GT Audioworks, Pass Laboratories, Lampizator, Small Green Computer, and Magnan

GT Audioworks presented their Reference 3 Planar Ribbon Speakers ($49,000/pair), which debuted in January 2021.

Described thusly at the GT Audioworks website—“Full range planar driver, 72" x 10", Ribbon tweeter, 72" x1/2," [at] 4 ohms, 92dB, 40Hz--30kHz,” with an active, optional subwoofer (60Hz—15Hz)—these large planar speakers and subwoofer columns were driven by Pass Laboratories XA160.8 monoblocks ($27,300/pair). Preamplification duties were performed by the Pass Laboratories XP-32 preamp ($17,500). A VPI HW-40 Direct Drive turntable played vinyl into a Pass Laboratories XS Phono Preamp ($45,000). A Lampizator Pacific DAC ($30,750) rendered music from digital files, aided by a Small Green Computer Sonic Transporter i9 "optical storage" Roon server ($3075) and a Sonore Signature Rendu SE optical streamer ($4490). The musical signal traveled over Magnan Signature RCA ($1800) and Magnan XLR balanced ($1200) interconnects and Magnan Signature speaker cables ($1225). Richard Gray Power Company Substation ($2995) and RGPC 400 ($795) improved the A/C entering the system.

Playing contemporary folk music while I was there, the GT Audio Works system sounded punchy and spacious with a big, deep, wide soundstage.

Anton's picture


Out of my league, but gorgeous.

Thank you…the pic is spot on.

windansea's picture

except the maggies are 3 way and these seem to be 2 way. plus subs, although I doubt those big woofers are fast enough to keep up with the mylar and ribbons. need smaller woofers for matching coherence I think.

gtaudioworks's picture

I get alot of this...I really dont see the resembelence. The level of fit and finish not to mention parts quality are way above Maggies. Never seen a stock maggie with macassar ebony veneer under a piano gloss finish.Love maggies having owned 3 pairs, but they are built to a price level much lower than my speakers.Regarding integration of the planar panel to the open baffle powered subs, its seamless.The "Mylar "planars go down to 50hz on their own and are very quick and resolving. The big 12" OB woofers are very fast are a perfect match to the planars and smaller woofers are not needed.

BillK's picture

From the statement:

“Full range planar driver, 72" x 10", Ribbon tweeter, 72" x1/2," [at] 4 ohms, 92dB, 40Hz--30kHz"

How is 40 Hz - 30 kHZ "full range?"

Does low bass not count?

Granted, many of the full range speakers in Recommended Components have similar limitations, but still, it should be mentioned that they are more "limited extreme lower frequencies" than "full range."

gtaudioworks's picture

The LF response for the Ref 3 planar is actually 50hz. The subs extend LF response to 20hz. The speakers and subs are sold as a system so the system LF response goes to 20hz making them truly full range.One listen to pipe organ or electronic music will easily demonstrate that.

BillK's picture

The article should refer to the speaker as a "full range speaker system."

Thanks for responding.

DarkMonohue's picture

I spent about an hour in the room, and didn't feel that bass integration was a problem (it was pretty much the biggest room at the show, which may have helped). The system sounded spectacular (but not in a "hi-fi" way)--liquid, super-fast, with plenty of slam.