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Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand review

In terms of aesthetics it'd be hard to beat these Vienna Acoustics, but they also pack a sweet sonic punch that's both focused and purposeful Tested at £1000.00

Our Verdict

Beautiful objects with many sonic plusses, but restricted scale makes them hard to wholeheartedly recommend

For

  • Impressive build and finish
  • intriguing configuration
  • focused, purposeful sound

Against

  • Never really sound bigger than their physical dimensions

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Beautiful objects with many sonic plusses, but restricted scale makes them hard to wholeheartedly recommend

Pros

  • + Impressive build and finish
  • + intriguing configuration
  • + focused, purposeful sound

Cons

  • - Never really sound bigger than their physical dimensions

These Vienna Acoustics are certainly a handsome proposition. Trim, substantial (those front and rear baffles are over 3cm thick) and lustrously finished, they've got some technical headlines, too: the tweeter arrangement consists of a bass reflex port partially plugged by something VA's calling an ‘airflow control wedge', with the silk dome tweeter sited on the front of the wedge, in the throat of the port.

The 15cm mid-bass driver is made using a proprietary material called X3P, and the cone is transparent to afford an exciting glimpse of the innards.

Standing in a little free space, and slightly toed-in, the Haydn Grands deliver Chico Hamilton's For Mods Only with real energy and purpose.

First-rate stereo imaging
Stereo focus and imaging is first-rate, the Viennas establishing a coherent and convincing soundstage.

Low frequencies are extensive, nicely textured, tonally varied and promptly dispatched; midrange information (voices in particular) is smooth and detailed; treble sounds bright and alert without any edginess.

Switching to the widescreen delights of Joni Mitchell's People's Parties exposes some limitations in among all the good work, however.

The Haydn Grands offer just the right amount of glossy sheen to the sound, but their presentation is somewhat limited – at no point does the soundstage threaten to escape the confines of the compact cabinets.

The result is a presentation that's ultimately rather small-scale and a little too dependent on your position relative to the speakers.

So if a small, beautifully designed and finished standmounter with real musicality is what you're after, these Viennas are well worth an audition.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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