ROCKPORT TECHNOLOGIES Avior II

MJ19.12.2021

Floorstanding loudspeakers

In Rockport Technologies, each crossover network is adjusted for each Avior II unit. All network’s components are matched to within a 1% tolerance, and only then the crossover is sealed in its place, that is the speaker’s base. After that every speaker is individually measured, fine-tuned, and approved before shipping. This way Rockport makes sure that their customers receive units that perform up to company’s high standards. What a pre-sales care!

Funkce a forma

85%
Ergonomie
90%
Zvuk
90%
Zpracování

For their speakers, Rockport uses names of stars and constellations. Avior is not different. Avior, more precisely Epsilon Carinae, is a binary star in the southern constellation of Carina, 630 lighyears from Earth. Though it is not visible from our hemisphere, it was used by ancient sailors to navigate.  

Although you can also use Rockport Avior IIs to navigate around the room, their primary purpose is to play music. By design, the Avior II is a ported 3-way speaker that is specified as 25Hz-30kHz (-3dB), with 89.5dB sensitivity and 4-ohm impedance. The Avior II is a successor of the Avior, and improves on it with several details. The most notable is the addition of a waveguide to the Avior´s 1” beryllium tweeter (sourced from ScanSpeak) about which Rockport says it is “so significant that it might as well be a new driver”. Rockport argues that the waveguide improves the acoustic impedance match of the tweeter at the low end of its range and allows for lower distortion and greater dynamic expression from the tweeter itself, as well as improved dispersion characteristics at the midrange/tweeter crossover point. To further optimize the tweeter´s behavior the front baffle is lined with black felt, so you will need to vacuum the speaker now and then.

The other three units, 6” midrange and two 9” woofers, were designed by Rockport Technologies. They use carbon fiber skins that are impregnated with epoxy resin and attached to a Rohacell core under high pressure and heat.

Rockport does provide grilles with the speakers and does not provide a bi-wiring option. Each speaker weighs near 100kg so forget about spikes unless you want the speakers crush through the floor.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
96
Výbušnost
94
Artikulace
94

The Rockport Technologies Avior II were not auditioned in my own listening studio for I got too lazy to move the heavy speakers around the room. They were placed in the distributor’s room in the positions that were carefully finetuned by ears and measurement software over the course of many months. It is remarkable how flat the Avior II measures in nearfield, at least according to Stereophile’s published measurements. I can attest that I could hear the evenness of the Avior II’s response in the room as well. Still, I spent two hours shuffling them around to make the sound more exciting, that is less flat. Fletcher and Munson would have been happy. That I succeeded was proven by Thelma Houston (a track from Sheffiled Lab’s test CD). The bass guitar in the track is really massive and through the Rockport its wrooouuum was sent in regular intervals through my body. At the bottom end, the Avior IIs can excite the room easily and their 25Hz extension must be taken seriously. Either the room will have to be adapted to the speakers’ needs or you only can pray there is a match. I don’t think it is a good idea to buy the Avior II for small rooms for the bass needs a certain room length to fully develop. Also, rather powerful amplifier is recommended. When the speakers were driven by the SIA-030 integrated, the amplifier was just about to lose the breath in dynamic parts of music. The Vitus Audio monos were a better match here. Sure, if you listen quiet then you can use an amplifier of your choice, but the Rockports like to be played loud and it would be pity not to use their potential in full.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
93
Vzduch
92
Transparentnost
92

The Bach’s Toccata & Fugue D-Moll (Cameron Carpenter) for Telarc was recorded with Virtual Pipe Organ at Trinity Church, Wall Street in New York City. Digitally controlled Marshall & Ogletree Opus 1 gives different result from a typical pipe organ, and with the Rockport Avior II behind the steering wheel the seismic waves were brutally penetrating. Despite that the Aviors remained unshaken. They are built from MDF boards of variable thickness (the front baffle is said to be 6 inches / 15.2cm thick), most of them curved or slanted. In fact, the Avior II is the last model in the Rockport Technologies’ catalogue that uses MDF only – the higher in range Cygnus and Lyra models employ aluminum sandwiches.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
92
Dynamika
93
Časování
92

Should I characterize the Avior II’s mids and treble, I would use adjectives like “beautifully even” for the former, and “decent and silky” for the latter. The performance of the Rockport reminded me of the flagship speakers of Usher, that formerly employed beryllium (Be-20) and now employs diamond (TD-20), and that has similar baffle geometry. As a result, the trumpets were easy on ears, and the cymbals were sound and shimmery without shrill and hiss. What I really appreciated was fine dynamics, from the faintest sounds to loud crescendos. If you like your sound big then the Avior II would please you with concert levels, without losing deep insight into the sound.

The Rockport Technologies Avior II are among those rare speakers that I wouldn’t be afraid to use in a control room or a recording or mastering studio. Although they are pleasant to listen to, they are very honest with the material that is played back through them. For example, Dave Holland’s new Another Land album could have sounded much better if someone sane was behind the console. The Avior IIs presented overcooked and smeared bass that - although it should have brought attention to Holland’s wonderful playing – killed the sound of the record completely.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
94
Šířka scény
94
Hloubka scény
94

It was the rock-steady stability of imaging that I liked, listening to the correlated vs uncorrelated pink noise tracks (Sheffield Lab again). The correlated pink noise occupied very narrow strip between both the Aviors, whereas the uncorrelated noise spread across the front of the room with no apparent change in pitch. The Avior IIs were also good in how seamless they sounded, as if there were not multiply drivers in each cabinet. Despite their size they could effectively disappear like small monitors; a saxophone materialized in the room completely detached from the speakers, and I could track its bell movements through the music track. The saxophone – unlike the piano – is not a static instrument and changes its relative position to microphones unless they are clipped to its body. With the Avior II I could hear these movements including the turnaround of Phil Woods at the very end of the track (The Name is Makowicz, Sheffield Lab).

Competiiton

The Rockport Avior II is quite a remarkable loudspeaker that should not be missed if you are out on a hunt for a new pair of high-end floorstanders. It provides ground-shaking bass performance, one of the best in category, bested perhaps only by active bass units of Legacy Audio speakers, that are more colourful and articulated in lows. With a good amplifier the Avior II can throw a deep and wide soundstage, and if I would like to challenge it, I would have to reach for one of Vivid Audio Giya models. The Avior II is very dynamic, alike Magico speakers, yet much cheaper. Once again, this is conditioned by appropriate driving amplifier. The Avior II is decent in mids and highs and must be listened to for days so that one appreciates how unobtrusive and naturally detailed the treble performance is. Like Ford, The Rockport Avior II is only available in black gloss (other lacquers can be custom-made for extra), and its design and finish is too American for European tastes - next to the new Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 the Avior II look quite ordinary. Yet, they are great performers and rightfully belong to the elite of high-end speakers.

Cena v době recenze:1 270 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Amarock Studio s.r.o., Kopřivnice, tel. +420 777 601 851

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: CD/SACD Transport Métronome t/AQWO + Elektra, DAC Métronome c/AQWO + Elektra
  • Amplifiers: Vitus Audio SL-103 preamplifier, Vitus Audio SM-103 mono amplifiers, Vitus Audio SIA-030 integrated amplifier
  • Loudspeakers: Rockport Technologies Avior II
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Nordost Valhalla V2, AAI Maestoso
  • Power conditioning: Accuphase PS-530, Nordost: Odin V2, Qb8 MkII, QSource, QPoint, Qk1, Qv2, Qx2, Qx4

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