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Vienna Acoustics Beethoven
35 Reviews
rating  4.71 of 5
MSRP  4500.00
Description: Scale, power and grandeur are all conferred by its name. As with all models in the Grand™ range, the composer name is selected based on the scale, complexity and power of performance for which they are best known. The term Concert Grand, like the piano of the same designation, refers to its ability to deliver this level of performance in large concert halls and music rooms. <P> The new 3-way Concert Grand delivers far more than just power and scale. The careful listener will delight in the lucidity and clarity of the all-important middle ranges where virtually all instruments find their tonic origins. <P> A truly extraordinary product that will re-calibrate your expectations.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by ckoffend a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2011

Bottom Line:   
Beethovan Concert Grand model - just to clarify.

This is a very "friendly" speaker, it is a bit polite and allows for long listening sessions without fatigure. The bigger concern vs. fatigue may be boredom for some.

What the speakers do well: overall they have a quite nice sound, much better in the midrange and higher frequencies than in the bottom end (regardless of placement). They allow for a wider range of poor recordings than the other speakers I currently own, which I think is a real plus. I would have to summarize their sound for the most part as somewhat delicate.

I think they are really nice speakers for small ensembles, jazz, vocals and acoustical instruments and this is where I think their strengths lie.

In comparison to the other speakers I own, they do not image as well, The soundstage does not deliver as much depth and their focus with small recordings is good, but not great. With larger scale recordings, their soundstaging and focus drops down another notch.

They seem a little bit slow to me in their pace. Not so much that they are off tempo, but just a little bit that I feel I am waiting for the music to catch up to the song - if that makes sense. Depending on the music, this may or may not be an issue. There are times that I find this appealing. Soothing music is quite soothing and a greater sense of emotion feels that it is being imparted with this anomoly.

The speakers are of average dynamics, they don't jump out at you. But that may be partially my impression of their slower speed.

Overall, I really actually like these speakers. They do some things in manners that I enjoy more than my other speakers and some things not as well - from an enjoyment perspective. I can recommend them to many people, but not to all people. I would find that if I had to own one pair of speakers, these would probably not be it.

I rate the list price value as below normal. I see the retail price (that they will actually sell for) of these speakers dropping off rapidly as we move forward (as of Oct. 2011). I have been told by my dealer that BestBuy/Magnolia is going to start to carry them. This will cause many dealers to drop the line and firesale price remaining inventory - causing the prices to crash. If you can get a brand new pair for the $3,200-3,500 range I think that is fair and reasonable (a dealer just sold a pair on eBay at $3,500, new in box with warranty in Sept. 2011). A used pair should be fetching about $2,500 in good conditiion over the next 6 months.

My system(s) consist of:
Speakers: Wilson Watt/Puppy 5.1, Thiel CS6, Gemme Audio Katana 2s, Maggies, Coincident Super Eclipse 2, Linn Tukans, Tekton OB4.5 customs with super tweeters by Eric Alexander.
Amps: Levinson 334, Larry Moore custom 2A3 SET tube amp, Wil Vincent modified Dynaco ST-70, Krell 400ix integrated amp, Bryston LBPro2
Preamp: Sonic Frontiers Line 3 upgraded main, Melos Sha for another system
Digital: Esoteric SA-50, Levinson 390S, Audio Aero Capitole, Squeezebox server digital into any of the 3 CDs (all have digital inputs and volume controls - which may at times be run direct to amp)
Cabling: Transparent Ultra series IC and SC mostly or Stealth or Silver Circle (depending on system configs)

Everything listed in system is presently owned - no formerly owned items are listed, but used as reference for my review in some cases.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tom Slottvik a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Purchased this pair of speakers 4 month ago. Before them I had a pair of Dali Concept 10, which I listened to 1-2 times a week - Now I listen 1-2 times a day. It is a pleasure to hear them "speak", especially if the CD is of a better quality. The first thing I noticed when using the VA, was that many of my CD are of a poor quality, soundwise that is. So I reduced my CD collection by 2/3, and went hunting for more quality CD's.
Then I purchased a pair of midrange speaker cables, which made a little improvement.

The sound picture of VA Beethoven is simply outstanding!! And I am not just saying it because I now own a pair.

Actually I was a little dissapointed at first when I hooked them up. The bas - Where was that?? There was no question about the high- and midrange: SPITZENKLASSE!! But the bas was a major dissapointment...........right up to the time when I experimented with the position of the speakers. Positioning is crucial for this pair of speakers. I ended up placing them 60 cm from the back wall and 100 cm from the side wall, on spikes. Then the bas came alive - What a difference it made! All though I don't think these speakers are for bas-aholic's.

When the VA are placed right, the sound is definitely catagorized as upper middle class. You never get tired listning to them. They just do everything right.

I use a Cayin 265 Ai and a tube CD player. This combination is, in my opinion, outstanding when playing female singers. The warmth and and intensity, rates beyond upper middle class in this paticular field.

The finish of these speakers are in the absolute high end - Truely amazing!!!. Go for the Rosewood- or Black finish.

Conclusion: Not High-end speakers, but definately Upper Middle Class. In this price range the competition is hard and plentyfull, but the Beethoven's won't dissapoint you - Trust me!! Upper- and midrange is high-end. Bas is deep and wide enough for me, not for some though.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Musik Mann a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the new Beethoven Concert Grands, which are a bit different than the previous Beethoven model from 2 years ago. Also, I bought floor models that had a tiny blemish on the corner of each speaker, thus the lower price. These babies are normally $5k new in Rosewood Finish.

These speakers are simply amazing. I truly feel that for the price you cannot buy a better speaker. Of course that is rather opinion based, but I've spent a lot of time with speakers from many manufacturers in a high end audio store at which I used to work, and I snatched the Beethovens with no desire to ever look back.

The first thing that strikes one is the absolute physical beauty of these speakers. I recommend the Rosewood finish to anyone considering these speakers. They are just so damn sexy. It's definitely worth the extra $$ for Rosewood every time you look at them.

Sonicaly their best attribute is an overall warmth of tone, especially with acoustic instruments. Vocals are clear and present, especially when the recording puts the voice in the middle of the soundstage. Guitars have a real tangiblility unmatched from lesser speakers, and imaging is wonderfully expansive and spacious.

Another wonderful feature of the Concert Grand is the bass response. I found myself simply turning off the sub in most cases, for the bass response is deep, accurate and very puncy. Despite the fact that I have a wonderful sub, the Martin Logan Depth, I only use for when I'm listening to large scale orchestral music.

A few musical expamples:

Jeff Buckley-Lilac Wine: This song is a true favorite, and Buckley has one of the best voices ever to grace the recording industry. This song from his album "Grace" has a real ethereal quality, which the speakers brought out really well. His voice was clear, down to every purse and smack of his lips. The bass really comes through well, a gentle yet impactful bass line that comes in about 1/3 of the way through the song. This is one of my favorite recordings.

Heart-Keep Your Love Alive: This is another song well suited to the Beethovens. Mostly acoustic guitar, with a bit of flute and lots of little chimes and other tactile additions. Ann Wilson simply is in the room, and when the song picks up the bass drum has a tremendous impact, yet all the details are still clear and audible above the heavy drums. A great demo song.

Herbert von Karajan conducts the Vienna Philharmonic-New Year's Concert 1989:
What would a review of these speakers be without discussing recordings in the hall whose acoustics inspired the designers of these speakers in the first place. There really is a special quality to listening to recordings made in the Musikverein on these Viennese speakers. The Blue Danube Waltz in particular is probably the best put to record, and the whole thing just comes alive on these speakers. The Vienna speakers really have a way with showing the quality of the recording venue and its acoustical properties. With this recording, the speakers literally disappeared, and the whole orchestra was in my living room, centrally located, with instruments sounding like they would on stage.

That's the best mark of these speakers is that they simply draw you in, allowing you to engage in the music without ever thinking, "this could sound better." For the price range, I think these speakers are very hard to beat, especially for a two channel setup. And for all but the most hardcare of bass heads, you can get away with no sub and be perfectly happy.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $3400.00

Purchased At:   Magnolia Audio/Video

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Nezzar a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I bought these speakers after listening to them quite a few times in Tweeter.
I was initially very impressed at how these speakers made orchetral instruments like flute, violin, horns, or percussion sound very real, almost like the actual concert hall was just on the other side of the speaker grill.

I wasn't very impressed with the bass, however. By talking to a nice salesman and reading many of the other reviews, I learned that high quality electronics was the key to getting these speakers.
I currently have a Harmon Kardon 3470
100W x 2 Stereo Receiver and wasn't sure that the Beethovens would sound nice with them.

So I kept visiting Tweeter and listened to them every couple of days. I must say
that these speakers earwash (brainwash)
you into wanting them. All my resistance
broke down when Tweeter lowered the price from $2600 to 2000, and I decided to take a chance.

I brought them home and hooked them up to my Harmon Kardon with a $75 monster cable and $12.50 banana plugs. I popped in a CD of Dvorak's New World Symphony.
I was shocked when I heard the first aggressive string passage in the first movement. The bass was very powerful and very accurate. My initial placement of the Beethovens in my room was quite good.

I must say that the strength of these speakers is that they can reproduce the sound color of an instrument very accuratly. For example, it is different to listen to a professional violinist on CD than in person. The Beethoven's take you a little closer to actual 'feel' of an instrument. It is the audio equivalent of a digital camera with a very high resolution. I really like the detailed and warm midrange of these speakers. The lower midrange 55-110 Hz is really wonderful, especially with detailed string passages like Vaughan Williams Concerto Grosso for large string orchestra. In this piece there are many different lines that are filled in by the violins, violas, cellos, and the bass violins. The detail and imaging of these speakers is absolutely the best. I can hear every note across the frequency range with a good balance. This speakers really let you hear soft passages of music really well. I like being able to clearly hear when a particular instrument will start or stop playing an accompaning melody in the background to a solo instrument.

The bass seams to decrease in strength about 55Hz and lower. I believe that higher quality audio cables and eventually a high end amp (such as Bryston) will improve this somewhat. I also believe that the quality of the CD is responsible for bass. I have a CD of Beethovens 7th Symphony recorded by George Solti and the Chicago Symphony and the bass is extremely deep (some passages go down to 30 Hz) and powerful. It is very natural, too. I love getting a realistic feel of the vibration of a bass violin string when it is bowed. I am delightfully satified with how my HK powers these speakers -- a great value for only $300 -- it seems to match the Beethovens very well.

I highly recommend these speakers for
people who really like natural instruments. For rock music these speakers my not be so good because many rock recordings are made in a small room, and these speakers will reveal the acoustics of the room as well as the music itself.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Tweeter

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Les K a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I just got a pair of demo units at Tweeter as they were closing out the line. I took a chance on these since there is a 30 day return policy, the price was right, but they really didn't sound very good using a Yamaha Z9 receiver. I must say that when I hooked them up to my electronics (Krell preamp, Musical Fidelity amp, Sony 555ES SACD player), They sounded MUCH better and I think I'll keep them. To me, their magic is in the midrange. There is much more detail to be heard than with my previous Paradigm References. The Scanspeak D29 tweeter is smooth and won't disappoint. Overall, the speaker is very balanced and enjoyable. Good electronics seem mandatory. Vocals are especially sweet. The slim and well constructed cabinet contributes to a wide and detailed soundstage. My placement is less than ideal and closer to the back wall than they should be so the bass is maybe a little stronger than it should be, but it still has enough slam and extension to satisfy. Let's put it this way: One of my main objectives in upgrading was to eliminate the need for my subwoofers in the music chain. With these speakers, that has been accomplished and now my subs are tucked away in the two back corners and are turned on for movies only.

In my view, these are truly high end sounding speakers. One other thing: removing the front grills during listening is much, much better and the grills should be considered just a dust cover.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Purchased At:   Tweeter

Reviews 1 - 5 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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