Poll

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

Small Bookshelf-below R20K
12 (9.4%)
Standmount Between R20-R50K
9 (7%)
Standmount between R50k-R100k
2 (1.6%)
Floorstander below R20k
31 (24.2%)
Floorstander between R20k-R50k
36 (28.1%)
Floorstander between R50K and R100K
12 (9.4%)
Floorstander over R100k
13 (10.2%)
Planars or electrostatics (can incl  conventional bass drivers)
10 (7.8%)
Horns (primarily based on typology)
3 (2.3%)

Total Members Voted: 128

Author Topic: Air Loudpeakers  (Read 23361 times)

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #225 on: November 17, 2017, 09:47:51 AM »
Good morning. If you have been following our journey you are probably wondering when will this product materialised. To be honest there are moments when I feel the same ;)

This week was to be a defining time. It was the expected delivery date for the final bent wood cheeks and the midrange sub-cavity. The bad news is that we do not have them in hand. :headbanger:

However, the good news is that they are being manufactured as I type this.  So maybe next week...probably not too much of an overrun on a project that is taking more than 18mths to bring to a close.

In the meantime, we have experimented with the surface preparation of the aluminium parts and are excited and a new supplier that Alex visited yesterday. They do hydro blasting and it seems if it is a better option than the bead blasting on larger surfaces. We consider it a bit of a breakthrough and will get the 1st baffles on Monday to see if it match our initial impressions and expectations.

Holding breath it would be nice to hear the 1st set of the Vivace before the year ends.

Offline Shonver

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #226 on: November 17, 2017, 09:56:10 AM »
Hey, it takes as long as it takes to build something great. FWIW, your unrushed approach is confidence-inspiring.
Edit: I work in product development. It is sometimes disheartening to see the compromises that clients are forced to make due to time or budget constraints.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 10:00:46 AM by Shonver »
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Offline Nirvana

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #227 on: November 17, 2017, 10:54:01 AM »
^ Total agreement with Shonver.
Your studious,dedicated approach has been impressive,and too rush ANYthing would not fit in with the status of the endeavour.

We are really looking forward to listener response from the first sounds to emanate from the Vivace,no doubt you will have a sleepless night and will need to have a sip of Single Malt before you sit down for the first listen.  :giggle:

Sure you have the ancillary equipment lined up - want to divulge this at this stage..?
Never b flat,never b sharp,always b natural

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #228 on: November 17, 2017, 12:06:54 PM »
Shonver, thanks for the perspective and the encouraging thoughts, I really appreciate it.

An interesting diversion from the manufacturing focus Nirvana, your question on ancillary equipment...

I have a blank cheque so to speak on what I would suggest as an amp for the owner of the 1st set. In my mind, I have narrowed the options down to 1 of the following 3 amps: What do you think








Offline HBAutomation

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #229 on: November 17, 2017, 01:23:54 PM »
VA?
In the spirit of local is lekker and the fact that its an amazing product!

Offline Nirvana

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #230 on: November 17, 2017, 02:30:40 PM »
Certain a top VA combo will do them justice!  :thumbs:
Not sure of the sensitivity of the Vivace et al..?

Have to admit though,I also have a soft spot for Pathos,and off course I mean in both SQ and aesthetic design.

I'm sure the speakers would have been designed with various amp designs in mind in order to try and max synergy.
Haven't heard Line Magnetic or Absolare,but from what one reads,and purely from the classy looks...


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Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #231 on: November 17, 2017, 05:12:25 PM »
VA?
In the spirit of local is lekker and the fact that its an amazing product!
I am in support of the sentiment expressed but the amps I suggested all have a build in DACs which for the intended installation will be a plus if not a necessity.

Furthermore, the Pathos brand is obviously close to my heart as the importer and longterm user of this special designs. Its a single ended amp of 90W, INPOL technology. It is the big brother of the TT and although I have not heard it, it comes with a strong recommendation from my European network. Against it count the size and weight, as well as heat dissipation because of the single ended class A typology.

I am not a big fan of the Devailet but it certainly has much going for it and the customer's wife will be on my side if I suggest one of these slim and elegant amps

The Gryphon on all accounts, especially the Diablo 300 is viewed by many as one of the best-integrated amps around. It is also a class A design with no feedback(this I like and believe it's is a prerequisite for top-notch sound). It measures almost like a valve amp and according to listeners, I trust(including some of our key suppliers in Denmark) are exceptional sounding.

I would try and get my hand on an VA Exclame as I believe that stand the chance to be the best sounding unit in the VA range. I know this might be controversial but I think power corrupt and simplicity wins over the chase after output power. The Vivace sensitivity is a hairbreadth under 90dB/2.83V/m and its impedance is very very friendly. So if there is ever an Exclame SE,  I will be 1st in line to listen to it. I realise our market is praying at the altar of power and therefore I might be a lonely voice with my views. Happy to follow my own drumbeat. Have a look at the LFD range from UK as for what is possible if only 2 mosfets are used in the output stage and the design is highly optimised. Only medium output but one of the magic matches with Harbeths.

The Absolare should be brilliant if it is good enough for Rockport Technologies at various shows I think it would be a good match for the Vivace. As for the Line Magnetic, the 211 based amp, I have heard it on a number of occasions and it does sound very good, I also like the build quality and finish but the customer won't budge for a pure valve amp.



Offline Nidri

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #232 on: November 17, 2017, 08:30:15 PM »
If a built-in DAC is a must,
and your Client is adventurous,
and huge power is not a requirement,
how about a custom-specced Vinnie Rossi Lio?

http://www.vinnierossi.com

Just saying.

Offline Nirvana

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #233 on: November 18, 2017, 10:11:41 AM »
^ Very elegant and neat,Nidri!  :2thumbs:

The new Exclame 150,offering a built-in phono,looks like a winner,but one would have to get an external dac.

Couldn't comment on the Gryphon or Devialet,since I haven't heard,but they come with pedigree and reputation. Sure the Devialet offers more soul than other Class D's I've heard,else it wouldn't be so popular!

Anyway,it's gonna be a very exciting December for you,and your fortunate client!  :wallbreak:
    :coffee:
Never b flat,never b sharp,always b natural

Offline stereosane

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #234 on: November 18, 2017, 10:45:36 AM »
[quote I know this might be controversial but I think power corrupt and simplicity wins over the chase after output power. [/quote]

I must say I'm starting to feel the same about that statement, I just find the lower powered simple design amps I've owned have a sweeter sound than the more powerful beasts, obviously very dependent on the type of speaker. Right now I'm very happy with 40w of tube power  :dance:

Looking forward to seeing the finished product  :dop:

Offline Nidri

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #235 on: November 18, 2017, 08:07:05 PM »
^^^ How Cayin one man have so much power?

(Apologies, bad Kanye pun. Couldn't resist.)

Back to normal thread narrative relating to amplifer options, subversive low-power rhetoric and suchlike.
(Apologies Stefan.)

Offline BJ

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #236 on: November 18, 2017, 09:15:20 PM »
^ Very elegant and neat,Nidri!  :2thumbs:

The new Exclame 150,offering a built-in phono,looks like a winner,but one would have to get an external dac.

Couldn't comment on the Gryphon or Devialet,since I haven't heard,but they come with pedigree and reputation. Sure the Devialet offers more soul than other Class D's I've heard,else it wouldn't be so popular!

Anyway,it's gonna be a very exciting December for you,and your fortunate client!  :wallbreak:
    :coffee:

Stefan.....i am still a believer in keeping the DAC away from the Amplifier.....hence any product without a DAC e.g. VA Exclame with stand alone DAC might be the way to go.

I would like to add to your list the Ayon Triton III integrated. ....
No DAC....but brilliant inTriode configuration.... 
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline adie

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #237 on: November 18, 2017, 09:27:00 PM »
Long time follower of this fascinating thread.
If you have a blank cheque, how about something from Boulder?
I guess there's blank and there's blank- and you'd probably want to move gear (no integrateds).

OT- Nidri, how dare you mention Kanye in such a classy thread? But, since you did: When he was mouthing off about how 'I'm the greatest living rock star,'" David Crosby said, "Somebody needs to drive him over to Stevie Wonder’s house right now so he understands what a real one is."

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #238 on: November 19, 2017, 12:11:16 PM »
This diversion from the process of the build tends out to be fascinating and informative. The options presented are very interesting.

I looked at the Vinnierossi products, thanks, Nidri, and the look interesting and well reviewed. IS there an agent in SA? I heard one of their headphone amps on a set of Sennheiser 800hd and was very satisfied with the sound and it seems they are on a good streak.

I have only read about the Ayon products and never heard any. Personal and probably bias kicks in, I guess, as I am not a big fan of the KT80, KT90, KT120 and KT150 valve ranges. I always feel they put brawn before finesse but I admit that is very subjective and not well-considered view. BJ I find the suggestion coming from you interesting, what are you datapoint. Have you heard or had any exposure to the Ayon amps. I doubt the build quality and all reviews I read were positive.. so an interesting alternative.

Purely for my own use, I agree with BJ an amp with a DAC is somewhat of a compromise but I am really looking what will fly the kite of my customer and his circumstances in this instance. Based on my own experimentation with building a few dacs on the kitchen table, I am convinced that it is important to keep the digital and analogue power supplies apart and to pay lots of attention to the layout of a DAC. To put all digital sections that are prone to RF and other noise interference in an amp where the magnetic fields of the huge power supplies are present, even if it is toroidal transformers are not ideal. But some designers get it right. For instance, I heard just good things about the Gryphon Diablo 300.

A bit of perspective about my customer, he wants the best and it will be his final purchase. In our initial discussion, I mention the Pathos Logos amp as a good starting match for the Vivaces and he asked if this is the best amp in my mind, and I reply it is very good but not the best. Money is no real concern so would motivate any amp that I am convinced of and he probably will agree. At the same time, I have a very close relationship with him. He has used a set of AIR 2s(previous generation 2 way) for a few years now, we do other work together, he committed 2 sets of the Vivaces based on trust and to support me to pursue this passion that I have to create something exceptional and has has been very patient with the progress. So although I have an open chequebook for the amp, I will make a very considered decision that is in his long-term interest. I want to repay him in kind for the trust and support. So my main interest is not short-term profit with my suggestion for the amp. If it was the case the Pathos Heritage Integrated would be the most profitable. As the importer, my margins on Pathos can't be matched by any other product. I want to do the right thing and therefore I have no doubt that the Pathos will be an extremely good match for the speakers but as said before I am not sure about size, the weight and heat dissipation of this unit.

Something else that I would also keep in mind is that I would like to present him with a brand that I am convinced are well supported in SA and has a global support network. My experience has been that things do go wrong, not always but with electronics, they do sometimes. The last thing I want to happen is that if something does go wrong it becomes a mission to get it fixed either or it cost an arm and a leg. I have a very long-term philosophy that margins should be in the initial sale and all the support afterwards is at near cost. So unless I have a good relationship with the agent of the product in SA, I won't suggest it as an option even if it is a very good sounding product. I need to back up my initial advice when anything does go wrong. This is my general philosophy an not only for this particular instance.

Boulder is an interesting option that I would not have thought of adie, and I have not really been paying attention to the brand. I do know it is supposedly very good and with a long-term track record.

I have on and off chatted with Hans Ole Vitus the man behind Vitus Audio. I almost landed one of his creations for a customer but we could not agree on a commercial agreement in terms of volume and agent discounts so I walked away from the deal. I do like his products. So maybe this is another alternative. I like the design, it is to my taste. It gets excellent reviews but is expensive. They have a SIA-25 that is an interesting amp as it can be switch between class A for 25W or class AB(100W) if you want to lift the roof.









Offline adie

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #239 on: November 19, 2017, 05:17:13 PM »
There's no local Boulder rep as far as I know.
Well, there's Ben, there's Schalk (no worldwide support) and I'll throw Mike from The Listening Room into the hat (Mike B on the forum).
Some (hi Achim) consider his gear 2nd tier- Quicksilver Audio, Sugden, Sutherland, Manley Laboratories, Cary Audio- though the Zesto Audio products seems a cut above.

I have only heard the Zesto Andros Tessera phonostage (clients are upgrading from their Steelheads), not the apparently superb Bia 120 and Eros 300 class A power amps (KT88).

Mike is a gent and has made me some irresistibly flexible deals.

Too many choices out there...