pl | en
Floorstanding loudspeakers

Price: 6000 zł (para)

Polish distributor: AVCON

Wierzbowa 2, 05-870 Błonie
tel.: +48 22 7340056
tel. kom.: +48 606 917718



Text: Marek Dyba
Photography: Marcin Olszewski, AVCON

Avcon is most likely the youngest loudspeakers manufacturer in Poland but somehow during short period of time I had a chance to test two of their products. I started with the top of the line – Avalanche Reference Monitors, and now I have a chance to listen to the least expensive model called Levanter. One of the characteristic features of almost all Avcon loudspeakers (except for one model – Nortes) is the usage of ribbon tweeters. The more loudspeakers equipped with such drivers I've listened to the more I wondered how is it possible that so few manufacturers use them in their products. Sure there is one quite obvious answer – ribbon tweeters are usually more expensive than „regular” ones, and there is also another – they seem to be more difficult to implement. In my opinion sonic benefits are so clear and significant that I would choose same solution as Avcon if I were a manufacturer. Well, I'm not a manufacturer so all I can do is wonder.

Another characteristic aspect of Avcon's speakers is high quality cabinet finish – it looks damn good and I couldn't find any flows, which happens when you get a closer look at the products done by some small manufacturer, who do it mostly themselves, manually. „Hand-made” is often an advantage but only to some point, after that instead of looking good because it is “hand-made” it becomes … ugly. Avcon loudspeaker's finish could easily and successfully compete with more then one much more famous brand. Levanter is rather small floorstanding loudspeaker with bass-reflex port in the front. Double speakers post make it possible to use bi-wire or even bi-amping, although the latter seems pointless as these low sensitivity speakers (86 dB) do just fine even with low power amps.


Recordings used in test:

  • Metallica, Metallica, 511831-1, 4 x LP.
  • Dire Straits, Love over gold, 25PP-60, LP.
  • Antonio Vivaldi, La Stravaganza, Rachel Podger, Arte dei Suonatori, Channel Clasics CCS 19598, CD.
  • Beethoven: Symphonie no 9, Wiener Philharmoniker-Böhm, DG, 445 503-2, CD.
  • Etta James, The Chess Box, Chess, B00004TS85, CD.
  • AC/DC, Back in black, SONY, B000089RV6, CD.
  • John Lee Hooker The best of friends, pointblank, 7243 8 46424 26 VPBCD49, CD.
  • Carlos Santana, Shaman, Arista, 74321959382, CD.
  • Vivaldi, Four seasons, Giulano Carmingnola, Sony Classical, SK 51352, CD.

One of the huge advantages of Avalanche model was how the designer chose to use a front bass-reflex. Usually BR is used to its maximum capacity to achieve bass extension which effects unfortunately also in bit boomy bass and some other sounds produced by BR itself. As you probably realized by now I'm surely not a fan of BR cause I want to hear what was recorded and not what these pipes staring at me decided to add from themselves. As this review of Levanter is already my second one covering Avcon products I would risk a theory already – Mr Przemysław Nieprzecki shares my preferences. He uses this kind of design but he never uses BR ports up to the maximum, which means they might not have the bass extension of some competitors but the sound they offer is much more natural and better controlled. For me that's a huge advantage – I can still see these two quite big holes staring at me but … I can hardly hear them – what a nice (!) surprise. It would surely be possible to craft similar loudspeakers in closed enclosure but then they would become „current hungry” and I would need some powerful amplifier to drive them. The point is I love low-power SET amps and there is no way such a device could drive same drivers in closed enclosure whereas 8 W from my 300B SET drove Levanter with BR enclosure just fine, much to my delight.

To be honest I did most of my listening with ArtAudio Symphony II because I really liked the sound I got. Was I surprised? Sure – 8W driving 86dB loudspeaker – that's something! All right – I'm no fan of heavy metal, hip-hop, and Mahler is also only an uncommon guest in my house – I'm pretty sure that if I'd loved one of these I wouldn't have been so enthusiastic about this set. I started with Etta James and her wonderful Chess box. Levanter driven by Symphony II offered very engaging presentation, creating an intimate atmosphere of a private concert, that took place late at night, with the vocalist singing not to loud but still with her voice boiling with energy. What was important, as I was listening to quite old recordings with some technical flaws, was that such a system had an ability of covering up these small flaws. That made it (at least for me) much more suitable for such recordings than some hyper-detailed, ultra-precise system that would bring everything up so that listening could become (at least) unpleasant. Plus this system offered this very engaging sound, with lots of emotions, detailed, airy, nice spacial effects, and tight, muscular bass. I was listening to some blues, jazz, chamber music – it always sounded very natural and listening gave me a lot of pleasure but probably those who needed very precise, transparent presentation might not have been as delighted as me.

I decided to carry on my close encounters with female vocalist and listened (again) to the Japanese reissues of Kate Bush recordings. I started with one and … listened to them all. 300B together with Levanter made me feel this specific magic that is hidden in Ms Kate's songs and that had to be exposed or dug out as it was not available for any audio system - it takes quite some amp and quite some speakers to make it happen. Vocalist's voice had a hypnotic power that could take you to the world of Kate's magic – it is just up to the system to deliver it to the listener, and this particular one did it quite well. What was necessary to achieve that was not a super-detailed presentation not hyper-transparency, nor fabulous treble or bass. It was all about general musicality, supported by very rich, colorful, bit warm midrange. And all that was delivered (to my surprise) by 8W amp driving loudspeakers with 86 dB sensitivity. Yes, there was also this tight but powerful bass, not extended to the limits of the design (that was a cost of making it so good) – well controlled, rich – exactly how I liked it!

I realized from the very beginning that troubles would start when it would come to listening to much more dynamic music. Love over gold from Dire Straits, still wasn't a real problem – nice control, good dynamics of tight bass, realistic presentation of guitar riffs – it all sounded quite good I liked John Lee Hooker's recordings too, with electric guitar and bass guitar playing main parts. Especially the latter wasn't recorded too well – at least that's my impression after listening to it on many systems. It looked like sound engineer pumped the bass up a bit so it usually sounded bit overdriven. Avoiding maximum extension plus very good control of bass range made this particular recording sound better than usually – simply bass sounded more natural not so pumped up. Same findings came from session with Carlos Santana's Shaman – there was the same problem with bass as in previous recording but also bit „masked” so listening became really enjoyable. Both above mentioned recordings host lots of different singers which allowed me to truly appreciate how well Levanters were able to differentiate vocals. Timbre and texture of each voice was presented in a very convincing, natural way – considering the price of these loudspeakers I would even say that this aspect of presentation had great value for the money.

I liked classical, chamber music also very much. The way Levanters delivered Four seasons with Carmigniola or La Stravaganza with Rachel Podger allowed me to fully enjoy the music. I specially noted how nicely was presented one of my favorite instruments – violin – natural timbre, fast, liquid, smooth performance that I would expect rather from more expensive loudspeakers.

Well I started with praising ribbon speakers, didn't I. Now I had my proof as for this excellent violin performance credit should go mainly to Visaton's ribbon speaker. Sure ribbon has one disadvantage – sweet spot isn't to big but usually audiophiles listen to their beloved music alone, sometimes with the second person – this should not be a problem, only some group listening session might be difficult. Just a small piece of advice – if you buy these speakers and find optimal position for them – mark it, so that you always use this, best position. If you move too much from this sweet spot sound quality will decrease.

Just as I expected some deficiency of dynamics and bass control appeared when I listened to Back in black by AC/DC. 300B amp couldn't maintain proper order of the soundstage as it was very dynamic, and secondly it couldn't deliver performance that would be powerful enough for this kind of music So I had to change amplifier in my system eventually. I used the one I received for the next review – Cyrus 6XP delivering 40W. It was able to better control drivers which brought order again to the soundstage. Bass didn't go deeper than before but it felt richer, with more weight to it, more energetic, but it was still very well controlled, fast and tight.

With Cyrus amp also „bigger” classic music like symphonies by Mozart or Beethoven sounded better, more dynamic, with much more realistic sense of great orchestra playing. Sound wasn't so liquid and sophisticated as with SET, but huge musical performance obviously profited from some extra Watts. Now both rock&roll from AC/DC, and Mozart's symphonies sounded equally well.

You can't really run away from audiophile's „golden rule” which says that the sound you get depends on the whole system and not just its elements. The sound you get should fit exactly your needs and expectations, should play best this particular kind of music you love. Levanters are not particularly demanding when it comes to choosing the right amplifier to drive them. They will work fine with low power SET (like mine 300B one) if you listen mostly too jazz, blues or chamber music. You will get detailed, enjoyable presentation with very good treble and midrange. Bass will not go down very low but it should be colorful, tight and well differentiated. If you use more powerful amplifier to drive these loudspeakers you should be satisfied with presentation of almost any kind of music. Only if you are a great fan of heavy metal or hip-hop where you need very powerful and extended bass you should look for some other speakers. In every other case (I mean even if you like to listen to Metallica or AC/DC from time to time but you listen mostly to other music) you should be satisfied with very natural and somehow attractive way delivering music. If I was looking for speakers from price range up to (easily) 10 kPLN I would probably chose Avcon speakers and used them with 300B SET as I listen to AC/DC or Metallica only once in a while, and what I listen mostly are male and female vocals and my favorite instruments – guitar, violin or saxophone and these sounded in a very natural, convincing way allowing me to really enjoy my time with this particular set. I think I could live with this sound for some time as listening to the music with it was real fun and pleasure.

Considering price level of a pair of Levanter a great partner should be for example JAG 300B (that I reviewed here recently) – just add to it some nice, not to bright player and you will get really good sounding system at reasonable price. If you prefer dynamic and powerful presentation over liquid, sophisticated one than you might choose inexpensive Cyrus system (review coming in October's HighFidelity) to create different but still very nice system. These are of course only examples how to build not too expensive but good sounding set using this ability of Levanter being relatively easy to be driven. This ability plus great treble (delivered by ribbon tweeter), well sounding bass ( as the BR is not used up to its limits) and midrange that really nicely completes the range, are the biggest advantages of Avcon speakers. Usually you don't start building a system with loudspeakers but Levanters might be an exception – you might start with them and then buy the rest of the system to sound, as you like it, together with loudspeakers.


Levanter is an opening position in Avcon's range. These are two-way floorstanding loudspeakers with bass-reflex ports in the fronts. High frequencies are reproduced by Visaton's magnetostatic ribbon tweeter and low- and midrange are covered by 17cm Aurum Cantus woofer with hard membrane made of carbon and Kevlar fibers. Crossover is made in point-to-point technique with cut-off point set at 3,5 kHz. Only high quality components are used including polypropylene capacitors, non-inductive resistors, and the internal cabling is done with 2x2,5 mm copper Supra wire. Cabinets are made of 2,5cm MDF, except for the front panels that are 5 cm thick. There are many brackets inside cabinets to make them more rigid and minimize vibrations. Additionally slanting baffles are used to minimize standing waves impact. External surfaces of cabinets are covered by natural veneer finished with semi-gloss varnish. For cable connections they used very comfortable, high quality, double terminals, accepting naked cables, bananas or spades. Four M8 sockets are installed in the bottom panels of each loudspeaker for spikes (these are also included).

Technical data (according to the manufacturer):

  • Frequency range: 40 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 8 Ω
  • Nominal power: 60 W
  • Sensitivity: 86 dB
  • Dimensions: 22/30/100 cm
  • Weight: 26 kg / pc

g   a   l   l   e   r   y

Reference system: