Verity Parsifal Encore VS. Vandersteen 5a

I am interested in just these two speakers if any one has any experience comparing them in particular with moderate powered tube amps(50-100 watts). Which do you prefer and why, I would consider using a 75 watt OTL amp with either. Thanks in advance for any input ~Tim
Hi, Tim:

I can't compare the two speakers, because I have not heard the Parsifals. What may be of interest to you, however, is that Richard Vandersteen used the Tenor OTL tube amps to drive the Vandy 5A's in the Vandy demo room at the CES last month. I have heard from a few of the local audiophiles I know that the Vandy 5A / Tenor OTL sound was outstanding -- probably the best sound from the Vandersteen room in a long time.
I'm the mirror-image here, in that I've heard (owned for three years) the Parsifal Encores.
Attributes are a scarily-good midrange...truly statlike in coherence and speed. Wide-set crossover (150Hz and 5khz!) allows VERY nearfield setup...unusual for a 3-way medium-sized speaker.
The Encore uses a 4 ohm custom-spec woofer that DOES suck some juice, but the total impedence curve doesn't dip too far. My 100/160/w 8/4ohm Aleph 2 monos are just dandy.
This speaker is uncannily resolving, and with pair-matching brought to a +/- 1/4dB extreme the soundstage precision is spectacular.Fortunately the woofer modules are reversible, allowing more room-placement flexibility than most three-ways.
Weakness might be that there's only one 8" woofer per side (though it does reach in-room quite nicely to 30 HZ before falling off!), and thus hard-rockers would prefer lots more mid bass.
As with my previous comparisons with Aeriels, B&W 803N, Revel, etc., wherein I found the Encore's midrange to be clearly the best, but the others could pump more air, I would initially expect the same result from a Vandy/Verity comparo.
I would STRONGLY urge you to compare in your listening room, after acoustic treatment. Have fun. Ern
Hey Tim! Hmmmm! Are we sliding down the slippery slope? Do I gather from your post that the 75 watt OTL might be of a certain Montreal origin and possibly be called an Alto? No, I mean Soprano! No wait, maybe it's a TENOR?????? Do I smell a junkie in the making?

On the serious side my friend, both of those speakers will sound excellent IMHO, with the Tenors. Unfortunately, it would be best to hear them both with the Tenors in the same system. I know this sounds crazy, but I once took my power amps and my CDP to a dealer who carried the two lines of speakers I was considering to hear them with my stuff. Way crazy I know, but it was well worth the effort. I say this because if you get the Tenors, you could take your Aero and the Tenors to a dealer who carries the speakers and at least see what you think (this is assuming you cannot get a home audtion of the speaker).

As far as the Tenors go, I will say that IN MY OPINION (which is based on MY experiences, MY tastes and preferences and MY room and gear), they are BY A LARGE MARGIN, the finest amplifiers this man has ever heard. I have had my beloved Lamms for 4 years and would not have believed it if I had heard it with my own ears, just how much better the Tenors are. They are better in every area, even the bass, yes, I said bass. They are uncanny holographic, refined, effortless, rich, balanced and with simply stunning realism. Their harmonic purity is unbelievable. Do you get the opinion I like them? I have heard many a fine amplifier in my system, but for me, nothing has come close to what these amps can do.

So, are you getting hooked yet? If you do get the Tenors, you can build a system around them and be in sonic heaven. Although the Vandy's would be an easier load, I know for a fact that they sound wonderful with the Parisfals. I have them mated with the Kharma Midi-Grands and they have MORE than enough power and headroom to rock the house (something I was a doubting Thomas about before I got them). I am known to listen to certain funk music and large scale classical at high SPL levels and the Tenors produced the goods better than my former Lamm 100 watt hybrids.

Welcome to the abyss!


PS - just to be clear, I AM talking about the Tenor 75 watt OTLs not the new 300 watt hybrids that I ordered. I have the 75 watters in for review (and I am thinking about just keeping these as I cannot fathom the hybrid being better!)
The vandersteen 5a paired with the Tenor's was one of my very favorite sounds at the CES show. It paired the relaxed, powerhouse bass of the vandersteen with the airy, liquid musicality of the tenor's. SUPERB !
The 5a is a world class speaker. I used to own the 5, and found the 5a finally added in that little bit of missing resolution that the 5 needed.
One of my friends who has verity parsifals put his for sale and is strongly considering the 5a as the replacement. He was very impressed at the show as well. If i find his number I will forward to you.
Tim: What is up? I thought you could live with the Maggie
3.6s for the rest of your life? The Vandy stuff is ok and
the Verity stuff is ok. What happened? You have been reading
way too much A'gon and are getting the Audio Itch and you
want to scratch it with the Tenors? Personally 75 watts, and even though they are tube watts, are not enough for any of the above, especially if you want large dynamics or like playing it loud with even larger dynamic swings. For 15k I would go with the Rowland 302s or the Spectral DMA360s. Tubes, I would look at the new Rogue Zeus( see Rogue internet site), with 250 watts,;apparently at CES, they were
showing them off with the Vandy 5As.
I am not actually getting rid of the maggies(George , I am as content as an audiophile can be :) I am posting this for a friend who is not good with computers, he has the parsifal encore now and is thinking of a change and doesn't know what to do, and yes he does have Tenors- which I agree are simply amazing amps. I am thinking of keeping my 3.6's and selling a kidney and getting the 300 watt monsters!! what do you think about that Frank?!?!? Will you be in Montreal with the rest of the brotherhood? I will more then likely end up being there Saturday and Sunday- maybe late Friday too.

George- You are right I would be a fool to scratch my hole set up for such a LARGE scale change- I don't think me or my budget could take that right now, I am in a good place i.e. I am happy. I wish I could say as much for my friend :(
Tim, I think you should sell the kidney!! Ya know, for such a young guy, you ain't gonna have anywhere to go but down after that purchase. Then yer gonna hafta be happy with figuring out which organ to sell for the Kharma Grand Exquisites!! Hell, I think you can get $200,000 for a liver don't you? A lot of heavy drinkers will pay good money for your liver. I think you should put it up for auction on E-Bay : "Near Mint Liver, no OBM but will pack well, buyer pays shipping -- Read my organ feedback and buy with confidence!"

I think the 300s would be a dream on the Maggies.

George, I rarely disagree with people on A-Gon because so much is personal preference and opinion, but I respectfully disagree with your comment on the Tenor 75 watters not having the power to drive the Parsifals or Vandy's for big scale stuff, loud volumes or dynamic swings. Let me tell you why I say this. I was the BIGGEST Doubting Thomas on this exact issue and I expressed this doubt by buying the Tenor 300s (choosing to skip past the 75s because I DO listen to a lot of VERY punchy stuff, large scale classical and VERY loudly at times). As you may be aware, the 300s are not due to come out until the end of April. I had the chance to sell my Lamms (so I did) and Tenor graciously offerd to let me have a pair of 75s until the 300s showed up.

Before I installed them into my system I figured, well they'll be beautiful on small scale jazz and classical or acoustic stuff, but they won't rock, play loud or handle the large scale stuff. BOY was I wrong, I HAVE to have a system that will rock, play loud and do the large scale stuff - and these 75s really do. And this is on the Kharmas which are a more difficult load than the Vandy's by a long shot.

If any of you get near the Detroit metro area before May, stop on buy and see that "If I'm lyin, I'm dyin." If I am wrong, I will give you the Tenors and Kharmas. NOT!
The tenor's can EASILY drive the Vandersteen 5a. Why ? Because to an amp, a vandersteen 5 looks like a monitor speaker.

There is a vandersteen high pass filter box that goes between the preamp and amp. This filter removes 6db of the subwoofer's range (100hz on down ?), so the amp is not required to produce bass notes. Later inside the van 5's crossover, the 6db are added back to the low range before being fed to the internal subwoofer amplifier. That's one of the best design characteristics of the van 5.
Fmpnd: I might agree with concerning the Tenors
because of the 6db headroom, which translates
into 300 watts of dynamic power. But what is the sensitivity of your Kharmas, lets say around 88 db;
and that is at 3 feet, say at 8 feet that translates
to around 85 db, so at 105 db continous you are at 100 watts continous, and climaxes at 111db puts
that at 400 watts dynamic. Now at 95 db you would
I guess be ok. But still I like the reserves of
higher output. I do not know how well the Tenors
compare to a output transformer tube amp like my
ARC D115, which gracefully clips driving my Acoustats.
But above 5% distortion it really starts to become noticeable. Transistors amps, obviously clip into
distortion much quicker and much more noticeably.
Maybe that is why I prefer much higher powers for my transistor amps. I can easily clip the Spectral DMA-200
on my Avalons and my Acoustats and it has 3 db headroom.
On the Vandy 5s, Robert Harley, really likes them. He still believes that the VT200 gives it more juice/jump
than the VT100. I once had a D250 Servo on the
Acoustats sometime in the early 90s, I remember how
that raw power really made the sound much richer,
much cleaner, more transparent.
I also heard the 5A's at CES. I've owned Vandies for years and believe they represent the absolute BEST value in their respective price points. The model 5A has everything almost any person could ever want. Honestly, a no brainer. To own Vandersteens is to never live without them again. You will soon realize you are closer to the music than you ever have been before and will see the competition's overpriced underperforming speakers for what they are. Did I mention they can be matched to YOUR room as well and come with in-home dealer set-up? YOU WILL LOVE THEM !!!!!!!!!!!
I have been a Dynaudio fan for years, so I talked a Vandersteen 5 owner to try the Confidence 5 without hearing them. Having them side by side, C5 beat V5 in every single area by a mile except low end volume. And frankly, not too many speakers on earth can match V5's bass because it's self power. The same guy actually found C3 was more coherent than C5 and later on "upgraded" to the new Special 25.

There are lots of good sounding speakers at V5's price range. Yes, V5 is probably the best bang for the buck for a full range speaker. But all other speakers in that price range usually do one or more thing better than V5.