Well, I guess I have to pass some observations about the new Living Voice Vox Olympian.
I did not listen them, did not talk to the people who behind the Living Voice and all that I know about them are the Six Moans articles and a few threads in British internet forums. Not a lot but I think at this point I have a feeling what Living Voice was trying to, so I would express some remarks about how I feel.
First is what I like. The way how the Living Voice talk about their midbass modules I found is very interesting and stimulating. I initially did not that module as I thought that they were the lowest channel of the speaker. The 6Moans article indicates that Vox Olympian has a deducted lower bass section, so Living Voice do not push the midbass to insanely low levels (and most of stupid people do). That is very good, but what it even better is a sensibility that Living Voice demonstrate with this midbass enclosure. Honesty I do not lot like the midbass “horn” that Living Voice use but it is not a horn but some kind of loaded resonate chamber. With sensible use of the “Resonance Oops” it is possible to get stunning midbass from 151 drivers if the midbass properly inhaled. It is possible that Living Voice did it, even though their midbass location is physically bound with the location of the main speaker – a main problem with such a design if multi-amping is not used.
I do like that that offer custom options for lower bass and that use Vitavox 15” and MF. I still do not get why they use this big “nose tweeter”, I find it ridicules, but whatever makes them pappy.
Now, what I do not like. I do not like that they made the speaker expressive. Let me to explain what I mean. They ask a bit under $300,000 for a pair and it shell not be my business how much they want for it as I am talking about the loudspeaker as a sonic impacting design ideas not as a product. However, in the case of Vox Olympian the cost was a design decision. It is apparent that there is a huge amount of efforts (or at least Living Voice is true to convince that the efforts are huge – that why they engaged Srajan to blob about it) they that invest into the speakers that have absolutely not sonic impact but let Living Voice to drive the price tag up and to target the higher price range clientele. I have a guy down the street who washes cars. He charges $3K per car. Doe his wash make a car to drive better or just serve the customer ego that he is a member of $3K per wash club? From a perspective as I can see it the super high price is “bad for sound” tendency. First of all the clientele of people who pay $300,000 per speaker generally do not have interesting sound. The more Interesting Sound is collection of person efforts, not the efforts of better components. The people who pay $300,000 per speaker generally have tendency to not work on own Sound. So, charging $300,000 per speaker Living Voice remove themselves from the circulation of normal criticism and the Vox Olympian won’t; be accessible by the people who are able to critical perception.
The way how Vox Olympian will be released is also does not make me happy. The boat show? Come on, the boat shows recruit the long-legged and tight-ass girls in bikini to appeal to certain mind frame. Does Living Voice feel comfortable to be a strip-bitch at somebody else trade show? It reminds me a prostitute that I knew in my childhood who insisted her clients to hear her poetry before performing the service.
Anyhow, let see at this $300,000 again. The 50-60% is the dealer mark up. The 10-15% is distribution mark up. From the $100K that are left probably a half spend for big name wood maker, exotic woods and wiener and custom housing. Add to this 10-15% of supporting cost (damaging during shipment etc…) So, where we end up? I think the cost of the speaker to make by market price today would be $10K-$15K. That is to make the speaker just to assure default sound, not the exotic finisher and super expensive housing. Saying all of it we need to understand that Living Voice need to compete with own refection in the minds of audio-idiots. A few years ago a friend of mine was selling a loudspeaker line that cost $4K and no one paid attention on it. Then he change the price for $26K, just increased the piece and nothing else. The speakers after this were flying out if his warehouse. Also, the cost of the part themselves. I come from the assessment of the Vitavox MF and bass driver as $2K per pair – the today’s eBay price. There are plenty of driver today that cost $15K-$20K. So, if I feel that S2 is better then shall the S2 in this case cost $25-$30K?
They all not easy questions and there is no answer to them. I think the cost of the speaker shall derive only from the sophistication of sound that the speaker produces. What Living Voice produce is not know now and if they will keep selling them for $300k installed in private boats then it will hardly be known.The Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche