Vienna Acoustics Klimt Speaker System
Painting Pictures With Sound
To produce room-filling sound, a speaker has to move a lot of air—even in a relatively small room. Moving a lot of air, particularly in a big room, necessitates a large woofer placed in an even larger box. Refrigerator-sized speakers were commonplace in audiophiles’ living rooms back in the 1950s. When stereo arrived and required two large expanses of wood-framed grille cloth, significant others objected. Downsizing began, aided in part by Edgar Villchur’s invention of the sealed-box acoustic-suspension woofer.
To the detriment of good sound, speakers have been downsizing ever since, further exacerbated by surround sound’s need for multiple speakers. No wonder we live today in a world of fist-sized, tinny-sounding cubes augmented by puny, “long-throw” fart boxes posing as subwoofers. And that’s when people allow their speakers to be seen in a room at all.
Today’s big speakers have come a long way since hi-fi’s early days when boxy studio monitors were camouflaged with veneer and sent packing into living rooms. Take a good look at Vienna Acoustics’ Music floorstander at the top of the Klimt line. It’s a large, gracefully tall and slender, magnificent-looking piece of furniture that just happens to reproduce sound. Clearly, if you’re building a dedicated home theater and want to place speakers out of sight behind a scrim, you aren’t likely to make the considerable investment in furniture-grade speakers.
If you want to accommodate a top-quality home theater system in an opulent living- or family-room setting, then Vienna Acoustics has a solution to delight both your eyes and ears. This is particularly true if you want it to double as a high-performance music system and you have a big space to fill both physically and sonically (and obviously, if you have a lot of money to spend). Please don’t whine and complain if you can’t afford a system like this. Somehow, poverty-stricken car buffs still love reading about Ferraris. Why can’t A/V folks similarly see past their own bank accounts?
The Klimt Series
Named for Viennese painter Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), the line’s various models take their names from Klimt works of art. These include the large, floorstanding Music, the Poetry center channel, and the stand-mounted Kiss, which I used as surrounds (Vienna sells them for stereo use as well). You could also build a system around four Musics or four Kisses. Google Klimt for more about the artist and, if you’re interested, to see the paintings these speakers are named for.
These are all big speakers, especially the Poetry center. It’s huge, at more than 3 feet wide and almost 2 feet deep. It weighs 110 pounds, plus an additional 90 pounds for the stand. The Music stands more than 4 feet tall and slightly more than 2 feet deep and weighs 180 pounds. The 21-inch-tall Kiss weighs 95 pounds (add 50 pounds and 29 inches for the stands).
All of these speakers share custom-built drivers designed by Vienna Acoustics and manufactured by Eton of Germany. They include the unique, patented 7-inch Flat Spider Cone coincident midrange/tweeter and the 9-inch NAWI clear-coned bass driver. The final assembly uses cast baskets. The Music adds a Murata 20-to-100-kilohertz piezo-electric supertweeter that your dog or any bat will surely enjoy. I’ll wager it adds something tangible to the final sound, but as I was unable to turn it off, I can’t tell you what that is.