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Vivid Audio Kaya 90 speakers Review

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The setting

This is my first review in quite a while. I took an extended break these last two years while orchestrating my transition out of the business I built over the last thirty years, but I never stopped checking out new components. I actually have extensive notes on over a dozen audio products. Unfortunately, not all are worthy of the time it takes for a thorough review. Fortunately, the Vivid Audio Kaya 90 is extremely worthy.

It is necessary to first set the stage for this review. Though almost everyone I’ve met in the audio industry is into audio first and money second, everyone still has to feed their kids and pay for their education. In no way do I begrudge this. However, it is liberating to be able to take as much time as you want, and to not feel any obligation to be nice in a review.  I’m lucky enough to be able to afford many (not all!) products outright and then sell the ones that don’t fit my system and taste. So that’s what I did. The products I kept are the ones that are in the system in which the Kaya 90s were inserted for review. Some of these products I’ve previously reviewed, but some are new to me that I expect to review now that I’m back on the reviewing track. Here are a few:

Gryphon Audio Evo Antileon Stereo amplifier;

Laufer Teknik Memory Player (most recent generation);

Synergistic Audio Atmosphere, Black Box, HFTs, ECTs and GCTs, Orange Quantum fuses;

Audio Magic “The Natural” power cords (amps);

Computer Audio Design Ground Control; and

Stealth Audio speaker cables.


In addition, there are a few specific “audio” things you should know up front about this review. First, I’ve owned the Vivid Audio G1 Giya speakers since I first reviewed them in early 2014. Other things have been replaced, including recently my beloved Electrocompaniet Nemo monoblocks, but the Giyas and a few other components soldier on as I attempt to reach the ever-elusive audio nirvana. This means I was able to do a pretty direct head-to-head comparison of the Kaya 90s and the Giyas, and also do the comparison by driving each with my old Electrocompaniet Nemos and my current Gryphon Antileon Evos.

Second, my listening room is extremely tweaked out. I don’t mean that there are many audio  “tweaks” I use – although I do. What I mean is that the entire room has been rebuilt and constantly modified to seek the best sound, and that several of my components/tweaks allow for extensive adjustments of the sound. This is both good and bad. On the good side, I can adjust various parameters to make a wide range of components sound pretty darn good. On the other side, it’s a hell of a hassle to do justice to component comparisons unless I go back and revisit the settings and/or positioning of all the tweaks. For instance, the excellent Legacy Audio Wavelet not only performs room correction, but also allows for numerous adjustments in different frequency ranges and DAC filters. The Synergistic Research HFTs and Atmosphere also affect the room acoustics and often need to be adjusted when new speakers are auditioned. My Stealth Audio speaker cables are the “T” (tuneable) version where moving the magnets even a bit affects the interaction between amp and speakers. In short, it is a pretty big hassle to readjust room tweaks to accommodate a speaker review!

As has always been the case, I’m not going to spend time repeating the various specs and technical details that you can easily get from Vivid’s website: what’s the point in that? Moreover, I’m not going to discuss “engineering philosophies” I’m not qualified to evaluate, though they can be very interesting. Instead, I will focus on my subjective opinions about the sound.


Appearance and easy setup

The Kaya is a relatively light floor-standing speaker. Unlike the much larger Giya G1, it can readily be set up by one reasonably healthy person. As with the Giya, its light weight comes in no small part from the composite used to make its extremely rigid cabinet. The Kaya’s height also happens to be ideal for my listening room chairs; more on this below.

I love the totally exotic look of the Giyas – and there are those who don’t. The Kayas definitely look less exotic, but are still conversation starters, as was demonstrated by the comments coming from visitors while I had them set up. One major plus (in my view) of the use of the composite to make the Vivid cabinets is that you can theoretically get it in any color you’d like. I didn’t ask about custom color options, but the range of standard available colors is very broad.

One Response to Vivid Audio Kaya 90 speakers Review

  1. Fred Crowder says:

    First, it is a real pleasure to see you reviewing again. I have always felt that you were one of Dagogo’s real strengths. Nice review, and it is always easier to write a good review when the product speaks to you.

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