of the Horning Alkibiades Signatures for about 4 months now. They are still improving. I've paired them with electronics from Tom Evans and sources from 47 Labs and DPS/Schroeder/Dynavector. I do not consider myself an audiophile because, for one, I don't have the time and, more importantly, the audiophile language used to describe sound doesn't really match with the way I hear music. What Tuckers says,though, is especially true for me. The speaker fills my room the way that real live music fills a room. I don't know why that is. I don't really care. That was the reason I bought them in the first place. When I first heard them at the dealer/importer's place, it made me feel like everything else was a facsimile. I'm not looking for perfect sound. And I can't really say for certain what perfect sound is. But I can tell you that I listen to a lot of music way past my bed time. And I haven't done that since I was a teenager.
...was being played at the Live music event?
Was anything being amplified?
This past Sunday I took delivery of the Horning Agathon Ultimates, and feel very much as you do: They sound more like real music than any other speaker I've heard. I will add that I have nothing but the highest praise for Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound, from whom I purchased the speakers. Jeff is a terrific guy, who's willing to help in any way he can, even with products he didn't provide. My experience with him has been excellent, and I enthusiastically recommend him. As an aside, his Horning/Kondo/Simon Yorke system is the best audio system these old ears have ever heard.
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Why name a product after him? The man was a disaster for Athens and one of the most self-serving and unprincipled men in history. Better to name a product after Gylippus, Lysander or Epaminondas. Or better yet ole Leonidas.
I woulda preferred a name I could pronounce and spell. But I woulda bought them if their name was George Bush with the sound I'm getting!
With George Bush speakers you only get to hear the right channel.
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