Voxativ 9.88 System
Sometimes, more is more — and for those who desire exit-level upgrade paths, Voxativ has answered their call. This is the Berlin-born brand's first expansion to their award-winning hybrid-active 9.87 System. It offers full-backward compatibility to owners of the current configuration via a stackable, plug-in-play Mid-module with self-contained midrange driver.
This new configuration consists of two key innovations, the new AC-4NP full-range driver and .01 Mid-module. This new configuration multiplies the advantages of three interlocking loudspeaker modules. Essentially, Pi x Pi + .01 = 9.88.
Starting on top is the acclaimed Pi-Monitor, a back-loaded horn enclosure sporting a new full-range driver — the AC-4NP. This new wide-bander combines a new CNC-milled basket, advanced suspension, enhanced paper cone, and new gold-plated magnet system derived from the AC-4F Gold to achieve higher resolution with even more finesse. This driver can be self-installed (MSRP $17,900) or purchased as part of a new 9.88 System (MSRP $75,000). Voxativ Fieldcoil drivers can also be factory-installed upon request.
For those seeking more personalization in their listening sessions, Voxativ has designed the new .01 Mid-Module. This clever new plug-and-play addition of an 8-inch neodymium, low-distortion, low-midrange driver allows the listener to tailor the sound with three different curves — in the musical range where the girth, growl, body, and slam reside. For those who already own 9.87, simply add the .01 Mid-Module (MSRP $17,900) between the housings, and a 9.88 is born ~ offering you pure personalization for all the ways you love to listen.
The base for the 9.88 literally brings the bass as Pi-Bass, an active Ripole subwoofer linear down to 20 Hz and optimized with Voxativ’s Acoustic Stealth Technology®. Inside, two opposing neodymium woofers are actively driven by a 250W Class AB plate amp. In addition, full crossover, phase, and gain controls are accessible in the rear.
20 - 20.000 Hz
110 dB / 1W / 1 m
50 W sinus
Dimensions (W x H x D)
16" x 56" x 16" (40x140x40cm)
Piano Finish, white or black
190 lbs (87kg)
Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound (Dec.2018) concluded:
"...the Voxativ 9.87 is far and away the best folded-horn single-driver loudspeaker I've ever heard. For those of you who listen primarily to acoustic music, who like their dynamics untrammeled, and who want their detail, both musical and recording, as high as that of an electrostat without any electrostatic-like loss of color or body, it comes with my top recommendation. If you're also a fan of SET's or relatively low-powered tube or solid-state amplifiers, the Voxativ 9.87 becomes a veritable one and only top recommendation. Which, come to think of it, is precisely what it is for the right kind of listener - a reference product..."
Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound (RMAF 2018):
"...Holger Adler of Voxativ showed his wonderful Pi 9.87 one-ways, driven by Voxativ’s terrific new T-805 integrated amp and hooked up with Synergistic Research cable and conditioning. This version of the 9.87 (which, BTW, is the number “pi” squared—symbolizing the advantages of adding Adler’s dedicated, powered Pi-Bass woofer to his Pi monitor) was dark in timbre, as was virtually everything else at RMAF, but simply gorgeous to hear! Using Adler’s top-line field coil drivers, which are clearly richer and fuller in the midrange and upper bass than the excellent neodymium drivers I’ve been using in my versions of the 9.87s, the system was a BOS contender. On Chet Baker Sings the field coils made Chet’s voice and trumpet—recorded with warm, rich RCA BX-44 ribbons—sound just like they should have, ravishingly lovely and lifelike..."
Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound, Golden Ear Award 2018:
"...yet another Golden Ear to a loudspeaker? Well, the folded-horn Voxativ 9.87 has certain advantages that the Magnepan 30.7 and the Magico M6 don't. First, it is very high in sensitivity at 100dB/1W/1m, which means you can drive it to thunderous levels with an SET or a lower-powered tube amp—something you can't do with Maggies and Magicos. Second, it is a single-driver speaker, using one Voxativ 8" wood-en-cone AC-PiFe widebander to cover the entire audible range. This means that, unlike the Maggie or the Magico, there is no need for a crossover because there are no separate woofers, midranges, and tweeters to join together. Third, the AC-PiFe is augmented in the bass by a fully adjustable, amplified, dipolar subwoofer, the Pi-Bass; as a result, the 9.87 doesn't thin down and roll off in the power range and low end the way most single-driver loudspeakers do. Indeed, the 9.87 doesn't sound like any single-driver speaker I've heard. It has the body, power, and extension that are almost always missing in such transducers, with none of the broadband dropouts that single-driver speakers invariably show. Yes, the Voxativ 9.87 uses a "whizzer" to augment its top end, but this one sounds less "whizzy" than most. In sum, the 9.87 is the most complete and realistic-sounding single-driver cone loudspeaker I've auditioned, giving you the incomparable coherence of a single crossoverless transducer (with the seamless addition of low bass thanks to the Pi-Sub) along with the efficiency, resolution, and dynamic range of a horn. Unlike my two previous Golden Ear winners, the Voxativ is also relatively compact and easy to drive..."
Terry Eringi, AVShowrooms, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2016:
"...what a treat to walk into the Voxativ room and be greeted by Holger Adler. As usual with Voxativ, the room set-up was spot-on. Playing were the 9.87 loudspeakers with improved bass units that were low, extensive with perfect pitch. Holger played a track from the album “la fabuleuse histoire de Mister Swing” with Michel Jonasz on a Fern & Roby turntable with F&R’s new tonearm. We experienced that wonderful clear and perfectly integrated sound I’ve come to know over the years..."
Jack Roberts, Dagogo.com, T.H.E. Show Newport June 2016:
"...the sound was as good or better than anything at the show at any price. I love single-driver speakers and even with the bass extender, the sound was that of one of the best single-driver speakers I have ever heard. Again, let me say this was easily one of the very best sounds of the show. In price, it’s not quite a mega-system, but in sound it surely was!"
Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound, T.H.E. Show Newport June 2016:
"...my third best sound of Newport Beach was Holger Adler’s $34.9k Voxativ 9.87 one-way (using Voxativ’s AC-4x spruce-wood-cone driver with neodymium magnet and whizzer tweeter in a folded-horn enclosure, which sits atop an active 12" dipole bass “extender”). Driven by Voxativ’s 845 SET monoblock amps and Ampeggio preamp, and sourced by Totaldac digital, this German masterpiece couldn’t be more different than Cessaro’s horns or Gauder’s steeply crossed-over multiways (both also from Germany, as it turns out), but its sound was, in its own way, just as fascinating and just as realistic. Neutral and absolutely seamless, the 9.87 (along with Voxativ’s Ampeggio Due) is simply the fullest-range, most natural-sounding one-way (or augmented one-way) I’ve ever heard. And once you’ve heard a speaker without a crossover that is this good, it makes everything else sound just the slightest bit cobbled together from parts. No, you’re not going to get the dynamic range of a horn speaker from the 9.87, nor quite the same resolution or treble extension that you get from the Gauder, but what you are going to get is true point-source imaging and a sound that doesn’t change a jot in timbre from octave to octave..."
Winner of 6moons Blue Moon Award 2015
Srajan Ebaen of 6moons.com concluded:
"...a fringe benefit is that the bass cabs with their flexible settings may be acquired for competing products; and that a soloing bachelor Pi can be converted to a properly married Pi at any time by simply inserting a folded felt damper into its horn throat and docking it atop the bass base. Punters with ears bigger than their wallets can thus approach the 9.87 system in two steps to defer the full crunch of the final bill. Add truly impeccable lacquer skins applied by an actual piano maker to cross off luxury optics in the same sentence as luxury costs. On my list of speaker hotties I'd most like to keep around, Voxativ's 9.87 system enters a tight secret group which includes the KEF Blade 2 and the Vivid Audio Giya 4. Yes that's illustrious company. And yes, that's where this one belongs; different but equally accomplished and one to settle down with to call it game over...."
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Jason Victor Serinus of Stereophile (RMAF Oct. 2015) wrote:
"...Voxativ may be one of the only companies in the high-end whose equipment list is designed as a flow chart. The visual presentation seems entirely apt, given how beautifully music flowed through the eye-catching and soul-pleasing Voxativ 9.87 system loudspeakers with its AC-4d wideband driver and bass extension ($34,900/pair).
This truly superior system excelled in communicating the life and beating heart behind the notes. Listening to Agnes Obel via Tidal, I heard beautiful sonorities distinguished by open highs, a superb midrange, and deep bass. Nor did the voice of Cassandra Wilson on "Strange Fruit" possess anything other than a special and wondrous beauty. Switching to analog, a fabulous recording of the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio's Live at the Misty excelled in its percussive impact. I wouldn't call this system totally neutral—it had a special shine to it, as would a jewel that had been buffed and polished to perfection—but it was supremely musical and drop-dead seductive.
Doing the rest of the honors: the world premieres of Voxativ's 845 tube monoblocks ($17,500/pair) and PA-01 preamp with MC phono ($9900); totaldac's D1 music server ($5000) and D1 tube DAC ($10,000); and, for the analog front end, the dps-2 turntable ($4400) with ViV Lab Rigid Float 7/CB tonearm ($6400) and Shun Mook Reference 2 cartridge ($6000)."