I first heard Vivid Audio's B1 speakers at CES 2004, Philip Guttentag (founder) was the S.African Halcro distributor and I was seriously impressed with their performance. I subsequently heard them in a multi-channel set up at the Munich High End show. My German friend Meik Wippermann (who presents for different manufacturers at the Munich High End Show, was the first person I met to actually own Vivid speakers & he swore by them). The following year Philip G showed up at our home with a pair of K1 speakers and proceeded to plonk them down in our office in front of my custom QUAD ESL57 (in non-magnetic stainless steel frames) and quickly hooked them up to the amp on hand. Pandora & I were both floored; the sound was as fast as an electrostat, as uncolored but had really serious bass & threw a wide & deep sound-stage (which the ESL57 cannot achieve). Pandora quickly declared that this was the first speaker she heard that could replace our beloved ESL57.
Unfortunately for us, Philip G decided to go with Musical Surroundings for US distribution and we thought nothing more about Vivid until a year later (2006) Garth dropped Vivid as he had a divorce to contend with and Philip G turned around & offered us the line and we quickly accepted.
Quite honestly the first few years with Vivid were a real struggle to get audiophiles to look past the cabinets & give the speakers a serious listen. Most dealers & audiophiles could not deal with the non-rectangular shapes, it was a tough slog.
Things started to look up with the introduction of the Giya G1; here was a worthy successor to the B&W Nautilus & reaction was quick though the sales were slow. The Giya series is truly functional art & many non audiophiles do not recognize them as speakers. We have been asked more than once why we have two identical sculptures in our living room. It was the introduction of the Giya G3 that started sales moving in the United States and our sales & dealer base have been growing steadily since. The G3 delivers performance that belies its diminutive appearance. The first country to really take Vivid seriously was Japan and Stereo Sound magazine (published in Chinese, Korean & Japanese) gave the K1 a Grand Prix prize in 2006, which was quickly followed by another Grand Prix & Golden Sound for the Giya G1 in 2009 and then the Giya G3 in 2012. Things started to pick up in the US when Stereophile gave the K1 Loudspeaker Of the Year award in 2012. Last year (2104) we shared the Loudspeaker Of the Year award with the Wilson Audio Alexia but also won Overall Product of the Year for 2014. Meanwhile on the internet, SoundStage gave the Giya G2 their Product Of the Year award in 2012. SoundStage has been a terrific champion for Vivid Audio and we are really grateful for their support.
We are in the process of finalizing a collection of videos that explain why the Vivid Audio speakers look unique and we will post the links shortly. Laurence Dickie (designer) does not rush new products out every year. In fact when Vivid Audio launch a new speaker next month at the Munich High End Show, it will be the first new speaker in almost a year and a half. I will forward photos next month from Munich - can't wait !