Viola Gets Small—and Big

Small seems to be the next big thing—the new black, maybe. Viola Audio Labs introduced its 9" W by 4.3" H by 16" D 75W Forte monoblocks ($10,000/pair). Like its big brothers, the Forte has a minimum of internal wiring, which along with its compact dimensions, keeps signal paths short. It has a 1M ohm input impedance, making it easy to drive, and this is said also to improve HF performance and transient response, according to designer Tom Colangelo's colleague Paul Jayson. It uses minimal negative feedback and a choke input filter power supply.

Jayson's modular speaker was also on display. The Allegro Reference Monitor ($32,000/pair) contains a 2" Eton ribbon tweeter, a 2" Dynaudio dome, and an isobarically mounted pair of 6"Skanning midbass drivers in a time-aligned, tapered baffle. The Basso Passive subwoofer sports a pair of isobarically mounted 12" Skanning woofers in a rigid 1" MDF enclosure.

I listened to Tuatara's "Afterburner"—no that's not quite right, I experienced "Afterburner" as though I was in the front row of a jazz club. The rhythm was visceral and the saxes had a ragged bite that saxes have in real life but seldom through hi-fis. The xylophone shimmered and floated between the speakers—again, with that disembodied palpability that it has in real life (the overtones sound solid, but not at all connected to those metal keys that actually produced them). It was special. As in many hotel room demos, the bass wasn't quite as vivid or present as the lower mids through the highest highs, but I can't say whether that was genetics or environment. I'd sure like to find out, though.

Kenny's picture

The External Link has an error it is pointing to www/ instead of www.violalabs.comCheers

Stephen Mejias's picture

>The External Link has an error it is pointing to www/ instead of www.violalabs.comThanks for the correction, Kenny. We've made the change.

Paul Jayson's picture

My colleague Tom Colangelo did the design work on the Forte amplifier.

John Atkinson's picture

>My colleague Tom Colangelo did the design work on the Forte amplifier.< Thanks Jayson. I corrected the text. -- John

Jennifer's picture

Financier and philanthropist Gary Winnick recently welcomed a delegation of United Nations Ambassadors to his Los Angeles home. The ambassadors and diplomats from eight countries attended a reception as part of a three-day trip to Los Angeles in June sponsored by U.N.

jayz7's picture

Many awesome gadgets are being released but their price is way too much to afford :(