I've owned a pair of Unifield 3's for six weeks now and couldn't be happier. My previous speakers were Von Schweikert VR-4 genII w/VR-5 upgrade. I have a big room and the Unifields, although much smaller than the VR-4, fill that space just as effectively and produce even better bass. This is surprising, given that the VR-4's have twin 8.5" woofers and the Unifield contains only one 7" woofer. But the Unifield 3's smaller driver has amazing speed, detail and impact.
To my ears, I would characterize the Unifield 3 as being very well balanced, exquisitely detailed (without sounding analytical) and eminently coherent, producing a holographic soundstage. As a comparison in its price range, I've heard the Wilson Sophia 2 with VTL amps and other high quality components and was impressed by its imaging. However, the Unifield 3 is more satisfying to my ears, due to what I perceive as being more nuanced, possessing better detail retrieval and an overall ability to convey a much more convincing portrait of the musical event.
Hope this helps.
BTW, my system details are up on the audio asylum, member Steve Siener.
I completely concur with Steve's opinions. I too have had the speakers for about 1.5 months now, and they continue to sound better everyday. They have the coherence of the best electrostats with incredible dynamic snap and finesse. I cannot believe the bass I hear from such small sized speakers. The midrange is warm and spot on, and the treble is smooth and extended without sounding strained or grainy.
I am discovering new elements in recordings that I had never heard before. The soundstage is so holographic and the imaging so focused that I am rediscovering all of my extensive CD collection and it has been a great experience.
One word that sums up the speaker is "Live". With absolutely great transparency, accuracy and detail of these speakers, they sound as close to a real live performance as any I have ever heard. Whether it is a piano or a violin, the accuracy of tone is impressive.
I'll write more as and when I discover new things but as of today, after auditioning high end speakers from the likes of Wilson, Pioneer, Usher and the Revels, I must say that the Unifield 3 is worth at least 3 times its asking price and is an absolute bargain.
"I must say that the Unifield 3 is worth at least 3 times its asking price and is an absolute bargain." Really? $45K ?
Yes, absolutely, in terms of overall quality of sound. I am sure there are speakers out there that play at auditorium filling levels or that plunge down to below 20Hz, which the Unifield 3 cannot do simply because of the small footprint design. However, in terms of overall coherence, transparency, imaging, soundstaging and purity of sound, it is hard to beat.
I heard a V/S speaker recently at a dealer's home. They were finished beautifully..good looking. They were either the 5 or 7's - can't remember. Anyway, the sound was unacceptable to me or to my friend who was with me at the time. There was little or no bass, no dimensionality, brittle highs, etc. We both looked at each other in amazement. There are lots of posts on Audiogon that say that this brand is questionable at best. Listen to these and others with those prices and make a decision on what you hear...not what you read.
Very strange. You may not like the sound of the VR-5 or the VR-7, since that is subjective, but to say that they have little or no bass is silly. It is like saying the Quads have no coherence or transparency.
Of course I agree with you as far as trusting your ears, and taking any opinion on these forums as a reliable guide and not absolute truth.
Bob asked for comments from folks who have heard the Unifield 3. The Unifield 3 is in many ways a scaled-down version of the VR-9. It is a very neutral speaker. If the upstream components produce an anemic sound the Unifield 3 will reflect exactly that. This was clearly illustrated in a comparison of another setup vs. mine. It's not fair to blame the speaker without taking into consideration the room and the upstream components.
What I was cautioning is that there are many including me that have heard this brand and have found them lacking. When I say no bass, I mean it. The texture was wrong: they were flat sounding..no depth, no air... The ancillary equipment included fancy tubes and high priced cables. The speakers were unacceptable to both my friend and me. If you like that sound, fine, but I cautioned in my post against buying hype. Their website, specs, etc., are hard to be believe. I also remember listening to the Jr.s. They too didn't make music. There is usually a house sound to manufacturers. I am simply stating a cautionary note. By the way...I auditioned the 20,000 dollar Triangle speakers and thought the VanSchweikerts were better.
I auditioned a pair of the Unifield 3's a couple of weeks ago in my home. I'm a current user of the VR-4 SR's. I'm also very familiar with the sound of the VR-9's, since a friend of mine has a pair. I found the Unifield 3's being one of the best sounding speakers I've heard. The high's were silky smooth, with no grain. The bass is tweaked on these to deliver a nice warm, rich bass, but no subsonics. Which, as another said, is due to it's small foot print. But I found this trait worked very well with adding a subwoofer to the mix. I listened extensively to these speakers with, and without my Sub (Velodyne DD-18). I found that they mated easily with the sub without any bloating, or muddying up of the music. Because of the low efficiency of the Unifield 3's, I would say you need a big, beefy amp to drive them (which I have). And I agree that like so much other hi-end equipment, their performance is going vary depending on what they are mated with. But in the end, I really liked them, and I am in process of getting a pair.
Thanks for the responses. I will be going to So. Cal. next week to the Von Schweikert showroom to listen to the 3's. I will post my opinions.
Thanks again, Bob
Stringreen- As a very happy VR-7SE owner, I have to agree with Varsharun. Your little or no bass comment is not a characteristic of any VS speaker, so what you obviously heard was a poorly setup system. "fancy tubes and high-priced cables" in no way suggests knowledge of system synergy, etc. I could pretty much guarantee you that is was not "the speakers" that were unacceptable to you, but the system behind them.
Your other comment about "many people having heard that brand and found them lacking" was inappropriate and misleading at best, as this can be said of any manufacturer out there, including Vandersteen. There are many audiophiles around the world, including many who have posted to this forum, who own or have owned and enjoyed VSA speakers for years and have nothing but good things to say about them. You actually might want to hear them in a decently-set-up system before you make such broad negative generalizations about them to someone just looking for some guidance. I know this is subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinion - I just thought I would add mine.
Bob - Obviously the best guide is your own ears, and you will get to hear VSA speakers in properly set-up systems, which, while not as helpful as an in-home demo, is probably the next best thing, and could actually be better in some ways so you can hear what the speakers are capable of and compare them. You will also probably be given tips as to synergistic amplification, cabling, etc. by the excellent staff at VSA. Good luck Bob and have a great time!!(which I'm sure you will)
I'll just add a quick second to Fplanner's remarks. I purchased a pair of VR4 iii HSEs from a fellow Audiogoner two years ago, and have been especially impressed with combination of depth and control of the bass response. No question, there are lots of great speakers out there, VS speakers among them, and we're fortunate to have such a range to choose from. Properly set up, VSs are unlikely to disappoint.
VSA is awsome! They are a great company!
The Unifield 3 is now on the VSA website.
Von Schweikert Unifield 3 + Moscode 402 Au at RMAF
The VS Unifield 3 will be pairing up with the
Moscode 402Au at the RMAF '08 show in room 468.
There will also be a show special for the amp
and speakers to show attendees.
Update - Update - Update
The Moscode 402Au will be paired with
the Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Reference Speakers in
The Unifield 3 will be at the show in another room.
Come and listen!
I should jump in here and mention that in a reply to one of my postings "stringreen" dissed the AVS speakers and recommended the Green Mountain speaker line. Call it coincidence that his handle and recommended speaker are quite similar. Can you say conflict of interest?
No way bonehead
I sold him his Vandersteen Speakers clean and Green
which he had never even known about till me.........
ES247..I never heard the speaker or anything about Green Mountain speakers. I am a violinist, not a manufacturer.
He's right folks. I got you confused with someone on another board. My bad.
Thanks for the correction johnny.
Sometimes we deserve the bonehead position but not you as its how we recover from our bonehead status
Thanks for repairing it like a gentleman
Heard the Unifield 3's at RMAF yesterday. WOW - heard to believe such a big sound comes from such a small design. Guess that's what good engineering is all about....
The original VR-5/7s were lean in bass performance.The newer 5 se/7/9 are different animals.IMHO the original 5/7s weren't up-to-snuff and were built directly after his minor business collapse and his relationship with the driver manufacturers was tarnished.
Have a pair of Unifield 3s burning in now set up with an Accuphase DP-78, Lamm LL2 and Lamm ML1.1s. Room is roughly 24 sq/m speakers 5.5 feet from the rear wall 4 ft from the side walls. Electronics on CMS PXK filters and supports. Cabling is all Townshend Isolda DCT.
Frankly performance is unbelievable for their size and commensurate of their price. I have VR-9s set up in a larger room 20 paces away and I must say that as Arun says as far as transparency and retrieval goes these little devils deliver the goods. I will be keeping these (read: my wife will not allow me to sell them anyway as she absolutely adores them)
As for the bass, tight tuneful sufficiently extended to handle even organ music. Gaia, Track 4 from James Taylor's Hourglass SACD has a floor tom strike about four minutes in that shook the couch without any distress from either the speaker or from the 90wpc Lamm tube amp.
No they aren't VR-9s but if one's personal requirements are full range sound but has limited space these should be on the audition list. 15k is a lot of money to be plunked down based on reviews or a store audition alone.
I'm not expecting anybody here to take a stranger's word for anything especially a dealer's, which I am. However before I get hit by the conspiracy theorists do know that I have nothing to gain financially from posting here as I am half a world away.
I just wonder why keeping minds open seem so difficult for some folks. Try, listen, buy or send back. Life goes on. Isn't it that simple over there? All the sniping I read here implies otherwise.
This is an old thread but I wanted to chime in, in honest support of the VS Unifield 3s....I have owned a pair for about a month (on hour 60). I bought them through AG. As I have a 13 x 14 room with a 7' 8" ceiling, i have challenges... though a 6 ft wide archway on a side wall seems to help with the bass as I don't have boom problems usually associated with such a room. The unifields are fantastic...I have had many good speakers experience difficulties in this room, but the unifields dont seem bothered by it. Solid bass, incredible transparency, openess, imaging, wonderful highs....for me, my ears and musical tastes (coltrane, rollins, van morrison, nick drake, etc), they give me that feeling of being there......the rest of the sys is Esoteric SACD, VPI TT, Mac tube pre, Mac ss amp, kimber/xlo...
very interesting post (at least for me). Me too, I've a very small room, even smaller than yours, a rectangular "cubicle" of 12.80 x 9.70 ft. with a 12 ft. ceiling (old Florentine building).
One of the larger walls is entirely occupied by a bookcase (plus chimney); the speakers, currently a pair of (superb) Quad ESL-2905, are placed along this wall. In the middle of the opposite wall (and, thus, behind the listening position) there is a 5.25 ft. archway, which, as in your case, seems to help with bass - no boom problems either, at least with the Quad's. (Of course, the Quad's move very little air, but I had a pair of relatively small B&W's before, placed quite close to the rear and side walls and, well, there was no boom at all.)
Now, it's quite a while that I'm considering to get a pair of Unifield's (I listen to A LOT of chamber music, and the Quad's are fabulous with that; however, when it comes to orchestral music, well, there I miss some slam).
Question: Is my room too small for the Unifield? What's the minimum distance they should be placed from the rear and side walls and from one another? And what's the minimum distance from the listening position?
Thanks for your help.
I've auditioned them. I thought the Japanese wide-band midrange paper cone from is a gem. Very transparent immediate midrange. But I found something better and cheaper that suits my taste even more.