von Schweikert VR-4 vs Vandersteen 5A

Highly placed audiophiles have told me that the Vandersteens lack "excitement" and that one should prefer the VR-4s. According to the recent article in TAS, the perception of lack of excitement could be the result of unfamiliarity with how a time coherent speaker sounds, i.e. the treble doesn't hit you first.

What do you think?
I think the un-named highly placed audiophiles are in error, and should spend more time listening to live music and comparing what they hear to the sound of the 5A's.

I do not mean to denigrate the von Schweikert's in any way -- they are also a fine speaker. But, in my personal experience (about 40 years as a fairly serious audio enthusiast), "excitement" in a speaker usually indicates that some specific portion of the audio range is being over-emphasized -- often the treble. The 5A's are, to my ear, very coherent from top to bottom, wonderfully balanced, with excellent transparency and dynamic. They come about as close to reproducing the true sound of music as any speaker I have ever heard. But that's just my un-highly placed opinion...
Sdcampbell is correct in every way. I just heard the 5As versus Virgo IIIs, JM Labs 936s, 3As, small Quads and Revel F-30s (hey I went thru every speaker the dealer had in the room). I also hear the treble not hitting you at first but I also heard lots of speakers have very poor treble. Music to me is in the mids and piano and vocals sound huge and have the correct weight to the notes. So do horns for that matter. I own Talon Ravens which have real up front slam and dynamics but I know a lot of people who do not like that sound. Top to bottwm the 5s were unbeatable but hey I cannot spend $15K on a speaker, my wife would kill me! Too bad they are not $7500!

The Vons are very nice speakers especially for the price but they are not Vandy 5A beaters. But at $9K less they are great speakers. To me the Vandys were more coherent from top to bottom, and are more natural sounding. They also sounded a little faster when called upon to do so. The open design simply sounds more open and threw a wider sound that the Vons did.

This is just my opinion and the speakers were not in the same set up or room, etc. $9K is a big price difference to spend in the rest of ones system.

Happy Listening.
Sure the Vandy's are nice, but don't you really want the $50K Nearfield Pipedreams? The point being, where does one stop on the never ending quest for the best? It's unattainable for most of us. So, find something really nice in a comfortable price range and relax. (P.S. You can buy some nice gear with the $9K you'll save by buying the Von Schweikerts).
This is very telling, that the Von Schweikerts are even being COMPARED to a speaker that costs about two and a half times as much.
What other product could one do that with?
My Toyota Avalon was a nice car in 1999 at 32K would anyone compare it with the BMW 735, and think it close? Please don't get hung up on that comparison, its only for fun.
I will say no more as I am completely biased, and know it.
But just for grins, think of this, the additional 9K would just about, not quite, buy you the VS 7s; and THAT is NO comparison. We are quite flattered that anyone would make such a bold step in price/performance comparisons!
Good luck in your search. We at VSA love the search, and know that Music and movies are wonderful fun for the whole family to enjoy.

I've recently spoken to the owner of Green Mountain Audio C-3's and he told me there isn't a speaker under $20K that can touch it. The list of speakers this guy has auditioned is impressive and if I'm not mistaken both the Von Schweikert VR-4 and Vandy 5A's were among those he was quite familiar with. If you like speakers with the transparent realism of stats and the dynamic qualities inherent in well designed coil driver designs that sound phenominal with ANY type of music whether it be jazz, classical, ambient, hard rock or any other category, the GMA C-3's apparently deliver in spades and at a price point that won't raise eyebrows with the wife.

PS - I have not heard the speakers myself, nor do I have any affiliation with GMA other than speakering to Roy Johnson a couple of times on the phone.
What a great country, that we are blessed with options for such wonderful fun and enjoyment. I too hear that the GMA's are great. Frankly from my vantage point, as one who loves music as much as anything, (next to my Family and the Creator) its good to see many of the new faces showing up in the industry pushing the envelope, and besting some of the older more established names that have ruled for so long.
God Bless, and Merry Christmas or simply Happy Holidays to everyone who bothers to read some of my drivel.
Larry R. Staples
"Excitement" may be the operative word here, as mentioned above that would indicate an artificial emphasis somewhere that creates the illusion of more/better when being compared in a store to a more neutral and correct sound. This can be easily perceived at first as lacking something but the rightness and accuracy of the sound establishes itself over time as being far preferrable. When you have had the chance to hear neutral products anything that isn't doesn't sound very good anymore, this goes for wire and components as well.

It's pretty hard to determine a "best", it's about finding a sound you like, just pay close attention to what was used for electronics and wire because you may not get the sound that captivated you in a showroom with an entirely different system.

In response to Dawgbyte's Green Mountain reference the Meadowlark Blue Heron 2's are in that category of "best" under $20k, they do well when compared to Eggleston Andras (the Diamonds) Von Schweikert's $14k model, and the Vandersteen 5A's. There are a lot of great speakers out there, and the electronics and wire will determine what you get out of them.

I have taken VR-4's in trade for Blue Heron 2's because I was able to illustrate the difference between perfect tonal balance and accuracy against something that isn't as well balanced. I wanted the chance to live with the upgraded VR-4s so that I could get a better feel for what they are doing over a period of time. They are enjoyable as soon as I give myself a week of running them to get used to them, but switching back to the Blue Herons was like coming home to the way it should be with no acclimation period. Somehow I don't trust anything you have to get used to, can you say BOSE?