Boulder/Vienna Acoustics

Boulder was featuring its 1021 Disc Player ($24,000) and the 150W/ch 865 Integrated Amplifier ($12,500) driving a pair of Vienna Acoustics Baby Grand Symphony Edition speakers ($4,500/pair). The 1021 Disc Player is more than a disc player as it includes an Ethernet connection for network/Internet-based playback and it supports file formats including FLAC, WAV, MP3, ALAC, OGG, AIFF up to 32-bit/192kHz. There's an AES3 output and 2 pairs of Balanced outputs that are adaptable to Unbalanced outputs and a front panel touch screen display.

I got to hear some of the Israeli psytrance/electronica duo Infected Mushrooms from their Converting Vegetarians double album that was big, bold, and very bass heavy. Tasty.

hotsoup's picture

You've been working (playing?) hard the past week. It must be the energy from all those tasty Colorado microbrews.

Vienna Acoustics is one of the speaker brands I can get locally, along with Sonus Faber, Focal and Wharfdale. While I've only barely begun to demo some, I was wondering if you had any clear impressions of the Baby Grands?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I would say the Vienna Acoustics Baby Grands are absolutely worth a long listen.

Regor Ladan's picture

Somebody please take the crack pipe away from the folks at Boulder. 24k for the disc player/streamer? lol.

Michael Lavorgna's picture no one is forcing you to buy it.

Regor Ladan's picture

Yep, I won't be buying it and neither will anybody else.

You can buy a transport from Meitner, Esoteric, or Playback Designs, a Mac Book Pro, and a top tier USB DAC and cable for less, and have enough left over for a ton of downloads.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Price sensitivity is dependent on a lot of factors.

Let's say your hi-fi represents X% of your net worth. Now, let's also say that X% of someone else's net worth is 20x yours. A $24,000 component may very well be at the bottom of their component budget. A relative bargain.

My point being you are missing the point that your point of view regarding price sensitivity is not some universal value scale. Rather, its just your point of view. I'm certain there are people that would feel you have spent a stupid amount of money on your hi-fi. Are they right?

Regor Ladan's picture

You are correct on ALL counts...and I must say, rather well laid out.

However, my point is not strictly with pirce.

The fact that this disc player is Redbook only is a total deal killer for anybody with a brain. Wealthy people are not dumb.  No SACD, No DVD-A. Are you kidding? And it uses a DVD transport to boot.

It also does not support ALAC...and the clincher..NO digital inputs???? Are you kidding me?

Listen, the time has come for the audio press to stop defending over priced, featureless hunks of metal.

You are hardly an offender in this regard, as your philosphy is that these are toys for rich boys. But this unit is a joke.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

That's one of things about show coverage and I tried to give a balanced representation of what was there even though I couldn't cover everything.


You are hardly an offender in this regard, as your philosphy is that these are toys for rich boys.

My philosophy? I'm not even sure I could state my philosophy in one sentence so I would not say that you have done so successfully.

And if you look at things from a global perspective, you could say the entire hobby consists of toys for rich boys (nearly any hobby for that matter). So this point of view becomes, for all intents and purposes, meaningless.

Steven Plaskin's picture

The DAC is not Red Book only. I remember reading reviews where they played Reference Recordings HRx discs.

Regor Ladan's picture

The only way to access the DAC outside of playing a Rebook CD is to burn a DVD-R with hi rez files, or via a network. There are NO digital inputs.

What a bargain Merc.