I have spent many hours listening to some of the most highly regarded box enclosure speakers such as Wilson Audio Maxx III, Magico 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 PhysicAvantera 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.
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.
• The Avantera possesses a level of transparency and seamless sound rarely heard or produced by a multi-driver loudspeaker.
• The Avantera is able to playback micro-details and information that is often not heard with speakers through speakers with higher noise floors.
• The Avantera creates a huge and precisely layered soundstage that fills the room and brings the listener into the ambience of the space where the recording was originally done.
• The Avantera offers tremendous dynamics and a bottom end that is accurate and blends with great cohesion with midrange frequencies.
• The Avantera is not an especially hard speaker to position in your listening space, but to get it to perform optimally will take time, patience and effort to get the right spot for them to "sing."
• The Avantera is truly an "open window" to what signal is being sent to it. So the upstream gear has to be of a reference level; otherwise, any weaknesses will be exposed.
• The Avnatera will sound their best with higher watt amplifiers that offer high current ability; therefore, this rules out amps with low current loading.
Competition and Comparison
The major competitors based both on price and performance would be either the Vienna Acoustics "The Music" which is valued at $27,000.00 or the Wilson Audio Sasha W/P, which is valued at $27,900.00. Both of these speakers are above sonic reproach and offer reference level performance. However, I believe that the Avantera, with a smaller physical footprint, edge out both these speakers in the areas of transparency, micro-details and seamlessness between the drivers along with more explosive dynamics and a lower noise floor.
With the Avantera, Audio Physic has joined the ranks of some of the most highly regarded speaker manufacturers on the current high-end market. If you are the type of music listener that wants your speaker to give a pure path back to the source material, you will love the Avanteras.
I want to be very clear that the Avantera is not an analytical, ruthlessly over-detailed, cold or edgy speaker in its voicing. It's very precise and totally honest to the signal driving it with natural timbres and harmonics. Therefore, the upstream gear better be up to the task of providing quality information to this world-class speaker. Though I always stress that there is no "best" in high-end audio. Keeping in mind that my opinion is based on my personal taste and system synergy with that particular piece of equipment, I think that the Avantera is one of the best box enclosure speakers that I have ever heard at this lofty price level and urge you to put it on your audition list before you make your decision to purchase your next pair of speakers in this price range. Highly recommended.