VIVID AUDIO Giya G1 Spirit

MJ19.02.2021

Floorstanding loudspeakers

The sound structures as if were cut out by Christmas dough stamp, contoured, beautiful, with a bit of sugar on top. Vivid Audio don’t have to proof to anyone that they can built great speakers so they also can afford a tad of signature and comfort in the sound to satisfy the real music lovers, not only audiophiles. 

100% reference

Function and form

90%
Ease of use
90%
Sound
98%
Appearance

The Giya G1 Spirit is Vivid Audio´s current flagship speaker. It is a 4-way speaker that uses 5 separate drivers, the most unique being the aluminum tweeter and one of the midrange drivers that are vented into exponentially tapered tubes to reduce, if not completely remove, any structural resonances and reflections inside the cabinets. The midrange is actually split between two drivers in Spirit – the lower midrange driver works between 220Hz and 880Hz and the upper midrange driver from 880Hz to 3.5 kHz. Both the drivers are significantly upgraded versions that were found in the original G1 with the goal to push break-up modes beyond the operating spectrum of drivers and optimize their thermal conditions. Dtto can be said about the tweeter that takes over at 3.5kHz and which sees its first break-up mode at 44kHz, far from the audible range.

Vivid Audio continues to use a pair of woofers – mechanically connected inside the cabinet - firing out to sides. As both woofers work in phase and are connected they effectively cancel the stress on cabinets. Also the woofers were completely reworked for the G1 Spirit and Vivid Audio claims +30% greater excursion compared to the original G1’ s woofers. There are bass reflex ports on the G1 Spirits: for symmetry each woofer is vented by a curved slot so the speaker looks like having gills.

There are no crossovers in the cabinets for they are encased in external boxes that connect via umbilical cables to the speakers. The crossovers allow for bi-wiring. I liked this solution over the inaccessible terminals of the G3 S2 that I reviewed last year: it is just so easier to connect any loudspeaker cable to the external boxes.

The Giya G1 Spirit grew up in their internal volume over their predecessors and although they are shorter by 10cm, they are deeper and wider. This guarantees specified 25Hz - 36kHz. Unequivocally the Spirits are full-range speakers. Their cabinets are glass-reinforced balsa-cored sandwich which appears counter-intuitive: most top loudspeaker manufacturers do everything possible to make enclosures thick and heavy to fight resonances. Vivid Audio advocates rather lightweight (although purportedly curved) cabinets for there are always some resonances, no matter how heavy the cabinets are. With less dense structures the resonances are higher in frequency which, due to much higher density of room modes, has less audible consequences.

Bass management

Weight
95
Slam
94
Articulation
95

The bass, supported by the gills, is powerful and orchestral bass – like the one in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet – proves it. The G1 Spirit also proves that there is bass directionality provided that it is complete with harmonics, so the bass section in the orchestra is clearly heard in proper spatial relation to the string section. However, the bass of the Vivid is not of Wilson Audio’s slam type, rather it co-exists with the music and enriches it. Thus jazz saxophones benefit from the extra body    that added a physical dimension to them; similarly the electric bass blooms with contoured yet round sound, moves your shirt shortly and disappears with no smear and boominess. With really deep bass recordings, like the 25Hz pulses found in Dark Knight soundtrack, the Giya G1 Spirit can pressurize the room with an intensity of a detonating bomb. The philosophy of Vivid Audio about how cabinets should be built eventually pays off.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
95
Air
93
Transparency
94

Out of sheer curiosity I put Metallica’s Ride The Lightning into the CD player. The soft guitar introduction was entirely different from what I am hearing with other speakers. It was very delicate and detailed at the same time, as if the G1 Spirit’s tweeter domes were from silk rather than aluminum. I could detect slight roll off towards the top end which added to the overall ‘easy listening’ impression. I could also appreciate that something like an intro to a heavy metal record was too ordinary for sound engineers to pay attention to it, so it is actually quite a beautifully recorded little piece of music.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
86
Dynamics
90
Temporal resolution
92

Should I point out just one element of sound that I liked the most about the Vivid G1 Spirit it would the “beauty of tone”. Instruments and voices  just excel in how natural they are, free from coloration and full of colors. There is no top down or bottom up tilt in how the G1 Spirit sound and in fact at first listen I was ‘underwhelmed’. It is only after you listen more and more when you are drawn into the Vivid’ s presentation. The seemingly simplistic Dish Rag cut (Thelma Houston & Pressure Cooker, I´ve Got Music in Me, Sheffield) is ushered by two dueling keyboards and often I use to hear them either like tuned down Steinways or honky-tonky Wild West uprights. Not with Vivid where, the both pianos are, eh, vivid.

Spatial resolution

Holography
95
Soundstage width
95
Soundstage depth
95

Just a fraction of second before the bow touches violin string in Dvořák’s Scherzo there is the moment of going from digital zero to the ambient soundfield of Prague’s Rudolfinum hall. This very moment places Pavel Haas Quartet at a very concrete acoustics conditions that are disconnected from your listening room. It is as if the G1 Spirit generates an acoustic within the acoustic. Yes, I missed a bit of fanatical focus that some beryllium and diamond domes can throw and the Vivids were perhaps too delicate to my ears. On the other hand these are not speakers for small rooms and in the big ones diffusion supports ambience rather than “mixing desk” accuracy.

Yet, in the midsized room that I used the Giya G3 S2s disappeared better than the G1 Spirits. This does not mean they were better- only that their integration in the room was more seamless. The Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit are speakers that ask for good amplification and careful placement – only then they have the potential to be the proverbial final destination.

Price as reviewed:2 100 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

RP Audio, Ostrava, +420 737 366 831

Associated components

  • Sources: Gryphon Ethos
  • Amplifiers: Gryphon Antileon Evo koncový zesilovač, Gryphon Essence předzesilovač
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Gryphon VIP, Gryphon XLR
  • Power conditioning: Stromtank 5000, Gryphon VIP Power

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