There is a perplexing and occasionally bizarre dichotomy that exists at the heart of audio fashion and, by an extension (or perhaps as a result of) reviewing. The products that get the most attention seem to fall into two opposing camps: those that are (or claim to be) so cutting-edge that they risk injuring themselves or anybody coming into contact with them, and those that rely on some obsolescent (and preferably unobtainable) technology or component. Barely a month goes by without some new, all-conquering plasma coating or NOS tube being touted as the latest big thing. But while marketing men and manufacturers alike, love to love a silver bullet solution, more often than not it’s those products that stand astride the middle ground of proven technology and established engineering that actually delivers the most balanced performance and the greatest musical satisfaction – and in no part of the market is this more obvious than loudspeakers.
“These used silk dome tweeters surrounded by flat diaphragms,
stiffened with carefully profiled, radial buttresses”
At first glance, the latest models from Vienna Acoustics, the very essence of a company with a “ploughing their own furrow, established technology, gradual evolutionary” approach to product development, might appear to have made a grab for the tail-board of the latest passing band-wagon – what with their talk of “composite-cone” drivers. But for once, the oft-used (and almost as often
misused) description is as accurate in the engineering sense as the benefits are real in the musical sense. With not a potential poisonous metal, diamond coating, ceramic cone or carbon fibre insight,
Vienna Acoustics have, nonetheless, managed to advance the performance of their in-house drivers significantly. Also, they have hiked the performance bar in what is arguably the most competitive area of the audio market as a whole. Meet the Beethoven References, speakers that 250 years after
their namesake’s birth could (and probably should) do to the world of mid-priced, floorstanding loudspeakers what he did to classical music.
Click HERE to read the full review by Roy Gregory hifi+ issue189
Click HERE for product information.