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VIVID AUDIO V1S
TOP OF THE
very once in a while – less frequently than sensitivity of 89 dB and a nominal impedance run in properly. A trip away was the perfect
the advent of the legendary blue moon – of 8 ohms, which suggests that the V1s won't opportunity to break them in, and by the time
along comes a product so far ahead of pose too stern a challenge for even modest I got back, the 300 hours were just about
the game, so thoroughly innovative, and yet amplifiers. Given its size (635 x 225 x 195 mm) complete. Even so, another 200 or so hours
so sonically intoxicating that I can't think of the frequency response of 45 Hz to 39 kHz is later as I write this, they're still getting better!
anything else for a while. bullish – or so I thought. That's hard to believe, given their spectacular
Vivid Audio's V1s compact monitor loud- The Vivids came to me brand new, with a capabilities even as I write this.And it starts with a
speaker is such a product. warning that they needed 300 hours-plus to delivery so vibrant, so intriguingly realistic, so
It's the latest creation of Vivid Audio, a immediate, that it takes some convincing to make
Durban-based company with the sheer guts and visitors believe that all of that is the work of two
perseverance to chase a dream.That dream was compact, radically styled loudspeakers.
to locally produce world-class loudspeakers. The V1s have an almost intoxicating effect.
The company currently produces three Even at low playback levels, they seem to get
loudspeakers, all of which share the same core under the skin of the music and those artists
technologies, and the same unusual, ovoid shape. who originally recorded it, and to reproduce
The reason for the unusual shape and profile the performance with an almost uncanny
is quite simple: it expresses Vivid's belief that presence and realism.
standing waves need to be avoided at all costs, Their delivery is smooth and utterly effort-
and that the impact of square baffles with less: there is no sense of the drive units actually
straight edges on the natural dispersion of being worked. Instead, it's as if the music simply
sound waves is severe. flows with such effortless intensity that you
With their minimal frontal area, the carbon- can't ignore just how good, how real, how
loaded composite loudspeaker enclosures thoroughly entertaining they sound.
in the Vivid Audio range pose a sonically Of course, they are quick – but again, you
convincing alternative. don't pick up on their penchant for pace at
Vivid chief designer Laurence (Dic) Dickie first, because they make the music so approach-
was one of the key originators of the original able. If needed, they can keep up with any sonic
B&W Nautilus project, and it comes as no sprint one moment, and carefully analyse a
surprise that his unique Vivid Audio drive units delicate piano sonata the next.
are a further evolution of the Nautilus drivers. Tonally, the V1s sound so real – so open,
Importantly, Dic's core focus was on transparent, ballsy and energetic – that they're
preventing colouration, resonances and often ignored while people look for the truly
break-up, which generally compromise driver big speakers that must surely be responsible
accuracy.The Vivid Audio drive units have a for such sonic magic! Part of the reason is
margin of 2,5 octaves between their upper that frequency response: they reach down
frequency limit and the first inkling of break-up. even lower than the 45 Hz specification
And so, on to the V1s, the smallest member promises, while the treble extends well beyond
of the burgeoning Vivid Audio speaker family. the audible threshold.
The V1 is actually available in two versions: Staging is expansive, but never at the expense
the 's' which is for stand mounting, and the of focus, imaging and cohesion.Yes, when those
'w' for wall mounting. A V1.5, with integrated sweeping strings of the orchestra crescendo to
composite stand a la B1, is in the pipeline, a climax, you can almost feel the walls opening
and may well end up being the best option up to make space for all that musical energy.
of the lot. And on cosier, nightclub fare, it's the depth
The V1s employs two drivers: a 26 mm and the definition that comes to the fore.
aluminium dome tweeter with a crosshair-type One of the surprises served up by the V1s
dispersion guide, and a 158 mm aluminium cone is their versatility: a transition from Mozart to
mid/bass unit featuring a huge dust cap.The Marilyn Manson is almost nonchalantly
crossover frequency is at 3 kHz, and Vivid Audio achieved.These speakers always rise to the
claims a power handling rating of 150 watts RMS. occasion: when the majestic organ on that
Other key statistics include a quoted audiophile stalwart, 'Cantata Domino' heralds
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the toughest of sonic challenges, the V1s happily The Vivid Audio V1 is a world-class, refer- Superlative in every aspect!
accept the test – and pass it with flying colours. ence-standard monitor. Full stop.Which is why Given that I bought a pair of these speakers
And then there is their commitment to the review pair isn't going anywhere. And, as a off the recent hi-fi show in Randburg, one might
accuracy: as modestly proportioned as the V1s South African, I'll be proud every time I listen to accuse me of having taken leave of my senses.
are, they can be considered as reference com- them – which will be very often! But what I heard in the first five minutes of the
ponents. Okay, so they won't rattle windows, Deon Schoeman new V1s playing for the first time left me with a
but they'll come close. In staging terms, they'll sense of desire rarely experienced in the case of
precisely position every section of the orchestra, a jaded veteran of box packing and unpacking in
and even pin-point individual soloists, all while the world of high fidelity music reproduction.
ensuring that the overall sound picture is The V1s, for the money, are the most spectacu-
cohesive, dimensionally defined and involving.
• p e a k s • lar speakers I have ever heard.That is more than
But my lasting impression of the V1 is its a little rich for someone who has an inherent
ability to bring the music to the listener. Unlike sense of self preservation when it comes to not
many other monitors, even very good ones, VERDICT looking like a fool having made a rash purchasing
listening to the V1s isn't hard work. In fact, It may well end up as the ultimate decision. So I invite anyone to audition them and
every track, every disc is an encouragement two-way loudspeaker: a unit that's visually come to a different conclusion. I hope that many
to play another, and another. eye-catching, technically innovative, and of you do, because I certainly would not want
While these monitors will reveal shortcomings practically impossible to beat.Vivid Audio's the world of hi-fi to be so neatly wrapped up
in performances and recordings, they won't do V1s is, quite simply, astounding. in a convenient box of safety - buy this and
so destructively: you can still listen to, even enjoy, everything will be all right.
the music. Vivid have made the mountain a molehill.
These are speakers that are able to peel PRICE ................................................R26 900 There is nothing that these speakers cannot
away layers of detail and information that are do, and there is nothing that stands a prayer
simply ignored, glossed over or obscured SUPPLIED BY Vivid Audio against them at this price.
by others. But rather than dissecting a perfor- 031-705-4168 Exquisite. Utterly exquisite in every respect.
mance, the Vivids simply expose what has been And I would buy these again at twice the price
hidden, so that the music can be enjoyed in its WEBSITE www.vividaudio.com without even blinking an eyelid.
glorious entirety. William Kelly
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