Avantgarde Loudspeakers: Solid-State or Tube Amps

Ron Resnick

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The new Trio (and presumably soon the Uno and Duo) is fully active so needs only a streamer or other digital input – or analogue via its ADC. The built-in electronics include electronic crossover, DSP for room correction (presumably / hopefully bass only), DAC and power amps for each driver. In their active Zero speaker AG use Class A for the mid and top but Class D for the bass. The new Trio uses AG's “iTron” amplification.


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I think this is a very interesting, and a very decisive, move by AG! (Why wouldn't AG offer as an alternative option for the new Trio the improved frame structure but without the built-in amplification for the midrange and tweeter?)
 

Ron Resnick

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Yes, again, I think the new frame structure looks great! (I was pretty critical of the prior frame structure when I finally saw it up close.)
 
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User211

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Yes, again, I think the new frame structure looks great! (I was pretty critical of the prior frame structure when I finally saw it up close.)
That video was from 2017, so it's not the G3 version.

Whatever. The G3 does look like a proper job.
 
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marslo

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This is Luxury Edition of 26 numbered pairs of Trio XD series.
I got one - no 7.
 

spiritofmusic

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Too bad if the new Trios G3 are non optional w outboard tubes, SS only...they'll get sales as part of rich, lifestyle setups (how many Trios are photographed in luxury abodes), but miss out on those wanting an updated Trio sound passing on pure SS sole option.
 

marslo

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Nice.

If a pair shows up at one third retail I'm in;)
It’s a keeper for me but if I change my mind you are first on the shortlist;)
 

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Hear Here

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Too bad if the new Trios G3 are non optional w outboard tubes, SS only...they'll get sales as part of rich, lifestyle setups (how many Trios are photographed in luxury abodes), but miss out on those wanting an updated Trio sound passing on pure SS sole option.
I'm sure I heard in one of the Avantgarde visit videos posted here mention made that the new Trio could be used with external amps rather than the built in iTron ones and that one could imediately compare one with the other - but perhaps I. mistaken.
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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The existing and past "standard" Avantgarde systems (Uno, Duo, Trio) have always featured a self-powered bass enclosure that started off with only speaker level input from the power amp, but more recently (from about 2005) accepted either speaker level or line level input. AG has always advocated the speaker level input. This is affected by the main power amp that provides the input that goes virtually unhindered to the mid and top, but is further amplified by the built-in SS amp for the bass. Since most tube amps offer less than perfect bass, the audible result of the bass is significantly influenced by this main amp. If line level is chosen, the bass signal bypasses the main amp as it will normally come directly from the preamp.

The new Trio (and presumably soon the Uno and Duo) is fully active so needs only a streamer or other digital input – or analogue via its ADC. The built-in electronics include electronic crossover, DSP for room correction (presumably / hopefully bass only), DAC and power amps for each driver. In their active Zero speaker AG use Class A for the mid and top but Class D for the bass. The new Trio uses AG's “iTron” amplification. It’ll be interesting to see how this sounds compared with tube amps or existing SS amps into conventional passive crossovers used in the existing Trio, Duo and Uno.

Presumably users will still be able to influence the sound from their G3 Series AGs by their chosen preamp – tube or ss. We’ll have less flexibility but if the iTron system with the other new electronics work as expected, we’ll end up with even better sound than the G2 Series speakers. Kii and Dutch & Dutch have started a European revolution in speaker design that AG seems keen to develop too. Exciting times!

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Thank you so much for the great reply!

Do we know for sure that Avantgarde is completely moving to active models? My thinking is that flexibility is always a good thing, at least from a consumer perspective. But I do not fully know Avantgarde's business situation.
 

User211

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I'm sure I heard in one of the Avantgarde visit videos posted here mention made that the new Trio could be used with external amps rather than the built in iTron ones and that one could imediately compare one with the other - but perhaps I. mistaken.
And that the task was done and iTron was preferred?

At least that's what I remember but it was a good few days ago now.
 

Audiophile Bill

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I'm sure I heard in one of the Avantgarde visit videos posted here mention made that the new Trio could be used with external amps rather than the built in iTron ones and that one could imediately compare one with the other - but perhaps I. mistaken.

You are correct based on the first video. AG made a specific point of saying that some users will want to use their own amps rather than the iTron thing and they will retain flexibility for their customers. But if those customers want to later add the whole iTron thing they can easily as it is modular.
 

Hear Here

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And that the task was done and iTron was preferred?
I guess they were comparing their iTron with their existing solid stante amps that are rarely praised as an ideal match with AG speakers! Perhaps a good tube amp is something they would not want to put up against their iTron! We shall see.

Do we know for sure that Avantgarde is completely moving to active models?
No mention of this, but it must surely be on the cards unless the G3 Trio is a flop! My personal view is that many speaker brands will be developing these active speakers that include DAC, DSP and amps powering individual drivers - and probably streamers too. Bring it on - it's about time speaker design more forward as virtually nothing has changed much over the last couple of decades, whereas DACs went through a period of rapid development 20 years age and Class D amps are doing the same now.
 

Audiophile Bill

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I don’t think this represents a substantive change in speaker design or implementation. Active speakers have been around for donkey’s years. Incorporation of the dac is also something that has been done in the audiophile world for ages now. Goldmund have been selling this type of all in one for at least 10 years I believe. “Current amplification” is also nothing new and used by Quad circuits decades ago.
 

Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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I don’t think this represents a substantive change in speaker design or implementation. Active speakers have been around for donkey’s years. Incorporation of the dac is also something that has been done in the audiophile world for ages now. Goldmund have been selling this type of all in one for at least 10 years I believe. “Current amplification” is also nothing new and used by Quad circuits decades ago.
Active speakers in the past have generally been designed for professional use and are very simple in that the analogue line level input is split electronically into frequency ranges and each range has its own amp powering individual drivers. I'm describing speakers such as active ATCs and (judging by their industrial appearance) Goldman, etc. Active speakers have enjoyed probably about 1% share of the domestic speaker market.

Where I think the domestic speaker market is going to move very quickly is to the type that takes a digital input and does everything including DSP room correction within the speaker enclosure. There are still very few of these, nearly all of European origin. With improving quality of low cost, small size and highly efficient Class D amps, DSP and DAC designs, there are obvious advantages in placing all electronics into the speaker enclosure. Models from Kii and D&D have received very favourable reviews and perform exceptionally well for their compact size. It's good to see AG following suit - better still as AG will maintain the ability for user-chosen amplification. Maybe in 10 years’ time 50+% of speakers will be this type of active design.

With most people now streaming their music or getting it from their own hard drives, it makes a lot of sense to completely ditch the equipment rack with piles of costly boxes! Heresy, I hear you say, but it's really down to the quality of sound these new speakers will deliver that ultimately counts!
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Active speakers in the past have generally been designed for professional use and are very simple in that the analogue line level input is split electronically into frequency ranges and each range has its own amp powering individual drivers. I'm describing speakers such as active ATCs and (judging by their industrial appearance) Goldman, etc. Active speakers have enjoyed probably about 1% share of the domestic speaker market.

Where I think the domestic speaker market is going to move very quickly is to the type that takes a digital input and does everything including DSP room correction within the speaker enclosure. There are still very few of these, nearly all of European origin. With improving quality of low cost, small size and highly efficient Class D amps, DSP and DAC designs, there are obvious advantages in placing all electronics into the speaker enclosure. Models from Kii and D&D have received very favourable reviews and perform exceptionally well for their compact size. It's good to see AG following suit - better still as AG will maintain the ability for user-chosen amplification. Maybe in 10 years’ time 50+% of speakers will be this type of active design.

With most people now streaming their music or getting it from their own hard drives, it makes a lot of sense to completely ditch the equipment rack with piles of costly boxes! Heresy, I hear you say, but it's really down to the quality of sound these new speakers will deliver that ultimately counts!
Goldmund has been doing the dsp room correction multi amp approach for the last 10 years - it isn’t “new.” Acourate and Dirac have also been employed for similar situations for many years now. Room corrected, driver linearised, multi-way active has been possible for ages.

There are advantages to placing electronics inside speakers as well as many disadvantages. Obsolescence being the most obvious one and also effectively locking yourself into one manufacturer.

Anyway - imho there is a lifestyle market for such solutions but I don’t anticipate it becoming the lion’s share of the high end market in the same way as standard analogue active systems aren’t.
 
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Audiophile Bill

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Anyway I sound like I am dampening the spirits on the new AG Trio when in fact I really like the look of the new model.

Anyone know the compression driver brand used in the mid and tweeter?
 

K3RMIT

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The bit where you said setting them correctly is spot on. It’s hard. But when you have boy dies the magic begin. And no SS amp I’ve encountered bests it.
synergy wins always , but I still feel a good SS amp is fine if matched well. Over driving horns is easy to do then blame the poor amp
 

K3RMIT

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Sep 4, 2020
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Goldmund has been doing the dsp room correction multi amp approach for the last 10 years - it isn’t “new.” Acourate and Dirac have also been employed for similar situations for many years now. Room corrected, driver linearised, multi-way active has been possible for ages.

There are advantages to placing electronics inside speakers as well as many disadvantages. Obsolescence being the most obvious one and also effectively locking yourself into one manufacturer.

Anyway - imho there is a lifestyle market for such solutions but I don’t anticipate it becoming the lion’s share of the high end market in the same way as standard analogue active systems aren’t.
Yea big ones you put them where you want and they make it sound ok lol. not like a good setup can sound but most don’t know anyway.
 

Audiophile Bill

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Yea big ones you put them where you want and they make it sound ok lol. not like a good setup can sound but most don’t know anyway.
Indeed so. Get the wallet out - what is the most expensive please, sir? These big ones. I’ll have one on every floor of my yacht…by Monday morning lol.
 

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