Von Schweikert VR-5 SE vs Eggleston Andra II vs Av

I am looking to upgrade my speakers in the 10K to 20K USD range. The VR-5 SE and Andra are the two I am considering. Also like the Avalon acoustics Eidolon Diamond(PRICEY!!) .

Any of the users on the board could compare these speakers' characters ? Pros and Cons ?

Hi Audiosu,

Since nobody has bitten on this yet I thought I'd give you some of my experience with these, for what it's worth.

I have heard both the VS and the Andra2 and currently own a new pair of the Vr5SE, so I guess that shows which way I lean. I have not heard the Avalons but a friend has the non-diamond pair and loves them with ARC tubes. Of the two I have heard, I do not see how you can go wrong whichever way you fall. The best way I can describe it is that they both produce music and do so in a natural way that I found more engaging than other speakers I auditioned. I ended up in a three-way tie between these and the B&W 800D which I found to be excellent also. My final decision really came down to convenience of purchasing and the price I was offered.

If I had to separate the VS and Andra, I'd say the VS has a little more detail and seems to soundstage exceptionally, music can truly float free of the speakers with these. The Andras are no slouches in this regard either. When I first heard the Andras I was really taken when a track I knew well from Holly Cole was played by the dealer; for a few seconds I thought I must be hearing a different, possibly live, recording of the old familiar version I had. This really struck me and drove home just how much better speakers at this level were over what I had at home at the time. The VS pull that same magic, and it's like hearing one's collection anew - really pleasing. A real test for me is the reproduction of the Haden/Metheny album (Beyond the Missouri Sky) - this is wonderful music but some speakers fail to truly convey the guitar strings, especially the single string attack of Matheny, in relief from Haden's bass -- I feel the VS do this a little better than anything else I heard.

Now the caveats -- I would have lived happily with any one of the three, the final choice really was function of other factors. Of the three, the Andras just look the most beautiful to me too....the others are more an acquired taste but everyone I know who sees the Andras remarks on their good looks. Trivial? Not really at this price and the space this size of speaker will take up in your house.

I also never heard all three on the same system so who knows how much variability might have resulted from differences upstream.

Other disadvantage and one I will post on in a new thread -- VS strongly recommend using two distinct runs of cable, one pair to each module in their two box designs. Not only does this add to the cost if you are a believer in expensive cable (I am not thus far) but if you don't want the cables to dangle right across your field of vision, you have to run a long pair to the upper modules (the terminals for these are some 24" above the terminals for the bass module).

Note, there are people here selling 'new' and NOS Andras at 'remarkable' prices. I have no idea if these are legit or not but you should easily be able to determine this with a call to Eggleston. M nearest dealer was not willing to budge on price more than 5% of MSRP and seemed rather annoyed with me for asking; he also had no interest in a home audition, which was also true of the B&W dealer, though he was at least willing to negotiate on final price. If you have no VS dealer near, you can arrange a lengthy home trial via the 'Net. I have had an interesting experience with VS, including calls with Albert himself (who proved more than willing to discuss his work on the Andra 2 too) but I'll refrain from further comment on the organization of their sales division - let's just say their communications could be improved.

At the end of the whole experience, which I remarked upon here over the last 6 months in various posts, I cannot say there is a speaker out there that is so good it blows everything else away - and I heard the Wilson Alexandrias to just learn what was possible (though nothing I could ever afford). I also feel that many great speakers exist, and the differences between them are more a matter of taste than truth. Others will obviously disagree but audio purchases are not like sports teams - you don't have to defend your choice by dismissing others. I doubt you would buy one of three you mention and subsequently have regrets - you'll be too busy enjoying your music (or worrying about amps, cables, and your front-end :)

Let us all know what you end up doing.
Great comments Oscar44.
I owned the VS SR4 MK2 and currently own the Andra 2.
The VS 5SE is a higher product line than the SR4 Mk2 so my comparison to your question will not be totally fair, but I hope my comparison helps anyway .

I totally agree the VS is more detailed. But, the treble with the rear firing tweeter/midrange can actually make things too much treble, I ended up with the rear speaker hardly on.

The Andra's have a more whole midrange sound and better defined deep bass notes.

The VS was easier to move about the room because it is in 2 seperate units . The heaviest of the 2 units being about 100 lbs.
The Andra's are one heavy 215 lb each!

Both Speakers had exceptional built quailty. I prefer the high gloss black of the Andra's however.

I had some real problems with VS customer service.