I owned the Viennna Acoustics Mahler, their top speaker, and they are sweet and musical. There are better options however.
I am the former Director of Sales for THIEL, so my search for speakers is slightly more focused than the typical person, having been exposed to so many brands through visiting about a hundred stores all across the US.
I am currently at home with back surgery gone awry, and in desparate need of intellectual stimulation, so I started reading all the Webs, and threads I could absorb. My reading kept taking me to a small company which had sufferd the indignity of a toxic spill, which basically destroyed their entire operation, and cost the owner millions of dollars. But that is not germane to this story. I was introduced to Albert Von Schweikert, after having read his white papers, and being a techno geek, I could understand most of what he was talking about, so I emailed him. Thirty or so emails later, I got in a pair of his $1K VR-1, a small bookshelf speaker, which is small by any standards.
I immediately compared them to my Mahlers. Now, lets be realistic, here, $1K versus about $10K that is not fair to anyone. The psychology of such comparisons, always run in favor of the smaller speaker because of a phenom I have quantified as "diminished expectations". Some people make a life out of buying cheaper through this odd behavior. On the other hand those with unlimited funds also make some decisions which may not make sense to the more average of us in terms of finances. But I digress. If you want a thrill, and I am sincere, call the factory and talk to Albert Von Schweikert. Then order a pair for evaluation. They will absolutely destroy anything costing multiples of their price. Bass, is the great bane of small speakers, since the laws of physics always prevail, but these little guys, when on a book shelf, call that wall loaded for the audio nuts out there, go down to about 39hz. To put that in perspective: The large double bass you see in Jazz combos, that is taller than most people. Well, it's lowest note is the open "e string" and it creates a sound which is 41.6hz (vibrations per second). That is low bass. These little guys can do that. Ok, so you may say, who cares about bass?
Well, put on Stacy Kent, a singer, reminiscent of Joanie Sommers, back in the 1960's, but better. The mid range is remarkable. These speakers destroy everything I have heard up to many times their price.
They are in limited distribution, but the are worth looking for.
If you have any problems finding them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My name is Larry, and I will be glad to help. Finding speakers is the hardest journey for a music lover.
Larry R. Staples