Onto our last stop then and the principal reason we came to Koln in the first place, to see and hear the new Vimberg loudspeakers up close and personal. Vimberg is a new line of speakers, marketed under a completely new brand to differentiate themselves from Tidal speakers. Whilst they are made under the same roof with the same exacting standards and the same aspirations as far as sound quality are concerned, they represent greater value to the customer with a very minimal reduction in component selection and manufacturing costs. Both new models, the Mino and Tonda, were installed in the smaller upper floor demo room, connected to a Preos and a set of the new Ferios monoblocks.
First of all, what hits you immediately is that both the new Vimbergs represent a very generous amount of speaker. If the price is say 30% of what an equivalent sized Tidal would cost, the manufacturing process and component selection, is maybe still 90% of a Tidal. The Vimbergs will both retail at between £20,000 – £30,000 but they comprise two very large “Akira sized” waterproof MDF cabinets, three Accuton woofers per channel, Mundorf and Dueland components in the crossovers (surely a first at this price level ?), Argento binding posts and a clever height adjustable ‘isolation glider’ under each unit.
As the Audiobeat noted in Munich:
“I saw several people visibly shocked when told the price. One thought that it was the cost of a single speaker, not the pair. That tells you a lot about both the Tonda’s performance and the quality of the Tidal electronics driving it. But either way, it’s an awful lot of performance for the money.”
We certainly felt the same way. Both models shift a large quantity of air if necessary and give a very big, bold and dynamic sound. Scale and depth will surely fullfill all but the most demanding end user. Precision, resolution and transparency were up there with the very best we’ve come to expect in the industry and Tidal’s trademark sense of liquidity was still thankfully present in spades. Tonally they were absolutely perfect and did huge justice to the Tidal electronics in front of them. The sound was extremely open and both models did a wonderful job of totally disappearing in what is a relatively small and compromised room. Perhaps the only tradeoff for such a huge amount of Vimberg was the last missing 5% of absolute invisibility and heavenly purity that you get with a Tidal. Some people will want to chase this of course, others will be happy to trade it for more scale and bass weight at the given pricepoint.
The Vimbergs still have no real character to speaker of though and seemed particularly holographic and organic in their delivery giving an instantly enjoyable and welcoming presentation. My feeling is that they will be very well suited to a wide range of equipment, not just Tidal electronics and will be exceptionally popular in all sorts of systems, both solid state and valve. We hope to have demos in Quarter 4 of 2018 so definitely stay tuned if you are looking for a world class neutral floorstander with impeccable sound and credentials.