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Six Moons Magazine



Edward Barker

Mystic Mat, Living Voice system


In Vinylo Veritas : Vignettes of Vinyl : Dec 2005


"Definitive is now the Kondo UK distributor and Kevin has a Kondo system set up and playing through the latest iteration of his Living Voice OBXR speakers. The sound is something else and something else again. Unbelievable. Tonally, I found a richness there (and this was on CD) that seemed like the difference between a real wood fire as opposed to everything else I've heard coming across like a gas or electric. I went with a very experienced audiophile who thought he had reached what he has always been looking for with a Lindemann/Boulder/M•rten Design Coltrane system and when he came away, realized he was going to start from square one all over again. We've both been haunted ever since."

"Leonard Cohen's In my secret life opens with a little guitar riff that has an extremely fast harmonic reverb echo effect in it that must be a couple of octaves above the fundamental. Most cartridges smear it pretty effectively so you'd hardly know it was there. With the Mystic Mat in place, the effect blooms spot on. I'm very impressed indeed. The Mystic Mat is going to be a permanent fixture on my turntables."


Read the full article, which includes other analogue-related products - scroll to the review of the Mystic Mat

Hi-Fi Choice

HiFi Choice

The Collection 2004


A very special edition dedicated to the world's finest



by Jason Kennedy

Living Voice Air Scout


"It is very rich tonally but because of its phenomenal speed and a complete absence of boxy colorations this is not a ponderous or thick richness - more a total evocation of the instruments and voices being reproduced.  You quickly become accustomed to the openness and dynamics on offer - perhaps too quickly, in fact, as soon you'll be taking them for granted.  But put on a pair of normal, direct-radiating speakers and it becomes blatantly obvious how clean, uncompressed and natural the Living Voice horns sound."


"The RW24 bass system has the uncanny ability to open up bass notes and reveal their tuning and colour - what previously sounded like amorphous blobs of bass turn into a pizzicato double bass with body and timbre."


"Nearly every disc or LP sounds better than you would imagine and truly great music genuinely shines.  This combined with the beautiful veneers used to finish the cabinets makes this a large speaker system that will enhance any decent-sized listening room, not to mention enhancing your standard of living delivering the soul and energy of music at its finest."

Issue 32 cover


June - July 2004


by Scott Markwell


Roy Gregory

Living Voice OBX-R2 and Crossover


"Little Speaker In the Big City"


" ... the Avatar OBX loudspeaker is both a reference quality domestic listening tool of the highest order, and a modern classic in terms of its simplicity and clean, almost stark physical design."


"... the OBXs evoke first and foremost a feeling of exceptional control and agility, both tonally and dynamically.  Their basic tonal balance is at once instantly appealing and smacking of a definite "rightness".  We have all listened to speaker systems that sounded phenomenally good in one respect or another: great imaging, soundstaging, bass impact, ethereal high-frequency reproduction, or a beguilingly sweet rendition of female vocalists.  But so many otherwise fine loudspeakers are marred by what turns out in the end to be unacceptable levels of coloration.  The OBXs simply do not have that vice.  They may err slightly on the side of a lightness of tone, but never at the expense of overall tonal balance.  Instead their ability to project energy and define micro-dynamic levels brings vivid, lifelike colour to instruments and voices.  What I'm referring to as lightness is more to do with a deft agility and speed of response than any loss of harmonic energy.  They're just not clogged or bloated like a lot of speakers that squeeze ever more bandwidth from overloaded cabinet volumes."


"... many of you will find the bass of these speakers to be more than adequate, certainly in terms of quality1.  The steep transient attack and tactile feel and sound of a tuned bass drum is easily discerned, as is, almost more importantly, the decay of the note and the way that it resonates in the hall or room.  Double basses have texture and air around them, helped by the speed and microdynamic1 precision of the speakers."


"Very few speakers can deliver the musical goods, but the Avatar OBX is definitely one of them."


"It occupies a reference position for both JK (Jason Kennedy) and myself (Roy Gregory) it has become a benchmark around here."



Email Us! or fill up our Enquiry Form for the full review.



1 Bass quality may not be easily noticed, especially to less experienced listeners, who may only be hearing the macro aspect (i.e. just the pounding).  As we have done extensive comparisons before, for those interested, we have a simple method to help out.  For example, Buddy Guy's CD "Blues Singer", a normal non-audiophile CD, can be heard at our showroom on the OBX-R2, and we'll ask listeners to listen to a certain acoustic bass passage (15 - 20 seconds only should be fine), concentrating on the timbre and texture of the bass instrument.  Then we can lend this CD for the listener to go around the building and listen to other speakers.  This way, one can have a reference point with regards to bass quality.  This exercise is just our way of acknowledging the quality of Kevin Scott's design.  We'll use a simple integrated and simple CD player, to be more impartial.

July 2004


by Edward Barker

Living Voice OBX-R2


"... a landmark in the British speaker-making story."


"It would be nice to pretend the OBX-R2s were our own little discovery at 6moons. In reality however, at least in the UK they are very well known. In fact they are probably the most widely used reference by the serious audio press, the staple of Roy Gregory and others at Hifi+, not to mention being an Editor's Choice of most of the other audio magazines. [Hi-Fi+ Product of the Year 2000; Hi-Fi+ Editor's Choice 2000; Hi-Fi Choice Editor's Choice; The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award 2001 - Ed.] With that kind of backing, it's almost as if they represented the new establishment. If they in fact do, it is with every reason to deserve this position."


"The (OBX-R)2s appear not just to be reproducing accurate dynamics on a macro scale but a fine-grained version of micro-dynamic nuances that mean you can hear the echo of a dynamic rise as a drum skin is hit, and then something close to the full complexity of its decay. And this not just off the skin but in the air itself. I've had several experienced listeners 'round recently a few of whom are by no means traditional fans of Living Voice speakers. Each one of them was struck by the realism of a drum solo in Patricia Barber's Modern Cool. Ben Webster's Live at the Renaissance produces the same effect (and it's mono!), so much so that a professional musician reacted with a 'it may as well be live'...


The OBX-R2s are speakers that by their very nature ask to be partnered with the finest sources and amplification available. It comes as no surprise to hear that they were designed primarily using Kondo amplifiers, Kevin Scott being the UK distributor. These speakers will give you a very close reading of the upstream components so it's worth putting work into getting them right. But do so and you will be rewarded as I have, with many hours of sheer pleasure. Plain they may be but the sound is anything but. And while the sound is good, if you want good sound there are quite a lot of choices around. But if you want good music, no, make that great music, the choices narrow drastically and the OBX-R2s are one of the stars...

Imaging may not be a crucial quality to audiophile pleasure but it is essential to creating that truly believable experience. Combine this imaging magic with a really dense and powerful projection of the energy inside the note as it is born spreading lightning-fast and you have a combination of features I have not come across before in any speaker or enjoyed as much. Electrostatics and all the large speakers I've heard thus far (from Kharmas to the larger horns) simply don't enter the same class. And note this is being done with a sharp-cornered cabinet, tweeters offset. Superb in revealing layers of inner detail, with an attentiveness and precision which is only at the service of the musical experience, these speakers should properly be understood as a landmark in the British speaker-making story and quite simply, one of the most accomplished speakers available today...."


Click Me! for the full review by Edward Barker


Not exactly a review by Ultra High Fidelity magazine of Canada,  but even better.  We are pleased to announce that UHF magazine of Canada has chosen the Living Voice OBX-R as part of their reference systems in their demo rooms.  Click Me! to view.


On the Living Voice Avatar OBX-R - "Looks like every other speaker you•ve ever seen. Sounds like something else again."


"The first time I saw the Avatars I expected them to sound adequate but boring.

Surprise! This is one of the world•s great speakers, and certainly one of the greatest to have such a small physical footprint. It will reproduce nearly anything you can throw at it with grace and respect for musical virtues. And I say •nearly• from elementary caution, not because I•ve witnessed any exceptions. True, it requires proper care and feeding. But then I•ve been told Ferraris won•t run on regular gas, either."
- Gerard Rejskind, Vegas 2001 Show Report, UHF Magazine


Read the full review ... (in pdf format)

Hi-Fi Choice

A Different Voice - LV Avatar OBX-R2


"Living Voice has made its best Auditorium speaker better, but the changes are all under the skin."


"It's transparency gets the message across, making it a genuine stay-up-all-night-going-through-your-music-collection product."



"You can't fail to enjoy a loudspeaker like this- its ability to extract the essence of the music alongside the finest details is extremely rare.  You may be able to get a bigger speaker for your money but there aren't many better ones."


Click Me! to read the full review.


Out Of The Box (Living Voice OBX-R)

"Not cheap, but packed full of quality throughout.  The OBX-Rs are supremely well balanced and spacious sounding.  Arguably the best all rounder in the market at the price."


"This speaker will offer very long term listening, with excellent dynamics, good bass quality and unforced detailing."


Click Me! for the full review.

Living Doll - Living Voice Auditorium

"From Mahler to Motorhead, the most obvious and inspiring thing that this box does, is to reproduce the most effortless and natural sounding music you can imagine this side of GBP 2000."


"Some eyes may crave a fancier box, some ears more clinical precision, but the way it conveys musical energy, presence and detail is astonishing.  Audition a pair today!"


- HiFi Choice, March 2003.   Click Me! for the full review.


What sounded good
"First, let's visit a few of the usual suspects, companies that can be relied on for good sound. Holding up the British end, Canadian distributor Bluebird Music were undermining the local reliance on size and power with a small system that had more than a few visitors shaking their heads in astonished chagrin. Big, surprisingly powerful, very dynamic but above all coherent, this far from extravagant system put many of the really expensive set-ups on show to shame. But the best thing of all was that this was one room playing real music."
- Las Vegas CES 2003 Show Report, Hi-Fi+ Issue 22


Living Voice Loudspeakers get The Absolute Sound's Golden Ear Award

"But the reality is simply that they tickle whatever it is that gets tickled for me. To be honest, they've never particularly impressed at audio shows. But once I'd lived with their peculiar combination of transparency, timbral delicacy and concert-hall-sized soundstage, they've become a really tough act to replace, let alone in their size and price bracket."


Click Me! for the full review of the Living Voice OBX-R from


"The Living Voice Avatar OBX-R was a very pleasant surprise. At first blush an unassuming medium-sized floorstander, the OBX-R produced amazing bass and dynamics that would be the envy of many much larger speakers. Designer Kevin Scott claims that mounting the crossover outside the speaker in a hefty box is largely responsible for the OBX-R's slam and coherence. A costly ScanSpeak Revelator tweeter provides the silky top end. This is a speaker well worth going out of one's way to hear."
   - Stereophile, April 2002, CES Show Report


"They're all cut from the same cloth, simply adding musical and tonal subtlety and authority as you go up the range. The Auditorium is perfectly pitched at the impoverished music lover, the OBX is good enough to satisfy all but the most committed listeners. Each model is a standout for both price and performance, and is built squarely on musical integrity. " 
   - The Absolute Sound, Golden Ear Awards 2001.

Positive Feedback Online  Click Me! for the latest review from Positive Feedback magazine ....
Perfect Sound & Vision (Malaysia)

Malaysian audiophile magazine review of the Auditorium (in Mandarin Chinese):  Click Me! to read.


"I have never experienced the swell and dynamics of a string quartet as I did with the Living Voice. When it came to subtle shadings and delicate musical textures, the OBX-R clearly outperformed the Maggies. As far as I'm concerned the Living Voice stands among the best in its price class."
  - Victor Chavira, Issue 15 2001, audioMusings.

"Beautifully balanced and beautifully engineered, it delivers a more complete musical performance for your money than anything else I've heard at even close to this price. It also stands as a monument to the value of obsessive attention to detail and a healthy skepticism when it comes to measurements. Like I said, other manufacturers could learn a thing or two from the OBX."
  - Roy Gregory [OBX Review], November 2001, HiFi+.  


Click Me! to read the full review.

Review in Hi-Fi+ Magazine, Issue 8 - November 2000

Living Voice wins Hi-Fi+ Magazine's Product of the Year! - LV Avatar

"The middle model in Living Voice's conventional (i.e. non horn-loaded) range, the Avatar is a near perfect balance of size, bandwidth, efficiency and tonal refinement. Its slim lines and small footprint deliver a genuine 94dB sensitivity, and excel when it comes to delivering the scale, vibrance and colour of the music. It's unobtrusive quality allows it to cut straight to the heart of a performance, unlocking the music trapped in the recording, whilst its refinement makes it equally at home with both basic and surprisingly expensive amplification.
 -  Product of the Year Awards, March/April 2001


"I was very impressed by the results. It might sound a little restrained, but it's also exceptionally communicative, with great dynamic range and expression. Its innate liveliness simply makes music unusually interesting."
   - Paul Messenger, September 2001 Hi-Fi Choice.


[Avatar OBXs]  "this wasn't a cheap system. It was however, one of the few that sounded worth the money, and gets my vote for the best sound at the show."
   - Bristol 2001 show review, May/June 2001 Hi-Fi+


"Also new to me was the British speaker ... Living Voice Avatar OBX. I had seen it only once... I wasn't initially impressed, because there are a million speakers out there with identical dimensions and layout. It astonished me. It has nearly perfect tonal balance, with depth that is a block deep, and an ease that was delightful in record after record (I didn't exactly rush off)."
   - Gerard Rejskind, Vegas 2001 Show Report, UHF Magazine.


More ...

More Reviews at the Living Voice website.  Click Me!

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Living Voice at HiFi Shows / Other Activities

Six Moons Magazine




Living Voice Loudspeakers and Kondo System

The Hongkong Hi End Audio Visual Show 2006


"Despite the small physical size of the speakers, the sound here was full-bodied and endowed with real energy ... In fact, this was the only room I visited twice. Need I say more?"


Read all about the writer's impressions

Six Moons Magazine



Edward Barker

Factory Tour : Living Voice and Definitive Audio : April 2006


Living Voice loudspeaker owners and others interested, check out the Living Voice factory tour by reviewer Edward Barker.  Several insights, and check out their massive collection of vinyl :)  SME V owners can read the sidebar on how to improve their tonearms.


Start the factory tour of Living Voice and Definitive Audio




Maarten van Casteren

UK Bristol Hifi Show : 2006


In last year's UK Bristol 2005 hifi show, the Living Voice room was a favorite of TNT-Audio UK's reviewer Maarten van Casteren.  In this year's UK Bristol 2006 hifi show, he found that the Living Voice room was once again exceptional, as always. 


"Vinyl replay on this system was absolutely breathtaking and left digital far behind ... In the end it's just so involving and musical that you forget about the system and are just swept away by the music."


Read more about the Living Voice room at Bristol, 2006


* The Living Voice rooms, for those who value  a system's music-making capabilities more over just sound, have always been a benchmark of excellence year after year in UK shows (with tube gear), as well as in Singapore (with solid-state gear).




Marc Mickelson


Doug Schneider


Soundstage magazine


Le Festival Son & Image 2005 - Montreal, Canada :: April 1-3, 2005


* One of the Standout Rooms *

      << Living Voice, Chord, Kondo >>


"This system, built around some well-known British speakers and electronics, had a sweet, energetic sound with generous bass -- Doug Schneider asked if a subwoofer was part of the system. A Chord One CD player ($7500), Prima preamp ($7500) and Mezzo 140 amp ($8195) drove Living Voice Avatar II speakers ($10,795) via Kondo silver Litz cables. The Living Voice speakers always seem to impress at shows, but the pairing with Chord electronics made us think that there is serious synergy between these two brands."


Soundscape - Notes:

The speakers on demo were the Living Voice Avatar OBX-R2, and not the Avatar 2.  Once again, as in our participation in Singapore hifi shows, people were looking for a subwoofer that isn't there :)


Click Me! to view demo room photos ...

Enjoy The Music.Com



Phil Gold


Le Festival Son & Image 2005 - Montreal, Canada :: April 1-3, 2005


* Best Choice Of Demo Music *


<< Living Voice, Exposure, Chord cables >>


"Prize for the best choice of demo music goes top Kevin Scott of Living Voice in the Bluebird Music room. He demoed his Avatar OBX-R2 speakers (•4,000 or $10,795 Cdn) with the Scarlatti Piano Sonatas. The piano is one of the hardest instruments to reproduce so it is a brave man to pick this music. A violent argument ensued as we debated the relative merits of Mikhail Pletnev and Vladimir Horowitz on this repertoire.  The Avatars sounded great driven by an Exposure Classic CD Player, Classic Preamp and Classic Amplifier ($3,495 Cdn each) ... "


Click Me! to read more and view demo room photos ...


Six Moons Magazine



Paul Candy


HE 2004 - USA


"Of all the affordable loudspeakers at the show, the Living Voice models impressed me the most."


"Bluebird Music had two rooms displaying their arsenal of fine-sounding equipment including Living Voice, Chord and Exposure [Bluebird also distributes Croft - Ed.]. Living Voice's svelte, room-friendly tower speakers majored in musicality and dynamics and were so completely engaging that I had difficulty leaving either room. I had a pleasant chat with designer Kevin Scott ..."  Click Me to Read More ...


Six Moons Magazine

Best Systems at Singapore 2003 HiFi Show. 


Forum: The Echo Loft Singapore hifi forum - Feedback - Click Me! to read


Press: Report - Click Me! to read and view very nice photos

Issue 23

Bristol, UK 2003 Show Report


Living Voice and Border Patrol
Once again, the best sound at the show was to be heard in the Living Voice room. The familiar OBX-R speakers were driven from their revised crossovers (more on those in Audio Smorgasbord) while source was vinyl only, in the shape of VPI's monster TNT HRX carrying its own JMW 12.5 arm and a vdH Colibri cartridge. Step up was Living Voice's-own prototype transformers feeding the sadly now no longer available SJS valve phono stage. Electronics were the Border Patrol BP20 push-pull 300B amplifier and their prototype line stage. The resultant sound was detailed yet powerful, with really impressive drive and dynamics, but it was the explicit, rhythmic control, bass definition and speed that surprised most listeners. That and the absence of any digital source..."


For more show reports, Click Me!


What sounded good
First, let's visit a few of the usual suspects, companies that can be relied on for good sound. Holding up the British end, Canadian distributor Bluebird Music were undermining the local reliance on size and power with a small system that had more than a few visitors shaking their heads in astonished chagrin. Big, surprisingly powerful, very dynamic but above all coherent, this far from extravagant system put many of the really expensive set-ups on show to shame. But the best thing of all was that this was one room playing real music."
- Las Vegas CES 2003 Show Report, Hi-Fi+ Issue 22

Top 5 Systems at UK Bristol 2003 HiFi Show.   Click Me! for sample feedback on the top 5 systems at the Bristol UK hifi show 2003, courtesy of the Naim forum.  Of course, they are biased towards Naim, but they do offer some insights on other systems at the show.


Top 10 Systems at USA CES 2003 HiFi Show.  "The Bluebird Music/Living Voice room proved to be a delight. On display were the Living Voice OBX-R loudspeakers ($7,295/pr.), which for me redefine British sound. Gone was the polite midrange dip. The tonal balance was full bodied with excellent bass definition and smooth highs. Anyone who harbors any doubts about what a musical speaker ought to sound like should give the OBX-R a careful audition."


- CES 2003 Coverage - Enjoy The Music - Dick Olsher, former Stereophile writer. 

   Click Me! for the full coverage report by Dick Olsher.


Best Systems at Singapore 2002 HiFi Show.  Click Me! for feedback on the Singapore HiFi Show (2002 International Sound And Sight Exhibition) from a major Singapore hifi forum.  Sources also have indicated they were the best sound at the Dec Malaysia hifi show, driven by Kondo Japan electronics, makers of the Ongaku and Gaku-On super amps.


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Consumer Comments - Living Voice Speakers


Living Voice Avatar:

"The Avatar is beginning to sound more like the Avatar you mentioned and described when compared between it and the Auditorium model. ... I'm beginning to hear the details of the recording more as compared during the initial stages - the gated effects, the reverse gate effects on the drums of some recordings are now more prominent than before. In fact, I had goose bumps when I played back old MJ favorites like "Bad", "Thriller" and the remake of Beatles "Come Together ". Also, I could also tell how many background singer there were in one of the recordings (as one of them almost sang off-key).  After more quality listening session over the past few days, I could easily conclude that the Avatars are simply of a different class of speaker as compared to the Totem Forests that they replaced and that it made the Forests sound overpriced. The Avatar almost excelled in all areas except that the Forest has the ability to disappear better than the Avatar.  Also I could hear details that were not apparent during the Forests era and also more layers."

- by N., reprinted with permission

Thanks, N.  After they burn in fully, you can try final repositioning again to get them to disappear.  That should do it.

More consumer comment excerpts from


(Click above to read the full reviews)


Avatar 2




"I actually had the opportunity to taste test the Avatar vs. Wilson-Benesch ARCs vs my Paradigm Studio 100 v.2s on the same weekend in my own home ..."

"The Avatars are definitely a warmer speaker, fantastic with vocals and guitars or strings. The harmonics are superb, so much so that sometimes it sounds like the music is coming from slightly behind me! A touch less as detailled than the WBs in the upper end, but their spacious sound more than made up for that. And the Avatars definitely produced something more easily than the WBs: toe tapping. These speakers are vivacious. It's the only term I can think of to connote what they did in my room. They seem to have been made for tube gear, and they were.

Now that I've owned them for a few weeks, I find that as they break in they are even more spacious and detailed. They handle all music well, from Zeppelin to Bach to Jazz. I look forward to full break-in, which I'm advised takes an long time, like 400 hours. If that's true it's hard to imagine just how awesome these speakers will be."





david w 12

"Am I the only person to find most modern speakers harsh and fatiguing, step forward BandW. Superficially exciting after a prolonged listen I feel my ears are being assaulted. But each to there own and I am not criticising other ranges, I am merely reporting the LV's easy to live with.   Laid back, but not bland, the Avatars image well with a deep rather than forward soundstage. They don't seem to favour any particular style of music."





J Anderson

"These are simply the best speakers I have owned and heard in my 20 plus years of trying to get a sound I could be completely happy with. They are incredibly musical.  Unbelievably dynamic - something no other speaker that I've owned has been able to achieve.  The mids are beautiful, so effortlessly real to life.  The top end is the best I've had, including ribbons.  The Scan speak revelator tweeter is way better than the Dynaudio Esotar, revealing loads more detail with incredible decay...."

"These Living Voice speakers are so many leagues above the Merlins, it's plain embarrassing..."





Audio Enthusiast

"Having spent a year trying to find a significant speaker upgrade and nearly given up on the idea I auditioned the Auditorium Avatars....These will do me for a decade..."

"The sound? How much time have you got? Suffice to say these speakers deliver subtleties that I didn't know were in the recording along with spooky imaging and atmosphere. I get this reassuring feeling that this speaker is just delivering what is possible from my system and very little of its own character - it turns out my system can deliver lots but I wasn't hearing it with my old speakers. Beck, Bjork, Basement Jaxx or Bach it doesn't seem to matter."






"Instruments are reproduced with their true character, e.g. cello and guitar sounded very realistic. Voice is as good as it gets ..."


"Sound stage and dynamics is top class. However, I'm sure you can find a more analyzing speaker, if that's what you want. I prefer the music."





david w 12

"I listened to a number of speakers in the price range - Spendor, Dynaudio, BW.  None approached the Auditoriums dynamics, accuracy and truth to the music.  I am sure I am not the only person to find a flabby bass as the main defect in even mid price floorstanders.  I'd rather have no bass at all. The entry level Auditoriums I bought are as tight as good standmounts, but as deep as you could reasonably ask."



And many more ... Click Me! to read the full reviews on these Auditorium Series


Air Scouts

Click Me! to read the full reviews on these higher model horn designs


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Living Voice Loudspeakers

Living Voice Auditorium 2

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Living Voice IBX-R2

Living Voice OBX-R2

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