Please indicate what kind of loudspeakers do you use in your main listening environment (RRP ZAR)

Small Bookshelf-below R20K
15 (9.9%)
Standmount Between R20-R50K
11 (7.3%)
Standmount between R50k-R100k
2 (1.3%)
Floorstander below R20k
34 (22.5%)
Floorstander between R20k-R50k
43 (28.5%)
Floorstander between R50K and R100K
13 (8.6%)
Floorstander over R100k
18 (11.9%)
Planars or electrostatics (can incl  conventional bass drivers)
10 (6.6%)
Horns (primarily based on typology)
5 (3.3%)

Total Members Voted: 151

Author Topic: Air Loudpeakers  (Read 54960 times)

Offline Nirvana

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #360 on: May 06, 2019, 06:28:04 PM »
Wow man.

I've never had the privilege to listen to a SET set-up,but this write-up I think will give many of us sleepless nights,Stefan!  :thinking:

Wish I had the means to invest in such a pairing with the Vivace,it clearly seems a Final Destination for many of us music junkies...  :notworthy:

May your incredible journey leave a legacy...  :2thumbs:
Never b flat,never b sharp,always b natural

Offline Stanp

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #361 on: May 06, 2019, 10:45:57 PM »
Stefan, it sounds like the Vivace is in its final stage. Well done  :clap:


Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #362 on: May 07, 2019, 06:15:58 PM »
Superb - and nice too see the seasoned members raving - we are fortunate indeed! Best of luck with the next part of the journey, will keep following with much interest.

Offline Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #363 on: Today at 10:43:26 AM »
A little bit of an update...

Over the past month or so I had a lot of fun with the Vivace's. Enthusiast popped in and out on an ongoing basis and we listened to a number of amps and sources(all digital so far). We also tested the Vivace's with all kind of music and listening preferences, anything from opera to modern French electronic music.

Are they perfect? No, I don't think anything is perfect but they are really good. Are they better than speakers costing three or more times more  >:D. Well, of course, that is a claim that smells of marketing and almost as ludicrous as to say they are the best speaker ever produced. What I would say is that people with regular exposure to very highly regarded speakers are positive and enthusiastic. I must admit I do enjoy it when someone sits down and I can see that they are surprised with what they hear and when I can see the listener is engaged in the listening experience. 

I feel that I am very close to the end of the voicing phase of the speaker. To put it in another way, I have not changed the crossover once in the past month.

So what are the words that were used to describe them?
-Coherent, bass, mids and highs are woven from the same cloth and very even
-excellent midrange, with strong projection(an Avantgarde owner spoke about some similarities)
-details right through the range and not fabricated by an excess of high frequencies
-lively with very good transients, energetic
-powerful and extended bass, more so what one would expect of a medium(50L) speaker

I am in particular happy with the way they showed up differences with downstream changes and that I felt they don't fall apart when pushed with eiether volume or demanding music. I also like the fact that they were never boring to listen to and that, for me they make me feel involved in the music without being too much.

We had a few surprises, mainly how well they respond to lower powered amps. Of course, that was part of the design objectives. So I am happy with this. One example is how the Vivace's showed the potential of a 15W Leben amp to it's fullest potential. This amp, highly rated seems to often sounds underwhelming even with speakers that on the surface should be an ideal match(horn speakers with big 12-15 inch woofers). When we installed the amp the sound was alive, full of energy and sparkle with very good bass response. I used the word "supple" to describe the bass. This kind of bass response I really like. It is not the "slam" that audiophiles often refers to but it is more a tuneful, agile, swinging and rhymic that the stop-start bass that high damping amps create that can sound very staccato-like and not the very musical. For me, there are a lot of people can play the piano, or at least can play the notes, but only a few true artists can make music on a piano, unfortunately. That is the sort of impression I got from the Leben. Lastly, as far as the Leben is concerned, the tone of the music was just absolutely amazing. No, it is not the 211 SET but the more human-like scale and tone, perhaps, even more, enduring than the impressive Ongaku replica.

On the other hand of the spectrum, we played the Audio Analogue Maestro on them. This amp is a very serious SS amp, that is very very powerful. It doubles its output from the 150W in 8Ohm in 4Ohm and doubles again in 2 Ohm loads. It also delivers full power from 20Hz to 20Khz.. few amps can do that. So it is a very very good amp with more detail in spades and a very nice tone. It drove the Vivace to earsplitting levels, concert levels and sounded great. However, we agree that such an amp is not needed with the Vivace's unless they will be played in very large rooms and high volume all the time.

I will continue to listen to different amps, hopefully, I can lay my hands on a Valve Audio as well, as I guess they are amps that are known well and hence a good reference to people on the forum.

So we must complete the speakers, and the good news is that in the last month or so, Alex and I also came up with a viable solution to get us out of the checkmate situation with the bentwood parts. I believe that we have found a very good alternative design that many people we have shown it to actually think it could look even nicer than the original design. We still want to see if we cannot get the original idea across the line, but I feel less stuck than what I felt previously.

Lastly a quick comment, about the news that I will be the ProAc agent and how it plays into this project. I see the ProAc and Rosso brand, for that matter as complementary. There is no way that I can produce this kind of speaker at an entry-level price. I don't believe the market in SA is big enough for a business model that relies on volume and scale. The kind of investment and energy that this kind of speaker calls for can only be done at a premium level. It doesn't mean it will be expensive in absolute terms but it will be more costly than let's say a ProAc standmount etc. On some levels there might be an overlap but I am not overly concerned about that.

Hopefully, the economy will improve and the hifi industry would also show more growth than the mere swopping of equipment that has been the order of the day in the last year or so..

Almost time for a few more listeners to pop in..  :coffee: