Though I am biased,I have hear both and the VSA is far superior paticuraly in the mid range.It also goes lower than the BWs.
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This is a little old, but I heard Von Schweikert VR-4 GenIII setup last weekend. I listened to it for maybe an hour. The Vons were being driven by some classe gear. The music was very dark and full on orchestral stuff. It could be described as being like a dark "british" sound, with the weight, textured bass most Americans expect. Both quantity and quality. The bass fills the room at any volume.
Overall, I liked the VR-4 Gen III. For me most british speakers are a tad cooler than neutral. I like the Vons, since it has a darker (not so much warm, since often warm means SLOW, which Vons are not) sound than the B&Ws. I heard a 802N setup driven by McIntosh about a year ago at a dealer. It was good, but not like the Vons. The Vons are one of the first hi-end speakers that I thought did heavy metal any justice.
I have VOn Schweikert Vortex Screens (an older model) and they are more revealing than B&W 802's. The 802 is a little thick and not as revealing in the lower octaves. I sold B&W's in a moonlighting jog for my friend's audio store. Personally the B&W 805's with a pair of Vandersteen subs sounded much better than the 802's. The 803's are the best floor standing b&w.
I still like VOn Schweikert's better and now that albert is solvent again they should hold their value. A beautiful speaker - very revealing and there is virtually no cabinet noise, they disappear into the room!
try out a pair at home before you buy or at best take some varied material you are very familiar with and give both a serious listening, both are nice speakers
VRs are one of the best speakers I've ever heard and still hope to own. One of my clients had one, powered by Rowlands and Theta as source. Made me like Streissand, almost.
B&W is good, but I wouldn't wanna own one unless one lands on my lap, not literally. I believe the 802 Matrix 3 were their best speaker that doesn't cost over $8k a pair.
I actually had a pair of CDM1 paired up with a nakamichi pa52 long long ago. They were a bad combo. I returned both.