VMPS RM-40 - Anyone Heard

Has anyone heard (or seen) the new VMPS RM-40, which apparently won a "Best in Show" award at the recent CES? I've seen a couple of photos of it and the specs sound interesting, but who knows without listening...Also, I've heard some negatives about VMPS QC and cabinetry in the past and wonder if VMPS has improved with this new offering.
You can get some good information about VMPS at harmonicdiscord.com. Brian Cheney occassionally visits himself. Imo, VMPS is one of the better kept secrets of the world. Though I have never personally heard the speakers, I have a few friends that I completely respect and trust who rave about them. I believe they do have a money back offer.
Thanks. I've read the info on that board - but few people have actually heard this speaker - not surprising since it's so new. I once heard a pair of FF1's, I think, and thought they were OK, but not fantastic - midrange was just average.

Thanks for the feedback.
1. QC: That should not be a concern. All parts are high quality. If a problem arises, just call VMPS and Brian Cheney will mail you new drivers or whatever is necessary. He mailed me a new driver for my STR-SE with no hesitation.
2. Cabinetry: One reason VMPS speakers are half the price of comparable models is that their cabinetry is simpler and less elegant. Cheney is much more concerned with sound than appearance. However, the oak veneer on mine has been quite durable over the last 8 years.
3. Sound: I auditioned the more expensive FF-3 SRE, whose drivers are same as RM-40, except with 6 ribbon midrange segments instead of 4, a much more rigid cabinet, and biamping. The midrange clarity and effortlessness of the ribbons (classical music) vastly surpassed anything I've ever heard. On the FF-3 that clarity and effortlessness extends down to the lowest bass, but I can't vouch for the RM-40. The only shortcoming I heard was a subtle roughness in the upper treble handled by the dome-shaped spiral ribbon tweeters, but I doubt this would be noticeable with non-classical music.
Was the version of the FF-3 SRE you heard the new "Neo" version of the ribbon panels or the older one? Did you buy the speaker or do you have a different VMPS speaker?

as owner & lover of vmps larger subs, i am also interested in the rm-40's. as there's a dealer w/them here in my area (dc), i hope to arrange an audition soon. i had actually emailed the dealer before the ces; he has just gotten back to me... i will let everyone know what i think.

doug s.

That would be great. There are very few dealers who have this speaker.
In response to Schacter's questions:
1. The only version of the ribbon midrange I heard was the current neodymium model. I also heard both the current and previous versions of the spiral ribbon tweeter. The current version has less distortion than the previous version.

2. I did not buy the FF-3 because I was not satisfied with the subtle upper treble distortion that I mentioned. The speakers in my current system remain the 8 year old STR-SE.

3. Brian Cheney suggested I should return to audition his top model that uses the Raven ribbon tweeter instead of the spiral ribbon tweeter. He said he could custom build an FF-3 for me with the Raven if I felt it overcame my complaint. However, I have not had time to return to audition the Raven.

4. I am exceptionally sensitive to high frequency tizz. I decided against buying the highly praised Dodson DAC for that reason. (No, I have not yet decided what DAC to buy instead!) Most people would not notice the subtle roughness in the tweeter, and I doubt it can be bettered at the price of the RM-40. For the price of the FF-3, one's expectations increase.
Are there any sites with a picture of the RM 40. What are its dimensions and array, weight, etc?
Weight and dimensions: 240 lbs, 66 x 12.5 x 17
Drive Complement: 10" bottom firing passive radiator, 10" megawoofer, 10" WCF midbass, 4 x 8" neodymium mids, 2 x 1" spiral ribbon tweeters
4 ohm impedance, 91 dB sensitive
Frequency response: 24Hz to 25 kHz
Try here for a photo:

Regarding VMPS speakers in general, Yesterday I had a 3 hr listening session at the VMPS dealer in Washington DC (Dynamic Sounds). He only sells VMPS spks and has been selling for the past 17 years. He has all the models on display including the RM-40 , the super Tower, FF1 and 3, RM1 and 2. I was more interetsed in the Rm1&2 since they were withing my budget.
All I can say that the VMPS line of spks are outstanding. The midrange is to die for with the new Neo midrange panel which apparantly goes down to 166Hz and extends to 10K . Overall I was very very impressed by the spks (RM1, Rm2 and RM40). I did not listen to the other models. Having auditioned the JMlabs 926, proAc response 2.5, B&W 803 , Revel F30 I found the Rm2 on par or better than the above and the RM-40 absolutely trounces all of the above.
Please go and audition them before you lay down green bills. Let your ears be the judge. I am soon going to be the owner of Rm2 driven by my Plinius gear.
I heard the RM-40 at CES. I'd never heard or seen any VMPS speakers before. The cabinetry was fine, though not the equal of JMLabs or Wilson for beauty. But the sound was there. I like to hear the detail in the music and expect great dynamics, soundstaging and no flabby but deep bottom end. That's what I heard. How shall compare it? I'd buy this speaker before I'd buy the smaller Wisdom ribbons. They don't seem as detailed, dynamic or as able to soundstage. The only thing I've heard that seems more transparent are MBL's new big $37K speaker, and SoundLab's M1 -- both also heard a CES. I think they were the equal of ML Prodigy drive by Krell 650 monoblocks that I've heard at a dealer. The beautiful midrange made me want to forget about cone drivers forever including the Wilson 6.0 and Maxx which I've heard several times. I sound like a slick mag reviewer, but I'm neither that, nor a dealer for VMPS. I was just very impressed. It was one of the few speakers I went back to hear more than once at CES. I found nothing there at less than literally 3 times the price that could begin to compare with them.
I have to agree with Bookner in many areas concerning the RM 40's. I heard them today and was really impressed. There are many great and good sounding speakers and most cost more than 4600. The RM 40 draws you in - I wouldn't exactly say jawdropping but more realistic and refined than that. I have never heard better midrange or transparency than the Whisper(mids) and Quad 989 (transparency) but the RM 40 brings both of these traits together in a better way. I too am impressed and of all the speakers out there now these are the ones I want and I wouldn't doubt that I will soon have a pair in my main system.
VMPS,QUAD988,CABASSE, Could anyone tell me how these 3 stack up? I mean Quads are like $5K. Cabasse has about 20 models say $3K to ? (can pick up used Skiff 301 for $2K). The VMPS RM1 sells for like $1600. There are no dealers within a 1000 mile radius from N.O. I listen to classical. Any opinions on the 3 as far as staging dynamics clarity, in other words which disappears best? The previous few listeners of the VMPS are very convincing. I think it was Sedond who as well highly recomended VMPS as a great value. There is one other Ribbon Monitor lab from Australia called Ambience($6K). Someone told me he was blown away at the CES show by this speaker. Like VMPS and Cabasse very few reviews. All opinions are greatly appreciated.
Tweekerman I see you are still at this. Your brain must be really fried by now. I just ordered a pair of VMPS RM 40's which ship out to me next Wednesday . I will let you know how they sound in my system. When did the Cabasse come into play?
Hey Ljgj, went to Cabasse web page liked what i saw. The few reviews were very very believable. They are expensive! Well their web page led me to something interesting. The Raven 3 mid/tweeter ribbon made by ORCA labs... So you are getting the new model VMPS RM40. WOW! Are they like 250 lbs.? Where did you audition them? How do they compare to the RM1? I'll stop here. One last, have you heard Cabasse?

Congats on the RM40 order. Mine have completed their cross-country journey (only 4 calendar days) and will be delivered tomorrow! I'll post something after I have a chance to give them a serious listen.

I have not heard the Cabasse - I auditioned the RM 40 at a friends - I have not heard the RM 1. The 40's do weigh 240 lbs but are 66" tall so they shouldn't be too bad to handle. I already have the Eggleston Andras and they weigh close to that and are only 39" high - that is one hard baby to move.
Can someone tell me why the rm40 HAS 4 mid ribbons as well as 2 tweet ribbons. is this not a bit of overkill. more is not better is it? is this an attempt to overcompensate or is it to provide a tidal wave of sound? i prefer a gentle brook of quality sound. anybody?
With speakers in most cases bigger is usually better - Soundlabs, Quad 989 - RM 40 . I ordered the 40's and Mr. Shacter already has his. I will let you know how they sound in a week or two.
Yes, I received my RM40s a few days ago. They are still breaking in, but are starting to sound wonderful (first couple of days was a little tough but the improvement has been dramatic).

I'm not sure what you mean by "gentle brook of quality sound," but if you mean a somewhat laid back speaker, then these are probably not them. Again, the sound is evolving and mellowing a lot, so my first impressions may mean nothing, but they are very dynamic and open sounding. Not a forgiving speaker - they seem to convey the information they are fed without much editorializing.

I will post more detailed observations within a week or so.


i suggest emailing brian cheney directly; he's quite forthright w/his responses.

i would suspect that in this case, the added quantity of drivers allows a higher spl w/less distortion - not an issue in small-to-medium rooms, perhaps, but mebbe a consideration w/large rooms. also, higher efficiency means more tube-friendly.

regarding the rm40 specifically, comparing it w/its smaller siblings that share the same midrange & tweet, the rm40 offers the adwantage of being a line-array set-up, which is usually beneficial for soundstage, as room interactions are less problematic, due to the same response coming from both the top and the bottom of the speaker, & ear-height is usually less critical...


doug s.
Sedond i'm at ropes end in my speaker search think i'll take your advice. I gave boxes one last chance seems we can't get along.
how do these speakers perform in terms of bass (ie depth and speed)?

As an owner of RM40s, I have to hand it to VMPS not only for the melodious/crystal clear midrange, but also the tight and fast bass. You can adapt the bass response by adjusting the mass (/putty) of the Passive Radiator in the speaker. I remember my RM40s was almost flat to 25Hz in my room, and I never felt the need to use subwoofer for 2 Ch.

A new line RMx will be introduced in CES. You can read more about it in vmps forum in harmonic discord (.com)

BTW for all you folks on the fence, Brian has come out with a new tweeter upgrade which will improve vertical dispersion and you can retro fit this to the older models.

Till date, I have never come across a speaker which you can fine tune for treble/mids/bass and get desired sound for much lesser $$.