Volti Audio Special Edition Rival Loudspeaker, BorderPatrol P20 EXD Power Amplifier and DAC SE-i, Innuos Zenith Music Server and Phoenix USB Reclocker, Triode Wire Labs Cables

In celebration of their first 10 years in business, Volti Audio unveiled a newly redesigned version of their Rival SE (Special Edition) speaker ($19,900/pair), seen here in an eye-catchingly exotic bubinga wood veneer (a rosewood option is also available). Although its side-curved form appears quite substantial, the horn-loaded hybrid floorstander can be sonically suitable for larger or smaller spaces. With its horn drivers and a sensitivity spec of 100dB, the Rival SE also makes for an easy to load-perfect for the 300B-powered BorderPatrol P20 EXD amplifier. The three-way Volti also features matching external crossovers that are user-adjustable, and Triode Wire Labs internal wiring.

Regrettably I didn't have much time for listening but at an aural glance I recall hearing the horn-associated traits I appreciate, such as nimble immediacy, effortless smoothness, and fast transient attacks.

The digital front end consisted of an Innuos Zenith music server ($4249 to $5649, depending on amount on onboard storage; 1TB up to 4TB available) and Phoenix USB reclocker ($3149) ahead of a BorderPatrol DAC SEi version (with SPDIF and USB connections) that plays digital files up to 24/96kHz and features a tube/solid-state hybrid power supply with choke input filter. Prices range from $995 to $1850, depending on options for connectivity, SE version power supply, and internal components upgrades. System cabling was provided by Triode Wire Labs.

The highly efficient Volti speakers were driven by a 20Wpc BorderPatrol P20 EXD power amplifier (from $17,750, depending on 300B tube options), with a push-pull design that has interstage phase-splitter/driver transformers and uses no negative feedback. Living Voice 300B tubes are available for an upcharge, as is a volume control option for $500. The amp's sweet SET output and copper and hardwood chassis make it a good match for the Volti Rival SE in every way.