Bif...I was just reading about these. Please let us know what you think of them.
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I have and they are really something special. I don't think you will use the word tweak to categorize them for very long. They do take time to break in. In my case 50 hours for the first milestone and about 125 to reach their full potential.
The impact of reducing RF/EMI and eliminating the tweeter ringing effect is immediate. You may thing you lost some "sparkle" in the high frequencies but it will return in a much more natural form with exceptional tone and balance between high and midrange frequencies.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms sonic benefits from my experiences with the product. Keep us posted.
You know what's really interesting about this product is where(from a system and component perspective) they implement the VB's. Right on the speaker cable terminals. No other product I'm aware of leverages this approach. There are other devices that address RFI/EMI at the source component level but this far down stream.
Just got the VB1s today and plugged them in. I noticed an immediate change in the acoustic presentation. Not sure yet if the presentation is better -- just different. At first, I thought the VB1s burned a fog away and I started to really hear the music.
But after re-listening to some familiar CDs, for some reason, it seems as though the mid and low bass was rolled-off, and the midrange was a tad exaggerated. Kinda like when I tried driving my speakers off the amp's 16 ohm output taps a while back.
I am honestly not sure if my ears are simply used to listening to sonic swill. So to be fair to all, I'll do some more listening and will try and have the devices checked out.
I don't know what's inside the little black boxes, but it's passive. I suspect that whatever it is, it must have some combo of capacitive and/or inductive properties.
Be back ....
With this product being so new the jury hasn't even convened yet let along made a decision. I suppose their effectiveness will vary depending how severe high frequency ringing exists in a given speaker and the amount of RF/EMI in its environment. We all know how important impendence matching is at the source component level. Maybe this applies as well between speaker driver and speaker cable. There is a VB1 thread over on Audiocircle you will want to check out with more information.
Cdente, I really tried them. I find the sound harsh. I even tried the VB1s with the amp's 4 ohm taps which should have offset some of the brightness I reported above. Still harsh, even hurt my ears a little.
If I didn't know better, I thought I heard some type of sibilance or distortion coming off the right channel. But that's just me. I checked the amp's tubes and all is ok.
I sent an e mail to ARC to get the official reaction, which may be just be, "no opinion at all."
If there are any other ARC tube amp owners out there who have tried the VB1s, I'd sure like to read their comments.
And I will check Audiocircle as you suggest.
Thanks for the tip. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Wow. The exact polar opposite of my experience. Mine were somewhat dull sounding at the beginning and I'm using solid state amps. Clayton's new line of speakers have Beryllium drivers. You would think if there was a problem with these types of drivers it would have been flushed out early on. I'm not aware of any restrictions on use of the VB1's but that does not mean there are none.
Cdent, no. I only have the one amp.
I called ARC and Kal was just a touch miffed to be distracted with my inquiry. Kal explained that there hundreds of tweaks like this that come down the pike. ARC simply doesn't have the resources to devote any time to these types of inquiries. I felt badly having bothered him. On reflection, I totally understand Kal's point.
As I said, maybe the sound did improve, but my ears are so used to listening to sonic swill that I am not appreciating the improvement. What can I say?? Back to the swill ... charge!!
Hi, I have the Velocity Bridge. Been using them for a couple months. My experience with them has only been positive. My amplifier is a solid state amp, but my preamp is the Red Wine Isabella tube pre.
I found increased the timbral veracity of the all instruments, especially acoustic bass and drums. I could easily hear more of the body of the instruments, more of those harmonics that hang in the air after the initial strike/attack. This was not true only of bass and drums. It was true of all instruments. Piano became very fine, indeed. And I could much more easily hear that characteristic ''growl'' that is produced when a bass fiddle or cellos is bowed.
Sound stage also improved. I found it to be better ''sorted out.''
Voices became more distinct and I was able to understand lyrics that prior had been eluding me.
Due to this, I decided to try putting one on the center speaker of my 5.0 multichannel system that I use not only for Bluray music playback but also for watching DVD or Bluray movies. I find that often film dialogue is not very well recorded on DVDs. I don't ever have this problem when watching Bluray films, so I know it is not my system that is lacking. At the time, I was watching a film where I was missing a very large part of what was being said. As soon as I attached the VB to the center channel the dialogue cleared up enough where I could understand at least 95% of it. It was at that point that I became convinced that the VBs were really doing something and that I wasn't just fooling myself with respect to their performance, because I could never have convinced myself to understand dialogue that I wasn't hearing.
I am one of the those who has posted his experience on the AudoCircle forum. So if you wish to read a more detailed review of my experience you will find it there.
My two channel system is as follows:
MacMini/Pure Music with Spatial HD room correction/Auralic Vega DAC/Crayon CFA-1/90 integrated/Anthony Gallo Ref. 3.5s
Cables are Spatial Quantum Field ICs and speaker wire all terminated with WBT Nextgen plugs.
Lolligager and Cdenet, I do not doubt what you say. In my case, the reasons I am underwhelmed are likely twofold: (1) I am used to listening to sonic swill and have come to even enjoy it; and/or (2) the VB1 may perform differently with solid state as compared to tube amps. Other than that, I don't have any other explanation. But I am glad that the VB1s worked out for you.
It might be the tube amp, as you say, or it might be the speakers. Clayton Shaw had some concern as to how they might work with my Gallo 3.5s given the fact that they do not have conventional dome tweeters, but rather that ''soda can'' CDT tweeter that AG uses. In my case they worked very well.
In any case, no matter what the reason may be, they aren't working for you. Fortunately you can send them back and be reimbursed. Do you think you are going to let them break in first, though?
Ok, there often is no accounting for why something does not work in our systems. Nothing lost, other than a little time, and perhaps the shipping. However, I think we are pretty lucky to be doing this in a time when so many products are ''try-it-and-keep-it-only-if-you-like-it.'' It makes it so much easier to build our systems to our liking.
Please tell me what you mean by the word ''swill.'' I have not ever seen this word used with respect to audio sound quality.
Ok, there's no knowing why something will work in some systems and not others. Given the cost of our hobby, ''you'' are lucky to be living in a time when many manufacturers and vendors are willing to let try components in our homes with the option to return them is they don't satisfy. I say that you are lucky and not ''we'' because I live in Italy and here this practice has not quite caught on. Plus due to the Euro/Dollar relationship anything that is imported from the US costs much more than it does where you are. At the time I bought my Gallo 3.5s in the US they cost $6000. Here they cost 6000 euro and a euro was worth $1.30 approx.
If I order direct from the US, it still costs me more due to high shipping costs and import duty. And shipping costs are very high now, so by the time I try a component and then send it back, it can cost me a considerable amount.
I try to avoid it, but you can do it much more easily.
Lolligager, the word "swill" is defined as:
1. liquid or partly liquid food for animals, especially kitchen refuse given to swine; hogwash.
2. kitchen refuse in general; garbage.
3. any liquid mess, waste, or refuse; slop.
4. a deep draught of liquor.
5. contemptibly worthless utterance or writing; drivel.
In the self-deprecating context I used the word, it means that I like sonic slop. :-)
Don't know how to respond to that, other than to say that perhaps one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Now I intellectually understand the use of the word swill as you apply it to sound quality. But I would have to hear that which you call ''swill'' or ''sonic slop'' to really know what you mean. Who knows? Maybe I would like it too!
I wonder how my last post ended up on three times on this thread?
I own a pair and use them with the ARC 250 mono amps. They are NOT bright or harsh. The do tighten the image, improve the "focus" and do nothing negative whatsoever. As for Kal's comments, I have known Kal for 30 years and he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. You must have caught him on a bad day. I am surprised at his answer to you, since you were asking him about an ARC product.
I have lived with the VB1 for a few months on Zu Omen + Zu Libtec + Krell KAV-300.
If you go to spatialcomputer dot com slash page9 slash page9 dot html you will see a graph with expected impedance modification due to VB1. Ok... what does that mean for the sound?
The VB1 does something. That much is clear. In this system (and might be particular to this system due to the unorthodox bandpass filter implementation?) the apparent effect is a reduction in overemphasis in the mid-high frequency (1 to 10kHz?). There is some ringing / sibilance / distortion / shout left behind, which spikes up at higher volume.
Removing VB1 - the overemphasis is back, but ringing / sibilance / shout is less obvious (not staring you in the face). No high volume funny business - what's there is there at low volume as well.
Right now I'm not convinced to prefer a tamer sound with shout to a more evenly distributed frequency layout with less localized apparent distortion.
But for $200 it was worth a shot. Might try them on my next speakers.
At the time of purchase I asked for mine be fitted with clamps. This made is very easy to attach to anything (bare wire, spade, even directly to speaker terminals). Just make sure that the clamps don't inadvertently touch each other :).
I have tried them in more configurations since original post. I maintain that they do make a difference, but admittedly I did not have enough patience to wait for them to reach the supposed steady state each time. As such, I'm still not convinced that I like what they do. YMMV.