Carl, it really depends on what you like in am amp. For example, do you prefere a darkly light sound stage or a bright one. Do you prefer body to transparency or vice versa (I often find there is a trade off between the two). Also, what types of music do you listen two? I would suggest that you try a Musician III (I am a big fan), but I hesitate to do so until I know what you like in amps. For example I love the Spectrons, but others don't. I know why they don't (some people realy like what tubes and class A amps have to offer), but I find it often comes down to personal preference.
I agree with the above. The VR-4jr is an excellent speaker and up to the task of working with just about any amp--it's also very neutral (which helps a lot). I've heard them with $20k worth of integrated tube, and at first thought that was kind of overkill--but the VR-4jr brought out all the glory this integrated.
Drhst20, Thanks for the response. I guess what I am looking for is to try an amp with more slam factor, but one that still retains the great sonics of my Gamut. It is a tad light in the bottom, I believe. Unfortunately, my isolated location precludes auditioning much in the way of quality amos, so my only solution is to rely on info I can gather from listeners and then look for used pieces to try. Buying new , then not being happy and selling for a large loss, is just not feasible.The minor cost of buying used and reselling quickly if it's not what I want are basically the cost of not being near a major center.
I had an ARC 100 MK 2 before the Gamut, and it was very similiar in sonics to my ears. The VR4jr's relaced a set of Thiel 2.3's, which aside from a slightly hot high end I very much enjoyed.
I am looking for crystal clear voices, as I tend toward female vocalists, good dynamics, tight bass, (this feels like a comment on the centerfold in Playboy!!).
Bottom line, like all of us, I want the emotional involvement of live music, or as close as I can get given budget restraints.
BTW, Dan, nice system!!
Thanks for the input.
Next question...how much are you looking at spending??? Sorry, I should have asked that before!!!
I'm hoping to get by with something in the 3-6 K area used.
I have the 4 Jrs for a few months now and have learned a few things about them. I first had them in a smallish room, 13x18x9, this is where I broke them in for 500 or so hours. I did a lot of listening along the way. I had them there with either the Pass Aleph 2s or the Linn Classik. In my opinion neither have enough power for the Jrs to really come to life. The bass was rather overbearing in the smallish room, though I didn't spend a lot of time tweaking them since I knew once I broke them in I would be moving them to the larger living room.
The room they are in now is 18x26x8 and opens up to a stairwell and kitchen. That maked the volume of this room huge. In this room I don't feel like the Jrs can fill a room of this size with deep bass. They aren't terrible, just a little light on the bottom. Here I started with an Innersound ESL 300 amp, which obviously took a lot more control over the Jrs and led me to believe that the Jrs definately like power. The bass with the ESL 300 is tight and punchy, but like much solid state gear seemed to be just a bit sterile or cold sounding to my ear.
Next I decided to pick up a set of VTL 450 tube monos. These give me the tube magic I love, but definately reduce bass slam, and if anything may seem a bit more bright on top than the ESL 300, though overall they seem less fatiguing. I prefer the 450s to the ESL 300 overall. I am using a CJ Premier 17Ls linestage which is known to be a little soft in the bass, so that could be part of the problem. As is I would feel the need for a sub or to try a different pre/amp combination.
My next choice would be to try out the Paransound Halo JC1s, I have a hunch these might sound really good with the Jrs. Thats what I would try in your situation, or if you seem to get plenty of bass in your room, then you might consider some of the more powerful tube amps like the CJ 140s, Antique Sound Lab Hurricanes or even big VTLs. If are thinking Pass I wouldn't reccomend the Aleph series, unless you are thinking of the 1.2s.
Have you filled yours with lead shot? Did it strengthen or weaken the bottom if so?
I've got the VR-4 GEN III SEs and have tried a number of amps with them, including the Spectron MIII and JC-1s mentioned above. As Dan stated it comes down to personal preference. I had trouble relaxing with the Spectron MIII. It is very detailed, almost artificially so to my ears. The JC-1s on the other hand was more natural and relaxed sounding, and threw a larger soundstage. They also have seemingly limitless reserves of power with the VR-4s. I have since switched to tubes and currently drive my VR-4s with a CJ PR140. It does not have the slam of the MIII or JC-1s, but it does have a well controlled and tight bottom end. Vocals and intruments with the CJ just sound more life like to me, and as a result I feel more involved in the music. In the end there is no substitute for listening to these amps in your own system. But if you have the room the JC-1s would be worth a try if tubes are not a consideration.
If you are interested in a pair of JC-1's (which I use with my VR4 Gen III SE's), let me know. I may be selling, and if I do I will give you a good price. It was actually Tom, I believe, who got me to try the JC-1's (Thanks Tom). Tom is correct that you will find it takes some juice to really drive the Von's. I am considering going to an effienct speaker (Db99's).
Like Tom_munro, I can attest to the sweetness of the VR4 Gen III (and by extension the VR4 Jr), with tubes. I'm driving my VR4 GenIII with VAC tube amplification , and the top end and midrange is free of any brittleness I experienced with solid state amplification (Bryston).
Another vote for JC-1 Halos. I tried them with VRjr, and then left tubes. I agree that the VRjr needs more power and control than most tube amp will allow, and the bass will not be satisfying.
The Halos exhibit outstanding control, sheer overall power and tight, yet natural bass with weight and authority, that is very appealing. Some of the tube midrange character is gone, but it is a surprisingly natural, transparent portrayal that is SS at its best.
The very revealing and transparent VRjr is allowed to present its clear window on the sound that is the best I've had in my system. I don't miss tube amps anymore but a little.
For something really different, and exciting, H2O Signatures.
Thanks for the info regarding the JC-1. I was considering one of the new Passamps, the 250.5 model. They will have the balls to drive these speakers, I think, and judging from the opinions I have seen, they are fine mamps. I'd like to hear more possibilities before I make a change, but I think the Gamut amp is just not "strong " enough for a low-medium sensitivity speaker, especially at louder volumes which I like.
I'm interested in what the Pass 250.5 sounds like as well, compared to JC-1s.
Kevziek, the H2O Signatures are $5,500. I use to own X600 amps. Another recent H2O convert owned the X250. People from the tube camp are crossing over too. The H2O has all the qualities people love about tubes, married to the best qualities of solid state. The H2O trumps both groups in detail.
I am running a single BAT VK-60 & hoping to add either an additional VK-60 or one of the BAT solid state amps for bass slam. I can't imagine not having tubes again but more power would certainly be nice.
Open, clear, musical, dynamic and I have one of the worst rooms I've heard. But, 20K of amp isn't going to make a VR4Jr into a full size full range speaker.
I'm an idiot. Granted. But, my intent is to purchase full size speakers when the room is treated and works well and sell the Von Schweikert's to a friend.
I use the DK Integrated amp and get excellent results(with Amperex Tubes). My room is 12 feet by 22 feet and I have the speakers on a short wall. The room has a high ceiling also.
I've had excellent results using Odyssey Stratos Monoblocks.
I have a pair and have listened to them with several different amps both at home and at the shop when auditioning. The nice thing about these speakers is that they seem to play nice with a wide range of amps. The impedance curve does not dip too low, so they play nice with both tube and SS. Since they are a very neutral speaker, it is easier for them to show the characteristics of the amp. As compared to trying to correct or "balance" an overly bright or forward speaker with a super tubey amp, I would recommend an amp that leans just a bit in the direction you like. Right now I am running them off a 35W/ch old Marantz 8B, and while it doen't provide thunderous base, it sure sounds nice.
I have seen Bel Canto recommended...any comments???
Hate beat a dead horse, but people have sold their eVOs after one listen to
I took my SST Son of Ampzilla (100wpc x 2) to a friends house and we spent some time with the SoA on the VR4jr's.
For a high dispersion speaker, I thought it sounded truly remarkable from top to bottom in an untreated living room.
Great highs, rich midrange, and Solid, Deep bass.
I am running a BAT VK75SE. It can deliver some real magic with the VR4 JR. Previously, I was using a hybrid amp, an Anthem Amp 2SE (tube 1st stage and solid state power). The Anthem was also capable of delivering "magic" with rhythm and texture. The BAT was a step up in coherence and midrange, but didn't give up much in the way of bass slam.
These speaker seem to be able to use whatever quality you can deliver from the electronics.
I love my VR4jr!! I have a Sim Audio W5 driving mine and the sound is remarkable. Liquid smooth, details galore with imcredible grip on base. When I added a Supratek tube preamp, it took it to a whole different level, soundstage went further beyond speakers then I could have ever imagined, left to right, front to back... Now I know what people are talking about when they say 3D and holographic sound. My dealer runs them with the new Classe stuff... also truly amazing.
These things will certainly tell you what quality of electronics you are driving them with. They are very neutral speakers and if you have some coloured electronics driving them be prepared to hear what those auxilleries really sound like.
I have listened to the VR-4 jr's driven by the Bel Canto evo-2 gen 2 and it sounded outstanding. This was a recommended amplifier by VS. Images are stable and float in space. Very synergistic combination. I would imagine other digital amplifiers do well with the jr's also. The H2O is highly touted and, I am sure a great amplifier but, I have not heard it. It's on my list to hear if I can find someone with one. I believe this amp has a 30-day trial which, given this it is certainly an approach to consider.
some amps i've tried that work well w/ the 4 Jrs...a Pass x-250, SST Son of Ampzilla, Aragon Pallium II monos, and Rowland Model 10
I've not listened with the VR 4 Jr's, but with their big brother the VR 4 HSE, they sound wonderful.
I have an Audia Flight 100 power amp driving my VR4jrs - the Italian class A beauty has full control over the entire frequency range. It just does it all in my ears. I´m from Denmark, and do not know if Audia can be bought in the US
For those in your situation, but perhaps on a smaller budget, like myself. May want to condsider using an integrated 55 watt amp, with KT-88 tubes. The SQ-88 from Quest for Sound. From a dealer on this site. A great musical combination. With your budget in mind there would be some other amps I would like to try just for kicks. I would be more inclined to try any SS amp with a class A output. I've not had a chance to listen to a SS amp yet with my jrs due to lack of having a preamp. But at this point am content with tubes.
Anyone try it with the Perrreaux Radiance 200i ? Should be a good match.
Also works good with a budget integrated ASL AQ1001DT.
I'm using the Pass Labs X250.5 with my Jr.'s in a 15 x 12 x 8 room and they sound stunning. I filled each speaker with 50 lbs. of lead shot like you're supposed to do. Tons of punch and bass, but not boomy or overbearing at all. I use a Simaudio P-5 LE for my preamp, and Signal Cable Silver Res for cables.