Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers review

Man does time flies. It's has been almost ten years since I've reviewed the original Gracioso 2.0 speakers here  back in 2009.

A decade is not exactly a short time frame presence on the market for any high-end audio product. This actually translates to at least double the time outside of our niche industry.

Photo: M.Tancer – Pohorje mountain near Maribor.

If you take into account how almost 60% of Slovenian landscape is covered with forests, it's not hard to imagine why Acoustic Preference has chosen the wood as the main material for their bespoke creations. "Almost every Slovenian village is placed near the forest, that explains why the woodworking industry has always been important for Slovenia. Furniture, cabinet, construction engineering and custom woodworking manufacturers tap the local skills heritage and with the new generations of wood makers, we constantly raise our know-how to the highest level. Wooden cabinets of our loudspeakers are evidence of creativity and art of creating with wood."

And, you won't believe it, but Stradivari also used Slovenian woods for his masterpieces.

Slovenia is a small country with an interesting history that encompasses many vibrant influences and Acoustic Preference speakers are very unique artful objects deeply influenced with this DNA.


Meet the Acoustic Preference from Europe, Slovenia. This is a small country and some folks even call it the a neo Swiss. With only 2 millions residents and beautiful country side that can offer Alps, Sea, crystal clear rivers and fresh air in only four hour drive across the state. This is a place with certain special historical aura. You wont believe it but Stradivari used Slovenian woods for his masterpieces. One could say that this place adulate with a life of all four seasons packed in a captivating small package. I'm inviting you to read the Mono and Stereo's interview here

Here is what constructors have to say about the Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers...

Marjan Tancer (designer): “That project was a challenge from the beginning, as the goal was to make better loudspeakers than already very good loudspeakers. With a bunch of a small changes, we have achieved amazing results. Changed concept and extension housings have made this speaker visually consistent in the prestigious naturally treated walnut, and are suitable for both modern and more sustained equipped environments. When I first listened to the Limited Edition Gracioso 2.0 speakers as a serial product, I was almost shocked of how much lower bass they can produce and how much of the image area they are able to conjure."

Davorin Žnuderl (electronic engineer and designer): “Successfully upgraded and well regarded product in every area, but without compromises from constructor’s point of view, it is always hard. Standards for such product are being raised daily by customers and even higher by our own expectations. Luckily, this trend is being well followed by our selected audio parts manufacturers, offering real technical improvements that can easily be confirmed sonically. New, better materials, constructions and techniques are being offered to you as a constructor, and from that point of view upgrade makes perfect sense and also obligation to customers. In the case of upgrading our Gracioso line, expectations were really high. Practically everything was upgraded: cabinet, drivers, and crossover. Even in that respect, final listening experience exceeded my expectations, summed up with a simple jet very hard to achieve feeling; that everything has really clicked into its place at much higher level than before.”


"Acoustic Preference Ltd.´s new Gracioso 2.0 LE (Limited Edition)  loudspeakers are handcrafted and only 99 pairs will be produced. The technical and design state-of-the-art of the GRACIOS series, the Gracioso 2.0 LE produce dramatically natural and with all details rich sound that will shock your ears and senses and take you to the new experience of music."

Acoustic Preference´s Gracioso 2.0 ST (Standard) are significantly improved compared to the old model.

Only the best high grade components are used and they are completely hand made from start to finish with the highest standards and quality control. Every pair is tested and partially burned-in (approx. 100 hours) before delivery.

Every produced pair has a Limited Edition CERTIFICATE, with its own serial number also engraved in the terminal plate.

Every pair of the Standard model has a handcrafted DECLARATION.


"Acoustic Preference Ltd. is a very special small company for High-End Audio (a term that has been much abused lately), and we like to market ourselves as an Exclusive Audio components manufacturer (i.e. as artisans). Our production is not a serial production, we do have serial models, but we do not produce them on a treadmill system. Awareness that our speakers are truly and completely handmade, what must be separately stated on each presentation, is very important."

From the selection and assembly of every single piece of 184 wood blocks necessary (for Gracioso 2.0), cutting each segment, hand composition of the housing, brushing to at least 4 layers of natural wax, and polishing, each electronic part for crossover is measured and paired. Drivers are finally checked before installing and every pair is tested and partially burned-in (approx. 100 hours) in our listening rooms. Everything is hand made under strict quality control.

"When you want a top quality audio product that will satisfy the highest demands, there is no place for ordinary. That is why our loudspeakers are totally hand made from start to finish with the highest standards and quality control."

Gracioso 2.0 LE (Limited Edition) is significantly improved compared to the Standard model. LE model will be very interesting for potential customer as they are produced in a limited quantity of 99 pairs.

"Gracioso is a speaker for those with the highest taste in performance and design. As it is aesthetically striking with its complex hardwood selected materials, so is the full embodied, natural, dynamic, and transparent sound it produces."

Gracioso line of loudspeakers is hand waxed with natural wax oil in multiple layers. That is why walnut wood looks so silky and shiny on the cabinets. "According to the personal craftsmanship of our loudspeakers series Gracioso, they cannot be made in serial mass production, so they will always be very rare and made in small numbers. At the same time, such approach guarantees the highest quality, and also they will always be prestigious and unique."


"The basis for every top-level loudspeaker is uncompromising cabinet design and we got it in Gracioso line. We have retained only the technique and composition of the cabinet design, everything else is improved."


“Solid wood integral construction system”

Design in appearance of a droplet (no parallel planes inside the cabinet) and integral wood construction system are the best for zero resonance.

For achieving an acoustical basement that will produce high-quality sound, Acoustic Preference was steered mostly by anti-resonant technical know-how. For this reason, Gracioso loudspeaker housings are made by assembling multiple solid-wood horizontal segments used in such way that the grains criss-cross. Segments are preliminarily controlled, measured and assembled for optimal self-cancellation of resonances.

Shape of the front with a very large round over in order to reduce baffle diffraction and enhance imaging for the best sonic. The goal of the shape is to control internal standing waves and resonances.

All these factors used in the cabinet design ensure 100% non-resonant and acoustically ideal housing for the speakers.

“Waxed wood is beautiful”

Waxing was chosen as the finishing method for the wooden housing surfaces of the loudspeakers. The cabinets are sanded extremely smooth and finished with natural oil-wax. The waxing method conserves the natural appearance of the wood, as well as keeps it organically correct.

Gracioso line loudspeakers are min. 4-times hand waxed with natural wax oil. That is why walnut wood (generally applies to any type of wood) looks so beautiful on our cabinets.

Silky and shiny, but you can still feel real solid wood when you touch them − wonderful feeling!

In addition, maintenance of the loudspeaker is easier with the waxing method, since you can easily re-wax your loudspeakers at home. This way, the wooden cabinets will always glow as new.

“Down fire bass-reflex system”

Dispersed “down fire” bass reflex system is used for easier and better placing in room.

Bass reflex tube is placed on the bottom of the cabinet conduct air via proprietary diffuser dispersed in every direction, so speaker can be placed virtually anywhere in your listening room.

“Magnet grill holder system”

Since the beginning of our speaker creation, we also think about the practicality of use, so we use the magnetic system of fixing the protective grille to the speaker.

By simply positioning the grille near its position on the cabinet, magnetic power will merge them in place by itself.

“Point to point crossover system + High grade Mundorf electronic material, and solid silver internal wires for LE models”

High grade Mundorf electronic parts, solid silver internal wiring, and handmade “point-to-point wired crossover” ensure full potential of the speaker as a whole. For non-resonance base of crossover we use special hard wood of suitable thickness.

Silver internal wires are used in LE model. UP OCC copper wires are used in ST model.

“Special flat feet”

“Flat feet” protected spikes, which you get with the loudspeakers, are also user-friendly. With the protected spikes you will not scratch your floor and also placing is easier.

Specially made flat feet with ceramic balls (f 48mm) is manufactured by Franc Audio Accessories for the Limited Edition model. Basic flat feet is used in the Standard model.


The final quality of any product will go only as far as the basic ingredients will allow. And after 7 years in production it is time for new and better ingredients, as science and new technology give us that option − solution.

Morel speaker units are well-known and regarded as one of the most technically advanced, innovative, and unique designs available. With the benefits of custom and special high grade drivers, the choice was obvious for us.

Mid-bass drivers are sourced from Morel, which is also the most famous for linear response and natural sound. Even higher grade mid-bass drivers are used in Limited Edition model to raise their sensitivity over 90dB, perfect for all kind of amplifiers including low-wattage tube amplifiers.

Due to their extremely flat and even frequency combined with a smooth and extended roll-off, Acoustic Preference was able to implement them with straightforward crossover and minimal frequency corrections.

For upper frequency range the state-of-the-art Scanspeak tweeters, made as matched pairs were selected. They were implemented primarily for their smooth and realistic timbre, we have also achieved ideal synergy with mid-bass ranges due to their extremely low resonant frequency and flat response.

With high grade Scanspeak tweeters the frequency response was raised up to 35kHz.

The crossover assembled from the finest high-end components supplied by the Mundorf.

Taking the quest for non-resonance, the base for circuit boards use hardwood plates of suitable thickness. Crossovers are additionally dampened with proprietary layer of rubber on the down side. Each crossover component is carefully bolted and glued to the base and point-to point wired, which is then bolted to the cabinet making it virtually a part of the non-resonant enclosure.

High grade Mundorf electronic parts, solid silver internal wiring (LE model), and handmade “point-to-point wired crossover” ensure full potential of the speaker as a whole.

Finally, quality aluminium bi-wiring terminals are provided for single or bi-wire speaker connection with high grade rhodium connectors.


Years back I’ve had a chance to meet with Acoustic Preference team and both Marjan and Davorin share the extensive musical taste and enthusiasm for music. It’s the diversity that reflects the voicing of the Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers and here are the few music references that fixate on the Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST positive features.

Steve Ray Vaughan - I’m a big fan of Jimmy Hendrix and I know the original is original, but Steve Ray Vaughan’s interpretation of Little Wing is one of a kind. It’s also the track I’ve repeatedly use for my evaluations. There is considerable more to in this song in terms of critical assessment than timbre, tone, and color. Still, the proper guitar tone is not easily attainable. The blues is very dear to Marjan and the sound of Gracioso 2 speakers equally indicates the time allocated for the voicing. The drive and the needed “mojo” was not a stranger to the Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST as well as notes’ harmony.

Bare Bones, the studio album by Madeleine Peyroux American jazz singer is infused with mighty music’s spirit as well as with the potent lyrics that follows the life’s essential values. The album is recorded really well, with the quality of audiophile labeling. Madeleine’s vocal and the accompanying instruments were laid down equally well. They should really come forward with the accurately balanced loudspeakers. Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST’s capability of portraying the relief-like structure of the Madeleine vocals and instruments were as solid as I can recall from the memories of the original version, but with even bigger ability of spectral shading.

The powerful energy impact has also encompassed with the Fausto Mesolella - Live ad Alcatraz. Especially the track Libertango truly shows the potential of any speaker to express sheer vibrancy and Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST encapsulated a nobler portion of the Libertango’s very essence with both acoustic and electric guitar momentum, without holding back any of the sparkling playings.

Diana Panton - If The Moon Turns Green. The whole album is an exceptionally intimate in exploring some of the well-known songs. I just cannot get enough of Diana’s cover of the timeless Moon River. The sound is as lush as her bewitching voice. The particular mastering will immediately show how thoroughly the speakers are balanced, as the mid-band booming can take place all too quickly if something is not done properly. Acoustic Preference’s floor standers have carried out and keep the Diana Panton’s aura unchanged and easily avoided the booming sonic trap.

Further Friday Night in San Francisco Live album by Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Paco de Lucía demands no special introduction. If you love guitar music you absolutely have to try hard to bypass this album. Mediterranean Sundance / Rio Ancho is one of those tracks that I’ll never seem to get tired of listening to. It’s not about the lighting-fast dynamics and it’s actually not even about the terrific sound, but the masterly interplay of the Paco de Lucía and Al Di Meola that simply expose and explode with the musical impact. This recording set a definite norm and a dynamic challenge. Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers let the music flow and the guitars have embodied the quintessential of the Paco de Lucía and Al Di Meola’s guitar virtuosity. That is not always the case, yet Gracioso 2.0 LE/STs didn’t impose themselves to the music and this is the aspect solely worthy of underlining. 


It was undoubtedly delightful to see and audition the Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers again. The visual aura was still of the same impact, the inner heart upgraded and lifted to the newer, advanced level.

Years of passionate endeavorers, R & D, a hefty amount of funds and hundreds of listening hours were put in in the concept of the original Gracioso 2.0 speakers and the latest LE/STs are continuing the brand’s legacy of investing and exploring the new approaches to deliver better performance.

The initial questions expected is of course, what does the upgrade deliver. The original Gracioso 2.0 loudspeakers were already non-ordinary performers, but the LE/ST update is introducing even more spontaneously involving and stress-free presentation of the music. The instant connecting factor snappier and perceiving of space, as well as the three-dimensional scope, is instantaneously noticeable.

There is no doubt (and never was), how Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers were designed by the music lovers for the music lovers. The final output of any idea will be invariably echoed within performance and operational value.

Even a non-audiophile will encounter the uniqueness and wood-crafting art from across the room over the first glance. On the closer inspection the silky, delicate hand finish waxing only adds to the quality and splendor.

The first major sonic step up I've noticed with the Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers was the resolution. This produces quite a step-up in the reproduction and also calls for appropriate system synergy. They’ve really matched successfully with my Lamm M1.2 Reference power amplifiers and I strongly encourage anyone interested in these speakers to evaluated them with either highly biased Class AB or Class A amplifiers. Of course, any fine-tuning and refining is system depended, but in my reference system, I’ve found them to deliver the optimum balancing act as noted above.

In my past few articles, I’ve already touched the subject matter of the luxury. These Acoustic Preference’s bespoke wood creations from Slovenia have both luxurious and musical qualities, that can easily address music lovers, audiophiles and those who appreciate the exquisite art of upper-level craftsmanship.

I’m certain you’ve already deciphered from the review of how these speakers cannot be manufactured in large volumes. Acoustic Preference never targeted a massive consumer market. Their customer base consists of the people with a selective taste for something distinctive, vibrant to behold proudly for the years to come.

For what they represent and what the upgrade brings, the Acoustic Preference Gracioso 2.0 LE/ST speakers deserve to be highlighted with Mono and Stereo Highly Recommended Product Award. 


- Limited Edition RETAIL PRICE: 9.990 € for EU customers or 8.189 € for NON-EU customers (if purchased directly from the manufacturer).
- Standard version RETAIL PRICE 8.490 € for EU customers or 6.960 € for NON-EU customers (if purchased directly from the manufacturer).


GRACIOSO 2.0 LE (Limited Edition 99 pairs)

- 2-way/bass reflex system (down fire)
- 12 dB/oct/LKR/2800 Hz crossover
- Frequency response: 37 Hz - 35 kHz
- Sensitivity: 91 dB / 1W/ 1m
- Power/Impedance: 150 W / 8 Ohm
- Dimensions: 255 (315) x 355 (420) x 1040 mm (W x D x H) with spikes
- Weight: approx. 27.0 kg/unit; approx. 2 x 48 kg with wooden crates.

GRACIOSO 2.0 ST (Standard version)

- 2-way/bass reflex system (down fire)
- 12 dB/oct/LKR/2800 Hz crossover
- Frequency response: 37 Hz - 35 kHz
- Sensitivity: 89 dB / 1W/ 1m
- Power/Impedance: 150 W / 8 Ohm
- Dimensions: 255 (315) x 355 (420) x 1040 mm (W x D x H) with spikes
- Weight: approx. 27.0 kg/unit; approx. 2 x 43 kg with wooden crates.


- Prestigious walnut wood - integral construction system
- 4 layers hand waxed - natural wax oil
- Dispersed “down fire” bass reflex system
- Magnet grill holder system
- Special made ceramic flat feet (f 48mm) manufactures Franc Audio Accessories for Limited Edition model.
- Each pair with its own serial number engraved on the aluminum terminal plate.

Mid-bass (Special high grade from MOREL)

- Dimension 160mm (6.3")
- Transient Power 10ms 1000W
- Nominal Power Handling (DIN) P 150W
- Uniflow™ Aluminum diecast chassis
- Hybrid™ Neodymium/Ferrite magnet system
- Titanium coil bobbin
- 3" Large Hexatech™ Aluminum voice coil
- High power handling
- Cone Material Injected Damped Polymer Composite
- High Xmax, Low Qts, Low Fs, High QM

Tweeter (Special high grade from SCANSPEAK)

- 26 mm (1") Ring Dome Diaphragm
- Patented Symmetrical Drive (SD-2) motor
- Diffraction Damping Rubber Front
- Patented Phase Plug Design
- AirCirc Motor Design w. 6 Neo magnets
- Die Cast Rubber Painted Alu Face Plate Note


- 12 dB/oct/LKR/2600 Hz crossover
- Mundorf Air Foil Coils, 99.99% pure OFC copper with Polypropylene insulation.
- Mundorf High-End Audio Grade MKP capacitors.
- High quality Rhodium Bi-wire terminals
- Point-to-point construction with pure silver/teflon internal wiring (Limited Edition)
- Circuit boards base from hard wood plates in suitable thickness


Acoustic Preference d.o.o.
Adamičeva 41
2000 Maribor
Slovenija, EU

Tel: +386 2420-68-73
- (For Servicing and warranty support)
- (For Direct Buy)