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Best horn speakers I have heard!

Product: DUO GT

I recently auditioned the Avantgarde Duo GT at a local dealer. I've always been enamored by the modern and clean style of the speaker line-up. Those tuba-looking horns are a hallmark. Being a long-time fan of horn speakers, I saw these as the pinnacle of what horn speakers can provide. 

I'm never speaker shopping intentionally; however, when I have the chance to audition, I can't resist. It's always a risk that I might love them and can't get them out of my head, only later to buy them.

I first listened to them at the Florida International Audio Expo. They were the first DUO GT's in the US and literally just arrived before the show. At first listen, I could tell these were nice-sounding speakers, but clearly the room was impeading on their potential. Being in a hotel room, it's very tricky to dial in speakers, let alone one that is large. It doesn't help that there were a lot of people in the room moving in and out, making noise and distractions.

When I found out the dealer showcasing the speakers was in Jacksonville, FL, only a three-hour drive from where I live, I knew I had to visit and listen to them in their full glory in a proper listening space. Over a year later, I had the motivation to take that road trip. The speakers were setup in a large room with a Viva Audio pre-amplifier and a NAD streamer. The system seemed dialed in, so they made a great choice of equipment synergy.

Listening to a few of my favorite songs, the mid-range and treble were clear, almost sharp, though not unpleasantly so. I heard details of the tracks, including breaths, that simply didn't stand out before. I loved the top-end of this system! The bottom-end was a different story. I struggled to hear definition and authority in the bass region. After adjusting the speaker's DSP, I was able to bring it out a bit further; however, it simply didn't have the authority and texture of the Klipsch Jubilee. I'm sure that given the right home environment and tweaking the DSP, you can find the right balance; however, it would take time to play around with it. Overall, excellent speaker, and if the bass was more convincing, this would be on my short list.

Weeks later, a friend let me borrow an Aurilic Vega DAC to replace the DA2 in my C2700. I realized immediately that the Vega was so much better than the DA2 in every way, and that the weight of the bass was much less with the Vega. I wonder if the bass I was expecting from the DUO GT was really just an artifact of the DA2 having a bump in those frequencies. Perhaps the DA2 is less netural. It's hard to say which one is more accurate, but it at least partially explains why I was expecting a heavier bass weight and not hearing it with the DUO GT. Unless I use my exact equipment, I'll never know.

Even though this is twice the cost of the Jubilee, it's the closest comparison I have heard. I'd have to listen to the Jubilees again with better equipment to have a proper comparison. The DUO GT isn't a speaker to overlook, and it's still on my short list of speakers to upgrade to.