Bassment. With Avanti chief designer Manfred Diestertich's solution, both the woofer's front and rear wave encounter an immediate boundary. That creates very high radiation resistance or mechanical braking power. Within an inch, the front wave hits the main cab's inside wall. Within inches, so does the rear wave in its woofer chamber which is so shallow as to have the magnet protrude on the other side. The rear wave escapes downward through two ceramic foam tiles in the chamber's bottom. Those porous barriers exert higher resistance with rising SPL.

The frontal wave propagates through the available volume of the main enclosure, then escapes through a downfiring slot behind the front baffle. Its 'throat' gets its own ceramic foam damper to prevent chuffing even at elevated levels. In this way, both woofer exits hit the floor as their secondary close boundary. This adds to our non-ported alignment's highly pressurized behaviour for excellent self damping. It might even downshift the woofer's resonant frequency as Alex Ridtahler's Ripol® geometry does? Initially the hidden woofer was an experiment to combat dealer feedback over the model Classic 20's looks. Its original version used the firm's signature force-cancelling woofer array. That meant grills on each side which caused critique. As it happened, the sonic performance of the hidden woofer caught on big far beyond the resultant cleaner cosmetics

Likewise for the surcharge glass panels. Those can finish off the enclosure instead of the basic veneers. Initially a purely cosmetic option for the Classic range, they bond a very hard outer layer to the cabinet's softer MDF core. The resultant sandwich made for a quieter cab which made for superior sonics. As an added bonus, the lustre of glass—which in the case of veneers as shown above actually encapsulates them for total protection—is impervious to swirl marks. Unlike high-gloss lacquers, it retains its flawless appearance across the duration of actual ownership. Over the 1989 original and successors like the one at left, the Avanti 'IV', relaunched for the firm's 30th anniversary two years ago, renewed everything; including all drive units. The market must have fêted it for the later Codex to adopt the identical concept. I wanted to know whether the Codex was simply an über Avanti, hence the Avanti a baby Codex. Or, did each model have its very own personality profile to appeal beyond room size and budget to different listener tastes? Graciously, Elite Audio consented to dispatch my Avanti loaners before retrieving their Codex floor samples. I'd enjoy some strategic overlap. I wouldn't need memory but could conduct actual side-by-side comparisons; my very own in-house dealer demo if you will. Playing punter by proxy, which one would I buy; and why?

The Avanti of 1993

This photo shows clearly how the glass panels float. They leave small if very precise gaps. In effect, opting for the designer look adds two layers to the core MDF cabinet: medium hardness black porous adhesive and 5mm hard glass. The end result is a tri-laminate affair with all the usual resonance-attenuating properties which such bonding of dissimilar layers bestows. For once, more refined optics actually equal superior sonics. In this context, opting for a basic veneer seems churlish.

What's more, the user can easily replace the cloth-less black baffle insert with the included cloth-covered version. Unlike conventional grills, this causes no sonic compromise. What surrounds the drivers by way of solid material and its geometry remains unchanged. Adding a grill creates no diffraction issues. Once more, cosmetics don't conflict with sonics. That smartly crosses the wires—kaboom— of those fossilized audiophiles (are there really any left?) who view upscale optics and refined sonics at inherent cross purposes.

Audio Physic's team clearly understand that the primary hurdle to finding good homes for speakers is rejection based on old-fashioned looks and size. Today's clientele has wised up. They don't distinguish between lifestyle and performance. To them, contemporary good looks are part of the overall performance package. They want more from less. With speakers, less means smaller, prettier and more room invariant.

Where the Avanti with its multi-colour skin choices goes the extra mile then is integrating more easily not just with a room's décor but its acoustics. By eliminating the older Avanti's lateral woofer array and port pipes, there's demonstrably less room interaction. The usual room triggers of particularly rearfiring ports and their self-inflicted pseudo modes have been silenced. This speaker thus goes more places including nearer the front wall. In that regard, it's closer to a sealed box though its load behaviour is kinder to amplifiers.

Let's consider the glaringly obvious. The Germans wouldn't have bothered with their 30th anniversary relaunch of an all-new Avanti if it weren't superior to its predecessors which, in a big way, helped put Audio Physic on the global map. It's of note then that the current model would accomplish with three drivers what the Avanti III at left needed seven for; and doesn't rely on its costly 'boat hull' back. Simplification from better parts, now that Audio Physic have their very own drivers, extends to wiring. Whilst the previous version used biwire terminals, the Avanti stays single but floats its WBT posts in a rubbery insert for vibration management. Eliminating the second pair of posts also eliminates having to split your cable budget for a superior wire into a pair of lesser versions; or having to contend with sonically compromised jumpers. Clearly 2017's Avanti does pursue more with less across the field. And to close the circle on mundane but always relevant cost, it demands half of what the Codex fetches. How would this math shake out in the listening seat?

Visually more petite, lighter on the scale to move about easier. Much of the very same attributes also factored at the ear.