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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any comments on Viena Acoustics? The reviews note a bit of warmth in the upper midbass. Is this really audible? I expect to hear them soon and want any comments from owners or those that have checked them out. I know that some inaccuracies sound good in the short term, so how do these hold up in the long run? I will be comparing them to Revel F30 and Linn Espec. I currently use a Sunfire Cinema Grand amp, and a Casablanca pre/pro.
 

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I have a pair of the Viena Acoustics Beethoven speakers going on about 18+ months now; they sound beautiful in my room. I matched them with the VA Maestro center speaker.


They are mostly used for movies but I do get a chance to listen to music in that room (dedicated theater). They offer such a full range of sound that I was hearing instruments/passages that I didn't know existed! I thought the midrange sounded very 'full', the highs are very distinct/crisp.


I'm not sure how to describe/review speakers. The guys at HiFi Buys allowed me to bring home several pairs of speakers one week-end and my family and friends spent that time listening to all of them. For my setup, everyone agreed that the VAs sounded the best. I am extremely happy with them; YMMV....
 

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jkv,

When I first was looking for speakers, I went to Magnolia Hi-Fi, the salesman left me in the med-high end show room, and showed me how to switch receivers & speakers.

I was there for a few hours, and tried many different and expensive brands, I found the Viennas to be the best sounding speaker of them all.

I think you'll have many years of enjoyment.


Carlos
 

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My friend has the highest end Vienna Acoustic speakers. He bought them used when I bought his Linn 5140s (the precurser to the Espec). I like the VA better than the 5140s. They have better midrange and upper end and yet still have sufficient bass. We used the same system (all Proceed) but did use different speaker cable. We also used my amp (not in comparison, however), which is a Jeff Rowland, in his system. These speakers sound excellent with the Rowland. The Proceed amps tend toward the bass heavy with a bit less midrange detail. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear the Especs, so my review is of the 5140 v. VA.


This type of comparison depends on what kind of music you want to listen to and how "bassy" you like your sound. The Linns kick out a bit more bass, although the VA have quite a bit of bass -- the Linns just tend to be more "in your face." The Linns also lack the detail of the VAs. This also depends on the room. In my previous house, the Linns sounded great because they were fairly close to the wall, which helped the bass a bit. In my current house, they are in a cavernous room and away from the wall quite a bit, and the bass is reduced. I'm sure the room could use some acoustical adjustments, but these will have to wait until I get a dedicated HT room. So, if possible, compare speakers with your system and where you plan to put them.
 

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> > I know that some inaccuracies sound good in the short term, so how do these hold up in the long run? I will be comparing them to Revel F30 and Linn Espec


Local dealer sold all three. They dropped the VA's cause they could sell them. I myself am partial to the Linn's. I currently have 2 sets of 5140's. One set in a HT and anothr for listening to music in another room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My listening is probably 90% movies. I want a setup that is more musical than my current speaker setup but still in the HT area. I am thinking about using the same speaker for rears as for front LR, and possibly as sides when we get to a dedicated home theater room. My current speakers are the weak link.
 

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My brother has the $2,500 Viennas with the Maestro center. They are very nice. The top of the line Mahler ($9.800/pr.) will be discontinued shortly. Vienna is coming out with another model in the $6k range that is better than the Mahler. They will likely redo the Mahler. They are also coming out with a more expensive center channel (I think around $3k) that will mate better with their bigger speakers.
 

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I have also heard that Vienna Acoustics is coming out with a $6000 speaker to go in-between the Beethoven and the Mahler (I wonder what they'll call it), but this is the first I've heard about the Mahler being discontinued. Are you sure the Mahler is being discontinued? I thought sales were fairly good, as they're very reasonably priced for the sound and build quality you get. They do desperately need a better three way center.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sumiko did have VA information on their site that talked about a new floorstander and center. But now all I get is some weird search page when I try to get to sumiko.
 

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IMHO, the Vienna Acoustic Mozarts and Beethovens are very good speakers for music, and perhaps a bit less optimal for HT. I say that because I find their best qualities to be a smooth, well-refined midrange, a nicely balanced overall sound with nicely resolved bass that isn't as low as some other speakers, along with highs that have good detail without being harsh. They are great on vocals. A very "listenable" speaker.


Areas that I don't find them to be quite as strong are dynamics and sounding a bit strained at higher volume levels. As a lot of HT customers want punchy, dynamic speakers that can be pushed to reference levels, I don't consider the VAs to meet those needs. But for someone who doesn't drive speakers to that level, and values the musicality of their 5.1 system, they would be fine.


I consider them to be like large, more-extended versions of the classic mini-monitor. Which is a very good thing in the right rooms and with the right people. If I were buying new speakers, these would be on my short list.


Tom B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the inputs. I in fact do not listen at reference levels. I think the last time I checked the setup I was using more like 60-75db and it was plenty loud. I value my hearing over the long haul.
 

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In my opinion, the Linn 5140s are more challenged by loud volumes than are the Viennas. The tweeter tends to get sibilant with the 5140s when driven hard. For dynamic range for movies, I cannot comment on that for the VA, as my friend has a dedicated 2-channel system while I have a HT system. The 5140s are great HT speakers, and very good music speakers for the price. My friend thinks that the 5140s are far better for HT, but I'd have to say that the VAs would come pretty close to the performance of the 5140s for HT and are better (in my opinion) than the 5140s for music. A benefit to the 5140s is that you can passively or actively biamp them, if you believe in that sort of thing. I'm going to try this with my 5120 center channel.


I think either one of these speakers is a great choice for a combination HT/music system.
 

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My understanding is that the reason for the discontinuation of the Mahlers is that the new $6k speaker is so good, it is better than the Mahlers. So they are in the process of revamping it to be a step-up from the new $6k speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just heard the VA Mozart. It was a HT system with their center (Maestro) and sides (waltz). For a $4500 speaker system it sounded VERY good. They were also using 2 Rel subwoffers (front and back). For HT these sounded to my ears about as good a several much more expensive systems. I hope to listen to a Revel (M20 or F30), and Linn system next week. But, these VA have me asking how much more do I want to spend for what small improvement?
 

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HighEndWire,


That's interesting to hear that the Mahlers may be discontinued. I thought the new Strauss was essentially a "mini-Mahler," with the same midrange units, but a smaller tweeter and only one 10'' woofer compared with the Mahler's two (not sure if the Strauss uses the same Eton woofers that the Mahler uses). Perhaps the Strauss is easier to place in some rooms because of its smaller size. I imagine that the Mahlers need some space and careful positioning to sound their best.


I think the new $3,000 center is called the Oratorio. It looks like an interesting design. I'm curious to hear how it performs.



Jim
 

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The Sumiko rep was in a few weeks ago and told me about the Strauss and that they were incredible. He made no mention that they (Vienna) was discontinuing the Mahlers. I am waiting for the Shonberg and Weberns. They look cool and are based on the Mozart drivers.
 

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Based on the sound quality of the new speaker, they are definitely working on updating the Mahlers. They might still call them the Mahlers but it will be a different revamped design. The great thing about the Vienna line is that they are an easy load on amp, will play loud, have a great furniture finish and are not as picky as many other things with the electronics and cabling.
 

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I spoke with Sumiko today. The Mahlers will NOT be discontinued or updated in the near future, as I suspected.
 

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I heard the $4k V/A's using some B&K equipment at Tweeter about 6 mths ago and I really liked them. I did not hear the rest of their line up. Since you mentioned the F30's, I will ask will you buy a full 5.1/7.1 V/A or Revel setup? As a package, I think the Revel Performa Series is very hard to beat but again I have not heard the full V/A setup. My vote is for the Revels.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After hearing the VA Motzart and the rest I was favorably inclined to the VAs. Then I came home and tweaked a few things on my current system. The result was that my current system sounded close enough that I am rethinking the need to buy new speakers right away. When I listen to the Revel system it might change my mind. I read some threads about speaker setups for primarily HT (my case) and was reminded why I bought the same speaker for the front set. I am thinking that I might want to check out the M20 rather than the F30 for the front and use 2 B15 up front. This is likely to cost more but be more even in response. I could use hte M20 for all 7 channels or use the specialty speakers for center and surrounds. The bottom line was that a minor change in speaker placement resulted in a big improvement. I might even spend the money on the video chain first.
 
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