Vol'ti - v. - to turn over a new leaf; to move forward


6/22/2012 - NL17

Summer in Maine.  60's one day and 90's the next, and plenty of humidity, or "hum-ditty" as they say it around here.  Or in your best downeast drawl, low voice, slowly, almost a droopy and sad tone:

"w e t" .  .  .  .  .  "s t i  c k y" .  .  .  .  ayuh.  

I guess you'd have to be here.

Well you should be here, this is the Vacation State, and it's the most beautiful time of year to enjoy the wonderful Coast of Maine.

We're just a few weeks away from the Capital Audiofest, and the preparations for the show are keeping me busier than normal.  I've got two rooms to prepare for this year, and making sure I have all the details worked out takes a great deal of time.

Capital Audiofest is being held in Rockville, MD, July 13 - 15, 2012.
Click on the banner for more information.

Vittoras in one room and the new Verettas in the other room!  Two great systems set up to listen to.  So I hope to see some of you at the show.   Please do introduce yourselves and let me know you are a subscriber to my newsletter.

Work is going well at the shop.  I'm finally getting back on the speaker restoration projects that have been sitting for a while.  Over the last few months I've spent most of my time building Vittoras for reviewers, building Vittoras for the shows this year, building the Veretta speakers, and designing and building the new Vittora subwoofer.  It's been fun building all these speakers, but now I can finally spend some time working on projects that generate some cash flow!

I'm restoring/building a pair of Khorns for a customer with all the bells and whistles, so look for pics of that in an upcoming newsletter.  I also picked up a restoration job on a pair of vintage cabinets with vintage 60's Pioneer coaxial drivers.  And of course, the big Infinity IRSV speakers are still on my mind every day.  I finally got a vacuum bag big enough to work on them, so now the real fun begins!  In case you missed it, here's a picture of what they should look like when they're finished.

I am still taking on restoration work, so if any of you have old speakers that could use a facelift, please contact me and we'll talk about what we can do to spruce them up.  Or, you might consider purchasing an old pair of speakers at a low cost because of the cosmetic condition, and have them shipped to me for restoration work.   That's actually a very good way to get a beautiful pair of speakers at a fraction of the cost of new.  There are a lot of options out there and I want you to know that I'm here and available to work for you later this year.

In This Newsletter:

  • Volti Audio is introducing a new speaker at CAF2012 - The Veretta.  This is the speaker you all know as the Feastrex project that I've been working on over the last year, and I've finally got them done!

  • The show Vittoras are complete, finished in Figured Cherry veneer with Cane-Style grill cloth and the look is old-school/stunning!  See the pictures below.

  • Border Patrol Audio amplifier plinths.

    Cherry Vittora Speakers and CAF2012

    Roy and I have completed another pair of Vittora speakers with a matching subwoofer, so here are some pictures to drool over!  These are the ones I'll be showing at Capital Audiofest in a few weeks.

    The veneer is a figured Cherry.

    We have recently added a tweeter attenuator (in addition to the midrange attenuator) on the back plates of the Vittoras.  This really gives complete control over the balancing of these speakers.

    The new subwoofer looks and sounds fantastic.  I can't wait to show this off at the shows.

    This year at Capital Audiofest Volti Audio will be in the same suite as last year, Room 219, which is a quiet corner suite on the second floor.  I was offered one of the big rooms downstairs at a very attractive price, but I decided to stay put.  The bigger room would give us much better exposure because it's right in the middle of everything and right next to the big boys.  But that's precisely why I chose to stay put.  Being right in the middle of everything means dealing with a lot of noise from neighbors.  Our quiet little corner makes for a very private feel, and the sound quality is very good in Room 219.

    The system in 219 will consist of the Vittora speakers, a Vittora subwoofer powered by a Marchand SW42 amplifier, my own custom 2A3 SET monobloc amps, my own EMM Labs CD/SACD and linestage front end, and a very nice turntable supplied by Ming Su of Goto http://www.goto-unit.com/.

    The turntable is a J.C. Verdier "La Platine Verdier" with a superb "Telos" tonearm from Durand Tonearms and a ZYX MC cartridge.  It should be quite a nice setup.

    The other room that Volti Audio is a part of is right next door in 221 which will have the new Veretta speakers powered by tube amps supplied by Deja Vu Audio.  The front end will be supplied by Mojo Audio and will consist of a Mac mini-computer based media server and a prototype DAC with a tube output stage and some pretty interesting design and parts.  I'm told that this digital front end will rival even the best analogue sources.  I can't wait to hear it.

    So, are you making plans to come to CAF2012?  I hope so!   See you there.

    To view all of the photos of these
    Cherry Vittora speakers,
    please click



    I finally came up with a name for the Feastrex project I've been working on.   Thank you to all who offered suggestions for a name.   I carefully considered all of them, and kept them all for future consideration.  I'm sure these are not the last speakers I'll need a name for.

    "Veretta" is a name derived from the word "Vera" (of Russian origin), closely tied to "Verity", meaning truth.  Apropos when describing the sound that comes from these speakers and the wonderful little Feastrex NF5 drivers.

    The Feastrex NF5 drivers were purchased from Kenji Furukawa of Audiofeast, a Feastrex distributor here in the U.S.


    The Veretta is a completely different speaker than the Vittora, and that is by design.  For my second speaker design I wanted to do something far away from the three-way horn-loaded topology, yet something that is interesting and high in quality.

    As I've chronicled in previous newsletters, several hundred hours were spent working on these speakers, on the aesthetic design, prototyping cabinets, testing, listening, figuring out the accessories, and developing the construction methods, jigs, and templates.  It's been quite a process, and now it's time to introduce the speaker and see if there is anyone out there interested in purchasing a pair from me.

    I made two pair of the Verettas, one pair in Bosse Cedar and the other pair in Medium Figured Anigre.  These are the two veneers I intend to be standard.   Here's a couple pics of the Anigre.

    Of course there's a new Volti Audio webpage for the new Veretta speaker!  
    You can check it out

    Border Patrol Amplifier Plinths

    A few months ago, I made a batch of ten amplifier plinths for my friend Gary Dews of Border Patrol Audio.   Here's a picture of one of Gary's amps showing the wooden plinth that makes up the body of the amplifier.

    These are not easy to build!  I know it may look pretty simple, but I've discovered that the smaller the wooden item gets, the more detailed it needs to be.   Combine that little tidbit with the fact that these are high-end amplifiers that are scrutinized for every little detail, and what seems like a simple task of joining four pieces of wood trim together becomes hours and hours of tedious work.

    The process starts with having the material molded to exact specifications, from wood stock that has perfectly maintained moisture content.  Fortunately, about one mile from where I live, was one of the best custom hardwood suppliers in Maine, Benton Hardwoods.  Unfortunately, shortly after supplying the material for this job, they went out of business!  Uggh.  I've been relying on them for over twenty years to supply me with materials for our custom homes and for various other projects, including the trim for the front of the Lavera Horns, the hardwood for our crossover boards, etc...   I think I had taken for granted how convenient they were, and the quality level of materials they provided to us.  Hardwood supply just got a lot more difficult for us.

    We had them provide us with 6' long pieces of hardwood trim molded out of maple, walnut, cherry, and sapele mahogany.  The sapele proved to be the most difficult to work with because of the material warping.  All the others remained stable and "true" throughout the process.

    The next step was to miter cut the pieces with a jig on the Felder.  This saw is so accurate I was able to set the blade tilt to the normal 45 degree stop, and cut all the pieces with perfect fits for every joint.

    Next we drilled the holes for the rear of the amplifier where the connector and power cables come into the chassis.  These had to be super accurate to line up with the metal sub-chassis that Gary uses.  Note the duct tape used as shims against the fence.

    The pieces are assembled by lining them up on the table, using tape as "hinges", and then folding all four pieces together.  Packing tape is used to stretch over the corners and pull everything tightly together.

    Lots and lots of sanding, and detailed lacquer finish.

    In the end, they looked really good and the customer was happy with them.

    Check out Gary's amplifiers at CAF2012, and please take a good close look at the plinths while you're there!

    I'm always making changes to the Volti Audio website, so if you haven't been there in a while, please check it out.
    Volti Audio

    I have made updates to the Vittora webpage, where you'll find new pictures and a link to a little page that talks about the photographs used on the website.

    I've also added a "Friends" page to the site, where I list links to their websites.
    Friends of Volti Audio

    Do you blog?  Do you participate in an online forum?   Please tell others about Volti Audio, about our email newsletter, and about the Volti Facebook page.  We're really trying to spread the word about Volti through the Audio community, and you can really do a lot to help me through these online mediums.  It's difficult for me to do it myself, because forums do not let business owners promote their products for free.  But you can say nice things about Volti and it's not a problem at all!  Thank you, I appreciate your help!

    Thank you for your support, and until next time, I hope it all sounds good!

    Greg Roberts

  • Volti Audio - Klipsch Upgrades - New Horn Speakers