the vsm, depending on the version, can sound clinical if you use them in a manner they were not designed to be used in or with the wrong gear/wires. a product like this can not be everything to everyone. you, are correct but we have been improving the tonality of the speaker for many years. the e versions which are lead free sound considerably more room filling with ss or tubes then ever before. but any speaker that has uniform amplitude, a continuous a sound from top to bottom and offers high levels or resolution can resolve smooth fullness or bright thinness. it is not the fault of the speaker but the one using it or setting it up. if the speaker is used in the volume it was designed to work in, set up correctly and with relaxed grear/wires there should be no issues. many thousands of them in the field with only a handful of negative situations and those folks probably never talked to me personally and got help. and if they did, this was just not for them.
seadweller, i think you'd have to hear both and decide which way to go for yourself. these two do not sound anything alike and are not intended to. from what you have written in the past, you seem to long for something that one design can't do but assume that another can do enough of something else. if you listen to both and hear for yourself, who knows where you'll end up. maybe something like a big horn system or the vsm with a sub. but again, this really depends on taste and room volume.
make no assumptions and trust yourself only.
bobby at merlin