Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022

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Triode Pete

Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« on: 21 Feb 2022, 11:14 pm »
Here' some feedback (no pun intended) from Positive Feedback!

Florida Audio Expo - Part 1
02-19-2022 | By Tom Gibbs | Issue 119

Volti Audio featuring Border Patrol and Triode Wire Labs

I ventured over to Greg Roberts' room to see what he had on display at FAE, and was somewhat surprised to find that the room was featuring the Volti Razz loudspeakers I reviewed at Stereophile in 2020 (you can read that review HERE). As always, Greg's room featured tube amplification from Border Patrol, the excellent and very musical Border Patrol DAC, and digital disc playback and streaming from Innous. All cables in the system were supplied by Triode Wire Labs, and the system synergy was nothing short of superb. True to my recollection of the Razz, they were dazzlingly great-sounding loudspeakers, and Greg told me that he'd made several recent crossover modifications to the design and was considering replacing the tweeter with an improved version. They sounded just as good to me as they did during my time with them from a couple of years ago, and at a base MSRP of $6k, are one of the runaway best buys in high-end audio. They're an exceptional deal for a hand-built, made in America loudspeaker that will give you so much more than just a taste of the high end! And they'll play any kind of music with a scale of realism that simply must be heard to be believed, and are so very efficient, only a few tube watts are needed to get maximum performance from them. The Border Patrol amp provides 14 triode watts per channel, and that was plenty of juice to drive them to reference levels.

Later in the day, Greg's room was reconfigured to showcase the improved version of the next model up in Volti's lineup, the Rival. It's now produced using the same CNC-machined cabinet construction as used in the Razz, and Greg only uses Baltic birch plywood, which is acoustically superior to mdf. An incessant tinkerer, Greg has also upgraded and refined the Rival's crossover elements; the improved fit and finish and parts selection gives the Rivals a seductive sound that makes them truly impressive at $14k. You can elect to go with an outboard crossover arrangement (the crossover cabinets are beautiful too!), and that will jack the price up slightly, but listeners seeking every nuance in increased performance would definitely want to go that route. The room was crowded both times I was there, and even sitting far off-axis, I was still  able to get a really great stereo impression, and the sound was simply magnificent! And even though the room the Rivals were displayed in was relatively smallish, the sound was never overpowering—and the 14-watt Border Patrol amplifier was more than up to the task of driving the Rivals to peak efficiency.

The Triode Wire Labs cables are seriously robust, and use connectors from the likes of Furutech and Cardas throughout the line. The interconnects utilize Ohno Continuous Cast 7N copper, and all Triode Wire Cables are made in the USA. You'd be hard pressed to find that kind of attention to detail anywhere, especially at the relatively low price point these excellent cables retail for. And "Triode Pete" Grzybowski is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet; it's great to hang with guys who not only are extremely knowledgeable, but also plain fun to be around!

Thanks, Tom!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« Reply #1 on: 22 Feb 2022, 11:00 pm »
Here's a Video Review of the Room from the Audiophile Junkie...


Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« Reply #2 on: 27 Feb 2022, 02:18 pm »
Additional coverage from Steve Rochlin from Enjoy The Music!

Triode Wire Labs
Power Cables: The Obsession premium audiophile power cords, with Furutech FI-50 NCF connectors, used on the PI Audio Group UberBUSS power conditioner as well as the BorderPatrol S20
Amplifier power supply - $1399 each.
Digital American audiophile digital power cords used on the BorderPatrol DAC, Innuos ZENith
Music Server & Innuos Phoenix Reclocker – starting at $499 each.
Speaker Cables: American Speaker Cables audiophile speaker cables terminated with premium Cardas CAB bananas – starting at $699 per set.
Interconnects: Spirit II RCA interconnects, hybrid material design utilizing Ohno Continuous Cast 7N Copper – starting at $399/pr.
Digital Interconnects: Split Power & Data USB cable, a true 90 Ohm digital cable with separate Data & power legs, used on the Innuos ZENith – starting at $399 each. Discrete USB cable, a 90 Ohm USB cable with combined power & data leads- starting at $329 each.
Freedom Ethernet cable, starting at $249.
All Triode Wire Labs products are proudly & meticulously hand-made within the USA.
Volti Audio Razz speaker $6900 per pair.
BorderPatrol S20EXD A 16W/channel parallel 300B SET power amplifier $21,100
BorderPatrol DAC S/SE-i non-oversampling DAC $1075 on up.

Thanks, Steve!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« Reply #3 on: 28 Feb 2022, 10:31 pm »
Coverage from Part Time Audiophile!

A visit with Greg Roberts in the Volti Audio/Border Patrol/Triode Wire Labs room at any audio show is destined to be an absolute hoot. If you have never had the pleasure of hearing end-game 300b amplifiers with a fantastic complete cable loom feeding what might be the world most sonically arresting horns, then do yourself a favor and try to rectify this (glaring, borderline negligent) oversight.

So, I’m a horn acolyte and have a bit of a triode obsession.  Perhaps that made me gravitate
towards the Volti/BP/TWL room in the first place, but I stayed because of the sound, the attitude,
and the atmosphere. I even got some flair to go with my press pass!

I started day one at FLAX 2022 here like a moth to a flame, and was happy I did, because while
the signal path didn’t change, Greg Roberts of Volti brought two of his most popular and most
current loudspeakers, the New Rival and the Razz (reviewed here and here). Day one featured the New Rivals (starting at $14,000 per pair), while day two focused on the under $6k/pair Razz, Greg’s newest product.

The result is the Volti Razz, which at approximately 15% smaller than the Rivals, and it makes so few
compromises it is astounding. The Razz soundstage is incredibly wide and deep while retaining
the spooky disappearance act. I’d have to have the Rivals and Razz in the same room next to each
other in order to parse out any miniscule difference. That said, Greg Roberts demonstrated that the
soundstage to the Rival is certainly larger than the Razz.

For all that have been indoctrinated from birth on anti-horn sentiment, let me assure Greg
Roberts has spent a lifetime researching and building horns and has absolutely perfected any
shortcomings from the previous decades. His use of the Tractrix horns have completely eliminated any midrange colorations or shouty quality; this combined with the front-firing woofer and excellent compression driver tweeter make this one of the most forgiving speakers in terms of placement I have ever experienced.

There are a couple tracks that stood out; “Black Is The Color (Of My True Love’s Hair)” written by Nina Simone and performed on Round Nina by Gregory Porter. Mr. Porter’s baritone voice hung in the air like shimmering samite. Ella and Louis’ rendition of “Summertime” from the ’58 Verve recording of Porgy and Bess lifted the veil on Satchmo’s quiet laughing, something I had never heard before.

I was able to chat with Greg Roberts just before the show ended, and asked him what was on the horizon for Volti. As is on his website, he has temporarily stopped production of the Vittora in order to introduce the second-generation of his fully horn-loaded flagship speaker. Additionally, and as an exclusive Part-Time Audiophile scoop, Greg told me that he has been deep at work designing ELF cabinets for the new Vittoras, and he is also designing ELF cabinets to match both the Rivals and the Razz.

We’re definitely looking forward to future Volti Audio products from Greg Roberts, and we’ll also be reporting more both BorderPatrol and Triode Wire Labs shortly.

Thanks, Matthew!


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Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« Reply #4 on: 1 Mar 2022, 01:42 am »
"True to my recollection of the Razz, they were dazzlingly great-sounding loudspeakers, " ... .  Geez, I would hope so, powered by a $21,000 amp!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« Reply #5 on: 5 Mar 2022, 09:40 pm »
More stuff, this time from Home Theatre

The speakers are Volti Audio Razz horn-loaded models with a two-inch horn midrange, a one-inch neodymium horn tweeter, and a 12-inch ported woofer. They almost look kit-built but closer examination revealed a truly high-end fit and finish. The sound was extremely detailed with perfectly balanced bass. They’re rated down to 35Hz. As shown, they retail for $5,900 a pair which is bargain basement for a show like this. Spoiler: they sounded just as good as the super-expensive stuff.

Amplification was courtesy of a Border Patrol S20 two-channel unit rated for 18 watts per channel Class A. It had no problem driving the Razz since their sensitivity is 97dB (1w/1m), it wasn’t much warmer than room temperature in fact.

Thanks, Chris!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2022
« Reply #6 on: 12 Mar 2022, 05:12 pm »
Some additional feedback from the Absolute Sounds Alan Taffel...

New and Noteworthy

Five “Inspirational” Systems (in no particular order)

The Volti/Triode Wire/BorderPatrol The hybrid horn/bass reflex Volti Razz speakers in this system may not have had the deepest bass or the most precise imaging, but their sound was utterly realistic thanks to the all-important midrange being just right. With $7k speakers and a $21k Border Patrol S20EXD 16Wpc, 300B SET amp, plus modestly priced Triode Wire cables, this $30k system fits comfortably into what passed for “Inspirational” at FLAX. (Wait till you see how much the show’s “Aspirational” systems cost!)

Thanks, Alan!