Audio Physic Avantera III, great impact and realism
In the design of a loudspeaker, many factors come into play that determine the final result of the same, the selection of the best materials, the construction of the ideal enclosure, the choice of a suitable filter from the best components and, above all , choose the transducers that offer an optimal response. Each brand addresses this challenge differently, although most choose to outsource production with a focus on filter design and final assembly. In contrast, few still maintain control of production from start to finish as in the case of Audio Physic. Founded in Brilon, a small German city north of Frankfurt, this company has a 30-year history dedicated to creating high-quality loudspeakers with the best technological solutions, but without forgetting the brand’s motto, “without loss of detail. ”, Although during this year 2020 Manfred Diestertich and his team have changed it for“ nothing but music ”, quite a declaration of intentions, don’t you think?
For the present analysis Audiopasión, the Audio Physic distributor for Spain, has installed the Audio Physic Avantera III in my living room, a box that is only one step below the imposing Cardeas, the top level of the brand, with which our guest shares a large number of technological advances and solutions. Previously, I already had the opportunity to test another model from the German manufacturer on my system, specifically the Codex, but to begin with, we are now facing a totally different box for many reasons, components, technique, construction and, of course, also higher price. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and see now its technical peculiarities and, above all, the character of its sound.
Outwardly, the most striking aspect of the case is its inclination, as well as its imposing slender line, especially in a 120 cm high case. The model in this analysis has a cherry veneer finish, although we can choose between four standard finishes, walnut, cherry and ebony wood veneers, and high-gloss black or white. The Avantera III come with three grilles, the front one that covers the three main drivers and two on the sides that cover the woofers. In my opinion the listening is more convincing by leaving the main cones exposed, however I don’t think this is relevant for the side woofers.
This is a three-and-a-half-way configuration with a total of seven transducers. Four side-mounted seven-inch woofers, a dome tweter, a mid-bass and a booster mid-bass. It should be noted that these last three drivers, which handle almost the entire frequency range, are mounted on a resonance-free aluminum front plate. The rest of the box is made of wood, strongly reinforced by a honeycomb system and inside it contains an elaborate architecture of independent chambers with less rigid damping panels specially developed to achieve an absorbent effect. In addition, the top models of the brand have a rounded rear finish, which combined with non-parallel side walls better dissipate internal resonances. For this review, the dealer has fitted the Avantera III with attractive VCF 5 Magnetic Plus feet, an optional accessory that provides a substantial improvement in sound performance by reducing the transfer of unwanted vibrations.
However, much of the credit for the Avantera III’s sound lies in the drivers used that have been expressly designed for Audio Physic. High-tech components capable of offering high linearity and low distortion. Let’s look at the HHCT II tweeter, a 1.75-inch cone with a ceramic-coated aluminum diaphragm, designed with the purpose of integrating high frequencies into the sound field in a subtle way, without looking for extra emphasis or greater presence, simply we are not aware of the presence of the tweeter. Next we have two midrange speakers, 5.9-inch HHCM made of aluminum and covered in ceramic that also have a double bracket exclusive of the brand in order to attenuate vibrations. The four woofers dedicated to the low frequencies share some of the technology of the midrange driver and are mounted in a push-push configuration with the intention that the forces they exert on the cabinet cancel each other. Crucial to the functioning of the bass section is the use of ceramic foam in the internal reinforcements of the cabinet as it dissipates and absorbs excess energy before it can negatively influence the sound. Finally, the filters of each section of the box are independent, built with the best components such as Clarity Cap capacitors, of the first order and externally it has a floating connection room for two unique WBT wiring terminals in order to avoid bridges. metal or unnecessary cables, although it is possible to order the bi-wiring option on request.
Listen to her
Although I have not tried with another amplification, I think that a 4 ohm and 89 db of sensitivity boxes should not give problems with any type of amplification, what I can assure is that with my Jeff Rowland set they work great. I had already seen rave reviews of the synergy between the two brands, for example at High End Munich in 2015 where the Cardeas teamed up with Jeff Rowland to present their new Daemon integrated.
But let’s see the selection of discs that I have prepared for the analysis of these Audio Physics that at first glance promise a lot. First, a very special Deutsche Grammophon album, “Cellissimo” with Mischa Maisky performing a series of arrangements for cello and piano, on the special edition of Analogphonic. I never cease to be surprised by the beautiful sound of this instrument that is now more evident when listening to our guests. Some of the fragments are exceptional such as Boccherini’s “Menuet” or Debussy’s “Claro de Luna” with an unrivaled timbral warmth and an extremely natural and elegant sound. The presentation of the instrument is open and airy, with great resolution, fluidity and a special attention to the smallest detail, quite an experience.
During the days that I had the Audio Physic Avantera III under analysis, I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of the concerts of Viktoria Mullova’s tour of Spain. So taking advantage of this circumstance, let’s see how our guests behave with one of the best-known recordings of the Russian violist. This is the second concerto for violin and orchestra by Felix Mendelssohn, a work already absolutely delicious and which in the hands of Mullova and the gentlemen of the Academy St Martin in the Fields with Neville Marriner, becomes irresistible. Listening with the Audio Physic is as decisive as it is transparent, showing us the exquisite texture of Mullova’s violin, with a most natural timbre and without an iota of coloration, there are some moments of this recording that are insurmountable, especially in slow movement. where our guests manage to show an exquisite sound, a moving phrasing and a warmth difficult to match.
Let us now see if we are able to put Audio Physic in a bind with a work with a large orchestral apparatus. It is about the well-known symphonic poem by Rimsky Korsakov, Shcherezade in the sublime performance of Fritz Reiner in front of the Chicago Symphony. For this, I have not skimped on media and I have used the Ultra Tape edition of Analogue Productions with my precious Studer A807. With these analog tapes the frequency range extends to unknown limits and the dynamic contrast acquires levels of realism unthinkable for any other format. With the Avantera III the sound acquires a transparency and a forcefulness that leaves us speechless. Some fragments of the fourth movement contain great contrasts that in this type of support are more violent if possible, our guests have faced them with great resolution and keeping the dynamic pulse intact. But let me warn you that the best is in the third movement where the strings are the true protagonists. Violins, violas and cellos sing a beautiful melody that intoxicates us in a way that borders on delirium. Here the Audio Physics show the real texture of the instruments paying special attention to the microdynamics, those small contrasts that can be so subtle in bowed instruments are now perfectly audible.
We now turn to another unrepeatable recording, Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer, also on the Analogue Productions edition, a record that leaves their mark. I especially like the song “Good Morning School Girl”, especially that rhythm that catches you. Waters’ voice has a magnitude that impacts not only because of its size but also because of its presence and clarity. The density of the voice but also the instrumental weight of the guitar contribute to a realism that is perceived with absolute clarity. The Audio Physic make a great demonstration with this song that sounds superlative in all aspects, if someone thought that a slim box can present problems with the low frequencies they can hear this song and will be convinced.
To finish the well-known Sultans of Swing theme from the first Dire Straits album on the recent Mobile Fidelity issue. What to say about listening with the Avantera III, the rhythm catches you and you are unable to stop following it with your foot. The presence is so real that it seems that we are in front of the stage, the impressive guitar and the very credible voice. Little details like the drum cymbals make this listening that much more compelling, but mostly it’s the fullness of the scene that makes the speakers totally disappear.
The Audio Physic Avantera III is a superbly designed cabinet, beautifully constructed and above all pleasant to listen to. Acoustic boxes with an elegant line and a moderate size, designed for the real customer who must integrate his hobby into the home environment. A product made entirely in Germany, which shows what a good music-loving engineer like Manfred Diestertich can achieve.
I especially liked the treatment of the timbral and the texture of the instruments, as well as the exceptional resolution in the fragments of great orchestral complexity, also their bass response, impressive in blues and rock recordings. Finally they offer a large scene that perfectly recreates the original acoustic space.
In my opinion, the Avantera have achieved the balance between transparency and warmth with particular success, if we add high doses of authentic sonic realism to this, we have a superlative speaker that offers as much as the best loudspeakers that I have been able to hear in the big events to which I have attended, but for a much more competitive price.