Soavo-1 Subjective Listening Tests
For these listening sessions we utilized a high quality Marantz PM-11S1 reference quality stereo integrated amplifier. Our measurements of this product showed that it will absolutely make sure that there are no excuses for the Soavo-1's to not be able to perform to their utmost potential. For cables, we utilized Impact Acoustics Velocity terminated speaker cables.
I pulled a few of my favorite reference material for this listening session. Overall the comments I would make include the fact that these speakers play very low and smooth. For music purposes, there is no reason you would need to add a subwoofer to get the most enjoyment out of your system. Additionally, I found that the Soavo-1s tended to sound better toed-in a bit more than most speakers I've listened to. The sweet spot wasn't excessively wide (about two seats held together well) when the speakers were toed in, but it wasn't like listening to as pair of electrostats either. If anything, this is where I felt the speakers could benefit from additional tweaking - the drivers require extra care in placement if you want them to sound just right. Beyond that I quickly realized that these speakers were extremely musical and sounded good with nearly all types of music, provided the dynamic range was intact. Compressed MP3s can make even good speakers sound bad, so if you're doing loudspeaker evaluations, be sure to know what you're putting into the system.
CD: Yello - The
The closer you are to these speakers the more you will want to toe them in for best imaging. They image incredibly well - it's almost uncanny. You'll know you have it right when the speakers disappear, melting into your listening room. If you're sitting less than 9-10 feet away, go ahead and point these puppies almost straight at you.
Though track 14 is titled "Planet Dada (Flamboyant)" I think the "click and pop" track describes it nicely. There is nothing analogue about this track and it lends itself to an incredible opportunity to hear some really wild and dynamic imaging. I now use this as one of the track to dial in any speakers I am reviewing.
Near the end of this track a harsh digital phone ring sound pops out that actually made me jump and turn my head to look back into the other room! Now two things need to be said here. One, I knew that I was listening to a bunch of electronica music so I should have been prepared, and two I don't have a wireless phone that sounds anything remotely like this. And I still jumped and looked and had to actually think about it for a few seconds - it was that well imaged.
The last minute of this track makes a good set of speakers, and I'm now including the Soavo-1s in that designation, image in full 3D space. Sounds pop and sweep behind you as if you were listening to a full 5-speaker surround system. Take into account the ability of these speakers to play down incredibly low and I could upgrade that to 5.1.
In track 5 "Junior B" harsh female vocals dominate, but they come across as though you are listening live, with a hot, breathy vocalist standing right in the room with you. There is a lot of powerful but smooth bass in this track, including some nice sweeps that never once caused the Soavo-1 speakers to chuff or break a sweat. When they ran out of frequency below 35Hz, they simply bowed out gracefully. Given what I heard I'd have a hard time wanting to add a subwoofer for music reproduction. Cranking the system up on this track there was plenty of tactile energy and it didn't sound artificial. If anything, adding a sub or two might simply help compensate for deficiencies in your room acoustics.
CD: Steely Dan - A
Decade of Steely Dan
Track 6 :"Hey Nineteen" has long been a reference track of mine to hear how well a system recreates the feel of a wide studio recording. When the choral backing vocals came in, I found that the soundstage extended well into the room, making for a very pleasing and realistic sound. The snap on the kick drum was firm and you could almost feel the guitar being played - so clear was the string noise. Vocals were as clear as could be expected given the recessed nature of this mix and overall positioning of images within the soundstage was accurate and wide. I did note that the midrange sounded a tad thin during some of the more solo vocal lines, though I am a midrange snob and it's tough to make me happy.
Despite my comment about midrange, I noted that the tenor saxophone in "FM" was stunningly realistic and came though as if Pete Cristlieb were hanging out about 10 feet in front of me. I like having musicians play in my living room, so a good set of speakers is imperative for this experience. I felt that the Soavo-1's had a nice punchy midrange that didn't refrain from pushing out the parts of the music often lost by speakers that don't have enough cone area dedicated to this task. It certainly seemed as if the Soavo-1's dedicated 4-1/2" midrange was excelling at its given duties.
CD The Riotous Brothers - The Riotous
This band was mastered by a friend of mine in Orlando Florida who was one of the Engineers on the Eagles' Hotel California album. While a bit hot, there are some awesome guitar and vocal tracks within this album that really show the detail in any speaker system. Track 1 "Deja Voodoo" features an accentuated guitar and some nice Hammond B3 organ as well as clear stage-mixed drums that sound authentic and live. The entire mix feels like the Brothers are quite literally playing on a stage in front of you. There are no excessively wide pans and the drums don't jump across the soundstage as if they were 30 feet wide.
The guitar intro in track 2 "Real Mother for Ya" is one of the cleanest electrics you'll ever hear. I love the texture of the snare in this track and it really came though clean, telltale ring and all. The male vocal had an edge to it that didn't break up or have any nasally sound. The rhythm guitar panned left had some very nice staccato picking sounds and you felt as if you could reach out and grab the medium plastic pick as if it were right there for the taking.
The bass open of "Strange Face of Love" was smooth and clean, while the electric guitar and accompanying vocal both had this gritty sound that again had that absolutely 'live' sound you her when checking out a band at a small, intimate pub. Being from England, this is probably the way you would most commonly experience The Riotous Brothers, so that was a good call on the part of the mix engineers. I don't recall hearing such a live album in a long time that wasn't compressed flat. The Soavo-1's really allowed this CD to emulate a late evening music performance that had me closing my eyes and feeling as if I had left my living room. What I loved best was getting the sound of a night club performance without all the smoke.
Could the subdued mid-range be due to the loss of the "Wave-Guide-Horn" in the Soavo-1, rather than the driver design? But why has Yamaha stopped using its White Spruce (WSD) cones. It was claimed, at the time, to the "world's lightest cone material."
I Think this is wrong. What you show in the picture is the crossover for the bass drivers and not for the tweeter. (In many speakers that are bi-ampable they put the crossover for the bass drivers in front of the crossover for the mid and tweeter) I think they (Yamaha) use a high quality Solen capacitors for the mid and Tweeter. Here is a picture of the crossover components:
Glad I could help. I purchased my Macross Plus soundtrack back when it was released in the US. Now I would try ebay.
If you are a fan of Macross Plus music you might also like the music from Cowboy Bebop. It was written by the same person, Yoko Kanno. The opening song from Cowboy Bebop is called "Tank", and I think it just rocks!
Good luck with your speaker search and your CD search.
i already have the best of cowboy bebop, and also escaflowne: lovers only. they are very good. if u think cowboy is good, then u most definitely seek out escaflowne if u like orchestral work ( for example carmina burana or conan the brabarian soundtrack). no ebay for me, too many fake ones. so i will get them from hmv japan.
By the way, those are some of the cutest baby pictures I have ever seen. They make me smile everytime I see them.