Made in the U.S.A. - Built by Greg Roberts
The Vittora is a fully horn-loaded, three-way, high-efficiency speaker system that
delivers wide dynamic range, high output, and extremely low distortion. It
IS a horn speaker, and it gives us everything we like about horns while minimizing the
problems that plague some other horn designs. The Vittora strikes a balance
between the sound of a high-end, smooth, audiophile speaker, and the in-your-face, lively,
dynamic sound of a big horn system. It is unmistakably true to the all-horn
format, but polite enough to be taken seriously by any audiophile.
For a quick note about my photos - click HERE
The Vittora utilizes a 15" woofer in a folded horn to produce solid, accurate bass. Even at high output levels, the distortion from this horn is undetectable, and the result is a quickness and definition that you can only get with a horn design. There's no ported bass sound with this horn speaker! You get tight, accurate bass, a correct sounding upper-bass/lower-midrange, and perfect integration between the bass and mid.
The Vittora uses a large wooden midrange horn with a tractrix flare that I build myself. The horn has a 2" throat and uses a large-format midrange compression driver with a 3-1/2" voice coil. This combination of large, solidly built wooden horn with a large throat and huge midrange compression driver results in a midrange sound that is effortless and easy to listen to. There is no constriction of the sound through a tiny throat, there is no edginess, graininess, or honky sound that so many other horn designs suffer from. The Vittora midrange is smooth and articulate, dynamic and uncolored. The midrange is truly the heart of this loudspeaker, and the listener is rewarded with a musicality from this midrange horn that is very rare in this industry, at any price.
The tweeter was carefully chosen to provide the same sensitivity and dynamics as the rest of the system, and the high end is crisp, yet lush.
I do the design and construction of the crossovers myself, using very high quality parts, and I have spent countless hours tuning the crossovers by ear, and confirmed with testing.
Volti Audio Vittora Speakers at RMAF2011 Receive
"While the Volti Audio Vittora may resemble a Klipschorn or Belle Klipsch, it certainly didn't sound like either one -- or like a horn-loaded speaker, period. It was devoid of the main problem with so many horn-loaded speakers: a midrange that displays the standard cupped-hands coloration."
"'Volti' is Italian for 'turn the page', and turning the page on horn-speaker performance issues is just what the Vittora seems to do.
I am an audiophile and I like horn speakers, and those two things often do not mesh well with one another. It's no secret that in the audiophile community, horns are often looked down upon, and I understand why when I listen to other horn speakers. The Vittora is designed to be a break-through product that minimizes and/or eliminates the problems that some audiophiles identify with horn speakers, while maintaining the elements that I have enjoyed listening to my whole life.
The Vittora speakers provide all of the wonderful attributes of horn-loading throughout the entire musical spectrum, in a relatively compact package, and they do so with all the dynamic range and life-like realism that we expect from a horn speaker. The Vittoras also can be described as smooth, uncolored, tonally accurate, and sweet, which are words that are often not associated with horn speakers. In fact, after listening to the Vittoras, many people comment to me that if I hadn't told them, they would never have guessed these were horn speakers. But of course they had to be, because what other topology can reach out and demand your attention the way an all-horn system can?
This unique combination of dynamic realism and smoothness is a result of hundreds of hours of design, prototyping, and building to develop this speaker.
There are relatively few speakers with bass horns available for sale, probably because of the difficulty in producing one that can go deep enough and also sound good through the upper-bass/lower-midrange. Also, bass horns tend to be very large and complicated to build, which drives up cost and limits the marketability. As a result, most horn speakers are built with bass-reflex cabinets, with the only horns being the midrange and/or tweeters.
While this type of format (horns for the upper end and vented bass for the low end) is fine for some people, and designers feel comfortable calling them horn speakers (even though I think they should be called hybrid horn speakers), for me it's a compromise that I didn't want to make with the Vittora. I wanted fully horn-loaded sound for this speaker. Not even a back-loaded horn would do, it had to be a folded horn.
The overall size of the Vittora folded bass horn is relatively small, compared to other folded bass horns, and the size does limit the low-end extension of the Vittora to about 50Hz (in-room measurements with in-room gain). This was a known compromise that was accepted early in the design. There's a balance here, between the size of the cabinet and the low-end extension that was considered during the design phase, as it relates to the sound quality of the upper-bass/lower-midrange, the desire to have the system be fully horn-loaded, and the marketability of the system. It's a balance that is rare in this industry.
The Importance of Upper-bass/Lower-Midrange
So let's talk about upper-bass and lower-midrange a little bit. There is a huge amount of musical information in the frequencies between 150Hz and 400Hz. Here is where you'll find the meat of the midrange, the warmth and soul of vocals, the definition of bass guitar, the punch of drums, the weight of piano, and the depth of the brass section. Without a strong showing in this important frequency range, a speaker simply cannot reproduce music accurately. The Vittora is particularly well suited to cover the upper-bass/lower-midrange because it has a bass horn, and no other speaker topology used to reproduce bass can compare to the sound of a properly tuned bass horn.
Think about the job that the woofer driver must do in a three-way speaker system. The crossover point between the midrange and the woofer is usually between 400Hz and 800Hz, putting tremendous demand on the woofer driver to cover a huge range of sound from very low bass all the way up to the lower-midrange. With the vast majority of speakers on the market today using bass-reflex design, it's just about impossible to expect their woofer drivers to move in and out as much as is needed to produce good low bass and also deliver the lower-midrange frequencies off that same moving cone in an accurate and believable way. There's going to be compromise somewhere.
By contrast, one of the great things about bass horns is that the woofer cone is moving very little compared to bass reflex. The horn itself is providing acoustic amplification instead of requiring electrical power and cone excursion to produce low bass. Less power in, lower distortion out - there is a direct relationship here. So now the critical upper-bass/lower midrange frequencies are coming from a cone that's moving very little and the sound is being directed through a horn that has been carefully tuned to produce great sound in this frequency range. This is why the Vittora is so dynamic, detailed, and able to so accurately reproduce the important low-midrange of a piano, organ, voice, guitar, drums, horns, etc., essentially the most musical parts of a recording, and at the same time, effortlessly reproduce deep bass. There is a real difference here with the Vittora.
"I would rather enjoy the musicality
and tonal accuracy
The Vittora Subwoofer
The Vittora system was designed from the begining with a subwoofer as part of the system. The physics involved could not be changed, and the lowest frequency the Vittora bass horn can play is related directly to the length of the horn and the size of the mouth of the horn. Designing a bass horn large enough to cover frequencies as low as 30Hz would have made the Vittora enormous in size, and that was just not what I wanted for this design. I wanted the Vittora to be portable enough to fit through doorways and to fit into most rooms, and as large as the Vittora is, it is actually a fairly compact cabinet. It was also important to me that the Vittora be aesthetically pleasing to look at, and so the size of the bass horn as it relates to the upper horns in the system had to be considered carefully. Sonically I had to consider the performance of the upper-bass/lower-midrange in relation to the lower bass. Large bass horns tend to suffer in the upper-bass/lower-midrange as much as smaller bass horns suffer to reproduce low bass. Optimizing the upper-bass/lower-midrange was a priority in the Vittora system. Lastly, I needed to consider where the best "point" would be where the Vittora subwoofer would take over the low bass.
All of these things were considered as part of the overall design, and when the dust cleared, 50Hz was that "point" that met all of the design goals the best. A 50Hz bass horn is big but not too big, it is in proportion with the upper horns and could be built to fit in to the design in an aesthetically pleasing way, and sonically 50Hz is low enough that it would minimize any compromise from the non-horn-loaded subwoofer as it blended with the Vittora bass horn.
The Vittora subwoofer is somewhat unique in the industry. Very few large subwoofers are designed to be used with music. A subwoofer manufacturer who wants to sell 1000 large subwoofers each year, must design and build subwoofers that flirt with that sub-20Hz range or it simply will not compete. This is because the vast majority of subwoofers are purchased for Home Theater use, and having a sub that plays really low is important for movie sound effects. But Home Theater subs are not necessarily good for music. The Vittora sub is not designed for Home Theater, it is designed to be dynamic and quick enough to match up to the Vittora bass horn, and this makes it a very musical sounding subwoofer.
The Vittora subwoofer design is offered in two entirely different cabinet configurations, a curved-sided, and a simple rectangle box. In addition, the curved-sided cabinet is offered as a front-firing or a down-firing subwoofer. As of this writing, only one design has been built and photographed; the curved-sided version.
The simple rectangle box subwoofer, (not shown here) uses the same driver and offers the same performance as the curved-sided version, but in a shape that may fit better into some rooms. The rectangle-box Vittora subwoofer can be finished in veneer or simply painted flat black to be hidden behind a curtain or some other out-of-the-way place. The size of the rectangle-box Vittora sub is approximately 30" wide by 30" tall by 12" deep. A 'tiny' cabinet, considering the enormous 18" driver it houses.
The curved-sided version of the Vittora sub really compliments the Vittora speakers in performance, construction, and design/finish. This is the sub most Vittora buyers choose to purchase. As I said before, it is available in front-firing or down-firing configurations. For the Vittora, the down-firing is recommended. The Vittora sub is sold separately and may be used in non-Vittora systems where the crossover point is higher than 50Hz. In that case I would recommend the front-firing version (a $300 option with a grill that covers the driver), that can be crossed over as high as 200Hz.
About half the size (in volume) of the Vittora bass horn, this down-firing sub uses a unique 18" driver that works particularly well in compact enclosures.
Cabinet construction is robust, as you would expect, with 1" thick Baltic Birch throughout, including the laminated curved sides.
Veneer and finish matches the quality level of the Vittora speakers.
This subwoofer is non-powered, so you will need an amplifier and a processor to provide the necessary crossover. There are many choices for these components and I will help you determine what works best for you.
Here's an amplifier that works great with the Vittora Sub.
The MB42 has 300 watts of power and a very nice analogue, 24db slope crossover
network built in. At $1,500 it represents very good value, and can be purchased
directly through Volti Audio.
"Greg Roberts was at RMAF with his Volti Audio Vittora Speakers. They were simply shocking. The speakers look for all the world like a cross between a Klipschorn and a Klipsch La Scala, but sounding like some of the very best horn speakers I had ever heard."
"The $10,600 Volti Audio Vittora, fully horn-loaded, three-way, 104dB sensitivity loudspeaker is good for 50Hz - 20kHz. One look, and you're probably thinking 'Klipsch'. I was, anyway. But the sound - definitely not Klipsch. Based on what I heard, Designer/builder Greg Roberts nailed it. What an amazing sounding speaker. Clearly a contender for Best In Show."
The Vittora speakers are very efficient. Most horn speakers are, but the Vittoras are among the highest with a sensitivity of 104db 1W/1M. They work perfectly with low or medium powered tube amplifiers. They also work well with solid state amplifiers up to 100 watts per channel. No matter what, the most important thing to remember is that the Vittora speakers are extremely revealing of any downstream problems. So the quality level of all of the components, and perhaps most importantly the amplifiers, needs to be very good.
My own preference in a system is to have a very simple electronic path, with a very few high quality components in the chain. I like high-efficiency horn speakers and high quality, low-power tube amps. The Vittora speakers are built for this type of system. A system like this provides the musicality, dynamic range, and the reach-out-and-grab-you kind of interaction that gets me excited to listen to music. The Vittoras do this with only one watt of power and in the most pure and natural way.
with the curved sides and the separation between
the top part and the bass."
Everywhere you look on the Vittora you see
Details, Details, Details
I love to show off the quality of construction in the Vittora speakers. After all, this is where I spend most of my time, actually building these speakers from scratch, myself.
Quality starts in the raw materials used to build the cabinets. I don't particularly like MDF, so I use all Baltic Birch. The outer cabinet components are all 1" thick, even the sides, which I laminate myself out of eight layers of 1/8" Baltic Birch to form the curves.
The veneers I use are all top-quality, book-matched, backed, and sanded prior to installation. Since Volti Audio is a small company providing custom services, we offer hundreds of different veneers for you to choose from.
I spray all my own finishes, including the paint that is used inside the mouth of the bass horn and the many coats of catalyzed lacquer applied to the veneer.
Hardware is of very high quality, from the binding posts used for connections to the hardwood feet used under the bass bins. Take a close look and you'll see that these are built using the parts and pieces that you would want to use if you were building your own.
Here's a few photographs showing the work that goes into making the grills for the bass horn.
The cloth we use is very high quality, acoustically transparent cloth that is woven with durable fibers that will last for decades. Plenty of fasteners are used to secure the cloth to the wood frames.
It is important to me that the cloth be installed perfectly straight.
After the cloth edges are trimmed, the fiber ends are cauterized to keep them from coming loose.
Then ironed to smooth out any roughness.
This picture shows one of the magnets that is imbedded into the frame on the right, and the same place in the frame on the left after the cloth is installed.
The Vittora cabinets are built to be handed down from generation to generation for a lifetime of use.
Here's a 14 second video showing how the bass grills fit into the Vittora bass horns.
"The Volti speaker cabinets are wonders to behold! What beautiful craftsmanship by Greg Roberts, designer of the Volti speakers. They were advertised for $10,600/pr and the demo pair sold during the show. Talk about high Wife Acceptance Factor. Any wife who'd object to the looks of these should be traded in for an upgrade! The Volti Vittora resemblance to the Belle Klipsch speakers is not coincidental. Greg took this design and rigorously improved upon the bass horn flare, cabinet construction and driver quality. Greg was driving them easily with a pair of 2A3 triode amps he built himself from a Canadian DIY schematic. The sound, when sitting in the one magical seat (dead center), was very musical and lively with no obvious horn colorations."
"A tip from Roy Gregory brought us to the room in which DSA and Border Patrol electronics drove "a speaker that looks like a Klipschorn but doesn't sound like a Klipschorn at all," as Roy emphatically put it. The speaker was the Volti Audio Vittora, whose craftsmanship and, moreover, sound belied their $10,600 price. It took all of two seconds to know that this was not your usual horn-loaded speaker. While the dynamic alacrity was present -- the Vittora clocks in at 104dB sensitivity -- the horn colorations weren't.
"The Vittora speakers are simply a joy to listen to music with."
Vittora Quick Specs:
Frequency response is 50Hz to 20Khz
Volti Audio sells direct to our customers, with no middle-men, in order to keep the cost of our speakers as low as possible.
Current manufacturer-direct price for a pair of Vittora speakers is $17,500.00.
The matching subwoofer is $2,900.00 (does not include amplifier or crossover).
Please inquire about discounted pricing on show demo units and other special offers.
A note about Vittora pricing:
Many of you reading this, no doubt have seen Volti Audio Vittora speakers sell for much less than the current price over the last couple of years. Simply put, the Vittoras are a $22,000/pair speaker being sold for much less. Why? I decided it would be better to start with a low price and work it up as time went on, rather than setting a high price right in the begining. Right or wrong, good or bad, this is the decision I made. I tend to go with my gut on these matters, and this is what felt right to me. I figured since Volti Audio was not well known, that I would need to entice buyers in the beginning, and then as we became better known, I could eventually raise the price up to where it becomes a viable product for Volti Audio. The disadvantage to doing it this way is that my customers see multiple price increases with very little change to the product. The advantage is that Volti gets to build product, refine production methods, get a few units out in the market, and build a name for ourselves. This HAS worked! We've been able to cut the number of hours it takes to produce the Vittoras, and quality has increased at the same time. To those of you who took advantage and bought the Vittoras at a lower price, I say congrats, and I hope you enjoy the heck out of them for a very long time!
The Vittora is sold direct by Volti Audio. We do not have distributors or dealers.
If we did sell through a dealer, the price of the Vittora would climb to well over
$35,000 per pair. By selling direct, we can keep prices much lower for our customers.
I know that to some people, the price of these speakers seems high. But
when you consider the quality of the materials, and the amount of time it takes to build them,
the price represents real value.
What you are paying for is a made-from-scratch, heirloom-quality, fantastic sounding
speaker, made in America, and sold direct by the manufacturer; which at the current price, is
actually a bargain in the high-end audio marketplace.
The Vittora speakers and subwoofer are offered in hundreds of different veneers. I work closely with you to help you choose the veneer and I can even provide pictures of the actual veneer sheets we will use on your speakers.
Since different veneers vary significantly in price, I have set a veneer cost allowance for the current price of a pair of Vittora speakers. This allowance is $960 for 160 square feet (five 4' x 8' sheets) of 10-mil paper-backed veneer. That works out to $6 per square ft. This allowance of $960 is included in the current price for the Vittora speakers, it is not an additional cost. As long as your veneer choice does not exceed $6 per square ft., there will be no extra cost for the veneer for your Vittora speakers. There are at least fifty different veneers that can be purchased for under $6 per square ft., including the Bosse Cedar and Tiama shown on this webpage.
These prices are subject to change
at any time, without prior notice. 3/2013
Volti Audio will ship speakers worldwide. We have established relationships with several different shipping companies to safely and economically move these large speakers anywhere in the world.
We also have our own business insurance policy that covers all of our shipments for full coverage loss.
Here are some shipping cost examples for two crates, each containing a Vittora speaker:
Vittora speakers are wrapped in soft poly-foam and tightly packed into a wooden crate, surrounded by 2" of high density foam.
Our crates have wood completely covering all sides. This is not a lightweight crate made with slats of wood, covered in cardboard. This is a rugged, re-usable crate that will protect your speakers from the normal exposure they will face while being shipped around the world. The cost of this crate is included in the price of the Vittora speakers.
Feedback From Vittora Customers
"Greg, just wanted to give you some feedback on the Vittora speakers that I purchased from you. When I met you at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest in October of 2011, I was on a hunt for a speaker to replace my Harbeth 40.1 monitors. RMAF is a great show, and there's almost too much to listen to there. After listening to many nice systems I began to suffer hifi burnout, and I was glad to stumble into your room. What a difference! It felt like I was hearing real music for the first time that weekend. There was a complete absence of the aggressive 'high end speaker' sound that was wearing on my nerves. The Vittoras just made great music happen, and I knew I had to have them. It was convenient for me to be able to pay with a credit card at the show, and I really appreciate the free shipping back to my home in Chicago.
I have lived with the Vittoras for several months now. They have been driven by Fi 2a3 Monos, Fi 421a, Shindo, and Leben amps. The source is always digital stream through a variety of converters. I supplemented the low end of the speaker with the large REL subwoofer. The sound is open and transparent to the point of not noticing the speakers at all. With most of my other speakers I always found myself listening to music through the speaker--trying to ignore or erase the artifacts or shortcomings while listening. The Vittoras have the transparency of Quads, the dynamics of vintage Altec horns, the vocal presence of the big Harbeths, the imaging of mini-monitors, and the scale of the big Maggies. These are all speakers I have owned, loved, and listened to extensively over the past 30 years and I am thrilled to find one speaker that can combine the best points of them all while being driven with my favorite tube amps. It is just a bonus to have them beautifully finished like heirloom furniture. I would keep them in my living room if they were unfinished plywood!
I have found them responsive to changes in cables and interconnects as well as tube rolling and component swapping. I have had the best luck with the simplest of set ups. There is no horn shout, no beaming, and no tippy high end. Compared to other horn speakers, they are a big step into the world of ultimate sound. Thanks for producing such a great product!"
"I just got the Vittoras delivered this evening. I didn't have the help to get them into my livingroom, but I did get the packing crate totally opened, and OMG! You certainly were right when you said I would like the black grill covers, and I most certainly do. My girlfriend was just blown away at the the incredible veneer and the sheen of your new clearcoat. I just stood there for the better part of an hour taking them in and I'll just have to wait until I get a buddy over here who can help me move them in and I can hear them. To say that I am pleased is an understatement. I am very pleased, and I will let you know when I have a chance to hear them."
"Thank you so very much, Dale."
"Wow Greg, this is the kind of sound my ears have been searching for!"
"Other high-end speakers I've owned have left me cold, but the Vittora speakers are warm and full sounding - not in your face, but enveloping. They are like "comfort food" for the ears!"
"I am a huge Jackson Browne fan and I am listening to his Time the Conqueror album and the bottom end is defined, substantial and warm. I absolutely love the bass, it is as perfect as I could imagine it. I will not be using any sort of subwoofer with this system, the sound is very full and satisfying. I am very, very happy with these speakers on every level. They are definitely worth the price to me."
"The Vittora speakers are exactly what I was looking for."
Happy Valley, OR
sonic quality, flexibility, and beauty
at a competitive price point
Here are the photopages of Vittora speakers with various veneer finishes:
The perfect amplifier to go with Volti Audio speakers? I don't often
endorse other products here on my website, but these amplifiers are an exception.
Check out Border Patrol Audio Electronics
If you would like to hear what Volti speakers sound like prior to buying, you are invited to come to our shop in Benton, ME and see the operation and hear our speakers. Fly into Portland and we'll pick you up. You can even stay overnight at our shop if you'd like, or we'll make arrangements for a hotel room.
We also have a few customers who are willing to demo their Vittoras to potential
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Volti Audio builds high end audiphile grade high efficiency horn speakers
with sound quality that is smooth and accurate as well as dynamic and powerful. These
are hand crafted speakers built with Baltic Birch plywood, Baltic Birch bent laminations,
and finished by Volti Audio with fine veneers and catalyzed lacquer.
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