Riva Audio Festival (Wand series)

Discussion in 'Portable and Other Gear Measurements' started by purr1n, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Having written a belated review of the Riva Turbo a few month back, I'm going to follow up with a belated review of the Riva Festival. The Festival is quite a bit bigger than the Turbo. See here. The Festival is on the bottom and the Turbo is on the top.
    IMG_20180925_130155.jpg

    The Festival has a three full sets of woofers and tweeters on the front and on the side, and four passive radiators to extend the bass. The Festival has the same kind of sound as the Turbo X, timbre definitely, and maybe a bit more tipped up at the lows and highs. Because of its bigger size, the Festival packs a bigger punch, extends lower, and does so more cleanly than the Turbo.

    As far as setup (one of the things that can drive me crazy), Riva seemed to have put a lot of thought into this. Basically it went like this: Get Google Home app to connect Riva Festival to my home WiFi. Download Riva Wand app for phone applications to connect to the Festival. Super fast and zero issues on my Pixel 2 XL.

    Setup with the iPhone involves AirPlay and downloading the Riva Wand app from the App Store. My Apple experience was less pleasant because the App Store had a few problems connecting and my wife's new iPhone 8 is extremely annoying slow (relative to Android phones at 50% of the price) to get things done. Apple universe buyers should always be sure to spend top dollar to get the bestest and latest, because the old stuff is gonna suck or be intentionally nerfed.

    One thing I'd like to mention is the cleaner button arrangement on the top of the unit. Plus and down for volume. Obviously next and back. Holding down the left or right buttons changes the input. The LED ring around the button panel changes color depending upon input. There are a bunch of inputs: WiFi, USB, Toslink,
    IMG_20180925_104133.jpg

    Here is the back of the unit and the inputs available. The right most switch I believe is for "Away mode" where is no WiFi.
    IMG_20180925_104205.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So this is how the Riva Wand app looks like on my phone. I can control the volume via the app. There is also other stuff I can do like choose the source (from USB drive, device, external networked storage).
    Screenshot_20180925-103352.png
    Screenshot_20180925-103249.png

    Noticed I've tweaked the EQ a bit to my tastes. -3db bass, -2db treble. Little bit too tipped up at the ends, at least in this room.
    IMG_20180925_104115.jpg

    Amazon Music worked well. I just needed to cast the playback to the "Living Room" speaker.
    Screenshot_20180925-103421.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Next up was Bluetooth which I found to be a big jump in sound quality from the Amazon Music app. I was able to get my Sony ZX2 to connect with ease.
    IMG_20180925_104607.jpg

    And then casting it to the right device.
    IMG_20180925_105607.jpg

    I'm not sure why it sounds better. I know Bluetooth uses compression. So even if I am working with lossless FLACs on my ZX2, it would still be compressed, just as the content from Amazon Music would be compressed. Maybe it's the ZX2. Maybe Amazon Music compression is just totally messed up.

    One thing we will notice is the "speaker groups" option in the post above. I've got a smaller Riva Arena and will try to set it up in the same group as the Festival so that I can have the same music playing in two rooms of the house. Now it's my understanding that only the Riva speakers in the Wand series will be able to do this.
     
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  4. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I think I read that the Turbo X can go down to about 65 Hz or so:

    http://www.oluvsgadgets.net/2015/05/review-riva-turbo-x.html

    I bet this one can go even lower!

    Based on your comments and that other review about the smaller Riva, it seems the tune the side drivers and the center driver a little different, with the side drivers being a little brighter.
     
  5. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Super happy with the WAND series. I have a Festival and two Arenas. Once you have set up the various connections it just works. With minor adjustments in the app they provide really nice tonal balance for ‘consumer’ devices.

    Donald really knocked it out of the park with these!
     
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  6. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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  7. marflao

    marflao Acquaintance

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    I also have the Arena and like it a lot. Even more since I can use my favorite apps (Orange Squeeze on Android Tab & iPeng on iPhone) since I use LMS and installed the Airplay plugin. A big surplus from my perspective since the Arena, Pi (with pCP) and Logitech Touch play simultaneously.
     

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