Back to our G4 subject. Whilst there is a lot more to them—our prior reviews and Vivid's website tell all—their drivers shift common break-up frequencies an octave or two above normal. This is accomplished with unusual profiles and embedded carbon fiber damper rings. Wide-bore vents behind the drivers, radial magnet assemblies and basket structures whose ribs occupy only 10% space versus their diaphragms make for optimized airflow and efficient thermal behaviour. This combats dynamic compression from voice-coil induced heat and air compression from broad reflections.

The woofer magnets are mechanically coupled to each other to exploit maximal cancellation of opposing forces. Crossovers are 4th-order 24dB/octave in a series-parallel squared configuration. This is said to optimize driver summing and phase response. When a German interviewer asked about Vivid's order times, he learnt that "Vivid Audio are one of the few firms in our sector whose every driver is developed by Laurence Dickie in England, then built in our own facility in South Africa's Durban. The same applies to the crossovers. All parts must clear a rigorous test protocol. The clamshell enclosures are crafted in-house as well, bonded, then baked in an oven for 48 hours at 80° C before trained workers begin their polishing work. We maintain an up-to-date spray booth that conforms to the very latest technical and environmental standards. Here we apply two base coats which are hand-sanded. Matching a client's chosen colour with a computer-controlled mixer, we then replicate that tint in two layers. After passing QC, this is followed with three layers of top-quality polyurethane lacquer. Now the enclosures are air-dried for 48 hours before being hand-polished with progressively finer sand paper until the final mirror finish is locked in with a liquid polishing solution."

At right, Trunz and Dickie demonstrate the sizes of Vivid's four-square Giya range.

G4 with wooden plinths for taller listeners and/or listening chairs. A deep channel in the rear conceals the speaker cable.

Muttville. When you think on it, that's where most speakers are born. Silk domes are crossed with polypropylene, paper or Kevlar mid/woofers. Diamond tweeters wed ceramic mids and cellulose woofers. Electrostatic, ribbon or AMT tweeters marry dynamic drivers. It's a mishmash of technologies and materials. A routine cause is the desire for a 'hi-tech' tweeter to distinguish product as high end. Like Cruella de Ville and her 101 Dalmatians, Laurence Dickie sticks to just one breed. All of his are pistonic dynamics. And they all use aluminium alloy diaphragms. If materials have their own sound (compare a few ceramic vs paper driver speakers and you'd certainly think so), keeping to just one is a saner recipe for seamlessness.
Which still doesn't explain the fruity loop. Like fish gills, a closer look behind the sidefiring woofers shows rear-aiming oval-ish ports. That means a paralleled ported bass alignment. The loop is a curved-upon-itself rear horn visible to the woofers only. This avoids turning the speaker into the pointy-headed alien of first prototypes. With their sealed tapered tubes, the other three drivers might as well be mounted to an open baffle. To them the enclosure's cubic volume doesn't exist. Now why combine classic ports with a rear horn? Dickie wanted the bass efficiency of ports and the resonance control of his tapered tubes. Tests showed how a horn cut-off below port tuning did attenuate enclosure resonances but severely compromised port output. Once the horn cut-off quadrupled that of the port however, he had full port output without longitudinal resonances. Now the task was devising a visually pleasing geometry.

The twin spiral rendering in the middle was considered aesthetically compromised to eventually lead to the signature Giya shape. It informs all four models in the range unbroken. The result is a unified appearance that spells Vivid in capital letters from across the room. No name decal is required. Here observers of the speaker sector will agree. It's very difficult to come up with novel form factors based on functionality which simultaneously create a unique visual identity. In speakerdom, most everything has been done already. Here again Vivid march to their own tune. If we recap all the evidence, we arrive at proprietary drivers; proprietary driver loading; radical form factors; cabinet manufacture seemingly inspired by race-car body cladding; and base of operations out of South Africa. Granted, this story is no longer news. But in a murky sea of sameness, it remains bloody inspirational. It explains why I pursued this assignment from my end and waited 2 years for it to happen.

If you're still wondering why I specifically asked for the G4 model, the photos should have made that sell loud and clear. I love compact high-performance speakers. I'm fond of saying that one of the biggest hurdles to good sound really are speakers which become too large to remain domestically acceptable. Who cares how good something sounds if nobody wants it in their homes? No speaker, no sound. For musical not sexual healing which has folks get down with their tunes, friendly size and décor-conscious appearance become performance features. And as we already know, the Giya G4 is a genuine four-way speaker gifted with the very same genetics that have already garnered Vivid Audio enviable accolades for their bigger versions around the globe. If—minus ultimate SPL and F3 of bass extension—one could get that in a 'box' barely reaching one's belt buckle, I'd think of it as a terrifically attractive alternative to the usual monkey coffins. Hence the Giya G4 was my inevitable choice.