To Jeff Fritz,
I read with much interest your excellent article on the Rockport Atria. I have a dedicated and well-treated listening room that measures 17.7' deep by 14.4' wide by 7.9' high, in which I listen to Focus Audio Master 2.5 (sporting an 11” woofer, but the bass is not very fast) speakers that have given me years of joy. However, they don’t go far enough in refinement and seem to limit the improvements I get in the rest of the system (Totaldac server and DAC directly connected to Lamm M1.2 Reference amplifiers, with everything cabled with Analysis Plus Golden Oval XLRs).
I listen to 95-percent classical music, from Mahler symphonies to Buxtehude cantatas to Bach violin solos or his organ trios.
I had a chance to listen to the Avior and found that speaker would be a considerable upgrade from my current one. But, given my taste and the treated room, I wonder if I should go for the Atria instead (I haven’t had the opportunity to audition them).
I love the sound of the Avior, but to what degree am I going to miss out with the Atria, given my taste and treated room?
I've wondered the very same thing, especially since my review of the Atria. I spoke to Andy Payor about this subject and what he says may or may not surprise you. On the surface, the Atria seems simply like a smaller Avior in just about every respect. The Atria is a three-way design with a 1" beryllium tweeter and a 6" Rockport-designed midrange. The Avior has the same basic driver arrangement. The difference is that the Avior has a pair of 9" woofers and the Atria has a single 9" woofer. It stands to reason that the Avior would have deeper, more powerful bass than the Atria. Payor confirms this.
But I'm also told that the Avior is superior in other areas as well, and is just an overall better speaker from top to bottom. This is surprising given just a cursory look at the driver configuration. But the Avior has a much more substantial cabinet too, and I'm sure this plays a part in its claimed sonic superiority. So what does this mean for you? Given your mid-size room dimensions and the fact that your room is treated, I think the Atria would be more than enough to suit your needs. It is certainly high on refinement and will likely be a great upgrade in transparency for you. Would the Avior go even further in this regard? Perhaps. I think it would be a tight fit for your room, but if you are able to get reasonably smooth bass response, it would certainly be all the speaker I think you'd ever want or need. . . . Jeff Fritz