Brodmann Vienna Classic VC7 floorstand speakers piano black

BM 18 VC7 B
NZ$ 26,993.96 pr (incl. GST)
Brodmann

"Simply Achieve Perfection"

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Brodmann Acoustics Vienna Classic VC7 - the joy of listening to music knows no compromise. The premium VC7 is a landmark in the Audio loudspeaker class. This is latest high performance design from Brodmanns Vienna Classic series. To many music lovers and audiophiles, it is considered one of the most desirable speakers systems currently available. The VC7 is Brodmann largest floor- standing speaker in the Vienna Classic series, Brodmann created it with one purpose in mind: Total engaging musicality that allows the listener to be comprehensively absorbed into the listening experience. As if that was not enough, the stunning ascetics and sublime finishing of the VC7's stem from Brodmann world class piano products which are beyond reproach. All together adding up to one beautifully looking and superb sounding speaker system.

Stereo Times most wanted componets 2007:

Brodmann VC7 (formally Bosendorfer) loudspeakers (manufacturer in Vienna, Austria) in piano black satin finish at US$25,000/pr, (higher costs for more exotic finishes). These are highly musical loudspeakers that are a ton of fun listening to music through. Relatively easy to set up and once broken in, getting excellent soundstaging and pin-point imaging is pretty much a snap. Sound from these speakers provided a wrap around effect with a full, rich and engaging quality. When you think about it, anything with the name Brodmann should probably exhibit these qualities, right?  In particular, the midrange is wonderful and captures the essence of real music. Bass has good punch and although they may not go super deep, what these speakers provide in the lower frequencies is tuneful and authentic. Highs extend nicely and are totally in balance with the rest of the musical spectrum.  This is complimented with a nice organic feel. When you listen to these babies, your toes will tap, you head will move back and forth and your ears will just simply wiggle and do the "thank you dance." [Bill Wells)

2nd Reviewers summary:  The US$25,000 pair of ultra-slim Brodmann (formaly Bosendorfer) VC7 is the most extraordinary loudspeaker I’ve encountered. Its presentations possessed me, and it offered the highest level of  tonal coherency, surpassing that as rendered by all speakers I’ve heard, delivering a degree of spectral wholeness the likes of which denotes a musical integrity and sonic purity that is immediately arresting." 

"New VC7 owners summary:  a really good session listening to everything last night. Couple of friends came over and the combo of the VC7s with the Auralic Vega DAC was simply stunning! The Auralic Vega DAC adds real life and pace to the Brodmanns: the sound staging and imaging is unbelievable – better than with the Quads, believe it or not. Instruments and voices sound much more real overall. By comparison, the Brodmanns sound just a little bass heavy and flat with the Weiss DAC. The VC7s and Weiss DAC together don’t have the same imaging or soundstage qualities. You really do need to hear the Brodmann / Auralic Vega DAC combination some time: they are truly stunning together. I’m now much happier over the large outlay for the Brodmanns, as its clear that their potential is really only limited by the equipment linked to them.". .... Stephen

Brodmann's largest Vienna Classic line floor standing loudspeaker. Two-way system with two treble speakers, four bass drivers /mid-range speakers and two Acoustic Sound Boards.

The joy of listening to music knows no compromise. Our premium VC 7 is a landmark in the hi-fi class, marking the pinnacle in building speaker systems. To many audiophiles, it is the best such system in the world. The VC 7 is our largest floor- standing speaker, and we created it with one thing in mind: your absolute fascination when listening to music, whatever genre you choose.  The VC7 loudspeaker is available in the editions: Silky high gloss piano lacquer (burl walnut, pomele, burl birch , burl maple, black, maple, cherry, bird's eye maple); Silky lustre piano lacquer (black ).

Iaxel - the Brodmann VC7 - An instrument in a shape of a loudspeaker  
I have been looking to replace my AG DUOs I've auditioned the following speakers:
Harbeth SHL5
Magnepan 3.6R
Von Schweikert VR-35
Living Voice OBX-RW
TAD Exclusive 3401

Before making my final decision, I visited the local Brodmann Acoustics  (formally owned by Bosendorfer Acoustics) to listen to their VC7 model. From the first notes it was clear that this was the most natural sounding speakers I have heard. Piano had all the correct overtones you can hear when you listen to the real thing - the body as well as the strings were felt and heard as if a real instrument is standing right next to you.

Voices had that pure relaxed feel - nothing in-your-face - very natural and so real.

Listening to Mahler, each instrument had its unique and clearly defined harmonic texture and timber, it felt as if you are surrounded by the sound of the orchestra. It had just the right impact - nothing exaggerated nor recessed.

Then I've tried some familiar tracks from Abbey Road - what a delight! Everything was in place - guitars and drums were wonderfully rendered as well as the sweet sounding voices of this amazing band.

I knew almost from the first notes that this was the speaker I had been searching for - it was such a mesmerizing experience that I had forgotten I was auditioning a speaker - it was just like a musical instrument, no effects - just pure and plain music.

Features

Specifications

Reviews

Videos

Features

Brodmann loudspeakers – the philosophy

Brodmann has been very successful since 1828 in the world of high quality sound. Our commitment to this great musical tradition has led to the development of the loudspeaker program, with which Brodmann sets another new standard in the world of quality sound. 

At the heart of this development and listening experience is the active acoustic principle, the horn resonator and the plate resonator, which enable the optimised adjustment of sound to the space around it. The entire loudspeaker box is a single body of sound - the entire loudspeaker is an instrument. Similar to the strings of a piano that causes the entire grand piano to vibrate through a complex interaction of a steel frame and wooden case. Brodmann loudspeakers produce an unparalleled, authentic listening experience. We have managed to build cabinets with fewer unwanted resonances in the first place, eliminating the need for practically any damping.

Loudspeakers in accordance with the Acoustic-Active Principle

The high-fidelity scene has not remained unaffected by technological advances; contemporary amplifiers, for instance, are built with an almost purist lack of superfluous filters and equalisers. And it is the simplest set-up in the best quality available that achieves a minimum of sound distortion. A new standard in fidelity has been set: less is more. As Brodmann acoustic researcher Hans Deutsch explains: “I have been working with this technology and applying this principle since the 1970s and it is in this spirit that I have developed my speaker systems. Brodmann loudspeakers made in accordance with the Acoustic-Active Principle mark the pinnacle of my career. The combination of state-of-the-art recording technology and the most modern techniques in amplifier construction used to produce these loudspeakers in conjunction with the appropriate cables, electronics and recordings, achieve the most breath-takingly true-to-life listening experience. This has been repeatedly confirmed, not only by journalists and specialist dealers, but first and foremost by the musicians themselves and connoisseurs of authentic performance world-wide.”

The heart of the matter

As a rule, conventional technology suppresses all resonances and overtones, linearizing the frequency curves by means of an overload of frequency filters, with little regard for the overall sound. No distinction is made between unwanted vibrations and essential sound resonances. Yet according to a basic principle of acoustics, resonances form the foundation for authentic sound. The sound produced by conventional loudspeakers fails to be lifelike because their resonances have all been over damped. Brodmann, however, has managed to build cabinets with fewer unwanted resonances in the first place, eliminating the need for practically any damping. The “Acoustic Sound-Boards” on either side of the cabinet function as passive and therefore neutral resonators. These resonators or absorbers are activated only when connected directly to the tuners and set into vibration (a principle going back to H. von Helmholtz, inventor of the eponymous Helmholtz resonator). The “Acoustic SoundBoards” are large, distortion-free vibrating membranes by which Brodmann loudspeakers acquire the properties of a musical instrument. The reproduction of the authentic resonances of musical instruments and the human voice is one of the secrets of the life-like sound created by these outstanding loudspeakers. 

Authentic sound reproduction has its price

Brodmann loudspeakers, operating in accordance with the Acoustic-Active Principle, reproduce only the information actually registered on a music recording. Your ear will appreciate the absence of any “additional information” produced by the loudspeakers.

How do you benefit?

A unique, true-to-life listening experience in your own home.

Specifications

Two-way system with Two treble speakers, Four bass drivers /mid-range speakers and Two Acoustic Sound Boards.
frequency response 25 - 27,000 Hz ( ±3 dB) 
crossover frequencies 130 Hz*; 2.5 kHz 
power rating 180 watts 
music rating 360 watts 
impedance 4 ohms 
operating performance 1.1 watts (for 91 dB/m) 
dimensions (h x d x w) 1330 x 403 x 195 mm (52.4" x 15.9" x 7.7") 
weight 36.5 kg (80 lbs)
* based on the performance of the HornResonator

Reviews

Various Brobmann forum comments
varuois
Bernd Frühauf 
I am very glad that there are other audio enthusiasts who are fascinated by the Brodmann speakers apparently. My partner and I each have a pair of VC1 in different veneer. We are in 2006 or 2007 met with the High End in Munich on the former Bösendorfer stand. Both the sound and the build quality immediately moved us under its spell. By switching to Brodmann some time went by. Then began the search for a dealer. We live in the Stuttgart area with affinity to Freiburg. Therefore, we visited there HiFi Müller, unfortunately voted the "personal chemistry" is not. So we bought the LS finally in Karben near Frankfurt. This sparse dealer network is certainly one of the reasons for the lack of awareness. We have not regretted the purchase (despite the sometimes abysmal bad comments in HiFi_Foren). Although the VC1 certainly not as perfect as the larger models, they conjure yet again brought fascinating soundscapes. We do not operate it in an exclusive Accuphase chain, but (for me) a Naim Supernait, bwz (my partner), even "just" a NAD receiver. Finally, it is still on the personal fun you have with his conditioning. We continue to visit every year the high end, as "Brodmann-dependent" but now we are no longer shown there LS many desirable (of course there are exceptions). 
I hope you continue to enjoy your perfect VC7.
 
Frank Armbruster 
Thank you for your comment. I am sure that my VC1 would also really liked, it still has the same principle and the same tonal character as the larger models. And that the Brodmann with smaller amps sound very good, I've heard on the show. Brodmann currently attempting apparently knit dealer network in Germany a bit tighter, but Stuttgart seems at the moment to be still a blind spot. Sorry. Have not you ever heard the VC2 compare? 
Best regards!
 
Hans Harrant 
I was invited by a friend at home. My friend is also music lovers and so the conversation turned to the fact that I wanted to set new speakers. He gave me a demonstration of the Brodmann VC7 and I was overwhelmed by the sound of them all the 
more when I even play the violin. The price I have not let me scare because good pit stop once are not cheap. 
 (my wife and me) are excited From the sound anyway.I can say such a pure sound quality I've never heard anywhere and find your Fromulierung a box without properties just super. My favorite music is classical PROFESSORS. 2 months ago my brother was with me icl with his 3 children, whose appendix. They wanted to hear the speakers, and I've played or modern rhythms. they have a favorite rock CD from fetched car. The reaction of the young people was: overwhelming or simply 
respect for the speakers.
 
Andreas Muhry 
As already in 2001! each pair bought VC2 and VC7. The VC2 were operated as Fundamentaltöner for VC7. After upgrading to the latest version of the VC7 the VC2 were superfluous, and we have passed them on to a friend. Sonically, the VC2 with the VC 7 are relatives, it's missing the deep bass and the power reserves. We as electronics also Accuphase (E450) and a CD player from Ayon (CD1sc). Our experience with your idendisch that VC7 are not determinable, the music fills the entire room. .... the musicians at home and the mouth (and ears) to stay open, it happens again and again. Music evenings with guests always end up only around 2 or 3 clock in the morning, then pull one the VC7 into the music.
Have fun with the VS7
 
Dr. Herbert Köstler
in my little private "concert hall" has been around a short time, VC 2, and the latest German bass Hans. 
The excellent acoustics of the room has never asked for sound amplification. Has convinced me to use the "acoustics" in comparison with conventional sound in two events. First "Arab love poems", presented by Bayer and Britta accompanied by Hossam Mahmoud with oud and vocals: The slightest nuances of voice and instrument were at each location in space and the exact source of the assigned place. Second "One to one", a demonstration of Brodmann, which has provided for invited guests on the basis of the performances of a guitar duo ("K2") and a jazz ensemble the successful proof that acoustically perceived not between live performance and reproduction of the recording difference can be seen.
 
Martin Reus 
I am very pleased to read here about this extraordinary speaker. Both my job and my vocation is a sound engineer and as such are good speakers a must. I myself am the proud owner of F1. From the festival series, but could also have the VC2 and VC7 hear from colleagues of mine. I want to describe you like to quote Mr. Armbruster to my personal listening experience with Brodmann loudspeakers: "totally unconstrained, free resolution to the smallest detail and without a hint of discoloration, as if the speakers do not actually exist." Only since F1 I can judge my shots relaxed and no longer ask me whether it would be the color of the speakers that I hear.
My experience in differences in Brodmann family is the smaller models, the large inferior in almost nothing. Of course they do not have the fullness of sound and not the reserves of larger models but in terms of purity and fidelity to your larger siblings can certainly hold a candle. The incredible transient response to the bass, which to me is clearly crucial for the realistic sound, is present in all models known to me.
I run my system with an amplifier of the company Electrocompaniet and delivered by Brodmann cables and think it is a very good combination.
 
Thomas Albertus Irnberger 
For years I have been an enthusiastic user of Bösendorfer-/Brodmann-VC7 speakers. With the wide variety of applications (in the recording studio as an accurate monitor in the living room as a sounding instrument, or when Endabhören (Mastering)) convinced me from the beginning of the natural sound that all the instruments and all the vocals brings so to advantage, that you think directly to sit in front of the musicians playing musicians. After mid-rehearsed, twenty of my CDs and SACDs for me the creations of German Hans are indispensable as a highly reliable, ästhethisch beautiful ensemble. Whether intended for the music lover or any musical direction for the professional user, with the purchase of a Brodmann speaker can not go wrong.
 
Gernot Reetz (one world music) 
I work in the studio with vc7, vc2 and by me at the time (to Bösendorfer times as freelance employees) center speakers (in this case as a near field monitor) and emfinde the sound realistic as very convincing and other so-called benefits ls-studio facilities am I mean while, got away, even if colleagues laugh at this. based on my experience in the production of music, including miking in premises such as eg the chamber music hall of the Philharmonic Orchestra Berlin, siemens villa berlin, etc., I can transparency designate in each frequency range as invariably clean and would recommend not only every music lover, this "music tools" . smallest error in the microphones are exposed mercilessly and thus already at the reception eliminated. and ... to the lover: 
 
Frank Armbruster
, I know the Confidence 3, not to take but not that they are so different from the C5.  I just know that in my VC7 chain incomparably better, that sounded more authentic than the Dynaudio. If you have the opportunity to listen to the VC7 at times. 
Brodmann VC7 - On the top , a speaker without properties
Frank Armbruster from Germany - (English translation)

(please excuse poor German / English translation, however I am sure you will get a good idea from this positive reiew)
For the first time in my more than 30 years striving for the best sound I have the feeling to be so gradually arrived at the destination. 

With each listen I discover new details again. The VC7 allows downright insights into the receiving space: every nuance in terms of formation, dynamics, sound can be reproduced with ease with, almost as if you were present at the recording. With drum beats I can perceive small redrawn reverb suddenly, even in very subtle background vocals, the individual voices are clearly distinguish the arrangement of a chamber music ensemble in space is nigh physically tangible. Individual tracks from a CD (! Any sampler) are clearly distinguishable in their different spatial and tonal differentiation: when previously always sounded the voice of a singer on a CD about the same, so now you can hear variations.

It was in May 2012 at the High End in Munich (see the fair report this) than I, one hour before closing randomly on BRODMANN passed listening room. Hard to say why I have calculated there still peeked because I was actually already quite exhausted from countless, often little erquicklichen demonstrations. Was it the logo that appealed to me because it gave tradition and quality? Anyway, I walked in and was immediately fascinated by what was there, even if only faintly heard. In short: This did not sound like hifi, that sounded like music. , it played the VC7 , the largest box of the Vienna Classic series, powered by a small amplifier from Electrocompaniet. D ie speakers were quite narrow and otherwise the listening conditions were not ideal, but the sound immediately drew me into its spell. Comparable I had not heard at the show. I fell into conversation with Bernd Gruhn, the CEO of Brodmann, who told me a lot about the technical background, he asked me schließllich even promised to get a pair for testing VC7 home. Although I was skeptical added: whether the Brodmann to my Dynaudio Confidence 5 got close, those speakers for their adequate electronics I had burnt myself out financially for years?
 
I made ​​my first time little thought. But then, after a few weeks, there were two packages from Vienna. This a pair of Brodmann VC7   in a dreamlike Ziricote veneer, already visually a stunner. I freed them from the packaging, took the fine plastic sleeve, with the high-gloss finish was sealed, screwed to the Diamond Cones. With a certain reverent respect I closed them, angled it up a little, put me on my Hörsofa. 
trust And first my ears. 
He was. That was the sound I had always dreamed of a hi-fi system: completely unconstrained, free, resolution to the smallest detail and without a hint of discoloration, as if the speaker actually does not exist. The evening was long. I experimented a little with the installation, and then listened to a CD or SACD after another. And was not a surprise out what had to hear all that. I noticed details that even my Sennheiser HD 800 , a reference-class headphones, operated at very good headphone amplifier   Accuphase C-3800 n ot mediated.
 
With each listen I discover new details again. The VC7 allows downright insights into the receiving space: every nuance in terms of formation, dynamics, sound can be reproduced with ease with, almost as if you were present at the recording. With drum beats I can perceive small redrawn reverb suddenly, even in very subtle background vocals, the individual voices are clearly distinguish the arrangement of a chamber music ensemble in space is nigh physically tangible. Individual tracks from a CD (! Any sampler) are clearly distinguishable in their different spatial and tonal differentiation: when previously always sounded the voice of a singer on a CD about the same, so now you can hear variations.
 
To the VC7 is damn fast, which is probably related to the fact that the box is not attenuated. We know such openness and light-off liveliness most of electrostatics, but which usually have a certain tonal disembodiment is intrinsically, not to mention the critical bass completely. The very sound of the corporeal VC7 contrast based on a thorough, completely natural and never bloated bass that is completely seamlessly connected to the middle register. Become the Leader in my record collection includes the trio and quartet recordings with Keith Jarrett, Palle Danielsson and whether or Gary Peacock - was a realistic bass is not in my living room.
 
First, my impression was that the positioning of the instruments in the stereo space compared with my Dynaudio would not be quite as accurate. After prolonged use, however, it turned out that the soundstage is simply pushed into more depth - the VC7 have a much stronger three-dimensional representation. However, the Brodmann are no monitor speakers, virtually expose the individual sound events with the dissecting: the details appear always inserted into a sound space.
 
It appears difficult to find attributes for the sound of the VC7 that go "authentic" or "natural" about. The blade heights brilliant? Or rather silky? No, they sound like they must sound with natural instruments, just right. If one puts it, this is perhaps the most striking of the Brodmann VC7 : it's a speaker without qualities, which does nothing else than the signal entrusted to implement lossless sound.
 
The center of the woofer
The underlying technical concept differs fundamentally from all other speaker manufacturers.
 
Hans German 
Brodmann speakers were developed by the acoustician German Hans , a pioneer of German boxing developers. Originally designed for the company Bösendorfer , the speaker division in 2009 Brodmann was acquired, another Viennese piano manufacturer. The two main elements of the "acoustically-active principle" are the patented, called horn resonator and acoustic boards . The latter are attached to the exterior wood surfaces, which are excited by the resulting air column inside and easily resonate (other than to read in various forums, swinging the body of the box is not) and thus increase the bass inertia. Unbelievable, namely: despite reaching down to 27 Hz bass range, the VC7 has no extra bass driver! In addition to the two tweeters prominently placed on both sides of each speaker has two 14-inch drivers that are responsible for all of the remaining frequency range. Hard to believe. But it works, and how!
 
Extremely important for the exceptional performance seems to me that the box has no damping. No insulation batts, no foam, nothing. By Hans German conception be compromised any artificial influence whether or electronic means of insulation, the natural sound. The use of crossovers is limited down to the essentials. The VC7 is how most Brodmann speakers, verstärkerunkritisch. With an efficiency of 91dB, they are also to operate well with a tube or class A amplifier. However, they need to demonstrate their qualities, a very good electronics - which is not purely comes to signal, can it be converted into sound.
 
The optics 
The craftsmanship of Brodmann speaker is a subject in itself. Many like the look of their speakers not care, but who can inspire aesthetics, fine woods and Craftsmanship to the expected Brodmann speakers enable delight. As the Bösendorfer piano Sannino treated Brodmann its speakers as instruments. The areas are in high-gloss piano finish, eight coats of lacquer, the design of the corners and edges is perfect. Even the simplest type of speakers in piano black stands out from the usual standard, but the swarms are wonderful veneers. Such as the one shown Ziricote veneer, which was built only once, but also the various burl veneers or the spectacular Makassar. Supplied as standard are brass-colored studs that can fit perfectly into the bottom plate on the floor vibrates the company recommends the "Black Diamond Cones" that will provide additional decoupling.
 
The price 
Such quality has its price. To list a couple VC7 costs in piano lacquer finish around 15 000 euros, the veneer variants be in excess of Euro 20 000 (NZ$29,995/pr incl tax). That may seem a lot - but others cost a lot more that are not nearly as good sound (and look not nearly as good), sometimes significantly more.
 
Conclusion 
For the first time in my more than 30 years striving for the best sound I have the feeling to be so gradually arrived at the destination. I will try to explain this: If the sheet in Anton Bruckner's Third Symphony in D minor at the end of the fourth set ff blowing chords about life rumbling drums and tremolo violins, then this can be such a moment between heaven and earth in good performances: one thinks immediately lifted from the concert hall. I had long believed that such music in terms of representation, such a thing is like a natural limit to hi-fi systems. It remains, so I thought, just a difference if you are sitting in front of 140 musicians in a large hall or at home in front of two speakers. Since I have the Brodmann VC7 own, these limits have at least postponed. Bruckner's third in the live recording with the Munich Philharmonic under Sergiu Celibidache sounds on my investment in an authentic way that I would prefer in this case, the technical reproduction of most concerts. Now the BR engineers have also brought noticeable when shooting: well knowing that the concert recording after the death of Reproduction objector Celibidache would be an invaluable aural, the space here is just also captured excellent. 
Anyway, it fortune the BRODMANN , this recording in their bloodcurdling presence and force in my living room, without that I would have the feeling that in resolution, dynamics and bass force anything missing. More Hifi can not actually afford.
 
That these exceptional speakers in Germany are so little known, as I have noticed different reasons. Although German Hans decades successfully building speakers, its concepts, especially in the editorial offices of AUDIO, stereo & Co., quite controversial. In addition, Bösendorfer, as far as marketing, has probably undergone massive strategic mistakes that led, inter alia, that all sorts of misinformation circulating through the speakers. The company BRODMANN now trying to make up for lost ground by counting on the contact with the customer, the individual listening experience. This seems to me to be the right way: he who seeks natural sound and these speakers once heard, is for most of what the market offers so lost for now
..........
Frank Armbruster from Germany
...creating a full-range presentation, VC7 is the most extraordinary loudspeaker I’ve encountered. Its presentations possessed me, and it offered the highest level of tonal coherency, surpassing that as rendered by all speakers I’ve heard,
Constantine Soo

In addition, recreations of spatiality of instrument with intrinsic lower midrange to bottom-end contents, by the mid-cabinet positioning of the quadruplet of side-firing midrange/bass drivers on each VC 7, attained a mid-air dimensionality so utterly surreal, that the air above and around the speaker was infused with unprecedented level of energy, making it utterly conducive towards a fulfilling listening experience.

Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) VC7
Auditioning of the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) VC 7 loudspeakers took place amidst the presence of amplifications as typified by the 100lb+, $79k Audio Note Ongaku integrated amplifier, the 3-chassis, $64k M10 preamplifier and a single-chassis, $34k M8 preamplifier. Combak’s $24k, Harmonix Reimyo PAT-777 300B stereo amplifier, Nagra’s $11k Pyramid Monoblock Amplifiers and Linn’s $9k Klimax Chakra 500 Twin also offered additional insights.
 
The single-wired Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann) exhibited a lesser extent in extremity than the Audio Note’s. For while Audio Note’s $12k Sogon LX™ speaker cables accentuated the intrinsic beauty of each driver, Combak’s $3,100, single-wiring Harmonix HS-101 SLC “Sophisticated Listener’s Choice” speaker cables consolidated each driver’s output into a more coherent whole, albeit a dynamic stance slightly less so than that of the Sogon LX™.
 
Digital sources were headed by the $26.8k, 47 Laboratory PiTracer CD transport, in connection to either the $59k DAC5 Signature or the $34k DAC5 Special. Wadia’s $10k, 27ix v3.0 Decoding Computer served to provide perspectives from the angle of a high-computational-power, algorithm-based engine. Digital connection from the PiTracer to either DAC’s was via the Combak Harmonix HS-102RCADG “Harmonic-Strings” RCA digital cable. Audio Note’s Sogon™ interconnect provided primary analog linkage between the DAC and preamplifier, or the Ongaku integrated.
 
While both the Ongaku and the PAT-777 were plugged into the wall directly, AC filtering for the digital sources and preamplification via Furutech’s $980, 6-outlet, e-TP609 AC Director yielded appreciable increase in low-level details and dynamic contrasts.
 
In positioning, as is the case with speakers equipped with side-firing drivers in my 12-foot wide room, the Bösendorfer’s  (now Brodmann) require particular attention to its interaction with side walls, and more particularly so when those of Bösendorfer’s  (now Brodmann) side-firing mid-woofers operated between 130Hz and 2,500Hz.
Rather than resorting to a proliferation of unsightly acoustic treatments alongside the sidewalls, I positioned the VC 7’s into the approximate distances of 26 inches from each sidewall to a VC 7’s rear outer edge, 52 inches away from the front wall to the same outer edge, and a distance of 69 inches from the left tower’s tweeters to the right tower’s, plus applying a virtually complete toe-in in which the tweeters were firing almost directly at the listening position. This reduced considerable levels of sidewall interaction with the side-firing drivers, correlating to a dramatically enforced spatial and tonal definition.
 
Designer Hans Deutsch’s unique, narrow baffle concept on the VC 7 worked undoubtedly to address and alleviate much of front-baffle reflection in the application of the two tweeters, not to mention the accompanied, stunning level of décor-friendliness. Yet, because of the toe-in measure, the two 1-inch, front-firing silk-dome tweeters on each tower, despite the minimal front-baffle diffraction, began to exhibit a slight but audibly more pronounced magnitude of energy within the listening distance.
 
Solution came in the form of the oval-shape, neoprene ring of Audio Ideas Guide Imagers II from Andrew Marshall. According to the AIG website, each self-adhesive soft ring is to be attached over a tweeter for absorption of front-baffle reflection. The AIG Imagers II can also be removed easily with no residue. Fitted around each VC 7 tweeter, the black, oval AIG Imagers II were unobtrusive visually, and regulated the on-axis output of the Bösendorfer  (now Brodmann) tweeters to definitive performances in the confines of my 12-foot wide listening room. For a total cost of $30, these little amenities represent an ingeniously passive solution for tailoring a certain degree of a loudspeaker’s dispersion pattern and output to the listener’s preference.
 
The original solid brass spikes of the speakers proved too short for anchoring the structure on my thickly carpeted listening room, thus impairing the speakers’ ability to reconstruct sounds of instrument. The result was an overbearing bass response and a crippled transient. Placing two $430, quadruplet sets of Combak’s metal top, cherry wood-base RF-909X “Base X” Harmonix Tuning Feet underneath the speakers’ spikes countered the ill effects of carpet-coupling and allowed the speakers to perform colossally.
 
From The Top
Of the 6 drivers in each VC 7, only the two tweeters were mounted on the front baffle, at mid-height, and the spectral coverage of these tweeters was expansive beyond belief. Responsible for the daunting frequency range of above 2,500Hz to 27,000Hz, the two small 1-inch front-firing tweeters produced some of the most coherent and dynamic portrayal of all instruments I’ve thrown at it, from the airy triangles to awe-inspiring tympanis, and from a powerful solo piano to the picturesque full orchestra.
 
While I am not aware of any speaker manufacturer seeking to mimic the sound of ribbon speaker technologies with dome tweeters of any variety, the Bösendorfer’s  (now Brodmann) twin acrylic-permeated silk domes posed a collective sparkle and tone so balanced and colossal in outputs and seamless in transition, they have surpassed what the ribbons had offered me.
 
Not silver-wired like the $20k Audio Note AN-E SEC Silver’s silk-dome, the Bösendorfer  (now Brodmann) tweeters possessed less of the hyper-detail character of the AN, but were resplendent with a consistent manifestation of a ribbon-like clarity and spaciousness, on top of a liquid tonality married to one of the liveliest dynamic transients ever produced by silk domes.
 
Yet, these silk dome tweeters did far more than the afore-mentioned. My dazzled affair with these drivers stemmed not merely from the astonishing dynamics that no other 1-inch silk dome’s have ever displayed, nor from the fact that the Bösendorfer  (now Brodmann) tweeters could traverse such an unheard-of range, but from the persistently clear and superbly-defined textural and tonal delineation these acrylic-permeated silk dome tweeters provided unswervingly. Whether it was the striking transients of a piano or the lingering staccato of a solo violin, the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) tweeters produced each sound with a virtual tangibility that was utterly mesmerising to behold.
 
Each Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann)  four 5-inch low-midrange drivers were charged with providing support to the front tweeters from the cutoff frequency of 2,500Hz down to 130Hz, and what feat these little drivers accomplished. If the front tweeters broadcasted the beauty of the music, then this quadruplet of wonder conveyed the subconsciousness of the sound thus transduced. For every note of a piano generated by the tweeters, an enveloping ambience of complimenting scale and matching transients, the likes and scale of which I never experienced from any speakers, would permeate along.
 
These four miracle drivers’ characteristics are hard to fixate upon not merely because their role in ambience support were of such refinement and seamlessness, but also because of the fact that their very function entailed considerable integration with the bottom-end. In a design when 6 small-diameter drivers of minimal crossover correction were chosen to fully depict any instrument whenever called for, the invention of the HornResonator with Acoustic SoundBoard marked an act of utter ingenuity in preserving the musical and operational integrity of the drivers while delivering the seemingly impossible bottom line.
 
Bass reproduction of the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann)  was via two precision-manufactured and strategically situated piano boards primarily, called Acoustic SoundBoard, each fastened to the main cabinet via 6 bolts at 75cNm of torque, flanking the sides of the speakers toward the rear. What can two piano boards do?
 
The high-precision positioning of the said piano boards in relation to the cabinet formed such shred of an air gap that, when the air in between is excited by the first burst of bass energy from the port, the force of propagation would coerce the tuned piano boards into creating such bass outputs as to qualify as a most elegant implementation of the fabled bass horn, sans the unwelcome physical dimensions.
 
All speakers I’ve used in the past all employed large woofers to recreate bottom-end’s; one exception was the Apogee Duetta Signature, which utilization of a full-height woofer ribbon panel would flood the listening space with a most surreal sense of bass. Yet, this ribbon technology of the 80’s as displayed by the Apogee was no comparison to the efficiency, extension, force, transients and variance achieved by the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) .
 
In fact, the Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann)  slender profile concealed its most potent aspect: its bottom-end prowess. For the “HornResonator with Acoustic Soundboards” technology of the Bösendorfer  (now Brodmann) reproduced the Cantate Domino (Proprius) church organ’s bottom-end in mind-boggling definition and depth as I have never heard from any other speakers. The force with which the rumbling notes being churned out carried incredible speed and the most surreal display of output variance.
 
The Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann)  prowess in bottom-end tonal distinction was also realized most effective and effortlessly via the fundamentally and tonally passive Acoustic Soundboards. For the musical experience from the combined factors of the amplification magnitude of the speaker and tonality passivity of the Acoustic Soundboards was such that the church organ was reproduced in the most contrasting and the most powerful manners I’ve experienced. To this day, I continue to be startled each time the VC 7’s flexes their muscles as driven by the 7Wpc Harmonix Reimyo PAT-777, and the degree of differentiating tonal layers of the church organ gave way to the idea that perhaps these Bösendorfer’s  (now Brodmann) were made to reproduce a church organ in the most truthful manner in a home.
 
In addition, recreations of spatiality of instrument with intrinsic lower midrange to bottom-end contents, by the mid-cabinet positioning of the quadruplet of side-firing midrange/bass drivers on each VC 7, attained a mid-air dimensionality so utterly surreal, that the air above and around the speaker was infused with unprecedented level of energy, making it utterly conducive towards a fulfilling listening experience.

Summary

 
The Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) VC 7 loudspeakers displayed their mastery in creating enormous spatial scaling that befitted their status as the piano maker’s crowning achievement in its first foray into the audio industry. While the Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann) weren’t the smallest speakers creating the weightiest bottom-end and scale, they were the first speakers with the smallest footprint in creating a full-range presentation, the likes of which surpassed every make and model I’ve heard. And the fact that the VC 7’s displayed equal aptness in reproducing classical piano and vocal, as well as the force of electric bass and drumming in American heavy-metal, was an iron-clad testament to their agility and finesse.
 
Perhaps because the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) loudspeaker was born of a classical lineage, its attention to and delivery of the p iano sound was beyond immaculate. In resolution, while few speakers could reproduce the tonal complexity of instruments than the Audio Note, or the scale in immensity of the Tannoy, the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) VC 7 emerged as a virtual melding of the two, taking the classical piano listener to a new dimension of virtual realism, fully resplendent in a consummate portrayal of the instrument’s scales and tones. Having this Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) in my listening room playing piano music vanquished my longstanding fancy of hiring a pianist to play on the actual Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) piano in front of me.
 
And what bottom-end the Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann) conveyed. I’ve never heard a loudspeaker pumping such bottom-end definition and weight before as driven by a 7Wpc SET (will respond better to more serious power) amplifier, with a level of dynamic variance as I’ve never seen from any speakers. The piano maker’s loudspeaker achievement in this criterion alone warrants a raving recommendation.
 
The Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) reenacted the most aurally enveloping and layered top to bottom-end tonal variations, so surreal that the varying outputs and pitches of the piano made me realise how little of the CD’s cache of richness I have experienced until now. Energies and loudness of a myriad of orchestral and instrumental pieces featuring the most superfluous of playing of instruments were reproduced by the Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann) accurately and unswervingly, as if all excessive sibilance as seen by other speakers I’ve used to date was now cleanly transferred for the first time by the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann).
 
Of all the classical instruments, the violin is the other solo instrument capable of speaking into the listener’s heart with its lamentations, and the Harmonix Reimyo-driven Bösendorfer’s (now Brodmann) refined portrayal of the string showcased an extremely well-balanced persona in recreating instruments in their utmost persuasiveness. The breathtaking contrasts that the Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) cast between a violin and a piano accorded the listener an appreciation of the frailty of the violin and the piano’s communicative fluidity.
 
The US$25,000 pair of ultra-slim Bösendorfer (now Brodmann) VC7 is the most extraordinary loudspeaker I’ve encountered. Its presentations possessed me, and it offered the highest level of tonal coherency, surpassing that as rendered by all speakers I’ve heard, delivering a degree of spectral wholeness the likes of which denotes a musical integrity and sonic purity that is immediately arresting. They are the only speaker available that allowed audiophiles to enjoy full range, hugely diversified tonalities from an SET-friendly, unmistakably full-size and extremely décor-friendly package.
CES 2014 SHOW REPORT: LOUDSPEAKERS $15-$25K - BRODMANN VC7: Seamless Beauty and Sound, say hello.
Spencer Holbert
BRODMANN VC7:
The VC7s (US$24,999/pr excl tax - NZ$29,995/pr incl GST) are probably new to most people, and follow in the footsteps of Brodmann’s original enterprise as a piano manufacturer with beautiful finishes that will appeal to those who want speakers that are also furniture. With 91dB sensitivity and 25Hz-27kHz frequency response, these sleek speakers sounded sublime in all regards.

BRODMANN VC2:

Not to make a show-coverage faux pas, but the VC2s (US$19,900/pr - NZ$21,995/pr incl GST) are also worth mentioning because they ultimately sound like a slightly younger version of the VC7s, with just a little less of everything. Though not new to hi-fi shows, the VC2s offer an attractive alternative and save you five grand without sacrificing much.

..…TAS - Spencer Holbert - Jan 22nd, 2014

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