VR4 Gen III HSE. It's a no brainer.
12 responses Add your response
I agree the VR4 Gen III HSE are better then the 4Jr and maybe even the 4SR - I would put a little reseveration there because I think the 4SR Mk2 can be made to sound phenominal with the right auxilleries (as is the case with the JR too) but all things being equal the HSE have the nod. The only place where they fail (miserablly IMO) is looks - they are ugly (big sock over wood) Vandersteen look. Yuck. I like the whole package...and if I have a choice where sonics are very close I'll go with the nicer looking equipment. Lets face it - if your gonna stare at something while listening to music might as well look nice. Unless you listen in the dark.... hehehe. Regardless VSA makes nice stuff....
With Tyler's, not one of his Excel models are better than another of his Excel models, just different, but not "better-ed"That's interesting. I wasn't aware that you had heard the entire Tyler line of loudspeakers.
Regarding VS, I should have been more precise in my wording. The VR4 Gen III HSE are different than the VR4 Jr, but a different I happen to enjoy more. Just as a Tyler listener might likely consider some Tylers to be "better" even though what the listener really means is that he prefers the differences some models offer over
Interesting info about the difference's of VR4 III HSE and VR4 GenIII's. I'm also in the market for a building a new system and considering These speakers along with Salk HT3, Salk V3, Vons VR4jr mkII, Merlin VSM, Totem Forest.
Just FYI from Albert himself.
In a small room at the Home Entertainment Show put on by Stereophile two years ago, Kevin of VAC and I used the VR-4jrs in a small room with a 100-watt VAC amp the sound was incredible. The VR-4jr sounds better in a small room than the larger VR-4 Gen III and Gen III HSE.
By the way, the VR-4 Gen III and the HSE version are similar, but the HSE version is newer; the HSE stands for Hovland Special Edition and used Hovland MusicCaps in the crossovers instead of the less expensive (but still good sounding) Solens. The HSE version also used slightly better drivers, so was a better sounding speaker system overall. However, both versions had extremely powerful bass response down to 16Hz, which can sometimes overload a small room with too much bass. This is correctable by installing more Dacron stuffing into the port.
Hope this helps.
>This is correctable by installing more Dacron stuffing into the port.<
I keep seeing references to this, but my HSEs have a front firing port that is completely covered by the wrap around grill cloth. My original VR4s were rear ported and the port was exposed. They benefited greatly by adding extra stuffing to the cabinet. But I wouldn't change a thing about the bass response I am gettting from the HSEs in my room. It is far better than the original version, and better than most any other speaker that has come and gone since then.
The method for adding Dacron to the HSE is to unscrew the back plate of the subwoofer module where the binding posts are located. Gently pull back the plastic plate, and the tuning port is revealed. Start by stuffing a handful of Dacron into the port tube. This method is described in the VR4 Gen III HSE owner's manual.
FWIW, my HSE are in a 16 x 19 room...medium to small by most standards. I measured the frequency response using a Stereophile Test CD and a Radio Shack SPL meter both with and without Dacron. The Dacron reduced the bass response by 2-4dB in the lower frequencies. The worst bass hump I have is at 31.5 Hz (+9 db). With Dacron the hump is reduced to +5 db. At 25 Hz and 20 Hz the measurements with and without Dacron are +2/+0 dB and -4/-6 dB