Review: Van L Quartet Monitor

Category: Speakers

My musical tastes are classic and progressive rock, jazz, new age, from artist such as Pat Metheny, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Sting, Lyle Lovett, the Kinks, Led Zepellin, Jeff Lorber, Bjork, and other eclectic artists. In general I enjoy listening to a well recored CD from a variety of artists and musical categories.

I value clarity, accuracy, and soundstage. I consider all these points very important criteria for evaluating any equipment, especially speakers.

The thing that I dislike in speakers is flat, one dimensional sound that overdoes either the highs or lows, making the overall sound appear unnatural. Vocals must not sound as if the singer is speaking through a megaphone.

I've had these speakers in my system over two years now and I love them. I wanted a good speaker upgrade from some bookshelf Infinity speakers and I got that and way more. Adding the Van L speakers made vocals sound real, increased the soundstaging, made the sound appear to float in air, separated individual vocals and instruments, and increased my listening experience 100%.The highs frequencies are produced by a Linaem tweeter and are exceptionally clear and well positioned. You must conncet the speakers to one another using a single length of speaker cable as well. The proprietary design makes the soundfield appear very large, giving the appearance of a vaster space in your room than may be present.

The strongpoints are as mentioned above. The only weakness I can mention is that by themselves they are a little light on bass. The manufacturer offers bass cabinets to complement them but I am using a MK subwoofer and that takes care of the bass very well indeed.

If money was no object I would have these speakers right along those of much more expensive cost and reknown (high end Spendor, Avante Garde, and the like). Although they are of bookshelf size they don't act like it. The bass cabinets or subwoofers only enhance an already excellent design.

Associated gear
Denon AVR-75 A/V receiver
McCormack HT-1 Deluxe amp
Marigo V6.0F speaker cables
Siltech SQ-28 interconnects
Van Quartet Speakers
Denon DCM 360 5-disc changer
One 12' Kimber cable speaker wire, model unknown but not entry level, black and blue braided

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Pmarlo, your "black and blue" Kimber is either 4TC or 8TC. If it has 4 of each color cable, it is 4TC. Ditto for 8 conductors of each color being 8TC.

Out of curiosity, are you located somewhere near the Chicago area ? While i know that some of these speakers have "migrated" out of the Chicago area, most folks that are not "local" would have never heard of the Van L's or know anything about John. Sean
Hopefully not too late to revive this thread. I've thought about stopping by VanL to listen to these speakers as well. Have you had any problems with room integration/interaction considering the side firing drivers?

In what size room have you tried them? Do they need a lot of breathing room or can they be close to rear and/or side walls?

Thanks for the review and any other info you can provide.
In response to Sean. Thanks for the tip on identifying which Kinber Kable I have. I have the 8TC. Yes I am from the Chicagoland area.
In response to Imrer. I believe positioning is important to the focus of the soundstage with these speakers. My left speakers side driver is firing into an open dining room area while the right speaker is firing into the front wall. Ideally I would like walls on both sides of the speaker. I think this is probably the best configuration. Even without this ideal setup I enjoy a great and precise soundstage. I recently moved my speakers closer together and farther from the rear and side walls (giving them more 'breathing room') and the soundstage seemed more focused afterwards.