Living Voice Avatars Review
Living Voice Avatars Review
I have a pair of Living Voice Avatars for review in my living room for the last month and I'd like to share my opinion with you guys.
To give you some insight on my background with this sport,some of my previous speakers were Vandersteen 2Ce, PMC LB1, Yamaha NS 1000M, Bose 901 and I have also used Zingali Overture 3 for some time. Now I also have a pair of Coincident Super Eclipses latest version.
My living room is 7X5X2.75 meters with a wooden floor and concrete/brick walls.
The amplifiers I used were the Cayin T88 (2x25 triode KT88 tubes) and a Sony 940 (2X120 mosfet).
CD player was a Cayin CD17A, cables were Kimber 8TC and KCAG with gold plated WBTs.
I will not get into technical details on the Avatars, you can find them on all on-line reviews from the magazines.
My first impression was negative due to the finish and overall quality. The finish is extremely poor for 4000 Euro worth of speakers. The Living Voice logos are glued on the back of the speaker and on the rectangular stand, but they are glued off centre and with a tilt! It is as if some kid had done the job:-(.
When I connected them to the tube amp I was surprised on how bad they sounded. It was clear that the driver units were good units, but the overall performance was not balanced. I thought that they needed time so I connected them to the sony and let them play for a few days , while I was visiting a friend out of town, otherwise I could not stand them!
When I came back they had opened up some, but nothing spectacular.
After some 150 hours or "breaking in", I put them aside and never played them again.
The sound was very boxed in, closed and the bass was what we call "one note rhumba"! I tried moving them around with no results. In some cases, percussion and guitars mostly, it was evident that these speakers are performing great, only sometimes!!
The voices of Diana Krall and Rene Marie were coloured to an extreme and the box could easily be heard even by non experienced listeners.
A friend who owns Von Schweikert VR4s was suprised by the fact that we could not find position to solve the inherent problems of the Avatars....
Listening to the White Stripes Seven Nations song, was a torture when the guitars first came in. The sound was pretty much congested , even at low listening levels.
The soundstage suffered severely, in jazz and rock music. Even in large synphonic works (Stokowski's Bach transcriptions, Mahler etc.) the soundstage was shut in.
The Vandersteens were maybe clouded in comparison but their overall performance was way better and they cost a fraction of the Avatars.
Before any of you start thinking that there is something wrong with the rest of the setup, read this.
I finally bought a pair of Coincident Super Eclipses. The Eclipses blew away the Living Voices in every single item. Maybe the LVs are a bit more analytical in some rare cases, but the overall comparison is extremely negative for them.
Now, I was initially thinking of the Avatar OBXs, but I think they are an even worse deal. They cost 50% more that the Avatars and the only difference is he crossover and the tweeter. I don't think the boxiness has anything to gain from the more expensive tweeter and the problem of the lower frequencies will remain the same.
In any case, this is an expensive speaker (the OBXs even more) and after my experience I would sincerely suggest that you try these speakers in your living room with your setup before you commit to their purchase. The cheap finish will probably result in massive depreciation after a year or two.
I will shortly post a review of the Eclipses after I make up my mind on the KT88 tube rolling.