Some eighteen months back, we reviewed an Avanti A.10 DC, where the DC postscript stood for the company's premium price Design Collection. This came in a high-gloss black lacquer finish and did rather well at £450 per pair, so the portents look pretty good for this non-DC equivalent Avanti A.10 at a less costly £350 per pair.

Despite the Swedish ancestry, all the cues suggest that the Avanti A.10, like so many these days, is probably made in the Far East. It's a small and simple two-way standmount, with a 130mm paper cone bass/mid drive unit using a diaphragm roughly 100mm in diameter.

The tweeter is smaller than most, with a fabric diaphragm around 20mm in diameter. The narrow back accommodates a tiny port, tuned to around 42Hz and a single terminal pair, arranged vertically, is fixed straight through the woodwork.

The result is a very attractive speaker. Its MDF enclosure is very compact and physically discreet and distinguished by dramatically curved sides that give a boat-shaped plan view and virtually eliminate a back panel entirely. Such a shape has the multiple advantages of diffusing rear-panel reflections and internal standing waves, as well as increasing stiffness.

Coherent pairing

Positioning the A.10 proved a little tricky, as it's one of those (all too common) models that tends to thump a bit when close to a wall, but sounds a little lacking in bass drive and enthusiasm if it's sited in free space. Finding the happy medium proved tricky in our particular room, but speaker/room interaction is an unpredictable and fickle phenomenon, so do take the time and effort to try and achieve the smoothest results.

Under our test conditions, best results were obtained with the speakers about 25cm out from the wall. The bass still sounds a bit resonant and weak in harmonic warmth and richness, but the overall sound – probably assisted by the slightly forward and peaky midrange – is delightfully entertaining and communicative.

It's fair to say that the sound isn't the sweetest around, but it is essentially smooth and very even-handed, with a lively and expressive disposition and an impressive openness that is particularly engaging with voices in general, but especially on speech.

Thanks to the fine acoustic behaviour of the enclosure, there's a commendable lack of boxiness here. Overall coherence is very good, too and stereo images are well focused with good airy spaciousness.

With its attractive shape, engagingly lively yet substantially smooth and open sound quality, criticisms are minor and a recommendation seems appropriate at the price.