Road Tour: GTT Audio/Vivid Audio Speakers

Last Friday morn’, I took a short drive over a river and through the woods to the home of GTT Audio, the Long Valley, NJ-based dealer/distributor, to hear a bunch of Vivid (Audio) Speakers.

That could easily have read vivid speakers but let’s hold that thought.

Vivid Audio was formed in the early 2000s by a team that included Laurence Dickie and Philip Guttentag, both having spent time at B&W, where Dickey most famously designed the B&W Nautilus (above). If you remember that speaker’s looks, and if you’ve ever seen it you most likely will, the Vivid Audio line will look familiar in a familial way.


The current Vivid Audio lineup is comprised of 10 speakers divided into three product ranges—GIYA, KAYA, and OVAL. Every Vivid Audio speaker is manufactured in the company’s South Africa-based facility where many of the parts that make up the whole are built by hand. Speaker detectives will be stymied when trying to sniff out parts origins as Vivid mostly makes their own including the drivers. I recommend a visit to the Vivid website where you’ll find lots and lots of details to digest but one takeaway that I’ll highlight is the speakers from Vivid Audio look the way they do so that they can sound the way they sound.

My near 5-hour visit to GTT allowed me to spend time with 6 Vivid speakers, ranging in price from the KAYA K25 ($11,000/pair) to the GIYA G1 Spirit ($95,000). Let’s begin at the beginning.

every Vivid speaker comes in standard colors but you can have yours in pretty much any color imaginable (really)

The KAYA K25 is a small two-way floorstanding speaker that houses Vivid’s D26, 26mm Tapered Tube loaded alloy dome tweeter—which is used in every Vivid speaker— along with the C125D, a 125mm alloy cone mid/bass driver. With a frequency response rated by the company at 40 – 25,000 Hz (-6dB), the K25 offered a very robust, full-bodied sound driven by the lovely Mola Mola Kula Integrated Amplifier which I recently reviewed (and loved) along with the Auralic ARIES G1.1 Streamer (which I also reviewed) feeding the Kula’s DAC module with everything wired and powered through cables from Kubala Sosna Temptation! Cables.

While I’ve heard Vivid Audio speakers over the years at hifi shows, this was the first time I had an opportunity to spend more than a hurried few minutes and the K25 offered a perfect introduction to the Vivid sound which is that of free-flowing music energy that feels about as untouched as I’ve heard with a purity that grabbed hold of my attention from the first few notes to reach my ears.

Next up was the K45, swapped into this same system, which use the C100se, 100mm Tapered Tube loaded alloy dome midrange driver and an opposing pair of C125L, 125mm alloy cone unit woofers for a fuller 37 – 25,000 Hz (-6dB) reach. If I said the K45 sounded very much like the K25 with extra umph would you be surprised? One thing I learned during my visit to GTT is Vivid Audio speakers share a house sound that to my ears produce crystal clear highly engaging sound that becomes increasingly full-bodied and room-filling as you move up the line. The K45 is also a small floorstander but one that produces full-range sound that sounded like it could easily fill the Barn. I will test this theory in greater detail when a review pair of Vivid K45s show up at the Barn later this year.

We moved rooms to hear the Vivid K90 and GIYA G3 Series 2 in a much larger space with more associated gear including the new Mola Mola Lupe Phono Stage, which is based on the optional phono module found in the Kula Integrated, which took care of the signal coming from the Kronos Sparta Turntable paired with the Kronos Kronoscope RS Tonearm mounted with a MySonicLab cartridge. The Lupe offers the same long list of analog-based EQ Curves for properly playing back pre-RIAA records! An Audionet Humbolt Integrated Amplifier did the driving, while the Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC and Auralic ARIES G2.1 took care of the bits, with Kubala Sosna Elation! Cables wiring everything together.

First up was the top of the Kaya line K90 speakers that add a second pair of C125L, 125mm alloy cone woofers to the mix. It’s worth noting that these speakers weigh a mere 83 lbs. a piece and produced very full range, room filling sound (rated at 35 – 25,000 Hz (-6dB) by Vivid).

I spent a bit more time here with the Kaya K90 and, after some time the GIYA G3, and was transported to musical magical land in moments. I took some of my favorite tracks for a spin on these systems including “Atemporal” from Lucrecia Dalt’s stunning ¡Ay! and “Go Your Way” from Devin Hoff’s lovely Voices From the Empty Moor that features Sharon Van Etten’s heavenly vocals, music I know all too well. Both songs opened up and unfolded into the room as naturally and forcefully as I’ve heard, with sounds taking on dimensional purity and clarity making for supreme engagement. Supreme.

Once again, moving up the Vivid line with the GIYA G3 Series 2 brought more—mainly the ability to better energize the space of this place offering a more visceral experience. But the overall character of the sound(s) remained very consistent from the K25 on up.

A trip upstairs to a more typically proportioned room found the larger Vivid GIYA G2 Series 2 speakers powered by amplification from True Life Audio including their TLA Supreme Series Pre and Power Amp with another Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC/Auralic ARIES G2.1 combo and Kubala Sosna Elation! Cables. I must admit I’ve grown very fond of larger listening spaces ever since I lived in NYC lofts back in the day, but this large system took hold and controlled this room with real music power.

Speaking of big rooms, the big room at GTT Audio is a purpose-built listening space whose dimensions are loft-like. The Vivid GIYA G1 Spirits were powered by the Audionet Heisenberg Mono Amps/Stern Line Stage combo, with a Grimm Audio MU1 Server/Streamer feeding the Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC, all wired with Kubola Sosna Realization cables.

Big, effortless, body-engaging power coupled with that same crystal clear highly engaging clarity turned music into energy source and we took more time here, stretching out with some Jimi Hendrix, Archie Shepp, and more. Some listening sessions, like every room at GTT Audio on this lovely Friday morning into afternoon, work like shots of energy to my biological system, as if music has the ability to rearrange our thoughts and realign our internal rhythms. This was the case with my day here and I left GTT Audio with my spirits high and my interests more than piqued by the Vivid Audio Speakers.

I look forward to the arrival of the Vivid K45 in Barn so I can get to know them even better. I’ll also share that a larger pair of Vivid speakers will also make their way here even later in the year for a fuller picture of Vivid’s sound and story.

Company Website: Vivid Audio
US Importer Website: GTT Audio

System/Price Details

Room #4

Auralic ARIES G1.1: $3250
Mola Mola Kula Integrated Amplifier: $15,055
Mola Mola DAC Crd for Kula: $8500
Vivid Audio KAYA K25: $11,000/pair
Vivid Audio KAYA K45: $19,000/pair
Kubala Sosna Temptation! Interconnect and Speakers Cable: $1600/1M
Kubala Sosna Temptation! Power Cord: $500/1M

Room #3

Kronos Sparta Turntable: $26,000
Kronos Kronoscope RS Tonearm: $14,000
Kronos Sparta SCPS Power Supply: $9500
Mola Mola Lupe Phono Stage: $9500
Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC: $13,500
Auralic ARIES G2.1: $5700
Audionet Humbolt Integrated Amplifier: $58,750
Vivid Audio KAYA K90: $28,000/pair
Vivid Audio GIYA G3 Series 2: $43,000/pair
Kubala Sosna Elation! Interconnect and Speakers Cable: $7000/1M
Kubala Sosna Elation! Power Cord: $2000/1M
Xpander Power Distribution: $5400 (7 outlet)

Room #2

Kronos Pro Turntable: $45,000
Kronos Sparta SCPS-1 Power Supply: $15,000
Kronos Discovery RS Tonearm: $24,000
Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC: $13,500
Auralic ARIES G2.1: $5700
True Life Audio TLA Supreme Series Preamp: $60,000
True Life Audio TLA Supreme Series Amp: $90,000
Vivid Audio GIYA G2 Series 2: $55,000/pair
Kubala Sosna Elation! Interconnect and Speakers Cable: $7000/1M
Kubala Sosna Elation! Power Cord: $2000/1M

Room #1

Kronos Discovery Turntable: $100,000
Kronos Discovery Super Cap Power Supply: $24,000
Kronos Discovery RS Tonearm: #24,000
Audionet PAM G2 Phono Stage: $10,100
Audionet Ampere Phono Stage Power Supply: $11,200
Grimm Audio MU1 Server/Streamer: $12,500
Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC: $13,500
Audionet Stern Line Stage: $48,950
Audionet Heisenberg Mono Amps: $105,000/pair
Vivid Audio GIYA G1 Spirit: $95,000/pair
Kubala Sosna Realization! Interconnect and Speakers Cable: $11,000/1M
Kubala Sosna Realization! Power Cord: $3000/1M
Xpander Power Distribution: $6500 (10 outlet)