The Living Voice R80 loudspeakers at Munich 2023 reminded me that the very first room I walked into at my very first Munich show, back in 2019, was the LV room. I remember they were debuting the R25A Anniversary speakers, which sounded extraordinary for the money, and I asked to review them. I wound up reviewing the larger OBX-RW3s instead.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
I do remember that room, with the bamboo and the open spaces and the really nice lighting and the big windows and I though wow, the rooms at Munich are much nicer than than I expected. I’d heard about the little boxes that function, ostensibly, as listening rooms. But this Living Voice R80 room was nice. I felt instantly relaxed, and I stayed in that room quite a while.
The Living Voice room at last year’s show had that same cool vibe. This year–same. But the Living Voice speakers at Munich 2023 were far larger than those A25s. Not quite the size of LV’s big horn speakers, but as big as I’ve seen in their standard line. This was the Living Voice R80 with the external crossovers, in a gloss ebony finish that was dark and beautiful and supplied endless grain detail when you came close.
The rest of the Living Voice system was quite impressive as well–both Kuzma and Grand Prix Audio analog rigs, SJS amplification with Living Voice and Takatsuki 300Bs, all gathered together in one place to play records. Perhaps that’s why the Living Voice rooms are always so rewarding–there’s always something about this system that radiates a purpose, a feeling that this system was fine tuned toward perfection over decades and not just a few hurried weeks before the show.
It was the Living Voice R80 loudspeakers that made the biggest impression, of course. I thought the world of the OBX line–I still do–but this isn’t just a larger version of those designs. Prices start around the $40K mark, but here’s where I make my annual plea to our readers to not focus on MSRPs when it comes to the Munich show because many of these products are so new that the import prices haven’t been set. The R80s aren’t even on the LV website yet.
I’m not even sure that matters. The Living Voice R80 loudspeakers truly energized that large and beautiful space, yet still managed to sound light and airy and detailed at the same time. This was another room that was constantly packed throughout the show, and for good reason. Sometimes I forget how special these British loudspeakers are, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s visit in this memorable room.
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