A visit to Philip O'Hanlon and the Vivid G1 loudspeaker

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,040
20
38
Marina del Rey, CA
#81
I'm of the opinion that I can't do w/going back to SS. Having heard Vitus SS recently, plus the Auro3d 12.4 mch system using SS, Bakoon SS w/the Liszts, and my experiences over the years w/recent amp upgrades from Roksan SS to Advantage SS, to Hovland Radia SS, now to Audion SET and currently Nat SET, I'm not going back.
For me there are enough options where SETs would sound great eg my current Zus, AG Trios and Duos, prob the Cessaro Chopins and Liszts, and most likely the Sadurni Staccatos. Whereas I'm so wary of the aural fingerprint of SS that this counters the advantages of eg Giya G1's/JBL Everests.
This is a topic for a thread I will prob fire up soon.
Maybe if I can wangle a home demo of the G1's...
Spirit, yes I think you'd need push/pull tubes for the Vivids (Vac maybe?)

Funny how our ears are all different- I have heard Audions, Melody 845, and Audiopax 88s in the past few weeks...including the Melody 845 for several weeks at home on loan. I still prefer the DarTZeel on my Defs! I do have a tricky set of Quad ii Jubilees (Gold Anniv version) stopping by this weekend for more fun- but they are a secondary set of amps, not a replacement.
 
#82
Spirit, yes I think you'd need push/pull tubes for the Vivids (Vac maybe?)

Funny how our ears are all different- I have heard Audions, Melody 845, and Audiopax 88s in the past few weeks...including the Melody 845 for several weeks at home on loan. I still prefer the DarTZeel on my Defs! I do have a tricky set of Quad ii Jubilees (Gold Anniv version) stopping by this weekend for more fun- but they are a secondary set of amps, not a replacement.
Unfortunately, I am inclined to agree with Keith that high performance PP is probably a better way to go rather than high power SETs. While I have heard the CAT, VAC & VTL do a fine job driving various Giyas, I have yet to hear a high power SET that has the drive, especially in the bass department. Which ever way you go, please listen to the amps at home, with your speakers before committing to a purchase.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,414
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48
E. England
#83
Phillip, what is the issue w/SETs and potential lack of control? Is it just power, or something more fundamental in the tech?
My Nat SE2SEs are rated at 60W/ch, but the Nat Transmitter using a Phillips tetrode per channel is 120W, and the frankly scary Nat Magma is comfortably 170W/ch.
Would it be possible to vertically biamp the G1s, using my existing SE2SEs for the mids/tweeters, and the Transmitters or Magmas for the bass?
Or is it an issue beyond power, ie SETs fundamentally are not suited, no matter how powerhouse?
I am totally smitten by Nat, feeling it is unique in the world of amplification - I've heard Boulder, Koda and Ypsilon at 3-4x the price, and Nat I feel is superior.
It would give me serious food for thought if G1s could be married w/Nat SETs.
 
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Jan 29, 2014
983
0
0
Cape Town South Africa
#84
The efficiency of the G1's has improved since the $phile review, the xover has been tweaked , its evidently close to 92db
I dont see an issue if you use your SETS for the midbass/mid/treble section and something seriously potent for the bass control
You will still get the set "goodness" and below 220hz you wont get the SET "flabbyness" , best of all , you can add bass DSP on only the bass section with an offboard unit.. which then solves any AD regarding your phono stage etc .. you will need to get gains right and with DSP , there *might* be some sort of latency
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
6,414
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E. England
#85
Rodney, do you think SETs rated at 120W/ch or 170W/ch could work in the bass? These are respectively the Nat Transmitters and Nat Magmas.
From the experience of my existing 60W/ch Nat SE2SEs, Nats seem to lack for nothing in the grip and headroom department, having a certain SS vice-like quality, while still allowing music to fully breathe.
I would REALLY like to stick w/SETs all 'round, to maintain tonal continuity, esp w/the x'over to the G1 woofers at 220Hz, which means a lot of intelligible upper bass/lwr mids info coming out of the G1s sidefiring woofers, that can only benefit from SETs.
 
Jan 29, 2014
983
0
0
Cape Town South Africa
#86
My Devialet is 250w/6 ohms , or about 180w/8 ohms.. drives my speakers with plenty headroom to spare..and I listen to my music loud. I have never felt , heard or wanted more power..
Cant see why 120/170w wont work..
You already have the amps..
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,414
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E. England
#87
Well Rodney, I currently only have the Nat SE2SEs at 60W/ch powering my Zu Def 4s 101dB/1W full range drivers/Radian supertweeters (they have built-in 400W/ch Lundahl transformer Hypex Class D amps to cover subs duties). So my idea would be to retain these to purely power the mids/tweeters of the G1s, x'd via eg Trinnov dsp, to one of the pair of 120W/ch or 170W/ch Nat SETs monos for purely powering the G1 woofers.
The reason I would really favour doing my best to maintain SETs to the woofers is that since they cross at 220Hz, there must be a fair amount of lower mids info covered by the them (whereas the eg AG Trios x/o from SET driven lower mid/upper bass horn lower down at 100Hz to SS-pwrd Basshorns G2's, and the Zus pass via simple Duelund cap/resistor network from the SET driven full range drivers at 40Hz to SS sub amps.

Only issue, is that I'll be doing my best via wall to wall tubes to melt the glaciers and raise the sea level worldwide by a couple of inches at a conservative estimate. A fair trade-off for another 10% towards Audio Nirvana, yes?
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
1,467
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UK
#88
My Devialet is 250w/6 ohms , or about 180w/8 ohms.. drives my speakers with plenty headroom to spare..and I listen to my music loud. I have never felt , heard or wanted more power..
Cant see why 120/170w wont work..
You already have the amps..
Just bare in mind that the Devialet has *extremely* low output impedance and can grip the bejesus out of most difficult loads. SETs have high output impedance, which will impair their ability to drive difficult loads. I have not seen NAT data so can't comment on them per se. I also have not seen the NEW measurements that you describe so perhaps it is not so much of a problem. With the old measurements in Stereophile, the speaker impedance load looked pretty darned mean and would essentially be <4 ohms for quite a portion of the frequency response if driven with an amp with high output impedance.
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
1,467
30
48
UK
#89
Well Rodney, I currently only have the Nat SE2SEs at 60W/ch powering my Zu Def 4s 101dB/1W full range drivers/Radian supertweeters (they have built-in 400W/ch Lundahl transformer Hypex Class D amps to cover subs duties). So my idea would be to retain these to purely power the mids/tweeters of the G1s, x'd via eg Trinnov dsp, to one of the pair of 120W/ch or 170W/ch Nat SETs monos for purely powering the G1 woofers.
The reason I would really favour doing my best to maintain SETs to the woofers is that since they cross at 220Hz, there must be a fair amount of lower mids info covered by the them (whereas the eg AG Trios x/o from SET driven lower mid/upper bass horn lower down at 100Hz to SS-pwrd Basshorns G2's, and the Zus pass via simple Duelund cap/resistor network from the SET driven full range drivers at 40Hz to SS sub amps.

Only issue, is that I'll be doing my best via wall to wall tubes to melt the glaciers and raise the sea level worldwide by a couple of inches at a conservative estimate. A fair trade-off for another 10% towards Audio Nirvana, yes?
Hi Marc,

I think the solution you are suggesting would be able to work but I can't help but feel that £ for £ an alternative solution would offer greater audio pleasure and performance - more specifically as your solution requires the additional purchase of more NAT monoblocks as well as a new Trinnov unit, you would IMHO be better off spending that incremental budget on an even better pair of speakers that can be driven with your current NATs. Anyway - just my two pennies fwiw.
 
May 30, 2010
14,110
77
48
Portugal
#90
My Devialet is 250w/6 ohms , or about 180w/8 ohms.. drives my speakers with plenty headroom to spare..and I listen to my music loud. I have never felt , heard or wanted more power..
Cant see why 120/170w wont work..
You already have the amps..
Surely your Devialet has headroom enough - but once you connect a slave amplifier you find that even at low power the performance of the whole system increases significantly. I was not prepared for this difference, but once I experienced it I could not go back. We have also to add a good digital 75 ohm to connect both amplifiers.


As far as I know the 120/170 can not be be used in dual mono.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,414
65
48
E. England
#91
Bill and Rodney, the Nat SETs power output specs are apparently good for BOTH 8 Ohms AND 4 Ohms, and the bottom line is SE2SEs at 60W/ch at 8 Ohms AND 4 Ohms, Transmitters at 120W/ch at 8 Ohms AND 4 Ohms, Magmas at 170W/ch at 8 Ohms AND 4 Ohms.
I've trialled Boulder, Ypsilon, Koda, BAT, and owned Roksan, Advantage, Hovland, Audion, and Nat is just a shade less refined than Ypsilon and Koda, warmer than Hovland, more accurate than BAT, just a smidgeon less grippier than Boulder, but is streets ahead of ALL of these in it's ability to combine sheer SET delicacy, texture and air w/the leading edge and thrust of the best SS.
So, you can see why I don't fancy swapping them out, and if beefier Nats can work w/the G1s based on these specs, then it opens up an interesting divergent choice from sticking w/Zu or SOTA horns like the Trios.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,414
65
48
E. England
#92
Hi Marc,

I think the solution you are suggesting would be able to work but I can't help but feel that £ for £ an alternative solution would offer greater audio pleasure and performance - more specifically as your solution requires the additional purchase of more NAT monoblocks as well as a new Trinnov unit, you would IMHO be better off spending that incremental budget on an even better pair of speakers that can be driven with your current NATs. Anyway - just my two pennies fwiw.
Bill, generally concur. Years ago, I pretty much gave up on further interest in buying any further box/dynamic spkrs. I don't really have any interest in Wilsons, Magicos etc, they just leave me cold. The Zu Definitions that I've invested in twice just gives me that "x" factor of tonal density that I've found impossible to replicate elsewhere. And maxxing them via SETs and finding a true hidden gem in the Nats has cemented my loyalty to the synergy of this pairing. And of course SETs have opened up the possibility of going down the SOTA horns route eg Trios, w/no amp mismatch concerns, or need for a second set (the Basshorns have on-board amps, as do the subs in my Zus).
But our good friend Bonzo75 is adamant that spkr choice trumps all. If the Giyas slay the Zus, and are better o/all performers than the Trios, then his opinion is, funds and room permitting, don't hesitate to ditch all for the G1s, and just do a 180 on the amps back to SS to suit them. This mode of thought made even easier in my case since he's, ahem, not a fan of my sound (Does he hate my sound? Is the Pope a Catholic?).
If I read btwn the lines, I believe you're saying stick w/SETs and go SOTA horns like the Trios. I can't really disagree, I'm just investigating the Giyas, because I like the design ethos, the engineering, the left-field feel of the product, the fact it isnt Wilson or Magico etc, the fact the Laurence Dickie is - a true genius from the Nautilus days, and that it's an option I shouldn't shy away from etc. The buzz on them seems so positive.
 
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Jan 29, 2014
983
0
0
Cape Town South Africa
#93
120/170 refers to his amps , not devialet ,I can see where it could be confusing

I have tried biamping the G1's , but found better sonics with just my d premier feeding it all

I would like to have gone for a 2nd one , but it was a toss up between spending the money monoblocking and a complete redo and full treatment of my listening room and I chose the no brainer option .. the room ...

I use kimber orchid and illuminati d60 as digital cables , and also use the stuff meridian supply with their DSP speakers .. some van den hull stuff afaik

I did stick an 8w 300b based SET on my G1's .. just for fun , predictably it was not a great match.

I dont think the woofers just handle everything below 220 .. for certain one cant hear any directional sound from the woofers -200hz from them would be quite directional.?
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,733
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#94
As I said before, some of the best sound I have heard in this hobby has been provided by the Giya G1's. If I had the space to house these speakers in my room, they would be my first choice. I would imagine that the CAT amps or the larger Rowlands would be a great match up. Another option...D'Agostino mono's, plenty of current for the G1's.
I also think the Nordost cables work great with the Giya's. I have heard them with Nordost Tyr and Valhalla 2, both cables worked great. Rodney, i used to use Van den Hul cables, I am certain that you would get a tremendous boost in SQ if you went over to Nordost.
 
Last edited:
Jan 29, 2014
983
0
0
Cape Town South Africa
#95
Im only using the AES/EBU and spdif coaxial inputs .. use the kimber stuff for that.

As to speaker cables I use Munsdorf silver ribbon .. and use the same silver ribbon as the links under the G1's
Its difficult to get good cable to try here .. I always buy my cable 2nd hand.. at 20% of original cost..
I am a believer in cables , but differences re real subtle .. often an improvement here means a compromise there,
As to how you approach things..
We all have personal taste and in fact a perfect listener curve at listening position is a preference and taste based thing anyway
so my take is that the speakers and room are a single entity and have to already sound good to you..the rest is just fine tuning
You can choose speakers and model the room round them or choose speakers that work with the room if you cant modify the room.. kinda like a which came first , chicken or egg..
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,002
102
63
London
#96
Continuing from Steve's visit, detailed here, http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...Steve-Williams&p=385049&viewfull=1#post385049 after leaving Sam's, on the way back we made a short stop at Philip O Hanlon's.

I have heard the Vivid Giya G1 on two occasions perviously. Once with the Ypsilon Aelius 200w hybrids, then at Joel's in France where we compared the Ypsilon Aelius with the Luxman M800 bridged monos (both with Coincident linestage). I have heard the G2 at Munich with CH precision electronics, and the G4 with Spectral DMA 360 .

The CH was at a show, so I can't comment much, but after ABing with the Ypsilon, I thought the Luxman M800 were excellent on all fronts. They drove the Vivid's effortlessly. I was therefore excited to see that at Phillip's he had the Luxman 1000's in a bridged fashion. His room is ginormous, over 40 feet length and height.

Interestingly in such a room the G1s are set up near one wall in a nearfield listening space with glass behind the listener's head. Yet the room was pressurized with no problems, and there was no slap echo from the glass. The Vivid's have one of the best tones I have heard, full and rich, and listening to the Luxman on the vivid's has made it one of my favorite solid state amps. Vivids can do both rock and classical equally well, as they have superlative slam and bass with no integration or crossover issues. The mid bass for brass and baritone vocals is probably the best I have heard. Violins have a rich tone, there seems to be no unnecessary harshness or irritation, and the forward soundstage is excellent.

In one of the rooms I had heard the G1 interacting a lot with the room, and thought it needs to be pulled way out from the sides and the front, but Philip has one of his speakers right up against his stairs and there were no issues. The speakers can play loud, slam, perfect bass integration, with full rich body tone. Nothing more that one would want sonically, just check them in your room to see if they work and that should be it. If I were to get Vivids, I would get Luxmans. I will seriously audition the M800 or 900 on most speakers, including ribbon planars. They are stable down to 1 or 2 ohms, and while the M800 is 60w * 8ohm, once bridged it goes up to 240 * 4ohm. The M900 is even more powerful. Very well engineered.

One frustrating thing was that I saw there was a pair of Classic Audio Tad horns in the corner but not set up, so it was a missed chance to listen to another set of classic speakers.
 
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MadFloyd

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May 31, 2010
2,396
6
38
Mass
#97
Vivid is an amazing product. Still can't get the G3 I heard at Axpona completely out of my mind... would love to hear a G1!
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#98
Continuing from Steve's visit, detailed here, http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...Steve-Williams&p=385049&viewfull=1#post385049 after leaving Sam's, on the way back we made a short stop at Philip O Hanlon's.

I have heard the Vivid Giya G1 on two occasions perviously. Once with the Ypsilon Aelius 200w hybrids, then at Joel's in France where we compared the Ypsilon Aelius with the Luxman M800 bridged monos (both with Coincident linestage). I have heard the G2 at Munich with CH precision electronics, and the G4 with Spectral DMA 360 .

The CH was at a show, so I can't comment much, but after ABing with the Ypsilon, I thought the Luxman M800 were excellent on all fronts. They drove the Vivid's effortlessly. I was therefore excited to see that at Phillip's he had the Luxman 1000's in a bridged fashion. His room is ginormous, over 40 feet length and height.

Interestingly in such a room the G1s are set up near one wall in a nearfield listening space with glass behind the listener's head. Yet the room was pressurized with no problems, and there was no slap echo from the glass. The Vivid's have one of the best tones I have heard, full and rich, and listening to the Luxman on the vivid's has made it one of my favorite solid state amps. Vivids can do both rock and classical equally well, as they have superlative slam and bass with no integration or crossover issues. The mid bass for brass and baritone vocals is probably the best I have heard. Violins have a rich tone, there seems to be no unnecessary harshness or irritation, and the forward soundstage is excellent.

In one of the rooms I had heard the G1 interacting a lot with the room, and thought it needs to be pulled way out from the sides and the front, but Philip has one of his speakers right up against his stairs and there were no issues. The speakers can play loud, slam, perfect bass integration, with full rich body tone. Nothing more that one would want sonically, just check them in your room to see if they work and that should be it. If I were to get Vivids, I would get Luxmans. I will seriously audition the M800 or 900 on most speakers, including ribbon planars. They are stable down to 1 or 2 ohms, and while the M800 is 60w * 8ohm, once bridged it goes up to 240 * 4ohm. The M900 is even more powerful. Very well engineered.

One frustrating thing was that I saw there was a pair of Classic Audio Tad horns in the corner but not set up, so it was a missed chance to listen to another set of classic speakers.
Great report...thanks for an interesting read. I have read great things about those Classic Audio Tad horns...always a next time! Meanwhile, how do you feel about these vs the panels with which you have been spending time?
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
9,002
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63
London
#99
Great report...thanks for an interesting read. I have read great things about those Classic Audio Tad horns...always a next time! Meanwhile, how do you feel about these vs the panels with which you have been spending time?
Both are rich in tone, and full sounding. Vivid has more bass and slam and integration, though the Apogee full range will have even more bass and slam, but will need a much bigger room. I would suspect the G1 would need a bigger room than Duettas or Omegas. I don't know anyone driving Vivid with valves, while Analysis can be. IME, Luxman is the best match, and should be a great match for ribbons as well, but then you could drive the Amphitryons with high powered SETs.

Panels easier to fit in your room as long as you have space from the front wall and that wall is flat. All the Vivids I have been were in big rooms and suspect smaller rooms might need to be treated to get them to interact less. Vivids better on off axis, of course. Also more all rounded (i.e. rock will play better)
 

MadFloyd

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May 31, 2010
2,396
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The last time I heard Vivid G3's was with CAT electronics and it was outstanding.
 

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