Calling all Von Schweikert VR-9 owners


Do you know what is an acceptable level of transformer buzz for the VR-9s? The speakers have huge, 1,000W digital amps in the bass cabinets, and I'm trying to get a handle on whether noise should be audible or not--and to what degree. My electricity checks out perfectly, so that's not the issue. I'm listening in the nearfield, and combined with the fact that the speakers are 96dB with the bass boost on, maybe those factors are causing the buzz to be audible--albeit slightly--from my chair (7'+ away from speakers). My room is very quiet, so maybe that's adding to the audibility. I pulled the amps last night, and put Lock-Tight on the transformer nut and silicone on the back plate, but the buzz is still audible, albeit MAYBE a touch lower in level. FWIW, when I put my hand to the back panel, I CANNOT feel any vibration. Can anyone comment or share their experiences? Thanks!
I'm getting some left channel transformer hum audible at my chair 12 feet away. Other db99 owner's have told me their speakers are dead silent. Kevin at VSA told me I could send the transformers back to them but I'm going to ride this out for is acoustically treated and the circuits and components aren't the problem. For what you paid, they should fly someone out to Michigan....I'd send this via your private email but don't seem to be able to connect that way.
Happy Holidays,
Larry K.
They use an ICEpower amplifier in their new flagship subwoofer that is based on the VR-9 woofer. These are made by B&O. Several different high-end manufacturers are using these amplifiers for the woofer sections of their better speakers now.

Here is a link to what I think they are using in your speakers:

Maybe you can get intouch with B&O directly. They tailor the amplifier to each individual manufacturers specifications so they may be able to tell you something particular about your particular amplifier.

Good luck!
Hooper, I have not seen this amp or it's transformer design, but all ICE amps (including the one Von Schweikert uses?), generally run VERY cool.

If that's the case for the VR-9 amp, you could add automotive damping material around the transformer to quieten it. DIY modders and speaker builders have been using the "peel and stick" variety of this product for years.

If the source of your noise is electrical rather than mechanical, the damping will probably not work. In any case I would NOT make any modifications to the amp beyond a touch of sound proofing. Instead, contact Albert Von Schweikert and ask his advice.

I have known him for many years, If there is a defect he will make it good.
May I ask who your dealer was please?
It is true all products can be defective at any price point. Looking for a forum solution to an enduser problem with a $60K speaker makes me feel for you.

I was just at the factory and saw vr-9's. they dont maufacture many and I bet they might not have replacements for yours on hand, contact the B&O comapny. Heres what I picked up while I was at the san marcos plant.
Thanks for the input, everyone. I'll contact B&O to see what they have to say, but I'm starting to think that the buzz is just normal transformer noise. I'm just over 7' away, and combined with the speaker's high sensitivity and my bat ears, maybe I'm being hypersensitive. And, Larry, I agree with you 110%--for what VSA charges, they SHOULD fly someone out. Even Kevin at VSA agrees with me. Thanks again, guys. Merry Christmas!
My hunch is that the electrical is the culprit.

You make no mention of having dedicated circuits/lines. I will assume you do.

Some to many of your dedicated circuits, lines, and/or outlets may be sharing the same phase / leg at the service panel with major appliances, furnaces, microwave ovens, refrig., and/or dimmers. Have you tried listening with all lights in the entire house turned off and perhaps most appliances off?

Considering that each of your components (including your high current drawing active speakers) should all be on their own dedicated circuits/lines and it appears that you only have two line conditioners, I’d venture a guess that you may either be lacking enough dedicated circuits / lines and/or proper line conditioning for some to many of your components.

Hooper; are you describing an 'electrical buzz' (a kind of hum) or a 'vibration buzz' (something loose that rattles)?

i assume that you have turned off the subwoofer and the noise went away to isolate the noise to a subwoffer issue. btw, i get zero transformer noise unless i actually put my ear on the back plate. i'm sitting about 10 feet away (plus the depth of the speaker) room is dead quiet.

one of my VR9's did have that transformer nut you mention not fully torqued down; which i was not able to diagnose until i had resolved some other issues. at first i thought it may have been a bad subwoofer driver. i finally was able to play a 25hz tone continually and then push on the amplifier cover plate and the noise disappeared. so i disassembled the amp module, torqued down the bolt, and all has been perfect since.....and these speakers are regularly challenged with very low frequency music.

i would see if while playing a test tone that causes the noise, you push hard on that amp cover plate (which the transformer rests against) to see the effect. you may not have torqued down that nut a sufficient amount.

as you already know; it is quite easy to do this fix yourself.

one could criticize VSA but after seeing how much i needed to torque down the bolt to stop the vibration; it is understandable that it likely seemed to be ok at the factory. mine were fine for the first month or so.....and i was playing torture tracks 24/7 for fact; i may have caused my problem by getting carried away with the break-in. i would never listen at anywhere like the volume i used at breakin for more than a brief moment.

Hooper's VR9's were within the first three or four sets built and mine were about the fifth set the feedback on these speakers was limited at that point.
Calling ALL ?!?! That limits the number of responses. Those speakers never buzzed for me, sounds like you have a ground loop and not an issue with the VR-9's. Check your electricity, the speakers are not likely the problem.
Stehno: You are correct. His problem has nothing to do with the speakers. He is experiencing a "ground loop". Is has been diagnosed and the solution has been presented.

Hooper: I am puzzled as to why you would bring this to Audiogon. We are in touch 2 -3 times a day and Von Schweikert also always takes your calls.
Problem solved!!! In my attempt to isolate the problem, I discovered that the issue was with internal grounding, not with the speakers at all. I've started to experiment with using different grounding schemes inside my DarTZeel amps--the amps allow you to use different configurations--and that has helped. I'll fine tune things once I get back to normal operation after the holidays. So, to summarize, the problem was NOT with the speakers at all. Sorry for causing a panic.
Hooper did you by any chance go to the CES show? I am very interested about how the VR9 sound at the show compared to home enviroment. Very difficult to hear these speakers. They do not even have them at the factory for audition. Does anyone know if the ones at CES 2006 are the ones available for consumer purchase ? I read that Von Scweikert brings "tweaked" speakers to shows that appear to resemble the consumer ones but sound significantly better.

Rusty from VSA informed me (as of the beginnign of january) there have only been 5 consumer pairs of VR9 sold. I wonder if they are all with audiogoners . If you are one of the five please say "aye". It would be nice to hear furthur opinions of them

Rumney510: The speakers that were at the show belong to me. They are just as "tweaked" as every pair that is built. They are all identical other than finish options.

Who told you they are not available at the factory for audition? That is bad information you have received. If you would like to audition them in the Von Schweikert factory, I am happy to set up an appointment for you at your earliest convenience.
I talked to Rusty Taub (spelling may be wrong) at VSA just before the CES show, and he said there were no VR9 in the factory. The only VR9 that would be built were ones that were ordered and a deposit given on in advance. He said there were no plans to have the VR9 or VR11 available for audition at the factory. He recommended your pair as auditionable at the CES or in your demo room.

I listened extensively (5 hours or so) to the VR9 at the CES show. Staggering dynamics and bass. The sound on traditional instruments was not what i expected. How do you think the CES sound compared to a home set up ? especially as regards tonality with non-electronic instrumnets. Does the EMM tonality come through alot ?