Gradient Speakers from Finland: Opinions

Gradient speakers from Finland have received a few reviews in Stereophile and and TAS going as far back as 1995. But I have rarely to never heard any talk of them on this website; or, seen any of their speakers up for resale. Anybody out there ever heard these speakers (or own them) especially the models called the "Intro" and "Evidence"?? How do they compare in price and performance to Audio Physic, Thiel, Revel, and Vandersteen?? Or, is this just another mid-fi European company pretending to offer hi-end speakers at exorbitant pricing?? Let's hear it!! Thanks, Jimbo
Hello Jimbo,

As a Gradient dealer, I suppose my response is going to be fairly predictable...

At CES 2001 I heard this lovely music pouring out into the far end of the hallway. Now, I consider how a speaker sounds from the next room to be a very promising indicator of long-term listening enjoyment. So of course I stuck my head in the room. Oh, Gradient Revolutions. Too inexpensive. You see, most of my business comes from people who fly to New Orleans to audition my big expensive Sound Labs, and I knew that no one was going to hop on a plane to audition a speaker in the four to five grand range. But they sure did sound relaxing and natural.

So I continued on and went to lots of other rooms. But there were some things the Revolutions did better than speakers that cost many times more: They were totally devoid of boxiness (which I am especially sensitive to), and had very nice pitch definition in the bass (in this area they surpassed speakers in the $100K range).

I kept going back to the Gradient room. The Revolutions sure did sound natural, especially on big strings. And they are very relaxing long-term. They are maybe a trifle soft in the very top end, but I like that better than being a trifle harsh up there. Their midrange is extremely natural sounding, and in the bottom end they have the kind of definition we're used to in the midrange, but almost never hear in the bass.

I don't have as much experience with the Intro and Evidence. I've heard the Evidence used as a center channel in a surround system, and that's it. Voicing was very similar to the Revolutions, with the Revolutions having of course better bass clarity. The Evidence might have a little more weight to its bottom end, but this is based on just that one system. For a vented box, it was nice and tight - no boominess.

One of my Revolution customers went through quite a few, more expensive speakers before getting the Revolutions (including the Martin Logan Odyssey, and Quads 988 & 989). He has had the Revolutions for close to a year now, which for him is a record I think. Not many "box" speakers can follow in the footsteps of electrostats.
The revolutions are outstanding,about as good as it gets. I own the Gradient 1.3's which are discontinued. They are the best speaker I've ever heard in the two thousand dollar range. Gradient has always addressed the room interface problems so their speakers are usually easy to place and always extremly musical. I've owned most brands in my fifty years of audio and Gradients are up there with the best. They also seem to be quite reasonable for their performance level.
Take Care,
Besides Duke, who sells them in the U.S.?
Drubin -

Other Gradient dealers include Simply Stereo and Holm Audio (both in the Chicago area, I believe) and Primus Audio in Kansas City. I'm in New Orleans.

If I come to N.O., can I hear them at your shop, Duke?
Drubin -

You are indeed invited to check out the Gradients if (when) you make it to New Orleans! Just give me a holler first.

Or, if you'd like, let me know where you are and maybe I can arrange an in-home audition, if that would be convenient for you.

Is there a web site i can research these speakers on?
thanks tweety