Von Schweikert fans? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-11-2006, 06:25 PM
Anybody know much about Von Schweiker speakers?

My dad bought some of his original Vortex Screens back in the late 80's when he lived in Ca. They are still amazing, amazing speakers and he loves them to death. They are a pretty interesting design because there is no cabinet for the speakers. They are suspended in a frame with no walls just covered by a thin fabric. The result is that the sound feels like it's coming from the entire wall rather than being projected by two boxes, giving the sound a larger then life feel. We've compared them to B&W 802's and notice that you can tell the sound is coming from a speaker with the 802's (rather then the entire wall). I've noticed none of his current models use this design.

My question is this: Why has he gone away from the cabinetless (I don't know what you call it)design and is there something inherently less desirable with it? Anybody know?

Jim Clark
04-11-2006, 08:44 PM
He's still making them, but on a smaller scale. I guess it could be in the redevelopment prototype stage. There's a guy on the audioasylum forums that currently has a set. He goes by the handle Ka7nig, which I guess is his ham radio call sign.

Never heard the vortex screens but I'd like to at some point. I'd imagine that these take up a large amount of real estate in the listening room. Maybe this is among the reasons that they aren't such a big deal at this point. I also know that along the line Albert has had some financial setbacks and perhaps has to focus on what will sell vs. what he'd really like to create. This must be what all these designer have to deal with.

Don't know how they'd compare to the Vortex Screens but I'd put my VS VR 4jr's up against anything under 8 grand. Perhaps better stated, to date I've not heard anything I prefer over them for less than 8 grand. I actually really enjoyed my time with the Wilson Sophia's but at 12 really large, it's more than I can afford to spend on speakers.

If you have any pics, I'd love to see them.


04-12-2006, 01:25 AM
I am a big VS fan, but moreso once you get to the 12K/pr. DB99SE model and up... I have not heard the Vortexes, but it is true that Ka7niq has raved about them and they sound quite interesting. I know that if the DB99s and VR-11s are eamples of what speakers sould like in a box, I will gladly listen to that sound all day long...

As for Jim's comments on the Jrs against anything under 8K... You are welcome at my house anytime if you visit the DC area... I'll gladly take that challenge. :-) Seriously though, Albert is a great designer and with the right budget he can hang with the best (his VR-11s are my favorite speakers at any price, for example).


04-12-2006, 08:40 AM
I'll see if I can get some pictures up today.

I've never noticed the price of VR-11's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're worth more then my life!

04-12-2006, 09:36 AM
I'll see if I can get some pictures up today.

I've never noticed the price of VR-11's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're worth more then my life!

But they *do* sound fabulous. :-)

04-12-2006, 07:03 PM
But they *do* sound fabulous. :-)

They better. :) But considering how well the Screens sound it's not hard to believe they would sound amazing.

A while ago I read an article as I was trying to do some research on VS to find out what had happened to him. I read about a test he did where he tried to produce the most perfect sound possible. He got the best equipmen he could find and recorded a group of choral singers and then placed his VR-11's on a stage with the same group of singers. They then asked the audience to try and guess if it were the girls singing or it was the speakers. Apparently, although it's been a while since I read the article, the audience couldn't tell the difference between the 800lb. speakers and the girls. I wish I could find the article again because it was pretty impressive.

My camera died today so I won't be able to get shots of the speakers and I'm leaving in a couple of days so... sorry.

04-12-2006, 09:50 PM
I discovered VSA a few years ago when I heard about, and then auditioned the tiny VR1 for my bedroom system. Needless to say, I was completely floored and the little monitor simply outclassed everything I had heard (which included some pretty good competition from JML, Paradigm, and Dynaudio). Since then, I've visited his production facility in the San Diego area where they build the custom line. Kevin Malmgren, Albert's VP and First Lieutenant, was nice enough to arrange demo's of the 4jr's, VR2's, LCR15's, and yes, the mighty VR11's. Needless to say, it was a pretty good way to spend the day. Designs I'd still like to audition are the VR4 IIIse, 4sr's, and DB99's. It was very interesting talking to Kevin and getting some insight into the process of voicing their speakers, a process which includes Albert and Kevin jamming on their instruments and then using a SOTA recording/playback system through the speakers. Fun stuff.

Albert is widely regarded as one of the very best designers out there today. It isn't a coincidence that Eggleston hired him to redesign the crossover for their critically acclaimed Andra II. His original factory in New York, when it was known as Von Schweikert Research, was unfortunately taken out in a flood. The entire inventory was destroyed and despite battles with his insurance company, Albert was forced to shutter the business and declare bankruptcy. Thankfully, you can't keep a good man down.

The closest speaker to your Vortex Screens are likely the VR4 IIIse's. One thing I like about VSA is that you can always send your older speakers in for an upgrade to not only the drivers but also xover and wiring. That's pretty cool. I'm not sure why he moved to a more conventional transmission line design, but you sure can't argue with the results!

The demo you were referring to btw, was done at the 2004 CES, where VSA hired the Misty River Band to play while being recorded on world class equipment by a killer engineer. Here is a brief article (http://audioworld.com/cgi-bin/FrameIt.cgi?Url=http://www.digitalprosound.com/2004/01_jan/news/vonschweikert_ces.htm&ConfigFile=FrameIt.cfg) documenting the event. How much fun would that have been?

04-13-2006, 06:18 AM
I've only ever heard a two, maybe 3 Von Schweikert speakers. Very nice.

Those Seas drivers are used by many hi-end speaker companies these days. And of course the Revelator tweeter in a few models. They sound excellent. Proof positive that aluminum/magnesium/metal drivers are terrific sounding, viable materials for drivers.

I love the odd cabinet shapes and first rate finishes. I'm really tempted to build something like that, but damn, without industrial grade shop tools it would take me weeks. Boxes with roundovers or chamfers are sooooo much easier. Not to mention a lot less frustration and wasted materials. I really appreciate the craftsmanship and pure art that Von Schweikert incorporate into their designs. It's more than just slapping an expensive exotic veneer on the cabinet or using exotic plys. I'm from the camp that doesn't believe a speaker should only sound good and looks are a distant second. It should look good as well. Looks are important. At the very least, it shouldn't be an eyesore or "dated" like so many of these silver cube speakers will be someday.

gio corleone
04-05-2007, 09:49 AM
Has anyone tried matching VR1 with either unison research unico or sonic frontier's anthem pre1L/amp1 combo?.Any feedback is highly appreciated,thanks.

04-05-2007, 07:15 PM
Has anyone tried matching VR1 with either unison research unico or sonic frontier's anthem pre1L/amp1 combo?.Any feedback is highly appreciated,thanks.

I have the VR1's with B&K PT3SII and Anthem PVA2

with a little tweaking with the preamp, they sound very good...
running straight pass thru, they are awsome with classical, but a little weak for rock imo (reason I tweak the settings for rock)