RMAF 2013: Volti Audio and SST


What, more Volti Audio loudspeakers? Twist me arm!

Shown in a second room was the new Alura, an A15/MTI 3-way with a 15″ bass driver in a bass-reflex cabinet. Up top is a 2″ outlet midrange compression driver mounted in a Tractrix midrange horn with a complementary 1″ high-frequency compression driver mounted on top of that, in an elliptical Tractrix tweeter horn. As with the Vittora, the Alura sees all-Baltic Birch plywood construction, 1″ thick, and here veneered in a Rio Rosewood. Greg Roberts, head architect and general laborer says that the finish is a catalyzed lacquer, medium-rubbed. It’s pretty sweet. The whole thing is made in-house up in Maine. Sensitivity is a high 99dB, good for 100wpc on the input (think: “it plays crazy-loud”), and produces 35Hz-20kHz pretty much on command.

I’ve been telling Greg that I think these speakers are a little unconventional looking, not necessarily in a bad way, but the sound he manages to get from them is arresting. Not quite as nuanced as the much more expensive Vittoras, they nonetheless have a similar sound — must be that big ass horn, eh? Duh. Again, while the horn is  not quite the same as what you’d find on the Vittora (the so-called “top-hat”) simply turned on its side, there is quite a bit of similarity. And with that tweeter way up there, the sound stage is tall, wide and quite impressive with its definition. Price is $13,900 for the pair.

Greg was showing them with a quartet of amplifiers from a new-to-me Russian company, SST Audio. The SST “Essence” is an SET that leverages 813 output tubes. The chassis is made out of titanium and African Frake-Tree wood to help control vibrations and resonance. Oh, and to look pretty much drop-dead gorgeous. Yeah. The aesthetic is really quite striking, apparently the result of a collaboration with Italian designers Zagato Studio. Each mono is good for 40wpc, and will set you back $62k/pair.

There were two pairs here at the show.

With the monos, SST provided an active crossover/preamplifier, a 6-input active unit with a tube stage, the SST pre is still $TBD, but we’ve been told to expect almost $40k for the unit.