There is something about Avantgarde Acoustic and I don’t know what it is. Always has been, if I’m being honest. The speakers are large, imposing, and impossible to ignore — and, to my eye, in the best possible way. This is art, with purpose. From the automotive paint on the horns (luxurious and just reeking of cost), to the over-the-top build quality, I am smitten. This brand makes me want to live differently — that is, I want to build a room that would do justice to a system fronted by Avant-garde loudspeakers such as the Avantgarde Acoustic DUO GT.
Words and Photos by Scot Hull
The new Avantgarde Acoustic DUO GT (“Grand Twin” — from $58k/pair) features 12″ subwoofers, a super-tweeter, and “the usual” gorgeous horns for the tweeter and the mid-range. The speakers, as a system, are a shocking 107dB sensitive — so, all those audiophile micro-watt amps have finally found their home. But … I am beginning to think dangerously illicit thoughts about that approach. In fact, I am beginning to think that bringing external amplification to a speaker such as the Avantgarde Acoustic DUO GT has become an entirely superfluous game. I know it’s almost sacrilegious to say it, but their new iTRON versions (basically integrated amplifiers, built into the speaker columns) make extra gear not only unnecessary but perhaps even sub-optimal.
I’ve heard the optional iTRON in two separate Avantgarde systems now, and each time, the speakers just sounded better when run that way. More — these new systems are able to be tricked out with an additional option, an “integrated network capability for direct streaming of content such as Tidal®, Spotify,® DLNA®, Roon®, Airplay® and others as a perfect plug & play system.” Just add an iPhone to the Avantgarde Acoustic DUO GT and you’re off.
Shown here with tube gear from Phasemation and a turntable from VPI Industries (with a DS Audio cartridge), most of my listening time was with the tunes fed directly into the speakers from a Red Wolf 2 SX High Fidelity Audio Server from Wolf Audio Systems (from $9,400.00). The sound? Other-worldly. Of all the new stuff I saw and heard at the Florida Audio Expo this year, this was the gear I most wanted to spend more time with — a lot more time. Seriously. I think I’m in love with these new Avantgarde Acoustic DUO GT speakers.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from FLAX 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.