ViV Laboratory Evanui Signature
When I ran into Tyler Beebout and Jackson Paddon, they were all wide-eyed and jittery.
"Have you seen those alien speakers yet? You have to check them out! After listening to them, I feel like I've spoiled myself for the rest of my life. I don't know what to do now."
Shit, I hadn't seen the alien speakers yet. They were talking about ViV Laboratory's exotic Evanui Signature single-driver horn-loaded loudspeaker ($60,000/pair).
"Wow," I said. "It kind of looks like a flower."
"No, E.T.!" exclaimed the Evanui's designer, Koichiro Akimoto.
The strange creature stands over four feet tall and extends nearly two feet wide at its base. The 3" "Floating Diaphragm Mechanism" drive unit has no surround, and nearly floats freely from the speaker itself. Akimoto demonstrated this for me by simply pulling the driver from its place, like pulling an eye right from it's socket.
"Evanui," says Akimoto, means "vanish" in Latin, and the design goal was for the speaker to vanish from the room, leaving nothing but music.Stephen Mejias
I thought the unusual-looking Evanui Signature ($60,000/pair, not yet available in the United States) from Japan was producing nicely detailed, lovely sound. These speakers did an especially wonderful job with Elly Ameling's radiant soprano voice. The sound was unveiled, natural, and gratifyingly full. What was most amazing was that the designer, a chemical engineer by trade, was using as his source a $150 Sony multi-disc changer that he had picked up at Best Buy the day before. (The addition of the Marigo Signature 3-D mat Version 2 that I was carrying around made a huge difference). He had wanted to bring his EMM Labs player, but feared that it would be destroyed during transit from Japan. He also was using Best Buy speaker cable, having erred when he was packing his own.
The rest of the equipment was far better: an EMM Labs preamp ($20,000), Eficion prototype 200Wpx class-AB amplification, and a proprietary interconnect. I can only imagine how good this system would have sounded had the source player and speaker cable been up to snuff. Dealers looking for a new line, and audiophiles with a love for adventure and speakers that make a definite fashion statement would be wise to check this speaker out.Jason Victor Serinus