Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand Loudspeaker Reviewed

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ViennaAcoustics_BabyGrand-reviewed.gifThe Beethoven Baby Grand from Vienna Acoustics sits just below the Beethoven Grand  in the Grand lineup of loudspeakers. The Baby Grand starts at $3,995 a pair for Maple, Cherry and Piano Black finishes and jumps to $4,400 a pair for Gloss White or Rosewood (my favorite). In terms of fit and finish few do it like, or better than, Vienna Acoustics. The build quality and appearance of the Baby Grand is beyond reproach, especially in its Rosewood or Piano Black finish. The attention to detail can be seen and felt throughout the speaker's design down to the aluminum base and spiking system. While not large; it measures in at six and a half inches wide by almost 40 inches tall and 13 inches deep, it is solid, weighing in at 65 pounds apiece.

The Baby Grand is a three-way loudspeaker featuring a one-inch Scan Speak silk dome tweeter, a single six-inch X3P mid-range driver and dual six-inch Vienna Designed XPP Spider Cone bass drivers.

You may ask yourself, what is an X3P driver or an XPP Spider Cone driver?  Well the X3P is the evolution of Vienna Acoustics' own XPP driver material, which is a proprietary combination of thermoplastics and polypropylene based synthetics coming together to form a fairly lightweight but ridged driver. In a nutshell (not to take anything away from Vienna Acoustics or the Baby Grand) it has plastic drivers and its bass drivers, dubbed XPP Spider Cones, are also plastic though they feature ribbing that looks a lot like a spider web which helps with rigidity.
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The Baby Grand has a reported frequency response of 30Hz-22kHz. The Baby Grand is fairly easy to drive sporting a sensitivity rating of 91dB into a four-Ohm load. Vienna Acoustics recommends a minimum amplifier rating of 40 watts per channel to get the most out of the Baby Grands, meaning you can power them with most of today's AV receivers, smaller integrated amplifiers and even tubes.

As for sound quality, well, the Baby Grands are as beautiful to listen to as they are to look at. They are delicate, nimble and a touch soft spoken but don't call them lean or anemic. They are definitely a European speaker, more in the vein of Bowers & Wilkins than JBL. They can rock and do better than most at high volumes - just don't expect them to get down and dirty, for the Baby Grands are better than that, they're speakers returned home from finishing school. The midrange is supple and warm and the tweeter is extremely natural though not quite as airy or forward as some metal-based designs, which gives the Baby Grand a more relaxed, smooth sound across the upper midrange and treble. The bass is surprising and can go quite low, exhibiting tremendous composure and control, though you'll need a sub if you want to hear the lowest most octaves of any music or movie soundtrack.

Read more about the Beethoven Baby Grand on Page 2.

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