Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit loudspeaker Page 2

Every aspect of a recording issues forth in an engrossing way. AIR's 'La Femme D'Argent' [from Moon Safari; Virgin CDV 2848] is a case in point; it's a winsome slice of synthesiser pop with a big, tuneful bassline and gentle washes of synthesiser and vibrant electric organ stabs. The big Vivid conveyed every last dot and comma of the mix – throwing out vast amounts of detail, yet still managing to deliver the song in a lilting and carefree way.

Although able to handle vast amounts of power – such is its grace under pressure when the volume is cranked north – it is still wonderfully delicate at low listening levels, and never lets one part of the frequency range dominate. Moon Safari's mix is underpinned by funky bass guitar playing, and it was conveyed here in a lithe and snappy way with absolutely no sense of the cabinet joining in the fun. Indeed the bass melts into the midband, which is itself highly translucent. It's as if you're peering through a magic window; the dreamy keyboard sound sitting behind a soft but lively rhythm track while the drum machine's hi-hat cymbals glint away at the back of the mix.

Mellow Yellow
Continuing the mellow musical mood, the Lou Donaldson Quintet's Alligator Bogaloo [TOCJ-9103] proved that a 1967 recording can sound just as, well, vivid as it modern counterparts. The big Giya 1S Spirits sitting at one end of editor PM's listening room ensured this vintage mix shone with a wonderfully engaging and lustrous sound – typical of that era of classic BlueNote jazz. What greeted us was a fulsome, lush Hammond organ sound – tightly syncopated with some great guitar playing from a young George Benson. The superb transient speed of the G1 Spirit was there for all to hear; the drum work was superbly carried, with fast spinning ride cymbals, loose snares and deliciously deep, funky double-bass. Around this, Donaldson's alto sax let rip in a dramatic way, with this loudspeaker conveying its rich, reedy sound in all its glory.

It was a mightily impressive performance from a speaker that was clearly not designed for any one particular genre of music – its innate speed and transparency making it an ace for whatever you care to play. Arguably, that new D26k tweeter still lacks the last drop of delicacy and sweetness that might be achieved by the best ribbon transducers but, by dome standards, its treble sounds as airy and crisp as I might have wished for.


It certainly didn't hinder my enjoyment of REM's 'Welcome To The Occupation' [from Document; CBS/Sony CSCS 6085], which sounded nigh-on faultless. This late '80s slice of indy-rock is quite compressed, and packed with multiple guitar overdubs, but I was struck by just how well the big Vivid picked its way through – like a hot knife through butter, it got right into the heart of the song and imparted that trademark raunchy Rickenbacker guitar sound with great skill.

There was also far more detail than expected, and it was all strung together in a wonderfully coherent and orderly way. The Giya 1S Spirit is also in its element with powerful, bass heavy music with strong dynamics; here the integrity and inertness of the cabinet is most evident, along with the quality of the drive units. The Congos' 'Days Chasing Days' [from Congo Ashanti; Congos CD 21522] is a classic slice of late '70s reggae – and a veritable virility test for a large loudspeaker, on account of the incredible tracts of bass that lock into a great groove with the drummer.

This speaker was able to mix it with the best of them, and even at very high volumes in PM's listening room it coped heroically. Indeed I was more worried about the fate of the Ed's double-glazing than the Spirit's low frequency drivers. They grumbled and growled, yet showed no signs of strain, serving up a great groove that supported some prodigious dynamic contrasts.

A Grand Acoustic
The depth of the musical soundstage developed by the G1 Spirit is also very impressive. So when the recording has a deep and spacious acoustic, this loudspeaker can effortlessly convey the 'architecture' of the venue. For example, the opening movement from Mahler's Symphony No 4 [Miah Persson/Ivan Fischer/Budapest Festival Orchestra; Channel Classics CCS SA 26109] did, indeed, sound cathedral-like in its scale and scope.

As if the boundaries of the listening room had been totally redrawn, this speaker drew images to the far left and right, and hung the acoustic way back into the distance beyond the plane of the loudspeakers. Simultaneously, the foreground bristled with the sound of the orchestra's lead instruments, the ensemble sounding vibrant and natural, unsullied by driver or cabinet coloration.

The extended harmonics of brass and strings were left completely intact and possessed of a body and richness rarely experienced from loudspeakers at any price, while the rich timbre of the woodwind was a delight to behold. The Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit is surely one the most 'complete' loudspeakers ever to grace the hi-fi scene.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
This unusual looking loudspeaker is exceptionally accomplished in respect of power handling, dynamics, midrange transparency and stereo imaging while also knitting everything together in a wonderfully cohesive and natural way. The result is a delightful sound that yields so much more than the sum of its not inconsiderable parts. It is surely one of the greatest speakers currently on sale, at any price.

Coherent Acoustic Systems
Pinetown, South Africa
Supplied by: Vivid Audio Ltd, West Sussex, UK
01403 713125