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This review first appeared in the June 2009 issue of hifi & stereo magazine You can also read this review of the Gamut Phi5 loudspeaker in its original German version. We translated it through a syndication arrangement with our German colleagues. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of or Gamut Audio. - Ed.

Reviewer: Jörg Dames
Sources: Fonel Simplicité (variable outputs), Audiomeca Obsession II, Wadia 170i Transport & Apple iPod & Benchmark DAC1 USB
Amplification: pre/power - Myyrad MXA 2150, Funk LAP-2.V2, Octave HP 300 MKII; integrated - Fonel Emotion, Lua 4040C, Abacus Rieder Ampino
Loudspeakers: Thiel CS 2.4, Sehring S 703 SE, Quadral Rondo
Cables: Low-level Straight Wire Virtuoso, high-level HMS Fortissimo, Reson LSC 350
Review component retail: €3.150/pr

A classified advert along roughly these lines caught my attention: "Will trade 1500 square meter property with 5 flats for the following hifi system..". Times, them's a'changin'. I well remember booking askance glances when first earnings were squandered on hifi and guitar kit rather than invested in a proper car or real furniture.

If you're excessively liquid, Danish purveyor Gamut will gladly trade you a pair of speakers and some electronics to the tune of real estate properties or 6-figure checks. Niente problemo. But not necessity. Their range starts as low as ca. €1,400/pr with the compact Phi3. The next model up demands closer to €3,000 and gets us at today's tester, the Phi5 and entry-level floorstander in the Danes' catalogue.

At one meter tall, the Phi5 doesn't equate entry-level with stumpy yet at a mere 17cm wide, the profile is plenty lithe to had me observe various ladies giving out high marks. To combine such WAFfery with manly displacement, this 3-way goes after four cylinders - er, drivers. Those are stretched out geographically over more than 50 centimeters for certainly no point source cluster though the upper-most and lowest cones do handle bass which is rather less critical with localization.

Gamut chief Lars Goller claims fatherhood for the Vifa ring radiator unit. This is based on his 8-year stint of development work for Vifa 'til 2005. The specific version in the Phi5 runs a modified magnet system for reduced distortion while the mounting plate is aluminum with a (gold was apparently out of reach) silver phase plug, turning the stainless steel wave-guide nipple into somewhat of a fashion statement. Whether this detail will impress ears as much as eyes is certainly questionable.

Wood fibers are membrane material of choice for the 15cm midrange which covers from 250Hz to 2600Hz. Gamut claims high stiffness and reduced additional damping requirements such as other materials demand. Minimal reliance on mechanical and acoustical damping in fact is a core credo for Lars Goller who pays close attention to psychoacoustic findings (i.e. how our ear/brain processes sound). Further homegrown details include the custom footer solution. Gamut's Phi5 rests on miniature stilts whose angle (from closely horizontal to nearly vertical) is adjustable via readily accessible knobs and thus also determines floor distance. Advantages include very good looks; a greater footprint for improved stability; and floor protection. The scheme also has the downward weight force lock things in place regardless of position. This is something conventional spikes don't automatically do. Granted, fine-tuning this setup is a bit fussier since one has to lift a corner before twirling a screw. Ham-fisted operators with compromised motor mechanics will think one simple turn but actually overshoot.