Vivid Audio's Oval Series -- Great Too?

To Doug Schneider,

I’ve noted that you very much like Vivid Audio speakers, and the sound and performance of the Giya models. Sure the Giya G1/G2/G3 must be great speakers, but these models are too big for my room. What do you think about the Oval series, particularly the K1 and B1 models? Are the K1 and B1 great speakers, too? What are, for you, the two or three best amplifiers to match with Vivid speakers? What about the Vitus Reference series? And do you have an opinion on Mola Mola mono amplifiers that were playing with a pair of Giyas at CES or at other shows? Thanks.

Best regards,

I’ll try to answer all your questions, starting with the loudspeakers. The only experience I’ve had with the K1 is listening at shows, but I did review the Oval B1 and can tell you that it is a great loudspeaker. In fact, if someone asked me today what my favorite speaker priced up to $20,000 per pair is, I’d have to say that one (they’re $15,000 per pair in the United States, by the way). Vivid's speakers have funny looks, but fantastic sound. That recommendation is also a testament to great product design -- the B1s were actually released in 2004!

I have no direct experiences with Vitus Audio or Mola Mola amps, so I can’t tell you anything about them, but I can tell you that the B1 and Giya G2 were pretty easy to drive when I reviewed them, so I think you have many amplifier options, particularly with a pair of B1s -- even tubes! So go wild. I know that Vivid shows often with Devialet, usually with spectacular results, and designer Laurence Dickie recently told me that he heard his speakers driven by a moderately priced Belles solid-state amplifier and thought that the sound was fantastic. I’m not surprised -- Belles makes great gear. I used the B1s and G2s here with amps from Bryston, Ayre, JE Audio, and Blue Circle Audio, with differing but splendid results each time. I hope that helps. . . . Doug Schneider