Guttenberg reviews Volti Razz

Just watched youtube review by Steve Guttenberg on the Volti Razz Decorator. (no veneer). In my view he sums up all I've been enjoying with these wonderful speakers. Dynamic, sweet sounding, engaging, musical... 

Decorator Razz, $2k less than standard Razz. DIY stain and seal. Pretty darn cool in my book!

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Awesome I've heard the Razz, and other Volti models at CAF in the past and really liked them. And that self veneer option is a great idea.

@jond Awesome I've heard the Razz, and other Volti models at CAF in the past and really liked them. And that self veneer option is a great idea.


jond, do you recall the particular amplification and digital / DAC setup you heard the Razz with?

Hey decooney both times it was Border Patrol gear Dac and tube amplification and a CEC belt drive CD transport. Amps were 300B based.

Thanks @jond I can imagine that sounded pretty darn nice. Gary does a nice job. I’m enjoying his newly updated SE-I dac now. If I ever decided to part with my own custom design speakers, the Razz paired with his 300B amp would be pretty sweet to own. Hope to go hear that setup at a future show sometime if I can make it. 👍


I certainly trust your ears and judgment. No doubt that combo you heard sounds terrific!


oh nice @decooney I am sure his Dac sounds fantastic that room sure did. And thanks @charles1dad I appreciate that and it did sound very good. His Rivals sounded better but that's to be expected of course.

@jond Dang! One of these shows it would be awesome to finally connect up with you my friend. I understand the combination of either the Razz and the Rival with the Boarder Patrol is sublime. When I finally got to hear the Razz they were paired with a Cary SLI80 HS. It was a beautiful pairing. It stuck with me and I ordered my own Cary. I’m not sure if it’s quite up to the pairing with the Boarder Patrol… it certainly was more friendly to my bank account.

I am hoping and praying that you all, and all the brothers and sisters here in AG are safe during this crazy weather period we’re having.

I take his reviews with a grain of salt , everything is mostly good 

how many times does he say something is bad ?  I know of a couple reviewers 

who would rather send the product back then give a bad review.

Volti has one flaw ,myself. Modding Xovers for over 20 years 

not only volti but the vast majority ,they use average at best parts quality why ? 
to save $$ most do not experiment like excellent  world class Loudspeaker builder 
Tony Gee. Know for his Capacitor evaluation                                                    Humble homemade Hifi capacitor test  then you can see what’s in your speaker 

and know most are subpar ,the Xover is the  ♥️ or 🧠 of any loudspeaker good or bad , having owned a Audio store ,I know all too well ,for speakers and electronics 

only 25% goes into the product  including packaging ,the rest R&D overhear and markup this is why unless you spend $$ your much better taking a solid design and have it modded , for mfg use a 4-1 markup ratio  

cables can be far Worcester 10-1 ratio they can charge $$& anything they  want for their time and wire geometry,  I use good wire with sound geometries like

Wireworld ,Audio quest. Who have been there ,Cardas , a Litz wire I prefer ,others buy what  they like,

@audioman58 Good point and good advice. For myself when I'm in the market for something I read and listen to as many points of view as I can. Of course also here on AG. Then if there seems to be a mostly positive consensus and no glaring flags, I set off to use my own ears. 

When I was in my favorite college job, one of the only two high end shops in my town, my boss noted I read every audio rag out there, Sterophile, TAS, HiFi Choice, etc... He said something along the lines that there is a mutual relationship there. Reviewer's need companies to send gear to review to sell copy, companies need reviews to sell gear. Reviewer too harsh = less gear sent = less gear and magazines sold. 

@audioman58 and one of them is Steve Guttenberg. He said so himself. Steve actually stated recently-ish that if a product he has would be getting a bad review from him, he opts to send the unit back to manufacturer and skips doing a review. His stated reason was not wanting to take part in a taking down or hurting a business. He simply prefers to only review things that will be a good review… I’ve seen Steve hit the nail right on the head describing a unit I am also familiar with, like the OP says, too. With that said, I don’t think he’s untrustworthy just because he likes to review in a positive manor. He’s still gets it right and does still mention ‘negatives’ that may be helpful to someone. 

Doyle3433   Very good points   As I said when selling gear. 1 review is just  one’s opinion , multiple reviews from several different sources  are a more accurate consensus. I have heard Horror stories one from a excellent company years ago 

who was Called ESP. Their concert grands, and Harps outstanding , 

the 2 Biggest audio magazines said give us $50 k and you will have superb positive coverage ,sadly he was just growing not like B&W ,Wilson who had deep pockets 

came up with 20% of that he received a decent review and little coverage 

and being speaker of the year in  I think Fi magazine later 90s he had to shut down and moved back to Ireland . I bought a pair they were fabulous until they were destroyed in a fire.   This happens to many products , look for return policies 

and auditions . These big companies 30% of the markup is their advertising ,please keep this in mind . Thsts why for now the Dynaudio floor standersi rebuilt are staying put I put Svs 4000 sub ,maybe adding a 2nd one and they sound better then anything over $12k+  the Xover was the weak link they had $400 in parts 

I spent $1600 a mfg would charge $6k 4-1 ratio , which wouldnot happen ,many use the cheaper Mundorf Evo white capacitors when in fact their Black Supreme are by far their best , and their $4 mox resistors , they make $30 ultra you are seeing in the Magico A5 .I use the excellent Path audio around $30 each 

quality counts ,as well as connectors most companies use bright gold over brass connectors ,I use WBT , and why on amplifiers would you create a bottle neck 

for $25 a Furutech gold Copper IEC  is 4 x better conductivity far less noise resistance ,they use a $3 plated  brass , it makes no sense just to save a few bucks 

judt charge the extra in the build ,pennywise pound foolish . I change. Many things myself , I hate when mfg think of $$ before quality.

Last year was my first time at capital audio fest, and out of all the rooms I visited, the Volti room with border patrol 300B amplification, Innous front end, and Triode Wire Labs cabling stopped me dead in my tracks. The combination was sublime, and I ended up spending a longer time there and chatting with the hosts.

Guttenberg has addressed his review methodology publicly including why he doesn’t do negative reviews (with at least one exception):

The Volti/BP/TWL room at shows is always an oasis to relax and be involved in the tunes they are playing. They always show together and their friendship is rewarded with consistent top shelf performance, one aspect of many this system reminds you of is how dynamically restricted many other systems are, I think the dynamically alive presentation really helps the illusion of live music, well done Greg, Gary, and Pete!

I will just say one thing when it comes to designing and building speakers, or any component, the most expensive part is not always the best part. A good builder will keep costs in mind but sound in mind first and sometimes a cheaper part will sound better.

And I missed Triode Wire labs they do always exhibit with Volti/Border Patrol and good catch on the Innous @khashmi !