The R25A's filter slopes are 1st-order electrical on the tweeter and near 2nd-order on the paralleled mid/woofers. Because the two filter circuits are discrete entities, biwiring is recommended over a single-wire connection through cabled jumpers. Kevin listed bigger scale, sweeter treble and superior out-of-the-box bass as some of the benefits of biwiring. The enclosure volume of the R25A is about 30 litres and its port tuning sits at ~42Hz.
By paralleling two 6.25" drivers, their surface area adds to that of an 8.8" driver spread out over two motors for reduced excursion and distortion. That offers more bass power, midband heft and dynamic headroom than a single 6.25" unit would. It also creates a more seamless less beamy radiation transition to the 1" tweeter than a single 9" driver.
Finally, the filter changes incorporated into this 25th anniversary entry-level model benefit from insights gained during the iterative development of the Vox Olympian and Vox Palladian systems. Whilst the Auditorium MkI marked the very beginning of Kevin Scott's career as a speaker-design autodidact, the R25A arose after the big horns had matured and gone into production. Sometimes coming last has serious benefits.
To be introduced at the 2019 Munich HighEnd show is the final Vox Basso, a ported subwoofer with 18-inch woofer, external 500-watt class B Mosfet amp produced in the UK and a 24dB/oct. 4th-order active crossover. Intended as a downsized bass option to the very big horn subs which measure like a double-wide refrigerator and weigh 250kg, ambitious clients might even consider eventually adding one of these to their R25A? Never mind, that returns us to the more palatial expanses of the tycoons. Back to normalcy, if this photo of the R25A in the Definitive Audio showroom were made into a post card, I think it'd be stamped 'approved' by most music lovers whose listening space isn't dedicated to the hobby but co-opts their living room or lounge area.
In the case of Definitive Audio, the rooms are dedicated to just audio, including these room treatments courtesy of a tonne or more of LP. That's the Scotts' resident Vox Palladian with Vox Basso setup. And yes, that 18-inch woofer gets a serious engine bore aka front-firing port.
The R25A arrived in just two days. Each was securely double boxed, plinths in separate plastic liners because those get attached with included Blutac as extra layer of floor decoupling. Here is the setup timed to overlap with the soon outbound MySound Cube monos. Their 12-watt EL84 class A p/p nature made them my closest stand-ins for the Scotts' favoured type of amplification. Think parallel 2A3 or standard 300BXLS SET for equivalent power.
The next insert shows the sizable rear port above the inset terminal plate. Plate bridges for single wiring aren't even provided. This forces those who insist on single wiring to use superior cabled jumpers. Either way, nobody will listen through infernal thick plate jobs. As the display on the Pass Labs XP-12 proves, out of a possible 99 on its lo-gain dial, good room levels sat in the sixties. Twelve good EL84 watts play far louder than on-the-floor sales hype aiming to hawk kilowatt behemoths would have you believe; if you have the right match of speakers + room. This setup did.
Before the Polish tube amps with their amorphous-core output transformers had to pack it, here comes another look at them; and an album which helped the R25A limber up with some strategic warm-up calisthenics: the Khoury Project with their breakout justly-named Revelation on Enja. YouTube has performance videos to add visuals but straight off the album has far better sonics even in these highly compressed formats. This is a fabulous album of high-octane Middle-Eastern music between violin, oud and qanun plus bass and hand percussion and a previous Year's Best find. We'll return to it later.
Cosmetically. the only last-century throwback of the Living Voice were the rubber grommets for the cloth grills. Most contemporaries execute their cover fasteners with magnets hidden beneath veneer or paint. And again, should you correlate pride of ownership with weight, the R25A won't get your flag all the way up the post. Thin walls, chip board and a fully hollow plinth pursue a different direction than companies whose ads take pride in how many fasteners torque up their full-metal enclosures. Classic suspended wood flooring in an old walk-up apartment thus won't bow when these set down. When real life comes knocking, that's actually a feature. Likewise for reviewers tasked to walk speakers about on a regular basis. Compact and light is much easier.
Would you like to download the current image?
Would you like to download the current image?