Vimberg Mino loudspeaker

The priciest loudspeaker ever to have taken up residence in my listening room was the Akira from German company Tidal Audio (footnote 1), which I reviewed in the November 2018 issue of Stereophile. Designed by Tidal founder and CEO Jörn Janczak, the Akiras cost $215,000/pair! “The sheer resolution of the Akiras continued to astonish me throughout my auditioning,” I wrote in my review, concluding that “The Akiras are the best-looking, best-built, best-sounding speakers I have had in my listening room—as they should be at the price.”

Ah, the price. As good as the Tidal loudspeakers sounded and as heroically as they were engineered and built, I don’t think I ever really came to terms with what they cost. So my ears pricked up when I read in Robert Deutsch’s October 2018 report from the Toronto Audiofest that Janczak had launched Vimberg, a loudspeaker brand that, while still expensive in absolute terms, would be much less so than the Tidal models while preserving the Tidals’ sound quality. At $31,000/pair, the subject of this review, the Vimberg Mino, resembles the Akira in being a large three-way floorstander using Accuton drive-units from the German company Thiel & Partner, but is one-seventh its price.

The Mino
This is a fairly heavy tower, weighing 159lb. The high-density fiber laminate enclosure is deeper than it is wide and is extensively braced. It is first veneered, then finished in high-gloss black or white piano lacquer. (This lacquer coating is half the thickness of that used in the Tidal models but is still impressively thick.) The enclosure’s front baffle and rear panel slope back, which makes the speaker unstable until its complex-shaped outrigger stands have been bolted to its base. These are milled from aluminum, with the rear stand raising the back of the speaker a couple of inches higher than its front.


Mounted vertically in-line on the baffle, the three 6.6″ Accuton Cell long-throw woofers are fastened to aluminum mounting rings so that their convex aluminum-honeycomb cones stand proud. This alarmed me when I unpacked the speakers from their flight cases, so I took extra care in handling them, not to apply any force on those black woofer cones. The woofers are reflex loaded with a pair of flared ports, each 3″ in diameter. One port is positioned near the speaker’s base, the other 10″ below the top panel; the upper port can be blocked with a rubber plug, which has a spherical metal knob to facilitate removing it, to optimize bass performance in a particular room: just one sign of the attention to detail that characterizes the Mino’s design.

Above the woofers, a flush-mounted, polished aluminum insert carries the 3.55″ Accuton Cell midrange unit and the 1.18″ Accuton Cell tweeter, decoupling these drivers from the baffle. These both use ceramic diaphragms, specifically a porous material called “alpha corundum,” which is produced by heat-treating then anodizing a thin aluminum foil, so that it is completely oxidized, after which it is converted into its final form via a proprietary process. The result is a diaphragm that is light and stiff, but also well-damped—three properties that are necessary in a drive-unit. The Mino can also be ordered with diamond-diaphragm tweeters, these again sourced from Accuton, for an additional $8500/pair.


The crossover is mounted to a heavy plate at the base of the enclosure, using high-quality capacitors, resistors, and inductors from Mundorf and Duelund. The internal wiring is sourced from Mogami, and electrical connection is via a single pair of fiber-reinforced polymer Argento binding posts, just below the lower reflex port.

Overall, the Mino is an elegant-looking loudspeaker, impeccably finished and impressively engineered.

As the Mino is close in size to the Magico M2 that I reviewed in the February 2020 issue, and has a similar drive-unit array, I started with the loudspeakers in the same positions as the M2s. After some experimentation, I ended up with the Vimbergs’ woofers 72″ from the wall behind them and 125″ from my listening position. The left speaker was 33″ from the LPs that line the left sidewall, the right 42″ from the books that line the right sidewall. I then installed the bolts into the outrigger feet, adding the knurled knobs to their tops and screwing them in until their polished ends touched the wooden floor beneath my carpet.

Vimberg supplies machined aluminum coasters with Teflon-glider inlays that can be inserted beneath the bolts to protect floors that are higher in quality than mine, but I preferred the sound without these.

Once I had finalized the positions of the Vimberg Minos, I started my serious listening, driving the speakers with Lamm M1.2 monoblocks. With their upper ports blocked, the Minos reproduced the 1/3-octave warble tones on my Editor’s Choice CD (Stereophile STPH016-2) with full weight down to the 40Hz band. The 32Hz tone was boosted by the lowest-frequency mode in my room, the 25Hz warble was readily audible, and I could just hear the 20Hz tone. The warble tones sounded very clean, implying low distortion. Playing the tones again with the upper ports open, the 50Hz and 63Hz bands seemed a little higher in level than they had with only the bottom ports open. The half-step–spaced low-frequency tonebursts on Editor’s Choice spoke very cleanly down to 32Hz, with no emphasis of any of the tones. When I listened to the cabinet walls of both speakers with a stethoscope while these tones played, I could just hear some vibrational modes in the midrange, but the enclosure seemed extremely inert overall.

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US distributor: Wynn Audio

20 Wertheim Court, Unit 31

Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 3A8, Canada


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