A serendipitous confluence of events occurred this past Friday. My interest in the Giya G3 speakers were awoken once again, and so earlier this week I reached out to Philip O'hanlon to find the nearest dealer in my area for a listen. As luck, or perhaps fate would have it Philip was in town visiting Music Lovers on Thursday and Friday, and the San Francisco store had the Giya G3s set up and available for a demo.
First off, let me mention that Jae, Hugh, and Max were all very accommodating and hospitable, with Hugh taking lead duties in ensuring the speakers and the rest of the equipment were setup properly and ready for listening. More so in light of the fact that originally I had to cancel the appointment due to work commitments, and it was only on the morning of Friday I changed my mind, and they were able to slot me in at 1PM.
Second, I was very fortunate the Philip was in town, and took the time to be there to show me the Giyas and to answer any questions I might have. Oh, and did I forget to mention, to provide the best music demonstration I have ever had in my life. That included playing material to show off the various facets of the Giyas, selections per my request to hear how tunes I were very familiar with sounded on the Giya, and some other selections either entirely new to me, or transformational when heard on the Giyas. Also I would be remiss in not mentioning that Philip has the best needle drops (selection and quality) that I have ever heard in my life.
Everyone was patient and gracious, and very learned. It felt like a casual gathering of friends on a Friday afternoon enjoying the pleasure of listening to good music.
The listening room was slightly larger than my own which measures 13.5' wide, 23' deep and 9' tall.
As I mentioned earlier, I had for quite a while had an interest in the Giyas, but never had a chance to hear them. In addition I have now spent enough time with my own system to understand its strengths and suspect some of its weaknesses. So my goal going in was to both hear the Giyas and determine if they provided those elements I found lacking in my system.
Well, I can tell you these speakers delivered all of that and more. Wow! I have never been so literally blown away and delighted by a listening experience in my life. I know everything I am about to write will sound like hyperbole, but the classical selections played sounded very close to being seated at a concert. I actually felt like clapping at the end. I have never heard pianos and violins sound so life like. I have never heard complex passages so uncongested and the dynamics, from soft to explosively loud were incredible, the speakers never faltered for a moment.
Shelby Lynn, Just a Little Loving, sounds wonderful in my system, but on the Giyas, it is a whole different level. The tempo, the capability of the speakers to start on a dime, and to stop effortlessly with no overhang of notes is something that needs to be heard to be appreciated.
And truly the purr of the electric guitar on some of the tunes, is better than I have ever heard it rendered ( yes, I play guitar and bass ).
I believe a track was played of Taiko drumming as well to show the superb rhythmic capabilities of the G3s, simply astounding.
I had read previously reports of how sensational the needle drop of Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side sounded on the Giya G3s. At one point Philip mentioned how one could hear the singers moving closer and further away from the microphones as they were singing, well I missed it the first time because I was mesmerized by the sounds of the bass drum, especially the quick double kicks during the song, which I had never heard before. I did catch the background singers as they moved closer and closer to the mikes during the latter half of the song. Just amazing playback on this tune, the vocals, the distinct sounds of both the electric bass and acoustic bass, the splat of the horn, I could have listened to it a dozen times easily.
OK, as this is getting rather long, at least for me, I will get to the point. These speakers are simply amazing. The best I have heard, and yes I have not heard as many speakers as many of you out there. The dynamics, the cadence, the effortlessness, and accuracy in sounds is beyond my feeble words. The soundstage, detail, clarity and all these other intangibles, truly result in a speaker that "gets out of the way". And they could play louder than I would ever want to at home without losing any of the qualities I enjoyed at lower volumes.
So, these speakers more than met my expectations, they had qualities I didn't even know existed. Ever have that moment when you just wanted to whip out the old checkbook and say, "I'll take them!", well that is how I felt.
Key take aways, Music Lovers is a wonderful, accommodating establishment, Philip is a wonderful and gracious host and a pleasure to spend time with, as it transcends the equipment and is about the love of music, and the Vivid Audio Giya G3 speakers should be on anyone's short list to audition, if you can afford them.
p.s. another way to think about it is, these speakers are a music lovers speaker.