Review: Coincident Speaker Tech Total Victory Speaker

Category: Speakers

I will get right to the chase and proclaim the Coincident Total Victory as the best all around loudspeaker I have had the pleasure to seriously audition. What makes the speaker unique is:

1. It is the only one I have heard that performs at the highest level on BOTH a small scale (i.e. low level detail, air around instruments, capturing full harmonics etc) and the big stuff (explosive dynamics, thunderous bass, weighty, punchy midbass, etc). Most good audio components excel in only one of the above noted areas. They either do the dynamics convincingly but fail with regards to the subtleties or they manage to capture the micro details but either do not have the bass capabilities nor the dynamic range necessary to accurately reproduce large scale music. The Total Victory is as adept playing Mozart as it is reproducing Moby.

2. Reveals more detail and is quite transparent but is at the same time full bodied and tonally very neutral. It has become conventional audiophile wisdom (which I relunctantly admit to being so afflicted) that components that have high resolving capability can suffer from being lean, edgy or bright. Given this ideology, we would associate detail with the lack of body and smoothness. The Total Victory will dispel this myth after 2 minutes of listening- caveat- I do feel that pairing the speakers with high quality tube amplification provides the best match to achieve optimal results. As far as initial listening impressions go, upon first hearing the Total Victory, I was impressed with the amount of musical information it reveals, and the amount of 'body' instruments have and how harmonically complete the sound is. As far as the revealing qualities go, the TV's have 'eclipsed' (pun intended) my previous reference speaker- Coincident's own Super Eclipse- also a wonderful transducer in it's own right. The trademark Coincident neutrality yet with harmonic completeness across the entire frequency spectrum is also there in the TV's, as it was with the Supers, however now there appears to be even more musical information coming from these large cabinets. And the bass response is huge!

3.While the TVs are a relatively large speaker and when the music is demanding and large scale, they will sound as big as their physical proportions, they, like a chameleon, have the uncanny ability to become small and intimate, with pin point imaging when the music played is simple. A female vocalist playing a guitar, for example, will not, as is the case with many big speakers, sound larger than life. Rather, the proper proportion will be authentically replicated creating the feeling that the TVs resemble a mini monitor more than the large speaker they really are.

4. The high sensitivity and flat impedance permits the owner to use small amplifiers such as SETs. The TVs can handles oodles of power so if your personal proclivities involve huge tube or solid state amps, well go knock yourself out (I've also got a large SS Theta Dreadnaught amp for the HT system that could be used with the TV's- yikes- that would be scary bass!!). While I loved how the TVs sound with my seldom used 8-watt SET (very pure and transparent, with reasonably, yet not totally impactful bass) I was stunned at how dynamic and alive they were with the 165 wpc tube amps, and this is the amplification I would personally use with the TV's. In summary, if your personal musical tastes run to rock, metal or big orchestral, I would highly recommend a bigger amp on the TVs to fully take advantage of their sub woofer bass and excellent dynamics and weight. SETs might work wonders on smaller scale music such as jazz, chamber or light rock (in fact, I would love to hear the killer Wyetech Topaz 572 22-watt SET with these speakers...). At least the listener can now make the decision according to their preference- but at this point I prefer slightly more power with the TV's, as this allows the full-range dynamics and prodigious bass to bloom to the transducer's fullest abilities. A follow-up comparison using other amplification options in the future would be interesting.

I could go on and on, but I think the point has been made that these are wonderful speakers that do everything exceptionally well and very little wrong. The TV's are extremely well balanced, and I really cannot detect any sonic anamolies indigenous to the speakers. While the Total Victories are not inexpensive (hey, $11,500 US is alot of coin to us working stiffs!), they must be considered something of a bargain when compared to ultra-expensive speakers that are not built as well nor sound as good. Israel Blume's workmanship and dedication to his craft is second to none in the industry, and this dedication to utmost quality in both parts used (you should see his crossovers) and the production process is translated when you hear the finished product.

As far as any negatives, the main possible downside to these speakers is that they have such high resolution abilities, that they will in very short order reveal deficiencies with other gear or set up. Be prepared to see the light and with it, things become either even more beautiful or alternatively less appealing. But don't blame these speakers, they are only the messengers. Well, you can tell I am impressed, so much so that I am buying a pair. And no, I have no affiliation to, or partnership with Coincident that would otherwise bias this honest review- I am just an audiophile who has found a wonderful product that has brought me that much closer to the music.

Associated gear
Altec 1570B 165 wpc DHT PP heavily modded tube monoblocks ('the battleships')
Accuphase T-101 FM tuner
various digital sources
Nice informative review. I have no personal experience with Coincident's products, but have wondered in the past about just how realistic the average impedance and efficiency claims that this company seems to routinely make for its speakers really are. I've noticed that some printed measurements in review tests have come up pretty short relative to the manufacturer's claims. Do you have any feelings or information on this issue one way or the other?
Zaikesman- I have also read this, but have put less credance to these comments with regards to the Victory lineup, which I do find you can get great results with using lower powered SET- type amplification, even more so than the Eclipse lineup, which has slightly lower sensitivity. As stated in the review, I prefer them with more power, but they can easily be driven with less, and if I had the $$, they would be driven by the Wyetech 22 wpc SET!! Sorry I can't answer your question more effectively, I think that's one for the manufacturer...
Zaik, which review's are you reffering to.
Sorry, Natalie, I wish I had that information or could remember, but I don't. If I had to guess where I could have seen such measurements, it probably would have been either Stereophile or, so you could check their web archives.
Thanks its not Soundsatge. I dont ever recall Stereopile reviewing Any Coincident Speakers.
Actually, Soundstage does contain a review in their archives showing a measured sensitivity for the Total Eclipse model as being 86dB vs. a claimed 94dB. I can't find a reference to a Stereophile review on Coincident's website or Stereophile's online archives or recommended components list, although for some reason I still seem to think I remember one, but I'd have to scour back issues or consult the review index to be sure, something I can't easily do right now because all my old issues are still boxed up from when I moved. I could always be wrong, but I still think I remember JA measuring a Coincident model once and arriving at a similar result, but maybe it's just my imagination. The only other linked review on Coincident's website that contains measurements is an Audio review of a bookshelf model, which shows a measured sensitivity of 84-88dB (depending on frequency) against a claimed 90dB, but I know I never read this one originally. I realize that many speaker companies routinely claim higher sensitivity specs than reviewers are able to confirm with their measurements, but few of them seem to market that aspect of their products' performance as heavily as Coincident, so this perception I had of some considerable shortfalls sort of raised my eyebrows. However, I seem to have been off-base, at least as far as the articles I was able to track down go, about any discrepancies regarding claimed impedance, and the reviews I scanned last night all seem to be in rough agreement about the speakers' ability to be driven successfully by low power tube amplifiers. If I do come across a Stereophile review at some point, I'll post again. And of course, none of this speculation has anything to do with the quality of Coincident's speakers' sound, a subject about which I am personally ignorant.
Israel can you offer comment on this.
Sutts what would you feel is the minimum room size for this speaker. I would think a large room is in order.
Natalie (Peter)- larger room would be better, but I can't say HOW large- Israel would know that better. My current listening room is only 10'x16', so I think the TV is going to be a bit big actually. I am most likely ordering another pair of Super E's in the meantime for that room, with an eye toward the TV's in the future- they ARE the end goal...
I know they would just be to much for the 15' x 18' room I have. Though your right they would be a Life time Purchase.
Pete- I don't disagree, and actually, have finally made up my mind. I am going to wait until I can spring for the TV's- they are worth the wait- room size be damned! have a good weekend.
That Stereophile review was of the Super Conquests about 4 years ago. I have since given away my back issues of that period. J. Atkins measurements section, as I recall, did draw some attention to a difference between the advertised specs and his tested sensitivity results. Something like 3 or 4 dB off... Don't remember the exact figures. Atkins did not belabor the point.

I have not tested the sensitivity of my Super Eclipses (which I love), but my "sense" of them is that they act and sound more like 8-10 Ohm, 90 dB speakers rather than 14 Ohm, 92 dB. Completely non-scientific, and I could be completely full of....

They may measure nominally at 14 Ohms and may in fact not dip below 10 Ohms. They don't seem like it. That does not take anything away from the marvelous way they sound. I just would not dream of trying small amps with them again. I need the full orchestra deal: Reference Recordings' organ and percussion going full tilt. 90 strong tubed watts is the lowest I would go. (My room now is roughly 12' x 17'.)

Maybe with a really beefy sounding pre-amp (Lamm LL2) to feed a small-ish pwr-amp, one could get good weight and authority from 22 watts. I'd love to hear that it is so.

I have carried on long enough else where on A-gon about how I never could mate any amp lower than 50 watts with the Supers to my liking: Manley Ref 300B Retros, 47 Labs Gaincard-S (double power supplies), Cary 805-C's, and even Atma-Sphere M-60's sounded anemic. (My room for these tests was then 16' x 25'.)

Atma-Sphere MA-1's (140 OTL watts) and Cary SLAM-100's (95 Triode, push/pull class A, or 165 ultra-linear watts) do quite well. The ASL DT-200 "Hurricanes" at 200 watts are an Israel Blume recommendation.

I had unbroken-in, stock Hurricanes in my system for a week. Great power match with the Supers. (I did not care for the pair of H's I auditioned in other regards; they are very pre-amp picky for one thing. I know that Israel loves them, HP gave them his 5-star rating, and TAS declared them the best tubed amp of 2002. I guess my system and "ear" suck!)
Kalan- I have heard the H's at Israel' place- they are extremely good, and harmonically complete, however I am sure your other amp choices mentioned area also good ones...