Riva Turbo X Review (mini) and Measurements

Discussion in 'Portable and Other Gear Measurements' started by purr1n, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Riva Turbo X Review (mini) and Measurements

    I've been meaning to do a review of the Riva Turbo X for a super long time now, but I keep forgetting. I picked this up for a great deal at a CanJam a few years ago. I was so retarded for the longest time that I only realized that this portable wireless speaker (can be fed via Bluetooth, but also USB, iPhone, or 1/8" stereo phono) was truly portable with a built-in battery just a few months ago. The main function of Turbo X for me has been bringing it to the pool for kids' parties, and using it as a portable speaker with decent SPL capability for outdoor movies where I hang a sheet under the patio and bring out a projector.

    I can't find any of my nighttime photos with a movie playing, but as we can see, the Turbo X isn't that big at all, but has enough output to disturb the neighbors. My wife keeps telling me to turn the volume down because I like to hear big explosions. I hang a sheet up for movies, but the last sheet finally got destroyed from last winter's winds. I found that putting the Turbo X up on blocks results in a more neutral sound (that is less overly bassy and more even mids) than if it were placed on the floor.
    IMG_20180623_171801.jpg

    Here is a close up on the unit. On / off button. I don't remember what the S button does. Bluetooth button. Mute. Volume up and down. And Turbo, which raises the gain. It's kind of dusty and has fingerprints and kids' boogers all over it. That's just how I treat it. It's survived all this time and is still running strong. This is a real review of a real product and how it's really used. So sorry if no glossy fancy photos.
    IMG_20180623_170807.jpg

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  2. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    The wand has the same glossy finish. I love the sound but fingerprints and scratches are expected if you have kids.
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Sonically, the strengths, subjectively saying, of the Riva Turbo X are as follows:
    1. Unbelievable SPL capability for its size.
    2. Impressive bass extension for its size - like, no, not that's possible. Damn @Donald North (and the rest of the Riva team) with their Jedi Force power tricks.
    3. Impressive fidelity given its size, feature set, and price point.
    4. Stereo image? How is this possible? More Jedi tricks!
    Let me put up some measurements. BTW, I will post measurements of two other speakers that use Fostex drivers later for purposes of comparison. It's always a good idea to have other references. I took this measurement with the Riva Turbo X just a few feet off the wall and put up on a stool.

    IMG_20180623_170136.jpg

    Riva Turbo X Frequency Response.
    Riva Turbo X Frequency Response.png

    The measurement is as expected. Very flat - the slightly boosted low and mid treble should be a benefit for outdoor use. Great bass extension down 60Hz. The highs do roll off though. Totally forgiveable for what it is. One thing to keep in mind is that if move the Turbo X closer to the wall or ground, we should get more reinforcement of the lows.

    Distortion here for reference with measurements of two other speakers later.
    Riva Turbo X distorio.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Finally, here is a listening position measurement (never as good as a nearfield, but it gives us an idea how good it sounds while we are watching movies in the backyard. A dip at 500Hz, but I see this all the time. It's floor bounce. The bass looks better, probably because it's farther from the back wall, which was causing reflections and cancellations.

    Riva Turbo X Frequency Response - Real Life Use.
    Riva Turbo X FR real.png

    Again, this is how it this measurement was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Picked up one of these and another cheaper, decently reviewed Sony Bluetooth speaker for a shootout. My proud to be half-Dutch, and yes, frugal wife does not give two schiits about hifi or "gear". So I was quite surprised when she insisted that we return the Sony and spend almost double to keep the Turbo X. Anyhow, we've enjoyed it a lot these past few months and they seem to have dropped in price lately, available for around $150 new.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yeah, they are dirt cheap now. Do they still some with the portable protective bag?
     
  7. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Yeah, I got a nice protective case with mine. Also, all these sales point to it being discontinued?
     
  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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  9. fraggler

    fraggler The Cable Guy - Friend

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  10. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    The kids bought me a Riva Turbo X for fathers day (probably to stop me from taking my sons) . Love this thing, it is totally amazing what it can do. Great to see the measurements support subjective impressions.

    .. dB
     
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  11. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    The Turbo X and all of our other wireless speakers upmix stereo into 3 channels which feed into active transducers on the left side, front, and right side. The goal is to create virtual Left & Right channels outside the enclosure. This is more apparent when placed near a rear wall and especially when used indoors, taking advantage of room reflections. It is not the same stereo imaging as a pair of left-right speakers but it yields a spacious room-filling sound.
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I can attest that the stereo image works quite well in the situation above (summertime outdoor movies with the projector at night). Not massive L to R width, but a very good sense of L to R with the screen. But also with added benefit of an extremely strong center channel, which two speakers sometimes doesn't do well, especially if sitting off to the side.
     
  13. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Anyone have experience on a single X vs a pair of S?

    Can any fellow Canucks comment on what the real cost is to get these across the border into Canada? The sale on the S is tempting but import duties/brokerage/etc make me a sad panda.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  14. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Cool! I wonder if its similar to the matrix single speakers Nagaoka would build, mentioned in a diyaudio thread I came across once.

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full...orations-matrixed-single-stereo-speakers.html

    Ah. I saw it in the speaker kit section so I assumed it was a kit.
     
  15. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    It is somewhat similar but we do different processing depending on the frequency, all in DSP. For example in the Nagaoka designs, not all of the transducers reproduce bass; ours do.
     
  16. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Oh, didn't know this thread existed. So chiming in with my own experience now.

    Yeah, I'd agree with most of the above. Contrast to Marv, I'd like a bit more bass extension and impact (hah, closet bass-head) for movies and games. But just to say... for a bluetooth speaker of this size, doing what it's doing is already impossible.

    Also Turbo mode gets loud. Like loud enough that the Riva can be the only speaker we have in our living room and it'll still hold its own.

    For most music listening duty, I find myself not wishing for more bass. In fact, it strikes the right balance between enough impact, clarity and with very good projection/soundstage.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    More bass extension means bigger box. I'll ask @Donald North to send us one for measurements and a loaner?
     
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  18. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    The wand series has replaced speakers in all but my nicest 2 channel setup in our house. You should review the damn festival and arena.
     

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