An emotional journey into political contemplation and social suffering wasn’t what I expected to leave the Verity Audio room with. The delivery medium however; compelling, infectious, and memorable. Stand out moments in my listening experiences are rare, but when they do happen, I commit fully.
Verity Audio’s Otello debuted in Munich last year, and sadly I wasn’t able to be there for it’s premier performance. Finally having the chance to audition them here at Axpona made up for my absence in spades. The Otello is both an update and replacement for the Leonore which occupied the new Otello’s space in the lineup for eight years. On the outside they look the same from a few meters away, but when up close it soon becomes obvious that the front baffle and loading of drivers is all new.
Time alignment between the tweeter and mid-bass has been adjusted, and the tweeter has been augmented with a rather smooth looking wave-guide. How Verity electronically separates themselves as a whole from the rest of the pack amongst high-end competitors is through loudspeaker efficiency. More and more, I’ve found less high-efficiency speaker options in the truly high-end where smaller wattage tube amplifiers can find fertile ground. From the entry level Verity Finn and upward, expect 93 db sensitivity or better, allowing a variety of tube amplification options to remain fruitful.
In the context of other speakers in the price range, and in general context of the show — the Otello isn’t a large speaker. Yes, at 43” from top-to-spikes the Otello’s are large enough, but when judged in context to it’s driver complement and musical output, the Otello towers are completely unobtrusive in footprint. They simply don’t shoulder their way into the room.
When powered by a conservative 125 watts of Trilogy Hybrid power, the Otello towers break away from their demure looks and take on a beastly strong and nimble sonic signature. Dynamics are wide, and the imaging is cut with a razor, leaving detailed edges well-defined.
Listening to Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” from Ten Summoner’s Tales took on a new tone as its classical guitar melody had ironically more shape and heart than what I’ve previously heard from other systems at the show.
The combination of tubes and solid state offered up a warm power to Nina Simone’s heartfelt and sorrow rich Live At Montreux track titled “I Wish”, by embodying my time listening with soul, purpose, and permission for a relaxed escape from show coverage duty. It’s always a good sign when a system can interrupt your day with a calming resonate emotion, despite the reality of things calling you to be on higher edges of alertness.
Verity Audio Otello Loudspeakers – $18,695 USD
Trilogy Audio Systems 925 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier – $15,995 USD
Trilogy Audio Systems 907 Phono Preamplifier – $3,995 USD
TW-Acustic GT SE with TW 10.5 Tonearm – $18,000 USD
Ortofon A95 Cartridge – $6,500 USD
Melco N1ZH Mk2 Digital – $4,995 USD
Vibex Grandada Dual DC and Alhambra AC Mains Power Filters – $5,000 USD
Vibex V3 Power Cables – (by system)
Interconnect and Speaker Cables by Signal Projects