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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

Since you are an audiophile expert I feel comfortable asking you your honest opinion instead of calling dealers that are trying to sell their products. I am in the hunt for a serious loudspeaker and I have a few in mind. I've read that you've owned quite a few yourself! The top of my list has the Rockport Altair, MBL 101E MKII, Genesis G2jr, and Von Schweikert VR9-SE.

I have a listening room roughly 20' x 30' and I do listen to all types of music: R&B, reggae, jazz, salsa, pop and rock. I am really confused on which one to choose -- it will be my last speaker. I have read that MBL is really good but weak in the bass so it can't fill my room, but some people say the opposite; the G2jr and VR9-SE are active so they provide some serious bass but some people says active speakers use cheap crossovers; the Rockports get nothing but great reviews. Please educate me if the MBL is really weak or hollow and also if the Rockport is really all that. As of right now whatever you pick will be my choice because I feel you’ve been pretty direct in your reviews. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Sincerely yours,

You have a very good shortlist there, Edwin. Frankly, I think that in the right room and with the right electronics any of the speakers you've chosen would provide a wonderful listening experience, although each would be quite different in its presentation. I strongly suggest that, if possible, you find a way to listen to these speakers yourself. I do understand the logistical problems that entails, however, but this is an expensive proposition and you want to absolutely make sure you get it right.

If it were my money -- and you are spending a considerable amount of money! -- I would choose the Rockport Altair, which is now in its second version. It contains the newest Rockport-developed carbon-fiber cones and the beryllium tweeter from Scan-Speak. If bass is a primary concern, the 15" woofer of the Rockport will make you smile each time you listen to it. The Rockport would be on my shortlist of about three models if I were choosing a "last" speaker. So to be blunt: Yes, the Rockport is all that! Good luck in your quest and please do let me know what you pick. . . . Jeff Fritz