Audiovector R 8 Arreté Loudspeaker Page 2

The R 8 Arretés are best used firing almost straight forward, but with a slight toe-out, so the axes meet somewhere behind the listener's head. This gives the best focus, at which point – despite those drivers firing in all directions – they hang together exceptionally well. Listening to Govt. Mule's live performance of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', from the Dark Side Of The Mule album [Provogue PRD 7446 2], the immediate impression was of a big and bold live sound but with plenty of definition. It's a full, well-integrated presentation, with the guitar and sax powering out of the mix with excellent character.

Certainly these loudspeakers relish a bit of power to wake them and open up their sound, yet they were refined and relaxed with the Ivan Fischer/Budapest Festival Orchestra's playing of Brahms' 2nd Symphony [Channel Classics CCS SA 33514; DSD64], with lovely instrumental timbres in strings and woodwind. And the sense of space and air was apparent in Karl Richter's interpretation of Bach's 'Toccata Dorische In D Minor', a 1957 recording remastered in 2022 [Archipel ARPCD0774]. Here the organ had excellent scale and presence without the need for extreme volume levels, and there was real weight in the bass.

There's speed to the performance too, as was clear with Vangelis's 'Pulstar' from the recent Limited Deluxe Edition of Albedo 0.39 [Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2422]. Every line of the mix was easily audible, while at the same time the charging drive was maintained despite all the prog histrionics going on above it in the sparky, dramatic presentation.

French Fancy
Bring things back down to more subtle instrumentation, and the R 8 Arretés are superbly focused with the ambience and musicianship of Keith Jarrett's Bordeaux Concert [ECM Records ECM2740]. The scale of the piano sounded persuasively realistic, set in a refined live acoustic, with every touch of finger on key crisply resolved. This fine presence adds to the considerable impact of the recordings, and the knowledge this would be one of Jarrett's last performances adds to the poignancy – and the desire to keep revisiting the album via speakers this special.

The clarity of the R 8 Arretés proved well-suited to Taylor Swift's 'Maroon' [Midnights (3am Edition); Republic Records; 48kHz/24-bit], delivering both an enjoyable rendition of the somewhat woozy sound, but with exceptional imaging of the voice. And on the Lana Del Ray duet 'Snow On The Beach' there's fine discrimination between the two voices, despite the reverberant acoustic that's typical of the album's production.


The bi-wire/bi-amp terminals are positioned above Audiovector's 'Freedom Grounding' post. Metal 'spine' reinforces the curved cabinet with vents for the 100mm rear midrange [top] and reflex ports [bottom]

Such uncanny, near-holographic imaging was also much in evidence on Joe Bonamassa's 'The Ghost Of Macon Jones' from 2018's Redemption [Provogue/Mascot Label Group PRD75595]. The sound was fast and tight with a real growl and snarl to the presentation; suitably rough and ready sounding, but with the speakers clearly exerting total control to deliver its immediate effect.

Marching Band
The natural, open-voiced delivery of the R 8 Arreté also delivers wonderful string tones, so that Ensemble Allegria's recording of Britten's 'Variations On A Theme Of Frank Bridge' [Britten/Hagen/Strauss; Lawo Classics LWC 1241] offered crisp yet fluid performances enhanced by the striking sense of the musicians laid out before the listener. There was such speed and drive in the March of Variation 2, and Variation 5's Bourée, while the final Fugue built superbly with attack in its growing scale.

The speakers are also completely at home with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins recording of Vaughan William's 6th Symphony [Hyperion CDA68396], with fabulous drama and superb brass timbres. The massive orchestral scale is delivered without any loss of definition and insight, turning to wonderful fluidity as the movement's tone calms.

Finally, the focus here creates an amazing atmosphere with the Michael Wollny Trio's 'She Moved Through The Fair' [Ghosts; ACT 9956-2, 96kHz/24-bit]. Think lovely impact to each note on the piano, bass and vestigial percussion beautifully balanced, and that imaging grabbing the attention. It's all so clear, but a captivating musical whole, too.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
For all their complexity of design, construction and 'Concepts', the R 8 Arreté speakers have a sonic simplicity that's never less than totally appealing, from their near-holographic imaging to their magical delivery of instrumental tones. With an amp of sufficient power and grip to stir them into action, they deliver a remarkably rewarding listening experience that's more than a match for their gloriously luxurious finish.

Made by: Audiovector ApS
Supplied by: Renaissance Audio, Scotland
0131 555 3922