Loudspeaker Review: Bösendorfer VC 7 - Channa Vithana

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Expression1 of en%20Careful.The Music BlogExpressionHomeClaim your free CDFind a CD/Vinyl supplierLoudspeaker Review: Bösendorfer VC 7 - Channa VithanaMay 4, 2007Founded during its nascent years in Austria, 1828, by Ignaz Bösendorfer, the company bearing his name hassince become one of the most recognisable piano-making brands in the world. With many choices in finish andspecification, a Bösendorfer piano can be specified to be as minimalist or extravagant as you like – fromopulent to ornate to modernist – have a look at their website, www.bosendorfer.com, and you can see almostany style is available.In their recent history Bösendorfer has started to make a range of hi-fi loudspeakers, and in a similarmanufacturing quality to the pianos from their factory, they offer them in a variety of standard andnon-standard finishes.The Bösendorfer loudspeakers, engineered by the very experienced Hans Deutsch, are different to the norm inthat they are designed to resonate just like a musical instrument. To this end they feature Acoustic SoundBoards which are fin-like panels, fitted with exacting tolerances to the rear of the main cabinet to achieve thecorrect amount of reverberation.The CAD-CAM designed cabinet has no internal damping material like ‘acoustic’ wool for instance, or anexternally visible cylindrical port. Instead air is shifted unhindered and therefore more efficiently from thedrive-units down the internal volume of the cabinet, like a diaphragm, and outwards at the lower sides tovibrate the Acoustic Sound Boards.This arrangement is an ingenious bit of lateral-thinking mechanical-engineering.So, combining this design philosophy with two 130mm carbon-fibre reinforced paper-cone mid/bassdrive-units per side, and two 30mm (approx.) acrylic-coated silk-dome tweeters at the front baffle, the VC 708/05/2007 09:36

Expression2 of en%20Careful.here for review is a very special loudspeaker indeed. Essentially, the music signal is transmitted via theBösendorfer Acoustic Active Crossover(developed by Hans Deutsch in 1973) at the rear of the cabinet, and then through the mid/bass drivers (andtweeters) with the resultant bass-loading coming from the Acoustic Sound Boards which, say the company,“ guarantees a multitude of resonances spread across the entire bass frequency range.”As this review is not for a hi-fi magazine, I have kept it as straightforward as possible. However, for thosewho are interested in technical details, you can contact Bösendorfer’s UK distributor at www.audusa.com forinformation.Bösendorfer VC 7 (claimed) SpecificationsFrequency response: 25 Hz – 27 kHzImpedance: 4 ohmsSensitivity: 91 dBDimensions: 1330 403x195mmWeight: 36.5KgBösendorfer VC 7 Standard Finishes and UK PricesVC 7S: Black Semi gloss 6,400VC 7H: High Gloss Piano Black 8,250VC 7E: High Gloss Piano Black Lacquer Wood Veneer* 9,200(*Pomele or Burl Maple or Burl Birch or Burl Walnut)Non standard finishes, e.g. White, Swarovski Crystals, etc, to special order.System & SetupIn the listening sessions I used a North Star Design Model 192 CD Transport and Extremo DAC source, StaxDual Mono DC CA-X Class-A preamplifier and a beautifully designed and built Accuphase Model P-102Class-A power amplifier which is a dual-mono design rated at 50W/8ohms and 80W/4ohms. Interconnects andpower cords were LAT. The North Star CD source and LAT cables were supplied by www.audusa.com, whilethe Stax, Accuphase and listening room were kindly loaned by this site’s editor Howard Popeck.The Bösendorfers were placed at 2M apart with a toe-in of about 20 degrees, 1.5M from the back wall andabout 1M from the side walls. The correct location is very important as they have side-firing mid-bass drivers,and for this reason, it is also imperative not have anything in-between the VC 7s, like a hi-fi system. I08/05/2007 09:36

Expression3 of en%20Careful.preferred listening to the loudspeakers without the grills – but it is best to fine-tune setup with yourBösendorfer dealer.MusicListening to ‘Korngold - Violin Concerto; Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto Op 35’ (2004) with Anne-SophieMutter on lead and Previn conducting, I was really taken aback by the sheer lyrical quality of Mutter’s playingas it was by turns full-bodied and then very delicately phrased. The music had a beautifully radiant earthytonality and the violin was indeed convincing where the lyrical phrasing was outstanding.The separation of instruments was very good thus enabling the delicacy of the violin, especially some of themore playful parts, to be balanced with the full-weight of the orchestra. So, there was the vastness of scalerequired to reveal the Wiener Philharmoniker combined with the sophisticated deftness of the violin whichweaved in and out of the orchestrations.This ‘Korngold ’ piece goes from delicate violin parts to grand, soaring crescendos very quickly – where themix can get very busy. And as such the Bösendorfers were entirely composed and authoritative as they ablyrevealed the subtleties of the violin and the demands of the orchestrations, especially the low frequencieswhere there was convincing bass extension and bass tunefulness, so a high-resolution balance between weightand control was struck.08/05/2007 09:36

Expression4 of en%20Careful.08/05/2007 09:36

Expression5 of en%20Careful.Indeed the Bösendorfers had superb instrumental decay to the fading notes of the violin – which enabled amore credible three-dimensional tonal quality.The opening bass lines to ‘Woman In Chains’ by Tears For Fears from their ‘Seeds Of Love’ (1989) albumwere delivered with a superb low-frequency sophistication that revealed powerful depth and, importantly, basstunefulnessalso. Consequently, it was satisfying to note the harmonic quality of the bass guitar as I could appreciate thetimbre and texture of these bass lines, which, when reproduced properly, enable the complexthree-dimensional low-frequency qualities to spread across the listening room without being either one-note orbaggy.The lead and accompanying vocals were rendered with a deft and light touch that removed any chance ofstridency yet did not impinge on the free-flowing quality of the vocal phrasing, where I could follow, exactly,the change in direction and timbre as the singers emphasised emotional contrasts. The music as a whole wasdelivered in a lyrical yet well-balanced manner with high resolution instruments and vocals.With ‘Lithium’ from the ‘Nirvana’ (2002) compilation, the music was well-balanced enabling all of its ragingnihilism and huge guitar power-chords to be expressed. And as such, the low-frequencies were wonderfullyrevealed in all their harmonic beauty. Instrumental separation between the drums, bass and guitar was goodwhich enabled the trademark Kurt Cobain melodies and harmonies from the vocals and abrasive guitar to belucid.Indeed Cobain’s deceptively brilliant guitar melodies, still clear underneath all the ‘grunge,’ were reallyintoxicating via ‘Heart Shaped Box,’ where his excellent playing could be plainly heard as the layering ofnotes and chords were spread out across the listening room. The outstanding drumming by Dave Grohl whichis a curious and exhilarating mix of precise structuring and deep, textural timbres was also superblyreproduced as a rhythm section with the bass lines.The melodious pop-soul of ‘Crazy’ by Seal from the compilation, ‘Best 1991-2004’ (2004), was unwrappedwith effortlessness as the Bösendorfers revealed the mid-paced combination of deep-house bass lines and theintricate drum and percussive parts with ease. Seal’s vocals were a delight as his rich and distinctive voice wasclearly articulated within the structure of ‘Crazy.’ When the song developed further and into powerfulcrescendos, the Bösendorfers retained their composure without taking away the sinuous motion of the beatsand melodies preceding them.‘Kiss From A Rose’ sounded stunning and surprisingly energised even though it is usually one of thoseover-familiar songs used for weddings, etc. Consequently, it was enthralling where the subtle vocal shifts andintonations were striking in their alacrity. The ‘Kiss ’ music which until now I had dismissed as‘undemanding,’ took on a more powerful stance and I could really appreciate the production and musicianshipof the players where there was depth, clarity and instrumental intelligibility.Review OutcomeI have extensive experience of the smaller Bösendorfer VC 2 through my Densen/Origin Live referencesystem and it remains one of the finest I have heard for the price ( 4,750, approx.) Indeed the VC 2s, setupcorrectly and without grills, were superbly high-resolution and yet free-flowingly musical.The VC 7s are impressively just the same, but obviously more capable of driving bigger rooms with theirlarger cabinets and extra drive-units.So what I heard using a different system was the same beautiful bass quality that has excellent decay tomusical notes which procured a more convincing and three-dimensional sound.08/05/2007 09:36

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Expression7 of en%20Careful.The bass wasn’t congested either and was as tuneful as it was extended. One of the best attributes to HansDeutsch’s Bösendorfer designs is that the acrylic-coated silk-dome tweeter provides a very sophisticatedhigh-frequency sound for cymbals, vocals, violin, etc, without the merest hint of stridency.In many ways this self-effacing but deceptively revealing tweeter application has much of the superiority ofthe finest ribbondesigns. The VC series is elegantly designed, and like the pianos, can have modern, traditional or highlyornate finishes to suit. For smaller rooms, about 4 4M, I can recommend the VC 2 and for larger, the VC 7s.The Bösendorfer VC 7, like a bigger version of the VC 2, is one of the best loudspeakers I have yet to hear.CV 1st May 2007www.bosendorfer.comU.K. Distributor: www.audusa.com 44 (0)2082 419 826 & 44 (0)2082 640 249Topics: Writer / Channa Vithana, Music / Technolgy related stuff No Comments »Steve Lawson: Life lessons from songsMay 4, 2007It starts:“TSP bought the DVD of Love Actually on Ebay last week. I’d seen it before, but watched it again. I quite likeRichard Curtis, despite thinking Four Weddings was largely nonsense, and Notting Hill suffered from themuch-publicised lack of black people in a very heavily black part of London. I like the fact that he .”stevelawson.netTopics: Uncategorized No Comments »R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha TurnerMay 4, 2007“Over the last two decades Mississippi hill country blues has become increasingly popular. With the08/05/2007 09:36

Expression8 of en%20Careful.successful late careers of R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha Turner most blues fans tuned into thedriving, often hypnotic sounds that come out of this little corner of Mississippi. With the passing of the elders,LB decided it was a good time to check on the scene in our own back yard. We found it still vibrant, vital, andgrowing. In this issue we profile eight artists who are all children (real or “adopted”) or grandchildren of theearly masters.”via livingbluesmagazineTopics: Music / Strictly Blues & Jazz No Comments »Q&A: BjorkMay 4, 2007Question:Do you really believe that Bjork’s success is the triumph of marketing over mediocrity?Answer:Yes!Topics: Q&A No Comments »What happens when jazz and classical music come together?08/05/2007 09:36

Expression9 of en%20Careful.May 4, 2007“In a new programme to mark the launch of our sister station theJazz, Margherita Taylor looks at whathappens when jazz and classical music come together. Margherita will examine the long history of classicalmusic and jazz coming together in this six-part series. Works will range from Shostakovich’s Jazz Suites,through to Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, taking in Jacques Loussier’s Bach interpretations, Miles Davis’s takeon Rodrigo’s Concierto d’Aranjuez and some brand new compositions from the contemporary jazz arrangerand performer, David Rees-Williams On theJazz, Margherita presents Easy Jazz at Six - a relaxing blend oflaid-back music - from Sunday to Friday each week.”MORETopics: Music / Strictly Blues & Jazz No Comments »Exactly the way it happened folks #03: Syrinx & Scott StrachanMay 3, 2007Scott Strachan, the inventor and constructor of the Syrinx arm was a very likeable chap. His enthusiasm wasinfectious. His tonearms looked, frankly, terrible. Not quite as bad as the original Hadcock, but not far off.They were, until the Ittock, the only intelligent and sonically acceptable alternative to the Grace G707 arm ona Linn. Incidentally, in A-B dems, the majority of listeners preferred it to the Mk1 Ittock on the LP12,especially when partnered with a Dynavector 17/D.The Syrinx sound, for those days, was spectacular but the overall construction left a lot to be desired.Nevertheless we persisted and I became a volume dealer for him – but he stretched patience to the limitthrough one particular incident.He sent us a batch of arms where each of the four headshell leads was the identical shade of white.His explanation was that he was in a hurry to get the shipment to us and he’d lost his set of coloured pens – theones he used to mark the headshell wires! Without a trace of an apology nor irony he cheerfully pointed outthat the problem could be sorted by using a volt meter or some such device.I pointed out that as were, at that point, acting as his unofficial exporter to enthusiasts around the world, hehad at a stroke, or rather lack of a stroke, brought our combined export sales drive re Syrinx PU2s to a halt. Helaughed his infectious laugh, and that was it. I wondered why he’d bucked tradition but not buying 4 reels ofseparate coloured wire, but thought better of it, fearing it would send him into more dangerously convulsedlaughter. So we coloured the headshell wires, and that was that.The next we saw of him, without coloured pens I might add, was with the potentially bearing-crushing PU2‘Mass Ring” – and therein lies another story for another day.Topics: Music / Technolgy related stuff No Comments »3 opportunities to win today’s FREE CD - Iain Matthews “Skeleton08/05/2007 09:36

Expression10 of en%20Careful.Keys”May 3, 2007Today’s free CD – and it’s not a bootleg either!3 copies available to the first 3 people who email me.Post free in the UK Post at cost for non-UK winnerThe first one to email me with the phrase ‘I WANT SKELETON’ in the subject line gets today’s freebie.Just email me at hp@no-alibi.demon.co.ukAn owner said:“Following a ‘difficult’ decade in the 80’s, Iain Matthew’s output since the early 90’s has been both prolificand top quality, at it’s best standing comparison with any singer-songwriter around. This 1992 gem wasrecorded on German ‘Line’ label, and is, unusually, made up entirely of Matthew’s originals. Mainly acoustic(guitar, accordion, mandolin, dobro and a bit of fiddle) and often with a country feel (though this is far from acountry album), the slower numbers in particular have strong melodies that worm their way into the memory.Try the beautiful ‘God’s Empty Chair’ (a tribute to Miles Davis) or the gentle ‘Compass And Chart’ thatlikens Iain’s career to a mariner who refused to ‘sell out’. Elsewhere there’s the aching melancholy of ‘ACross To Bear’, and ‘Every Crushing Blow’, the environmental concern of ‘The Ties We Break’ and thecharming narrative of ‘Jumping Off The Roof’. Things get up-tempo with the anti-prejudice ‘Back Of The Bus’and, although ‘Get It Back’ lets the side down by sounding a bit too close to T Rex for comfort (whether byaccident or design), the quality of the writing, singing and playing mean ‘Skeleton Keys’ earns it’s 5 starrating on every play. So keep checking back – it’s a shame when such great music has only ‘LimitedAvailability’!”Topics: Uncategorized, Music / Free recordings No Comments »Any Jessye Norman fans here?May 3, 2007Yes, apparentlyAnd you can get an insight into their views HERE08/05/2007 09:36

Expression11 of en%20Careful.Topics: Music / Strictly Western Classical No Comments »Real Blues magazine.May 3, 200708/05/2007 09:36

Expression12 of en%20Careful.MORETopics: Music / Strictly Blues & Jazz No Comments »Steve Lawson: Rock is dead?May 3, 2007“A fabulous post this morning by Jyoti on Why Rock Is Dead.I emailed him about it, and it seems the tipping point for him was the same band that I was despairing at onthe T in the Park coverage last night - WolfMother. How much more could they want to sound like Led Zep?How much more heinously anachronistic could it be to write ‘new’ songs like that in 2006? Is one of themabout to buy Alistair Crowley’s old underpants, just to be like Jimmy Page?”More via stevelawson08/05/2007 09:36

Expression13 of en%20Careful.Topics: Music / Strictly Rock No Comments »« Previous EntriesSearchWelcome to 'Expression'I offer free online space to every style of music for the enjoyment of every type of listener. Itsself-funded by me. Broadening the appeal and take-up of music is of far greater personal value to methan money.Editor Howard Popeck can be contacted at hp@no-alibi.demon.co.ukRecent PostsLoudspeaker Review: Bösendorfer VC 7 - Channa VithanaSteve Lawson: Life lessons from songsR.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha TurnerQ&A: BjorkWhat happens when jazz and classical music come together?Exactly the way it happened folks #03: Syrinx & Scott Strachan3 opportunities to win today’s FREE CD - Iain Matthews “Skeleton Keys”Any Jessye Norman fans here?Real Blues magazine.Steve Lawson: Rock is dead?ArchivesMay 2007April 200708/05/2007 09:36

Expression14 of en%20Careful.March 2007February 2007January 2007December 2006November 2006October 2006September 2006August 2006July 2006June 2006May 2006February 2006BlogrollCategoriesAt last, I got a lifeBass heroesCharities I supportComing soon - possibly!Dear Sir!For saleImagesMusic / Books on .Music / Don’t miss thisMusic / Films & DVDs about .Music / Free recordingsMusic / Live performancesMusic / Reader’s linksMusic / Strictly Blues & JazzMusic / Strictly RockMusic / Strictly Western ClassicalMusic / Technolgy related stuffMusic / That which I just won’t categoriseMusic / The buying experienceMusic / Your editor’s picksQ&ASTAXThe larderThe view from hereUncategorizedWantedWriter / Channa VithanaWriter / Christopher BreunigWriter / Jimmy HughesWriter / Ken KesslerMetaRegisterLoginWordPressExpression is proudly powered by WordPress using the RockinBlue theme created by Cory Miller.08/05/2007 09:36

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