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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

Thanks in advance for reading and responding to this email. I’m looking to make a major purchase of a set of speakers to replace my Energy Veritas 2.8s. I’d love to get your opinion on the following candidates:

1. Rockport Aquila (used)
2. Revel Salon2 (used)
3. Rockport Avior (new/demo)
4. Gershman Black Swan (used)

I want a highly respected and great-sounding, neutral speaker with a flat frequency range that extends to 20Hz and has great measurements to back it up. I also want to know what the -dB point will be for each speaker at 20Hz (-3 to -5dB, preferably).

My room is 21' x 18' x 8' and my amp pushes 300W into 8 ohms and 600W into 4 ohms. I hope to move the equipment into a slightly larger listening room this year.

I like the Revel Salon2‘s deep bass and flat frequency response, but I read it's power hungry.

I like the Avior because it incorporates Andy Payor’s newest drivers and technology. On the other hand, I don’t know if its frequency response will be flat or how many dB it will be down at 20Hz. No one has reviewed or provided measurements on the Avior and I don’t want to read a Stereophile measurement six months from now that looks like a roller-coaster track.

I read good things about the Aquila and Black Swan, but I have the same reservations as I have with the Avior. Based on the info I provided, in what order would you place these on your purchase list and for what reasons? Thanks again.

Ray Knight

There is no question in my mind that I would buy the Rockport Technologies Avior. There are several factors. You've hit upon the fact that the Avior has the latest Rockport drivers, and I think this is a key point. But I think there is an even better reason, given your criteria: each and every Avior is measured and tuned for flat response by the designer himself, Andy Payor. Payor believes strongly in the highest level of quality control -- and flat frequency response -- and therefore he personally measures each and every speaker before it leaves his shop. The crossovers are adjusted until the speaker meets his stringent standards for acoustic output. I've seen this process myself and it is impressive how detail-oriented Payor is. This process ensures that the customers are truly getting what they paid for. I suspect that if you asked, he'd be happy to tell you how your personal pair of Aviors measures, should you order a new set.

One other reason I'd buy new is that you just don’t know what's happened to a used speaker throughout its lifetime. Being mechanical devices, speakers are prone to all types of damage due to shipping issues and environmental factors, not to mention being overdriven and abused by previous owners. I'd feel safer buying a new set. And in my book the Rockport Avior is tops, given the list that you provided. . . . Jeff Fritz