AXPONA has grown into the largest high-end audio show in North America, taking up six floors of the Westin O'hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Today I saw and heard the Volya NoLimits speakers, which take the prize for having one of the most unusual enclosures I've seen; it looks like a giant woofer!

And while people who walked into the room were easily confused by what they saw, the reality is the enclosure is a sculpture of sorts, it's not an active driver. Nevertheless, these were powerful performers. I did not get a price, but the German-speaking reps hinted to me that these particular speakers were being auctioned off to charity.

These 4' diameter speakers weigh 420 pound each, and are a 3-way design with am 11" ceramic/Kevlar sandwich woofer, a 5" ceramic midrange, and a 1" ceramic tweeter. Power handling is 150 watts RMS for these 4-ohm speakers, and sensitivity is listed as 88 dB (2.83 V/1m). The crossover is by Mundorf, the woofer/midrange crossover point is 300 Hz and the midrange/tweeter crossover point is 3000 Hz.

These speakers measure four feet across and weigh 420 pounds each. Photo by Mark Henninger
These funky speakers sounded good to my ears. While there was a language barrier, they have a menu of albums to choose from, and Massive Attack's greatest hits album Collected fit the bill. I loved what I heard as " Inertia Creeps " played at 103 dB. Good stuff, glad I have no idea what they cost. I do think the giant baffle helped these speakers project sound forward, and was shocked that the unusual shape did not impact soundstage and imaging. They may look like a gimmick, but the Volya NoLimits speakers are no joke.

A Mark Levinson No 380S preamp and No. 390S CD player rendered the music and a No. 431 amplifier provided power.

Before I left I also took in Metallica's "Halo on Fire" from Hardwired to Self Destruct, it kept the demo scene in the Volya room rocking.

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