Room total dimensions: 12.416’ back wall behind speakers, 2’ from left speaker outer edge to short hallway, fireplace angled wall (to right of right speakers) is 5.67’, adjacent wall is 9.75’ long, 9.583’ to front edge of sofa (soundstage middle sweat spot), 16.25’ to front of kitchen island behind sofa, 25.166’ from component rack front edge to kitchen backsplash, 10’ ceiling in living room, 8’ ceiling starts at kitchen island. Not the most ideal dimensions (certainly not the golden dimension custom sound room these speakers once occupied); however, there is little reflection issues (helps that wall paint is matte finish).
Apogee Acoustics Duetta Signature Series II Magnetostatic Speakers
My dad was the original owner who bought these speakers in 1988. Since the early 90’s I have coveted these speakers and looked forward to one day inheriting them. To me ears they are the best sounding speakers I have every heard. I acquired them recently. Zero buzz. They sound as good as the day they were bought. Actually better. I’ve always favored their very organic, wall of sound energy (if that makes any sense). I think I got lucky and have the optimal core system built for these speakers.
Balanced Audio Technology VK-5i
Preamp bought ~2 months ago in mint, practically new condition with the coveted VK-R3 billet aluminum remote.
Balanced Audio Technology VK-600 with BAT Pack
Bought on Audiogon ~2 months ago in near mint condition.
Jason Bloom match recommended specifically for the Duettas.
Silnote Audio Morpheus Reference II
XLR to XLR interconnects between amp and preamp; XLR to native RCA between preamp to audio streamer. Crisp, neutral imaging, large soundstage, tight bass are hallmarks of Duetta’s and strong attributes of Silnote’s interconnects sound signature.
I really appreciate the in-depth analysis. I’m sold. I’m so in love with the profile of my system that I am convinced that the Duettas with a modern upgrade will hold its own with any system available at most any price point. Now I just need to get it budgeted and pull the trigger. Thanks again!
Hello Matt, Nice setup. For what it’s worth I have heard good things about Bill Thalman and would love to hear a pair of his full rebuilds someday, my guess is they would be very impressive.
On the other hand I have been using Rich at True Sound Works for my Apogee rebuilds for over 10 years. I had him do a complete rebuild of my stock Duetta Signatures first and found them to be truly fantastic. I had been listening to the stock Duetta Sigs for several years and thoroughly enjoyed them as I was fortunate to have a pair in very good condition [and] with no bass buzz.
After their rebuild they were nothing less than sensational. Call me crazy but I was later presented with an opportunity to try Diva Ultimates which, as impressive as their potential was, simply overwhelmed my moderately sized listening room (13’x17.5’x8.5’) as their incredibly powerful bass could not be tamed. Finally I came essentially full circle, returning to my [ room-size-appropriate] Duetta Signatures but this time as Duetta Ultimates which I highly, highly recommend. Everything you love about your Duetta is naturally enhanced with an effortlessness that is breathtaking. Over the years I have fed them both high powered tube monoblocs as well as high powered solid state amplification and these speakers just open up and let the best characteristics of each glow with their very best attributes. You can hear the tube amps embrace you like a graceful ballerina live on stage before you or the grip and speed of solid state amaze you with the precision and dynamics of an Olympic gymnast...
The speakers are stunning and I’m 100% convinced you would agree.
Much appreciated. I’m now considering moving towards upgrading the Apogees to either Duetta Ultimates via True Sound Works Audio (Graz ribbons with stronger magnets for even lower bass) or upgrading with all Graz ribbons that includes replacing all of the acoustic foam (that is surely deteriorated) and tuning the ribbons to a precision that wasn’t available when the original Apogee existed (as well as replacing the magnets) via Bill Thalmann at Music Technology. The Ultimates are described as Duettas on steroids whereas the latter is updated and better than the original parts. but true to the original signature sound of the Duettas. A bit of a dilemma for sure!
Thanks all for the compliments. I haven’t dove down the vinyl rabbit hole yet :). My next step is looking at replacing my power cables with Silnote Poseidon GLs. I’m still trying to wrap my head around power cables. Always a measure of ear return on investment. Until recently it sounded a little crazy that they could have a sizeable impact on sound.