What makes a loudspeaker ‘high end’ and is the high end really worth investing in? These questions were pondered by Eric Neff while reviewing the Gamut RS5i floorstanders for Hi-Fi Plus.

While ‘high end’ is often defined by price, Neff begs to differ. “High end speakers must have an above-reproach build quality as well as sound that truly goes beyond…”. Would the RS5i’s prove themselves as truly ‘high end’?

Absolutely, on both counts.

“Unlike most wood box speakers, these beauties are formed from real wood…hand made by master crafters.” “The wood is an integral component of the instrument that is an RS5i speaker. Each cabinet requires a full week of construction time…” “Drivers, as with the cabinets, are not off-the-shelf products but highly specialised designs following Gamut’s exacting requirements.”

Neff kicked off his critical listening tests with a favourite vinyl LP by Steelers Wheel. “Clarity, space and dimensionality provided an immediate impact… vocals were almost organic… the rhythmic clapping was skin-on-skin distinct”.

“Reaching that alleged high end state requires this type of enhanced dimensional delivery,” notes Neff. “It is not enough to offer great imaging or a solid soundstage; the speaker must reach for a visceral, organic, and an almost ‘reach out and touch the artist’ sensation. The RS5i’s delivered that experience.”

Moving on to some gothic metal, “The RS5i’s ability to deliver the scale of the performance was thrilling. Any speaker can be loud with enough power. Few can contain the essence of the presentation along with the requisite volume.”

Listening to the Hollies’ The Air That I Breathe, Neff concludes, “the Gamut Audio RS5i’s may be all that I need. I am going to start saving for them now! So, are they high end? Yes! Highly recommended.”

Discover more about the RS5i.

Read Eric Neff’s Hi-Fi Plus review in full.