Audio Physic Avanti 3

Mikko Mattila
Translated into English by Robin Lybeck
Photos by Audio Physic

Published in English Oct 25 2002

When Audio Physic brand found its way to Finland from Brilon, Germany expectations by Finnish enthusiasts were high. The brand has received international acclaim for its "mid-prized" high-end speakers, situated in the middle of its product range. The speaker tested here, the Avanti III, is situated in the upper end of the manufacturer's large scale of products.


The Avanti III is a dynamic, "3 ˝-way" damped bass-reflex design. The enclosures are manufactured by a subcontractor in Danmark, a country known for it´s high standards of woodworking. The finish of the seemingly very rigid enclosure is a pleasure for the eyes, exhibiting an unusually high level of craftsmanship. The front baffle has a 7-degree slope backwards, and the enclosure as a whole is a bit wider at the back than at the front. Four spiked feet, placed a bit wider than the enclosure itself, support the whole speaker.

The tweeter is a new ring radiator design from Vifa, promised high frequency extension exceeds 40kHz. The midrange is handled by two 125mm elements from SEAS, and for these elements the proprietary technology of Audio Physic, Active Cone Damping (ACD) is used. This technology reduces resonance at the upper end of a drivers´ frequency range. The four side firing, 165mm bass drivers operate in a push-push configuration, two drivers on either side of the enclosure.

The crossover points of the Avanti III are 2,2kHz (18dB per octave), 500Hz (6dB per octave) and 200Hz (6dB per octave). The three crossover frequencies are used in order to increase driver area more uniformly when reaching the lower registers. One of the midrange drivers only reproduces the range from 200 to 500 Hz, while the other driver, equipped with a more powerful magnet, takes care of the entire range from 200Hz to 2,2kHz. This way the total driver area is larger in the lower midrange, which is exactly what's intended with this design. The speaker can be biwired or biamped.

Placing the Speakers

Best result was achieved when the speakers were placed along the long wall of the room, toed in directly at the listener, in a regular triangle, the distance between the tweeters being 3,5 m and the distance to the listener 3 m. The Avanti III:s also work well when placed more closely, but like many other top-notch speakers a wide placement is undoubtedly recommended.

First listening session

During the first listening session our reference system consisted of Audionet´s exceptional ART V2 CD player, our familiar Dunlavy Cantata speakers, driven by the clean-sounding but maybe somewhat "lightfooted" Audionet SAM integrated amp.

The first thing I noticed about the Avanti was its exceptionally clean and detailed treble, the likes of which I've only heard with very expensive speakers using plasma tweeters. Triangles, cymbals and bells have a natural, shimmering ringing to them, with a natural decay time, the sound being audible for a long time. With the Avanti´s high-tech tweeter the standards for treble reproduction have definitely been moved to a new level, no doubt about that.

Voices and natural instruments are reproduced without colorations. The sounds of percussions were exceptionally clear, even if they were located further back in the soundstage compared to our reference speakers. The weightiest chords of a piano had a notable lightness to them. I was starting to get suspicious......

I was also somewhat disappointed in the speakers´ dynamic capability. The lower regions were presented with notable accuracy, but remained somewhat weak-sounding with material exhibiting large variations in this area. The lowest octave was reproduced quite weakly; I missed the control and dynamic capability of our reference, in this case the Cantata. My notes didn't agree much with those of other reports and reviewers. The Avanti had been applauded as a very dynamic speaker with excellent bass control, but I couldn't perceive any of that with this setup. Whether I was missing soething or maybe everything wasn't allright after all......

Second Take

The whole issue bothered me. Closer look at the Avanti´s specs showed that the impedance dips below 3 ohms around the area of 1kHz. This might constitute a problem for smaller, less powerful amps, as this area contains a lot of layered information. Even though our reference speaker, the sensitive and dynamic Dunlavy Cantata worked fine with the SAM, I felt that the integrated amp couldn't drive the Avantis with aplomb.

So as not to leave the matter unsettled Avanti deserved another try. A few weeks after the first attempt we hooked the Avanti up to the familiar and somewhat more "muscular" GamuT D-200 power amp and the excellent Audio Aero Capitole 192/24 CD player with built-in preamp. Immediately one thing became very clear; the Avanti doesn´t adhere to the "less is more" principle concerning amplifiers. We might try "less is bore" in this case, the Avanti seems to need ample amounts of power and control, lots of brutal but clean power. This also seemed to work like a charm; all of the aforementioned strengths remained, transparency, resolution, palpability, soundstage and the exceptionally fine treble. And now these were joined by the percussions, the bass drum and the piano, sounding just like they should.

Some minor comments remained; the left-hand tones of a piano remained somewhat light, the whole instrument was placed a bit further back than usual. Then we have a special point of importance for me; the sound of impact from the hammer in a piano, a detail many feel I'm too sensitive to. With the Avanti the sound of the hammer was somewhat thin and "spiky". I must stress that this problem only becomes apparent if you know exactly what to listen to, and in this case it never developed into a true problem, but it was still recognisable. In a real concert piano the sound of the hammer is a palpable impact, not the sound from the keys and even less a soft "stroke". In many speakers using metal-based midrange elements this sound tends to be colored - at least they sound so to me. In the worst case the sound of the hammer is plagued by a long and persistent ringing, luckily this wasn't the case here

The third point concerns the lower register: Even though the bass as a whole is very good, the definition was not quite as good as with our reference speakers.


Balance: Neutral, neither dark nor bright. 

Resolution: Excellent, one of the best I've heard. Even the quietest, smallest and least audible sounds could be clearly heard and identified throughout the whole frequency range. 

Transparency: "Crystal clear" 

Treble: The most detailed, clean and shimmering treble I've ever heard from a "traditional" design. Bravo! 

Midrange: Very detailed, yet relaxed. Voices and instruments are reproduced in a very natural fashion. Some of the instruments in the lower midrange, cellos for example, sometimes seemed a bit distant. Also, the lower notes of a piano might have lacked the last word in impact and strength. 

Lower register/Bass: Quite detailed and accurate in the upper bass and even the lowest octave was handled well. A subwoofer might be quite unnecessary with these speakers. 

Dynamics: When there is enough power on tap, these speakers reproduce dynamic swings very well. Excellent overall performance in this area. 

Spatial information: The rendering of soundstage was exceptional, one of the best I've heard so far - deep and wide. As a finishing touch instruments were very well focused. 

Scale / Visceral impact: A very lifelike presentation; Powerful, deep, wide and exceptionally well focused.


Audio Physic has managed to develop and produce a product with an amazing value. In terms of resolution, treble sweetness and soundstage the speaker is among the best I've ever heard.

As we've had a tradition of presenting some points to develop, I'd have to mention missing a bit of "fullness" in the overall sound, probably a result of the Avantis somewhat recessed lower midrange. On the other hand we're dealing with a matter of taste, some listeners might perceive the present balance as ideal. The Avanti III felt right at home with all kinds of musical material. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that listeners who really want to hear exactly what's on the recording choose the Avanti.

The Avanti III is among the best speakers I've heard, a true superlative design in most areas except price.

Other listeners' remarks

Robin Lybeck:

Combined with the GamuT D-200 and the Audio Aero Capitole the Avanti exhibits an exceptional level of resolution and clarity, especially in the treble. The lower register was very "dry" and tuneful, somewhat resembling the Dunlavys. On the other hand I couldn't quite shake the feeling that the Avantis emphasized the lower register somewhat on the expense of the upper bass. From time to time, the bass of the Acapella Harlekin (also used as reference in the same test) felt more "even". But, the depth on the live recording of "Stimela" by Hugh Masekela was astonishing, not to mention the dynamics which were very impressive. It's always especially pleasing listening to a live recording through a speaker like the Avanti when You feel that all variations in the music are reproduced on a natural scale.

Technical Details

  • Floor standing 3 ˝ way over-damped bass reflex speaker tuned to 30Hz 

  • Ringradiator tweeter w/extended frequency response (40 kHz –3dB) 

  • Dual 5" Membrane mid-range drivers with Active Cone Damping (ACD) 

  • Double push-push bass configuration with four-6 ˝" woofers per speaker 

  • Height: 1100 mm; Width: 190 mm (front), 240 mm (rear) Depth: 420 mm 

  • Weight: 42 kg

  • Power rating: 250 W

  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

  • Frequency response: 28 Hz - 40 kHz (-3 dB)

  • Sensitivity: 89 dB / 1 W / 1 m

  • Principle: bass reflex with sound output in the cabinet base. 



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