First off, they need a lot longer than 100 hours to break in, more like 400 hours. Make sure the rear tweeter is cranked up all the way or it won't break in. They need to be played fairly hard too when breaking in. I listened to mine each day as they were breaking in and at one point they sounded good, probably around the 300 hour point. I blasted mine for a few more days just to be sure and they seemed to slightly improve from there.
I would say you might need to consider pulling them farther into the room than 1.5 feet. I was getting a rather weak center image and was able to achieve it best when adjusting the distance apart. I had to put mine farther apart in my room to get the center to really lock in, with just a slight bit of toe in.
I agree with pulling them away from the back wall. Can you get them 3 feet from the back wall? Or even 2.5 feet (but, then you'll need to adjust the distance from the side wall so they are less or more than 2.5 feet...you don't want equal distance from rear and side walls).
Also, you don't mention toe-in angle. Are they toed-in or not? Start with the drivers airmed directly at where your head would be. Listen. Gradually...like 1/2" at a time...rotate them out, and listen at each adjustment.
I have yet to hear the VR4jr image well. I think they tend to sound out of focus, at least in the 3 systems I heard. Maybe they may need a lot of experimentaion with placement?
Aball, what exactly do you mean, when you say "out of focus"? In my system they image rather well. Often times when listening to 2-ch. recording I have to get up and make sure that center channel is off. The center image is unbelievably stable and life-like, so is the image depth. On some well-recorded uncompressed material you can swear musicians are right behind the curtain covering the screen on the back wall and speakers "disappear" almost completely. Interestingly enough, on many older recordings the "imaging" is not all that good.
My speakers are well away from the back wall (7 ft.), exactly 1/3 of the room length, and the same distance apart. I'm still experimenting with the toe-in, but I have to say, that VR-4 JR's are not very sensitive to the toe-in, at least image-wise. Now I have mine with very slight degree of toe-in (5-10).
Again, YMMV. Regards.
I have mine setup in a 14 x 22 x 16 foot high (cathedral ceiling) sloped down to standard 8 foot height. I have my speakers on the 14 foot wall about 8 feet apart. I have them toed in considerably, left speaker hitting my right shoulder and right speaker hitting left shoulder. Imaging, soundstage and focus are incredible. I am definitely experiencing the ball of sound (3d imaging). The thing that has me perplexed is these speakers are so dam revealing that I am finding it diffucult to appreciate a CDP that I can live with. What is a good smooth CDP with good detail? Except for a couple mega buck CDP's I have auditioned in my system everything under 5K has sounded etched and mechanical. These speakers do need excellent components, that is the only frustration...otherwise they are comparable to the best I have heard.
For gosh's sake, call Von Schweikert and ask!!!
I have had several set ups in my small room, and it's been a year of experimenting (still not sure what is best). But at certain setups they do sound amazing. Lack of focus is not the fault of the speaker. I recommend breaking them in more. I think because of the room size 8' apart is not possible unless you use a diagonal setup. You need to get them into the room and your listening position into the room as well (away from the walls). Hang in there though these are not plug and play speakers. They are designed with the room in mind and use the room to get the right sound. You will have to find the magic spot. Then when all that is done the rear ambiance driver can come into play. It will pay off though. Finish the break in though. 300+ hours.
Thanks for all the feedback. I have continued to experiment with placement, especially the toe-in, and seem to be making progress. I did speak with Kevin at VS and he mentioned that break-in should not have an effect on determining the placement. Nonetheless, I am going to continue to break the speakers in before really fretting over the placement.
Despite the placement trials, I must say that I am extremely pleased with these speakers. They are very revealing, but I do not think so much that it detracts from the enjoyment of the music. However with good recordings, these speakers disappear and completely surround you in music. Even my wife, who has thought all of this hobby to be nuts, is spending time with me in our listening room just chillin out and listing to music.
Eetheredge, can you please let us know about the results of your experiments with placement and especially toe-in. Regards.
Im a very happy owner of Von Schweikert VR-4JR, LCR-15 and TS-150 speakers.
Correlated pink noise helped me obtain the best possible center image and sound stage. My room is 11 8 wide, 29 long. Where the length of my room is partially separated by the kitchen countertop and hanging cabinets making the length of my listening room 18 8 long.
The final position of VR-4jrs is 39 from center of the tweeter to the front wall, and around 16 to the sidewall.
The speakers are 9 apart and sit approximately 13 away from the front wall.
I sit 13' away from the front wall.
Alex, you didn't mention a toe-in. Regards.
My room is sensitive to toe-in settings. As of now, the front of each speaker is pushed-in 1/4". Also, eash VR-4JR speaker is filled with 50 pounds of #8 lead shot.
I found that toe in really helped in my room (about 16 x 16). It made the soundstage really open up.
The approach I finally took was to start small and focused and expand from there. I worked with an equilateral triangle set up with the speakers six feet apart toed in to my shoulders. This worked great for centering the image. The problem was all instruments were on top of each other and no depth. From there I made the triangle larger. There were a couple of spots where the center focus completely fell apart (one of which is where I had originally placed the speakers). At about nine feet I ran out of cable and could not go further. The center image was solid, breadth was good, depth was poor. Eventually, I was down to toe-in from 0 to about 15 degrees. Trade of was center focus versus soundstage breadth. Finally, I just split it down the middle.
I think starting with the small triangle worked because it took the early reflections out of the equation. As well, I think the toe-in has a similar effect. In a properly treated room, the toe-in might not have as much of an impact. But I think the problem I was having was related more to first reflections than anything.
Depth is still an issue and I assume there is not much to unless I get the speakers further from the wall.
You need to keep the spikes off > Dont use 1K pink noise its too beammy. I use a pink noise of 100-1K Bandwith. Ive found the Ball of noise is very noticable ate 7 1/2 feet apart center to center and slightly toes in and apox 13-14 foot away. if you dont get this correct the center image will be way too dense. God it took a while to get it correct.I got it listened next dayand almost fell out of the chair on the image. Wall to wall behind spekaers and when miss crow sang she was 10 foot into the room while maitaining wall to wall instrument placing. USE TUBES im running rogue zeus with staggering dynamic range
I found that toeing in the speakers made an enormous difference. In fact, the best effect in my particular room was by pointing each speaker directly at my listening spot (didn't occur to me to try this for a long time). Using JC1 Monoblocks and Rogue Mag 99 pre-amp.
Could you give me some more details about your room and speaker placement?
Could somebody clarify a pink noise frequency you using in a "ball of sound" test, please.
Also, what is your description of the "ball of sound" in the lay terms. I'm using 500 Hz test tone from Rives Audio test CD #2, and what I hear is a pretty strong center image with some depth to it, but I'm really having problem describing it as a "ball". Is it suppose to be round? Am I simply can't hear it, because my placement is off?, or it's something other than "a ball"?
just wanted to put this question back on the radar.
Thank you for putting it back on the radar.
Oh, this mysterious "ball of pink noise".
No Maril555, you need a pink noise reference track. Stereophile "Editor's Choice Sample & Test CD", available from Stereophile.com, has a pink noise track. When you play this, and when your speakers are properly placed, you will hear a strong centered pink noise image that gradually feathers out on the outside of the "ball". Close your eyes when you listen. This is important, in my experience. Listening with your eyes open ruins the illusion. When your speakers are properly placed laterally and from the rear wall, and when your listening position is the appropriate distance from the speakers, you will hear the illusion of a "ball" of sound, with width, height, and depth to this pink noise image.
If you don't already own it, Robert Harley's "Complete Guide to High End Audio" contains a good chapter on speaker placement, and the Von Schweikert owner's manual does a pretty good job, too.
Thank you, Tvad. I will try to find Stereophile CD, and I do have Robert Harley's book, which I actually used to place speakers.
I suggest you send Dr. Albert Von Schweikert an email. He is known to personally answer e-mails and phone calls from his customers. He is very helpful in setting-up speaker placement. Just let him know the dimensions of your room, and where your listening position is. I guess it would be beneficial to let him know where the chairs are and whatever furniture is in place too.
I too just brought my VR4jr home, but am rather restricted in its placement. But considering, they have imaged well and sound great with just 100 hours put in. I'm sure they'll only get better. Good luck.