Living Voice Auditorium OBX-RW4 Floorstanding Speaker (Pair)
OBX-RW4 is the top model in the range, with outboard (OBX) crossovers. The OBX-RW4 sets an absolute performance benchmark irrespective of size or price. It is everything the serious listener could wish for, capable of compelling storytelling with perfect timing and heartfelt lyricism as well as the ability to shock, surprise and transcend. The OBX-RW4 is a musical communicator of the highest order. For the very focused music lover the OBX-RW4 is the way to go.
The OBX-RW4 outboard crossover variant allows the capacitors, inductors and resistors to be isolated from the high levels of mechanical energy inside the loudspeaker cabinet. All crossover components are microphonic to a greater or lesser extent, so housing them externally minimises this feedback and provides appreciable benefits. Furthermore, an external crossover facilitates a more generous physical separation of the crossover components. Even when components are laid out with mutually orthogonal orientation, there is still a degree of inductive and capacitive coupling which disturbs the crossover’s behaviour. Generous physical separation eliminates this parasitic coupling.
This approach confers several musically valuable benefits – a quieter background, an elasticity and freedom of dynamic range and a more distinct and intelligible acoustic space conveying time and poise. This quality contextualises the musical performance adding to the easy suspension of disbelief. The outboard crossover has further benefits; tonal colours are more radiant; textures are more distinct and unambiguous; the presentation is calmer with more expression in the playing. Perhaps most importantly, dense, complex passages are easily comprehensible and unforced.
The model line-up now comprises the R25A Anniversary, Avatar R4, IBX-R4, IBX-RW4 and OBX-RW4. Changes are predominantly, but not exclusively, to the crossover circuitry & components, and are a logical development of the work done on the R25A model, which effectively ‘opened a door’ and subsequently embodied a new approach to our crossover design.
All share our favoured MTM (mid, treble, mid) driver configuration, which offers performance advantages over both a simple 2-way design and the more complex but less elegant 3-way option. The MTM topology possesses a more symmetrical polar and more even power response, as well as superior phase characteristics. Factor in higher sensitivity and lower intermodulation distortion and you have an elegant solution even before you design the crossover – a true Occam’s Razor approach. Presenting an easy load and a genuine 94dB sensitivity, each Auditorium model allows class A valve electronics to shine, bringing music to life with verve and vitality.
The elegantly proportioned cabinets and small footprint of the Auditorium Series conceal a meticulous, obsessive approach to the complex problems of loudspeaker design. The Auditorium’s unobstructive natural qualities cut straight to the heart of the musical performance. There is a common DNA from the Avatar R4 up with degrees of refinement, precision of component tolerancing, and overall component quality increasing significantly as you ascend through the range.
In 30 years of loudspeaker development, Living Voice has evolved to the point where around 90% of our crossover components are proprietary. Should we fail to find components that exactly meet our needs, we design in-house and have them engineered to meet our specific objectives – these include film & foil capacitors, non-inductive wire-wound resistors and precision air-core inductors. In this way we can temper the ‘voicing’ to meet our critical musical standards. Most recently, we have developed our own HF unit in conjunction with Scanspeak, a driver which preserves the elegance and filigree of the renowned Revelator but relieves it of a broad energy dip between 10kHz and 15 kHz.
Two 6.5” bass-mid drive units (again a proprietary design made for us by Scanspeak) are used in parallel to produce the equivalent surface area to a single 10” driver – but with half of the excursion and 50% lower intermodulation distortion. Our driver can work cleanly above crossover, facilitating seamless integration with the HF system without the need for steep electrical filter slopes or the use of notch filtering to counteract stop-band break-up modes.
Each Auditorium is ideally suited to exploiting the inherent advantages of class A valve amplification, and has been designed and voiced with the output impedance (and damping factor) of zero/low negative feedback direct-heated Triode designs in mind. In smaller rooms, the 8 watts offered by a single-ended 300B design can be fully realised, however we recommend the use of amplifiers with 15 watts or more to exploit the full dynamic potential available on a broad range of music programme. The dispersion characteristics of the Auditorium Series are such that they create a coherent soundstage even for listeners sitting significantly off-axis. This is emphatically not a ‘hot spot’ design.
As someone once said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” It’s a maxim worth repeating in loudspeaker design. No component is truly benign and there is always a hint of added character, colour or texture which influences the sound. We have literally hundreds of components of different technologies in our R&D library which we can refer to when we are voicing our designs. Finely-honed subjective management of these unmeasurable, unquantifiable characteristics is as important as the strict science of precision crossover filter design. Our crossover designs are the product of three decades of evolution; the goal is the seamless integration of cabinet and drive units to produce an organic ‘out of the box’ listening experience. We develop all Living Voice loudspeakers using demanding broad spectrum complex musical programmes, with the emphasis being on holistic musical expression, communication, and balance – of creating the illusion of real human beings performing with passion and purpose.
- High sensitivity, wide dispersion MTM driver topology
- Hardwood composite enclosure with Maple lining veneer
- Stiff internal double bracing
- Proprietary hand wound air core inductors
- Mechanically isolated crossover
- Optimised crossover layout
- Star Earthing
- Crystal oriented internal wiring harness.
- Proprietary non-inductive wire wound resistors, proprietary LV film capacitors
- Cryogenic treatment to: Gold WBT binding posts, Internal wiring harness, crossover components.
- H/F: Proprietary tweeter made for Living Voice by Scanspeak. 29mm fabric dome with wave guide.
- Bass/Mid: Proprietary Living Voice 17cm doped paper coned drivers – made by Scanspeak.
- Premium furniture grade, book-matched grain-filled natural veneers: Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Santos, Flat White, Matt Black. Burr Oak, Ebony, Gloss Ebony.
- Made in UK
- Sensitivity: 94dB
- Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
- Loading: Reflex port to rear of cabinet.
- Frequency Response: 35Hz–25kHz
- Power Handling: 100 Watts
- Cabinet Dimensions: W 215mm × D 270mm × H 1030mm
- Plinth: W 215mm × D 270mm × H 140mm, Black textured finish.
- Gross Weight: 22Kgs per cabinet
- Crossover Dimensions: W 450mm × D 270mm × H 120mm
- Crossover Weight: 5Kgs per cabinet
Awards & Reviews
Not all finishes are available on all models. Please refer to individual specification tables for options.
Veneer representations on-screen should not be considered 100% accurate – there will inevitably be variations in colour due to your monitor and of course natural variations in colour and grain in the veneers themselves.