Review: Coincident Speaker Tech Total Victory Speaker
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.
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Accuphase T-101 FM tuner
various digital sources