Capital Audiofest 2016: Volti creates a new Rival


I heard, almost by chance, that Greg Roberts of Volti Audio had snuck into CAF with a brand new prototype that he’s calling “Rival”.

Rival, that is, to the big brother “Vittora”. If that $25,000 horn loudspeaker recalls a Klipsch K-Horn, this new offering might recollect the Klipsch Cornwall.

The three-way speaker prototype featured a large bass driver, a horn-loaded mid and horn-loaded tweeter, both pulled directly from the Vittora (the bass driver came from the earlier Alura). It was propped up on some borrowed stands to help improve the mid-range focus. The finish was a Baltic birch, and the horns were set into extremely precise cut-outs. All in all, the up-close impression was very positive.

Shown here with BorderPatrol electronics and Triode Wire Labs wiring, the final design of the Rival (or whatever the final design is called) is coming soon — I’m betting we’ll see the production version at RMAF this year. Greg told me that the speaker is going to be a “platform” — a low price for the base (which should look very similar to what we saw here), with additional costs for a different finish, perhaps a boat-tail cabinet, and more. But given that the sound was dynamic as all hell, with great impact and scale, my wager is that this Rival is going to be yuuuuge.

The price for the prototype? $7,500 — which is in the neighborhood of what Greg is hoping to offer as a starting price for the production versions too. Based on the reaction at CAF, I think he’s gonna have luck with it. 

This first Rival sold in 20 minutes.