Bass presentation is of lighter body, slightly south of neutral with good extension. Yet it does not reach the deepest to give a satisfying sub-bass rumble for people that are looking for that, the existing sub-bass in the AV3 is softer and might be better of with some more power in it. However the mid-bass and upper-bass presentation is very nice and controlled. It shows good texture yet could be tighter for my taste. Bass shows good resolution, especially for the asking price. Bass heads might turn away from the AV3 unsatisfied, yet the AV3 is not about knocking out teeth with bass quantity.
Mids are smooth and well resolutioned, but can come across as a little hollow at times. What Avara did realize indeed very well is instrumental separation, there is a great sense of space in the constructed sound stage with good amounts of air between the individual musicians. Speaking of sound stage, I am unsure if I ever heard a bigger stage in a monitor of this price range. It stretches well in width and depth but lacks height. Voices are well centered with good left/right imaging. What I’m missing here is body and soul. The entire midrange is rather uncolored and dry, what can be seen as a good characteristic, yet can also cause a less enjoyable signature over time.
Treble for my taste could use more energy and sparkle. I tend to like brighter signatures a bit more, as long as high notes have decent warmth in them. The AV3’s treble is neutral with a slight laid back sound. It is soft and not intrusive. You won’t be smacked with energy or sharpness, this makes sure you won’t run into any sibilances when you listen to your favourite tracks. Treble is not very extended or airy, but for the price it’s going for, we can’t want more.
Avara says the AV3 is a great all-rounder, suitable for any genre. I find this statement is pretty accurate, with mild exclusions. The AV3’s softer, slight neutral signature is not going to stand in the way of many genres.
Cables are such a nice audiophile day-destroyer. Either you fight with your life to defend the sonic benefits of them, or you are in the opposite situation and declare them as bottled snake oil without any scientific evidence. Personally it took a while until I found myself in the pro-cables camp. Around two weeks ago even one of my, absolutely not audiophile, colleagues could hear the effect of cables on one of my universal IEMs I borrowed him, because he took care of some work I had no time for. I think, it comes down to a good number of factors that play into the process of finding a cable’s sound. The most important is always the monitor and how well it responds to cable-rolling.
The AV3 in my opinion shows the effects very well. It responds particularly well to Copper based wires. I also found that they enhance all the parts I criticized just before.
Effect Audio – Ares II (8-wire)
I recently was handed this bespoke cable from Effect Audio. It counts double the wires as it’s „regular“ counterpart. The Ares II enhances overall body and emotions, resizes the sound stage to a wider and deeper degree, and adds a number of clarity to the picture. It brings in more control to the lower segments and lifts them a touch for a more dynamic signature. The entire sound becomes more enjoyable and fun to my ears.
The X-series cable is such a treat for every on-the-go audiophile. It is hyper lightweight and vanishes once the monitors are inserted. The GPC X offers great transparency for a dual-wire cable. It softens treble a bit, but gives it a richer tonality. Bass gets elevated to a more dynamic point, with tighter punch and more control. AV3’s sound stage does go deeper and a touch wider with better layering and imaging.
plusSound – X8 (Tri-Copper)
The Tri-Copper is an industry solo with its three Copper based materials used for each wire. I doubt there is anyone out ther going the tripple route for any of their cables. PlusSound does not follow the general mainstream. The X8 is one of my favourite cables for a lush and emotional sound, spectacular mids and visceral bass. The AV3 is elevated with more emotions and body. The stage stretches noticeably wider and deeper.
We have seen many companies trying to push the boundaries for the best possible sound, and everyone seems to be focused on releasing one high priced model after another. It is refreshing to see companies such as Avara trying to redefine what is possible in lower segments and offer their customers good sounding gear at very affordable price points.
The AV3 is such an example, it convinces with good technicalities and versatility yet is kept back by the cable it comes with. Hook it up to a nice Copper based cable such as the Effect Audio Ares II and enjoy a rounder and fuller sound.
The AV3 comes packed with good transparency, instrumental separation and layering and a neutral sound that will suit many audiophiles. For a relatively new company, I think Avara has done a good job. There are a few things they should address in build quality though. For the insane low price Avara sells the AV3 for, I think it’s safe to say it will find a good number of people that will enjoy the AV3.