9/28/2013 - NL24
So here we are, less than two weeks from the start of Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and I have never been so busy in my life! As you all know, my wife and I have kept our construction business going (25 years now) as we continue to build Volti Audio. Years ago, we had a big crew and several new homes to build at any one time, but in 2009 the business pace changed significantly, as it did for anyone in construction, and ever since, the jobs have come sporadically and infrequently. There are many months that will go by where we have no contract to build a home, and then there are times like this, where we have two! Years ago, taking on two new homes to build would not have been a problem, but we are not geared up for that these days, and when you add in the work I'm doing for Volti Audio, it has been overwhelming.
No complaints though, it's much better to be too busy than not busy enough. So foundations are being poured and subcontractors lined up to build these homes, and somehow we are managing to keep up.
Sales at Volti have picked up all of a sudden, as we head into the time of year when people are thinking about their stereo systems again. Since the last newsletter, we've sold a whole bunch of Klipsch Khorn upgrade packages, and we've sold two more pairs of Vittora speakers, directly attributable to the Stereophile review.
Art Dudley's review of the Vittoras was published in the September issue of Stereophile magazine.
Have you seen it?
We've been waiting for a review like this, and I don't think there was anyone better to conduct it than Art Dudley. Art appreciates vintage design, he likes horn speakers, he's a very good writer, and he garners a certain respect among audiophiles who often have a skeptical view of magazine reviewers. We are very fortunate to have had this opportunity, and grateful for the way the whole process turned out.
There are a couple of different ways to see Art's review online.
I have uploaded a .pdf file of the review HERE
You can also go to the Stereophile website HERE
As wonderful as this review in the September issue of Stereophile magazine is for Volti Audio, the surprise that we found in the October issue is even more so! Twice a year (April and October), the Editors of Stereophile magazine publish a Recommended Component list based on their top picks of all the audio gear they have reviewed in the past. In the October, 2013 edition of the magazine, the Volti Audio Vittora not only made the list, but was rated as a "Class A" Speaker (Restricted Extreme LF). This distinguished ranking came out of nowhere and took us by surprise. I'm sure Art was mostly resposible, and we are very thankful to him.
"Class A", Baby! *
Yeah, there is an asterisk, being that the Vittora does not extend down low enough to be considered straight Class A (extending to 20Hz), but is instead in the "sub-class-a" category of speakers that have "Restricted Extreme LF" (to 40Hz).
But look, this is a thrill for us to even be a part of the list. We realize what an accomplishment this is for such a young company with so little experience in designing and building speakers, working with one of the most challenging topologies (horns) to design with, and up against the stigma that horn speakers have in the audiophile world. There are a lot of people in this hobby who have for decades, looked down their noses at horn speakers. Well some of them will be looking down their noses and seeing the Volti Audio Vittora listed as a Class A component in their most recent issue of Stereophile magazine! Ha ha!
I wrote to Art Dudley of course, to thank him for his efforts, and I also wrote to John Atkinson to thank him. John told me that the Class A rating was well deserved, which made me feel good. I couldn't help myself though, as I tried to make the argument that the Vittora subwoofer is an integral part of the design, and that with the subwoofer, the Vittora does extend low enough to be considered straight Class A. But John Atkinson is right when he says they have to consider just the speakers without a subwoofer, because every pair of speakers in the Restricted Extreme LF category could be straight Class A with the addition of a sub. Maybe I need to call the Vittora sub an Extended Low Frequency cabinet that is a part of the system instead of an option?
I would like to point out that I have not bought one dollar's worth of advertising from SP, there has been no pressure
to do so, and I have found all the people at Sterephile magazine to be professional and nice to deal with. These
guys take a lot of crap from a lot of audiophiles for a lot of different reasons, but from my perspective, they don't deserve it.
Laurie decided not to go with me to RMAF this year, and I really needed some help to run the room. So I asked Gary Dews from BorderPatrol if he'd like to share a room with me. He said yes, but I really wasn't too sure he would do it after his experience in sharing a room with Volti at AXPONA earlier this year. Big speakers like the Vittora tend to dominate a room, and it's hard for the amplifier company to get equal attention, so I completely understand Gary's apprehension.
But Volti and BorderPatrol will be teaming up in room 1102 at RMAF this year. Volti will have the three-piece Vittora system and BP will be providing the CD source, a BP DAC, a BP Preamplifier, and a BP S20 EXD amplifier.
Gary will be introducing his new Super Power Supply Unit at this show, a pair of which will be strapped to the S20 to provide an even stiffer bottom end than we usually experience. Wait til you see the iron inside one of these things!
We've got some new signage and a new rack/plinth setup for the equipment. I bought a big tradeshow display sign that is made with a stretch fabric over a frame, and it has the Volti logo as well as the BorderPatrol on it. We'll set that up behind the new rack and plinths that I'm trying to finish up right now. I used Baltic Birch plywood, two one-inch thick layers, to make 16" x 20" plinths to hold Gary's gear. They are veneered in cherry and finished in the same manner as the Vittora speakers. There's a "bench" made in the same way that holds more gear at a higher level behind the plinths in the front. We're hoping these pieces will show off the gear in a more professional way than at previous shows.
The Vittora speakers I'm bringing are veneered in Bosse Cedar, and have the Cane-style grill cloth.
These are the speakers that Art reviewed, and they are now sold to a customer up in Canada. My customer has graciously
offered to let me use his speakers and subwoofer at RMAF, and after the show I'll ship them directly to him.
Coming To America
In addition to the Vittora BorderPatrol room, Volti Audio will also be represented in room 1114, showing the Alura speakers with a brand new company called SST Audio from Moscow, Russia. Some of you may remember my friend Sergei who invited me to visit him in Russia twice over the last six years. Sergei has formed SST Audio and is debuting their new tube integrated monoblock amplifiers called "The Essence" at RMAF. Sergei does everything first class - "The Very Best" he'll say to me, and I believe the SST Audio equipment is going to really sing through the Alura speakers. They've been developing an interesting piece of gear. It's a tube crossover/preamplifier that can be used as a control unit as well as a crossover in a biamp setup, which is how the Aluras will be powered at the show. I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing the SST Audio stuff, and of course seeing my friend Sergei again.
Check out the pictures of "The Essence". Sergei worked with the Zagato Design Studio in Italy to make this beautiful design.
What's the deal?
The deal is, I'm going to offer free shipping on any pair of Vittoras or Aluras sold at RMAF this year. This offer is not just for the show models, but for any order placed (with a deposit) during the show. So if you're thinking of buying a pair of Vittoras, this is the time to do it, with the price being held at the current $17,500/pair, and free shipping, they won't ever sell for less than this again. Aluras are a great deal anyway at only $13,900 for the pair, and with free shipping I have a hard time believing the show models won't be sold by the end of RMAF.
You don't have to be at the show to take advantage of this offer. Just call or email and we can put the deal together for you either that weekend or when I get back the next week. I'll hold this offer over for at least a few days after the show.
The offer of free shipping is for new orders placed during RMAF 2013 and for a few days after the show, and will only
be valid for sales within the Contiguous 48 U.S. States and some of Canada. Other restrictions apply, so please
contact me to work out the details of this offer.
I apologize that this is not the most interesting newsletter I've every produced. Please forgive me, if you only knew how hectic it is around here right now. I'll be back in form a few weeks after RMAF with another newsletter wrapping up the show and updated you on what's happening here at Volti Audio.
Thank you for your support, and until next time, I hope it all sounds good!