To Jeff Fritz,
I was at the Munich High End 2012 show these last few days and I very much loved the demo with Rockport Aquila speakers; MSB Technology Diamond DAC IV, Femto clock, and UMT player; and Absolare preamp and amps.
I am contacting you because I've just read on the Internet different articles and reviews you've written on Rockport Technologies speakers. Because I very much liked the Aquila demo at the Munich show, I am interested in the new Rockport Avior for my large living room or maybe the Rockport Alya for my dedicated room (which is smaller).
From your experiences with Rockport speakers could you tell me which amplifier(s) would be, to your mind, very good partners with the Avior or Alya? I think the Aesthetix Atlas stereo or mono amplifiers could be a good choice. Is there something else that you would recommend in the price range of the Aesthetix amplifiers, or a little more?
Thank you very much.
Rockport speakers will sound really good with modest electronics, but can also reveal the pedigree of the finest, highest-resolution amplifiers. The Rockport speakers do like high current, so I would recommend that you concentrate your efforts on solid-state amplifiers that are rated into 4 ohms at minimum, preferably 2 ohms. With that said, there are a number of great options you should consider.
For absolute cost-no-object performance with the Aviors, consider these: any of the Gryphon power amplifiers; any of the Vitus power amplifiers; the Simaudio Moon Evolution-series power amps; the R-series Ayres; and the Boulder 1000-, 2000-, or 3000-series products. These models, although different in specific ways, will each sing beautifully with the new Rockports.
For less money, I think you might be on the right track with the Aesthetix amplifiers. I have heard some really good things about them, although I have not heard them myself (though we are scheduled to get some Aesthetix product in for review, and the reviewer owns Rockport speakers). I would also consider the latest Bryston 28B SST² monoblocks. I know many people who think highly of them.
For the smaller Rockport Alyas, I would be tempted to try the Simaudio Moon Evolution 700i integrated, though I think my top choice would be a Devialet D-Premier. The latter would surely bring out all the bass that the Alya could manage, and the resolution of the D-Premier would not be lost on the Alya's excellent beryllium-dome tweeter and carbon-fiber-sandwich midrange-woofer.
So you really have many options, depending on how much money you want to spend and the model of Rockport you select. Whichever you choose, you'll be in for a treat. . . . Jeff Fritz