Gershman Grand Avant Garde Loudspeakers, VTL Amplification

Without forethought, at every audio show I attend, I inevitably end up smiling, relaxed, and happy in the Gershman Acoustics room. Especially lately, when the always-cheerful Ofra Gershman is playing the $13k/pair Grand Avant Garde floor-standing loudspeakers. Each time I experience these elegantly shaped and beautifully crafted loudspeakers, I like them more. They play smooth but not soft. What I notice and like most about the Avant Gardes is how space and detail are expressed. Just right. Not too etched or hard. Not too blurred or soft. This just-rightness is what makes the speakers disappear.

But they do sound different with whatever electronic they are powered by. At AXPONA, the Avant Gardes were powered by VAC tubes, and the sound felt lively but noticeably grounded, with a relaxed octave-to-octave energy balance. Very descriptive.

Here at High End Munich, Gershman Acoustics shared a room with VTL and Nordost cables. Ofra Gershman and VTL’s Luke Manley (and I) were all happy and smiling because again, right there in front of us, between the speakers, was that unmistakable just right yin-yang, big-little, hard-soft balance.

There is something about the Avant Garde’s shape, size, and sound character, that makes me feel its designer did a lot of subtle little things right.