I have spent many hours listening to some of the most highly regarded box enclosure speakers such as Wilson Audio Maxx III
Q-3, YG Acoustic Anat II, Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond
, and Vienna Acoustics
"The Music." Each one of these reference level transducers can give you the illusion, if the upstream gear is up to the task and the room acoustics are right, of live music being played in front of you by real players in the room. I believe now that another speaker, the Audio Physic
Avantera at $27,000.00 a pair, has joined the ranks of these reference level music makers after a lengthy and intense auditioning process. The Avantera is a rather compact floor stander; measuring 45.3 inches tall by, 9.4 inches wide and 16.5 inches deep. Each speaker weighs 90 pounds, not to heavy considering the company I place it in. The frequency range is reported to be 28 to 40,000Hz, with a stated sensitivity is 89db at three meters with a nominal impedance of 4 Ohms.
The Avantera just oozes of German craftsmanship and build precision. The pair I listened to were done in beautiful black piano lacquer. This speaker is one step down from the top model in Audio Physic's Reference stable. The Avantera is a three-way, seven-driver system with the one point five inch tweeter and two five point nine inch cone midranges mounted on the front and the four seven-inch cone woofers being side mounted. All these drivers are designed by Audio Physic and are composed of aluminum. The cone tweeter, according to Audio Physic, offers a more controlled dispersion than the more typical dome tweeter and leads to a more linear in-room pattern response. The midrange drivers are damped with a rubber suspension to prevent ringing. The outer basket is metal, while the inner basked uses a composite substance. The theory is that by using the two types of baskets, they dramatically reduce vibrations between the drivers and the enclosure. The four woofer drivers are divided between the two that have a four-layer voice coil and the other pair uses a two-layer voice coil to divide the lowest frequencies between them.
Listening to a pair of Avanteras gives you some very special sonic qualities regardless of the type of music or even if you are playing your system at full volume or just above a whisper. Their dynamic range is superlative.
First, let me start with the Avantera's transparency and lack of any coloration being added to the signal being sent to it. I'm very accustomed to this type of purity and clarity because I have had planar speakers as my references for over 20 years, but to have this coming from a seven-driver box enclosure speaker is quite amazing. To go along with this, "open window," on the music, another sonic trait that the Avantera's possesses is its ability to sound seamless. Its drivers are so well integrated that it could fool you into thinking you were listening to a full range electrostatic panel. Because of this lack of any coloration, this speaker delivers micro-details and nuances that are not heard in speakers with higher noise floors. Secondly, the Avanteras produce a huge and naturally layered soundstage that is only limited by what the recording has to offer them. The Avanteras' soundstage features players that are spaced in realistic positions and are natural in their timbres and harmonics. Lastly, the lowest frequencies are extended and powerful with excellent speed and timing.
Read about the high points and low points of the Audio Physic Avantera on Page 2.