Why is Freedom Grounding so important, and why does it only apply to top line models?
Put very simply, Freedom Grounding is crucially important as it tangibly improves sound quality. We are first movers in our field to exploit the full potential of this technology, which essentially drains away distortion from drive units to create not only a cleaner but palpably more communicative sound.
Which is more important in speaker design… Listening or measuring (or both)?
A perfect set of measurements is mandatory and very important, but only in parallel to rigourous listening tests. The final test before a Audiovector product is signed off is completed by a skilled and experienced listening team, with Ole of course playing a leading role!
How long does an Audiovector speaker take to design?
Even though our designs are based on the R11 & R8 Arreté, which are our in-house ‘reference’ models, it takes an exhaustively long time to improve every minute aspect and detail of any new product. A loudspeaker is not ready to launch until Ole and myself are 110% satisfied. As every design and project has different challenges and goals, it’s difficult to give an exact answer. However, suffice to say it is never just a matter of a few months, for example!
What is the hardest part of designing a loudspeaker?
Everything! As any designer and manufacturer at any level will tell you, there are numerous aspects to consider and hurdles to jump in any project. Every single aspect of any new product has to be fully considered in order to give our customers the best possible value and performance at each product’s relative price point. Naturally, some technical aspects can be very demanding and time-consuming but then again so can consideration of materials – from cabinet construction to which type of screws will produce the best performance (hint: they can often make a big difference!)
How long does a speaker take to build?
It can be anywhere from two hours and going up to ten days for a flagship product such as the R11 Arreté.
What is your most popular design? Is it also your favourite?
Our most popular designs are the R3 and the R6-series where the Arreté spec is the most popular. The fact that we can design speakers which sounds great and still have an exterior design which appeals to many different people on the global market is a winning formula. Adding that the speaker is easy to fit and place into any listening and living room makes these models even more desirable.
Your speakers make a big deal of isolation? Why?
Many years ago, we achieved the level of isolation we were looking for. Today’s biggest challenge – and an often-forgotten parameter, is decoupling. Decoupling drivers from cabinet mass, decoupling speakers from floor mass. Why? Because you can reduce time smear efficiently, thereby reducing colouration and improving dynamics.
How important is system matching and room placement?
We believe everybody should spend valuable time setting up and fine tuning their hi-fi equipment. It’s an investment in both monetary and mental wellbeing terms. The process can be very rewarding and effective. That being said, we deliberately design products that are easy to match with many different types and brands of electronics – both tubes and solid state – and cables. It’s one factor of our designs that we are perhaps renowned for.
What are your ‘go to’ recordings to assess a pair of loudspeakers?
We have several test tracks, which we have used over and over again to great effect. These act as references for both development and demonstration. Some are our reference for distortion assessment, others are our reference for timing, musicality and tonality. Others again are references for linearity and neutrality. The tracks variate but there are core pieces of music that we have used for many years with all our models.
We have a Tidal Playlist we constantly update for those who wish to follow our journey in music.
Link for Tidal: https://tidal.com/playlist/ 9ec7dd15-0020-43a7-a91f-768c80582c0c
Bruce Springsteen – 57 Channels
Diana Krall – A Case of You (Live in Paris)
Nils Frahm – The Forest
Colter Wall – Manitoba Man
Infected Mushroom – Serve My Thirst
Rage Against the Machine – Fistful of Steel
What mistakes do listeners make when buying a good pair of loudspeakers?
We recommend that our potential customers have a good and careful appraisal, with comparison between our different models. Choose with your ears, heart and what makes the hairs stand up on your arm. Nobody of course is the same and this is a personal choice, but personal emotional reaction is in many respects the ‘gold standard’ of decision making. It’s essential to listen carefully and compare various models and brands, and then to also compare between various Audiovector models in order to find your true preference.
Where do you expect Audiovector/the audio world to be in five years’ time?
We will continue to focus on hi-end models, where we have strong reputation to uphold, and we will commit to serving handmade, high quality products to satisfy our demanding listeners. Our mantra is as always – “Improve, improve, improve…”