Vandersteen vs Von Schweikert

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by EricKH, May 25, 2004.

  1. EricKH

    EricKH Agent

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    In my 2 channel room I am running A Bryston 4BSST amp, Bryston BP-20 pre and Arcam FMJ-23T CDP. Any thoughts on either Vandersteen 3A sigs or Von Schweikert VR-4III HSE with this gear?
     
  2. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    I would go with the Vandersteen transducers me self.

    Nice amp and preamp you got there, by the way...

    -THTS

    "...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  3. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Have you considered others as well? If so, what do you like about these two in particular?
     
  4. EricKH

    EricKH Agent

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    I am still looking, these are the first 2 brands I have zeroed in on. I have only heard the Vandersteens. They are very smooth, yet accurate. I would best describe them as musical. You forget about listening, and focus on the music
     
  5. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Have you ever considered the VMPS speakers? I don't know if they are in the same price range as the Von Schweikerts. They are quite a bit bigger, but their Ribbon Monitor 30 (RM30; about $3500/pr) has a narrower profile that is more like the home theater speakers you are used to. Get the ones with just the 6.5" Graphite woofers (not the 10" WCF Megawoofer in the side), and then get a pair of VMPS Larger Subwoofers with WCF Megawoofers and Passive Crossovers. WCF Megawoofers are made of woven carbon fiber (WCF), and feature a more powerful magnet system. You should be blown away by powerful bass with amazing quality, while filled with sound quality. Some of the designs defy conventional speaker-building logic (slot-loaded passive radiators can't be described with conventional logic because they do not operate the same way as conventional passive radiators but are a new and novel bass loading scheme that was never patented, yet the secrets were never revealed to the public) but their cult-like following speaks to their quality and ability to perform just as advertised.

    P.s. The 300w/channel Bryston amp should very adequately power a passively-crossed-over VMPS RM30/Larger Subwoofer system because the system is actually 4 ohms so the Bryston will put 500 watts into each channel. Enough to deliver all the home theater and stereo music performance you will want. The ribbon midranges are superior to the similar 8" midrange ribbon panel offered by Bohlender-Graebner and used as the ATF Transducers in some of the newer MartinLogan speakers, and VMPS speakers are often preferred over MartinLogans in listening tests. If you can get a separate 100w/channel set to drive the RM30's ribbon mid-high section, then you can crank it up with no fear of toasting drivers. The Bryston at 500w/channel into dual Larger subs will provide very monstrous bass with amazing power and definition, yet the low-inductance drivers with advanced cone materials and bass loading will provide amazing musicality, or so I've been led to believe. The question then only becomes, how far do you want to turn it up?

    [​IMG]
    VMPS New Larger Subwoofer - 12" WCF Megawoofer (optional), 15" Poly-cone woofer, 15" downfiring Slot-Loaded Passive Radiator, Piano Black Finish (grille removed)
     
  6. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Never heard of the RM 30's, do you mean the RM 40's? RM 40's are supposed to be awesome.

    Also, similar to the Vandy's philosophy are the Meadowlarks. First order, time aligned designs. But that's where the similarities end. Absolutely stunning enclosures. Some of the most beautiful woodwork. And they do transmission line enclosures.

    www.meadowlarkaudio.com
     
  7. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    I wasn't talking about the RM40s. Everyone should know about the RM-40's. They were the winners of TechTV's Best of CES award either this year or last year. But the RM40s are massive compared to the Vandersteens and Von Schweikerts.

    [​IMG]

    These are the VMPS RM30 with the optional 10" side-firing WCF Megawoofer. If you're really all that averse to having the huge Larger Subwoofers, the side-firing 10" will help the RM30's reach a little lower, but fow use with subwoofers, the 10" Megawoofer is not necessary for a smooth transition to the subwoofers which will provide more satisfying first-octave bass. The tweeter is a free-swinging ribbon tweeter. I'm not sure if it is standard or an option on this model, but if it is optional, then the usual tweeters are a pair of spiral-traced round ribbon tweeters with a foam lens to help them resolve into a single source.

    http://www.vmpsaudio.com - the company's web site
    http://www.vmpseurope.com - cooler, better-looking site
    http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewforum.php?f=39 - VMPS forum

    Oh, and the slot-loded passive radiators on the RM30 and the Larger Subwoofers have adjustable mass for adjustable bass damping.
     
  8. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    MMmmmm......those look nice.

    I still didn't see the RM 30's on either of those sites though. Are they a current model?
     
  9. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Eric:

    The Vandersteen 3A Signatures are terrifically musical indeed. I spent a good deal of time auditioning them myself. Also, I found Richard Vandersteen very helpful in answering my questions.

    I was all set to buy a pair until I ran across the LSi25 from Polk's new audiophile line (see polkaudio.com). The sonics of the 3A Signature and LSi25 are extremely close (i.e., buttery smooth, clean, precise imaging, a bit on the warm side, with soundstaging a little laid back, and completely nonfatiguing). I preferred the LSi25 in the bass--it's tighter and follows bass lines slightly better as a result.

    Also, the LSi25 allows one to adjust the bass level, which permits tuning the bass to the user's room. Another plus for the LSi25, which may or may not matter in your usage, is that the Polk has much greater vertical dispersion. The Vandersteen's first-order crossover requires precise tilt-back of the speaker to achieve optimum sonics. Multiple listeners in a room, at various seated heights, may find themselves well out of the tweeters' vertical coverage. For one or two listeners at the same height, this is moot; for home-theater use with family and friends, it could be a concern.

    I ended up purchasing a pair of LSi25s; my wife and I love them. (They're currently driven by a McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier.) A search of this website should pull up more of my Vandersteen vs Polk posts.

    Another floorstanding speaker to consider that is sonically very similar to the Vandersteen and Polk LSi25 is the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven (see sumikoaudio.net), though I have not yet heard the new version that was recently announced.

    These Vandersteen, Polk, and Vienna models are all exceptionally musical loudspeakers. It would be easy to fall for any of them.

    Have a great holiday weekend!
     
  10. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Tweeter is currently dumping this line and they can be had for a significant discount. My brother picked up all 5 channels for under $4k...
     
  11. HoiT

    HoiT Agent

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    I just bought a used VR-4 (the original)that is fed by a Bryston 4B ST and a Sonic Frontier Preamp. Even though the speakers are close to 10 years old (may be 8, I am not sure), it sounded terrific. The high is extremely clean and extended and is not bright. The dispersion is amazing - the speakers throw a huge 3D sound stage with very precies image. The mid is smooth and sweet. Man, the base was totally amazing, Stu McCreary at Postive Feedback reviewed the VR-4 in 1995 and measured the speaker to be flat (- 1 dB) down to 20 Hz in his room. The base is tight and fast too. The only drawback that I can find is that these speakers need a large listening place.

    Imagine the VR-4 III SE is the "improved version" of VR-4.

    I like the Vanderstein too. They sound fine except that I always found them a bit "rolled-off" at the high.

    HoiT
     
  12. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    The RM30s are a brand spanking new, newer than the Elixir. They seem to be stealing some of the RM40's thunder over on the AudioCircle VMPS forum because they bring RM40 technology and performance down to size for home theater buffs who don't care for the huge size of the RM40s (though for bigger theaters the RM40s will offer enhanced dynamic capability). People have been getting on Mr. Cheney (VMPS Proprietor) to do a new website because his old one is quite out-of-date. I imagine he will break down and pay for professional design at some point. The place to stay most up-to-date on VMPS is at AudioCircle.com.
     
  13. Shawn O

    Shawn O Stunt Coordinator

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    What is a transmission line enclosure?:b
     
  14. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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  15. Mike Bassi

    Mike Bassi Stunt Coordinator

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    I have looked at both speakers closely, and preferred the Von Schweikert VR4se and the Jr's to the Vandersteen 3A speakers. Reasons why that is the Von's are much more accurate and sound beautiful, and the bass is ridged and tight. I was able to compare side by side these speakers and felt that between the Infinity Preludes, the Von's and the Van's, the Von Schweikerts won out, but it was close as the Infinity Preludes were nice too, but much too ugly for my room. Someone said something about Meadowlark speakers. Another great speaker as well, but I didn't like it quite as much for home theater.

    Mike
     

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