Hi, I'm new here so please bear with me. I'm really not a technical wizard or up to date on the latest equipment.
First of all, I have never heard a system more to my liking than my own. The electronics are Spectral (DMA360 monos, DMC30 pre, SDR4000 CD) connected with stupidly expensive MIT cables and cords (haven't studied the #'s) with boxes & Equitech balanced power. I also have some high res digital stuff that I'm experimenting with. This is all in a 17' x 36' room with 14' plus ceiling with a pool table/ card table area at the opposite end to the speakers with an opening to a bar on one side of the game area. So it is not a purpose built room by any means but it is acoustically treated and "optimized" by pros and does not seem to get in the way of music reproduction.
I went from Eidolon to the Isis and they both have the same basic presentation, or what in my experience is a house sound for Avalon. I'm aware that some people claim that it is actually the Spectral/Avalon/MIT sound but I dunno. I'm just not really big on the cable hype except that the Spectral stuff requires MIT cables to keep the amps stable. I'm also not very good at reading reviews and coining terms to decribe how a system sounds but to me the Avalons reproduce music in such a manner that they seem to not exist. I always end up noticing things in the recording and the performance (good and bad) and never the fact that I can hear them with my system. It is like the music just exists in the room.
When I bought the Eidolons I listened them side by side with the big Wilsons that cost a lot more and I decided that after the initial WOW wore off I disliked the Wilsons because they always sort of made a number of themselves. They did not sound bad but I always ended up thinking of the feats they could perform because they were always there. I don't know if this makes sense but the Wilsons were almost more important than the music. The same thing happened when I heard a huge 2-piece/ch Genesis system. It was in many ways awesome but it was always there. I'm not claiming that Avalon is better than Wilson and Genesis but merely that I like (what I think is) the Avalon style presentation. So when I decided to upgrade, Isis seemed like a natural choice and I haven't regretted for a second. The Isis does everything better than the Eidolon as it should given the price differential and its newer design.
I used to live in one of the High End Meccas of the country but now I'm nowhere near one. But having read so many rave reviews of some newer contenders like the Magicos and Rockports, I'm wondering where the state of the art is today? More specifically I'm wondering which of the "world beater" newcomers have a presentation similar to Avalons? And are any of these potentially good enough to warrant a long trip to a dealer? Or should I just forget about it and concentrate on mastering the high res music formats? Any comments would be appreciated. TIA.