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Deadhead

Discoveries much better than Arcs?

17 posts in this topic

I've got a pair of Wilson benesch Arcs which I'm very happy with. I like the speed and detail and even the bass is tolerable - now that they're up against the wall. I'm driving them with a Halcro MC20 using a Parasound JC2 pre in quite a small room.
The thing is though I keep looking at forums and ads and wondering if I could make it better.
So before I get myself going and try to convince myself that WB Discoveries have everything the Arcs have but more so and are worth the several thousand pound price difference can some people who have heard both convince me that I'd be imagining any improvement and should keep my pounds in my pocket.
Thanks in advance for any useful comments.
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I've owned both Arcs, Acts, Act 1's & Discoveries

All of them are very very good. However there is no doubt in my mind the Disco's were head and shoulders above the Arcs and a head better than either Act version. Arcs £1.2-£1.5k. Discovery £3-£3.5k so as you say a big price jump. Are they worth the difference. IMO yes if you have the money, no if you dont. Are there better 2nd speakers for £3k almost certainly. However best bang for buck would be act 1's at about £1.5-£2k with a definite improvement on the Arcs for little extra money
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John I have no helpful comments but its good to see another Halcro owner. :^ Don't want to take your thread off track but I would be interested to know what influenced your decision to buy the MC20.
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[quote name='myrman']John I have no helpful comments but its good to see another Halcro owner. :^ Don't want to take your thread off track but I would be interested to know what influenced your decision to buy the MC20.[/QUOTE]

I generally enjoy reading Art Dudley's columns in Stereophile and over time I've discovered that when I've heard some of the things that he's reviewed I'm generally in broad agreement with his views. So when I was looking for a replacement amp and the MC20 came up on the well-known-action-site-about-which-we-do-not-talk I went and found his very positive review on the net.

As well as sounding good, one of the criteria for a new amp was that it had to be smaller and (much) lighter than the BAT VK600 that it replaced which the-little-madam was no longer willing to give house room to. The pre-amp in the house at that time was an ARC LS25II and it kept frying the internal fuses in the BAT which meant that it (the BAT) had to be boxed up on a regular basis and transported to Sussex for TLC (it was a while before we realised that the pre was the problem). The-little-madam really isn't very big or strong and didn't much like lifting or carrying one end of the BAT's vast bulk. So the weight of the Halcro was a real bonus.

Anyway the Halcro didn't reach its reserve so I made an appointment to visit the seller for a demo. After a listen we agreed a price and I'm now a happy bunny.

However, at round about the same time I sold the Audio Research and replaced it with a Parasound JC2 pre-amp. And, although the Halcro is good - clean, fast, detailed, and so on - it is the JC2 in my view which has really made the difference. Compared to [say] power amps or speakers I have always seen pre-amps as convenient boxes on which to hang switches and volume controls rather than main system differentiators. But with the JC2 in place I keep hearing new stuff (more vocals in the multi-track - say) that i never knew was there even on tracks that I thought I knew by heart.

In the UK I've got the Parasound JC2 / Halcro MC20 / Wb Arc system and it's wonderful - musical and detailed (although maybe I could improve the speakers). In France I've got an Ayre V5/K5 / Harbeth SHL5 and although it too is a musical system it gives a little away in terms of detail to the UK arrangements. And I put this down to the amplification.
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I can imagine Parasound working well with the MC20. I'm using the SSP80 with an MC50. Two very nice systems you have John. I really like Ayre kit too and the imagine that your setup with the Harbeths sounds great. Was very tempted by a V-5xe for sale on here last year. Anyway I'll let you get back on track.
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[quote name='Deadhead']Are WB speakers not that popular on here then?[/QUOTE]

I've only ever heard the Arcs, but I was seriously impressed with them. Whilst they do cost more, they left things like the ProAc Response D18s for dust.
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The problem here is that I have the power to see into the future.

And I can see myself getting off of my fat, spotty backside and seeking out a used pair of Discoveries. And going to have a listen. And I know what will happen then because I have previous form in this regard. I will come home with two shiny boxes and a lot fewer pounds.

I really need somebody who has heard both Discos and Arcs to convince me that the Discos go only a couple of Hz lower and in practice you can't really tell the difference. And then I won't go looking and I'll be happy ever after with what I've got!

Please help me.
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[quote name='Biscuit']The thing that really limits WB 'speakers in my opinion is the tweeter. If the Disco's and the ARC's share the same tweeter I wouldn't bother, because the ARC already offers ample bass in an average small/medium sized front room. Hope that helps[/QUOTE]

I believe the Disco and Arc (and Chimera for that matter) share the same tweeter and midrange driver.
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Discos - very open with that rock solid bass response of an isobaric and way better resolution than your Arcs.
Arcs - fun.

For that reason I'd take the Arcs over the Discos, but it's been some years since I evaluated them I admit, so there could be changes.
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I heard the Disco today, nice bass for the pint size with very good voicing. Soundstage was deep with that highend "coming from behide speakers sound effect".
Downside? They doesn't seem to have the PRaT factor and slightly lacking in wieight in the lower mid but then again they are quite small. I think they would be suited to Jazz or classical music lover who have a small to medium size room. As for ARC, last time I heard them was at the show and I thought they were sounded a bit light.
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[quote name='alphatoner']I've owned both Arcs, Acts, Act 1's & Discoveries

All of them are very very good. However there is no doubt in my mind the Disco's were head and shoulders above the Arcs and a head better than either Act version. Arcs £1.2-£1.5k. Discovery £3-£3.5k so as you say a big price jump. Are they worth the difference. IMO yes if you have the money, no if you dont. Are there better 2nd speakers for £3k almost certainly. However best bang for buck would be act 1's at about £1.5-£2k with a definite improvement on the Arcs for little extra money[/QUOTE]

ACT 1's for 1.5 - 2K???!! Are you sure? This seems pretty cheap. I'll be first in the que!
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