I used an Audio Research LS1 / Cary SLM-100 monoblock combo. I couldn't find anything wrong that combo!
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Congrats on your new VR4jr's, they are fantastic music makers. You already have some great gear to go with them. Presently, I use a 55 watt tube integrated amp, the SQ-88, a very musical combo. Which I ended up buying as I liked that combo some much from my dealer. For SS listening,for a change of pace, a 250 watt Acurus amp and pre-amp. Both sound great, but a little different of course. More of a solid bottom end with the SS gear and just sweeter with the tubes. Do you biwire your speakers, you may find that you appreciate the difference. Also, of course playing with the rear tweeter control for it's best effect in your room. And perhaps if possible for serious listening times to move the speakers further into the room,or making some minor room changes in the decor. Please post on how you like the Bat compared too the Cary. Enjoy. Glen
To be honest, I've never heard the VR4JRs Demoed at a dealer or show that sound anywhere near as good at the do in my home; and, I have some compromising acoustic problems in my listening room. Nevertheless, I started out driving my JRs with a 300 W/Ch Bryston 4BST and they sounded very, very good; as I said, better that any dealer Demo I'd heard. However, when I switched to the new Mcintosh MC270 75 W/Ch tube amp they really came alive, especially with tube upgrades from the stock Chinese-manufactured tubes. So much so, that I no longer feel the need to upgrade my amp anymore.
My JRs are setup with the front baffles about 38" from the wall behind them and the rear ambience tweeter set at 2. Setting the rear tweeter higher will get you more a sense of spaciousness but will blurr the sound somewhat. Lower settings with give you significantly better imaging. You really need to experiment to determine what setting is best for your room. For me, that took quite a bit of time. I'd replay certain music, resetting the rear setting, and do this back-and-forth for a while. But found that once I found a setting I liked to leave it that way for a few days of listening. Then change it + or - a few days later and decide if I liked the difference. I needed a few days to get use to the sound at one setting before I could determine how the + or - change affected the sound.
The JRs didn't reach their peak until they had at least 500 hours on them; after the break-in they sound SIGNIFICANTLY better - hard to believe. Also, be certain to load the bottom chambers with 40-50 lbs (@) of lead shot for the tightest bass and most dynamic impact. Also, I'd strongly suggest replacing the stock speaker spikes with some decent brass spikes for greater clarity from the speakers. Also, set aside the cable connector between the upper and lower units and bi-wire the speakers for absolute best results. Finally, if you're willing to do some very simple tweaking, remove each driver unit and coat the speaker/driver contacts with Walker SST (or the SST Extreme) silver contact enhancer (as well as all the other contacts in your system) and the JRs become amazingly fast and dynamic. This is really easier than it sounds and well worth the moderate expense and effort.
I agree with Jgiacalo on the break-in, base loading, and biwiring issues. I have used a few differnt amps with my JR's which I have had for 1.5 years now. I have used a Pass X250.5, a Forte 4A, a McIntosh 6900 integrated, and am currently using a bel Canto Evo 200.2. All have sounded great, but different of course.
The 4JR is one well balanced speaker that when properly broken in and set up will sound mighty good with a lot of different electronics. What it will do is let you hear the differences.
I'm running Channel Islands D-200 monoblocks with my VR-4jrs. Dusty usually uses Von Schweikert speakers in his demos -- here's a photo of the Channel Islands Audio / Von Schweikert room at the recent HE2006 show.
I'm using a bi-wired pair of Gregg Straley's "Reality Cables" and the set up, while still breaking in, sounds fantasic.
Good luck in your search.
I'm waiting for a pair of VAC Standard 90 mono blocks to arrive. Albert has paired VAC equiptment with his speakers
at CES. Kevin Hayes of VAC is very enthusiastic about the JR'S with the mono blocks. I'll weigh in when I get things set up. I have Silversmith wire all around. Before this latest upgrade I had been using an integrated ASL and things sounded pretty darn good with the JRS.
(Long - sorry but here goes) I drive mine w/ Channel Islands D-200s. I actually bought my VR4JRs from Dusty at CIAudio - I think he said that they were the same ones used to help voice the D200s.
Maybe a diversion here, but I must tell you (all)-
I was initially disappointed in the sound of this combo - (JRs came broken in, and amps were reviewer units returned to CIA, lead shot added) flabby overblown bass, no sense of immediacy, snare drums lacked any snap - Just dull and bloated. BUT NO MORE!
I have mine on a suspended wood floor. I placed a 6' 4x4 brace under the middle of the room, and OMIGOD did the sound improve (the look of disbelief on my wife's face was priceless). So if this made that much of a difference, I had to try more. So now I have 2 12' 4x4s w/ 4 support columns supporting the floor - Each floor joist (they run across room side to side) is anchored to a 4x4 in two places with pairs of angle irons, in case joist doesn't touch 4x4. Not done yet - ran bead of silicone between each joist and the flooring above it. Absolutely transformed the sound of the system. There is no amount of cables, equipment, EQ, anything that could have made this level of improvment. I cannot express the extent of this transformation, from the bass all the way up.
One last tweak - The floor spikes are 16.5" apart - This allows the spikes to sit directly on the joists, directly above two support columns.
I did not notice this problem, pre-bracing, w/ my B&W CDM7NTs - I think the JRs put so much energy into the floor that this becomes a major component of the ultimate sound.
Hope that this helps someone to extract the maximum from these speakers.
I heard the Channel Islands D200/VR4jr rig at the HE2006 show last weekend and it blew my away. I and a number of others thought it was one of the best sounding rooms there. Jum Wang from Harmonic Technology was there and I asked him which of his speaker cables they were using - he laughed and said the Pro-11s, they wanted to keep everything inexpensive.
I am totally lusting for a pair of the 200s to put on my VR2s - OK, lets be honest, I am totally lusting to trade up to the Jrs LOL
I talked to someone at Von Schweikert yesterday, not Albert, and I was given some placement advice. I now have them spread apart about 12 ft and the soundstge is much wider and a little more spatious. They are sounding better as they get more playing time. I have only about 15 hours on them so far, a long way to go yet. I am not sure if I will change to the VK-200 yet, I may wait until they are broken in a little more.
I do have them bi-wired and I have been looking for some lead shot. So far I haven't found anyone that has shot available in bulk.
Thanks for all your input and keep them coming
I picked up my lead shot at Bass Pro Shop for $20 / 25lb. bag. I think I went with #8 shot. Another option is try your local gun clubs / ranges, they may know where you can pick some up. I looked into ordering online, but the shipping involved didn't make it a very appealing deal. As for the spikes, when I got my jr's they came with the original skinny spikes which were problematic. My dealer called VS and they shipped me their new style heavy duty spikes at no charge. Considering your speakers are new, you probably already have the new style.
I'm running mine with a SF Line 1 pre and H20 S250 sig amp.
So far very happy with the way the JR's are sounding. The advice I received from the factory was on the money.
Got them on the spikes yesterday, no lead shot, not sure I really need it. They have about 50 hrs. on them so far and are opening up nicely.
I'm still curious about the Nuforce and CI amp, we'll see.
Thanks for listening
Need shot? Try your local "Trap & skeet" club (s).
I use what I've got, and not done much experimenting with other amp & preamp combos. I run a pair of BATs... VK500 w/BP, and a VK5i preamp with different tubes than stock. I keep my secondary tweeter down to almost off. 'cept for once in while. My drivers are right at 50" off the rear wall, and right at 30" OC from the side walls... putting them just under eight ft apart. No shot in mine currently, but do have the larger spikes. Two sets of bi wires... Alpha Quad active on just the bass driver, (both sets of leads), and a set of Signature 10 active x2 bi wires doing the mid bass and top modules... it's close to the best sound I've heard coming from Jr's... over 50% for sure... now that I've added all the other cabling...
But the best sound I've ever heard on JR's, was a Thor setup... using the little 30wpc monos, and the TA1000 thor preamp.... and I believe Audience speaker cables... Shanlin Tube SACD... can't say about the IC's... or power cords. Matter of fact that event was the best, most natural sound I've yet heard... though the audition was brief... and followed listeing to a less expensive front end on the VR4 GEN III's. same cd but 220 wpc less, & SS powered. Go figure.
The note about the supporting the floor joists sure is interesting.... my floor is hollow too... w/16" OC joists. I have been told that using another form of base under the plinths is a good idea in that regard..... wood box filled with sand, some sort of stone... I'm thinkning to do both.. build a box and insert some pavers, and fill out the balance with sand.... but firm footing does seem to be indicated with JR's.
Are you saying that you have cables hooked up the all 3 pairs of posts on each speaker?
I find the manual very poorly written as far as wiring goes, especially considering the numerous options.
I think the upper set on the bass module is only for connection to the data link. So that if biwiring, you only would connect to the lowest pair on the bass module and the pair on the M/T module, without using the jumper. Is this correct?
Mfsoa ...yes. All three sets of binding posts have speaker cables attached to them... the Signature 10 bi-wire set is attached to the mid bass, and upper module binding posts... low pass on the mid bass, and high pass on the upper module. the single low bass driver has a set of Alpha Quad bi-wire active x, (not the x2, like the Sig's, but still 'biwires'), and I used a pair of banana adapters with both plug in and pressure fittings to connect both high and low to the pair of posts... itworks best that way vs. just using the low pass pair.
Of course the brass plates connecting the two drivers in the bass module has been removed. No 'data link is or has been used in my system.
Primarily the reason for this is that in this fashion better reproduction of the low end is available, IMO. i SAW THIS HOOK UP AT A DEALER. He used other speaker cables however. I use what I got. Needing 15ft isn't gonna give a person a lot of options unless they are willing to go off for some big money speaker wires. and as they only go down to the mid to low 30's anyhow... these I think are fine... till I can afford another better bass cable option.
also, this hook up is due to the fact the speaker cables I got were one owners previously... and the 'span' of the bi wires was not sufficient to traverse the total distavnce from the lowest binding posts to the top most ones all by their lonesome. You need about a 20 inch spread or better to make that jump... Most bi-wires, are 16 or less... having but two legs of 6 to 8 inches. Sure makes it tough...
But these were built to have bi amped anyhow. so in that instance, one biwire set and one dedicated normal set does the deal....
do remember to remove the brass plates connecting the two lower drivers before doing what I did. You're only overcoming one crossover this way... not both. I seem to get more impact on the lower portion of the scale like I have it... and I did try a couple ways of hooking them up.. and with a few different wires.. nothing spectacular in regard to the type of wires.. just run of the mill cables.
The seamlessness and/or cohesiveness of the lower end registers sound was more the noticed aspect. Wether it's the fashion of the 'hook up' or the same brand, yet different models accounting for it, nonetheless, it's there. there's simply a better blending.
Although preceeding the Sig 10's the Alpha Quad x active were the main cables, and an ole set of Monster biwires were at the spot they maintain now... the Monster 1.4's actually had more 'jump', but the Alpha's join better with the Sig 10's... that's all either way it's an improvment over the brass plates... actually just cutting out some romex vs. the paltes was an improvemnt. Copper is better than brass... and solid wires on the bottom is best too. IMO... for these speakers. "RMV".
oF COURSE, IF YOU HAVE A 20 - 24 INCH SPAN OF BI WIRES OR ORDER SOME THAT WAY... JUST HOOK TO THE BOTTOM POSTS AND UPPER MODULE AS THE MANUAL SAYS.
Hope that answers your quesiton
Thanks for your reply. I tried an experiment tonight, just hooking up cables to the upper pair on the woofer module - No sound.
I don't think that you are doing anything by hooking up cables to these posts. They're just not connected to any drivers, I believe.
Can someone please prove me right or wrong?
BTW, I walked into my room tonight to find one of my M/T modules on the floor! Only minor damage - Must have been my dog tangled in the cables. BooHoo
I am now using a 10 watt (20 at 4 ohm) amp whose power supply is a 12V battery. Drives the JR's no problem to moderate listening levels. That said I have come to the conclusion that the JR's are just too big for my room. The overall dimensions of my room are fine for the JR's but given where I have to put them they just do not have enough room to breathe. I have begun to look for smaller speakers and will be selling my pair. While I have had JR's for 2 years now, I have only had this pair for 2 months (recent production - zip 48067).
you may want to have your speakers checked out. the 3 pairs of binding posts are connected to the respective drivers. tops are for all the driveers in that module.... next down are for the mid bass... and bottom most are for the low end driver.... ensure the data lnik is removed. the brass plates are removed. don't connect anything to the speakers at that point, except which ever driver you wish to check out.... if when hooked from the amp to the driver, you get no sound... somethings up.... somewhere.... change to another driver... and so on.... trust me here... what I said does work. If it isn't on yours then you have an issue.... Hope things turn out OK
I just got off the phone with VonSchweikert, and they confirmed my previous post, in that:
1) The upper pair of posts on the woofer module are ONLY connected to the datalink port on the woofer module. They are not connected to any drivers UNLESS you use the jumpers (to connect to the woofers) or the datalink or jumper cables(to connect to the midrange and tweeter.
2) There is no need to ever connect speaker cables to all three pairs of binding posts, since only two of the pairs are connected to drivers.
3) The preferred way to biwire the speakers is to connect cables to the posts on the upper mid/tweeter module and only the lower pair of posts on the woofer module, without any jumpers or datalink.
4) When one connects speaker cables only to the upper posts on the woofer module, without using jumpers, there will be no sound since there are no speakers connected to these posts.
5) VonSchweikert, too, sees VR4JRs set up at dealers with cables connected to all three pairs of binding posts, and they are shocked by it and correct this immediately.
That's the word from the factory, and they admit that the manual could be a little clearer and that some users are confused about the right way to hook 'em up.
I do appreciate that bit of info... I suppose it depends on who you speak with at VSA... AND maybe when... a dealer showed me, or rather told me the method I wrote about above... I called VXA too a bit thereafter on a setup issue and made mention of it to them... I only wrote what both the dealer and VSA had told me and I will remove the other wires driving the speakers shortly and find out for myself once more... its been a while since I checked it and I do know using one set of bi wires that span only from the top most pair of posts on the bass module to the upper module will significantly reduce the bottom end response. Thats the first way I hooked them up when I got the first set of Syn biwires and leaving the plates on Figuring plates are the connection for both drivers, and the biwires not with great enough span to hook to the very bottom and top most posts I added the other set of wires I had laying about to the very bottom posts, and used the biwires to do the other two posts I removed the plates at that point too, so as not to cause any shorts and was instructed to do so by a dealer and VSA. Not to mention it just made sense aa with so many others thats what you do when biwiring remove the plates.
Five sets of speakers that Ive owned in the past have ALL said to do just that when bi wiring, or bi amping. I didnt see VSA as any different. Still dont actually.
What gets me about this recent info is this, "If there is an internal connection of the two bass module drivers... Why then, is there a brass plate on the outside of the bass module apparently connecting those two drivers?" Especially if they are hooked up on the inside. I would think the brass plates on the outside supurfulus, or at the very lezst redundant. Then there's the question,"Why are they there if not to connect two different drivers?"
AS with so many other speakers... brass plates do in fact connect different sets of drivers.... seems silly to do it internally, and externally as well. Dont you think?
It aint just the book that is confusing .
Brass or Silver plates on backs of speakers have to me, anyways, always been there as a conductor. removing them removes the path for current, or the signal to flow... and current don't flow backwards... so I'm lost if the connecting plates are either redundant or do not serve to connect the two drivers. Am I making sense?
ONe thing about the JR's... Selfexplannatory or even simple, they ain't.
Mfsoa is correct, the bottom posts of the woofer cabinet are connected to the 2 woofers (in parallel).
The upper posts of the woofer cabinet connect to the umbilical jack only. With the binding post jumper plates installed, this allows you to use a single pair of cables (and the umbilical) to run the entire speaker.
We've found the best method is to connect your main cables to the upper cabinet, and use heavy jumpers from there to the woofer binding posts. This allows the purist connection from amplifier to mid & tweeter, and you eliminate the supplied umbilical and the jumper plates at the binding posts.
"If there is an internal connection of the two bass module drivers... Why then, is there a brass plate on the outside of the bass module apparently connecting those two drivers?" Especially if they are hooked up on the inside. I would think the brass plates on the outside supurfulus, or at the very lezst redundant. Then there's the question,"Why are they there if not to connect two different drivers?"
The two bass module drivers are only connected to the lower binding posts. The brass plate is used to transfer the signal between the lower posts (and therefore both woofers)and the upper posts which connect to the datalink only. That's why the upper posts on the bass module are labelled "Midrange/Tweeter input".
I agree that the brass plates on most speakers strap the woofer to the midrange/tweeter to allow for single wiring, but in the VSRs case this isn't so. (Well, kinda so - it will allow single wiring IF the datalink is connected).
Yeah, there are a bunch of ways to hook these guys up. Perhaps the set of cables you have going to the "Midrange/Tweeter input" are changing what your amp "sees", but I don't think so. Maybe you'll have luck in attaching both wires to the lowest pair, if you're using spades.
I think I see why you get better performance having the woofers driven directly by cables than by the straps with the cables hooked to the "Midrange/tweeter input".
All the best...
...it would seem so.
As I understand the posting, the plates are there only to hook up to the supplied umbilical... which is still another ten or so inches above the "mystery posts", (must have been a shortage of wire somewhere), and it supplies the upper module. So in the case of biwiring, removing the plates seems to me to be the way to go, as the other half of the bi-wire hooks to the top module.. eliminating the umbilical.
Of course that smacks of an oversight, or flaw in the engineering like a work around, or afterthought. I mean if both drivers are internally wired together, then why not continue that wiring path within the cabinet up to the connection of the UC output on the bass unit? Safer that way. Cleaner looking too, having less stuff sticking out of the rear of the bass cabinet.
Too bad they didn't simply do away with one set of posts on the bass module, huh? That's the issue entirely, I think... and still one set of standard speaker wires would hook up the JR's along with the umbilical using the then, one set, of posts... and likely not require VR4 - JR (or possibly other VR owners), to have to get special ordered bi-wires for their speakers, as some will make that stretch, but not too many make the stretch from very bottom to very top. Though I was told MIT had pretty long tails on their bi-wires. Itd sure save some money in time & materials too . Not to mention the time spent answering hook up queries, consequently all would benefit.. or maybe an upgrade or mod?
I'll be dogged! Looks like I got a set of speaker wires for sale... perhaps.. or my HT system is about to get an upgrade in speaker cables . Or Ill just shotgun them using the two sets of bi-wires maybe. Something about it just doesnt jive IMHO. I'll try it that way this weekend, though
No definitely do not use the jumper plates. As long as you are biwiring to the lowest posts on the woofer cabinet and the posts on the mid/tweeter cabinet, you are doing what VSR wants.
The "top woofer" is not connected in any way to the upper posts on the woofer cabinet. Try it and see!
VSR says the concept of the datalink is so that, temporarily, a user may use a single run of speaker cable connected preferably to the mid/tweeter cabinet, through the datalink so the signal exits out the upper posts on the woofer cabinet, and then through the jumper plates to the lower posts, which connect to both woofers.
Jeesh, I'd rather save a few $$$ and do away with the datalink and the unused posts!
My point exactly! electricity follows the path of least resistance. ALWAYS. A network I think, has more resistance than brass plates. using the plates should, if they are connected internally via a net, would short out, or by pass the net. They make no sense if they are necessary to connect the bottom drivers... or anything else for that matter. given there is internal wiring....
Additionally, given a network can employ caps, they allow for directional flow of electricity... The plates on both posts make the appearance of one connecting spot. Either top or bottom... either should suffice, electrically. BUT an internal net would be defeated using the plates, were they wired internally, and connected to the associated posts as well. It's one or the other. both shouldn't work, irrispective of the other.. and surely not together... JR's are confusing.... but I do know something about electricity. Electricity does the same thinhg everywhere, with everything... even if it's made in China.
Albert's a pretty smart guy... I doubt he'd add posts that serve no purpose and intimate a connection to a driver, as is the industry norm. It's counterproductive, and 'un-intuitive'.
I agree that the post placement is not well designed. The better solution would have been a single pair of woofer posts placed high enough on the woffer cabinet that the standard bi-wire cables would span the to sets of posts. It would also eliminate the issue of having one pair of wires that have more slack than the other pair when bi-amping.
I have been loving the results with tubes on top and SS on the bass cabinets. I have AP silver ovals on top and oval 9 below. It's a been a very rewarding configuratoin for me.
Shame that you don't have a larger room, as they really open up when moved out from the wall. I suggest that you use some type of sound absoption panel behind each speaker against the wall. Sick some large couch pillows there & it will give you an idea. You might also try to pull them out an extra 1.5-2 ft and toe them in more, either of these could make a nice change to overall sound. I've had them for more than a year and can suggest that you load with 25-35lb of lead shot in each,biwire, & use the spikes.Mine have sounded excellent with both Wolcott p220 & Van Alstine 550exr. Good luck,they are great speakers.
the results are in... the idea about the upper bass driver not functioning off the BM's upper post is accurate. I'm still in awe... I am sure big enough to admit a mistake... I need to now, and I apologize for any issues I may have caused.
Who'd have thunk it?. Although what I posted above previously, is/was in fact the info given me and what I didd... I can only think that I must have left the sub on during the testing... but it's TRUE. THERE IS NO SOUND TO BE HAD FROM THE TOP DRIVER IN THE BASS CABINET BY USING THE 'INTUITIVE' CONNECTIONS (or upper posts on the cab), AND I'M SURE SOMEONE HAD A GOOD LAUGH ABOUT THAT. I know I did... shortly after the discovery. Amazing!
...and thanks for telling me. The good news is I used another pair of those gizmos to make the bi-wires into standard ones and hooked the Sig 10's solely to the TM. after some short time of stridently etched sound, (further proof the driver was not presenting a load), as the second leg of the biwire ran in some more. The sound became quite interesting. I am more than pleased with the TM's performance now... BUT there is a disparity down below. Although improving, the bass no longer is quite at the level of performance as the top & mid. I'm gonna attribute that to using a step down in speaker cables from the Sig 10's. So in fact I do have a pair of wires to put on the block so to speak... anyone got a pair of 15 - 16 ft. Sig 10 X2 actives for sale? Geeezzzz.
I do appreciate the input, however. I do apologize again for my errant info. It was not meant to mislead or cause harm in any way shape or form. Just shows to go ya, even at higher levels some folks are occasionally a bit off the mark.
BTW... the plates are still off. I've hooked to the lowest posts only with the Alpha Quad actives.
I'm using a SF Line 1 tube pre and H20 S250 Sig. ICE amp. I've been content with the sound ever since I bought them over a year ago. I'm also constrained to a short distance from the back wall. I've decided to hold off on dropping a bunch of $$ into the system until I can get everything into a dedicated room or at least an area where I have more flexibility. Hopefully soon. I've become convinced that once you get to the type of system that most of us have, the room and setup is just as important as anything else.
I heard them at my dealer's with a big pair of Classe mono's. The sound was crystal clear, but as I remember it not much warmth. A good deal of that impression came from what I was switching from and the type of music (rock) I was playing. It revealed all the flaws, sibilance, etc in the recordings that I never heard before.
I'm a very happy owner and feel I can build around these speakers for quite a long time. Hopefully I'll be off this silly merry-go-round by that time.