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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O.K.....it's time.....by popular demand.....well...actually....one guy asked me if i would post a thread about the VR9's. So maybe they are not THAT popular. In any case......I'll start down this road.


From my perspective; it is impossible to describe the VR9's without the context of my room/system. Compared to my previous audiophile experiences both in my previous room, at friends homes, at dealers, and at shows......I've not had the experience of everything making sooo much difference. Which, on the one hand, is great.....you can (potentially) hear everything. But, OTOH you must consider EVERY facet of every parameter.......and there are many, many, parameters.


Well, i guess i asked for it. I wanted a room that did not limit my pursuit of music reproduction perfection......and i puchased a speaker with full [11hz (-6db) to 100khz (-6db) ] frequency extention and practically unlimited dynamics. The speaker has three tweeters (all with adjustable gain) and a 1000 watt digital switching amplifier for each speaker which powers an intregal 15" subwoofer.


For more details; http://www.vonschweikert.com/vr9se.html

http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/mikel/P5190031.jpg


Even though the VR9 has very sexy numbers, lots of drivers, and on paper could be great.......does it make MUSIC? Does it get out of the way of the music and allow the event to be the star? Can it use the dynamics, extention, and resolution in such a way as to emotionally connect me to my music?


Is it the right speaker for my room? Is it's adjustability an asset? Is it's complexity a problem? Compared to the Kharmas (both Exquisite 1D's and Midi Exqusite's) which i loved (and still love).....is the VR9 more veiled? Does it have the mid-range clarity of the Kharmas? Is the bass texture as good as the Kharma? Is the coherence as good?


Lots of questions. finally; after 3 months i can finally answer all those questions in the affirmative. In EVERY way the VR9's met each challenge. and in many cases wildly exceeded both my expectations and previous reference levels of performance. It turns out that most of my challenges were related to limitations of my gear, my setup and mainly my level of understanding. This has been humbling and elightening.


I ordered the VR9's on Janurary 10th and recieved them on May 12th. For a 350 pound speaker they were a snap to unload and do initial setup. They come in large crates on castors, the fully assembled VR9's (which actually are two separate assemblies) are securely held inside these crates. Once you have the crates in your room, the walls of the crates are removed and serve as a 12 foot long ramp to slide the VR9's out onto your floor.


The VR9's come with integral high quality castors....so rolling them out of the crates is easy. My floor under the speaker end happens to be hardwood....so moving the speakers around into position is simple.....they can be pushed with one finger, yet hold their position. With this design there is no option for spiking or other floor interfaces. At first, this was a concern to me. I spoke to Kevin at Von Schweikert and my dealer, Jonathan Tinn, about this issue at length. They told me that the speaker had been designed and voiced with the castors.....and that this approach was a kind of de-coupling. I have since experienced the performance and fully agree with their opinion and would not spike them even if i could.


The VR9's have some unique set-up challenges that i was not entirely prepared for. In retrospect, i agree with the design decisions that were made......but hopefully other VR9 users will benefit from my mistakes and miscalculations.

http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/mikel/P5190035.jpg


First, the VR9's have two sets of speaker terminals; the mid/tweeter terminals are about 40 inches off the floor......and the woofer terminals are about 30 inches off the floor. Next the VR9's have the IEC connector for the power cord for the 1000 watt digital subwoofer amp about 32" off the floor. The height of all these connections is a challenge. You need enough length in your speaker cables and power cords and particularly with the power cords; you can't have too heavy a power cord.


I decided to 'go cheap' initially with the solutions to both these issues and it really turned out to be the wrong approach. I ended up chasing performance issues with the speaker that were eventually easily solved by simply using the correct cables.


Stay tuned for episode 2.......
 

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I always hoped you would post a thread like this on AVSForum. I've followed your system on Audiogon ever since you still had the Kharma's and before you had the dedicated Rives room.


I think its safe to say that your system (and others like Oneobgyn's) represent the current pinnacle of what's possible in the audio world. Congratulations on acheiving this - for many of the people who view your systems, it will only ever be a dream to own such equipment.


One question I had about these speakers was about the crossover. With seperate terminals for both the mids and tweeters, are you required to use an external crossover?
 

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I also have seen your system on Audio Asylum. It is extremely impressive. I can only begin to imagine what it might sound like. I heard the VR9's at the HE2005 show in New York. I could tell that they were very very good speakers even though I thought the room was too small for them. It is systems like this and oneobgyn's that keep me moving forward here. But lucky for me, my own system is one that I am proud of as well. Any way, it looks incredible and I am sure it sounds better then it looks.
 

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Great job Mike


I do intend to travel up there soon with some of our BAAS members for a listen. I bet you cannot put into words how great they sound. Hearing is believing.
 

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Great post so far Mike. Your VS9's are the reason I got interested in Von Scweikert speakers. And if you have followed any of my thread, you know I have a pair of VR4 SR's on order.


I have to tell you this. I've shown several people at work pictures of your room. The thing that gets the most comments is your solitary chair. When I tell them that your room was also previously a horse barn, they all laugh (especially the women) and say that your wife probably made you put your room out there, and that's why there is only one chair. :D Of course, I defend you by telling them that listening to a system like yours, isn't a group sport.
 

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Beautiful room and speakers. I like the one chair:). I don't feel so bad now. My wife and hers buddies are laying the guilt on as heavily as they can since I refuse to allow a baby shower in my listening room. They can watch movies and listen to my entire collection. No baby shower :p .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i'll try my best to get on with the story......but very busy......have visitors coming over to listen 4 nights this week.....no time to post.


today i'm getting 2 Bracelona chairs and one Barcelona ottoman for the room. this will allow me to configure the room with a sofa or vertical seating. it will also allow my saintly wife to sit 'cozy' with me while listening.


here is a link to a picture;

http://www.dwr.com/productdetail.cfm?id=7200


i got a 'knock-off'......not the spendy genuine article.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne
i'll try my best to get on with the story......but very busy......have visitors coming over to listen 4 nights this week.....no time to post.


today i'm getting 2 Bracelona chairs and one Barcelona ottoman for the room. this will allow me to configure the room with a sofa or vertical seating. it will also allow my saintly wife to sit 'cozy' with me while listening.
Darn, there goes all of our theories about your one chair! ;)
 

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Where did you find the knock-offs Mike?


Design within Reach is popular here in LA, but they aren't exactly "within reach" for me :)
 

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Ahhh, man, your wife must have found out about the "back slapping" and made you get some chairs:)? Seriously, that room is too nice for one chair. If it sounds 50% as good as it look, it'd be a shame not to share that. You'll still be able to enjoy alone if you wish. What type of music do you enjoy? What's in the CD player or on the table right now? If you had to list the VR9SE's strongest suit, what would it be?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne
i'll try my best to get on with the story......but very busy......have visitors coming over to listen 4 nights this week.....no time to post.


today i'm getting 2 Bracelona chairs and one Barcelona ottoman for the room. this will allow me to configure the room with a sofa or vertical seating. it will also allow my saintly wife to sit 'cozy' with me while listening.


here is a link to a picture;

http://www.dwr.com/productdetail.cfm?id=7200


i got a 'knock-off'......not the spendy genuine article.
Did you get that one: www.funkysofa.com/funky-sofa/rochechair.html for ..$899?


There is one called the Musical Chair that would be appropriate for OB: www.funkysofa.com/handchair.html
 

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Mike - if you're looking for ideas for very striking chair designs, I strongly suggest the following site:

http://www.homeportfolio.com/catalog...Id=1&catId=132


Excellent selection of styles, most are famous "replicas" like the Barcelona. My personal favorite (for single seating) is the Eames Lounger:
http://www.bgtrade.com/products.php?catid=10


One thing I will say about chairs is follow the same guidelines as you would auditioning speakers. I found the Barcelona chair extremely uncomfortable after sitting in it for about 15 minutes.
 

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Hi


I want to hear more from Mike .... about the speakers themselves, especially as compared to the Kharma.. in the opinion of a good friend of mine Von Schweikert speakers are among the best if not the best. He is orering the VR-9 SE in December to go in a Burmester-based system. While waiting to hear his system with the VK. What is sooo special about the VK 9 SE?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
 http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/mikel/2...th_ottoman.jpg


these chairs were $600 each, the ottoman was $330.....plus shipping. to be honest, my expectations were for delayed shipping, some sort of hassel, low quality, leather looking like cheap vinyl.


what i got were well made chairs, nice looking and feeling leather, polished stainless steel frames......i'm very happy and pleasently surprised. i ordered them last Thursday and they came this afternoon, well packed but easy to put together. just basically remove the packing and fasten the cushons to the welded one piece frame.


after a little research i purchased them from Anthony (1-415-464-1154) at;


The Furniture Collection

336 Bon Air Center, #112

Greenbrea, California 94904

http://www.modernfurnitureclassics.c...barcelonachair


i am happy enough with the product and value i may get one more chair.


the way i'm using them they will never get hard use. if it was used daily as a main listening chair i have no way of knowing how the leather would hold up. i will use them for visitors.


Frantz,


i will do my best to get to the scoop on the VR9's asap. i do kinda want to wait until i get my new Grand Prix racks before really let'r rip. my flirtation with the amp stands 10 days ago was profound. your friend is likely correct. i am in new territory as far as my reference......that is for certain. how much is the room? how much is the speakers?


let's say neither is holding the other back....which may be unique in itself.
 

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A couple of points, not knowing anything about these speakers.


1) Mike's point is valid, why put a power receptacle above the woofer? You WANT to use as heavy a gauge a power cord as possible with a 1000 watt amp. It would make a LOT more sense if the power input was at the bottom of the speaker.


2) If you're bi-wiring or even if you are not, does the amp pick up the full range signal at the speaker level, take it down to line level and then amplify the bass? If so, that adds distortion and noise. It would make a LOT more sense to run a line level signal to the bass amp.


3) Does it have a balanced input for the amp?
 

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Hi


Ok then, for the VR-9 SE. Threads have a way of morphing here in this section and I want to keep this one under control :(... I will open a thread on vibration control in the High End. We can discuss our heart content on the subject... and others as we so often tend to here ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme
A couple of points, not knowing anything about these speakers.


1) Mike's point is valid, why put a power receptacle above the woofer? You WANT to use as heavy a gauge a power cord as possible with a 1000 watt amp. It would make a LOT more sense if the power input was at the bottom of the speaker.
Curt,


I agree with you that it would be nice to have the input for the heavy gauge power cord be

near the floor. However, just to play "devil's advocate" - if you put the connector near the

floor then you have to accept whatever gauge of power cord the speaker manufacturer puts

inside the speaker to carry power from the low-lying connector up to the amp. At least with

a connector located high-up next to the amp itself - you, the consumer provide that floor to

amp run of wire with whatever gauge / quality of wire that you desire.

Quote:
2) If you're bi-wiring or even if you are not, does the amp pick up the full range signal at the speaker level, take it down to line level and then amplify the bass? If so, that adds distortion and noise.
I wouldn't think it adds much noise - after all - you can take the speaker level signal back to

line level merely by running through a resistor.


Additionally, a long run of line-level is more susceptible to picking up noise than is speaker

level. Line-level cable is higher impedance - which is easier to induce a voltage in because

it takes less current than low impedance speaker cable.


There are pluses and minus on both sides - I'm not really sure which way "wins" or if it's a "wash".
 

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Morbius said:
I wouldn't think it adds much noise - after all - you can take the speaker level signal back to

line level merely by running through a resistor.


BUt wait a sec. These speakers are being marketed to audiophiles that challenge the physics of sound all the time. I mean really, if you're going to subscribe to the theory that elevated wires and bi-wired speakers make an audible difference, then certainly those same users of this high end product wouldn't _DREAM_ of even one db of reduced signal to noise ratio by amplifying a line level signal to speaker level, then dropping it back down to line level, then back up to the subwooder level? That's absurd!


:)


BY my calculations, that's an added 60-90 db of gain, then attenuation.


Besides, if the line level input for said subwoofer amplifier was balanced, then any residual noise pickup would be nonexistent.



I would further critique Mike's setup with the quality of speaker wire splice shown in the first image and post. While I know that Mike is well respected in this forum, I'd say again that if you subscribe to tweaks galore, then the gauge of wire, albeit short, is going to color the sound dramatically based on what I see in that first image.
 
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