Amp Recommendation for Vienna Acoustics


I own a pair of Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand. Currently using a Conrad Johnson CAV 50 Controlled tube amp. I love the warm sound of the CJ and VA , but the bass can be a bit bloated and ill defined at times. I really like a nice clean,extended tight bass.
I was wondering if a different type of amp would help tighten up the bass - More power, solid state with a high damping factor?
I tried moving the speakers away from the wall an extra two to three feet and it helps , but does not solve the problem.
I have heard the Vienna Acoustics in show rooms with high power tube amps, different speaker cables,interconnects and still heard the bass issue.

I was curious if there would be a amp that would help this , or if I just need a different speaker to obtain the nice clean , detailed bass extension.

I have also tried subwoofers to see if it would help. It did help to a point . but did not solve the problem.
timo62
Hi Timo. You have yourself a very nice speaker. It does need a amp with a grip on the lower frequencies of it. An apropiate amp and a good power cord with it will improve it a lot. A couple of more things you can do is plug the rear ports, and different speaker and ic's cables can help. The amp I use is a Belles Reference 150a version 2. I like a natural neutral sound. One that lets me hear a cool recording sound cool and a warm recording sound warm and as many shades as it can in between. I think a Halo A21 would be a good choice to, but I have not heard it at home.
Timo,

I listened to a pair of Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand speakers with a Pass X-250.5 amplifier - with quality wire and was impressed. The sound had a natural presentation of the recorded venue. Bass was very good - coherent, articulate and tight.

For the money - I was very impressed. I have to say, I was listening to the speakers more than the amplifier because we've owned Pass amplifiers for years.

Hope this helps, TJF

Life it too short not to listen to music that stirs our senses and moves our souls.
Hi Timo, I am happily addicted to Vienna Acoustic speakers... First the Mahlers V1.5, and now Die Muzik. Yet, I admit readily that Vienna speakrs work at their very best with relatively powerful amps delivering a highish damping factor.... Lest the bass can sound pillowy and wooffy.

But before I can give you any suggestions.... What is your budget for a new amp?
I second the Belles recommendation. Your speakers loves a decent SS amp and there are many.......under $2000 new and used.

- Electrocompaniet
- Belles
- bel Canto ...... I use on my Mozart
- Odyssey amps
- Van Alstine
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, much appreciated.

I assume by the amps that have been suggested so far , that everyone is recommending a solid state amp for the Vienna Acoustics? That would seem to fall in line with what I have been researching. Would there be any options for a tube amp that would meet the same criteria?

I have been listening to tube amplifaction for the last 14 years , so part of me would be a little gun shy for the switch to solid state. Not against it though. Just think it would have to be a solid state on the warm side of the midrange and above.

It might be a good ideal to see if I can borrow a solid state amp/preamp ,or an integrated amp from one of my local audio dealers. That would give me an ideal what a relatively powerful amps delivering a highish damping factor would sound like with my speakers. Then I could start to fine tune what brand/model would fit into my system and please my ears.

Marqmike , Mean while I will check out the Belles Reference 150a version 2. and the Halo A21. Impressive looking amps!

Tjassoc , I will take a look at the Pass X-250.5 , thanks.

Guidocorona , I would probably be interested in used gear. My budget might vary depending on if I go the route of amp/preamp , or an integrated amp. If I buy an amp , them I will need a pre that would go well with the amp. $1,000 to 3,000 ( Give or Take) for amp and the same price range for the preamp.

I did also notice on other Audiogon forums related to amps for Vienna Acoutics , that some folks had recommended The Conrad Johnson MF 2500/2500A paired with a tube pre.

Thanks again for your input and any future advise!!!
Grannyring , just noticed your reply after I posted my comment. Thanks for your list of recommendations. I will check those out also.

I actually have a local dealer where I would probably be able to home audition the Bel Canto. That is a good start.

I will have to check out all the other brand/models given here also. Hopefully some of the suggested amps will be sold by some of the audio dealers in my area. That would give me a chance to hear first hand what hear what the amps sound like.

Thanks!
I've owned 2 Belles 150a , one regular, one hot-rod , very
light in the bass, I called them my tenor amps.
Replaced with Odyssey, just not good sounding.
Replaced with Van Alstine Synergy 450 two years ago, first time in 40 years I have not being looking at other amps.
Does it all.
Pass amp 250.8 would be wonderful.
Thanks again for the suggestions. I am taking a look at all the suggestions mentioned.

Schubert , The Van Alstine has been mention a few times here. Checked there web page out and noticed they sell direct only. They have some good reviews about their amps.
What about the Alstine do you like and what preamp are you using with them?
This is from a review of the Van Alstine Synergy 450

"Music flowed forth with great balance across a wide range of the audio spectrum without any solid-state glare but rather more of a tube-like bravado. Everything had a relaxed feel to it without harshness or grain. Whether hard rock, acoustic guitar, small ensembles, large orchestral passages or vocals, the 450 had a forgiving quality that enhanced the enjoyment of all types of performances.
"
Would you agree with that?
Add quote says it all. I really like the melodic quality of
upper bass-lower mids.
To me it sounds like a high-end 100 watt tube amp with real NOS Mullard or RCA power tubes.
I've used it with Brtston BP-6, bottlehead, AVA 4si hybrid tube and Eastern Electric Avant preamps.
Avant is far the best, but with 8 tubes expensive NOS tubes add up quick. Bottlehead is very open and pleasant.
Bryston is just an
OK pre, no more ,no less.Be fine if rock was your thing.
Also, AVA has good service and I only live ten miles away.
Odyssey and Belles take forever and a day .
I can’t say enough good things about the Bel Canto REF1000 Mk.2 (A.K.A. REF1000M) monoblocks driving the challanging Vienna speakers. I recommend these monos very highly if you are seeking an extremely musical result with just a touch of warmth… They also deliver a great deal of resolution, imaging, and majestic staging. The monos were able to control the twing big 10” side-firing woofers of my full size Vienna Mahler V1.5 towers almost to perfection.

I had BC REF1000 Mk.2 with me for more than one year when I reviewed them for Positive Feedback:
http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue43/bel_canto_ref1000.htm

It is very important that if you obtain a used pair (usually approximately $3K), you get an MK.2…. It is both more resolving than the original iteration, and significantly sweeter in the treble…. Yes, I did compare the two iterations side by side in my own system for a spell. Furthermore, the 2nd iteration has much higher input impedance, making compatibility with preamplifier a non issue. If you are in doubt with version, obtain serial numbers, and then check with the factory before purchasing.

Guido
Would there be any tube amps that would accomplish this also?
Timo, on tube amps, you should look for an amp delivering at least 200W into 8 Ohms, increasing to at least 300W into 4 Ohms.

Regards, G.
Tim, I put a friend into your speakers as a starter system...they are 4 ohm, so, yeah, they could use some drive, but thinking they necessarily need SS or 200W is, um, well...

If you've had tubes 14 yrs, then I would strongly advise that you look there first.

If it were me, I'd look at a Joule Electra LA 100 MkIII linestage - around 1200 used but they go fairly fast at that price - matched with a Prima Luna amp, one with the newer KT120 output tubes already installed by the seller. Get a good IC - maybe a Jade Audio - and you might never look back. In any event, if you didn't like something, all of this would be easy to sell.

Good luck!
Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
I am going to try The Musical Fidelity M6si via a home audition from my local audio dealer. I just want to experience first hand the difference with using a high powered integrated SS amp will have with my speakers.
The Higher powered integrated MF M6si did open up the Vienna Acoustics.
The bass tightened up and became more defined and brought to life to the entire speaker from top to bottom. I still could hear some limitations in the bass of the Mozart Grand , but overall it was nice. I suppose a move up the line in the VA line of speakers might help with a more defined bass sound.
I am not sure if I am a solid state person though. I really like the Musical Fidelity , but I wished it had warmer sound in the upper midrange and above. I guess I am use to the tube sound.
Thanks again everyone for your input.
I am glad you are getting familiar with the VA's. I have found on the Mozart Grands the most difficult balance is what you are dealing with. Components, mostly the amp in this case, that control the lower midrange and below, and then do not have the spectrum above that get a little thinner, harder, brighter, or edgier compared to fuller sound of the lower frequencies. But after you find that balance the quality of sound from these speakers rates extremely high. You will be rewarded for your patience and effort. There might not be a lot of other speakers that will make you as happy if like me you like to a very high degree a very natural sound and very musical and communicative. Where all the parts of the music fit so well together you forget about the component stuff.
With what you describe your amp doing now, I am not real familiar with it, you can help out your concern with a pre amp and cables to a degree. But I think the amp is the most important component for the speakers and it sounds like that amp is taking you in the right direction with your speakers.
Marqmike , What you said below here on your last post is exactly where I am at now.

"I have found on the Mozart Grands the most difficult balance is what you are dealing with. Components, mostly the amp in this case, that control the lower midrange and below, and then do not have the spectrum above that get a little thinner, harder, brighter, or edgier compared to fuller sound of the lower frequencies."

The big question is which brand of amp/preamp or integrated combination?

I did really like what The Musical Fidelity M6si did for the Mozarts lower midrange and below. The upper midrange and above were a little brighter than I would have preferred , but it still sounded very musical.

I did recently talk to a dealer that sells Vienna Acoustics and he had said that VA themselves like Primare amps , specifically the Primare I32 Integrated.

I guess it is time to do some research and audition if possible , all the brand model amps that have been mentioned here so far in this thread.

Since the Musical Fidelity was the first solid state that I have tried , I think it might be a good reference point to start with. Anyone familiar with the Musical Fidelity M6si, or there line of products, that could recommend an amp/pre or integrated that would have the same qualities , but would be smoother-warmer sounding in the upper midrange and above?? Might just need to start a new thread on this matter.
I recently heard the VA Liszts driven by Ayre AX5. The sound was absolutely terrific. The dealer then dropped the AX7e into the system. It was more than able to drive the Liszts, and still sounded very good, though the superiority of the AX5 was clearly apparent (and at nearly 3x the price, one would hope so). Makes me wonder what the AX7e would sound like with the Mozarts.
Twoleftears ,

I will keep the Ayre in mind. I have heard the Arye with Vandersteen and it sounded good. I guess I would have to find a place where they had both products to know for sure the synergy between Ayre and the Mozarts. I do believe that it is recommended using balanced connections with the Ayre AX-7E to get the full potential out
of them. That would require more changes in my system. I have all single ended gear.

I am open to all suggestions , or possibilities though. Who knows , I might be happier moving up the line with The Vienna Acoustics and finding the right gear to match.


Anyone selling The Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand/SE?
Looking for a good used pair in piano black.

OP-


add- Rogue Audio and ARC for tubed gear.

Classe' and Primare gear for solid-state.