How many loudspeaker companies build all their own drive units and fit them into ground breaking cabinets? And how many of those companies are genuinely breaking new ground? By my calculation the answer is very few indeed, and of those Vivid Audio has the lowest profile. I mean you don’t need very many fingers to count the number of speaker companies that make their own tweeters and there are even fewer that go to the lengths that Vivid does when it comes to cabinet construction. The ‘box’ that the Giya G2 inhabits is made from two skins of reinforced glass fibre, which sandwich a core of end grain balsa. That is 12mm thick slices of balsa in 50mm square blocks and triangles individually laid up by hand. The result is a very curvy and distinctive cabinet on the outside that is both stiff and light and which has no sharp edges to cause diffraction. It’s genuinely leading edge stuff.
But what’s the deal with the Giya G2? It looks just like the G1 that came out in 2008 and appears to have the same drivers. Put the two side by side however and you will see that it’s a smaller version of the G1, with half the internal volume and 80% of its height. This is still a decent size loudspeaker that stands a metre and third tall but it’s easier to accommodate than a G1 because the bass drivers are 50mm smaller in diameter albeit using the same motor unit, and thus don’t go quite so low or so loud. This is not to say that they don’t have grip, grunt or girth.
Designer Laurence Dickie’s explanation for the G2’s unusually strong bass is that his work in pro audio for Turbosound has taught him that using oversized magnets on lightweight cones delivers this result. He compares it to the way that a large engine in a small car will give you more control, if it’s driven properly. The drive in this case being the crossover design. In Dickie’s B&W days (he was responsible for the original Nautilus) this approach was described as ‘over shoved’ – which doesn’t sound very positive – but in this instance it brings considerable benefits. The bass has many of the qualities you get with active loudspeakers, including impressive extension and power; some call it ‘grip’, others ‘slam’, but essentially it’s a combination of power and speed that is hard to achieve with passive designs.