Announcements

High End 2016: Holy sweet mother, it’s the Living Voice Vox Palladian

High-End-Living-Voice-01829

What stunning fun.

As always, Kevin and Lynn Scott of Living Voice went way beyond the typical to offer an experience of unexpectedly wild luxury. Just startling.

Have you seen the big Living Voice loudspeakers? They’re incredible. And not just in the typical way that truly well-built things tend to be a bit beyond everyday belief — at the very top end of the range, the Living Voice Vox Olympian loudspeakers look every bit of a million bucks. Which is good, because they cost about that much. But the fit and finish on those speakers is mesmerizing — it’s quite easy to get entirely lost in all the little details and flourishes. When I talk about high-end audio being more about art, and writing about it being akin to art-criticism, it’s these speakers I have in mind. Expensive? Ohmygoodness yes. Breathtakingly so. Unapologetically so. Holy-crap, I-probably-ought-not-to-breathe, so. Yet, I will suggest, that pricing out a new McLaren P1 or Rolls Royce Phantom Serenity will set you back quite a bit more.

Underwood1-5

High-End coverage brought to you by Underwood HiFi, Exogal and Emerald Physics

High-End-Living-Voice-01841

Let’s assume for now that this analogy is valid. Quite honestly, I think it is; you are free to agree or disagree. But whichever way you cut that onion, we’re talking a lot of scratch. Which is why the Scotts have something new in their quiver. Say hello to the Vox Palladian.

Priced a hair or two over £250k, the Vox Palladian is also eye-wateringly expensive — and that’s before adding the matching Vox Basso subs (forthcoming, but will be another £110k). But the system is dramatically less than the Vox Olympian at£750k — which is still being offered, just for the record. What’s new/different with the new “little sister” is the down-scaling of some of that bling and effect that lifts the Olympian up to such a high pedestal. But looking at it, in the flesh as it were, I’m finding that this is a little silly to say. The Vox Palladian is gorgeous. Anyway, the materials and finish are somewhat less absurd than the Olympian, but the differences appear to be mainly confined to the kind of finish and not actually marking a completely new loudspeaker.

The two systems are, actually, the same size and shape and also made from the same materials. Again, fit and finish here has a the most marked impact. Well, there is one major change — the TAD supertweeter has been replaced (it was discontinued) — Roy Gregory over at The Audio Beat says that this is custom-for-LV driver (see his comments, and review, over there).

Fronted by the usual run of marvelous Kondo electronics, the Vox Palladians marvelously recreated the experience at last year’s Munich extravaganza. The Scotts are amazing — and they’ve created something apart.

I will offer that I’m horribly biased when it comes to Living Voice. As an owner of a pair of OBX-RW loudspeakers, out of their much more accessible Avatar line, I’m entirely unable to be unimpressed by what they’ve assembled.

So. When the Lotto Fairy finally shows up with my long-anticipated check, and the new mansion has been built, I know at least some of what’s going inside. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

4 Comments on High End 2016: Holy sweet mother, it’s the Living Voice Vox Palladian

  1. Matthew S Partrick // June 9, 2016 at 8:10 PM //

    They do look cool but I suspect something that looks like a Dalek in the corner of the living room is likely to go over with my better half like a lead balloon. Not to mention the price. That said, Living Voice’s Auditorium series are -very- appealing to me. Thanks for posting!

  2. Gavin Hadley // June 7, 2016 at 2:13 PM //

    ..no I’m speechless

  3. Living Voice speakers are well regarded. But I do find it funny that so many speaker manufactures have external crossover networks (at a premium price) when a better solution would be active speakers. Andrew Jones recently explained the benefits of active speakers. Why are there so few active speaker options? ATC, PMC and a few others.

    • Active speakers need either completely linear drivers or use active equalisation. Passive crossovers are usually actually tweaked for the individual drivers, which is a bit more complicated with active amplification.
      But using active systems myself I always wonder why this approach is so seldom used. Active systems are the norm in the professional world of audio. Try to listen to – say – a pair of Neumann KH120 for sllghtly more than 1200€ you will be amazed how much better that approach is compared to a similar priced passiv setup.

Comments are closed.