Publisher’s note: highend-electronics.com, the U.S. Importer of Voxativ, advised Dagogo during the fact-check reading of the official draft in October that the Ampeggio, the model being reviewed has been discontinued. As this advice came not during the review period but after the official draft was submitted for fact-check, we offered highend-electronics.com the opportunity to provide comment to the readers and any information on forthcoming improvements. We have yet to hear back from the company after two emails and voice messages.
My audio journey started when I was in my teens. Early on I discovered I like Class A amps and then Class A tube amps. Later, I heard a couple of SET amps and decided that there was something I really liked about the sound of theses amps even more. Then a few years ago, before I started reviewing, I was lucky enough to obtain a demo Wavac EC-300B for a great price. It is still, to this day, the best amp I have heard. Over the years I have tried many speaker systems, but far and away the two that have brought me the most musical enjoyment have been the Quad ESLs of the original 1957 version, you can’t play them with SETs by the way, which I owned for over 10 years. The second I have owned for the last 5 years, the Teresonic Ingenium XR speakers with Lowther DX4 drivers with silver wound voice coils , which is almost perfect for my beloved EC-300B.
Over the years there has been a lot of interest in using single drivers to produce a “true full-range speaker,” whatever that is. I know of no term that means more different things to more audiophiles. The Voxativ Ampeggio is designed to be a full-range speaker; I know some of you will think it should go lower to be called full-range. There have been several designers trying to get a full-range single driver system that goes beyond a traditional Lowther in a Medallion cabinet. In order to put the review of the Voxative Ampeggios into a context that might help you understand the descriptions and comparisons of the sound of the Ampeggio speakers, let me mention a few of the more successful ones that I am familiar with.
The Feastrex Makoto uses a five-inch field coil version of the company’s all-Permendur alloy driver assembly. The five-inch cone itself is made of some very special paper. The driver is mounted in an almost six foot tall cabinet vented at the top and made of Douglas Fir plywood with 40 layers of Urushi Lacquer. I got to spend a lot of time listening to this speaker when Constantine was reviewing it. Without a doubt it was one of the most alive speakers I have heard, but it has almost no bass and very little top end.
Back in the summer of 2008, I reviewed Lowther America Alerion Floorstanding Speaker. It sold for a little under $3,000 then and produced one of the most three-dimensional, holographic, reach-out-there-and-touch-someone soundstages I have heard. Unfortunately, something about the horn produced a mid-bass sound that robbed it of some of the mid-range glory of a Lowther. This was very forgivable for a speaker at its price point.
Last winter, I had the privilege to review the Line Magnetic Audio LM 755i Field Coil Speaker, a speaker based on a single driver that is a reproduction of the famous WE 755A driver but with a field coil instead of an Alnico magnet. The cabinets are fairly live sounding and are beautiful in a very retro way. This is a gloriously alive-sounding speaker with great warmth and harmonics, but it only played down to around 50Hz in my room.
Then, there are the aforementioned Teresonic Ingenium XR Speakers using the Lowther DX4s with silver wound voice coils. These have been my reference speakers since 2008. Instead of modifying the driver or adding bass drivers, Teresonic uses their cabinet to get the best out of a single Lowther. The engineers at Teresonic have come to believe that speaker cabinets should be built like musical instruments. They do not believe that speaker cabinets should be built as dead and damped as possible. They feel that a dead cabinet does not produce a natural and alive sound.
To be truly full-range, the Ingeniums use what Teresonic calls an Enhanced Tapered Quarter Wave Tube, their version of a transmission line. Teresonic attempts to deal with the “Lowther Shout” with the use of Helmholtz resonators which are designed for “picking out” particular frequencies from a complex sound. The resonators are purely acoustical, and responsible for the smooth response of Teresonic speakers without the veiling that notch filters can cause. These filters are based on the work of Herman L. F. von Helmholtz from his book, “On the Sensations of Tone,” published in 1862. I have found the Ingeniums to have bass response down into the mid 30Hz in my room.
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