Vinnie Rossi and Spatial Audio

Vinnie changed things up at the latest show. Setting aside the studio monitor Harbeths for a moment for a new pair of Spatial Audio X1 “UniWave” loudspeakers, the duo really filled the room as a pairing to his do-all LIO “super integrated” amp/DAC. This time around the modular LIO configuration featured a directly heated triode linestage with class A amplification.

The X1 amp in the unit was a speciality piece made specifically for the X1’s on display. The high-current AB MOSFET was split into 4 channels (L/R, Bass/Treble) with 2 pairs of AntiCables wire connecting the system to each speaker. While the LIO system can pose as either a phono or USB friendly device, it can be stripped down for smaller budgets to a headphone amplifier or scaled up with an external power amp. The modular setup on display happened to cross over at $11,880 and incorporated the current dual-mono AKM digital section as an input source.

Vinnie Rossi always has a smooth selection of sonic treats to sample from and he always seems to know the right tune to play for any audience – with deep tracks and clever covers. He was also generous enough to let me sit in the sweet spot and bear witness to the quick, but clear rock track Madness from Muse for a taste of the weekend’s auditory cocktail. Upward extension was spot on, the system’s response to the rapid fire vocal samples and distorted instruments was controlled and tidy.

The X1 UniWave from Spatial is a bit more hifi than much of the previous showings of the M series of loudspeakers ($2k-$3k) from the Utah-based company, but still features the same large driver and open baffle design. The two elements recreate audio with the help of a whopping 18 inch Acoustic Elegance woofer with a Lamba Motor assembly, the reach into the nether regions claims a 18 Hz spec by Spatial. 300 Hz and above are catered to by a 100mm diagram co-produced with Radian. Standard finishes for the X1 start at $14k, with gloss options that roam around $17.5k.

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  • Every once in a while… WOW! Being the only thing you can muster for comment.

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