I’ve now visited the Gershman Acoustics room three times this year–the Florida Audio Expo, Munich and now the Pacific Audio Fest. I told Eli and Ofra Gershman that I’ve known about their speakers for decades, mostly because they’ve advertised in Stereophile since the pages were stapled together. But I’ve never really known their speakers until now, and they’re really amazing.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
At the Pacific Audio Fest in Seattle, Gershman Acoustics was showing the two speakers that have appeared in each of those three shows–the 30th Anniversary Grand Avante Garde floorstanders ($18K/pr) and the Studio XdB monitors ($12K/pair). Eli went into detail about how he gets tremendous bass from relatively small speakers from the way the chambers inside the enclosures are designed and the way the ports are tuned.
The Gershman Acoustics 30th Anniversary Grand Avant Gardes do offer exceptional frequency response–all the way down to 20 Hz from these waist-high towers. With a Wolf Audio Systems music server, Aavik D-580 DAC, a Pass Labs INT-250 and Cardas cabling, the Gershman system seemed physically small in that very big room–until the music started to play. This was an impressive room in many ways, but I’ll never forget how the Grand Avant Gardes had such effortless control over dynamics and soundstage size.
What about these Gershman Studio XdB monitors? I didn’t get to hear them at the show. Instead, I took them home with me for a review. I thought I’d have plenty of room in my Mazda CX-5 for a couple of two-way monitors. I’d even tell the Gershmans that I don’t really need the stands–if that made it easier. But the stands are not only part of the design, they’re fixed. And the more I looked at them, the bigger the whole package seemed. And here’s a surprise: these two-way “bookshelf” speakers go down to 23 Hz. They’re bigger than average.
The two XdB boxes barely fit into the back of my Mazda, but I was excited to have them as traveling companions nonetheless. I now have tremendous respect for the performance of Gershman Acoustics, and I can’t wait to invest real seat time with these superb Canadian speakers.