Coincident Technology Victory
The Inner Ear Report:Vol. 14,#2
Source: Coincident Technology
Price: $4,599.00 US
Rating: 3 1/2 notes

The head designer at Coincident Technology, Israel Blume, is perpetually striving to improve his designs by applying proven science and innovative deliberation. He has been designing and manufacturing loudspeaker systems for about 10 years and, in the process, has created a number of exceptional designs-most of which have been reviewed in this magazine. His latest effort is the model Victory which is said to be "an all-out assault on the state of the art high sensitivity, high impedance loudspeakers". Blume's earlier high-end loudspeaker models have established a blueprint for high impedance and super sensitivity. They are obviously designed to work well with modern vacuum tube amplifiers, especially single ended designs.

As we have reviewed most Coincident loudspeakers and awarded a couple of models top rating, we were immediately struck by similarities in design and style which brings us to their...

The similarities begin with the slim, tall cabinets which are immaculately finished, blending easily with almost any decor and any size listening room. Each enclosure stands 42 inches high with a footprint of 9 inches wide and 14 inches deep. Our samples came in a beautiful red cherry veneer; light cherry and black lacquer finishes are also available.

The design, though somewhat similar to the earlier Eclipse models (reviewed in Vol. 11#4), differs mainly in that the traditional tweeter has been replaced by an isodynamic planar driver, a ribbon-type unit which offers a very high sensitivity. This design is rather unique as ultra light Kapton film is employed here and works in conjunction with two rows of Neodymium and Barrium Ferrite to cover about 90% of the vibrating surface.

Blume chose two 3 inch midrange drivers (Eton) which feature pre-coated fabric, low mass diaphragms and complement the ribbon's speed and transient capabilities. These drivers are arranged in a D'Apollito configuration (placed below and above the tweeter on the baffle). Two custom made Seas 6.5 inch woofers handle the bass. These drivers are the same ones used in Coincident's Triumph Signature speakers (reviewed in Vol. 10#3) and are treated with paper to maintain musical finesse, dynamic response and low distortion, down to about 36Hz.

The enclosure of the Victory is a copy of the one used for the Super Eclipse model
The crossover is hard wired and made of the same top quality, matched components, including polypropylene caps, metal oxide resistors and large gauge OFC air core inductors used in all Coincident models. Internal wiring is achieved with Coincident's TRS cables.

As the Victorys are ported, Blume incorporated the same Aeroport used in the Total Eclipses (reviewed in Vol. 13 #2) to reduce port turbulence and intermodulation distortion below 100Hz.

The enclosure of the Victory is a copy of the one used for the Super Eclipse model, which consists of an elaborate bracing system with six horizontal and six vertical braces. The enclosure is made of 1" hardwood MDF and boasts spline joint construction tuned to 350Hz. Blume claims that "the end result is an enclosure that has been specifically designed to sonically disappear".

The Sound:
For our listening tests, we used the Tenor monoblocks, reviewed in our last issue, the Manley monoblocks, reviewed in this issue, the Bryston 14B ST (reviewed in Vol.13 #4), and two integrated amps, the Cary (reviewed in this issue) and the Musical Fidelity (reviewed in the last issue). Wiring was achieved with Nordost Red Dawn and Valhalla cables and our source components were the Audio Aero Prima (reviewed in Vol. 13 #4) and the new Cary CD player (to be reviewed in the next issue).

All amplifiers illustrated what the Victorys have in common with most of Coincident's other models, namely the ability to project a well defined image for the listener. However, sonic characteristics changed with the various amplifiers we used. With the Bryston, we attained richly textured bass and bottom midrange, sparkling, pure midrange and somewhat pinched high frequency information. This system combination handled dynamics better than any other we tried.

With the Manleys, we noted improved highs, somewhat reduced midrange clarity and ample bass information, though somewhat unresolved in the very bottom octaves. The Musical Fidelity integrated amplifier managed smooth, very sophisticated highs, absolutely sweet and transparent midrange information all the way down to the upper bass regions. Deep bass, however, didn't quite finish and displayed a less than perfect firmness. The Cary integrated amplifier delivered the sweetest highs, but didn¹t match the performance of the Musical Fidelity amp in the midrange areas. Bass was almost identical to that heard with the MF.

The Tenor monoblocks were the best all-round match for the Victorys With these amplifiers, high frequency information took on a glow around each and every note, while delivering a liquidly smooth top end. The midrange remained smooth, blossomed ever-so-enchantingly and depicted every instrument¹s sonic make-up with the utmost proficiency. Upper and lower bass was spirited without imposing too much, nor was there even a hint of unresolved sound. This system was entirely correct with just the right amount of blossoming in the midrange and high frequencies and enough "slam" to realistically reproduce dynamic passages, not to speak of offering inner detail to die for.

Our panelists considered all amplifiers we used a good match. When considering the Victory speakers in a system set-up, the above documented sonic characteristics will assist you to determine the kind of sonic attributes important to you-the only one whose opinion counts. If bass and dynamics are important, the Bryston should be chosen. If midrange finesse is your cup of tea, try the Manley or the Musical Fidelity amps; simplicity with a great dose of musicality is guaranteed by the Cary integrated amp. If you want it all, get ready for a major expense and invest in the Tenor monoblocks.

Synopsis & Commentary:
The Victory speakers behave almost identically to Coincident's larger, more expensive models. Bass is somewhat restricted, but performs well to the specified 36Hz. With the right amplifier (see above) 36Hz are well resolved, although there is still room for harmonic energy down to about 32Hz-respectable by anyone's standards. As the Victorys feature a ribbon type design, it may take a while for the upper midrange and high frequencies to perform at their best and we recommend about 200 hours "burn in" time to attain the best possible results. As well, it is important to know that every time the system is switched off for a couple of hours, it will take about 15 minutes to reach the tweeters' peak operating condition. When the tweeter is cold or new, it can sound a bit "pinched". However, when the tweeter is properly burned in, its sonic disposition becomes capacious and allows lush, well textured detail. A ribbon design offers numerous benefits, including extremely wide horizontal dispersion and correctly regulated vertical dispersion which helps avoid floor and ceiling reflections. In addition, it is known to enhance imaging stability, which is likely the reason for the Victory's re-creation of an awesome sound stage with all amplifiers used for this evaluation.

The Victory speakers behave almost identically to Coincident's lmore expensive models
We usually do not compare different makes of loudspeakers, as we feel that each manufacturer or designer embraces his/her sonic ideal which must stand on its own merit-right or wrong. However, we believe it is fair to compare one model with another from the same manufacturer. Thus, we consider the model Victory secondary in performance only to the Total Eclipse model (Coincident's flagship) which offers more bass extension and a touch better information in the upper midrange. This comes at a price, of course, and it will take an experienced listener to hear the differences. Fact is that the Victorys are such an excellent design that most listeners will not determine a sonic difference. Both models have what we consider the high-end signature sound of Coincident Loudspeakers.

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