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Loudspeakers | stand-mounted

Avatar Audio

Manufacturer: AVATAR AUDIO
Price (when reviewed): 12 500 PLN/pair

16-010 Osowicze 64a | POLSKA


Provided for test by: AVATAR AUDIO


AVATAR AUDIO, a company run by CEZARIUSZ ANDREJCZUK, offers mostly loudspeakers. Their design concept differs from widely used today, even though – from the technical standpoint – there is nothing unusual about it. These are concepts from 1950s and 1960s although in an extreme form. This time we received the Number 4 speaker with a Bamboo cabinet.

he Avatar Audio Holophony Number 4 loudspeakers are the smallest designs developed by this company. They were also the last to undergo a modernization in the Holophony series, which Cezary Andrejczuk, the owner and designer, began in 2017 with the Number 3.

Let me remind you that we are talking about a company other than all. It uses drivers from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, with paper, light membranes and crossovers matched to them. The latter cost the designer an incredible amount of time as he keeps winding and unwinding the coils, assembling capacitors, by changing the spatial arrangement of components, choosing internal cabling (which is also part of the crossover). The loudspeaker cabinets are also not just simple boxes, but they feature non-parallel walls, which helps to control standing waves.

The new series, which I spontaneously designated: "Bamboo", differs from the previous one mainly with the material its cabinets are made of - instead of MDF manufacturer decided to use bamboo plywood. It is has a much better mechanical properties and on top of that, using it is definitely more pro-environmental. In the past, some other companies utilized bamboo. One of them was the Hungarian company Human Audio, but only within the last - say - two years we've seen more examples of the usage of this material in audio industry. A company that perfected using bamboo is the Australian Tri-Art Audio.

Owner, designer

The “Bamboo” version of the Holophony Number 4 speakers visually differs from the previous ones with its cabinet, which is now made of 27-mm thick bamboo plywood, which show better vibration damping properties than MDF we used before. I also designed custom bamboo anti-vibration stands for the set. They weight18 kg (a piece) and stand on magnetic feet that completely isolate speakers from the ground via an air cushion. The stand's central column is filled with a mixture of lead and anti-vibration materials and insulated from the lower and upper platforms with anti-vibration material.

The most important difference, compared to the previous model, can be found in the crossover, which - in my opinion - contributes at least 70% of the sound quality of the whole speaker. Several months of intensive research and resulting discoveries allowed us to radically equalize the frequency characteristics of the Number Four. For example, it was necessary to increase the accuracy of the coil inductance to 1/5000 mH! This is obviously an immeasurable value, but clearly audible and significantly affecting the sound. No less important were the works on minimizing phase shifts - the point was to increase the coherence of both drivers and to widen the optimal listening field. I believe that these treatments have had a spectacular effect. ▪


The "Bamboo" model (this is its third version) is based on the Number Four speakers (the company also uses the names: Number 4 and № 4), previously featuring MDF cabinets (version 1.) and flock-coated (version 2.). These are two-way stand-mounted monitors with a bass-reflex cabinet. They feature two cone drivers from 1970's with paper membranes and AlNiCo magnets. The tweeter has a diameter of ø 100 mm and the mid-woofer is a 200 mm unit. The tweeter was loaded with a short horn, which is an extension of its membrane. The cabinet is made of oiled, 27mm thick bamboo plywood.

These are medium-sized speakers measuring (H x W x D) 380 x 330 x 330 mm. With the new housing they look very nice and extremely "eco-friendly". Price of the Number 4 also increased, from 9,500 to 12,500 PLN per pair, with the previous version's stock now being offered with a 33% discount./p>

If we use the Avatar Audio custom stands, then the speakers are decoupled using an anti-vibration system, based on balls, similar to those used by the manufacturer in the anti-vibration feet Receptor No. 1. One can buy just the speakers or a set including custom stands that are also made of bamboo. Their column has a nice, streamlined shape, that reminded me of a lute, which is intended to reduce the collapse of the sound-waves. Here, however, the narrower edge faces the front. The stands feature anti-vibration, magnetic feet. These custom stands are quite expensive (4500 PLN per pair), but they simply look great and - for me - they are one with the speakers - the speakers were tuned by the designer using these stands.


The reviewed loudspeakers were placed almost exactly in the same place where the powerful Harbeth M40.1 stand on a daily basis with the only difference being a slightly lower distance between them. The aforementioned distance was 180 cm from measured the center of the front baffles, and 210 cm from the listening position, also measured from the front baffles. The distance from the wall behind them was 80 cm measured from their rear baffle. They were pointing directly at me, because the cone tweeter is very directional. However, you can try to toe them in a bit more.

The loudspeakers were driven by the Soulution 710 amplifier via Siltech Triple Crown speaker cables. The Number4 „Bamboo” sat on Avatars feet and were set up personally by Cezariusz, who delivered them to my place accompanied by his wife, who always participates in this „procedure” :)

AVATAR AUDIO in “High Fidelity”
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio HOLOPHONY NUMBER 2 BAMBOO | loudspeakers | floor-standing
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio RECEPTOR | anti-vibration weight
  • AWARD | BEST PRODUCT 2018: Avatar Audio NUMER 3 BAMBOO | loudspeakers/floor-standing
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio RECEPTOR NUMBER 2 | anti-vibration platform
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio NUMBER 3 BAMBOO | loudspeakers/floor-standing
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio DREAMLINK POWER CABLE NUMBER 2 | power cable AC
  • AWARD | BEST PRODUCT 2017: Avatar Audio HOLOPHONY NUMER 4 | loudspeakers
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio DREAMLINK NUMBER 3 | interconnect RCA + speaker cable
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio HOLOPHONY NUMBER 4 | loudspeakers
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio RECEPTOR NUMER 2 | Anti-vibration platform
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio HOLOPHONY NUMER 3 | loudspeakers
  • AWARD | BEST SOUND - AUDIO VIDEO SHOW 2016: Avatar Audio HOLOPHONY NUMER 2 | loudspeakers
  • REVIEW: Avatar Audio HOLOPHONY NUMER 2 | loudspeakers
  • REVIEW: Graj-End GRAJPUDŁA NUMER 3 | loudspeakers

  • Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

    • Andrzej Kurylewicz Quintet, Go Right, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/Warner Music Poland 4 64880 9, „Polish Jazz | vol. 0”, CD (1963/2016);
    • Andrzej Kurylewicz Quintet, Go Right, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/Warner Music Poland 4648809, „Polish Jazz | vol. 0”, Master CD-R (1963/2016);
    • B.B. King & Eric Clapton, Riding With The King, Warner Bros./Audio Fidelity AF 211, “Limited Edition | No. 0115”, SACD/CD (2000/2015)
    • Chet Baker, Baker’s Holiday, Verve Records B0003279-16/SUHD 009960, Test Press SACD (1965/2004)
    • Ed Sheeran, X, Warner Music UK/Warner Music Japan WPCR-15730, CD (2014);
    • Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Dragonfly, Telarc CD-83377, CD (1995)
    • Kathleen Battle, Grace, Sony Classical/Sony Music Japan International SICC 20023, Blu-spec CD (1997/2008)
    • Keith Jarrett, La Fence, ECM Records ECM 2601/02, 2 x CD (2018)
    • Pat Metheny Group, Offramp, ECM Records 1216-2, CD (1982/1983)
    • Pat Metheny Group, Offramp, ECM/Tower Records PROZ-1095, „ECM SA-CD Hybrid Selection”, SACD/CD (1982/2017))

    Listening to Avatar Audio No. 4 Bamboo speakers is like going to another world, a parallel world. Cezariusz also lives there and listening to the music through his loudspeakers feels like meeting him. The closest comparison that comes to my mind is this: the transition from classic, contemporary stand-mount speakers from the same price range to the No. 4 Bamboo speakers is similar to switching from a car to a hovercraft. In both cases, the means of transport serves the same purpose, i.e. moving from point 'A' to point 'B', and yet these are actually incomparable ways, belonging to a different order.

    The sound of the REVIEWed loudspeakers is equally different from what we are used to. I use this sentence in all of my Avatar REVIEWs, but this time I must repeat it even louder, because - I believe - Cezariusz with this model got again closer to his ideal sound, closer even than with his larger and more expensive speakers. This is extremely relaxing sound. There is no hint of a shadow in it, no tension that characterize, in fact, all modern speakers.

    This applies to any music material that we want to listen to with Avatars. That's how I perceived Kathleen Battle's vocals from the Grace album, and I can say the same about B.B. King & Eric Clapton from Riding With The King. I'm talking about the sound that frees us from the need to "follow" the presentation, which - you have to admit - happens with even the best speakers and electronics. On the contrary, the REVIEWed loudspeakers suppress this compulsion, which makes it easier to focus on the music itself, on melody, chords and atmosphere.

    The latter will be very easy to achieve, because Avatars build a huge space. This is not a space in the sense of the word, as it is with other speakers, because there are no precisely defined plans, nor clearly defined images. It's something else, something like an impressionist landscape that is not as detailed as in veristic terms, not to mention photography, but which probably evokes even stronger emotions in us, because it refers to something deeper within us, not only to the first reaction to the "image".

    How was it achieved? - Well, in a quite special way, which means that most of us, used to a different aesthetics, have to listen to them a little longer, devote more time to them. Avatars require someone with high sensitivity looking for something different. Someone who will sacrifice what could be called "accuracy" in the name of amazingly natural and relaxing sound. Because with all their advantages, these are not speakers that would focus on details, that would define sound sources, that would present the whole band.

    The first few minutes with them will leave us with an impression that something is missing there - there is no low bass, no upper treble, there is first and foremost a midrange, with an emphasis on its "mid part". Since these are fast - really very fast - loudspeakers, you may notice a fast attack. They accent the beginning, slightly extinguishing what comes later. This results in a bit light sound lacking some "mass" behind specific instruments. But that's why this sound is so comprehensive, and yes - I will use this term, although I'm not a fan of esoterics - holistic. Again, it doesn't really matter what music we're talking about, these features are dominant with each genre.

    Once we get used to the change of paradigm - because we are talking about such a big change - we will realize that these are speakers that differentiate perfectly. Because switching from the first release of the Pat Metheny Group's Offramp to the SACD version with the material ripped directly to DSD files (the so-called "flat transfer") immediately showed that the first digital version of this album is darker, less detailed and simply more "dull". It was the same with the Master CD-R version of the Andrzej Kurylewicz Quintet's Go Right and the final version from the pressing plant that I compared it to. All the differences in phrasing, accenting details, atmosphere etc. were clear and unambiguous.

    But even after this experience, it will be difficult to say why we can hear everything so well with Avatars. Objectively speaking, these are loudspeakers with a limited frequency response, without lower bass, which are not able to generate high sound pressure, and thus are limited in showing the dynamics of large orchestras. I think that the answer to this question could be found in the crossover, which has low phase shifts and is perfectly, precisely refined crossover for matched to a specific driver unit, and not its type, as it is normally done. This cannot be done for mass-produced speakers.

    | Summary

    Avatar Audio Number 4 Bamboo is sort of a "declaration of faith" - in this case by their designer. Not everyone has to agree with it, but it is hard to ignore it, because it shows what we lost in the pursuit of "perfection." On the other hand, it shows equally strongly what we have gained in this way, because "progress", or whatever you want to call these changes introduced in speakers design resulted in many good things too.

    These are loudspeakers for those who do not quite find their place in the modern audio world, for whom it is just not enough, i.e. for those for whom "essence" is more important than "form". Because Avatars beautifully present the world of recordings, although they are not quite universal. They achieve it by focusing on their atmosphere, their inner truth. They offer serenity, relaxation comparable only to some mystical experiences (in various forms :))

    They will not work with music that requires focused, low bass and with music that simply requires pumping a lot of air. They are also beautifully made. These are individual products that are closer to art than technique, with all the advantages and disadvantages of this choice. That's life... RED Fingerprint.

    Avatar Audio Number Four "Bamboo" are two-way stand-mount speakers in a bass-reflex cabinet; the b-r ports can be closed with included plugs, turning the cabinet design into a closed one. Their cabinets are made of 27 mm thick bamboo plywood. The shape of the housing is not very simple - its cross-section is a trapezoid. The front baffle is narrower and the rear one, which results in the standing waves being extinguished. On the rare panel there is a bass-reflex outlet, metal nameplate and single, rhodium-plated speaker terminals.

    NOS type drivers from the 1960s and 1970s, with paper membranes, were used in this design. Their diameters are 100 and 200 mm, of the tweeter and the mid-woofer respectively. The former sits in a small horn lined with felt. The make and finish performance of these speakers is flawless and the Avatars look really nice.

    The speakers were REVIEWed with dedicated stands, made of the same material as the cabinets. A large column was filled with a mixture of lead and other materials. The stands decouple the speakers in two ways. The magnetic feet, which are available separately, protect speakers against vibrations transmitted through the floor. In turn, the speakers from the stands are decoupled using ball bearings that feature a ball (actually not a ball, because its shape is not spherical, but slightly elongated) made of exotic wood, and on both sides the bottom wall of the speaker and the top part of the stand, with holes drilled in them. Really great job!

    Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer)

    tweeter: ø 100 mm (4”)
    woofer: ø 200 mm (8”)
    Nominal power: 20 W
    Impedance: 4 Ω
    Sensitivity: 90 dB
    Frequency range: 29-20 000 Hz
    Dimensions (H x W x D): 380 x 330 x 330 mm
    Weight: 13 kg/pc.


    Reference system 2018

    1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
    2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
    3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
    4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
    5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
    6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
    7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


    Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
    Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
    Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

    AC Power

    Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
    Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
    Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
    Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
    Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
    Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
    Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
    Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
    Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
    Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
    Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


    Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
    Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
    Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

    • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


    Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

    Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

    Record mats:


    Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

    Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC