GamuT Audio Phi 3 Bookshelf Speakers

Phi 3

User Reviews (1)

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Drazzz   AudioPhile [Jan 11, 2011]

„Size isn't everything“ is a pretty clumsy statement when it comes to hi-fi components, knowing that male population creates a huge percentage of audiophiles. And alltough we do not dislike small components ( or loudspeakers especially ), mostly it seems like bigger and hevier ones will always have more trustworthy appearance.

For almost 20 years I'm used to have only small 2–way speakers in my room, but this one isn't just small, it's a midget. Classy, beautifully finished, handcratfed with style, but still mini. „Push them a bit stronger, and this weird looking tweeter will probably hit me in the eye“, was my impression when I saw them at first. Luckily, this statement from the begining was in my mind all the time.

My previous speakers were JM Lab's Electra 905 and Monitor Audio's GR10 – both very vivid and open, with excellent details and clarity and wide soundstage. My supporting gear is Exposure 3010S CD & amp and YBA Diamond speaker & interconnect. When you got used to such a sound for some years, first audition of this classy baby was nothing less than unpleasant surprise. Matted, and somehow dark, seemed like suddenly a curtain was pulled on between the speakers and sweet spot. Couple of CD's later, still nothing was there to be excited about, but everybody can be fooled with first impressions, so serious audition took me a while.

So, let's start from the top: very detailed, smooth and natural top, not so open or crisp as on my previously mentioned speakers, but engaging myself into serious audition a bit more, soon enough I became aware of the fact that actually, what I miss is the agressiveness and periodical sharpness from my previous speakers. If recorded correctly, cymbals and percussions are performed with natural echo, progressively vanishing in showroom. Everything is seamlessly connected with beautiful and delicate midrange. Male and female voices are atmospheric and very emotional. Good recordings of classical music are well presented, performers in orchestra are correctly positioned, and instruments sound organic and with realistic proportions. Wide and deep soundstage, too, with a bit weaker height perspective.

Phi 3 isn't so picky, but if your musical taste is more on hard & heavy, don't expect sharp and hefty riffs, or „big slam“ because this is not what this baby is made for. Even with more agressive amplificated music, this speaker will always try to perform its best in order to please you, holding on surprisingly good when compared with bigger ones. But it's nature is polite and moderate, so alltough I still like the sound of „Alice in chains“ and „Pearl jam“ reproduced by Phi 3, frankly, I miss a little bit of a dirt, attack and agressiveness for final excitement. But, you can't have it all.

On the other hand, beutifully balanced, Phi 3 will always try do its best not to abstract some pieces of music at the expense of complete musical process. Consequently: listen to any of your favorite and well known music, and most likely, you will be pleasantly surprised by discovering some new and so far hidden details, whose presence you weren't been aware about.

58 Hz deep bass isn't much, but when you listen to this mini in action, seems like it's going much deeper, probably thanks to wright combination of volume, clarity and accuracy. Another pleasant surprise, because none of us would probably imagine such a big sound coming from such a tiny box. Fair warning – Phi's nature isn't very mercyful to any average or bad recordings, so don't expect from your average recordings to sound any better. Don't even be surprised if what you've heard may seem even worse than before. With good recordings, nothing less than longlasting joy and pleasure. Also, there's no reason to push them loud if you want to here everything – resolution is very good, so you can enjoy in your favorite tracks on moderate or even lower loudness levels, too.

Tweeter is very efficient and revealing but tricky for correct positioning, so from my personal experience, careful „toe-in“ on axis can have a very significant influence to final sound, especially on high frequencies. Also, be shure to replace the original jumpers with something better, and don't be cheap on supporting electronics, otherwise probably you'll never find out what are those speakers really capable for.

So, if you like small speakers, probably you will find these Phi's adoreble exactly as they are. Otherwise, if you don't like small speakers, this could be the ones to make you change your mind.

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