The unique upgrade path offered by Copenhagen-based speaker maker Audiovector is absolutely great, but in reality many buyers don’t need to take advantage of the scheme. People, it seems, largely buy either the entry-level Super of the top Avantgarde Arrete version of any specific model – rarely the ‘tweeners’. So, in to looking at a specific model in the SR range, it stands to reason that the best models to check are the extremes of the range.
When it comes to the SR1 standmount, the logical place to start is at the SR1 Super; it’s an entry point to the SR range, so why not use the entry point of the entry level speaker? In fact, the reverse is true, too. The SR1 Avantgarde Arreté is the pinnacle of Audiovector standmount technology – if you like what Audiovector does and either like standmounts or have no space for floorstanders, this is as good as it gets.
Audiovector also recently changed its S-series from Si to SR series. Launched at the end of 2014, the changes between the lines are more evolutionary than revolutionary, with improvements to materials, crossover, and cabinet construction techniques. But this is academic for the Audiovector S or Si owner, because the best thing about this SR series is it’s available to any Audiovector S-series user from the last 10 or so years. Practically everything in an Audiovector S1 or Si1 loudspeaker can be brought up to date, even to the point of changing the finish of the loudspeaker should you wish. Basically, unless you have a loudspeaker cabinet so fundamentally damaged that it is uneconomic to repair, you can insert your old S-series speaker, upgrade everything, and walk out with an essentially new loudspeaker. But, if you have a S1 Super or Si1 Super, upgrading it to a SR1 Super isn’t – and shouldn’t be – an option. Instead, if you have one of these models and fancy a spot of upgrading, go for the Avantgarde Arreté instead; you’ll not regret it.
The SR1 in all its guises is a two-way rear-ported standmount, using a non-parallel tapered back design, to minimise internal standing waves. The tweeter (with rear-radiating air flow designed for good soundstaging) is coupled with a 152mm Carbon Composite bass driver. Along the way from Super to Avantgarde Arreté, the SR goes through three different tweeters, culminating in the Audiovector-built AMT ribbon design, a ‘no energy’ mass loading of the front baffle and the rear plate, a revised and cryogenic-treated 4th order Linkwitz Riley crossover, and even shock absorbers built into the bracing. The net result of these changes is a loudspeaker that returns a frequency response from 45Hz-23kHz in the Super, to 39Hz-54kHz in the Avantgarde Arreté. Focusing on the frequency response on its own, however, only shows a fraction of what the SR1 can do in its Avantgarde Arreté guise can do.