"And if you were asking, the answer is a very sad NO. . . my wife won't let me buy them! G."Dude! Don't be expecting too much sympathy from this crowd when you already own a smokin' pair of the Mahlers! You're just going to have to suffer...Yeah, you can probably live with "just" the Mahlers, no?
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The primary driver pictured in the ads for the Die Muzick speakers vaguely reminds me of the Manger (sp?) driver used in the Audio Physic Medea and the Overkill Audio speakers. Whether there's more than a superficial similarity is unclear to me. Presumably such a driver would more closely emulate a point source. Looks potentially good on paper but--as always--the proof would be in the listening. Even assuming they're better, the next question would be are they ENOUGH better to justify the expenditure.
Ok, I got a call from Rod at Soundings to hear the The Music (US nomenclature)speakers.
When I got there, the speakers only had about 45-minutes on them, so this is only a rough first, rough impression. Let's just say that I was reminded of the first time that I heard Acoustat 2+2s or Quads or Magnipans and realized how different music can sound when crossovers are removed from the critical midrange frequencies. Remember, the midrange driver on The Music covers seven octaves, from 100 hz to 20kHz.
This is absolutely the best midrange I've ever heard, it's transparent and it's dynamic. You get the advantages of electrostatics without the beaming and roll-offs at the to and bottom. You get the crytalline highs of ribbons without the excessive ring of high harmonics.
The speakers weren't properly placed in the room and certainly not broken in, yet there was no midrange shout or glare.
I'm stopping there for now and going back in a week or so, after some breakin and Rod tells me that he's placed the speakers.
Anyway, this is a very special speaker.
I listened yesterday afternoon to Die Muzick for the first time at Soundings Hifi in Denver in Dave's excellent company. Initial system setup was complemented by Primare CD31 player, JRDG Capri, Rowland 312. ICs and speaker wires were Cardas Golden Ref; 312 was powered by an Analysis Plus Oval 9 PC. Speakers placement was not totally optimized according to Rod Tomson. Speaker Die Muzick were temporarily toed in 2 degrees, which was not optimum for the particular room. Sound was as expected extremely extended, but slightly out of focus, with depressed harmonics that gave an impression of unwanted coolness, and an audible hump in the mid bass; treble had a tendency to be a little on the hard side.
We applied then the following changes:
a. Replaced the balanced IC from Primare to Capri with AudioQuest Sky XLR. Bass hump was essentially removed, and oddly enough, so was most of the glare in the treble; top to bottom extension seemed increased and we could hear more exposed harmonic content; we still perceived some moderate lack of focus in instrument images and staging.
For sake of contrast, Toe in was changed to 0 with speakers firing completely forward. . . sound became cold, hard, and completely unappealing.
Rod then optimized toe in to 5 degrees and things became suddenly focused; staging seemed to extend to about 18 to 20 ft laterally wile speakers were 12 ft apart. A residual image suck out between speakers was totally filled in and the speakers sonically disappeared; Subjective perception of depth of the virtual stage varied between recordings from just several feet to perhaps 60 ft or so; exposed harmonic content increased significantly; this is when Dave and I truly started to smile because we were now listening to real music. The beauty is that Muzick have controls for rake angle and toe that can be adjusted to clearly marked values. . . so you can play with adjustments without losing the ability of reverting to your previous optimum position. . . extremely nifty! But this simply underscores how crucial careful speaker setup can be to a musical sounding system.
Primare CDp was then replaced by a factory fresh Marantz SA7S1 that Rod had just received from marantz minutes before. I never listened to this CDp before. This is when I realized that the Primare may not have been doing justice to the rest of the system. The amount of filigreed detail, extension and musical ease that the totally not broken in creature introduced was amazing.
I am writing this post from my hotel room at the Marriott. By coincidence, the hotel put me in room 515, which is just a few doors down from 505, where the Soundings crew is now busy setting up the Muzicks. If everything goes according to plans, the Capri will be replaced by a JRDG Criterion; and Dave will loan his PD MPS-5 for the duration. I also hope to be able to contrast the well broken in MPS-5 with the totally factory fresh Marantz.
That's it for now. . . I'll keep you posted. G.
Great report Guido. I really have nothing to add. I've had more time with the Muzicks, but nothing inconsistant has happened in my three listening session.
The pleasant surprise was how well the Marantz CDP performed, stone cold out of the shipping box. (I guess that I shouldn't be surprised since I talked Soundings into giving the Marantz a try). This is a very nice CDP. I'm not selling the Playback Designs yet, but I can say without reservation that it deserves to be considered with the top echelon of players. I heard some things that deserve further comment, but only after it gets a lot more hours on it. Still, it's clear that it's a contender.
Spent several hrs yesterday in suite 505 while Die Muzick were being set up with the Masters process, driven by JRDG Criterion and JRDG 312 with MPS5 and Marantz SA7 as source. There are some limitations because of the very small suite, but overall results were extremely good. . . I believe Rod may be still doing some tweaks this morning until show opening time at noon. Some listening observations are on the Criterion thread at:
Got to run folks. . . will write more later. G.
If anyone is interested, PFO has just posted the first part of my review of Vienna Die Muzik at:
This first article is mostly a technical discussion of the speaker. When the 2nd part is ready, it will discuss my findings on Die Muzik driven by a few different amps.
Wow, that was a great read, and 91db efficient. I am a little confused about one of the the advertised specifications, 50KHZ frequency, since the review model is using a Murata Piezo-electric super-tweeter.
The article states "Wolff explains that, while Murata remains one of the most reputable suppliers of this technology today, Peter Gansterer decided to create an even more suitable driver for its flagship product." The posted specifications are for the Murata installed super tweeter and not the new OEM tweeter that will go into production models. Just curious if the production models with the updated tweeter will have the same extended high frequency.
The speaker is no doubt a bargain for what you get at the advertised price, compared to speakers costing a lot more.They are cleaverly priced just below the B&W Nautilus 800 Diamonds and weigh 100 pounds less each.
Thank you AudioQuest4Life, The word "Murata" in the specs at the bottom of the review article is incorrect. I should have said something like "Vienna proprietary 0.5" super-tweeter" instead... Unfortunately, having concentrated on the article for well over 100 hours, I missed my own inaccuracy during proofing. The 2nd part of the article will be corrected.
The original Murata supertweeter used in my unit has been measured by Murata to operate up to 100,000Hz. However, it is my understanding that the measuring devices used by VA measure up to 50,000Hz only, hence the new proprietary VA supertweeter is conservatively rated at 50Khz at this time. This does not mean however that the VA supertweeter is out of necessity a "child of a lesser god".
On the contrary, the Murata part, being piezo-electric, cannot be attenuated, or in other words, is largely insensitive to volume control.... Thankfully we can't hear it... but my cat apparently does, and often tells me about it.
Conversely, the new VA ring-type or anular super tweeter is fully attenuatable. This means at least in theory that any side bands created by the interaction of super-high frequencies with sounds in the audible range may have more "natural" characteristics. But until such time that my units were updated with the new driver, I will not know if the difference between the two is audible or purely theoretical... or for audiophilic kitties! For the time being I stick to Igor Stravinsky's formalism, and I'll continue to judge the musical tree by its (humanly) audible fruits. G.
Thank you for the clarification. I look forward to the second part of the review. The fact that these speakers have such a wide bandwidth in regards to frequency extension, makes these speakers even more appealing at this price point. Yes, frequencies above 20kz are very hard for us humans to hear, however, as you alluded to in your comments, second and third order harmonics at those ultra higher frequencies may add "something" more to listening experience. It is better to have more rather than less in my honest opinion regarding this particular instance.
I am sure you are enjoying your time with these speakers. I am not sure if your cat likes them though :)-.
Thats right. Thanks for the correction on the model number of the Rowland. You and Dave were there also. It was nice to meet you guys. I believe the Boulder amp was the 2060 stereo amp. We also got a chance to hear the Jeff Rowland Continuum 500 intergrated through the Muzik. That combo was very nice as well and more economical.
Hi Sean, indeed it was great meeting you, and we all spent a good number of hours bothering Soundings's Rod tomson that fine evening, listening to music, munching on fabulous thingies, and sipping... Ginger-ale in my case. ... By the end I am positive Rod had enough of me "conducting" and subvocalizing *grins!*
The amps that I now would like to test with Music are the new Rowland M725 mono, and the ARC D450M mono...
Hi John, What's on PFO is the only writing specific to the Muzik that I have completed. Never the less, Muzik is, and will remain for years, my speaker reference... Recently, I have been using the Muzik for the evaluation of a couple of other products, and my upcoming PFO articles will point to the Muzik as my reference.
By the way, I will receive on Friday the Rowland M925 440W quad-chassis monoblocks. Believe it or not, I wil (kind of) biwire them to the Muzik, bi connecting Aural Symphonics Chrono speaker wires via bananas, and Cardas Golden Refs via spades.... To the only binding post of each speaker... Already tried by driving the speakers with Merrill Veritas monos and Rowland M725 monos, and the connection works perfectly.
My log of the M925 break-in progress can be found at:
Hi John and all, my Rowland M925 amps have been delivered last Friday. They will be connected to the Vienna Die Muzik in the next few days. Fact is that using M925 on Muzik was my original plan all along, as soon as I started to look at Muzik for my system... So the arrival of the M925 is a dream come true!
I have started a thread here on Audiogon where I will log my experiences with the creatures. Join me at:
Stringgreen, are you wondering if I might need to commence formal marital restructuring? Funny thing is that yesterday, my better half initiated totally unbidden complimentary comments about the sound of the amps.... Barely 10 minutes after "first sound". This is a real first!
On the other hand, her sunny disposition towards my recent madness perhaps is because I have recently come out of retirement, and am now working full time again *grins!*