I have recently auditioned the AZ Gargantua (aprox. $1500 new) against my reference NBS Statement ($3000 new, $500 used), a new model Shunyata Research Python (aprox. $1000 new), and a BMI Whale (aprox. $500 new) and found the AZ to be far brighter and edgier than any of the others. The BMI is well balanced, the Python has very nice open highs but a bit smeared in the bass and the NBS is very nutrual with excellant bass definition, warm colorful mid-range and open highs. I continue to use the NBS as my reference.
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