COINCIDENT SPEAKER TECHNOLOGY
TOTAL VICTORY IV FLOORSTANDING SPEAKERS
PRICE:$14,999 US per pair
Publisher's note: Product names can be confusing. As you read this, just keep in mind that the speaker being reviewed is the "Total" and the smaller model is the "Super".
Last year we had the world’s first review of Coincident’s new Super Victory speaker at $9,495 which Linda is fondling in the picture at the left. We were impressed. Very impressed. So much so that the speaker earned not only our rare Maximum Mojo Award, but also our Speaker of the Year for 2008. The speaker was not only sonically neutral with perhaps a slight lean to the warm side, it was also very linear and smooth from top to bottom; and the bottom was a low 26Hz making for a true full-range speaker. Not only did they go pretty low, but because the woofer was placed on the side of the cabinet, you have a choice of facing them on the insides or the outsides which can help adjust them to your particular room or ears. The soundstage was huge and detailed without getting overly etched or suffering from “playing in a laboratory” syndrome. Extremely musical presentation. Those qualities alone make the slim but deep towers very competitive with build quality pushing it even further ahead. But the real kicker is the fact that designer Israel Blume accomplished all that plus making the speaker efficient and sensitive enough to be driven to normal listening levels by as little as 5 watts. These speakers are about as amplifier friendly as it gets. They also worked well in a very small room – a real surprise.
Other speakers abound that get one or two of these factors right, but full-range, musical, dynamic speakers that can be driven easily by SET amps are harder to find than pork chops at a vegetarian conference. The only qualifying factor in the Super Victory was their bass performance in a rather large room with high ceilings and open walls. The single twelve incher was right on the verge of not pressurizing the 6,000 cubic feet or so area enough, we thought. They went plenty low, but for really big rooms they just need a little more air moving.
Enter the next model up in the Coincident line – The Total Victory IV. The Total Vic adds another 12-inch driver on the side for a little lower bottom of 22hz (more on that later), plus an additional midrange for a total of two in each cabinet placed in a classic D'Appolito design with the large ribbon tweeter placed between them vertically. The Nomex woofers are the same as those in the big daddy Total Reference. At 52" in height, they are 5" taller than the Super and also 5" deeper though they look much larger than the "Super". In this case, "Total" is bigger than "Super". Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's TOTALMAN! I don't know....
This speaker is far from five drivers stuck in a big, tall box. There’s a lot going on internally. Not only are the front 3 drivers contained within their own sub-enclosure, 3 computer designed, internal braces are used to ensure maximum rigidity. The two woofers are each placed within their own individual sub-enclosures containing two braces each. That stoutness helps keep cabinet resonance to a minimum and that, we have found, is a huge factor in clean, unsmeared details as well as listenabilty for long time periods. The Coincident’s not only allow you to listen to them for hours, they almost compel you to do so. The sound is so inviting and non-fatiguing, due in large part to the extreme care taken in things you never see inside the cabinets. The cabinet is, of course, taller, deeper and heavier than the Super Vic (each speaker weighs 200 lbs!) and also $5,500 more at $14,995. Like the Super, there are no speaker grills. You get your drivers naked!
For the most part, all of the outstanding qualities of the Speaker of the Year Super Vic were there, I was afraid there would actually be TOO much bass with the new pair of 12” woofs like some I’ve heard with the same side mounts (like NHT’s), but I should have known better; Israel is too much of a perfectionist for that. The low end did not get Iouder and to be honest, I was not cognizant of it being much lower, no matter whether the woofers were facing inward or outward. But it was much firmer in the large room (I did not try these in the smaller 12x12), more solid and rock steady providing a much better foundation with very little change in the overall tonality. More impact I would say. It was more of how they felt than how they sounded if that makes sense. But the fatty bloatiness and/or “boom-boom” you often get with multiple woofers (or actually subwoofers in this case) is nowhere to heard.
There was, for me at least, a slight trade-off from the smaller Super Vic and that was in terms of bass speed – quickness, responsiveness. The big twins were just a tad slower. Don’t get me wrong; if you listen to these with a recording of a loud, close-mic’d tympani roll, you will not find yourself thinking, “Ewwww! These are sloooow!” Not at all. And believe me, those “Ewww” speakers are out there. You would probably not notice it at all unless you were making a direct comparison as am I here. But it was noticeable on close mic’d kick drums with busy patterns and some electric bass lines.
I would not recommend use of a 5 wpc channel amp with these in a large, open room though unless you listen very quietly all the time. Think more like 20 if you have tubes or 40 for solid state, ballpark, even though the Total Vic is rated 2.5 db more sensitive than its little brother. Israel might argue disagree with amp power needed, but that’s my assessment.
I really did not detect any significant difference in the mid and upper end overall character with the added midrange driver of the Total Vic. Like the award winner Super Vic however, these speakers are not only very revealing of the music you play, but also of the components in front of them. They have an amazing knack of not being overly analytical of music; actually rather forgiving in that regard, while still never lacking in detail, but laying bare any changes in amps, sources or cables. I used several amps and preamps with these speakers including Coicident’s own Dragon tube monoblocks and Statement Linestage as well as others such as Halcro, LSA, the AudioSpace Ref integrated and the 125 pound Ayon Triton tube integrated. And even the tiny Virtue Audio One Tripath integrated. I also have the prototype Sensation from Virtue, but I can’t talk about that yet.
With the possible exception of the Sanders electrostats, I have never heard a speaker that acts more like a chameleon than Coincident speakers. Remember, that lizard does not change it’s body – it still has four legs, a head and tail, it adjusts its outside color to it’s environment. Coincident speakers do not change their outstanding character, but do reveal micro and macro differences in anything you place in the system. Perhaps that’s because of the minimalist crossover and the benign load they present to amplifiers, I can’t be sure, but I could swear all my amps grin broadly when I hook them up to Coincident speakers. I wish I still had the smaller Frankenstein monoblocks from Coincident that I used with the Super Vic’s. Those babies are something really special - extraordinary I dare say and it would have been better to do an apples to apples with them, but I was able to compare the speakers with other amps I used with both models so I am confident that I’ve gotten it right.
The Coincident Super Victory, the one we previously reviewed, got a rare Stereomojo rave review. We actually endeavor not to rave in our reviews. If you are looking for speakers, you should read that review because I left out some background and information in this review to avoid duplication. You might learn something about speaker efficiency and impedance you didn’t know – and need to.
Are the larger Total Victory IV’s worth the extra $5,500? If you have a very large, spacious, open, carpeted or well-damped room, the answer is a resounding yes. The IV’s simply move more air and better pressurize large spaces with essentially the same outstanding sonic attributes. For me, (and Israel probably won’t like this), even in the 6K cubes in my room, I’d buy the Super Vic’s, the Frankenstein monoblocks and the new Coincident Statement Linestage we just reviewed. For about $20k, you’d have a system that takes a back seat to nothing in terms of pure musically and supreme satisfaction. A system you can’t wait to get home to. And whether that is “super” or “total”, it’s a big victory in anybody’s book.
Frequency Response: 22 Hz – 27Khz
Impedance: 10 ohms
Sensitivity: 95 db @ 1m – 1 watt
Power Requirements: 3 watts – 300 watts
Dimensions: 52" H x 9" W x 22" D
Weight: 200 lbs ea.
Driver Compliment: (per speaker)
1 - Isodynamic Planar Ribbon Tweeter
2 - 7" Paper Treated Midranges
2 - 12" Heavy Duty Nomex Fiber Cone Woofers
COINDIDENT SPEAKER TECHNOLOGY SITE
OUR REVIEW OF THE SUPER VICTORY
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