(January 26, 2021) I've had a notable sweet tooth for GT Audio Works' delicious take on sound for nearly seven years. Rather than spinning my wheels to conjure superlatives that describe the GT experience, I thought it would be fun to kick off this news piece by revisiting a "Best of" synopsis crafted after Capital Audio Fest 2017. So, please take a moment to chew on a few excerpts of my aged musings, and then we'll discuss the brand's latest exciting announcement.
"I'm feeling a tad impatient today, so I'm flipping the standard script and kicking things off with my favorite find at CAF 2017. Mind you, the word "best" is loaded with subjectivism and caveats, especially when it comes to sound. But for my money, GT Audio Works and its magnificent GTA3R Planar/Ribbon Speakers, which were matched with Sound Insight's dual SI 600 Open Baffle Subwoofers, graciously slid into home for the win.
I've had the pleasure of knowing GT Audio Works' Greg Takesh for several years, first meeting him as he demoed his GTA2.5 speakers at CAF several moons ago. Take one look into the man's eyes and you can see both audio passion and total sincerity. And take one listen to his handmade large-panel creations, and you'll be left stunned with amazement…
…The GTA3R is built to order, which means the speaker's wood and finish are all customizable. Considering that it essentially looks like a wood-framed cloth panel (high-quality craftsmanship, mind you), the speaker is somewhat unremarkable in its appearance. But its sound (oh that AMAZING sound) is what you're paying for. And let me tell you, they sound stunningly beautiful, presenting a massive and highly detailed soundstage that's punctuated by serious depth.
And clarity? It's all there, folks.
Clarity, balance, and natural tonality.
This speaker is, bar none, the best speaker you've never heard, and I challenge anyone to find another $12,000 speaker that can touch its class.
Bold words? Yes.
But my ears have fallen in love with GT Audio Work's creations, and this year's showing at CAF was simply spectacular…"
There you have it. My appreciation for Greg Takesh's handiwork was (and is) rather sizable. And after re-reading my own words, I can't say that I'd alter any of it.
With that, let’s leave the past in the past and jump forward to the now with GT Audio Works' latest announcement: its all-new Reference 3 Speaker.
Handcrafted in-house and devoid of OEM drivers, the Reference 3 is a true 2-way planar ribbon speaker. Its Wideband Planar Driver utilizes a proprietary membrane and pure copper conductors for output (50 to 5,000 Hz) with an ultra-low noise floor and total transparency. At the same time, the complementary Ribbon Tweeter operates in the 2.5 to 50 kHz range. And with a sensitivity of 93 dB (4 ohms), the speaker is straightforward to drive.
Externally, the Reference 3 features a polished stainless steel base, ISO Acoustics GAIA feet, and layered woods bonded and CNC-ed to a 2-inch one-piece frame. Not surprisingly, its custom nature allows for a range of finishes.
Much like older iterations, the speaker can be purchased with optional open-baffle 12-inch subs (servo operated, 1600 total watts), stacked in configurations of two, four, and six drivers per side. With playback down to 15 Hz, these subs can add sizable depth and thunder to an already potent system.
Pricing for the Reference 3 sits at $27,500, with the subwoofers (including servo amps, crossover, and balanced cables) costing $7,995 (two 12-inch woofers per side), $19500 (four 12-inch woofers per side), or $25,000 (six 12-inch woofers per side).
How will they perform? All past signs point to supremely well. Hopefully, we'll all have a chance to hear them in action later this year.
For purchasing information, call Steve Rabitz at Sound Insight (516.695.1798) or visit gtaudioworks.com. You can also join GT Audio Works in its Facebook Group by clicking here.