Style by O'Hanlon

First of all, I loved the way On A Higher Note’s Philip O’Hanlon coordinated his outfit with both his demo room and the Vivid B1 loudspeakers—the dude can rock a Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts, and slippers like nobody’s business. Second, it was awesome to hear O’Hanlon say, “Up next is a song by Destiny’s Child, with Beyonce, called ‘Bills, Bills, Bills.’

“And what’s interesting about this,” O’Hanlon continued, “is that you’ve probably heard it a million times on the radio, but you’ve never heard it like this.”

Philip O’Hanlon was right: I had never heard it like this—big, clean, powerful, and nearly alive, with exceptionally tight bass and overall awesomeness. Beyonce was practically in the room and I was gawking as she shook her hips and clapped her hands. I doubt that Beyonce herself had ever heard it like this. I looked over my shoulder to make sure Jay-Z wasn’t in the room to catch me staring. People came from the nearby bar, from down the long corridor, from the seminar rooms, and from the vinyl marketplace, all drawn by the sound of the music.

If my friends had heard “Bills, Bills, Bills” sound this good, they’d all want a hi-fi, too. This particular system was made of Vivid Audio B1 loudspeakers ($14,990/pair); a surprisingly robust, class-A, 20Wpc Luxman L550AX integrated amplifier, with phono stage, tone controls, and very good looks ($5400); a sexy Luxman PD171 turntable ($6400, with Brinkmann Pi cartridge); an Audioaero Capitole Reference disc player; Audience Adept Response power conditioner; and Klee Acoustics cables.

O’Hanlon followed Destiny’s Child with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and, with that, clinched the title for “Best Music of the Show.”

kana813's picture

Local Hawaiians don't tuck in their Aloha shirts.;-)

remlab's picture


proth's picture

The Vivid B-1 coupled to the 20 watt Luxman produced prodigious sound in a very large room.  Certainly one of my top picks for best of show.  The B-1 may not go as low as the Vivid Giya range can, but they still go low and maintain the fast, clear, and uncolored sound for which Vivid is justifiably praised.  From 50Hz on up, nothing at the show (at any price) was significantly better IMO, although I would ultimately give the nod to both the Vandersteen Sevens driven by ARC valve electronics, and the TAD Reference Ones driven by a TAD front end.