Bert Jansch’s picking and singing on Jack Orion[Transatlantic] is also surprisingly ‘out of the box’ for its sixties origins. With guitar and voice in one channel and a second guitar in the other it can be very warts and all, with a deeply etched gritty sound but here the attack is played down in favour of the tone and scale of the performance. The elements on this track are often stuck in the speakers, but here they escape into the room and take on an ease and presence that is bewitching. The bass is also particularly well extended and controlled when you have a grippy amplifier like the ATC P2 in command. I was genuinely surprised at how muscular synth and double bass could be; the bass drivers may not be big but two of them arranged this artfully are very compelling. The Kaya 45 does need a bit of power; when I tried the PMC Cor integrated it proved necessary to reduce the bass output on the amp to stop that end of the spectrum from getting overblown. You could do the same thing by bringing the speaker further into the room of course but I’d recommend a fairly stiff amp for best results.
This speaker is for those looking for the finer elements in the music, for the escape that full immersion listening can bring and the beauty of music it reveals. It makes a lot of loudspeakers sound hard edged and distorted; you just have to put on a lively acoustic recording to realise that the approach chosen here is more transparent than most. I chose the Engegård Quartet’s Haydn ‘String Quartet In D, Op. 76, No. 5 – Finale’ (one of the fabulous free downloads from Norwegian label 2L) and got imaging that was to die for and speed that totally nailed the vitality of a live event. It’s as if the players were standing there in the room--an experience that inspired me to connect up the Rega RP10 turntable to play some Tom Waits [Swordfishtrombones, Island]. There it was the dynamics of the kick drum on ‘Underground’ that caught my ear, that and the stunning guitar playing on ‘Shore Leave’ (by Fred Tackett), the speaker bringing out qualities in both that are usually hidden.
The Kaya 45 is not quite in Giya league but it gets close enough in transparency terms and possibly closer in musical ones. But that’s not the point; it costs a lot less and it looks a whole lot less wild while at the same time, raising the bar rather higher for loudspeakers at this price point in the process. With Kaya, Vivid have made a speaker that gets you very close to the music in a cabinet that while hardly a veneered box is rather more discreet than their usual fare. Kaya means ‘home’ in Zulu, the language of the people who build Vivid loudspeakers, I would happily give it some space in mine.
Type: 3-way, four-driver, floorstanding speaker with glass reinforced sandwich composite cabinet
Driver complement: One 26mm catenary dome aluminium tweeter; one 100mm catenary dome midrange driver; two 125mm aluminium bass drivers
Crossover frequencies: 300Hz, 3kHz
Frequency response: 37Hz–25kHz (-6dB)
Impedance: 6 Ohm (2.8 Ohm min.)
1153 ×298 ×385mm
Finishes: Finishes: Matte Oyster, Pearl White, Piano Black
Manufacturer: Vivid Audio
Distributor: Vivid Audio UK
Tel: +44(0)1403 713125