It’s fairly common to run into one or two new companies each time I cover a major stereo event. What’s unusual, though, is to meet some fresh audio entrepreneurs on their first official day in business.
Yet, that’s just what I encountered at the Los Angeles Audio Show. Kentucky-based Vehement Audio Group was launching not only itself as a brand, but also its debut product, the Brezza Forte loudspeaker.
The Brezza Forte ($15,995 USD/pair) is a contemporary-styled, three-way floor-stander that features a baffle made of a solid-surface product often used for kitchen countertops.
“It’s very dense,” said Justin Reynolds, Vehement’s co-founder and chief technical officer. “Since it’s non-porus, it helps crystallize the soundstage.”
Reynolds and Zachary Bohannon, Vehement’s other co-founder and CEO, began dreaming about building speakers as friends in high school. Fifteen years later, they’ve decided to chase that vision.
The duo collaborated with Vapor Audio’s Ryan Scott and Pete Schumacher to develop the Brezza Forte. They decided on a three-way, transmission-line design that features two 7-inch woofers, a custom 7-inch midrange and a RAAL 70-20XR ribbon tweeter.
Frequency response is 39Hz to 25Khz. Recommended amplifier power is 75 to 150 watts per channel.
Reynolds said Vehement’s goal was to create a speaker capable of creating intimate imaging, while still offering full-range performance.
If my show demo is any indication, the designers have achieved much of what they sought.
Reynolds and Bohannon played me several tracks on a system that included a Jeff Rowland Design Group Continuum S2 integrated amp ($12,000 USD), an Antipodes Audio Edge server ($2,400 USD) and an Exogal DAC ($3,500).
It all was joined together by products from Verastarr’s Grand Illusion line, consisting of speaker wire ($2,099 USD), XLR cable ($1,699 USD) and a PC connection ($1,899).
The first track I requested was Dire Straits’ “Ride Across the River,” perhaps the most overlooked great song Mark Knopfler ever cut. The atmospheric composition includes impressively performed guitar, keyboard and percussion work that portrays a nightmare world of crackling thunder, buzzing insects and ominous drums.
The Brezza Forte did a good job rendering and separating all the musical parts on this selection from the blockbuster Brothers in Arms LP. It also excelled at conjuring the harrowing vibe of the Knopfler/Neil Dorfsman-produced recording.
Next up was Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad Thing” from his album Forever Blue. The guitar-based number, which finds Isaak in typical retro-Elvis mode, had ample air around the vocals, tight bass and good pace.Overall, the loudspeaker’s time-aligned ribbon tweeter, solid-surface baffle and imposing 130-pound weight (each) seemed to project a deep soundstage, low distortion and a cohesive aural image.
Reynolds and Bohannon say more speakers are coming, including a smaller model called the Brezza Savant. With their first effort, though, Vehement certainly is off to a good start.