Unusual in a world constrained by the vagaries and pressure of a fashion conscious market, the Vivid Audio B-1 represents an almost perfect test piece for the technology involved. The pure pistonic drivers pioneered by Lawrence Dickie in his original Nautilus have been honed to a fine focus in this loudspeaker system.

The B-1 is a floor standing model which incorporates four drivers in a 3 & 1/2 way system. B-1 employs a single D50 mid range (patent pending) driver between 900Hz and 4 kHz with the range beyond being handled by a D26 tweeter (patent pending). Below 900Hz the B-1 uses two C125 mid-bass drivers (patent pending), one mounted on the front baffle and one on the rear baffle of the cabinet. These two drivers are internally coupled via a screw tensioning unit for reaction cancelling. Both drivers receive the same signal at frequencies below 100Hz while above this point the drive to the rear is progressively attenuated leaving only the front driver to operate all the way to 900Hz in order to keep the distance between drivers at a minimum around crossover. Fourth order filters ensure phase coherence through both main crossover points resulting in a seamless and symmetrical polar performance.

Integral to the B-1 enclosure is the stand. Made from the same carbon fibre loaded polyester compound as the enclosure, this considerable yet graceful design provides an exceptionally stable footing while not detracting from the acoustic environment surrounding the loudspeaker, thanks to the small frontal area of each arm. To further guarantee the stability of the complete system, a total of five custom spikes are mounted around the periphery of the base. Adjustment of the front and rear spikes sets the attitude while the remaining two can then be brought into contact with the floor for maximum stability.

Within each of the streamlined arms are hidden separate conduits to guide the Van den Hul® interconnecting cable away from the two internally mounted crossovers into the base. Precision machined WBT® gold plated terminals are discretely located at the rear of the base to allow a visually unobtrusive connection to the outside world.

The rear of the cabinet, is as exquisitely finished as the front. They come with grills which may be fitted to stop the inquisitive from poking the drivers, not shown.

Item Value
Configuration: 3 & 1⁄ 2 way vented cabinet
Cabinet Material: Complex loaded carbon fibre filled polymer
Finish: High Gloss Automotive
Drive Units: 26mm metal dome hf unit
50mm metal dome mf unit

158mm metal coned lf unit (two of coupled)

Sensitivity: 89dB/1w @1m
Nominal Impedance (Ω) 4
Frequency range (hz): 6dB points 35 – 44,000
Frequency response (hz): 39 to 41,000 +/- 2dB on reference axis
Harmonic distortion (2nd and 3rd harmonics) <.0.5% over frequency range
Cross over frequencies (hz): 100, 900, 4000
Power handling (music program) watts rms: 300
Loudspeaker dimensions (H, W, D cabinet, D base) 43″ (1095), 10.4″ (265), 18″ (375), 19″ (420)
Net Mass: 84 lb. (38)
Shipping dimensions (H, W, D) mm: 48″ (1220), x 16″ (410), x 20″ (510)
Shipping Mass (kg): 110 lbs (50)

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Press Reviews

“It performed powerfully, providing qualities well beyond its price, delivering audiophile sound of great finesse and purity. Undoubtedly a technical tour, Lawrence Dickie and Vivid Audio are to be commended.”

Martin Colloms, HiFi+, Issue 40

“The B-1s’ soundstaging was some of the best I have heard, with superlatively solid and stable images…”

John Atkinson, Stereophile (USA) February 2011

“The (Wilson) Duette was not quite as uncolored as the Vivid B1, which I auditioned in both JM’s and my room.”

John Atkinson, Stereophile June 2012, Follow-Up article with comparisons between B1 and Duette

“Vivid Audio’s B1 is an extraordinarily good loudspeaker that has midrange and high-frequency neutrality, transparency, and refinement that are second to none. In resolution and detail in those mid- and upper ranges, every other speaker I’ve heard comes in second to it. Listening with the B1 was like training a microscope on my records — it was truly revelatory in that regard. This makes the B1 a reference-caliber monitoring tool and a great home loudspeaker.”

Doug Schneider, editor of SoundStage, December 2010

Awards

B1_SoundStage-POTY-2010

SoundStage! Network – Product of the Year 2010
B1_hi-fi-world_5-star-award_2009

Hi-Fi World – 5 Star Award 2009
B1_hi-fi-choice-uk_best-speaker-over-5000-2005

Hi-Fi Choice (UK) – Best Speaker Over 5000 2005