" The Voxativ Ampeggio went beyond sounding good. ... I was able to enjoy everything I played through them - not just as sound but as music - without fatigue, frustration, or worst of all, lack of interest."
- Art Dudley, Stereophile Aug 2011
I have met many owners of single-driver speakers that have extolled the single-driver virtues, and I did agree with them, to a point. Some of them still had that shouty character, or were lacking in highs, and most of them had a weak lower frequency range.
Ultimately I felt that I could not live with these type of speakers. It was too much of a compromise for someone who grew up on a staple of different kinds of music, where a proper low frequency was almost always a fundamental aspect of the music, or else the artist (s) would not include it in their music.
Some designers opted to add subwoofers to augment the lower frequency. But the single drivers were just too fast, and the subwoofers lagged behind. This approach also defeats the essence of the purist single driver concept.
Wideband drivers have a top to bottom coherence, with lightning speed and explosive dynamics. These are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “full range”, as no single driver can truly cover the entire frequency range. This is why companies such as Horning, Rethm, Zu augment theirs with additional active or passive bass units and, in the case of Zu, tweeters.
However, we now have a speaker design that hurdles the limitations of single-driver designs. Voxativ has come so close that their driver might well truly deserve the term “full range”.
Augmented by a cleverly designed cabinet, which is beautifully built by one of the most repectable piano companies in Germany, the Voxativ Ampeggio speaker is unlikely to have you reaching for a subwoofer or super-tweeter.
Even with placement well away from the wall “solid, snappy bass was achieved down to 40hz” was reported by Srajan in his sixmoons.com review. This will be considerably enhanced with wall reinforcement all the way down to the specified 20hz.
Treble also reaches right up to the 20khz paper specification. This was further confirmed in Srajan’s review."
Bass is definitely not subwoofer bass, but one that is tactile and fast in response no matter how complex the bass lines are, never falling behind the rest of the music.
It is indeed full range. "A truly full range sound from a speaker with just a single driver, with all the advantages that implies. No crossovers with their inherent timing and phase distortions and no difficulty in matching different drivers together.
Just pure sound with perfect swing and timing. This is probably one of the reasons the 125 year old Piano company Schimmel found the Voxativ drivers to be the only drivers to satisfy them when reproducing piano."
In the words of Art Dudley in his review of the Voxativ Ampeggio in the Stereophile Aug 2011 issue:
"Just a few years after giving up on the idea, I've now encounterted a single-driver dynamic speaker that I could live with; in most audio reviews, that's faint praise, but in this one it's a revelation."
"I first heard the Voxativ Ampeggio speaker ($29,750/pair) at the 2011 Montreal Show, where I was gobsmacked by what I heard."
And we haven't touched yet on their field coil driver design ...
* Sources :
- Astra Suite note : Voxativ speaker cabinets are made by established German piano companies.
"The Shindo Vosne-Romance preamplifier's darker yet more detailed sound (compared to that of its 20%-less expensive stablemate, the Shindo Masseto) was revealed as never before - making it almost impossible to move backward from dearer to the humbler."
- excerpts from Stereophile review by Art Dudley, August 2011 issue.
Loudspeaker firm Voxativ of Berlin, Germany is run by Inès Adler, a woman and accredited engineer*.
Her premium range of speakers are also crafted by specialty German piano builders.
"Again there are only few precedents. For musical instrument builders turned loudspeaker makers, only Bösendorfer speakers, the Steinway project with Peter Lyngdorf and the Takamine collaborations with Onkyo and Kiso Acoustics come to mind.
But there's more. Inès outfits her widebander speakers with her very own drive units.
"With respect to the old Voigt, Jensen and Klangfilm drivers, this type of transducer has now been revived with new technology and materials."
* Initially just as a hobby, Inès Adler began experimenting with widebanders in the 1980s. After she finished her engineering studies with a master's degree, she went to work for Daimler's Mercedes Benz diesel section where she developed engine electronics, ECUs and software. She holds 14 patents on diesel combustion, injection and exhaust treatments. In the late 90s Inès wanted to optimize her widebanders and began a second round of many experiments which netted promising results. To properly distinguish her Voxativ drivers from all precursors like Lowther, AER, Stamm and Loth-X, she designs and fabricates each component part from scratch.
- excerpts from 6moons.com