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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this thread in a different forum:

http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=4949


Apparently the VMPS dealer is wagering $150 that if you come and audition the new top of the line VMPS RM/X Elixir speakers you WILL NOT find a better sounding set at ANY price.

However, if you decide that a different set of speakers is better for you, (>$11k a pair) and you fax him the receipt, he'll pay you $150.


I wonder how these speakers fair against the Wilson Audios (all models obviously, are there ANY Wilsons for LESS than $10k/pr?).


For one, this shows the dealer's belief in those speakers. Pretty respectable I think.

I can see the smirk in Wilson Audio owners faces:

"He thinks a speaker costing LESS than 8% of the X2 MSRP (THAT'S TAX IN MOST STATES!!!!!!) actually sounds better??"


Well, anybody brave enough to take the challenge? Just out of curiosity if nothing else...


Andreas

PS Disclaimer: I have no ulterior motives in this thread. I'm not a dealer, troll, spammer, etc. etc. I just posted this because I thought it would interesting reading and discussion.
 

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The only way to compare is with a true a/b test with both speakers side by side and using otherwise all the same cables and front end gear. I'll just leave it at that and say no more.
 

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For a $150 spiff (for testing out $11,000 or higher speakers), sounds to me that he ain't very confident in his VMPS line.


Sounds more like a $150 gift for coming into the shop to listen to the speakers! Business must be slow ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland
For a $150 spiff (for testing out $11,000 or higher speakers), sounds to me that he ain't very confident in his VMPS line.
I'm not sure I understand your reasoning Jeff. If you evaluate the speakers and buy something similarly priced within 30 days, he will pay you $150. How is that being "not confident".


As far as his offer goes, it seems like it's an intelligent business offer. The number of people that are going to purchase 11K+ speakers within 30 days is relatively small. And assuming a few such people visit his store, the odds are good they aren't going to go back to him and try to get the $150 from him anyhow (even more so if he treats them well). So it's a minimal risk offer. In the mean time, the offer may get him some good word of mouth and perhaps motivate a few big shoppers to come see him. And from everything I've heard (it's one of the few high-end speakers I've never auditioned), the VMPS do represent an excellent value, so if he can motivate some people through his doors, he may make a few sales.


Edit: OK, Jeff - I guess you're suggesting he should offer more than $150 if he is confident. $150 seems reasonable to me (i.e. I wouldn't offer more if I were him :D).
 

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the problem with this dealers come-on, which IMO it is, is that $150 just ain't worth the time. Make it like $500 to $1000 and it starts to get interesting. I agree that his confidence level is very low, and $150 seems to equal some spiff amount he gets from the speaker mfr.
 

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This guy is in TX, and that offer really I believe is for local buyers. I'm not reading the whole thread, but heck why not for those in the located in the Austin area to go have a listen. Too bad it wasn't the manufacturer, VMPS themselves, because they are a local company here in the East Bay where we (the Doc and I) live. Which I must say, make a very nice product for the price. Sure they are less than the tax on the X-2's around here, but they are probably capable of greater than 90% of the objective performance. However, this is a very subjective thing, and it's the last .01% that really makes the difference to those like OBGYN with the golden ears and the finances to make having the absolute very best worthwhile. Goiing back to that old car analogy, you can get a 30 thousand dollar Subaru STi that is within a hair's breathe of the total useable street performance of Ferrari 360, but who of you given the funds would take the Subi? Give me the Wilson's and the 150 bucks. Then I can buy a really good meal to celebrate the purchase of the new speakers on this dude in TX.
 

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I like the idea of a RM/X Elixir vs Wilson AB test. Unfortunately moving the speakers and setting them up in a suitable location (e.g. OBGYN's Listening room), would cost more than $150.


The Elixir is an interesting speaker that really hasn't gotten much press other than what is posted on the VMPS web page.


It would be nice if one of these days a magazine gets the conjones to do a high-end shootout with several reviewers/measurements, all in the same room. Until then they'll all just get the same review "one of the best speakers -- I hightly recommend".
 

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In addition to the obvious candidates of speakers over $20K it would be interesting to compare the Wilsons to value brands like these VMPS as well as the ACI Jaguars which seem to look very similar to Watt/Puppy. I think there is even a company that will "clone" the Watt/Puppy...I wonder what that sounds like?


Regardless of the offer, I think high-end shoppers in TX would value the hospitality Julian extends even if they find other options more suited for their needs. He seems to have a demo and knowledge of the VMPS option that is well respected.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CanO
I like the idea of a RM/X Elixir vs Wilson AB test. Unfortunately moving the speakers and setting them up in a suitable location (e.g. OBGYN's Listening room), would cost more than $150.


The Elixir is an interesting speaker that really hasn't gotten much press other than what is posted on the VMPS web page.


It would be nice if one of these days a magazine gets the conjones to do a high-end shootout with several reviewers/measurements, all in the same room. Until then they'll all just get the same review "one of the best speakers -- I hightly recommend".
That is something I have been wishing for as well. this would be nice but this will not be an easy task. I am trying to keep a level head here but I have not yet found the VMPS speakers I have heard all that great, maybe it was the room or the associated gear but please do take that as an opinion not a fact.


Frantz

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Since *most* Speaker manufacturers are basically *assemblers*, they're bound to sound the same and are distinguished merely by the looks and the finish of their products.


What do I mean by assemblers?


Well, like computer manufacturers, they don't *make* anything. They buy drivers, crossover parts, have the enclosures made in China and put them together. Oh yeah, they do put their name on it so I guess they do make something: nameplates...


Hence,

only manufacturers that make their own *stuff* can have IMHO "distinctive" sound and can separate themselves from the crowd.

VMPS is one of them.

Wilson Audio has taken it to the extreme and therefore can *ask* AND *get* a HUGE premium on their products. True, W.A. buys drivers from the usual suspects, but the drivers are completely disassembled and put together in the strictest of tolerances.

That helps give that last "drop" of 6 sigma performance that "golden eared" people crave and at the same time turns the rest off for being "too precise" or "too perfect".


I know it's all but impossible but it'd be awesome if we could get a head to head comparison between the "prince" (Wilson Audio) and the "pauper" (VMPS RM/X Elixir)!!

Brian Cheney? Can you arrange such a thing? :)
 

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Quote:
Since *most* Speaker manufacturers are basically *assemblers*, they're bound to sound the same and are distinguished merely by the looks and the finish of their products.
Although I agree with your point that the components on many high end speakers can be purchased off the shelf, I feel that you failed to mention a few key points.


1. The design of the crossover has a major effect on the overall sound of the speaker.

2. The design (and construction) of the enclosure has a major effect on the sound.

3. Although some companies buy common drivers (like a Focal tweeter, etc.) they may end up tweaking the driver to meet certain performance criteria.


At what point does "assembling" become an art? Do we disregard a manufacturer because he/she didn't design the internal wiring or enclosure material?
 

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As a VMPS owner (and dealer) I would suggest that Julian's offer was an offshoot of the offer some of us independant dealers make, to offer a small travel re-imbursement discount to those who might have to travel longer distances to audition our speakers.


Since VMPS has a rather dispersed group of independant dealers, there is not always one close by to drop in and hear the speakers.


I would also doubt it "worth the time or effort" to design an A/B of the top edges of products, since even a "side by side" comparison of speakers this large would not yeild the best performance of either.


And even using the same components and connectors might not yeild the best perfromance of either, for obvious reasons.


Although I have no doubt that sonic reality (in a subjective sense) could and can be acheived successfully with either given the right room, set up and electronics, friendly to each.


I have not heard the X-2 but have sampled the rest of the impressive Wilson line over the years and would suggest that those who spend that kind of money should expect a level of performance beyond reproach.


It might also be known that it is human nature to assume that if something costs that much, it must be not only better, but significantly better.


In a subjective application, the beauty is in the eye (ear) of the beholder.


The excellence spoken of earlier, is too.


Thank goodness there are people (designers) like Dave Wilson and Brian Cheney to help us enjoy this hobby over such a wide spectrum.
 

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QQQ,


Your edit is right. If I was in the market for $11K speakers, etc....it'll take more than $150 to get off my ass and go listen to something I was not considering. It is a whole evening out. If they were speakers I was considering to purchase, that'd be different.


Sorta like the car dealers that'll give you a gift if you test drive. Well no cheesy gift will get me to drive a car I wasn't considering to buy


Time is money...Planning a day, Drive time (to and fro), listening time, etc. for $150?? Most high end speakers have a 100% mark up (as my installer has shown me). $150 seems like a cheap gimmick and may even taint the listening session as gimmickry was what really piqued my interest for these speakers.


More money would be nice, but what I was aiming at was that the dealer should offer to bring the speakers to my house, set them up and treat me to a personal demo. Then, it is on his time, not mine. It shows he is genuinely excited (or motivated) about what he is selling and he is putting his time on the line. This is the pro-active way of sales and is certainly more work than the $150 passive method.


That is ideally how I would want to by my speakers,, especially if the dealer is so anxious to get people in to listen.


A $150 spiff is a cheap offering, I doubt most who did follow thru with the game and ended up buying another pair of speakers would even waste the time driving to the store, showing proof they bought something else and oddly waiting with their hands out for the $150 (or 1% of the speaker price). To me it would be a little embarrassing (awkward) waiting to collect, too.


Give me service, keep your money. That's my point.


*Please don't take what I said as arrogant (though it may read that way) but for that kind of purchase, I would prefer the dealer put himself out rather than dangle a carrot in front of my face.



BTW - Q, I never got around to filling out the 'future' or 'current' equipment portion of my website. However, you have me motivated and I will list all of my 'current' components soon and my wish list in the future heading. Sorry for my laziness...now you know why I'd want the dealer to come to me.
 

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Jeff:


I'll answer your post in reverse order. My comment in the other thread was actually regarding the fact that when a person follows the link in your signature, the first tendency is to click on the link at the top of the pages that says "home theater system", at which point the web site tells you that you do not have access rights. Then you leave the site. Another person commented on that (he later deleted his post) and I was agreeing with him. Only looking more closely does it become apparent that if you click through the pages you will eventually get to your home theater.


Regarding the in-home speaker demo, although I know from reading your sub thread that you recently had a positive experience along those lines, I'm afraid it would not be a workable approach for dealers to offer to a wide body of people (guys like you and Art are exceptions). There are just way, way too many people out there that would think nothing of asking for an in home demo with little or no intention of purchasing and it would not be economically feasible for a dealer to give in-home demos to anyone that asked on a speaker such as the X2 or large VMPS. Of course, there are always exceptions...
 
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