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


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.

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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.