Anyone hear the Von Schweikert DB-99?

Does anyone own or heard this speaker? If so, please give me your impressions.

Also, what are the sonic benefits (if any) in a high efficency speaker over regular efficency?

Pinging Tireguy...(he owns these)...while I have heard them I am sure he can paint a much better picture for you.

Oh and you get more amp flexibility among other things with higher efficiency, just make sure you have quiet AC lines and equipment if matching to high efficiency speakers to avoid noise.
IIRC, member Tireguy has or had (not sure which) DB-99s. Send him an email.
I heard these at THE Show this year in Vegas, powered by top-of-the-line Consonance tube electronics, with the new Consonance Droplet tube CD player as the source (in the Consonance room).

Quite frankly, the sound was absolutely phenominal... The speakers threw a very nice soundstage, coupled with excellent quality bass extension and pitch. The midrange was very pure, and highs were fatigue-free... M overall impression of the DB99s were that they pretty much got nearly everything right (about as much as could be hoped for at their price range).

The Consonance room in general was my pick for best room at THE Show for "sane money." Obviously, the DB-99s played a large role.

To *my* ears, the DB-99 mkIIs are right on par with the Tyler Linbrook Signature System as the best sounding speakers in the 10K/pr. and under price range... Very good stuff indeed... Also, in the DB-99s case, that 99db efficiency rating makes them an excellent candidate for lower powered tube amps and the like.

Thanks for your responses. I have been considering pairing the db99's up with consonance Ref 2.2 and consonance new Cyber 10 sig integraded 2a23. Any other recommendations? My budget is about spent. Was looking at other speakers in the line up and ran across what I think is a good deal on the 99's.
One additional thing to keep in mind woth the DB-99s is their physical size - they can move some air. I heard these at a dealer demo, set up by VSA, and was mostly impressed - however, in addition to the noise considerations mentioned above, I noticed a bit of extra "oomph" in the bass. Not always a bad thing, but I think these might overwhelm a less than large room in the bass department. If you can bring them out into your room, you'll probably be fine.
I keep my DB99s about 5ft into the room. The bass is easily
adjustable. They have a very long break in and will respond well to the new ribbon add on(nice marketing).
Feel free to email me if you have have more specific questions.
My room size is 15 x 17.5 x 8. Sdatch, how do you think they will work in this room? I can't afford 5 ft in to the room. I liked this speaker due to bass managment with volume control and was hoping this would work in the room. I will probably get them from woofer to back wall three to four feet.

I'm going to demo these speakers next weekend at the dealers...I'll post my impressions
Tickfight, your room is probably on the borderline with regard to any large speaker, but as Saxman2 said, the bass is adjustable. But I cannot speak from experience with the DB-99, so I would defer to Saxman2. Your room layout and use of any room treatments would also affect the performance. My concern over room size is largely based on my own past difficulties to get other large, full range speakers to perform their best in a small environment. But none of those featured bass management...
For anyone looking in this price range, I highly recommend listening to the Montana EPX's. Definately one of the finest speakers I have heard and owned.
I now have dealers trying to get me to hold off and get the new VR4 SR. My feeling is the DB-99 with the super tweeter add on will outperform the VR4 Sr. What are other's thoughts on this?

I also do like base managment in this speaker and it is smaller than the VR4 SR for my room
Hey Tireguy where are you? Please give me your impressions of the DB-99.....

Hi Tickfight,

I heard the VR SR at the THE Show in Vegas (same show I heard the DB99s at, but in different rooms and on different electronics)...

My take was I came off very unimpressed (and I loved the DB-99s, and many other VS speakers I heard while there).

I can't really put my finger on any one area where I felt the VR SRs were seriously lacking, but unlike in the room with the DB-99s where I just wanted to listen to them forever... In the VR SR room, I felt completely uninvolved with the sound, and wanted to move on to the next room rather quickly. Just very flat lifeless sound in my opinion...

To be fair, it could have been the room or the electronics... but those are just some initial impressions from someone who has heard both speakers on the same day... Based on what I heard that day, the DB99s are the *far* superior speakers...

"I can't really put my finger on any one area where I felt the VR SRs were seriously lacking..."


which day did you stop in to listen to the 4 Sr? my understanding is that it took a few days of trial and error to get the speakers to sound right in the room they were in.
I heard that too... But in my case, it was on the last full day of THE Show (it was also the day CES wrapped up). VS did have some problems with the CD player when I was in the room though (sorry, I did not catch the brand)... From what I heard, most people felt that by the time I listened to them, they were indeed setup the way VS wanted...

i believe they used an Oracle CD player in that room...i know Albert mentioned that he still wasn't pleased with the sound at the end, but it was the best they could do given the limitations of the room.
This may be a good point overall. I wonder if the DB-99's were put in the room where the VR 4 SR's were and the same CD player used if they would have sounded as uninspiring as the VR 4 JR's did? Which is to say that the DB-99's could be viewed as more versitile as they have bass management and perhapse easier regarding image placement. Just a thought.
I own one of the few pair of VS DB-100's, which VS no longer produces. According to Kevin at VS, it certainly wasn't due to the sonics, but due to the aesthetics. Mine are 200 pounds each, a little under 5' tall, 22" deep and 14" wide. They also contain the bass amps and controls. They are covered by a simple black fabric with black end caps. They look fine to me. I'd rather invest in sonics then aesthetics anyway.

The DB-100's preceded the new incarnation of the DB-99's. They both retail for the same amount. I wonder why the DB-100's are significantly heavier and larger?

Anyway, I think mine are great and I'm sure the new DB-99's are, as well. Mine are matched with Art Audio Jota Monoblocks which are 20 watt SET's. A fantastic match with more power than I need. Imaging is fantastic. I recomend using a Systrum stand with your equipment as well as putting a Systrum SP-1 under each speaker. Much improved clarity, etc.
I had a 3 hour audition Friday March 4th and intend to buy a pair...listened at Quest for Sound near speakers I've ever heard....they played very loud with good bass on 11 watt Consonance monoblocks and ditto with the Marsh SS 200 watt amp....soundfield and dynamics were incredibly lifelike...I've never experienced this with a loudspeaker before and I've heard some big bucks jobs...the design is good looking and not room over powering...compared to the VR4 jr's they were definitely a huge step up and worth the extra money.
Thanks for the info, I think I am taking the plunge also.
Hi Larry,

Quest for Sound was the dealer at THE Show that had them hooked up to the same Consonance gear when I heard them... The match is a perfect one, as far as I am concerned. I think you are going to be *very* happy with your decision... You are lucky to live near Quest for Sound... Few people will ever be able to hear that particular combo (VS DB-99s paired with Consonance)... Just great stuff. Enjoy!

A dealer of consonace told me that consonance uses the DB-99's as their reference speaker when tweaking the amps. Don't know if he is just pulling my leg for a sale or not, but thus far has been a very stand up guy. Have no reason not to beleive him.
Heh Dave,

Actually I live near Boston and was in Philly for a business trip...there are no Von Schweikert dealers in Mass or RI...I heard the 99's through the Consonance droplet CD player, quite a piece of audio art...Quest for Sound owner Steve Monte is quite a guy and I do wish I lived near that shop...only trouble is trying to decide on piano black or the burgundy color...I have all BAT tubed electronics but for the ss amp and I couldn't believe the way those speakers emulated live music...which I never thought possible to do...the build time is 4 to 6 weeks and they will ship right to my door...Steve said not every VS dealer has the 99's since they are "franchised." I had listened to Dali MS4's,Thiel 7s and some Avalons but liked the 99's best and the jr's second! The jr's are mindblowing considering their dimunitve size and what they can do..VSA must have some kind of engineering group out there.

IYO did the speakers sound better with tubs or SS?
Anyone else??.... Anyone have any negitive experiences with these speakers?
I just mailed in my down payment to Quest for Sound on the db99's...4 to 6 week wait will seem can use any power amp on these things with good results....the owner also said he tried a midfi Rotel amp, just for fun, and the speakers sounded fine....I'll be using my ss BAT VK500 but now I'll have the ability to go low power tubes if the yen hits.
what's the latest you've heard on the db99 delivery date? this is unbelievable what's going on...
I am getting dealer demo's-- What's going on? Are they on back order?
The color you saw on display, you mentioned burgundy.
Is that the same as Corvette red on the website?

Got your speakers yet?
I just got my pair a week back. To me, at least, they sounded very similar to the VR4sr out of the box. I think the DB99s are back-logged. I had to wait closer to 8 weeks before i got my pair.
I had the opportunity to hear both at a dealer not too long ago. I assure you that after the 99s break in, they will be faaaar better than the VR4 Sr.

I would gladly send a A-gon member a emailed picture of my dealer demo's in a custom ebony with the supertweeter module for posting on this thread. They are really special inside and out.

I agree with Ozzy on this one... The two speakers are not even close. IMO, the DB99s are one the best in their price class (I wish I could say the same about the 4 SRs). Once they have broken in, I think you will be quite happy.

Hi Jack.

Could you send me a picture of the Ebonys with the supertweeter?

Ksroy, I just sent you the picture of my db's that I hope you'll have better luck posting than I. The pics don't do them justice in reality but they'll give you a glimpse of the finish and supertweeter module. They are a sonic and cosmetic knockout! I'm using a Bel Canto SET 40 with KR Audio 845's and a modified APL/Esoteric DV50 (w/AKM dacs). Also, I had Analysis-Plus re-fit plugs on a pair of Pwr Ovals to fit the 99's and am not using stock cords. Also,, Paul Garner's Verbatum speaker cables are used to wonderful effect.

Hi Jack. Thanks for the picture. I've converted your pdf file to a jpg file. The best I can do is post a link.

DB-99 SE with Super Tweeter Module
As a follow up- after reading all amazing review regarding the 99s I purchased some. AMAZING speaker.


How much of a difference do the super tweeters make?

The supertweeter at 19kHz adds to the upper harmonics of speaker,, the difference of the 99's sounding a bit more open and "airy" than without. As a VSA dealer, having lived with a pair of 99's without the supertweeter for a time, I prefer the addition of the new ribbon speaker module.
And as you know Tony, the 99's can be self-tweeked to add or subtract bass by simply dialing in the low-end using a volume knob located at the rear of the speaker. The 10" magnesium woofs are each pwrd by 300watt amps. It is surprising to me how a recording can sound so different and so much better in terms of overall dynamics with some easy and quick fine tuning. What audiophiles turnover and spend in electronics, accessories and other tweeks to shape the character of the sound around room abberations and marginal recordings may thus be avoided. But, not to be mistaken,, the 99's could be and should be matched with the best equipment you can afford to get the most from them. If it sounds like I'm gushing,,, I'm just all over this VSA model! I had three auditions over the w/e,, one gent was/is a musician. To watch their facial expressions while spinning a few discs was to give me as much pleasure as they experienced during the listening session. You are right Tony, the dB's ARE amazing! Thats the word they used too!


Can someone tell me if the DB99 come with grill covers? I read in another thread they did not come with grills but looking at the picture Bornie posted his have grill covers. Is this an option or do all DB99 now come with the covers?
all current dB99's come with grill covers. The optional supertweeter module comes without. BTW, the cabinets are built by "local" So Calif VSA partnered cabinet makers and the woodworking is superb and "one of kind". The wood finish palate ranges from standard to the very exotic. The "wait" time has been reduced though selection of non-standard finishes adds to the price. All "custom" line speaker cabinets,, are made near the VSA facility.

Hey Jack- yea you are gushing :) understandably so.

For the most part all speaker owners say good things about their speakers so I will throw this in as I think it's a great testimony to the 99's.

My wife could give a crap about speakers. To her they have been my silly hobby which she's tolerated because "at least it's not golf." After I set up the 99's and got them placed correctly with room treatments etc. I took her down(sound room in the basement) to listen to them.

I put on her faviorite band U2 and thought if anybody can charm her into liking these puppies Bono can.

So there she sat and as the right speaker rang out the first guitar she turned and said- "That sounds cool- the guitar is coming from over there".

Then the second guitar chimed in on the left side and she said "Oh that's neat they are seperated and real....."

Just then Bono started to sing and she stopped in mid sentence. She sat there for about thirty seconds and then turned to me and ask, "How are they doing that?" Without waiting for an answer she turned back and just listend.

She then got up and went to the middle of the speakers and the front wall to see if I had put a center speaker there and ask again "How can they be doing this?" After the song ended she sat there and said "WOW."

Now THAT's praise. These speakers are soo good that they not only have my wife off my back- she's next to me on the couch. Thanks VSA!!!
Tony, I don't know if you are a jazz fan but pick up the McCoy Tyner "New York Reunion" SACD from Chesky Records. It features Tyner on Piano, Joe Henderson on Tenor Sax, Ron Carter on Bass and Al Foster on Drums. On cut #5 "Ask Me How" it opens wih Joe Henderson doing solo sax work that is just so palpable and vocal its spooky. Towards the end of the song Al Foster adds some subtle kick drum beats that at first,,,, I thought was my Wife coming up the back steps towards the music room. When I realized that it wasn't her,,, I thought it was my heart bounding out of my chest! It just blows me away, how 3-D and expansive the soundstage and imaging is and how closely accurate and natural the presentation comes to "live".

I do like jazz-- will check it out.
Guys, when was the DB-99 SE released? I know the mk II has been out since 2003 I think. I'm just curious since I got my SEs just recently and my serial number is below 0020.
I've had mine sans super tweeter since late speakers I've ever owned....everything I've always the bottom end. Only criticism is I can hear low level buzz-hum from one of the built in amps from my listening position 12 feet's not the circuitry or my gear, they're dead quiet...anyone experience this or have a solution? I haven't called my dealer yet to see if this is the norm.
I have Zu Definitions - similar high-efficiency design with powered "sub", internal. I get a little hum from mine too, though it's not audible from the listening seat as the woofers fire in the rear. Sean at Zu told me they could kill the hum, but it reduced the life at the nether regions. Sounds like a design choice to me.
Larry, just sent you a email. I've had two pairs of dB's,, the first pair when the model went into full production some time ago and a pair I recvd a month or so ago. No hum, buzz or any other sonic abberation. Turn the amplifiers pwr'ing the bass modules off and see if you still get noise. If you have another amplifier that you can A/B that too would be great. Power conditioner, grounds, ,,,? When in doubt contact Kevin at VSA. Your 99's should be dead quiet.


Does the hum come thru the speakers or just from the amp itself?

The hum comes off the speaker amp.I have an inquiry into Kevin at VSA per Jack's advice.