Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-29-14, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

I had the pleasure of hosting the LV Audio Club's July meeting earlier this month. Philip O'Hanlon of "On a Higher Note" brought some amazing gear to my house from San Juan Capistrano, California.

Here's the gear that Philip brought to my humble abode:

Luxman L-590aX 30 wpc Class A integrated amp



Luxman PD-171 turntable with a Brinkmann Pi cartridge

Luxman DA-06 DSD D/A converter



Vivid B1 loudspeakers







A happy crowd of listeners.



Philip and I spent a good 2.5 hours setting things up, including some very detailed speaker positioning work. Everything was put together with Shunyata's finest cabling from the 'Black Mamba' power cord to the speaker cables to the interconnects. The Macbook air to DA-06 DAC cable was an Audioquest Diamond USB cable.

To get an idea of the challenge Philip had setting things up to show them off to their best, he had to deal with my listening/theater room. I have an irregular shaped 'great room' in a modern house with 12 ft flat ceilings, and a lot of tile flooring. Not a perfect acoustic environment by any stretch of the imagination.

After things were set up correctly, I was treated to a solo listening session in the prime seat. This consisted of one song before people started to show up. Oh my. This was a mistake. My wife just shook her head at the speakers being 5 feet out in the room with the monster-sized Shunyata speaker cables trailing behind them like large black jaguar tails. I need a dedicated listening room. More

For the club members who showed up, Philip played a variety of tunes from digital 44.1/16 to dsd 2.8224mhz to old vinyl (Abby Road anyone? ) to new vinyl including full sized 45rpm albums. Oh my goodness! The new vinyl recordings are pretty spectacular. I'm wasn't sure I wanted to fuss with vinyl again, but these new pressings will make one rethink their position.

On the digital side, there was a clear difference in the listening experience between 44.1/16 and 192/24 that Philip demonstrated by playing the same song stored at different resolutions on his laptop back to back to back. Fun demo. To paraphrase Philip: 'If you can't tell the difference, you have the wrong hobby.' Here's the rub though, the 44.1/16 songs sounded really, really good. The 192/24 or dsd versions were superb, but I think I'd need better speakers, etc. to notice the changes that I did on this fine system. I wish we could have heard a vinyl version immediately after, but that wasn't part of the demo.

The Vivid B-1 speakers had a very high WAF (at least for my tolerant enough to let me host an audio club meeting at the house wife) and welcoming sound that never caused listener fatigue or needed high volume to show it off. They handled bass (Lorde's "Royals" on vinyl) with no issues. Imaging was excellent and precise. For the Abby Road vinyl, I had my wife take the prime listening position. While not expecting much since she's not an audiophile in the least, she said that it was "like Paul was singing" in her house as the "speakers just disappeared". Having her notice the imaging, etc. was surprising. Good problem to have for me! The Vivid speakers have roots in the old B&W Nautilus speaker (the big black shapely one!). Fixed bass drivers (front and rear) were entertaining to watch at first, but really were clear and coherent. No muddiness at all (think back to the placement efforts here). The speakers really stole the show. When you closed your eyes, you could not locate them in the room. They just disappeared. It didn't hurt their performance to have some top shelf sources, but still, it was impressive.

Take all of the magazine review superlatives and put them here. As a system, all the engineer in me can muster out of the English language is that I was in listening heaven (in my own house!). The Vivid B1's retail for $15k. Buh-bye 401k! Hello listening heaven. Where do I sign?

If you come to CES in January, I strongly recommend taking the time to stop by Philip's room in the Venetian and giving things a listen.

Marantz AV8801 pre/pro
Merrill Thor Monoblocks
Marantz MM7055 amp
Oppo BDP-95 blu ray player
ATC SCM-19 v2 L&R speakers
B&W LCR6 center speaker
B&W LCR6 height speakers
B&W CDS6 surround speakers
Velodyne SPL-1000 Subs (2)
Sony XBR65x850a 4K

Last edited by admranger; 07-30-14 at 11:17 PM. Reason: added pics!
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-30-14, 01:58 PM
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Re: Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

Sounds like a good time all around,except for the unabashed upgraditis tug at the pocketbook.

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post #3 of 9 Old 07-30-14, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

Quote:
nova wrote: View Post
Sounds like a good time all around,except for the unabashed upgraditis tug at the pocketbook.
I added some pics to the first post to show everyone the fine equipment. Looks as good as it sounds.

It was an exceptionally fun time. Philip is a joy to be around and a wealth of knowledge (with the patience to share it).

I would have loved to try the B-1's up in the media nook to see how bad the soundstage and bass response turned out, but we flat out ran out of time and energy to do that.

Marantz AV8801 pre/pro
Merrill Thor Monoblocks
Marantz MM7055 amp
Oppo BDP-95 blu ray player
ATC SCM-19 v2 L&R speakers
B&W LCR6 center speaker
B&W LCR6 height speakers
B&W CDS6 surround speakers
Velodyne SPL-1000 Subs (2)
Sony XBR65x850a 4K
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-31-14, 04:24 PM
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Re: Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

I had a pair of vivid speakers once. Early 80s they were the "house brand" of a company called "The Brick" in Canada.....didn't look like those at all...


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post #5 of 9 Old 08-01-14, 12:21 PM
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Vivid is a relatively new speaker company, just introduced within the last decade.

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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-01-14, 12:24 PM
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Re: Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

I was just being nostalgic...


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post #7 of 9 Old 08-01-14, 12:30 PM
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Oh I remember those "vivids" highly coveted... You were the cool kid if ya had em. Nuance speakers seem to have filled that void. Oh international stereo selling that stuff like drug dealers. Sorry for the hijack, nostalgia took over.

klaatu barada nik*cough*
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-01-14, 12:36 PM
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Re: Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

Lol...Nuance....ah the memoires..if you knew anything you wouldn't buy them. But Internation Stereo sure knew how to hire sales ladies geeks would drop by just for the audition. I still see the Nuance on Kijiji every now and then


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post #9 of 9 Old 08-03-14, 05:32 PM
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Re: Beyond my reach, but oh so good: Vivid B1 Speakers

Quote:
Andre wrote: View Post
I was just being nostalgic...

I get it, now. I had no idea...

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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