HiFi+ Reviews Vienna Acoustics' The Music

Tue, 13 Dec 2016

As impressive as The Music is in physical and aesthetic terms, it doesn’t prepare you for the sheer scale, power, and musical impact of their performance. This isn’t just a flagship speaker because it’s Vienna’s most expensive product: it’s a genuine flagship performer when compared to the competition. Everything about this product quietly proclaims its quality and attention to detail, yet The Music costs $32,000 per pair. Any product that really does deliver the performance benefits of a specialist audiophile atelier producer, at a price-point more commonly associated with global mass-marketers like B&W or KEF, is worthy of both considerable respect and closer attention.
What The Music’s adjustments allow you to achieve is the best possible balance of bandwidth and overall integration from the combination of this speaker and your room. Now add in the common driver material used across the bass and midrange characterized by its rich, natural tonality and the total absence of edge or glare, its careful matching to the beautifully balanced silk dome tweeter, and the air, harmonics, and temporal precision delivered by the super-tweeter and you have a performance that is at once big and powerful, engaging, and rewarding.
All that effort you expended on optimizing the in-room bass response and system integration results in a soundstage that has scale and volume, that’s populated by clearly placed, naturally proportioned and dimensioned images. That natural perspective is matched by dynamic and harmonic coherence that tracks musical energy across the entire bandwidth. In short, everything in the recording has a place and it’s easy to hear both what each musician is doing and exactly when they’re doing it. That might seem like the obvious goal for any loudspeaker, but it’s remarkable how many miss that target.
There’s scale and purpose in the performance, but also subtlety and delicacy too. The Wilson Sasha 2 has set the standard for acoustic and dynamic coherence – a standard that The Music matches but to which it adds bandwidth at both ends of the range. Few speakers in my experience match the instrumental texture delivered by The Music – and all of those are considerably more expensive.
 ‘Feel’ might be a strange word to describe music, but it is a vital aspect of live performance, of being in the presence of real instruments – and of reproducing that impression. Working at its best and fed from a serious source, The Music has an uncanny ability to put performers in the room, to mimic the sense of musical energy coming off of instruments and a stage.
The Music’s achievements are serial: available in either mixed wood veneer and piano black, or all piano black, they offer a frankly astonishing quality of fit, finish, and mechanical execution together with a musical performance that belies their price. They incorporate the same attitudinal flexibility found in Wilson’s more ambitious designs, but arguably in a neater and more easily applied form. They offer considerable bandwidth and exceptionally natural tonality. They are, by any measure, a serious high-end design – yet at a price that no longer qualifies as high-end.
Once you’ve lived with The Music the only things surprising about its longevity are that more people haven’t noticed it and that it’s not considerably more expensive. An exceptional design, beautifully realized, The Music can produce the kind of captivating musical performance that’s rare at any price. Very highly recommended!
Roy Gregory, HiFi Plus, Issue 140, November 2016

Click here for a PDF of the full review.


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