It was great to again encounter Andy Payor of Rockport Technologies and hear the stunning 200 lb Ankaa loudspeaker ($26,500/pair). Of all the speakers I heard on the first two days of T.H.E. Show, the Ankaa produced images so large and lifelike that it made other speakers (including several wonderful-sounding models I’ve already discussed) seem like pipsqueaks. I have no doubt that the expensive, neutral-sounding Gryphon Antileon Signature stereo amplifier ($31,000 for 150Wpc) and Mirage preamplifier ($25,000), as well as the debuting Purist Audio Design Proteus Provectus cabling had a lot to do with Andy's triumph. As he rather selflessly noted, "The real reason for a good image lies in the collaboration."

In addition to choosing his partners wisely—more on the Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems Black Box source component in another blog entry—Andy has played extremely close attention to the strikingly good-looking Ankaa's radiation pattern, its crossover—the midrange extends down to 150Hz—and its intentionally rounded cabinet design. What this speaker did with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s voice might have reduced my fellow Lorraine lover, Wes Phillips, to tears. On a much larger scale, every note of "Mars" from Holst’s The Planets was handled with equal aplomb. The speaker delivered midrange fullness for days, and true symphonic proportions.

Zombie's picture

Ah...Gryphon and Rockport...a classic!

Flemming's picture

Thanks for the nice words, JasonFlemming E. RasmussenCEOGryphon Audio Designs

Ron Lapporte's picture

Jason, thanks for your time and kind words.Ron LapporteUltimate Audio VideoBlue Smoke Entertainment Systems

Any mention of the Aquila's picture

Another website mentions an Aquila speaker with a 13" LF driver, yet this blog only mentions the Ankaa. Is the Aquila a pipe dream or is it real??TIAJohn

Nice but...'s picture

where are the Arrakis speakers? Are they history...?

Ron Lapporte's picture

The Aquila is real, includes a 13" carbon-composite woofer, and was on passive display at T.H.E. Show. The Arrakis lives on. We have a pair on display, available for audition at Ultimate Audio Video.

Dimitris Caradimos's picture

I heard the Ankaa powered by Lamm electronics (at 18Wrms the ML 2.1 is a bit underpowered for this speaker but, oh, that sound...). Away from the center line and in a room of awkward dimensions, I was floored by the dynamics and gasped at the life-like images they created. They had to drag me out of the room (it was closing time) but the combination of power and delicacy of their sound still haunts me. I hope the bank approves the loan...