Poll

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

Small Bookshelf-below R20K
15 (10%)
Standmount Between R20-R50K
11 (7.3%)
Standmount between R50k-R100k
2 (1.3%)
Floorstander below R20k
34 (22.7%)
Floorstander between R20k-R50k
43 (28.7%)
Floorstander between R50K and R100K
13 (8.7%)
Floorstander over R100k
17 (11.3%)
Planars or electrostatics (can incl  conventional bass drivers)
10 (6.7%)
Horns (primarily based on typology)
5 (3.3%)

Total Members Voted: 150

Author Topic: Air Loudpeakers  (Read 53934 times)

Offline Atjan

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #345 on: March 12, 2019, 11:54:09 AM »
Looking good! Great to see so much progress the last while.

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Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #346 on: March 13, 2019, 05:34:16 PM »
Ok, both speakers mids and tweeters are making music, and with the help of some Digital bass EQ I could not be happier.  :) :) :)

Offline Nirvana

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #347 on: March 13, 2019, 08:44:22 PM »
 :2thumbs:

 :coffee:
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Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #348 on: March 19, 2019, 07:02:23 PM »
Ok, so now the Vivace's trio of drivers are all doing their thing. Not perfection yet, but it is nice to have extension down to the low 30Hz range. It starts to sound like it won't disappoint in the depart down below.  ;)

Maybe with a bit more tweaking I might just to decide to invite some of the loyalists and support team members over for a taste of what is to come.

:dance: :dance: :dance:

Offline gavinbirss

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #349 on: March 19, 2019, 08:49:51 PM »
Ok, so now the Vivace's trio of drivers are all doing their thing. Not perfection yet, but it is nice to have extension down to the low 30Hz range. It starts to sound like it won't disappoint in the depart down below.  ;)

Maybe with a bit more tweaking I might just to decide to invite some of the loyalists and support team members over for a taste of what is to come.

:dance: :dance: :dance:

 :dop:

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #350 on: March 29, 2019, 12:03:47 PM »
What is in a measurement, what can one tell from it? Here is room averaged RTA measurement of the Vivace at its current stage of development. Measurement is from about 2m away.



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« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 12:06:56 PM by Air »

Offline SeanS

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #351 on: March 29, 2019, 12:52:27 PM »
Looking good, but whats the Y axis setting :)... what crossover frequencies & slopes are you using, or a secret!


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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #352 on: March 29, 2019, 01:29:38 PM »
Hi Sean, sorry i was not trying to be coy about scale  ;)



This is an idea of it looks like at listening position(around 3m)both channels driven


Crossover points and slopes are not necessarily a secret but I am listening to a few options. The bass/mid crossover point is at 180hz with a hybrid 1st order slope( Bass is initially a 1st order slope and the roll of a bit more steeper towards midrange, and mid is the same just the inverse). The mid/tweeter crossover will be either at 3kHz or 3.9kHz with classical symmetrical LR 2nd order slopes. All these are the acoustical slopes, the electrical typologies are different -working therefore with the drivers' responses in the cabinet. 
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« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:39:50 PM by Air »

Offline GECO

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #353 on: April 08, 2019, 02:52:38 PM »
I had the opportunity or shall i say the honour of having a listen to Stefan's latest challenge. I call it that because I know how much work goes into developing a speaker and how easily people can criticise it as being this or that during the developmental phase and not understanding the work that goes into it and or the character of the components used. to develop a speaker you need to test it with various equipment and different room setups and when doing this you need a very understanding wife as the developmental product is still in a raw state with crossovers outside the boxes and the boxes aren't finished to their final state


Back to the speakers. the cabinets might be the most rigid i have ever seen and if you look past the developmental stat you will immediately see these are going to be appealing speakers to have in any environment. the shape is conservatively modern and the footprint very small compared to similar speakers in the market but with a wider front baffle that curves to the back creating an illusion of being narrower that it really is.

Listening Impressions - i will keep this to the point as everything in this game is very subjective
what struck me immediately is the purity in the midrange and highs. it is neutral without colouration but the work that has gone in the crossover did not kill the dynamics that is found in so many commercial speakers. it handles complex areas with ease and does so at any volume. the other thing it does extremely well is how it projects into the room paint a perfect holographic image. this is due to the wider baffle but more so due to the perfect phase response achieved by allowing the midrange to perform in a wider band than other midranges. (almost like a full range driver)

the bass is very full and goes deep. I reckon an F3 around 33hz. it filled the room with ease and didn't leave me wanting.
but under circumstances it wasn't optimised due to some final tweaking on component value but both Stefan and I know this is part of the development. it was also flat on the floor and I think that spikes will also sure some of the issues that I had with it

We then had it on the Pathos TT. that made these speakers really shine. bass was good and much tighter. the midrange was super clear and sweet (effortless) and highs had a sparkle without sibilance. these speakers demand the best. easy to drive but give it super equipment and it will outshine some of the big guns very easily.

We are in for a very nice surprise

Offline adie

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #354 on: April 08, 2019, 08:35:32 PM »
We are in for a very nice surprise

Soon? ("Soon" is frustratingly similar to "just now").

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #355 on: April 08, 2019, 09:00:32 PM »
Thank you very much, Rudi, for the kind words. I think your take on what the Vivace's sound like at the moment is in line with my own impressions. Although there is still some work to be done, I do believe the design is proving to show great potential. I feel satisfied that the effort invested so far is reflected in what I hear, and what you described in your impressions. The mids and highs are probably as good as it gets, full of life and colour but still very evenhanded. The bass response is still not optimised as the final value of the bass choke(most expensive crossover component) still need to be sorted. At the moment the extension and voice down to the low 30's are in place but the speed accuracy and quality are let down by the suboptimal resistance of the low pass bass choke. (for those interested, the current value is 8H with a DC value of 1.8 Ohm, the intended choke will be 8H but with a DC value of not more than  0.25 Ohm). With the new choke, the bass driver will be optimised with the port within the working volume and the driver's group delay would be greatly enhanced and be close to a sealed alignment. The less loss in the network will obviously also up the bass drivers output with about 1-1,5 dB and hopefully, the coherence will then be right from the low bass to the highs, whereas it is now only through the mids to the highs.

I also appreciate your unsolicited feedback on the aesthetic design of the Vivace. Conservatively modern, with a small footprint(my idea of a speaker that can integrate into a living space without drawing attention to it) and the baffle that I wanted to be wide to get the midrange performance that I aimed for but to create the illusion that it is narrower are all things we set out to do.

As a side comment, I also smiled at the obvious differences you heard not only by changing the amps(that is cut and dry) but the differences between the interconnects. Not only did you hear the difference between the interconnects but you were on a penny to describe the qualitative differences.  ;)

I think the fun part of the journey started when we can start to share impressions based on different music, electronics, and maybe even later on to start to give them wings to see how they respond in different environments.

Thanks again
 :dop:
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 09:06:53 PM by Air »

Offline gavinbirss

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #356 on: April 14, 2019, 10:48:22 PM »
Once my cold symptoms were a thing of the past I also had the pleasure of having a listen to the current development of the prototype and below are my thoughts.

It is not what they do but how they do it. I found a tiny amount of forwardness (being a recent Harbeth owner this comment must be taken with perspective) and have a uncanny ability to be able to play a large spectrum of musical genres without not wanting to listen more.

Stefan is very particular in his design choices and seem not to want to compromise critical performance areas to make a single aspect just simply pleasing. Like voice it less forward and reduce accuracy of complex instruments. 

They have the transparency to highlight different interconnects and different amplifiers. All the drivers are carefully specked and a great deal of design and thought has gone into the execution.


This is not a skin deep or read the cover story.

Thank you Stefan.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 10:52:52 PM by gavinbirss »

Offline Nidri

Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #357 on: April 20, 2019, 03:14:52 PM »
I also had the opportunity to listen to these speakers earlier today.
(The latest, most recently refined iteration. Stefan can jump in on the specifics.)

It's been enlightening to hear (and see) the evolution of the Vivace.
A while back, I'd listened to the chosen drivers, with a beta crossover, in a different enclosure.
This amounted, I suppose, to a 'developmental prototype' to show the potential of the design.
Which was already evident at this early stage.

But now, in the close-to-final enclosures (imho a way more elegant form factor than the boxes we're used to),
it's all come to life in a really tangible way.
A true high end speaker is born.

Firstly, the broad, you-are-there 3D soundstage really drew me into the performances.
Plenty of detail present, yet without any parts of the frequency spectrum standing out for the wrong reasons.
Bass was tight and tuneful, with solid impact, but never overpowering.
Tonality, perhaps most importantly for me, felt very natural.
Guitar, piano, sax, drums, all believable.

Overall, my impression was one of balance, perhaps another word to use would be coherence.
And, as stated by Rudi, switching to the Pathos amp takes everything up a notch or two.
Certainly this seems like the kind of design that'll reward upgrades elsewhere in the system.

Mostly, and putting aside all the audiophile words, it was just a real joy to listen to.
I'm currently enamoured with David Byrne's Grown Backwards album.
Hearing Glass, Concrete & Stone through these Vivaces, reminded me what this is all about.

Stefan you can be rightly proud of what you've done here.
Whilst Nidri takes reasonable care to ensure that the information in this message is correct and up to date, this might not always be the case. Nidri does not give any warranties as to the accuracy and safety of any information appearing in this message.

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #358 on: April 22, 2019, 11:24:09 AM »
Thanks, @gavinbirss and @Nidri for popping in and listening and for the complimentary feedback. I am humbled by the positive comments. Although one starts such an undertaking with vision and confidence and courage(sometimes maybe too much so) and based on in-depth research and experience, it is only at this late stage of the development that one really get a good sense of what the potential is of the project.

I enjoyed the listening sessions with you guys. We really gave the speakers a workout, from very demanding music at volume levels that I never listen to under normal conditions to playing music, almost as background music and as we discussed the Vivace's sounded very nice. The responsiveness and detail at low levels is really something nice in a speaker. I think it is a testimony of the great lengths we went to in the constraint layer cabinet, the superb bass unit that is very supple at low levels but as the demands increase the hybrid system that it is designed around shows it value and lastly, a well-judged frequency profile helps. 

I have made some small adjustment from when Rudi listened and also after Gavin's comment about a "tiny amount" of forwardness. Nidri listened to the best version yet. I was aware of that tiny forwardness that Gavin mentioned. In private listening sessions, also with my wife who is very sensitive for that frequency region, it bugged me but it was only on certain recordings and at certain volume levels.  I wondered if it would be noticed by someone who doesn't know the speaker so well or the room and equipment for that matter. Last week, after Gavin's comment,  I was in Uganda and had a lot of time in the evenings to think and go through all the measurements and assessments and I think I found the way to make the system sound more neutral without killing the texture and harmonic richness. I made the changes a half an hour before Nidri arrived :) and it proved to be just the medicine. The changes over the past few weeks were really incremental and I think it is like a moth around a flame, circling and getting ever closer.

We all agree that the speakers are working well, it is now a question of listening with different ancillaries to see where the final voicing should lie. The difference between interconnects is crystal clear, as is the difference between the Audio Analogue Puccini Anniversary and the Pathos TT. I really have come to appreciate the Cardas brand of cables over the years and like Cardas interconnects especially. My old and trusted and faithful Golden Cross is a very "musical" and refined sounding cable that shows nuances and textures quite well. I have often recommended them blindly to customers. I realise there are other more obvious detailed and perhaps dynamic cables on the market I always feel when I switch to the Golden Cross that I relax and are at home. As for amps, the Pathos is a very demanding amp, both in terms of impedance requirements and in terms of showing any kind of way of frequency anomalies. Although it is sweet it takes no prisoners. On the other hand, the Puccini is more forgiving but not as transparent or detailed. What is clear is that the speakers are not the ceiling in the system, for sure.

I am going to look for different electronics now to continue the refinement process, and I will invite some more interested enthusiast to listen. I am especially interested in listening to the Vivace with a high-quality medium powered valve amp, a leaner sounding SS amp and perhaps a Class D amp. I have the Ongaku replica at hand but it with its virtues it would tell me nothing of the speaker per sť. I will take it out but I would rather listen to more real-world amps, integrated amps for practical reasons.

Lastly, the good news is that there is movement with wood parts. The mould has been cut to final design and needs only to be rounded off on the 5 axis CNC machine before we can press the 1st units. I learned to have patience and when I read that a company like Macintosh only launch on new amp every 5 years, I know one cannot churn out a range every year with far fewer resources. The progress so far is satisfaction enough. :coffee:
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 11:43:52 AM by Air »

Online Air

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Re: Air Loudpeakers
« Reply #359 on: May 06, 2019, 05:52:37 PM »
Ok, so for the past few weeks since my last post, I have not felt the urge to tweak the crossover at all. This is a good sign, I guess ;)

I had the itch to listen to the speakers with different amps, and therefore installed the Ongaku replica over the weekend. Words escape me to articulate the sublime sound from this combination. Those of you who did not have the opportunity to listen to a well-designed SET amp in the right context must most definitely put it on you "Bucket list" When in full swing such amps make a mockery of most hifi systems type of sound, no matter how good they might be. The room's back and side walls disappear, aural images becomes living breathing entities and no more facsimiles of singers or instruments. One can almost walk through the 3-dimensional space created by the amp. The tone of amp is absolutely mindblowing and almost unnerving so. Once again all other amps sound thin and lean. I think we have become used to this kind of Hifi sound, some call it neutral, I guess. The sound is richly saturated, rich in harmonic structure and texture. I can carry on and on about what the amp sounds like with the Vivaces, but maybe last a word on detail. Many components, amps, sources and speakers, may sound detailed to many, but in my experience, it is often a slightly titled up mid and lower frequencies that create this impression. I stop short from mentioning the names of products that I experience as such. On the other hand, if the components are well voiced, the detail is right through the audio spectrum, it can be heard throughout the bass, mids and highs. I often am memorised when a system presents this kind of detail.. Very often others call it boring, not enough sparkle or air(lol). Maybe I should finally add, that those who think a 20W amp can deliver dynamic swings are also in for a suprise. The way that this amp with the Vivace deals with big orchestral dynamics is an eye-opener. Bottom line, the Vivace is able to rise to this incredible levels of musicality. It shows off the sublime and poetic beauty of the SET very well.

I also listened for the past hour or so to the Vivace with a high value, SS amp that I have in the house, the Anthem I225. The amp sounds very well behaved and the Vivaces seems to be able to act as an easy partner for most amps. No it is not the SET, or the Pathos TT, nor is it the Audio Analogue Puccini anniversary. The Anthem is clearly powerful, clean and detailed. It is not bright at all, and the soundstage is nicely layered to the back. It has a leaner tone than any of the other amps I have tried but is certainly not washed out in terms of harmonics. It reminds me to some extent to the Ayre house sound. It is crisp and perhaps slightly dryer than what I prefer but when listening to sympony orchestral works this could work in it favour. I listened to Tchaikovsky's Souvenir De Florence / String Quartet  Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson on SACD ripped to flac and I really enjoyed the music.

By now means do I suggest the speaker is the best out there, but... I think it shows the potential to stand tall and proudly amongst some of the best ....
Thanks for the interest showed by all who whatsapp  and call me.