Review: Vivid Audio GIYA G3 Series 2 Loudspeakers

Would you be surprised to learn that the Vivid GIYA G3 Series 2 loudspeakers sound like a larger version of the Vivid K 45 loudspeakers I reviewed back in July of 2023? Yet somehow even more than simply bigger?

The GIYA G3, a 5-driver, 4-way, are in fact larger than the K45 while they share the same high frequency driver, the Vivid D26—26mm metal dome unit with Tapered Tube loading. The GIYA G3 employs the Vivid D50 midrange driver—50mm metal dome unit with tapered tube loading—paired with the C125—125mm alloy cone unit with tapered tube loading—for the lower mids with a pair of C135—135mm alloy cone unit with short-coil long-gap motor design—filling in the lower frequencies. The G3’s frequency response is rated at 36 – 33.000 Hz (+/- 2 dB on reference) with a 87 dB (@ 2.83 VRMS at 1 m on axis) sensitivity and a 6 Ohm Nominal impedance, 4 Ohm minimum.

The GIYA G3 stand a bit over 40” tall and as you can see they are kind of bell shaped, like me, bulging out as they reach the floor. The cabinets are made from glass fiber, resin, and Soric (a polyester based fleece formed into hexagon foam cells) with a carbon fibre base while weighing in at a back-friendly 92.5lbs a piece. You can see a good bit of the two tapered tubes for the HF and Mid drivers coming out from behind those drivers and meeting up with the arc that forms the better part of a circle as well as the tapered tube for the lower-mid driver while providing structural stability for the entire cabinet and doubling as a curling tapered tube absorber for the paired C135 drivers that completely eliminates top-to-bottom resonances to deliver sharp, accurate bass according to Vivid. All of the drivers are protected by honeycomb metal grills that attach magnetically and the dual binding posts are hidden in a small cavity underneath.

Function informing form.

If you’d like a bit more on the Vivid story, you can visit the company website and read my review of the Vivid K 45 where I dig into some detail. I’d also recommend giving that review a read because the GIYA G3 share many of the K45’s basic qualities while adding a few more, mainly related to size and scale as you might expect. Just like the K45 and every other Vivid speaker, the GIYA G3 are made in the company’s South Africa-based facility and that includes the in-house fabricated drivers.

the review pair are finished in Land Rover Green, a custom color that adds $3000 to the G3’s price

I paired the G3 with a number of integrated amps including the lovely Viva Solista (review), Audionet HUMBOLDT (more info), Constellation Inspiration 1.0 (review), and the Barn resident Leben CS600X. Digital duties were shared between the review Grimm MU2 (more info) and the Barn resident Mola Mola Tambaqui (review) and totaldac d1-unity (review), as well as the review totaldac d1-triunity (more info) which were all paired with the Barn resident Auralic ARIES G1.1 streamer (review) or the recently reviewed ARIES G2.2 (review). All cabling and power conditioning came courtesy of AudioQuest while all of the gear sat on racks from Box Furniture (full system/Barn details). During the GIYA G3’s 2-month+ stay, they got to play on the Barn’s A- and B-sides.

If you compare the manufacturer’s specs for the Vivid K45 and GIYA G3, you may come away thinking, “Hmm. Not much difference with the Frequency Range—3dB on the bottom end and 11Hz up top but that additional reach of the G3 begins after 25kHz.” But then you’d be ignoring the dual drivers in the G3 for the mid-range, the larger woofers, larger cabinet, the actual sound, and how all that translates into the experience of listening to music. It’s that last part that some people, typically men with way too much chair time in front of a computer, conveniently ignore which is like looking at Géricault’s 16’ x 23’ painting Le Radeau de la Méduse on your smart phone screen and concluding it’s not that impressive. Some things, most things, need to be experienced to be experienced.

My main takeaway after spending weeks listening through the Vivid GIYA G3 formed itself into two words in my mind when thinking about conveying the gist of that experience—unimpeachable magic. Let me elaborate.

Anenon is Brian Allen Simon on tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, and piano plus field recordings on his 2023 release Moons Melt Milk Light, a study in simple beauty. I chose this piece to begin talking about the Vivid G3’s way with music because of its acoustic simplicity where the sounds of piano, sax, and bass clarinet highlight these speaker’s strengths mainly because they enter the room as if arriving directly from the instrument instead of through a hifi with all the resplendent weight, tone, texture and sparkle alive and alight in Barn. The Vivid speakers release sound energy into the room with an ease and grace I’ve not heard bettered and they dissolve as sound source like some kind of Houdini illusionist trick, with music being the diversion.

From the liner notes:

All of the music was improvised with everything recorded as either a first or second take with no edits. Any layering happened fast and in the moment, and yet the sonic architecture of the whole feels both planned and refined.

Paired with the Leben CS600X, which drove the G3s without issue on the Barn’s 21’ x 35’ B-Side with the ARIES G1.1/totaldac d1-triunity taking care of the bits, Simon’s touch on the piano keys and the resultant sounds drifting off into silence in space were reproduced with live-like energy and body, turning the Barn into some other much more mysterious place. Effortless, seamless, and stunning, this system made this music come to life with startling energy and scale, filling the Barn with every last bit of sound and in turn me with every last bit of emotion captured on this simple, stunning record. Brilliant.

If you read my review of the Viva Solista integrated amp (review), you may remember I used Luigi Nono’s Como una ola de fuerza y luz to test drive this combo on the Barn’s A-Side and what a wild ride they did provide. The Viva amp has plenty of rich drive coupled with superb resolution, a real La dolce vita attitude in sound, which imbued the Vivids with that much more sparkling rich life. In terms of sheer sonic excitement, the Viva/Vivid pairing was a heavyweight champ, delivering the full scope of the wild ride for soprano, piano, orchestra, and magnetic tape as performed by Maurizio Pollini on piano, soprano Slavka Taskova, conductor Claudio Abbado and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Scale, in-room energy, and a richness in tone and texture made this music transform the Barn into one big living breathing incarnation of this beautiful beast of a recording. Bravo!

I also happen to think the Viva/Vivid combo made a lovely visual pair with their rounded organic forms. Both companies offer custom color finishes so you could order your Viva/Vivid to match. Just a thought for those who like to look and listen.

Pelt’s debut album Brown Cyclopaedia, originally released in 1995 on the band’s own Radioactive Rat label as a limited edition (300) double LPs, is pure (long) song-form guitar-driven trippy psych rock that ranked 6,520th in the top albums of the 1990s! Pelt is a trio—Patrick Best, Mike Gangloff, and Jack Rose—who are joined here by a few guests on “instruments” for this jaunty, druggy ride. I let the review Audionet HUMBOLDT integrated and its 320 Watts of pure, and I do mean Pure, power drive the daylights out of the Vivids for some stadium-sized Pelt in Barn. If you like big, clean, endless power coupled with superb transparency, delicacy and delight, the Audionet/Vivid pairing may be for you.

And the GIYA G3 can rock, capturing all of over-driven guitar led energy of Brown Cyclopaedia as if barely touched by a hifi. To fill in this system picture, the review Grimm MU2 acted as streamer and DAC so we’re looking at two boxes, granted one really BIG box, and speakers that together offered some of clearest, most transparent sound I’ve had the pleasure of drinking in. I’m talking about clean powerful music as sound energy so fully resolved it was like listening directly through to the source.

And by “source” I’m not talking about the recording—as if a recording is somehow a thing in itself that belies its human origins—I’m talking about the music being made sounding as fresh, vital and alive as music being made in all its guttural glory. Heavy.

Kofū / 古風 by Meitei / 冥丁 is a delicate wonder of a record, released on the Kitchen. label in September of 2020.

From the liner notes:

On ‘Kofū’, Meitei masterfully closes his trilogy of lost Japanese moods with an engaging interrogation of artforms and aesthetics as a provocation — or, as fashioned in the album’s subtitle, a “satire of old Japanese aesthetics”. Each entry’s distinct flavour has earned Meitei acclaim for conjuring a bygone culture through his transportive form of ambient music. ‘Kofū’ arrives as a deconstruction of this approach. His first release with KITCHEN. LABEL, Meitei has quietly defied expectations set by his previous two albums, while continuing to challenge modern notions of Japanese sounds.

Paired with the Constellation Inspiration Integrated 1.0, Auralic ARIES G2.2, and totaldac d1-unity, Kofū entered the Barn’s A-Side as a delicate and wondrous thing, fragile and flickering like a movie made of sound telling tales foreign yet familiar.

Here, the smallest sounds are of equal importance as the largest movements and the Vivids proved to be equally adept at capturing the macro and micro allowing this gentle music to feel fully formed in the space of the Barn. The Constellation integrated is also a master of the nimble and fluid so this system breathed real life into Meitei’s web-like wisps of sound. Lovely.

Larry Young’s Unity was released on Blue Note in August, 1966 and features Young on organ, trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, and drummer Elvin Jones. It is, imo, a prefect record, including the cover art by Reid Miles, and I dig, yes dig, its near free jazz forms and deep pocketed groove. One thing about jazz and the people who make it, especially these people, is they are master at their craft, practitioners of the art of the instrument, which to my mind helps account for a free-flowing energy that feels like a natural force, purposeful yet spontaneous, structured yet free from restraint.

I let Unity play through on the B-Side with the Auralic/totaldac/Leben/Vivid combo and this system hit that groove hard, feeling at once super agile, rich, and forceful enough to evoke images of Young at his Hammond B-3 with Elvin Jones’ near manic energy singing away like high tide washing everyone else along. Supreme energy materialized. And I want to highlight, again, the Vivid’s release of all that masterful energy that felt about as free flowing, as unrestrained, as any speaker I’ve had the pleasure to spend real time with. That effortless speed translates into in-room music energy that is infectious and all-consuming in the best possible way without ever sounding over-hyped or under-weight. Floats like a butterfly, stomps like an elephant.

While it’s been a while, about 7 months, since the Vivid K45 were here, I can still recall their ability to dissolve into music. The GIYA G3 share this magic trick and add real weight, body, and a more fully realized physical form to music, making the experience that much more moving, that much more exciting. There’s simply more there, there that goes well beyond what any spec can ever tell you.

Over the course of the Vivid GIYA G3 Series 2’s nearly 3-month Barn stay I remained enrapt by the music in play as the combined skills of effortless, forceful, and highly resolving musical prowess consistently turned the experience of listening to recorded music into pure unimpeachable magic. When hifi offers this kind of transformative experience, turning listening into endlessly energized experience, I can only offer my highest recommendation.

Vivid Audio GIYA G3 Series 2
: starts at $47,800/pair in Piano Black, Lexus Pearl White, and Oyster Matte, +$3000 for custom colors as reviewed
Company Website: Vivid Audio
US Distributor Website: GTT Audio


Configuration 4-way 5 driver system
Cabinet material Glass reinforced balsa cored sandwich composite, carbon fibre base
Cabinet colour Piano Black, Lexus Pearl White, Oyster Matte
Bespoke colour Any PPG automotive colour available on request
Drive units HF: D26 – 26 mm metal dome unit with Tapered Tube loading
Mid: D50 – 50 mm metal dome unit with Tapered Tube loading
Lower-mid: C125s, 125 mm alloy cone unit with Tapered Tube loading
Bass: C135 – 2 x 135 mm alloy cone unit with short-coil long-gap motor design
Bass loading Exponentially Tapered Tube enhanced bass reflex
Sensitivity 87 dB @ 2.83 VRMS at 1 m on axis
Nominal impedacnce (Ω) 6 nominal, 4 minimum, low reactance
Frequency range (Hz) -6dB points: 33 – 36.000 Hz
First D26 Break Up mode: 44000 Hz
Frequency response 36 – 33.000 Hz +/- 2 dB on reference
Harmonic distortion
(2nd and 3rd harmonics)
< 0,5% over frequency range
Cross over frequencies (Hz) 220 – 880 – 3.500
Power handling (music programm) watts rms 800
Loudspeaker dimensions 1.161mm (H) x 341mm (W) x 578mm (D)
Net weight 42kg