Although it was shown in protype form at the 2008 CES, the Giya from South African manufacturer Vivid ($58,000/pair) is now in production and was being demmed in US distributor On A Higher Note's penthouse suite at the Mirage hotel with Luxman amplification, Nordost Odin cabling, Quantum power conditioning, and open-reel tapes from The Tape Project's second batch of releases played back on a Tim de Paravicini-modified Technics deck.
The Giya's composite enclosure may look strange but it is a strict case of form following function: the twin side-firing woofers are each loaded by a long tapered transmission line that is curled over to reduce the speaker's height. Designer Laurence "Dick" Dickie used transmission-line loading for all four drivers in his B&W Nautilus but in the Giya modifies it by adding a port just behnd the driver. (He has applied for a patent on this topology.) Like the original Nautilus, the Giya's drive-units all use metal diaphragms, the goal being to achieve perfect pistonic behavior in each of their passbands.
The room at the Mirage, with one wall glass, which reduced LF extension by an octave, but the sound was otherwise everything I expected from an audition I had had of the Giyas playing the hi-rez masters of my own recordings in the importer's home just before Christmas: silky, smooth, extened highs, uncolored, delicate-sounding mids, astonishingly tight, deep, powerful lows, and soundstaging that was accurate, tightly defined, yet expansive.
"Oh Momma!" as we say in my home country.
The Giyas really do need a bigger room than mine to work their best, so I will not be reviewing them for Stereophile. But one lucky member of my team will be doing so!