Waterfall Audio Victoria Evo Review Alhambra CA
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Waterfall Audio Victoria Evo Review
February 8, 2010 By Geoffrey Morrison
If that pun made you roll your eyes, they only get worse from here.
There are cool speaker designs, and then there are cool speaker designs. Most of the designs we audiophiles drool over include words like "ribbon," "ultra-tweeter" or maybe "plasmawoofer." Drivers and crossovers with specs to make a techy salivate wrapped in a swoopy MDF and veneered cabinet.
Or maybe not so swoopy.
And let's face it, for the most part, even the coolest-looking speaker designs still look like speakers, and rarely do they offer the "wow" factor for the non-audiophile.
"But they go to 50,000 hertz!"
And then there's the French company Waterfall, new to the U.S. market. Their Krystaline line of speakers, of which the Victoria Evo is in the middle, has cabinets made of glass. Not glass highlights or inserts, mind you, but entire cabinets (other than the base) made of actual glass.
It's rare for something I'm reviewing to become a conversation starter among my non-techy friends, but these 40-inch-tall towers can't help but be stared at. They're so... different.
And even though these are the first speakers I've reviewed that came with a warning of potential danger to self (glass is sharp if it breaks), they're made from safety glass. So there won't be shards if you throw one (just tears). They also have a wide base.
In that base lives an 8-inch passive radiator, and the crossover is right above, tucked under a piece of bracing. The lines you see on the front are not just a design feature; they’re the internal wiring for the drivers. I guess they figured if they can't hide it, they might as well highlight it. Like the 8-liter engine in a Veryon or Shatner's acting on Star Trek. The woofer and mid-range drivers in this three-way design are both 6 inches. These mate up with the 0.8-inch silk dome tweeter. Waterfall claims a frequency response of 40 Hz to 28 kHz and a sensitivity of 89 dB.
Do the amateur audiophile test of rapping on the side with your knuckles, and it's nicely solid. Clear, but solid.
No Veneer but Clear
And because it amuses me that much, I started my listening tests with, you guessed it, Philip Glass. One of my favorite film scores is the one he did for Koyaanisqatsi, which is on DVD-Audio, if you can find it or a player.
The first impression of the Victoria Evos is pretty much the exact opposite as you'd expect. These speakers are powerfully strong. When track six, "Pruit Igoe," gets going, your neighbors are going to know about it. It's thunderous. Waterfall makes subwoofers, but if you're looking for a simple 2-channel system, these speakers certainly don't need the help. There isn't a ton of really low bass (there's only so much small-ish drivers can do), but the rest of the low end is extremely full.
My original placement was one where the speakers were toed-in.