The two lower visuals of the morning after -- the Grand Opening -- pointed, by comparison, at the well-known drama of clever lighting. During the actual evening function, said lighting underscored the form-follows-function avantgarde aesthetics of these German hornspeakers to remarkable effect.

This was the fist official unveiling of the new basshorns - anywhere. Though the German firm has sold 10 systems internationally and sight-unseen already -- i.e. purely on their strength of engineering excellence -- NYC was in fact the first public demonstration. From what I heard, this system has enormous promise. It incorporates some exceedingly clever, patent-pending engineering compliments of Matthias Ruff. He combines negative voltage feedback and positive current feedback to monitor voice coil resistance and the acoustic impedance of the surrounding air. The internal amplifier module automatically adjusts for the changing variables of however many bass modules are used (four in this particular case) without relying on accelerometers or servos of any kind.

My head was spinning by the time Matthias was barely through the first chapter of explanations. I thus took shameless refuge in the pending patent process. It forbids open disclosure whether I understood the details or not. Ha!
Nothing like a spread of food to shut up such obnoxious audio journalism. One of the latter contingent's truly good guys -- Art Dudley, now of Stereophile -- will cover the event for this estimable print magazine in the new year.
Avantgarde's Holger Fromme (in profile) observes Bob Visintainter (in foreground) explaining the deeper workings of the basshorns while feeling lucky - that he didn't have to design 'em himself. He pawned off the job on Matthias but was very specific about what he wanted.
Unlike the usual audio bodyguards following your every step to insure you won't leave finger prints on their displays or walk off with a few of their prized 250 lbs amplifiers, Bob Visintainer actually wants you to get hands-on involved.
Sally Ladd, Director of Marketing, in deep discussion with Dave Elrod of EPS. "Will your power cords prevent my PC from finally crashing so often on its Windows OS?", she wants to know. Dave suggests that listening to music is more fun than staring at the computer, sidestepping the usual Gates antiques like the gentleman he is.
Deeply engrossed in an inspired presentation, Bob does turn his head when I yell "Hey Bob" to get his mug. The lady meanwhile wonders. Who is this jerk interrupting her questions so rudely? A thick-skinned German without manners, that's who. Sorry!
"The red is particularly tasty, but a pair in green, blue or metallic white is truly stunning as well. Which color do you prefer?" Did someone remind Bob that besides throwing parties, he's supposed to also sell things? These subliminal suggestions indicate somebody just might have.
The TRIOs facing the center divider and showing further sound absorption panels on the long wall.
The office adjacent to which is the dedicated UNO room.
Green UNOs with a VIVA Solista integrated and Audio Aero Prima CD player supported on Alvin Lloyd's Grand Prix Audio Monaco equipment stand.
A prime example of the particular kind of audio sex the Italians do best - bold colors and shapes, sophistcated yet exciting. Of course sound matters too, but who says it has to look boring?
Walking the gauntlet. > Everything's isolated on Grand Prix Audio stands.
< Prototype Take5i Avantgarde Acoustic integrated amplifier - in stand-by .
< Take5i, now powered-up ; final display lighting to be a very unusual tone of tasty yellow-orange, sez Matthias.
The Take5i is remote-controlled and uses merely 5 active devices, hence the name. Of these, only four are in the actual signal path: special transistors in a push-pull array. The fifth device controls bias.

Going after extreme bandwidth (4.5MHz applies, I should think) allows designer Matthias Ruff to limit feedback and keep the circuit elegantly minimalist. Though remote volume control is included. Matthias does not believe that engineering excellence should punish the consumer by lacking essential convenience features. What a concept! Planned power output? 40 watts, more than sufficient for all Avantgardes. But for his personal PA system, Matthias has already built a 700-watt version. It uses the identical circuit, the exact same number of parts. He merely swapped the stock transistors for industrial bruiser versions and adjusted the bias and heat sink size. Pricing? TBA, but below $4,000 US seems a fair bet. My reviewer's meter is pegged to full clipping already...