review menu


Take Avanti Five

Keijo Tanskanen

Avanti V and ebony look! Two solid terminals on the back side!
– That is enough!

I have always respected Audio Physic’s way to plan and build speakers and I have had the great pleasure of owning both the Virgo III and Avanti III which I really liked a lot. This brand of speakers has easily met my expectations and preferences, and even more importantly, AP speakers have been really worth the money.

Of course there has been room for slight criticism, too. For example, the Caldera was very sensitive to the size of listening room and it´s arrangements, some models like Avanti III and Virgo III have had a slight lack of warmth or tonality when compared to other top speakers, and Scorpio never reached the resolution and accuracy of the Virgo III and Avanti III etc. Anyway, the entirety is what matters, and Audio Physic has really realized that.

Avanti III was updated several times during its production, and the latest versions were clearly better than the first ones. This may be one reason why it has been renamed Avanti V now and not Avanti IV. Anyway, the construction has been changed so much that it alone will give a reason to jump to the model V.

So, I think I really have some background for the Avanti V review!

Avanti V has a completely new cabinet design, new elements and crossovers. It also features a more rigid enclosure, sophisticated structure and resonance dampening. The beautiful look is luckily the same as before!
For more information, please follow the link:

Placing the speakers
Audio Physic speakers have always liked a wide placing. Avanti V is not an exception. I also tried an ordinary triangle-formed placing and it worked perfectly too.

The listening room was 45 square meters with partial acoustic treatment. This time it was impossible to place the speakers closer than 2,25 meters to the rear wall (there were too much other heavy stuff to move), but fortunately it was possible to change the place of the listening chair. The speakers were placed 1,6m from the sidewalls and the distance between the speakers was 3,6meters.

After some very first listening, I decided to move the chair a bit forward, because the bass was too dominant near the wall. The best balance was then achieved and the chair took a place 3,9 meters from the speakers.

The speaker pair we used was burned in some tens of hours.

Listening session
The AP family sound was immediately noticed from the very first moments of the session. It was a relief to hear that the strengths of the previous models were still present. But now there was something else as well!

Some Jazz first! Diana Krall’s voice (Love Scenes, IMP 12342) was clearly warmer, the bass was more impressive (and I would bet it goes a bit lower than Avanti III’s did) and the treble was even more realistic than before. Diana’s piano was delicious and it’s hammer hits were easily available for my ears, but some other speakers were able to produce even more realistic hammer hits. When I tried George Duke’s After Hours (WB 947073), the previous results were verified, and exceptionally clean treble really made the triangles sing!

Where the Avanti V really shines is on Live recordings. Frank Marino’s Live (Axe Killer 3065028) and Helborg, Lane and Sipe’s Temporal Analogues of Paradise (Bardo 136) are perfectly mastered, excellent and brutal Live records. When I played those with Avanti V I was sure about one thing: Avanti V is right up at the top when talking about soundstaging and transparency.

The feeling was so “live” during the session that all the memories from the Marino’s real concerts returned to my mind. In those areas Avanti V is comparable to any speaker at any price class I’ve heard.

The speed and control abilities of the Avanti V do not quite reach the level of the best speakers I’ve heard (there is the Kronos on the AP’s line too!). But, I believe, this can be noticed only when one has experience of a certain kind of dynamic monsters like Wilsons. Despite being easy recognition, these slight flaws never disturbed me seriously.

Then it was time to try some classical music. I have always praised Reference Records´ production. My favourite cd for tests is RR Respighi (RR-95CD). It has tremendous dynamics, a sound without compromises with great music. Avanti V did it very well. Again, transparency and soundstaging took my thoughts away. When it was time to attack, Avanti V did a fine job. The explosive big drums were natural but they didn’t quite achieve the last bit of the dynamics, which for example I think Wilsons, some Acapella models and Avantgardes do better. Anyway the lower register was impressive when one takes into account the size of the speaker.

I did not find anything bad to say about the balance of the Avanti V, but in this issue one must be careful in setup and of course bigger rooms are naturally better. In my session the midrange and treble were absolutely clear and in very good balance. The last record was YL’s Uusi Joulu (Finlandia Records 3984-29710-2) which has some nice choral music. The space of the church was so evident and the singers were so natural. I noticed some very slight roundness in male voices but female ones were crystal clear. The session was at its end and I was convinced about the abilities of the Avanti V.

Balance: Neutral (the predecessor was neutral too, but now it is even improved).

Resolution: Excellent overall resolution. Some slight roundness may exist on the lower register.

Transparency: Marvellous! Really lifelike and beautiful presentation.

Treble: Now the treble is among the best I’ve heard so far from ”traditional” tweeters! Even though the Avanti III already had exceptionally clean and shimmering treble, it is now even better and more realistic.

Midrange: No bad words at all. Avanti V is more balanced in the midrange than it’s predecessor. I’ve heard a bit more realistic piano and male vocals from some other top speakers.

Bass: The bass of the Avanti V goes very low. During the session I never felt any need for subwoofers. The quality of bass is very good although I’ve heard more impressive presentations before.

Dynamics: Excellent, but did not quite achieve the level of the best speakers. Control of the dynamical blows has been remarkably improved.

Spatial information: It is hard to describe how well this relatively small speaker does in this area! It is just very near the best speakers. The vertical dimensions of soundstaging are now larger than what the predecessor had.

Audio Physic has done a careful job. Now the highly valued Avanti III has an excellent successor, which it really deserved. As David Brubeck’s classic song says; ”Take Five” for listening. It is really worth of trying, but be careful, you need to have at least 20 square meters of listening space and hopefully not too many stonewalls which may deteriorate the frequency balance. Naturally one can have a better speaker but for that one needs much more money! Very highly recommended.

Technical Details
Floor standing 3 ½ way bass reflex speaker
The Hyper-Holographic Cone Tweeter (50 kHz -3 dB frequency response)
Dual 5,9” mid-range drivers with Active Cone Damping (ACD)
Double push-push bass configuration with four 7” woofers per speaker
Height: 1110 mm; Width: 240 mm; Depth: 420 mm
Weight < 40 kg
Power rating: 250 W
Frequency response: 28 Hz - 50 kHz (-3 dB)
Sensitivity: 89 dB
Price: 10 950€ (ebony 12 800€) in Finland

Used equipment
CD player: Burmester 001
Stereo AMP: Burmester 911
Interconnects and Speaker cables: Transparent Reference
Power Filter: Burmester 948, Power cables from Transparent

Keijo Tanskanen
Telecommunication engineer