Avantgarde Gets Better With Time

The warm-up phenomenon—where a system sounds better after it's been on for some time, the time being much longer than would be accounted for by anything in the measured performance—is well-known to audiophiles, and it often manifests itself at shows. This was the case with the system in the Avantgarde room: Avantgarde Duo Mezzo loudspeakers ($47,250/pair), Avantgarde One preamp ($37,500) and One power amp ($45,000), with Brinkmann analog and Audio Aero digital front ends. I heard the system early on the first day of the show, and although it didn't sound bad, it didn't sound as great as I'd heard Avantgarde speakers sounding. Could it be the room or perhaps the setup? Avantgarde Acoustics designer Matthias Ruff was on hand; between him and Jody Hickson of Globe Marketing, Avantgarde's new North American distributor, they should have been able to sort out the setup, but the sound was definitely disappointing, being on the dry side, a characteristic I don't associate with Avantgarde speakers.

I went back to listen late on the second day of the show, and it was quite a sonic transformation. The warmth I was expecting had returned, and, combined with the effortless dynamics, made for a much more relaxing listening experience. Jody told me that they hadn't changed the setup; it was just the electronics taking a long time to warm up sonically.

Dave Hadland's picture

I too enjoyed the Avantgarde Duo Mezzo Demo but could not help noticing how the ideal seating position was exactly dead center. Movement 12 inches to either side, eliminated the magic. I don't believe the majority of the crowd appreciated this phenomenon. Is this beaming or a regular characteristic of the Avantgarde? Respectfully Dave H.

John Atkinson's picture

I noticed the same thing. The tweeter horn seemd extremely directional, and you didn't have to move your head very much to lose the top octave.

bad mongo's picture

I bought these and initially installed them in my bathroom. I too found them to be slow to warm up sonically, wich was really impractical and gave me both hemorroids and made me run out of hot water whilst showering.I decided to move them into the livingroom. Due to the tweeter horns being extremely directional, I invested in an operating table for brain surgery. This way I could mount my head a few inches right of the sweet spot, to compensate for the fact that I´m not right in my head.Like anyone else paying fifty grand for a pair of insanely ugly speakers with a fancy name, I´m only remotely interested in music - I am more into "good sound". I own 12 CD´s which I bought because some HiFi magazines wrote that the tracks were recorded on an extremely expensive recording equipement. The science of "good sound" is so complex that there are no measuring devices good enough to discriminate it from "slightly less good sound" nor are there any theory precise enough to expla