At that price point you'd be better comparing to the VS V4JR, which IMO are a lot better then the SF GPH, which I auditioned in my speaker quest. The 4JRs image better and have much better bass.
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VR2s will be more dynamic, open and neutral with deeper and more well defined bass. The Grand Pianos are not as transparent and have a more laid back sound resulting in less apparent detail but still very musical. They need some power to really open up where the VR2s are rated at 91dB sensitivity. May come down to preference. If only the VR2s looked like the SF!
At that price I second the VR4jrs. Have not heard them yet...but...if they are better than the VR2s it becomes less of a contest.
It is precisely the disappearing act of the SF GPH what I found pretty incredible. But in the used market, from what I've read, the VR2s are the best bang for the buck between the 2. The VR 4jr are still not in the same price point (used). One can find the SFs for about 2000 and the VR2 for around 1500 or even less. The VR4 jr are still too new, so I'll just let someone else pay the depreciation and wait for its price to come down. If they are comparable to the SF GP, I expect them to be around 2K or less in the next couple of years.
How is the soundstage of the VR2s? Do you use the rear firing tweeter?
Yes I use the rear firing tweeter. My VR2s are about 5 feet from the rear wall (which is treated with 4 panels) and I feel like I can walk into the soundstage. In my opinion it's very effective in the right circumstances and blends well with the front firing drivers.
The soundstage on my CD player is constricted and confined between the speakers. The soundstage and imaging through my VPI Scout is much better. My point is that I feel the VR2s will accurately project what it's being fed. Can't get mine to dissappear though.
One thing I can see from your pics is that the VR2s are too close together. I realize that your options are probably limited, but that is what I found to be true when I had the VR2s. They sounded their best at about 10 ft. apart (measured from the center of the cabinet), but even then I could never get them to completely disappear. As much as I respected all the "audiophile" qualities they had, they also never really moved me, so I "moved" them......on out the door. But aside from that, I still think you need lots of room for them to do the things that they do best.
I am in agreement with Oz. They were too forwatd a speaker for my tastes and although the imaging and soundstageing was good..it was not exceptional or as good as VSA touted them to be. The rear tweeter was more of a nusense in the long run. I might suggest a look at the Usher Audio line. I moved to the 6381 and right away I can hear the exceptional qualities of this speaker. Smooth, dynamic and better bass than the VR2..if fact I recently heard from a member who thought( and that of a panel of listeners) the Usher X929 at $2800. Retail, was substantially better than even the 4Jr. speaker. That was their unbiased opinion and speaks well of the Ushers. :) My impression of SF Gp's were that of a slightly bright sound to my ears.
For once, I feel almost uniquely qualified to respond....
I am listening to my Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home speakers right now. Needless to say, I love them. Needless trivia... they are playing Jackson Browne's "Lawyers in Love" right now. A poor quality disc of fair music, and making it sound very nice. With better discs (Rock or Classical or Jazz, you name it) they just make me smile endlessly.
Now, I live in Chicago and make frequent trips to Decibel Audio (remember John Cusack's t-shirt in "High Fidelity"?) where the Von Schweikert's are featured, and I sit down and listen to them whenever I'm there. They are the speaker that I want to replace my Paradigm Studio 60's in my other system. Would I replace my SF's with them? No. I would say that the Von Schweikert's are more lush and rich and work well if your musical preference leans toward jazz. Classical would be a wash. They both sound fabulous. The SF's probably come out ahead with good ol' Rock and Roll.
You're gonna own a fabulous speaker either way.
You might keep your eye on this auction as there's no reserve.
I'm not a fan of SF's house sound; a little too laid back for my taste. However, I can definitely see how they would have their fans. Aesthetically, they could be the most beautiful speakers on the market and from my experience, they are supremely forgiving of the source. The VSA's are more dynamic, not as colored, and are very fast once you've got them mass loaded. While the VR2's are excellent speakers, there's no denying the JR's are better, particularly through the midrange.
I agree with TFK, you can't really lose here and if your were blown away by the SF's, get 'em.