There is a pair of the original Wilson Benesch ACT ONE just listed for $6000. I have a new pair and absolutely love them. I am not the person who selling the speakers but I do think very highly of WB.
9 responses Add your response
Check thread: "Discription of Newer VMPS Sound? Help Please" Now that I became a dealer for Vmps people tend to add a large grain of salt to what I say even though it is my honest opinion so here's a list of pro reviews:
There's an owner's list in one of the sticky's of people who'll let you come to their home and hear them all over the country. Be prepared to not have to spend 8k. The RM 40's won Best of High End at CES 2002 and they're better now than then and the RM/x was runner up the next year. There's a whole forum there so you can ask users what their opinion is also. Good luck with your speaker hunt.
Though I own a pair of Tyler Linbrook System (single piece) I can't offer you any advice on head-to-head comparisons with the other speakers on your list. (Finding dealers in my area that have something other than B&W and Paradigm can be a little hard.) However, since you asked for "any and all advice"......
Tyler has a couple of different ways you can audition the speakers. One is the home demo program, where current owners open their personal systems for auditions - the list is on his site. The other is buying them and then if you don't like them after 20 days, return them.. As you've probably read, Ty is extremely easy to work with and should you want to return them, it won't be a hassle. The speakers won't be cheap to ship, but for a few hundred dollars you'll be able to audition them in your room with your system, which is much better than hearing them at a dealer. Be aware that the Linbrooks will need 100+ hours to break in and 200 hours is even better. And.... if you're patient, the Linbrooks in standard finishes can be had for $4,800 when he runs them on special.
I compared the VonSchweikert VR4JRs with the JMLabs 926 & 936 and for me and mny wife there was absolutely no comparison. Speaker choice is subjective and for us although the JMLabs sounded very accurate and precise they did not sound at all musical. Every time I auditioned them I kept trying different music hoping to find somethig I liked but I felt unsatisfied. I mentioned that to the dealer and he gave me a look of disdain that was chilling and implied that my tastes were not refined enough to appreciate them. Yeah, right. Trusting my own ears over a dealer's opinion I found the VonSchweikerts, on the other hand, even the VR2, just drew me into the music. Everything sounded good and very satisfying. Acurate, fast, precise, fantastic imaging, broad, deep soundstage, sensuous yet uncolored and live-sounding. I've owned them for about a year now with over 800 hours on them and I can tell you that they improve significantly after about 400 hours. I now find myself listening to types of music I'd never considered before because any well recorded and performed music sounds so involving coming from the VR4JRs. They are outstanding speakers! For me, the upgrade fever has stopped with these speakers. When you demo them ask how many hours are on them. If less than 400 hours you can confidently assume that they will get significantly better once they reach that benchmark, are set up properly in your room, are mass loaded with the recommended lead shot, are on their spikes, are bi-wired and the rear-firing tweeters are adjusted properly. Many dealer demos negelect some or all of these vital elements and if any of them are missing you will not get a fair evaluation of the VR4JRs. Hope this helps.
I have heard all the speakers on your list except the two JM Labs models... I also have heard the two other poster mentions (the VMPS RM40s and the VS DB99s).
Out of the speakers on your list that I have heard, I prefer the Tylers by a wide margin... They have super-fast drivers, pinpoint imaging, soundtage height and width that is very impressive, and most importantly, they just sound "right" to me. I ended up buying them.
I like the VS 4Jrs quite a bit, but they don't have the overall speed or imaging abilities of the Tylers...
The VS 4-Srs for whatever reason I just did not like at all. I actually would prefer the Jrs to them. I thought they just sounded lifeless to me.
The RM40s were also a bit of a disappointment when I heard them this year... While certainly they are a high value for the money driver-wise, I just could not get involved with the music when listening to them. I also felt the bass was a bit boomy, but admittedly the room was not ideal.
The VS DB99s are fabulous speakers that are just as good as the Tyler Linbrook Signature System that I know and love. Quite frankly the two are very similar in many areas, and I would be hard-pressed to pick one over the other were it not for price... Since Tyler is Internet direct, there is a cost advantage to going that route (and I think the DB99s are out of your price range at 10K a pair, while the Tylers are 5K). Larryken was not recommending the DB99s per se, but *I* certainly would have had they been in your range... Very nice speaker indeed... VS should be proud of those.
I am going through the same process you are, with about the same budget. I have heard the VR4JR several times in different systems. I have been very impressed each time. I heard the VR4 SR once, at the HE 2005 show in NYC. I was very impressed. In my opinion it was a little more detailed, slightly better imaging than the VR4JR. The big difference for me was bass, the SR does go lower, so right now it is at the top of my list. I am waiting for my dealer to receive his pair so I can do some more critical listening. I really liked the VR4 JR, the bass goes fairly low, and is very tight and fast which I like. In my opinion you just get a little more with the VR4 SR. I know the SR is alot more money, but I have not yet heard anything for the price that I like better.
On your list I heard the JM Lab 946. I also audition components with my wife who has a decent ear. We both felt even the VR4 JR was better than the JM Lab 946, at least to our ears. The JM Lab, in the system and room where we heard them, were less detailed, did not have great imaging, and the soundstage was not great. They sounded kind of laid back. We did not care for them, although I know alot of people do.
I know they are more money, but I plan to compare the VR4 SR with the Green Mountain Audio Continuum 3. I think my decision will be between these two speakers.
Let your own ears decide. In my opinion there is alot of undeserved hype in this hobby. The Green Mountains have a decent following because of their time and phase alignment. I will let my ears decide.
Let us know what happens. I think I can listen to the Green Mountains next weekend.