I have the VR SR4's without the mkII. The factory describes these as very similar to the mkII. They only changed becuase the Aerogel mid was discontinued. Here's a mini review of the SR4. I hope this helps.
My musical taste favors classical, pop and rock. I play classical piano and sing. The most important aspect of sound in descending order for me would be natural and non-fatiguing, excellent portrayal of timber, detail, ability to convey instrument and hall decay, accuracy, fast dynamics, bass fullness and slam, and stage width. Less important for me is stage depth and height. The worst thing a system could do is to be strident, harsh, cold, or muddy.
I have now had my pair of VR4Sr's for nine months. They are gorgeous in African Hazelwood. My wife and I are super pleased with the fit and finish. The separate base and mid/high modules create a sense of lightness, avoiding the large box feel. The available cherry finish looked smeared, but the poplar looked great as well. After break-in a few things are obvious: 1. They can easily fill my 38X22 room with no efforting or shout. 2. They are seamless to my ear across the spectrum, measuring flat at near field listening position except a small hump at 60-80 HZ. I have a concert grand piano in the same room and the sound quality, micro-dynamics, and note decay from the speakers and the piano are quite close. Piano pieces are captivating in detail, depth, clarity, and accuracy. 3. My concern that I did not have a high enough quality front end to do them justice was unfounded. In fact I talked to Von senior himself and he said that they were designed to perform well with an affordable front end. 4. I seem to be sacrificing only sound stage depth and a bit of instrument position with near front wall placement (about 18 inches from the back of the speaker) and they were not too particular about sidewall placement and distance apart. 5. The company has been exceptional to deal with and the packing was intelligent and secure.
Details: Bass, spiked on wood flooring, is tight, articulate, fast and full. Mids are excellent, natural and detailed. Highs are sensitive to quality of the recording, cables, and front end - when all is right, it is detailed, neutral, and sweet in the good sense. For example with silver speaker cables the highs were painfully strident at loud volume, with copper the highs are wonderful. Soundstaging in terms of precise instrument localization has been a challenge with my setup with a TV recessed between the speakers (a blanket over the TV helps). Stage width is fine, extending beyond the speakers and the sweet spot is wide and deep. I like the speakers on all material but they seem most exceptional on solo instrument, voice, small ensemble, jazz, and pop. Orchestral is very good. Heavy, dense rock is only good (too revealing of defects) unless the recording quality is exceptional, such as Dire Straits, then the speakers shine.
In comparison to the VR4s, the Wilson Sophias auditioned with all Marantz equipment sounded a bit sterile, very accurate, and less musical to me. The Krells Resolution 2s sounded less satisfying overall, partly because of bass response.
The VR4SRs replaced Polk SDA-SRS 2.3s I had used for ten years. Sounds changed to much closer to live music with more detail and ambience conveyed. The VRs have renewed my interest in music and I listen almost every night, discovering new beauty in all my favorites. I can able listen at lower volumes and still experience the Thats fabulous grin. I know myself well enough to know that if I won the lottery, Id go out and audition ultra high-end equipment starting with VS products, but short of this I feel that the speakers will satisfy me for a decade. Overtime I may improve my front end and I think the VRs will handle it. I am very pleased and would recommend that they be on the short list of anyone looking in the under 20K range.
Music used to audition the VR4SRs plus the Wilsons and Krells
For female vocal Jennifer Warnes, The Well, Famous Blue Raincoat,
For male vocal Bruce Springfield, The Rising, Crosby, Stills
For rock Led Zeplin, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits
For classical Bach Fugue in C minor, Rimsky Korsakov Scherazade
For choral Rachmaninoff Vespers
For Jazz and brushes against cymbals, Missouri Sky
For piano Kissin Liszt Transcendental Etudes, Horszowski and Ohlson Works
For violin Scottish Fantasies, Vivaldi Four Seasons
For flute Galoway Christmas
Associated equipment: Aragon 8008BB 200Watt per channel dual mono SS amp, Aragon 28K SS preamp, NorthStar 192 DAC and CD Transport, Guerrilla Silver IC and woofer cable, copper to the mid/tweeter biwired.
I will second the positive opinion of the VR4SR. I too have the MkI version. I also spoke to A.VonSchweikert and was told the only reason for the MkII was a discontinued driver and the crossover had to be revoiced to match the originals. Fit and finish are first rate. I have the cherry finish and have no complaints. These speakers do it all quite well and I have heard nothing in their price range that hands down beats them. Personal tastes are just that and yours are as valid as anyone else's. If the recording contains the information the VR4SR's will deliver it with authority to your ears. You will not find a more accessable company or a bigger bargain in its price range.
Associated equipment: Llano Design A-200 Class A 200 watt amp.
Thor Audio T1000MkII preamp
Meridian G08 cd player
Basis 1400 turntable
Acurus P10 phono pre
Cobalt Cables interconnects and Speaker cable
PS Audio Duet
I heard the Mark I version and was not impressed. I heard the DB-99 at the same demo and it was a far better speaker. I would also say that the VR4 Gen III SE sounds better to my ears than the Sr.
since you live in se Michigan you owe it to yourself to audition the Salk HT3 speaker
Jim Salk uses top end drivers seemlessly integrated and placed in the most exquisite handmade cabinetry
Jim is located in Oakland Michigan
his website listing
many comments on audiogon (do a search Salk HT3) or at audiocircle where there is a users group
I owned Schweikert Vortex screens - and demo'd the VR4 Gen III SE. I purchased Salks.
You really must add these to your short list
is Sturgis Michigan too far? It lists as Apollo AV in the dealer network.
I had a deal to buy the SR about 2 yrs ago but went VMPS instead, the dealer who carried VS has went out of business.
I own the Von Schweikert VR-4 SR MKI (so take my reply with a grain of salt), and I totally agree with the two positive remarks above. This speaker does everything right and will bring out the best of your equipment, the better up and down stream components, the better the SRs will perform. At the $10-12k retail price range, it's one of the best choices, and easily beats and put some other higher priced speakers in the $20k range to shame. But as always, see if you can get an audition and decide for yourself. Let us know how you make out.
Gammajo,Jrun,Oz, and courtvision21, Thanks for the great opinions.
The Von schweikerts are still on my short list , looking for the best place to audition them.
Audiotomb, thanks for the link, the Saulk look great ! sort of like the Sophia Wilson. Oakland County is not too far, I will try to hear them maybe this Saturday.
Chadnliz, Sturgis will be a jaunt but I will seek them out and lIsten to the VMPS.
The Von Schweikerts are a great speaker and worthy of consideration. The Salks should be heard
Jim's new shop is in the Pontiac area
bring your own material and happy listening
I've read a lot about the salks and I've interacted with owners in audio circle. I actually missed the opportunity to attend the RMAF in Denver last year as this was my chance to hear them because there is no one in Salt lake city i know who owns them. I wanted to get your take on the sound of them compared to the Vons vr4jr and used VR4 GenIII SE and HSE's. I'm leaning in the direction of the VAC musicbloc amps to push them because i like the 3d imagaging and the air around each instrument produced of those amps and from what i hear, the Vons work beautifully with VAC equipment. The Salks look dang good and its amazing what Jim Salk can do with wood veneers. It's on another level really. I understand that you like them better than the vons and i want to ask what do you like better about them?
Well the only way is to listen to the systems, those reviews on audio review dont really impress me that much they look kind of fabricated, whatever that means. Schweikerts been around a long time and has countless awards and reviews by the big guns. Like i said listen first..
I moved up the Von Schweikert ladder to the VR7 se. All have been exciting to listen to and non fatigueing. You are dealing with a company that stands by their products. Their resale is also very good if you need to upgrade.
I replaced a set of Quad 989s and a pair of subs with the VR4 SR MK2 and I don't miss the Quads even a little.The MK2 are great speakers.
Does anyone know where I can listen to the VS speakers in Michigan?
Von Schweikert should be able to direct you to the nearest dealer Thier number is (760) 410-1650 email [email protected]
Perhaps start new post asking if anyone owning VS is near your location. You would be welcome to listen to mine but I am in NC
Call HigherFi in Minneapolis Minn.(952)440-2226 they might be able send you in the right direction.I ended up going to the factory in San Marcos Ca.and listening there.I live close by so it wasn't a problem.HigherFi is the online distributor, not sure if they have a showroom but it might be worth your time. Good luck.
Cant you go to Sturgis Michigan and check out the Von Schweikert line at Apollo AV as I mentioned in earlier post?
I could not find the place listed.
Please send me an email with the phone number. If I can connect , I will go there next weekend.
I was able to listen to the Salk HT3 this weekend.
I was able to listen to the Salk HT3 this weekend.
Well they sound very good. And they look very good.
I found Mr. Salk to be a very good man to deal with.
The poor guy , I subjected him to all types of music, including CCR and AC/DC.
The speakers have a very open sound and the center image is great.
But, all my equipment and my room layout is very different than his...
Even though, I like them , I am trying to persuade him into letting me borrow a pair for a day or two to play in my system.
Since I live within driving distance, he may go for it.
I will be able to comment better at that time.
208 West Chicago Rd. # 16
MI 49091 US
Email: [email protected]
Tel No: (269) 503-0157
Thanks, Just called them . They do not have the VR 4SR .
Just the JR.
Gammajo, you mentioned that VR SR4 Mk11 is not much different from VR SR4 according to VS factory yet their website describe otherwise as stated below :
The resulting sonic improvements of the Mk2 design are not subtle and include the following benefits:
1. Greater clarity, transparency, and smoothness in the midrange from 100Hz to 4kHz.
2. More depth in the sound field, along with greater detail far back in the stage.
3. Seamless integration of the woofers, midrange, and tweeter units, comparable in coherency to Quad 989 electrostatic speakers.
4. Tighter bass response combined with sweeter treble.
5. Superior image focus, enabling you to almost reach out and touch the performer
Did u audition any VR4sr Mk11 and compare it to original version? Reason for asking is that I m contemplating upgrading to mk11 and where I come from I do not have the opportunity to audition it
Another question I wld like to ask owners of VR4sr is that did anyone of you replace the datalink? if yes what is the sonic improvement you hear and what did you replace it with? TQ
Audioblazer - Yes, there is definitely a difference in what I was told at the factory and the written description in terms of degree of performance improvement. I think that the marketing department got a hold of that one :). I am sure that there are improvements but the original Aerogel mid which was also used in the VR7 I believe is no slouch. I have not heard one speaker directly compared to the other but I would guess that the truth is somewhere in between and at this point spending the money elsewhere in your system might yeild more bang than doing the upgrade. That is what I have done - Changed out my preamp which I felt was the weakest part of my system for a Audio Horizons and loving it. Please let me know if you upgrade and the results, becuase I have had the same debate.
Gammajo, tq for responding. Maybe I should wait until I m more certain. As for VS marketing, I find it out that VR SR Mk 1 ebony veneer used to cost USD2k more than other veneer. However, for MK 11 model, all veneer is of the same price. It really make a sucker out of me for purchasing the ebony version which is the only 1 available by my dealer. Few months ago I got a blown woofer and it took me more than 3 mths to get the parts for repair. Bad experience. Despite, the bad experience abt their service, I do like the sound of the speaker especially the bass. By the way, did you replace the datalink?
The Data-Link is to be replaced at the soonest possible convenience. The speakers are designed to be biwired. For best sound it's imperative that the Data-Link be removed. The owner's manual states clearly that the intended purpose is to biwire or biamp the speakers. The Data-Link is a jumper for the separate cabinets and is not to be seen as the ultimate means of operating the speakers.
The manual states: "...the Data-Link jumper in order to transfer the signal to both the woofer and midrange/tweeter crossover boards whe using the single speaker cable. NOTE: we recommend this only as a temporary solution, as we designed the speakers expressly for bi-wiring...
BI-WIRING: Using two separate pairs of speaker wires to deliver the signal to the woofer and midrange/tweeter modules will result in superior image depth, cleaner midrange/treble, and a larger sound stage."
Douglas_schroeder, I did read the instruction from VS. However, I m not keen to biwire the speaker.Currently using Transparent reference cable. With biwiring it will cost me as much as the speaker. Wonder whether it would be possible to use a short speaker cable instead of the data link and get any kind of improvement? TQ for responding. Happy listening
audioblazer, I immediately dropped the data link in favor of biwiring as the company recommends. I used Guerrilla Audio silver cable on the bass and copper on the mid/tweet. If you are still using your datalink you are in for the pleasure of a dramatic quantum jump in sound quality if you biwire.
Yes, the ebony was an upcharge of 2K but the original was priced at 8K retail plus the upcharge = 10K. The new version is priced at 12K, so you still got a deal. Hopefully you paid a bit less than list.
I went with the Salks because they were less expensive, nicer cabinets, and very resolving. Both put out a very natural and well imaged presentation.
Audioblazer. Perhaps you could use your current cable on the mid/tweet which is most sensitive to nuance, and borrow a cheaper cable for the bass and see what you think. The silver VHP Guerilla cable I mentioned was $899 for a 3 meter pair with a 45 day trial. He has many other models that are cheaper. Jason at Guerrilla is wonderful to deal with. His phone is (800) 253-0939 or www.guerrillaaudio.com. I really do think you might be seriously degrading the preformance of your excellent cable by using the data link.
It seems that the Data cable is a good idea.
It looks better with that hook up in the pictures.
Odd that VS couldnt just use the same cable they use in the crossover network to make the Data Link.
I understand the advise about Bi-wiring and my Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2 are bi-wires and in waiting,
but... I still want to hear the VR 4 SR first!
Anyone in SouthEast Michigan got a VR 4SR for a poor boy to listen to?
Gammajo, thank you for yr suggestion. To borrow for trial when I m in Malaysia may not be practical. Anyway I will find a way to get another pair of cable to biwire. Still curious whether anyone try to use a cable instead of using datalink and whether there is any improvement. Happy listening
Audioblazer, You are creative in your thought of trying a short speaker cable instead of the Data-Link! I would first speak with VS about it! I would not go hooking up cables from bottom cabinet to top without consulting them just to be safe!
Yes, it gets costly to bi-wire when using such high end cables. I think you'd hear a noticeable difference bi-wiring, but only you can say whether it would be worth the price. It may be possible to use a less expensive cable on the bass, as has been suggested. However, you may want to try several different economical cables for bi-wiring. You may be surprised at the performance of some of them.
I tried bi-wire when the speakers were not broken in yet,they sounded somewhat disjointed.After about 350 hours I tried bi-wire again and had a different result,more detail more transparency and the soundstage was much more coherent overall.I strongly recommend bi-wire.
Douglas_schroeder, regarding hooking up cable fr bottom to top module of the speaker, it was suggested by the dealer who sold me both cable and speaker. Well, will try both method of cabling and lets see what is the sonic different. Meanwhile has anybody compare between mk i and mk II? Happy listening
I'll second that emotion of bi wiring. Absolutely! The 'data link' is purely a stop gap measure. just to get 'er up and running.
personally I don't understand why a loudspeaker system costing around ten grand needs have some such short cut approach that limits performance in the first place. Albert must have gotten a super deal on them OR it sure seemed a good idea at the time. Beats me. it does seem counter intuitive to have such compromise in a speaker system which proports uncompromised sound quality, huh?
In fact I would have thought the bi wire span to have been addressed too in further itterations. Resolving the issues of 'special' bi wire cables being required thereafter. Oil well.
Definitely do add another set of speaker wires to the bass module though. Regardless how. A shotgun is a thought. I have two sets of bi wire spkr. cables supplying my JRs. Didn't plan it that way, just sort of happend. The span of the bi wires was not long enough to suitablly fit from the bottom most posts to the TM. With either set. so I grabbed out of the closet some others. Violin! things improved! Although now similar cables in brand name only, (different models), things are better overall.
Long story short, even some romex will be better used as a jumper than is the 'data link', or some cable jumpers like from whom ever your speaker cable choice is. I'd think that the least expense and a good way to go. Wish I had that thought back then.
in effect, you have four speakers there. Using separate spkr cables for each might have some advantage. Depends on your prefs. The flexibility is inherent in the VR4 - ?? series. Take advantage.
Jumnpers - Shotgun - custom bi wires - or bi amping.
Not too many others force upon you, or give you, those added costs/options. the perspective of it all is on the buyer, as part and parcel in making the move to them.
About that 'auditioning' bit? Get one asap. the dealership which did carry them in my area, carries them no more, two others I spoke with are getting out of being a VSA dealer soon. A direct result of the 'online' sales agreement between Albert and Higher Fi. The dealers now, simply can not make money with them facing that resource. Dealerships would be simply look see joints, and retain no sales unless they were to meet the online mark. which in all, with the chips flatly on the table, they shouldn't have to. especially if they offer even support on site.
It's gonna be interesting to see what happens. Alberts an innovator. gotta give him credit for trying new avenues for wholesale distribution. Gee. it might be a good idea with so many brick & mortar spots pointing to HT as their prime focus... it does appear however that the "try before you buy" plan no longer seems important enough a measure of consequence for the consumer. Albeit, with even a 30 day period for refusal, (if that even is being done by Higher Fi) and the exceptional break in times of the JR & I suspect the SR as well, only a short time for true eval will be rendered. Hmmm.
Next stop? Cutting out the middleman, or Higher Fi in this case. who knows? it could happen. I don't think Tyler acoustics is having any trouble with selling to the public all by itself.
I guess it's not a big reach for those current VSA owners looking to step up in the VSA line to buy on reputation solely. For prospective owners, though, well it'll be interesting at the very least. in spite of the newly added encumberances, I'd not take them off my list. Provided I could get the prospective units wisely. Popularity will help out a lot in that respect. As will owners posting their thoughts so those so imclined to buy can get some feel of them in any event.
Wow! Altruistic salespeople. Waht a concept!
I still am interested in the SR as a move up for myself. the best sentiment I've heard about them is with regard to the JR performance. The statement was "whatever your getting with the JR now, you'll get more of it with the SR."
As I spoke with VSA recently as to what the upgrade afforded one in the JR, I was told "it's a complete redo." Different drivers, X over, damping...etc A whole new ball game" the loacl dealer said "it's a different sounding speaker for sure. Speaking of the JR MK II".
IT'S INTERESTING TO HEAR THE sr mk ii IS JUST A TWEETER CHANGE? As important as that one thing can be, I did think it to be a lot more. Like new x over fiddling and such.. Whatever the case, VSA does make some fine performing loudspeaker systems.
Do have fun and do add some wires vs using the link.
Blindjim - best I know the MKII VR4SR was a change in the midrange driver, necessitated because the Aerogel mid was discountinued by the manufacturer. This mid change required some changes in the crossover.
That might well be. changing out drivers likely would necessitate x over changes. Hmmm. see, I got it a different way. Ask VAudio. Chris mentioned to me once that his ordering of a pair of SR's included changes in the X over at his request. Albert then liked the changes and figured to add them into a upgraded model... or something along those lines. I don't recall being sworn to secrecy about it.
X overs are a way big part of speakers. they'll make or break one. naturally there is more... but that X sure is important... and there's a bunch of gizmos in a fourth order like in the VR's.
Hi guys, how is your speaker supported? on the spike provided? I noticed from Von Schweikert website Picture Gallery, most of his dealers dont use the spike. Anybody doing it different with better result? Happy Listening
Mine are on wood floor with spikes provided which are quite nice. The spikes include floor protector buttons. It sounds a bit better than directly on the floor. And you can slide the speaker on the buttons.
Well I went and ordered a pair of Von Schweikert VR 4SR Mk2.
I figure that is the only way to find out what they are all about with my equipment in my system.
Hey Oz congrats! I hope and bet you love them, please keep us posted on your impressions.
Ozzy Congradulations. I hope you will be very happy with them and agree that you really can't tell till you get them home. They do take some time to break in, so be patient in your assessment. Please post your impressions. what finish did you order?
Thanks for the kind replys. I am kind of excited.
I am going to get the Cherry finish.
I hope the VR 4SR is an upgrade from what I am currently using (Legacy Focus).
They have been good , I have had them for a while and have been my only point of reference.
My dad has the Focus 20/20 and is thinking of upgrade, please let us know or email me when you get a firm impression, we are gonna demo the Vandy Quatro this weekend, loved the Vandy 5A and also he liked the Wilson Sophia...........but your opinion on going from Legacy would be very valubale.......................ENJOY!
Hi guys, pardon my ignorant question but I m confused with the biwiring issue for this speaker. I thought biwiring is a cable with 4 terminations at the end of the cable to be connected to the 4binding posts of the bass module or unless ur saying that the terminations are long enough to connect both the midrange and bass module . if that is correct As I understd it what ur describing is bicable with 2 different sets of cable. in either case wldnt u still need a jumper cable to connect the lower to the upper binding post of the bass module ?Happy listening tq
Hi guys, pardon my ignorant question but I m confused with the biwiring issue for this speaker. I thought biwiring is a cable with 4 terminations at the end of the cable to be connected to the 4binding posts of the bass module or unless ur saying that the terminations are long enough to connect both the midrange and bass module . As I understd it what ur describing is bicable with 2 different sets of cable. in either case wldnt u still need a jumper cable to connect the lower to the upper binding post of the bass module ?Happy listening tq
The bass module of the VR4Sr's already have jumpers between the two sets of bass inputs. What is recommended is that you take one set of speaker cables from your amp and connect to the lower termials of the bass module, leaving the jumpers in place. Then take another speaker cable and run it from another set of amp outputs on the same amp to the midtweet module. I hope this is clear. You can bire using one cable with four terminations at the speaker end but with the Vr4's you are going to need to have the wire split into two pairs (one for the top module and one for the bottom) in a way that will extend the distance (aproximately 28 inches) between the two modules binding posts.
Gammajo, now I got it. You are basically using the jumper plate provided by the manufacturer. I believe it wld be better to change the jumper plate to a better jumper cable. I change mine to a Transparent jumper cable and its certainly better than the stock jumper plate. Happy listening tq
What kind of changes in sound did you hear with the different jumpers And about how much do they cost?