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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

I just bought an almost brand-new pair of Rockport Technologies Ankaas. I would like to match them with an integrated tube amp -- the Unison Research Performance, which has been getting rave reviews! What is your opinion of this amp for the Ankaas? Does it have enough current? I read your explanation to somebody about desirable amps for certain Rockport speakers. You prefer solid state. I do have the Devialet D-premier myself. The sound is a bit 2D -- a little bit flat, not 3D like tubes.

What is a good basic setup for the speakers to start with? My room is 34' long by 22' wide and the height is 9'. I will put the speakers in the center of my room, and I have no limitations in this setup. I do have the Argent RoomLens devices at my disposal as well. My floor is made of concrete with insulation over that, and on top a wooden floor and a huge carpet in the shape of a "T." Behind the speakers I have silk curtains that are covered with a sort of felt at the rear, which are in front of my glass windows.

I hope you are willing to answer my questions. I'm looking forward to your professional advice! Keep on with your fascinating, very enthusiastic and well-written review work! I do admire your qualities.

With the very best regards,

Siert Klunder
The Netherlands

Congratulations on the Ankaas -- they are very fine speakers indeed. You have a rather large room and the Rockports can handle energizing that space with no issues. However, the amplifier you are considering is only 40Wpc and I think that you might be setting yourself up for a major disappointment. It is simply underpowered. As well, the Ankaas are capable of very deep bass and I am not sure the Unison Research Performance is an ideal match to control the 10" woofers of the Ankaas, particularly given the volume of your room. That huge space will swallow bass.

I would not give up on the Devialet D-Premier that quickly. It is an extremely transparent amplifier and will control those Rockport woofers with ease -- a necessity for great sound. This is, in my opinion, just the sort of amplifier you would want to try with the Ankaas. I'd personally love to hear that combination.

I think your issue might have more to do with speaker set up than amplification. If I read your letter correctly you have the speakers (or your current ones) pulled way out into the room toward the center, making them equidistant from the front and rear walls. If this is, in fact, the case, I would advise you to push the speakers toward the front wall so that they are at approximately the one-third mark into the room. This will do two things: first, it will give the speakers' drivers an opportunity to combine correctly acoustically. I think the center mark might be too close to the listening position for that to happen, and that will certainly hamper the ability of the Ankaas to create a coherent sense of space. Second, you will get more bass reinforcement from the nearer-wall placement. Having a firmer low-frequency foundation will help the speakers to reproduce the acoustic of the recording venue better and that will enhance the 3D effect.

Let me know if these tips help. . . . Jeff Fritz