Review: Trovare Audio Luva S2 loudspeaker
I recently purchased Luva S2 in custom finish with anodized black aluminum front baffle and red-stained walnut wood veneer on the sides. I was very impressed with the customer service of Trovare Audio. They gave me all the options for finishes and send me a quote of every option I was interested in within minutes over email. And since shipping was free with lifetime warranty, I knew I was getting a good deal.
The solid quality of the cabinet was apparent right from opening the well-packed box, that arrived in under a month from ordering. And I was very happy with my custom finished cabinet. It was exactly as I had wanted, if not more. The sound of Luva, right off the box was a bit mellow in the low midrange. So I let the speaker break-in for about 30 hours with the pink-noise from my B&K receiver. The next day when I put in Diana Krall’s “Live in Paris” I could not believe my ears with the texture and punch in her voice. To top it, the light touches on the cymbal and the high hat from the drummer was very clear, along with the most defined notes on the piano I have ever heard. Before I get into the low and the low-mids, let me say that I replaced my three way Revel Performa F30, bought three years ago for $3500, with this $3200 plus $500 for custom finished Luva. To quote Audio Revolution, “Revel Performa F30’s are like BMW M3’s. They have some creature comforts, but they are designed for performance above all else.” I felt like comparing Luva to Porsche Baxter -- she is not only meant to dazzle you with intelligent and unassuming performance, she also performs with all the pride, arrogance and challenge. Revel-F30 was a rectangular box with assembly-line finish; Luva was hand sanded and hand polished with 10 coats of wax and varnish to define a class in cabinet design and finish. Revel-F30 was a good loudspeaker; Luva is one helluva loudspeaker. At the same price as the Revel Performa, I am convinced I got a great deal.
Luva has a warm but engaging sound, highlighted by real bass performance. Keep in mind that I have no subwoofer hooked up in this system. I am always captivated by loudspeakers that can present deep bass along with an extremely wide yet coherent soundstage. I played St. Germain’s eighth track from the “Tourist” album. The track “Goutte d'Or” has a very deep bass combined with some very impressive flute solos added to a bunch of talking drums and the deep hard sound of some African drums hit hard with sticks. I could not believe how powerful and real those drum sticks felt even at low volume. It felt like I was 10 feet from stage. The deep bass was tight, strong and effortlessly real and coming from only one eight-inch driver, utterly impressive. Another thing that struck me particularly was the wide soundstage of the Luva. On "The Girl From Ipanema," from Getz and Gilberto (Verve) the Luvas shined. The guitar instrumentation imaged with detail, but the second chorus’ female vocals were literally two feet outside the physical bounds of the left speaker. I have heard similar soundstage in Revel’s Salon selling for over $28,000.
I do not mean to come across as the sales-rep for Trovare Audio. But I am very pleased to find a product that justifies my investment so blatantly. Overall, the sound from Luva is relaxed with the details and imaging I was very impressed with. It does not give you a headache even when you listen to fusion jazz continuously at a very high volume. The response is smooth without boomy bass, or harsh mids or deceptive highs. Anyone looking for a hi-fi full range loudspeaker at this price range and picky about cabinet finishes, definitely need to give Luva a try. If anything Trovare Audio knows how to build solid two-way speakers and builds them extraordinarily well. And brace yourself, rumor has it that Trovare Audio is about to release its flagship three way in les than a year.
B&K Reference 30 receiver
Mark Levinson No37 CD Transport
Nordost Valhalla speaker cable
ExactPower EP15A -2 power conditioner
Similar Products Used:
Revel Performa F30
JM Lab Utopia