Recommendations and thoughts for end game speakers and amps


Good morning all. I am looking at Rockport Avior ii speakers. My dealer likes Boulder amps with these but I wanted to get everyone’s opinion first. I will be getting an integrated with HT bypass. Right now I’m looking at the Boulder 866, Gryphon Diablo 300, and the Simaudio 700iv2. Has anyone listened to these speakers with these amps? I’m looking for highly detailed but not harsh highs and mids and outstanding bass as well. Basically a set up that performs fantastic from top to bottom. If you have any other speaker or amp suggestions please let me know. Thank you! 
ronboco
Post removed 
@tvad 

Thank you for the recommendation. I will take a look and see if there is a Vandersteen dealer here in Colorado to go have a listen 
@tvad 

Those are great looking speakers but unfortunately out of my budget. I’m looking at between 50-60 k ish. 
Post removed 
That would be an all in total. Speakers , amp , cables etc. 
I recently moved up to Rockport Avior IIs and a Gryphon Diablo 300.  It is an excellent combination, as the Aviors like an amp that can deliver lots of current.  Both the Aviors and the Diablo are excellent throughout the frequency range with no real weak spots.  I’ve listened to other speakers in this price range (Wilson’s) which were excellent, but I felt they still had some weak spots compared to the Aviors.  The Wilson’s had a bit more detail, but also had some additional harshness, to my ears at least.  But that’s really a personal preference, YMMV.  One note, the Aviors are wired internally with Transparent Reference cable, and when they are sent out for review, Rockport requests that the reviewer use Transparent Reference cables for at least part of the review (see the Stereophile review).  Because of that, I tried out those cables and end up going with them.  Good luck!
@mikemeeks 

Thanks for your input. The dealer also likes Transparent cables so I’m thinking I will use them as well. Have you heard the Aviors with any other amps? 
I know Andy Payor is fond of Gryphon amps so hard to see going wrong there.  Another one that’d probably sound great is Vitus — here’s a nice one at a good price...
https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649766445-vitus-sia-025-mki-integrated-amp/
Best of luck. 
@soix 

Thank you. I’ve been reading good things on the Vitus amps here and will check them out as well. 
My client has Arkansas we took the t+agear to his system the t+a?bested a 12500 pair of krellra amps

Dave and troy
AUDIO INTELLECT NJ
t+a dealers


Post removed 
@ronboco

Regarding your question about listening to the Aviors with other amps - I originally was using a Levinson 585 with the Aviors.  On my previous speakers (Focal Kanta 2s) it was fine.  However, it had some weaknesses that the Rockports revealed.  Some thinness and lack of detail in the upper midrange and a lack of slam in the bass,  in particular.  The Gryphon, however, sounds spectacular with the Aviors.
Try
1. CH Precision
2. Aries Cerat

All the best.
Youareleaving out too many variables your front end, digital, analog have a Big influence as well as system cables 
power cords , My brother owns the Gryphon300 it has a very natural warmer character with very good detail it competes or 
beats any $20 k+ separates out there better synergy being amp,preamp of very high quality less power cord,as well as interconnects . Buy a top digital piece a great digital combo 
Bricasti21 dac-streamer great sound and synergy 3 separate  linear power supplies and a ton of other great engineering under 1 hood . Rock port makes a excellent Loudspeaker .
Thank you everyone for the input. 
@mikemeeks 

I am leaning more towards the Diablo 300 at this point. It’s interesting the Aviors replaced the kanta 2 in your system as mine will replace Kanta 3s. 
@audioman58 

I have only read great things about the Bricasti DAC s on this forum and it’s on my list as well. 
There is absolutely no reason to spend that kind of money to achieve great sound...you would have to be insane to spend 50k or more on a pair of speakers...unless maybe your a multi millionaire, then who cares..I guess🤷🙄....even then, I would not.
Thought the Diablo was the real deal but recently left it for the Arva p400/1000 ncore amp driving Salon 2’s. Goodbye to the old technology. But only if you’re prepared for unmasked listening. Much cheaper too...
Don’t mess. 
Sanders sound. Magtech and speakers. 
 Done


Or buy used amps here. And take chance w speakers. 

 Sanders sound speakers and amps.  Last audio you’ll ever need!



While not exactly cost effective, I’m of the mind that TAD speakers can be end game for owners. I’ve got them paired with bargain amps that are about 1/3rd the price of the speakers (BHK300’s) while they come in a plain case, do have a tube input section, that allows some tube rolling as well.
Rockport and Absolare amplification are common partners at shows. I don't have Rockport, but I now have an Absolare Signature Integrated, and it blows away all other amps I've heard (of course, I have heard nearly everything). The Absolare website isn't shy about their show awards when paired with Rockport aviors in particular. 
you need big power for Rockport. I heard the Vitus class A stereo amp (50w) and wasn't enough, even in class A/B mode.

There is an Avior user on WBF that has great results with Moon 860av2 which would match the sonic traits you are seeking. 
This is such a personal decision.
Your dealer and we may have favorites...but it's up to you. 

Maybe start with what sound you want in your room. The room is a big player. Don't fight the room and its furnishings. You may move, but your furnishings and decor sensibilities usually go with you.

What speakers do you, your room and your furnishings like?

Then what amp do your speakers like?

I'm in a similar position. About to get my end game speaker and amp combo. I'm getting Tannoy and Luxman. Haven't decided how far up the Tannoy chain I can go...but hoping to get Kensington GR. 


I have Rockport Cyngus which sound very much like the Avior II except more bass for my big room.  I paired them with Boulder 2160 and the sound is great. I compared Nordost Tyr 2 to Iconoclast Silver Pated TPC.  The Iconoclast sounded identical to the Nordost for 1/3 the price.  After having FETs and tubes I found nothing beats the speed and transit response of BJTs.  The tube and FET amps I had always had soft highs which, while clean, sounded unnaturally soft.  The trick with BJTs is look for as much class A as you can afford.  I listed to the Boulder 866 with the Aviors and I think that would be a great system.
Great audio store / music lover in Fort Collins

best to you on your journey, enjoy the music
You could spend about half as much and try Kii3 with BXT or Geithain if you can find them. 
I appreciate all of the great responses! 

@markc1961 
 
I just got back from my dealer with his quote. The cables he quoted were Nordost Tyr 2. Speaker , Power cord and interconnects were 15k! I am not very experienced with cabling but that seems like a hell of a lot. I will check out Iconoclast but I’m not sure of the best way to bring it up to my dealer if I want to go another route. I will be going with the 866 and Aviors. 
If anyone has any cable suggestions that would work well with the Avior ii please advise. I’m going to call Rockport on Monday and ask them their advice as well 
Rick at Audio Alternative in Ft. Collins carries Vandersteen speakers. I live in Ft. Collins and have delt with him. He is very knowledgeable and has been in high end audio for decades. PM me if you would like more details.
Good luck!
Bruce
In regards to cables.  Tell the dealer you will use your existing cables, then call Iconoclast as they will offer a 30 day money back guarantee. I borrowed the Try cables from a local video dealer I purchased from to do the compare. Turned out to be a good move as I saved enough to help pay for a better dac. As for power cables, I think improvement is dependent upon your setup and the house/rooms electrical wiring. I plan to investigate/upgrade power cords last. 
You will love the 866 and the Rockports….sounds like you were at Soundings in Denver. (The Nordost recommendation). Hopefully you got the digital version of the 866, its quite amazing for the miniscule cost to upgrade. Its the best $20,000 solid state integrated amp in my opinion and it only costs $15,000! I’ve purchased three 866’s from Soundings and Jeff is outstanding. They are a fantastic dealer IMO.

The Rockports are exceptional as well. Ignore those telling you its foolish to spend this much….it isnt if you have it and enjoy music. Its highly likely they havent heard anything of this caliber or they wouldnt have said anything. Reach out to Boulder and ask about speaker cables….its actually the amp that is more particular about cables than speakers but you dont have to go crazy. I found the Tellurium Q Black to be a nice power cable for the 866. Its not that fussy, even a Shunyata would be nice. Boulder and exceptional power supplies are synonomous. Its a dead quiet amp.  Might I suggest that you shop used/certified Gen 5 pre owned Transparent speaker cables. Thats probably what is inside your Rockports.

You will love your new setup.
@ghasley  

It is Soundings in Denver. Jess has been really great to work with. I am getting the digital upgrade as I’ve read only good things about it. Thanks for the vote of confidence in my choice I’m really looking forward to hearing the set up in my room. 
@markc1961 

Thanks for the cable tips. I’ll use that approach 
The Marten Parkers trio are exceptional Loudspeakers
the Diamond edition even better still perfect match for theGryphon Diablo i have heard them both together and on the low side of your  budget.
Rockports are incredible.  There is nothing wrong with them as end-game speakers.  Boulder is brilliant with them.  I might also look at Constellation, Soulution and D'Agastino, but Boulder is safe and it is unlikely you will be disapointed.

There are a bunch of other awesome speakers in your price range.  Vivid G3s, Wilson Benesch ACT One Evolutions, etc... but they are not inherently better than Rockports.  Different and I might like their tech better but it is a matter of philosophy and taste.  
Www.sanderssoundsystems.com

   The Magtech has been on my radar for a long time. She was sent to me, sat on my house for a week, did not open, shipped back to Roger from financial issues we had at the time.    Wish she was still here, 

   His setup is simply outstanding, the incorporated woofer with the panel speaker is flawlessly matched for music, unlike some of the other brands.

 Anyway, if you’ve decided to go another route, great!

or try the Sanders sound in home for 30 days!
@verdantaudio 

Thanks for the input and suggestions. When I listened to the rockports they were being driven by Boulders big stereo amp (2160?). All class A. In the short amount of time I spent listening I found myself wanting a little more energy in the highs. Will the 866A/B give me that ? Also I’d rather not spend 15 k on cables if there is a high quality alternative. Along with the other suggestions offered do you have any suggestions for cabling? Thanks! 
What about Nordost on the used market?  
@ron17 

excellent suggestion. I’ll look into that 
I don't think that you will get a lot more energy in the highs from the amplification.  Not sure how that DAC is.  Are you looking for an all-in-one exclusively?  Do you need internal DAC and streamer?   How big is your room.  I am thinking the Ayre AX-5 Twenty would be ideal in terms of sound profile but doesn't have the same feature set.  

Regarding cables, for value, I like Audioquest ICs (particularly water), Audioquest Robin Hood and William Tell for speaker cables and Puritan for Power though I am about to order and get demo's of Clarus.  I hear VERY good things about Clarus.  

InAkustik is my current favorite for mid-priced cables.  A pair of excellent copper speaker cables can be had for saner pricing  ($5k-$7K) and I am not sure you need silver.  
Post removed 
@verdantaudio 

I read here the built in streamer / DAC in the 866 is quite good for the 2k it costs and worth it so that is why I will probably get it. My room a our family room. 23x18x18 high. Open to stairs and and hallway areas and upstairs walkway. It’s treated (see my systems page). 
Thank you again to everyone the advice here has been extremely helpful in my decisions. 
@tvad Compared to $15K....$5-$7k is quite reasonable.   That being said, no dealer (I am an AQ authorised dealer) can or should post discounted pricing in a forum.  That is a violation of the MAP.  

@ronboco  If you stick with the Boulder and DAC, I tend to find silver coated copper cables to drift a little brighter.  Nordost would be a good choice.  Only thing to note is that their cables are unshielded so you need to take care not to coil it.  
Post removed 
The OP said he was looking for cables that are more reasonable than $15K.  since this is an all-in-one solution, the only cables really are speaker and maybe a power cable so that was my inference.  Could be wrong.

You are right, those are $5-$7K.  I was thinking the copper versions which are much more modest in terms of MAP Pricing.  I quite like the Robin Hood cables in copper for the money. 

For InAkustik - reference air LS-4004 ($5500-$6600 MAP for 2-3 Meters) would be in that range.  The 1204 and 804 are less expensive.    

The 15k included speaker , power cord and interconnect cables 
My client hasrockport araknis  we took a t+a amp and preamp to his system the t+a?bested a 125000  pair of krell master reference amplifiers

bicasti digital is amazing

wireworld cables bested the nordosrt we used to sell  nordost

Dave and troy
AUDIO INTELLECT NJ
t+a dealers, dricasti and wireworld
Silversmith Fidelium speakers. $1200 an 8’ pair and $175 for the unique and excellent bi-wire. They made my $6000 cables sound like junk. It is said that the Fideliums can go against any regardless of price. 
@mglik 

I have heard good things about the silversmith cables and will definitely check them out. Thank you 
If I'm reading between the lines correctly, I thought it interesting that in the recent Stereophile review of the Boulder, the reviewer found that it did not best the Krell integrated he used as comparison, just that the Krell was slightly warmer and the Boulder more neutral.
Marten Parker trio-Diamond Edition are incredibly good speakers use very detailed ceramic composite drivers Marten uses only premium quality parts throughout ,the $$ Jorma internal cabling,WBT connectors,high  Quality Mundorf Xover parts  special Diamond Tweeter ,and custom feet and damped cabinet ,several Excellent reviews out there on them.
and these beat  speakers of much higher cost .
@ronboco You'd be making a wise choice with the Rockport Avior ii's and the 866.  I own Rockport Altair 2's and would never let them go.  There's something very musical about speakers Andy Payor designs.  And Rockport's build quality is world-class. I use a Gryphon Antileon EVO stereo amp.

I recently purchased a Boulder 866 for a 2nd home system I was planning.  I temporarily hooked up the 866 to my Altairs and was pleasantly surprised on the musicality and level of control the 866 has on the pair of 15" side firing woofers in the Altair's. Not many amps are able to manage those woofers. Boulder is likely conservative in their power rating of the 866.  There's no harshness from the Be tweeter and the bass management is very close to the Gryphon Antileon EVO.  I suspect the 866 will mate very well with the Avior ii's. 

Check out the private message I sent you.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!
Retailers by definition sell the brands they carry.  The advantage is you can hear the combination.  The problem with this “hobby” is without the benefit of brick and mortar stores, we can go through this crazy ritual of flipping equipment just to find the right synergy.   My experience is that speaker/amp matching/optimization becomes more difficult they higher up the chain you go.  It’s took me 5 amps to find something that really made my YG Acoustic Carmels sing.   Took me 4 amps to find the same thing with my TAD CR-1s.   So I suggest go that is you like the sound of the Boulders with the Rockports, go for it…..   Hearing what yo hear beats all the opinions you’ll hear on this forum (an amp in hand is worth two opinions in the bush)