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“It performed powerfully, providing qualities well beyond its price, delivering audiophile sound of great finesse and purity” – HiFi+
Drop dead gorgeous, Vivid B1 loudspeakers deliver “superb imaging, unmatched dynamic range, holographic soundstaging, and that immutable, possibly unquantifiable quality known as musicality”!
Vivid B1 loudspeakers, Dealer Demos, Deep Red Finish, approx. 4 years old, 8/10 condition (body of speakers are 9/10, bases have some small scratches (see photo below), and tweeter has super light cosmetic blemish that does not affect performance in any way but we'll replace it for $400 if you wish. 2 yr. warranty.
Retail $17,000, sell for $7,400. Please contact us directly for shipping info - audiogon does not calculate rate correctly.
"... produced a palpably real feeling with voices... had a sense of presence I have rarely heard from a speaker. The Vivid B1 is one of the best choices around. I loved what it did!"
- John Atkinson, Stereophile
"What always strikes me about these speakers is their effortlessness. The Vivids manage to not sound, to produce music without getting in the way in such a fashion as to make the sound totally free of mechanical qualities. That in my view is what high fidelity is all about, equipment that can sublimate itself in service to the music. Vivids do this to a greater extent than all other speakers and the industry still has a lot to learn from the way they have been designed."
- Jason Kennedy, HiFi+, Best of the Best (read the review)
"The B1s are as neutral, superbly clean and crystal-clear a conduit as you’re likely to hear...The Vivid Audio B1 is a truly remarkable mid-sized speaker which features intelligent design and engineering while never losing sight of the heart and soul of music."
- Edgard Kramer, Esoterica
"It [the Vivid B1] performed powerfully, providing qualities well beyond its price, delivering audiophile sound of great finesse and purity. Undoubtedly a technical tour, Lawrence Dickie and Vivid Audio are to be commended."
- Martin Colloms, Hi Fi PLUS, Issue 40
Unusual in a world constrained by the vagaries and pressure of a fashion conscious market, The Vivid Audio B-1 represents an almost perfect test piece for the technology involved. The pure pistonic drivers pioneered by Lawrence Dickie in his original Nautilus have been honed to a fine focus in this loudspeaker system. The B-1 is a floor standing model which incorporates four drivers in a 3 & 1/2 way system. B-1 employs a single D50 mid range (patent pending) driver between 900Hz and 4 kHz with the range beyond being handled by a D26 tweeter (patent pending). Below 900Hz the B-1 uses two C125 mid-bass drivers (patent pending), one mounted on the front baffle and one on the rear baffle of the cabinet. These two drivers are internally coupled via a screw tensioning unit for reaction cancelling. Both drivers receive the same signal at frequencies below 100Hz while above this point the drive to the rear is progressively attenuated leaving only the front driver to operate all the way to 900Hz in order to keep the distance between drivers at a minimum around crossover. Fourth order filters ensure phase coherence through both main crossover points resulting in a seamless and symmetrical polar performance.
Integral to the B-1 enclosure is the stand. Made from the same carbon fibre loaded polyester compound as the enclosure, this considerable yet graceful design provides an exceptionally stable footing while not detracting from the acoustic environment surrounding the loudspeaker, thanks to the small frontal area of each arm. To further guarantee the stability of the complete system, a total of five custom spikes are mounted around the periphery of the base. Adjustment of the front and rear spikes sets the attitude while the remaining two can then be brought into contact with the floor for maximum stability. Within each of the streamlined arms are hidden separate conduits to guide the Van den Hul® interconnecting cable away from the two internally mounted crossovers into the base. Precision machined WBT® gold plated terminals are discretely located at the rear of the base to allow a visually unobtrusive connection to the outside world.
B-1, stock photo (above and below)
The rear of the B-1cabinet, is as exquisitely finished as the front. They come with grills which may be fitted to stop the inquisitive from poking the drivers, not shown. These beautiful speakers are full of ground breaking technology, here is an over-view of the Vivid Audio Patents applied to the B-1: 1. Super Flux Magnet on the D26 2. Centenary Dome on the D26 & the D50, combined with a carbon fiber stiffening ring 3. Hyper Perforated Voice Coil Formers on the C125 woofers 4. Compliantly mounted reaction canceling LF units 5. Exponentially Tapered Tube Loading 6. Highly Aligned Chassis The Vivid B1's
are a remarkable performer and deliver 60% of the performance of the G1 Giya at 20% of the cost.
About Vivid Audio
Loudspeakers, Art or Function ?
"A loudspeaker is to the ear what a pane of glass is to the eye. Like glass, which sometimes distorts what one sees through it, loudspeakers don't always reflect the integrity and detail of the original."
After Laurence Dickie (known as "Dic") completed his electronics degree at Southampton University, England he worked at B&W Loudspeakers Steyning research & development labs. Although he started with electronics, his real passion was loudspeakers, and B&W recognized his creative talents when he came up with the multi-panel Matrix enclosure stiffening technique that has been used in all of B&W's top-of-the-line ranges since 1987.
The success of Matrix gave Dic the license to pursue his ultimate loudspeaker, and this turned out to be the original cochlea-shaped Nautilus in 1994. Sales of this extraordinary speaker might have been modest, but as a hi-fi icon, and from a marketing perspective, its value has been incalculable. Not to mention all of the trickle-down technology that was subsequently used in B&W's Nautilus range of speakers to great effect.
B&W Nautilus Loudspeaker
Post Nautilus, after spending fourteen years at B&W, he left and started up his own operation called Blast Loudspeakers, working on designing his own ideal drive units, and doing consultancy for other companies, such as Blue Room and Turbosound.
When B&W's part-owner Robert Trunz left B&W in 1996, he took with him the Blue Room sub-brand and re-established his association with now freelance Dic. When Robert then subsequently emigrated to South Africa, he happened to meet up with a couple of guys, he knew in the hi-fi business; he discovered they had ambitions to start up their own loudspeaker manufacturing operation, and were looking for engineering assistance, so he introduced them to Dic.
Dic picks up the story: "In 2001 Robert suggested I should fly down and meet Philip (Guttentag) and Bruce and Dee (Gessner), who were based in Kloof, just outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Both had worked previously in te hi-fi business but were now running a successful professional acoustic consultancy business so in a way our careers had followed similar paths. We got on well together and developed an immediate rapport. I was very impressed by the passion and enthusiasm they were bringing to the project."
"Philip and Bruce told me about their intention to build a genuine hi-fi loudspeaker in South Africa. They showed me the attractive shield-shaped enclosures they had designed - a nice touch of Zulu influence here - and said that they planned to use OEM drive units. I pointed out the drive unit designs I had been working on could well provide a basis for what was needed, and we then started looking in more detail at the engineering involved."
When Dic joined Vivid, they used a Nautilus to voice the original active B 1 so that could compare & contrast against the Nautilus. What was immediately apparent was that the new Vivid drivers that he had recently designed were substantially less coloured than those he had used in the Nautilus.
Dic set out much of his agenda as when he did that original Nautilus, and a number of the basic principles used then may be seen again here in the B1. For example, he believes in creating pistonic drive units -i.e. drive units that are able to operate in a substantially linear manner throughout their intended operational bandwidth, with mechanical breakup modes kept more than two octaves beyond the cross-over roll off frequency.
To this end the B1 uses anodized aluminium alloy diaphragm drivers throughout, in a ‘three-and-a-half-way' configuration, with tightly defined, fourth-order crossover filtering, so that each driver is restricted to its appropriate operating band. Dic continues: "The two identical 7" bass/mid drivers with 5" alloy cones are mounted back-to-back here. They're mechanically coupled so that reaction forces cancel out, and the one facing backwards just provides additional bass - it's fed via a first-order roll-off operating above 100Hz. These drive units have a very open and unobstructive frame, so there are no cavity resonances. The short-coil/long-gap motor section has some unusual features too, building on the work I've done to improve cooling and reliability and avoid power compression with Pro Audio drivers.
Vivid also use special radial magnets, with the field running from inside-to-outside rather than between the flat surfaces of the ring. This helps focus the magnetic field and reduces stray flux, so that additional shielding isn't needed. The air beneath the central dome (within the voice coil) is ventilated through the motor, and the tendency for this to create a Helmholtz resonator is avoided by using a heavily perforated former for the 2" voice coil."
"Besides mechanically coupling the two cone drivers to cancel out reaction forces, we also us O-rings to decouple them from the enclosure above 50KHz, to avoid exciting any panel modes. The enclosure itself is moulded from a polyester resin loaded with carbon fibres, and its curved shape has acoustic benefits inside and out.
The 7" bass drivers are loaded by twin reflex points, situated on the front and the rear (so you can look right through), again to balance out reaction forces."
"The front-facing bass/mid driver hands over to a 2" dome midrange driver at 900Hz, primary in order to ensure that even and wide dispersion is achieved throughout the critical presence band.
Vivid actually uses the same cylindrical magnet elements for this driver as they use in the bass/mid drivers, which makes life a little simpler. Inside the enclosure, a tapering tube transmission line is fitted behind this mid dome to absorb rearward radiation without creating reflections. An internal tapering tube is also used behind the 1" alloy dome tweeter, and here we've used finite element analysis to the magnetic flux. With careful magnet shaping we've managed to achieve an extremely high flux of 2.4 Tesla."
UK HiFi writer Paul Messenger queried the need for such high magnetic power (most hi-fi tweeters settling for around 1.6 Tesla), and Dic pointed to two advantages:
"The poles will always stay saturated, which reduces the effect of the steel while the high efficiency also improves headroom and hence reduces power compression. And the use of a large padding resistor also improves the stability and consistency of the effective driver load on the crossover network with different power levels", he explained.
Vivid's Aluminium Tweeter versus Diamond Tweeter
While the Vivid D26 tweeter (42 kHz break-up) is outperformed in the extreme high frequency response compared to other manufacture's Diamond tweeter (typically 60 kHz break-up); incidentally both tweeters perform well beyond human hearing. The Diamond tweeter is physically, considerably heavier than the aluminum D26, due to the thicker layers of diamond deposits that need to be laid down to achieve structural rigidity than the aluminum D26 The Vivid D26 is 9 dB more efficient than the diamond tweeter; that's eight times more efficient!
In real life, the D26 is padded down to 89 dB in the B-1, K-1 and 91 dB in the Giya, so the tweeter's 9dB of extra headroom gives us far less power compression for the same SPL and as a result of the higher efficiency, the Vivid D26 is just ticking over compared to the others. Meanwhile the Diamond tweeter is run at or near its maximum output, so at high SPL or high transients, the diamond tweeter will perform in a non-linear fashion and sound harsh & fatiguing.
Vivid in California
Back in 2005, Philip Guttentag came to visit Philip Hanlon (now the U.S. distributor for Vivid) in California and played a pair of K-1's in their office. Per Philip - "He simply plonked them down in front of our custom QUAD ESL57 electrostatic speakers (non-magnetic stainless steel frames) and they immediately threw a wide soundstage, well defined bass and the clarity that we were already so accustomed to.. Pandora (Philip's wife) was so impressed that she told me that these were the first speakers that she could live with in our office. The Quads had ruled the roost there for over a decade."
"Fast forward to 2008, we have the Giyas in our living room and quite simply these are world-class speakers. In the same room over the past decade we have the good fortune to listen to:
Avalon - Edilon
B&W - Nautilus 801
Classic Audio Reproductions - T-3.1
Dunlavy - 4
Eggleston Works - Andra II
Eggleston Works - Savoy
JM Lab - Utopia Be
Lumenwhite - Silver Flame
Wilson Audio - MAXX 2"
"The Giyas have an accuracy in the bass unrivalled by any other speaker. They are capable of reproducing texture & subtleties, hitherto unreproduced. We use analogue 2 track, 15 ips Master Tape as our Reference and the Giyas bass definition is unparalleled.
Besides the remarkable sonics, the speakers are drop dead gorgeous - truly functional art. The fit & finish is superb; we live with what we represent and are delighted that the Giyas look so beautiful from all angles.
Specifications: B-1 loudspeaker
California sales subject to sales tax.
Audio Revelation, Carlsbad, CA 92010
760.434.2625. 9am-6pm PST Monday through Saturday. Visits by appointment only please.
- Configuration: 3 & 1/2 way vented cabinet
- Cabinet material Complex loaded carbon fibre filled polymer
- Finish High gloss automotive
- Drive units 26mm metal dome hf unit 50mm metal dome mf unit 158mm metal coned lf unit (two of coupled)
- Sensitivity 89dB/1w @1m
- Nominal Impedance (Ω) 4
- Frequency range (hz) 6dB points 35 - 44,000
- Frequency response (hz) 39 to 41,000 +/- 2dB on reference axis
- Harmonic distortion (2nd and 3 rd harmonics) < .0.5% over frequency range
- Cross over frequencies (hz) 100, 900, 4000
- Power handling (music program) watts rms 300
- Loudspeaker dimensions (H, W, D cabinet, D base) mm 1095, 265, 375, 420
- Net mass (kg) 84 lb. (38)
- Shipping dimensions (H, W, D) mm 48" (1220), x 16" (410), x 20" (510)
- Shipping mass (kg) 110 lbs (50)
/ Critical Mass
/ Dynavector/ E.A.R.
/ JL Audio
/ Reed / Shelter / SME / SOTA / Stillpoints / Sutherland / Tannoy / VAC / Well Tempered / Whest / Zesto
GET A FASTER RESPONSE
! It's easier if you email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
rather than thru the Audiogon system. We are a VERIFIED AUDIOGON DEALER
and pay a fixed monthly fee and therefore no commissions on sales. Thanks in advance!