Where To Hear Volti Audio Razz Speakers
You can hear Volti Audio Razz speakers at several Audio trade shows around the U.S. each year. Check on our News page for our schedule, and/or sign up for the Volti Audio email newsletter to learn about upcoming shows.
You can also hear our speakers by making an appointment to visit our facilities here in Baxter, TN.
Here’s an option that is risky for me to propose.
You could go listen to a pair of Klipsch Forte speakers at a Klipsch dealer, and If you like the basic dynamic presentation of the Forte, I can assure you that you will love the more refined Razz.
Why is this risky for me to suggest? Because the Forte is built about as cheaply as a speaker can be built, and you might be so turned off by it that you give up on the idea of horn speakers at all. And that would be too bad I think.
So why do I suggest it? Because Klipsch speakers are very accessible and they do have the typical sound characteristics of horn speakers, such as wide dynamic range, a lively musical sound quality, plenty of power output, and the Klipsch Forte is also about the same size as the Razz. So having a listen to the Klipsch Forte speakers will give you a ballpark idea as to what you can expect from the Razz speakers. You just have to keep in mind that the better built Razz speakers are going to sound a whole lot better!
By the way, more than once I’ve suggested to someone that they should buy a pair of Klipsch Forte speakers. I know that seems weird for me to say such a thing. But hey, if someone can’t afford Razz speakers, the Klipsch Forte is going to be a good substitute. They are a lot less expensive and they do provide a lot of exciting sound for the money. I would take a pair of Forte speakers over at least half of the hi-fi box speakers I hear at the shows. Seriously, Google “Estelon Forza speakers” at $163,000 a pair with free shipping. They are actually pretty impressive speakers to look at, but I would find it difficult to live with them for any length of time. They are typical hi-fi speakers that fail to engage me the way horns do, and with the amount of power needed to get dynamic range that approaches that of horns, the extra distortion is tiring. I honestly think I would rather sit in front of a pair of Klipsch Forte speakers powered by a Cary Audio SLI-80.
But if you want something better than Klipsch and you can afford better, you’ll want Volti Audio speakers.
So why does the Razz speaker sound better than the Klipsch? Allow me to explain.
For one thing, the Razz has higher quality cabinets. In fact, the cabinet build quality difference between the Razz and the Klipsch Forte is at opposite ends of the range of quality for all wood speaker cabinets on the market.
The Forte cabinet is made in China and it’s pretty cheap. I bought a pair of Klipsch Forte speakers to compare to the Razz, and when I took the woofers out of my Forte speakers, I could clearly see the very cheap quality of the cabinet construction. I wrapped both hands around the edge of the woofer opening, and I was confident that with one good twist I could break a piece of the front of the cabinet off. It’s a little bit stronger than cardboard. By contrast, I could pull the front tire of my ¾-ton Chevy Silverado pickup truck up onto the side of a Razz cabinet in my driveway without damaging it.
Better built cabinets = better sounding speakers.
The Razz uses much higher quality drivers. In fact, there is a huge difference in the cost/quality of drivers between the two speakers.
Take the midrange horn and driver for example. As a comparison, the Klipsch 1″ midrange driver is sourced in China and probably costs Klipsch about $20 each. The midrange horn, also sourced in China, is made of plastic. By comparison, the Razz uses a 2″ midrange driver made in Italy that costs about $200, and a horn with a 2″ throat that is much larger than the Forte midrange horn. Guess what? The sound quality of the Razz midrange is much more open, effortless, and richer sounding that the Forte midrange, which does have a tendency to glare, or be a bit harsh at times.
I could make similar comparisons with the tweeters, woofers, crossovers, internal wiring, gaskets, adhesives, finish, grills, etc… and describe how much better the Razz parts and workmanship are for each.
In every way, the Razz is a significant step up from the Forte. So please keep that in mind as you sit and listen to the Forte. Remember that it is an exercise to help you determine if a horn speaker that has a similar design to the Razz is something you would enjoy owning.
If you like the Klipsch Forte, I know you’ll love the Razz.
Forte versus Razz listening
When you are listening to the Forte, be sure that you’re listening without a subwoofer, without processing, without bass-treble, etc… Ask them to set it up with as simple a system as possible. Source – amp – speakers.
What you’re listening for is the basic character of this horn speaker. The sound you will hear, on a very basic level, will help you to understand what you will hear when you purchase Razz speakers and get them set up in your home.
Listen for dynamic range, the live presence of the instruments and vocals, and the effortless delivery of power. These are the things I enjoy most about horn speakers, and they are the things horns do much better than typical hi-fi speakers.
Here’s a few of the things that will be much better from the Razz:
- A more refined sound that has even more space around all the instruments and vocals
- Better tonal balance with a midrange that is warmer and not shouty and glaring
- Better defined bass that is stronger in the mix
- A taller soundstage (from the taller Razz speaker)
- Consistently good low frequency extension from the front-ported Razz. With the Forte you will struggle to decide between positioning the speakers for optimum low-end extension from the rear passive radiator, and positioning the speakers for optimum imaging/soundstage. Owners rarely have both.
Imagine these things as you are listening to the Forte speakers, and you’ll have a pretty good understanding of the sound quality you can expect from your Razz speakers.
If you like the sound of the Forte, you will love the Razz