If you are in the U.S., I think the best place to start with your questions would be Sumiko, the U.S. distributor.
PS - I own Mahlers.
PS - I own Mahlers.
Try listening to the new Beethoven Concert Grand, they make the old Beethoven sound broken. I heard them side by side with the Mahlers and they held their own, especially in the mid to high range. I must also mention that the bookmatched rosewood option is definitely worth the extra $500. Check out sumikoaudio.net for a description of the changes made.
I owned the Beethovens for a couple years, and upgraded to the Strauss about two years ago. I considered the Mahler's but the dual 10 inch woofers over-powered my room. My room is similar in size to yours (24L X 14.5W X 8.5H).
I think the Strauss was an definite improvement in almost all areas, low bass, mids, highs, soundstaging, etc. The family signature was similar, but the Strauss gave you more of everything. It's mid's were a bit more relaxed and effortless with the Scan-Speak drivers. I believe the tweeter is the same, but with additional coating/treatment. I don't know if it was the crossover or what, but the high's seemed to have more air, less congested.
As for the bass, this is the one area that was a split decision. The Strauss has better extension and power, but I do believe the Beethovens had a better upper bass, quicker, punchier, better attack. The Strauss sounding just a tad slower in the upper bass region. The Beethoven's didn't dig as deep or with as much authority in the lower or mid bass regions though.
It should be noted that I have not heard the newer Beethoven Grand's though.
Overall, I've very happy with the Strauss upgrade. Two years later, I'm not speaker hunting at all.
The Strauss/Mahlers have much better dynamics and can play much louder without congestion. They also have a more transparent and accurate midrange, the Beethoven while soothing is a bit warm. They also project a larger and more holographic soundstage. As far as the bass, I tamed Mahlers for a room smaller than yours by using a great amp (Pass X-350) that can control the woofers, and using Nordost Red Dawn or similar silver cables to tighten the bass. Then you have the best of both worlds, extension impact and accuracy in the bass, dynamic range that must be heard to be believed, and silky smooth highs.
The Vons are very good for the money, and are more accurate overall, and fit better in many rooms both for decor and sound. If your components are poor however the Von's will show it all, several others have noted this. For $4000 speakers they are more critical of electronics than most others, and I also "downgraded" from a Electrocompaniet EMC-1upSE to a Consonance CD-120, and trust me, the Von's will show you the sound of cheap digital even though the Consonance isnt a bad player, just not up to the EMC.
One thing that drove me crazy was the rear tweeter level, not because it didn't work, but because I putzed with it way too much, I am such a tweaker I couldn't leave well enough alone, and found myself constantly adjusting it. I am selling the Vons on here now, many people may prefer them especially if they don't have an amp that can handle the Mahlers. Tubes sound great with the Vons, not so good with Mahlers.
Remember also the Mahlers retail for over twice the amount of the Vons to be fair.
Even though this belated input may not be too helpful to the original posting of the Strauss' characteristics... I do agree with the above poster as to the VSA vr4 jr ATTRIBUTES.
I'm a fiddler/tweaker too. that rear firing adjustable tweeter can either convolute things, or add dimensionality. Placement comes first... RF tweeter comes last. Albert V. said to me just leave that RFT alone Turn it off. Get things the way you like position wise, then play with it... or not. I barely have mine engaged. Maybe a quarter to half an inch up from the 'off' position... and the front drivers are at 53 inches from the wal behing them. No room treatments as yet. Soon. I'm sure that Room Treatemnts will be a big help overall, regardless the set of speakers I wind up with in the end..
I too would like some more input as to the Strauss... though the height of them concerns me.... nearly 46 inches! Woah. Kind of imposing. My room is just shy of 14 ft. wide. and a little over 20 ft. long... the units will sit on the 14 ft width.
Anyone have thoughts either yay, or nay about this possible move? My main reason for this notion of going with the VA Strauss, over the VR4 JR is to gain both bottom end, and volume... along with a bit richer more full sounding set of loudspeakers, as I think maybe they'll also work better with the BAT gear I've in place now... but I do like the JR's... they are indeed an outstanding value and most competent units. Just want 'more', I suppose.
This is just the opionion of a novice so bear that in mind.
I was able to audition the Strauss several months ago and they're quite nice. I know that audiophiles arn't supposed to care about visuals, but as an artist, design is important to me in everything. Chuck Jones of Bugs Bunny fame once said there's no money excuse for a bad background in a cartoon and he's right. Drawings are relatively cheap and I see no reason to accept sub-standard design in any product, let alone an expensive one. That's one fault I find with the Vr4jrs- while I don't at all dispute the acoustic merits of their design, as designed objects in my living environment I find them a little crude. And certainly the quality of craftsmanship- the execution of design- with the Strauss, and for that matter all the VA stuff, cannot be disputed.
But my main concern in speakers is how they handle classical music, and this the Strauss do very, very well. High octane orchestral works have most of the gravitas and musciality one could want. I didn't have time to side by side compare them to the Beehtovens, (also a nice speaker for classical which I've heard seperately in other auditions), but I do suspect they surpass them and are indeed worth the money, looks completely aside.
However, if you're into music besides classical as I am, I would definitely demo before buying. I found rock and pop to be a little slow and and a little muddled by the Strauss, which was very surprising and dissapointing. Not as bad as Vandersteen, but definitely not good. You can hear the seeds of this in how some brass and drum attacks are a perhaps little muted in things like The Rite of Spring, but slap on some Hole and it really becomes apparant. These speakers do not rock. I don't remember the electronics running the Strauss in my demo, but I know they weren't cheap or underpowered. Even so I can imagine where some might overcome this problem with a particular combination of front end equipment and find the Strauss really blow doors. If that's the case then these could be truly wonderful speakers.
Overall however, I'm beginning to think one has to either spend tens of thousands on a single pair of ridiculsously priced speakers, buy two different brands to handle different genres, or just say the hell with the whole thing and buy some cheapies and spend the extra cash on live concerts....