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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,  

Given your experience with both brands, I can't think of anyone in a better position to give a brief comparison of the speakers' "house sounds." 

In particular, I am interested in the TAD CR-1 as compared to the Rockport Mira II or Ankaa/Avior. I realize the CR-1s are not full-range speakers; however, this point aside, could you give just some brief top-line differences between these two amazing lines of loudspeakers? Thanks in advance for any insight you are willing to provide! 

Regards,
Joost (from The Netherlands)

The main difference in the design is obviously the coaxial driver that TAD uses to reproduce the highs and mids. There is no question that this beryllium wonder is world class -- great high-end extension, beautiful dispersion, and the ability to play loud with low distortion. Anyone who has heard it can attest to its pedigree.

The Rockport that you would be comparing is the new Avior ($29,500/pr.), which is in the same general price range as the CR-1 ($37,000/pr.) and features all of Rockport’s latest technology. It, too, has world-class drivers up top: the excellent beryllium-dome tweeter from Scan-Speak along with the brand-new carbon-fiber midrange driver developed by Andy Payor at Rockport. So in terms of the top end, there may be more similarities than differences. Both are top shelf. 

But the real answer here concerns the one point you are asking me to set aside (which I just can’t do!). The Avior is a 225-pound floorstander with a huge internal air volume and two 9” Rockport-designed bass drivers. Anyone who has ever heard a Rockport knows that the company "does bass" as well as anyone in the world. The low-frequency reproduction of a Rockport speaker is incredibly well integrated into the whole and makes the entire speaker more adept at reproducing whatever it is fed. It would be sort of like asking me to describe a Ferrari without taking into consideration the motor -- it cannot be done!  

If you are asking about a buying decision, my money would be on the Rockport. Time after time they have proved capable of producing world-class sound. And I just love deep, articulate bass. . . . Jeff Fritz