Acoustic Preference Maestoso 2 test - review

Acoustic Preference Maestoso 2 speakers

They say, that every object of art have it’s owner DNA written already in it’s core. This might also be right with Acoustic Preference Maestoso 2 speakers and mine audio cryptic.

They’re beautifully carved object, that will satisfy people with true passion for classical aesthetis and if I can call it aristocratic taste for design.


There is nothing classical about Maestoso 2.0. It could be a more convenient to call them contemporary with a pedigree. Carefully selected drivers and crossover are giving Maestoso 2 very unedifying signature. They are not only character less, but very linear. Being used to Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento speakers a first encounter with Maestoso 2 was an open revelation. I did hear and test Acoustic Preference’s Gracioso 2.0 speakers already, but Maestoso 2 is an avid step up in the land of transparence and an eye (ear) opener. This must be connected to a Morel Supreme tweeter, that adds up to coherent, non-fatigue and very dynamic sound, which one can get in a well thought and balanced system.

With its 91db sensitivity I had not only good, but great experience’s with low powered tube amplifiers. There is a certain synergy with very good solid-state amplifiers and Maestoso 2 speakers. This must be connected to Acoustic Preference’s experience with solid-state amplifiers. I’m still hoping for a day to come, that they’ll bring out Bravura line of amplifiers to the light of the day again. Why? They are both great looking and sound example of well-engineered and designed amplifiers. Marjan and Davorin are taking their job very seriously and I’ve seen numerous industry state of the art gears in their lab and demo room. To reconnect with my thoughts Maestoso 2 speakers were designed with top of the class amplifiers on the hand and it evidently shows in their performance

Big bang

Maestoso 2 are not being small, but again they’re not the biggest contenders in the race of high-end. With clever selection of 2 X 160 mm Morel High Performance bass units and Morel 140 mm High Performance Neolin midrange driver, they created a speaker, which behaves wonderful even in smaller environments. They’ll breathe in a larger space, but more then concur smaller spaces So, Maestoso 2.0 are room friendly, which means, that they are more then welcome into living rooms and listening spaces without dedicated rooms. If drivers were a bit bigger, I do believe, that they would loose some of it charm, but with the current selection of units, Marjan and Davorin managed to form a balanced and tamable sound to a degree, that goes beyond ordinary. Maestoso 2.0 are rated at 91db at 1W/1m. Acoustic Preference seems to plaid safe with the specifications, since many manufactures would give them 93 db based on the driver specifications. Why is all that important? Maestoso 2.0 performed remarkably well with tube amplifiers. My tube reference Mactone MH-300B amplifier is not only a great performer, but also a true stand out. Funny how often we associate tube amplifiers with warm sound. Stop dreaming and wake up! It 21st century and tube amps sound often like solid state and vice versa. Not so with Mactone MH-300B and Maestoso 2.0. They’re both surprisingly neutral. Funny isn’t. In the times when everything is evolving exploding fast, we’re still dealing with technology of last century. In both cases, solid sate and valves. Were did we came so far. I do believe, that to the state of fine refinement.

Mactone MH-300B is colorless amplifier. With two 300B per channel it produces around 24 watts. As proved in recent years (and well known to connoisseurs) tube watts are non comparable to solid state ones. It’s different universe on its own and one might easily fall into the trap of tube watt myths. It’s the same with warmness associated with tube amplifiers. For example the Gryphon Atilla, which is just under a review at Mono & Stereo holds much more warm character then Mactone MH-300B. How is this possible? Different goals and different visions, which also needs different, fine tuned setups. Being impressed with Gryphon Atilla performance I was eager to switch back to Mactone MH-300B to compare. Man what a difference. They’re both impressive performers and in great synergy with Maestoso 2.0 speakers, but both of them need a completely different approach in selecting the front ends, cables etc.  For example Gryphon Atilla and Lampizator Level 4 dac plaid like match in heaven. This combination came dangerously close to my reference turntable setup. Both Lampizator and Gryphon Atilla set standards on it own, but they need to be mated in a right way with the right components to show their best.

Returning to Mactone MH-300B. Spending almost two years with selecting the correct gear to refine my system I’m more then satisfied with an outcome. Quite few people, that I trust and respect dearly heard my current rig and confirmed my feelings about synergy and performance. We’re beings of different tastes and natures. There is no one ends in this high-end audio quest of ours. We must stand firm and being straight about references. Live music, vocals etc. are still the instruments of measurement, when it comes to setting up the true standards of state of the art reproduction. There can be no doubts about this. On the other hand, every listener builds up the high-end audio system to his own taste and views. There is no firm rule about it and there is no perfect system as much as some ego trip maniacs would love to set their own standard. I heard many high-end and ultra high-end systems and some of them are amazing and striking, yet you can always feel and hear some sort of a flavor in them. As with amplifiers and preamplifiers. Even the most transparent ones will have a certain degree of its own signature. At the end of the day and after all of the years passing by we’ll have to settle down with the facts, that we’re not living in the perfect world. What the hack,  even our own senses are not perfect. Some other species, that share living landscapes with us are seeing better, smelling better and what to talk about hearing better! Things audio beyond audible impact we discussed perhaps to many times. Like it or not we experiencing lots of things on sublime level, which goes beyond our so-called raw six senses. We’re not talking about Freudian or Jung like archetypes or impressions here, but about what happens on some different level. We’re sensual creatures and music affects us in more then just analytical way. This is why both measurements and listening is required when we test, design and produce gears of joy. We need both our left and right brain hemisphere to be connected. This is also why there is always better to train oneself to recognize the dealings of those two, or as many companies do, combine people with strong impact from both hemispheres.

Spending years in designing high-end components gives a designer a certain clue in how things should and could sound. I do believe Acoustic Preference’s Davorin Žnuderl is one of those artisans when it coms to electronics. As any master of trade recognize the material influence on final outcome, it’s the same within audio. Many laughed at Vladimir Lamm, when he talked about creating preamplifiers and amplifiers without listening them during the creation. Nobody loughs when Lamm gear are playing music at shows or in demo rooms. So it’s not about perception only, but about knowledge, intelligence, experience, knowledge, mileage and know-hows.

Maran Tancer and Davorin Žnuderl are mature experienced high-end audio chaps. Actually seeing projects they went through, nerves they burned and money they’ve spend in designing and creating not only speakers, but also almost everything connected to high-end audio ones mind spins in perpectum mobile. I would not called them enthusiasts, but hard-core hard working high-end standouts. This shows on their end results. I’m saddened, that they’re not recognized more within Slovenia, but this go as a leit motif, that envy is an enemy of ignorance. What can be done? We can spread the words around…

In music

Acoustic Preference Maestoso 2.0 speakers are my daily reference speakers for all the testing, comparing, listening etc. Within my Mono and Stereo HQ’s demo room I managed to create a balanced audio eco system, that gives me correct feedback of every component coming through for a long or short time period of testing. Maestoso 2.0 speakers are a vital part of my reference testing system. I’m thrilled by their less of character, their musical DNA and soulful reproduction. This can be only be achieved with careful selection of components. Last major addition to my reference system along LessLoss cabling was Lamm LL2 preamplifer. You can track down impressive reviews and accolades of this tube preamplifier over the media and net. I have to agree with most of the written. Lamm knows something about how to create high-end gear in the service of music and how natural it should sound. Some high-end components are carrying the same or very similar DNA, when it comes to the way in how they connect us with music. Synergy of Lamm and Wilson is evident for example. I have to say and conclude, that Acoustic Preference and Lamm jointly are bringing out the intimates of music in a way that never so far connected me into music as emotional and lucid as with and within my current set up and system. I’m one of those persons who cannot listen critically at low volumes. Yes, quiet night do bring down volumes, but not as a standard rule. For me the right impact of energy have to be come directly. Motion of sound is simply non transferable at to low volumes. Maestoso 2.0 never seems to loose the grip, pace, timing or to resonate at some frequency. I always go through entire spectrum with audio synth, which can generate basic sound through out the whole audible spectrum when testing new gear. There were zero frequency matches, which would resonate on same frequency and cause audible resonance of enclosure. This simple, yet effective method conclusion was also confirmed in my analytical listening’s (yes, I also have to do that) with all sort of musical source material.

The End

When they were introduced Maestoso 2.0 costed almost 20.000 eur. With the current shift of Acustic Preference business tactics to direct buy-sale you can be a proud owner of this great speaker for 7.980 eur including shipping to Europe.

Maestoso 2.0 are genre-less speakers for connoisseurs of both aesthetics and high-end sound. The ultimate test is not rock, blues or any specific genre, but live acoustical music. Maestoso 2.0 speakers are far beyond calling them well performing. They excelled in ultimate test of live music managing to reproduce both timbre and sense of articulation in a way, that so much represent what evoke the inner clock of my music satisfaction in live musical events.

With the new pricing scheme Maestoso 2.0 are real standouts and performers way beyond their price. Don’t let the absence of distributors commission bewilder you. These are the speakers for a daily doze of pure energy, audio bliss, enjoyment of music and critical high-end audio partners to stay.


Let me look what makes Maestoso 2.0 such a complete and universal speakers.

Maestoso 2 is 3-way/Double-select ported bass reflex system. Ported bass baffle can be mounted from both front and back side. In this way you can control and tune bass to your preference or even more important, to listening room.

• 2 X 160 mm Morel High Performance bass units
• One-piece DPC cone/dust cap for smooth, extended response and firm bass
• Large diameter aluminum former for efficient heat transfer
• 75 mm diameter HEXATECH voice coil for high power handling and superior dynamics
• Massive die-cast open aluminum basket for flat and smooth response
• Natural felt disc for absorption of unwanted reflections

• Morel 140 mm High Performance Neolin midrange
• One-piece DPC cone/dust cap for smooth, extended response and firm bass
• Large diameter aluminum former for efficient heat transfer
• 75 mm diameter Hexatech voice coil for high-power handling and superior dynamics
• Copper devices for reduction of distortion and linear impendence
• Five high-flux neodymium disc magnets for enhanced sensitivity and excellent air cooling
• Massive die-cast open aluminum basket for flat and smooth response
• Natural felt disc for absorption of unwanted reflections

• Morel 28 mm High Performance Supreme series tweeter
• Acuflex hand-treated soft dome and aluminum faceplate
• Hexatech voice coil for high-power handling and superior dynamics
• Flat Neodymium motor with high magnetic power
• Under hung configuration for higher performance and lower distortion
• Linear motion for high sensitivity, fast transient response and high definition

• Three way 12 dB/oct/LKR/220/2200 Hz crossover
• Mundorf Air Foil Coils, 99.999% pure OFC copper with Polypropylene insulation
• Mundorf High-End Audio Grade MKP capacitors, matched to 0.5% tolerance
• Exclusive custom braid - HGA Solid Silver/Teflon insulated inner wiring
• High quality Bi-wire WBT terminals

Matej Isak

Mono and Stereo ultra high end audio magazine
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