Reviewer: Joël Chevassus
Financial interests: click here
Source: Esoteric K-03, Lumin S1, Apple iMac Yosemite Osx/Audirvana, MacBook Yosemite OSx, Audiomat Maestro 3 [on loan], Lumin U1 [on loan]
Amp/preamp: Coincident Technology Statement Line preamplifier, SPL Volume2, Luxman M-800a x 2 (bridged), Red Dragon S500 x 2, Lumin M1, Tarim Audio FloodHouse integrated [on loan]
Speakers: Vivid  Audio Giya G1, Elipson Planet L
Cables: Skywire Audio 2020 digital cable, Naturelle Audio interconnects Live 8 MK2, Grimm Audio TPM interconnects, Phi Audio speaker and interconnects cables, Leedh speaker cables [on loan], Esprit Lumina USB + S/PDIF [on loan]
Power cords: DIY, Triode Wire Labs 10+
Stands & room: Music Tools Alicia furniture, DAAD 4 bass traps, Microsorber room insulation, PYT Panels, Saratas stand [on loan]
Review component retail price: €49'000/pr (VAT incl.)

My first contact with Robert Göschl from Vienna Physix goes back to the Munich High End 2015 show.  I really like the MOC's ground floor halls. There are always newcomers with unusual entries. That year, it was Vienna Physix's turn. Their fancy colors and shapes drew my attention. A few minutes later, I was seated in front of a pair of Diva Grandezza, their flagship speaker. This horn-loaded affair looked like a rounded-over smaller version of an Avantgarde Duo G2. Their booth was unfortunately not designed to organize convincing demos. There were no partition walls to provide minimum sound insulation, just curtains. Nevertheless, I more and more trust my own intuition at events like this and we thus decided to put the Diva Grandezza speakers on my list of future reviews right there and then.

Vienna Physix are a small Austrian company founded by two passionate audiophiles cum DIYers named Robert Göschl and Hubert Pfautsch. Hubert was born in Neunkirchen near Vienna in 1973. He is a mechanical engineer and musician, playing French horn in the Horn Ensemble of Neunkirchen. He's also a specialist CAD/CAM programmer and 3D engineer in the car industry. Robert was born in 1965 in Vienna. His parents ran a small home-based recording studio where he had opportunity early on to meet a few famous artists like Jan Gabarek, Jim Pepper, Paul Gulda and Joe Zawinul. After attending a school for electronic engineers, he finally decided to go to work in the family's recording studio. He also worked for a German/American company as an engineering developer. This company produced shockwave devices to cure orthopedic diseases. That gave him access to research on various advanced principles on focusing sound. Together with the University of Vienna, he developed a device to treat insufficient heart functions. And like Hubert, he still found time to work on audio gear before he finally decided to partner with Hubert on a loudspeaker project.

Like many startups in the high-end audio market, the two founders must retain main occupations to be self-supporting and finance their shared project. Today Robert works in the medical equipment industry whilst Hubert is a Microsoft ERP integrator. Beyond their day-to-day occupations, their collaboration began with designing a speaker for their own personal use. Robert is a qualified electronics engineer, Hubert's father owns a small mould-making factory where they are able to work in plastic, polymer and wood.  Why exactly our two men decided to build a loudspeaker was a bad experience after a fantastic Vienna jazz concert by The Syndicate. Being excited by the performance of these former Joe Zawinul musicians, they bought a CD at the sales booth near the exit and put it in the CD player once back home. Unfortunately this listening experience was nothing but frust. After having heard The Syndicate live, playback of them sounded as though the loudspeakers had joined the French resistance and gone on strike. All the musical power of the dynamics had evaporated. The tiny explosions of snare drum hits, the blat of the trumpets and horns – it had all gone. With it, emotionality had joined Elvis and left the building.

Their conclusion about what caused this huge discrepancy became the impetus for today's product. Robert believed that their loudspeakers were the chief culprits.  At the concert, they'd used mostly horn-loaded high-sensitivity speakers, not the British or German low-sensitivity hifi boxes which, at the time, our two men equated with the proper means to reproduce musical emotions. Now Robert and Hubert carried professional audio equipment into their living room and tried again. Voilà, the spirit of live music and enjoyment was resurrected with pure dynamics and participatory infectiousness. But with the emotions there also was a hard treble, midrange shout and kick-ass bass of limited bandwidth. The high efficiency and dynamics were an undeniable improvement. But what of the glamour and naturalness of acoustic live music? Perhaps the quite systematic use of compression drivers was not the appropriate way forward to recreate the magic of The Syndicate's Vienna concert?