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  1. #1
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    VR2 vs. VR4jr

    It's finally time to upgrade and I was sufficiently impressed with the VR 2's. IMO these blew away the Focal 816s which were way too lean and uninvolving for me. Also spent some time with a set of Triangle Antal ES which impressed me with the forward soundstage (like being in the first row vs. the 15'th with the VR2's). They were very lively but it almost seemed to be at the expense of a wide soundstage. At any rate, they lost me with when I played some pipe organ music, I mean it didn't even sound close to a pipe organ anywhere along the spectrum and I'm not sure why. Certainly there was no "slam" and apparently that's by design but still...

    I can get the VR 2's and the center for about 2,700. So my first question is-how much more do you think it would cost to step up to the VR4 Jr's?

    Final question is screwy-how do you think the VS's compare to the Dynaudio 82's? I've wanted to hear the Dyns for the longest time but the only dealer anywhere near me won't carry the Audience line. He will bring in the Focus 220's when they are released but until then he only carries the upper line product. This completely sucks and puts me in the tough spot on relying on the opinions of others in order to avoid buyers remorse.

    Any and all help would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    jc
    Last edited by Geoffcin; 08-27-2005 at 06:06 PM.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  2. #2
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    It's finally time to upgrade and I was sufficiently impressed with the VR 2's. IMO these blew away the Focal 816s which were way too lean and uninvolving for me. Also spent some time with a set of Triangle Antal ES which impressed me with the forward soundstage (like being in the first row vs. the 15'th with the VR2's).
    I couldn't agree more regarding your comparison of the VSA vs. Focal. That is the exact way I felt when I compared the two. With regards to the soundstage, did you try adjusting the rear driver on the VR2? This may have affected the soundstage.
    I can get the VR 2's and the center for about 2,700. So my first question is-how much more do you think it would cost to step up to the VR4 Jr's?
    If you go by list prices, it will run about $2k. However, street prices are usually 20-25% off (I've seen jr's go for $3k), expecially if you pick up a LCR15 too. If your dealer won't do the deal, find one that will. They exist, trust me. Having to choose between a VR2 or VR4jr, eh? Gee, life must really suck for you.

    Final question is screwy-how do you think the VS's compare to the Dynaudio 82's? I've wanted to hear the Dyns for the longest time but the only dealer anywhere near me won't carry the Audience line.
    Well, opinions are like a$$holes, everyone's got one and since most consider me an a$$hole anyway, I'll give you my opinion . If you didn't like the Focals, you won't like the Danes. They are very similar in their presentation and voicing, although I thought the Focal's posessed a tad more warmth in the mid-band. Comparatively, the VSA's are far more dynamic (it's not close, really), more musical, offer more body to the instruments, better cohesion between the drivers, and a dramatically wider sweet spot. In short, they are simply more fun to listen to. If you value a speaker's ability to make your toe tap, I think you'd easily prefer the VR over any Dyn.

    As you're buying the entire front stage, you should be made aware that some other VSA owners carp about the LCR15's ability to keep up the jr's. The LCR15 is an excellent speaker in it's own right and utilizes the exact same drivers, so I don't really understand the argument, but if you are concerned I believe Albert makes a larger CC called the LCR30. Ask Kevin at VSA if you'd like more info.

    The 4jr as well as the VR4IIIse are both on my short list when I finally build a dedicated 2 channel system. Good luck on your decision.

  3. #3
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    My Vote goes to the VR4jr

    It's a speaker that I liked the first time I heard it, and every other time too.
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  4. #4
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Jim I have been looking an upgrade for about a year now.I want to replace my system with somthing alot better(to me),not just alittle better but alot.The VR4jrs are it so far.I will spare you with all the audiophile talk.This is a very dynamic speaker and can plat loud with no compression.And to me sounds just as good at low volumes as high.The 2s did not make my alot better list..Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Seems like the jr's show up fairly regularly on Audiogon so I'm thinking about going that route. I feel a bit ashamed buying used after going to the dealer who was very friendly and helpful, but in fairness I didn't audition the Jr's, which is another area of at least some concern. If I go back and audition I'll of course buy new, otherwise I might take a leap of faith having heard the VR2's and reading some fairly substantial reviews.

    I'm going to measure my room and see if folks here think the JR's would be overkill, I think that is the final consideration for me. Thanks again.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  6. #6
    RGA
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    Jim the only way you could get buyers remorse is if you don't think the speaker is all that great or you have various reservations about what you hear. Most all of us have to buy a speaker that fits a budget - if you've heard lots of speakers and like one because ti sounds the best to your ear then chances are you'll be happy. We all have to live with the fact that one day at some point we MIGHT hear something else that is better. I look at finding something "BETTER" not as something that would give me buyers remorse but an opportunity for improvement.

    If you buy a speaker or any other componant that makes you excited and happy to listen to all day long then it's a terrific speaker -- the fact that some other product down the road you like more does not or should not detract you from liking the speaker you've settled on in the now.

    I have listened to a LOT of gear over the years but it's such a tiny drop in the bucket of what is out there. I am taking the risk in January when I go to the Audio show in Vegas that I will find stuff I like better than what I have from another company. I may still like what I have more but i want to go so that when I make recommendations to people I have more than one or three companies out of over 100 so far that remotely impress me. I am hoping to hear good smaller makers designed by music lovers not accountants/marketing departments. Companies like Von Sweikert, Jean Marie Reynaud, SP technologies, Green Mountain Audio, Merlin acoustics and a number of others.

    It does not matter that I may find something I like better because what i already found is extremely musically rewarding. it's hard to imagine it getting much better -- but I've said that before -- see 4 years ago and my comments for Reference 3a's MM De Capo.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    If you get a chance to hear any of these "Analysis Audio, Genesis, Apogee,or Acustat and Soundlab" then dont hesistate. Be warned tough, you might end up like me
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  8. #8
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Jim the only way you could get buyers remorse is if you don't think the speaker is all that great or you have various reservations about what you hear. Most all of us have to buy a speaker that fits a budget - if you've heard lots of speakers and like one because ti sounds the best to your ear then chances are you'll be happy. We all have to live with the fact that one day at some point we MIGHT hear something else that is better. I look at finding something "BETTER" not as something that would give me buyers remorse but an opportunity for improvement.

    If you buy a speaker or any other componant that makes you excited and happy to listen to all day long then it's a terrific speaker -- the fact that some other product down the road you like more does not or should not detract you from liking the speaker you've settled on in the now.

    I have listened to a LOT of gear over the years but it's such a tiny drop in the bucket of what is out there. I am taking the risk in January when I go to the Audio show in Vegas that I will find stuff I like better than what I have from another company. I may still like what I have more but i want to go so that when I make recommendations to people I have more than one or three companies out of over 100 so far that remotely impress me. I am hoping to hear good smaller makers designed by music lovers not accountants/marketing departments. Companies like Von Sweikert, Jean Marie Reynaud, SP technologies, Green Mountain Audio, Merlin acoustics and a number of others.

    It does not matter that I may find something I like better because what i already found is extremely musically rewarding. it's hard to imagine it getting much better -- but I've said that before -- see 4 years ago and my comments for Reference 3a's MM De Capo.

    The only way remorse would factor into the equation would be if I can't hear any comprarable Dyaudio products. I know I can never hear them all, wouldn't want to but my interest in the Danes goes back to the days of Vandy and Norb which was many, many years ago. While Vandy was a Klipsch proponent (I have been a Klipsch owner for 12 years now) he was very fond of the Danes. I also see where even you have been impressed with at least part of the product line, and then there was Woodman as well (72's). Having heard so many positive comments for so long it bothers me that I can't audition anything in the line that sells for under 15 grand. KC isn't exactly the big city but then again, it's not exactly the sticks either. That such a popular and well regarded line isn't even represented in this city sucks. I know I want to hear some Dynaudio 82's although Topspeed's opinion does mean something to me.

    I guess if worst comes to worst I could always resell something on Audiogon but the frequent upgrade fever is something I've managed to resist for many years, I'd hate to have to change my ways now.

    Thanks for the comments.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Hey JC, whats your budget?
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  10. #10
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Hey JC, whats your budget?
    I'm kinda hoping to stay under three grand for the mains and a center channel. That's why I was kind of curious about the price difference of the VR4 jr's. I can buy used VR4 jr's and a used CC for about 5 hundred more than the VR2's new with a new CC. Having heard and approved of the VR2's taking a leap up the next rung in the line didn't seem like a huge gamble. Overall I'd vastly prefer to listen before I buy, which of course limits the options. Like everyone else, I wish the budget were bigger, and I guess it could be by a bit, but I just bought a new Salamander system, 5 channel amp, and finally got my TV a month ago. Sadly, there's only so much money I can direct toward these material purchases.

    If you have other suggestions, I'm all ears.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Are you open to boxless speakers? Where are you located? What electronics will you use them with? How much space do you have? Will you use these for music or HT or both?

    -Flo
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  12. #12
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Are you open to boxless speakers? Where are you located? What electronics will you use them with? How much space do you have? Will you use these for music or HT or both?

    -Flo
    Boxless, I guess although I don't have much experience with anything but Maggie and I wasn't impressed with the model I auditioned some time ago. Can't recall which it was at the moment. Sound FX is the Maggie dealer in Kansas City and I suspect it was a midlevel product 2 years ago.

    I live in KC. For the present I will be using a Denon 3802 as a pre and driving the speakers with a Carver Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 channel amp (5x200). The room is 18 feet long by 16 feet wide with 10 foot ceilings. The speakers are on the long wall and will share space with a Sony 55XS955 rear projection TV which is situated on a Salamander table created by using a SVDO flanked by 2 single 20's. I'd guess the overall length of the audio/visual table to be about 80 inches. While it will be used for movies, music is where I spend most of the time.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Good gawd Flo, and this thread was actually going pretty well up to this point. If you were trying to turn the tone of this thread into something self-serving, confrontational, and negative, well congratulations, you've accomplished that goal. Quite a feat from someone who's supposed to moderate this board and keep things from spinning out of control, getting personal, and turning into flame wars.

    It's fine to make suggest panel speakers and extoll their merits, but telling someone to "forget about" an opinion that runs contrary to yours is presumptuous and immature. RGA may say the same things repeatedly when it comes to panel speakers, but frankly, so do YOU. (If you're sick of RGA talking about AN, take a look in the mirror and see how frequently you mention the Apogees) It's not like RGA has never heard panel speakers before, so I don't know how you can say that he has "no clue" about them. Different rooms, different preferences, different ears -- think about that before you start taking opinions about panel speakers so personally and before you start talking about "real" speakers and "real" electronics as if everyone who views things differently than you are supporting "fake" speakers and "fake" electronics.
    Last edited by Geoffcin; 08-27-2005 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Removed offending post

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    I dont want to take this thread the wrong way. But i am right, he has no clue about panel speakers. Its my opinion and compared to him i had several planar systems personally and have one of the best planars ever made. I know what they can do and what they cant do, and what he says is falls. I have nothing against him, he just doesnt have a clue what he is talking about. He quotes some garbage and then writes about his dealer experience. That aint no help at all.

    -Flo
    And this type of statement where you try to discredit another member's qualifications to make an OPINION is exactly the kind of inflammatory language that takes threads the wrong way. If he's writing about what he has personally heard with panel speakers, then how is that wrong or clueless? If you want to praise the virtues of planar speakers, knock yourself out. But, you do your own credibility a major disservice whenever you focus so much energy trying to discredit another member's opinions and take on the condescending and self-righteous tone that you do. Like I keep saying -- different rooms, different preferences, different ears.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Well why does he have the right to bang on planars everytime they are mentioned? I dont wanna argue, its pointless with him. He just writes and quotes 10 pages from some site he finds on google.

    -Flo
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Well why does he have the right to bang on planars everytime they are mentioned?

    -Flo
    Why do you have the right to bang on box speakers.?Often I do not agree with rga but this is a disscussion forum.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Well why does he have the right to bang on planars everytime they are mentioned? I dont wanna argue, its pointless with him. He just writes and quotes 10 pages from some site he finds on google.

    -Flo
    Just as you have the right to bang on box speakers, and often exercise that right. The issue on this thread is that you've made RGA the issue, rather than the merits of the topic at hand. If you think he's wrong, then debate the points. Trying to tell people to ignore what he says or telling us that he "has no clue" is a copout approach, and more personal than substantive.

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    It's so far off the original topic that anyone wanting to follow the thread would be totally confused. If you guys want to open a topic in the "Steel Cage" forum and go at it then I'm all for that. Anymore off topic banter, and I mean ANYTHING that doesn't have to do with this specific thread (please read the topic line at the top if your unsure as to what it was) is ABSOLUTELY not welcome.
    Sorry I was typing my post and submitted it then read this. I will not make a further point to this as I feel I've repeated myself a little as it is.

    Sorry Jim.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Nevermind....RGA you have a PM
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  20. #20
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Your new thread is in the Steel Cage

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Nevermind....RGA you have a PM
    Please feel free to "Have at it" over there
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  21. #21
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    That OK

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Sorry I was typing my post and submitted it then read this. I will not make a further point to this as I feel I've repeated myself a little as it is.

    Sorry Jim.
    You have a discussion to make with Florian, and it's one that you have a right to have, only not here. Please go to the new topic in the Steel Cage and continue.
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  22. #22
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    After careful deliberation and few more auditions I've taken the unusual step of ordering a speaker I've never even listened to. The VS VR2's were better than what I have in just about every regard. My hesitation was limited to-how much better? Without question they were 1,200 better(the going rate at Audiogon) but not positive about 2,495 (new price through the dealer). To be honest I have a bit of a problem going to a dealer for a demo and then buying elsewhere for less. To me that's somewhat dishonest although it wasn't my intention going into the store. If he'd have had the Dynaudio product I was looking for I'm pretty sure I'd have a set of those in my home now.

    After reading all of the reviews for the VR 4jr's, I feel reasonably confident that for 2,500 (used price) these will be enough of an improvement to justify the price and since I didn't listen to them at the dealer my conscience is clear. The clincher is that the "owner" never even took possesion of this set of speakers and they remain at the authorized dealer who has basically agreed to broker the deal. Seems the seller decided at the last minute to go for some Vandersteen Quatro's instead. These speakers have been played less than 10 hours and as far as I'm concerned they are new and I'll be getting the full 10 year warranty. An unexpected plus is that since the dealer is involved he is using his contacts and experience to ship these out and I'm confident the deal will progress without any unforseen stumbles. Having never heard them I'm can't say with certainty that I'm making a wise move but the reviews and owner comments have set my expectations high and I'm very excited to be moving forward with this set of speakers but only time will tell how smart a move it was.

    Along the way I've come to several random conclusions, some of which I'll post in an equally random way:

    -we don't all hear the same thing even though we are listening to the same thing. If we did then B&W would never sell a single speaker as far as I'm concerned.

    -Dali makes the most beautiful cabinets I've ever seen in a speaker

    -I would have liked to at least listen to an Audio Note speaker. Sadly none is closer than Denver and I'm not going to Denver to listen to a speaker. This is offset by the fact that having seen the pics, I can't imagine I'd pull the trigger on this brand. Looks, while a secondary consideration are still a consideration.

    - While not limited to AN since I've seen ads touting the same for speakers in the Von Schweikert line, do that many people really believe that silver wire in the speaker makes an audible difference? What do these same people say about all of the copper being used before the signal gets to the speaker? This is the single biggest oddity I encountered.

    -Did Florian really recomend a speaker by a company that has been out of business for 10 years? Enthusiasm for your fave is one thing but that seems to be pushing the limits of sanity. At any rate, I did at least look online and the width consideration alone immediately took it out of contention. Martin Logan is manufactured within 25 minutes of my home. It would have been cool to be able to fall in love with these the way he goes for the Apogee's, but it wasn't to be. The MG 3.6's had some admirable traits especially with several tracks on my Demo disc but when it came to what I actually listen to, my initial impression held. Besides, with both MMG and ML, the footprint almost immediately steered me away. I just can't use them but thanks for the encouragement to revisit them.

    -I still would have really, really liked to listen to the Dynaudio Evidence line!

    -Audiogon is your friend. I really hope I can find a used LCR 15 in African Hazelwood.

    -Finally, it would appear that I need to learn how to biwire.

    Regards,
    jc
    Last edited by Jim Clark; 08-30-2005 at 01:36 PM.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  23. #23
    RGA
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    I can speak to the silver in your discussion because Audio Note makes thesame speaker with copper and other versions with silver and with different cabinet materials. I'm not a cable supporter by the way and so I can;t tell you if the diifferences are due to silver or a combination of the wiring and crossovers etc.

    The Audio Note J K and E models with an L after it are copper wired and perform typically better than the silver models with solid state amps. At least those SS amps in my sessions but bigger AN fans than me have more experience and also come to this conclusion. The E copper version for example sounded quite excellent on the Rotel RA02 a budget amp. The K/Spe(silver wired) however sounded rather spitty in the upper midrange and would be rather "bright" to me. Switching to one of Audio Note's amps and the K/spe that problem completely dissapeared. The E/L(copper) though didn't imporved too but seemed to lack a little sparkle (we still need some).

    Your point about silver throughout is one of the reasons I'm not a cable supporter. It makes little sense to have different wiring from cd player to amp to speaker. I can;t speak for Von Sweikert but Audio Note makes all their own cables. And they tune everything by ear. Their level system (which is really tough to "believe" unless you've heard them in action advises that if you buy a level two speaker you should have the amp or cd player not be more than one level off. So in the case of the J/Spe (my speakers) they use the lowest level of silver wiring(spe) and ideally they would like you to buy the SPE speaker cable as well as SPE interconnect and the Meishu silver wired amplifier and the upper DAC which is also Silver wired. In lieu of budget their top of the line copper litz is one level down and is close to the lower end silver.

    Few companies build the whole chain -- one of the amps Von Sweikert uses to tune their speakers and to listen to is from Audio Note -- so It's not too suprising that Von Sweikert if they are using silver wiring would want to use amplifiers and sources with silver wiring. Unlike Audio note of course they have to build their speakers to be more accomodating of many different amplifiers. Audio Note's fault if you can call it that is that they build their speakers with their amplifiers and their cd players and cables in mind and they have little interest in how SS reacts because they think, in their opinion, that SS is rubbish. So hooking up the Rotel and getting good results was not something recommended it was something my dealer has done to try and find a way to get a relatively inexpensive AN E system. I had good luck with a Sugden with my speakers. But MF? Ughh terrible match. Bryston forgettaboutit.

    I would like to see my dealer Soundhounds acquire both Von Sweikert and Spendor.

    Silver misused though has been ripped apart by many forumers and speaker makers -- and listening to the Silver K on the Rotel if that;s what they complain about then I understand and agree -- well matched and for whatever reason it makes a huge diffeence/improvement.

    A fellow here got the dealer to re-wire his B&W Nautilus internal wires with Audio Note silver wiring and he claims it made a massive improvement -- I didn't hear em so I don't know.

  24. #24
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Congrat on the new speakers!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    After careful deliberation and few more auditions I've taken the unusual step of ordering a speaker I've never even listened to. The VS VR2's were better than what I have in just about every regard. My hesitation was limited to-how much better? Without question they were 1,200 better(the going rate at Audiogon) but not positive about 2,495 (new price through the dealer). To be honest I have a bit of a problem going to a dealer for a demo and then buying elsewhere for less. To me that's somewhat dishonest although it wasn't my intention going into the store. If he'd have had the Dynaudio product I was looking for I'm pretty sure I'd have a set of those in my home now.

    Regards,
    jc
    Even though my vote goes to the VR4jr over the VR2, there's a caveat; They are not going to sound incredibly better than the VR2. They don't even sound much different than the VR1, as that's what they basically are, mated with a sophisticated transmission line bass module. That being said, with these modest sized floorstanders you'll get a lot more body to the music, and they can play lower, and cleaner at a louder SPL. I liked them a lot!

    Good luck!
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  25. #25
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Congrats Jim!

    I'm sure you're going to love the jr's. The dynamics, speed, and clarity of this little speaker is going to blow you away, trust me. It's really cool that you're able to buy them from a dealer too, peace of mind is priceless.

    A couple of tips if I may:

    1) With only 10 hours on them, give the tweeter at least another 100 hours to settle in. Yes, I'm aware of how ridiculous that sounds. However, I've heard jr's that weren't broken-in at VSA in San Diego and they were a tad sibilant in comparison to others I've heard. Kevin, Albert's second in command, admitted the discrepency and mentioned the jr's we were listening only had about 20 hours on them and were in the process of burn-in.

    2) Add the lead shot. After you've got the positioning dialed in, take advantage of the mass loading tube. It makes a difference.

    3) Bi-wire. The jr's come with that funky jumper cable but in reality, the speakers were designed to be bi-wired.

    I'd love to hear your impressions once you've had ample opportunity to dial them in. Again congrats, I'm quite envious and I'm sure you'll enjoy your new toys!

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