Newport 2012: Cake Audio presents Rockport, BAT, Brinkmann


That’s kinda how I feel whenever I run across speakers from Rockport Technologies. I dunno why. I think the first model I ever heard of was the Arrakis, and that speaker may have scarred me. $200k+ and a 1,000lbs each — holy sweet Jesus that is a huge speaker. See? I still get a little shaken, even just thinking about it. Heaven forbid one of these monsters should fall out of the sky and into my listening room. I mean, well. Hmm. Now that I think about it, I think I would just wet myself. Promptly. From fear. And … lust. Yeah, okay, I’m not too proud to admit it, so fine. Now, go away. I need a moment to collect myself. Whew!

Anyway, back to the program. Here at Newport, Rockport was showing the new Avior, offered at $29,500. Yes, you read that right, and no, I didn’t lose a zero. Thirty grand. For a Rockport. I KNOW. Crazy, am I right? I couldn’t believe it — I think I asked three times, just to be sure.

The Avior is about 220lbs each, so think “hefty”, and sports three Rockport-designed carbon-sandwich drivers and a Scanspeak Illuminator beryllium tweeter. The front baffle? 6″ thick. Yeah — whoa, indeed. The speaker is a 3-way, four driver, with a raked-back design that looks very … Rockport. It’s actually, instantly, recognizable.

The sound here at Newport was a bit of a challenge, as the guys from Cake Audio readily admitted. This speaker was just way too beefcake for this long-wall setup — it probably would have been more at home down in the main Sony demo room. Nevertheless, I trotted out my handy-dandy Chris Jones CD, Roadhouses and Automobiles, for my quick one-two demo run-through, and while the resolution in-room was only “good” — better than average, but not Accuton-clear — the bass performance was staggering. In the right room, this speaker will be Monstrously Good. I really, really want to hear these speakers set up somewhere else. Like my room. Hook me up! Hey! Anybody out there?


[tap, tap] Is this thing on?


The rest of the cast:

  • Amplifiers: Balanced Audio Technology – REX Tube Mono Blocks, $30,000.00 pair
  • Pre Amplifier: Balanced Audio Technology – REX Pre Amplifier, $20,000.00
  • CD Player / Processor: Audio Aero – LaSource, $44,000.00
  • Turntable: Brinkmann – Bardo II, $9500
  • Tonearm: Brinkmann – 9.6, $4000
  • Cartridge: Brinkmann – Pi, $2700
  • Phono Preamplifier: Luxman E-1, $4,000

Cabling came courtesy of the top of Nordost’s Norse line of cables, the Tyr. Distribution was via a Nordost Qv2 Line Harmonizer and Qb4 Power Distribution setup.


  1. Hi,
    You should start doing some video coverage of the rooms.
    Then we could get an idea of how they sound instead of only seeing photos.

    • Love to, but not sure that an audio capture using a handy-cam would do anyone any good at all. That said, I do have this Tascam thingie lying around. Hmm. Lemme think about it.

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