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CAS7 Richard Austen Reports, Part 4

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The Volti/Border Patrol/CEC/Triode Wire Labs was another top five room room for me. With the CEC belt drive turntable and Border Patrol DAC (non-oversampling, no digital filtering resistor ladder (R-2R) DAC), digital here sounded superior to most other rooms.
Like the Audio Note UK room, this room had a more natural sounding presentation and the Volti Rival speakers (starting at $7,900 for basic finish) had terrific snap and solid bass depth. There was some audible distortion at higher levels, so while the speakers are rated at 100dB sensitive and the amp is rat 20 watts, I think more power is needed at upper volume levels. Nevertheless, it was plenty loud enough for me and these Rival speakers certainly rivaled the best sound under $10k at this show and it was definitely a top five room regardless of price for me. When you consider there were rooms with $20k – $300k speakers that didn’t make my top 5, I would say that the people running this room should be roundly commended.
Horns offer big power and a live scale presentation. The main problem for horns is a sort of horn shout which projects midgrange and/or treble ‘at’ the listener which can cause fatigue. That didn’t happen with the Rival – it could sound sweet and natural but also has the ability to sound big and lively. CD source here was very good with the NOS CD replay. I didn’t know that this was an r2r DAC but having looked it up I am not surprised why I liked this room so much. One advantage of these speakers is that they can be placed in corners and offer adjustable crossovers in the back to tailor to your room.

2 Responses to CAS7 Richard Austen Reports, Part 4

  1. Sheldon Hayes says:

    Grreting Richard,
    Really miss your contributions on CAM, hope all is well and great show report!
    Best regards, shel243

    • Richard Austen says:

      Hi Sheldon. Thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, the moderators at CAM don’t have as thick a skin as I would have hoped for in a country, my country, that invented hockey. I post on much better audio forums: Steve Hoffman’s forum, Hi-Fi Haven (Canada), audioasylum, audiokarma. Hope to see you on one or all of those.


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