Review: Vienna Acoustics Mahler Speaker

Category: Speakers

I have owned many speakers, as my list of former speakers reveals, and auditioned many more. I have been on a long journey searching for the system and speakers that would bring me satisfication. I have finally reached the end of my journey with the Mahlers.

I've have always been partial to ScanSpeak drivers, and many of my former favorite speakers employed Scanspeak, but Vienna Acoustics has mated them with a pair of Eton woofers in each cabinet creating a speaker that brings it all home for me.

The Mahlers have it all: full range, powerful, highly detailed yet sweet, coherent, and superb imaging and soundstaging. Nothing is exaggerated or lacking.

In some systems or rooms, the bass may be to much, but my room is very heavily damped, so there is no problem with bass nodes or boominess.

They can play quite loudly and reproduce lifelike, concert hall effects, but may not be the absolute last word in reaching the loudest spl's. This is not an issue for me.

They are on the large side, 50" tall and 150 lbs, so they should be in a large enough room. The fit & finish is top quality furniture grade.

I'm not sure if they are available in the US anymore, but if you are able, I highly recommend them. Mine are not for sale...

Associated gear
Audio Research VT200 200wpc tubed amp;
Audio Valve Eklipse tubed preamp;
Classe CDP .5 cd player as transport;
Perp. Tech P-3A dac with Level 3 Modwright mods and Monolithic Power Supply;
Rega Planer 25 Turntable and tonearm with Dynavector Cartridge and Lehman Black Cube with upgraded PWX power supply;
All ZuCable wire;
Tritium Triphazers;
Commercially used balanced isolation transformers

Similar products
Listed are the speakers I have owned:
ProAc Response 2.5, and 3.8
Audio Physic Virgo 2
Talon Khorus
Avalon Radian HC
Magnepan 3.6
Coincident Super Eclipse
Dunlavy SC-IVa
Merlin VSM Millenium
Reality 3D
B&W Nautilus 803
I just bought a pair of Malher's 2 months ago and they are very sweet and dynamic to me. I love the rich bass and the sound of stringed instruments on them. I like the workmanship, too and the fact that they are not as wide as deep. They do not take up as much space as other speakers would. I only wish they would of offered a darker oak finish, I chose the rosewood. The only weekness so far is that mine seem to muffle the sound of horns. But I do not have expensive cabling which might be the cause of that. Since I mainly listen to bluegrass they are a super speaker for the money. If I was more into jazz, then I would be trying to find what is wrong with the horns being muffled. They are more wonderful for me than I thought they would be. I am 95% satisfied customer and my Mac equipment seems to be very fine for them. I am used to Mac speakers and they are worlds apart. Their will never be another Mac speaker in my house again for the main system. I can listen for hours with no fatique. Country rocks but bluegrass rules in my house.
I have recently bought the Mahlers and now need to upgrade the amplifier + preamp since I was running Roksan Caspian biamp or Marantz MM9000 AV9000 pre pro and 5ch for Home theater. The roksan isnt powerfull enough so the bass get a little boomy. The Marantz is powerful enough but I think the bass could tighten more, and the high spectrum is a bit rolled off . Overall image is not particularly wide although it is very tall and deep. I had heard a CAV180 or 500 running some B&W 803 and noted that this combination was a bit bright and very wide soundstage. Question is is it simply the 803 metal tweeter or is this Classe CAV series good enough to drive these speakers. I see others have chosen the CAM350 to drive these.
I am thinking of either GAMUT D200 MkII, and keeping the Marantz for the rest of the HT speakers or switching to Classe CAV 180 or CAV500 with SSP30 . The Theta dreadnought seemed like a good idea until I read a review somewhere that the bass is a little soft.

The rest of my steup is the ROksan Caspian CD mk1, pioneer 747 DVD (elite 47A in the US), with VA haydns in the rear and VA center (mid size).

If I go down the GAMUT route I am worried about what to drive the center channel to get a good match.

In a perfect world I would demo these amps at home, but that isnt easy to do. Last time I did manage to demo the ROksan s vs AVI vs Marantz consumer gear. This time around I have gone on reviews and a little listening in shops. Worked out fine for the Mahlers. I am hoping to do it again with the AMP + processor
Yes, the amazing Mahler speakers are available in the USA at this time. I believe Vienna Acoustics is imported by SUMIKO. I heard them for the first time very recently at the AudioFest in Denver. The mahlers were featured in the Soundings / Rowland room together with the equally staggeringly amazing Rowland 312 amplifier. The host of the room, Mark Krekeler of Soundings in Denver, had the pleasure of seeing me and my cohorts crawling back and begging for admission a total of 4 times for the priviledge to listen to them and to the 312. I just could not have enough of these creatures. The system had by far the most musically and emotionally satisfying sound in all the show, regardless of price.
The web site of Soundings is:
Problem is. . . I am deeply in love with both Vienna Mahlers and Rowland 312. . . but have the budget for neither!