Review: Von Schweikert Audio VR5 Anniversaries Speaker
I mostly listen to Jazz fusion and rock. One of the most important aspects of a 2CH system is the ability to reproduce the human voice especially in live performances. Also important is reproduction of the lowest registers in a tight, non-boomy manner. I also expect the speakers to sound as if I am listening to a single driver that covers the entire frequency range in a seamless manner. I despise fatiguing sound and boomy bass.
I have about 150 hours on the VR5 Anniversaries so they are far from being fully broken in. They replaced VSA VR4 SR MKIIs. The VR4s were spectacular in their own right but the anniversaries do everything better. They are offer extremely high resolution in an entirely non-fatiguing manner. The bass is deep and tight. Mid bass slam is incredible. They have THE most cohesive sound I have heard in any speaker at any price. This is all accomplished by the use of very expensive components and over-the-top cabinet construction. The driver complement is 1-Revelator dual-ring tweeter; 1-7" Aerogel midrange; 2-9" magnesium woofers (the same ones used in the $90K VR9); a rear-firing soft dome tweeter. Also on board are some very high quality crossover parts in a novel design and connected to the outside world via some very nice WBT jacks. The cabinet is comprised of three laminations of materials of dissimilar Q factors, totaling 3" in thickness. This all results in a heavy cabinet that is virtually inert and non-resonant.
The VR5 Anniversaries throw a huge soundstage and offer pinpoint imaging. Well-recorded cds sound better than ever but those poorly recorded can, frankly, be hard to listen to. Redbook cds can sound great but SACDs really shine especially vocals. Probably the most revealing (best sounding) recordings I have heard on the anniversaries are those from Nickel Creek (SACDs)--goose bump city for instrument placement and vocal textures, soundstage...etc.
Von Schweikert Audio has been designing and building speakers for some 30 years and continue to come up with great performers at several price points. $28K for a pair of speakers is by no means inexpensive but for my dollar, they are THE best out there in their respective price range. Folks who have heard them and some of the more expensive Wilsons like the MAXX 2s have said the anniversaries actually outperform them in many ways and at 1/2 the msrp.
I am in no way affiliated with VSA and am posting this because I feel VSA speakers are one of those well-kept audio secrets. They do precious little advertising, relying primarily on word-of-mouth and owner recommendations, etc. Well this is one owner who is extremely pleased with where he is right now sonically and it's largely due to the recent purchase of the VR5 Anniversary speakers. If you get the opportunity, audition them if you are in the market for a full range speaker whose value belies it's price. Bravo VSA!
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