Von Schweikert Research VR-5 Floorstanding Speakers

VR-5

Dynamic-driver four way system using transmission line loading. Wall construction uses heavily braced 1.5” MDF 28-20kHz, +/- 1.5 dB, 20Hz-25kHz –6dB.

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Neil   AudioPhile [Dec 31, 2012]

This is the first speaker I can live with after years of searching. Sonic euphoria in a practical, good looking design that can work in a real living room is nothing to shake a stick at.

The VR5 offers an expansive soundstage, gobs of detail without any trace of grain, harshness or hardness. No midbass bloat, and damn is the midrange just wide open. Treble detail in spades with no fatigue. Another listener once said that listening to his VR5s was like immersion, and that VS makes speakers that produce sound so real you can almost feel it on your skin. I concur. These are stellar.

Hear these if you can - but note that I have the VR5 HSE. I've not heard the standard version, but it may represent a solid value at its price point.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
meijer   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 2007]
Strength:

Coherent sound, 3d sound and warm creamy bass sound.

Weakness:

Price

I recognize the anthousiastic reviews, sorry for my language i'm from the netherlands. These speakers have it all. Detail, 3d sound with depth and great soundstage. Bass is very warm en fast. In my small listening room the vr 5 gives not an resonance problem. I had alsoo the vr4jr mkI and this speaker gave too many bass, i was not nice to hear. The vr5 is much better. When i'm listening and i close my eyes, i see the recording studio before me and can imagine how the recording took place. In front and the middle the singer, drums behind and between them from the left and the right the other instruments. You'll forget that the music becomes out of the speakers. With the most other speakers, the music you hear that the music comes out of the speakers, the vr5 disappear compleet. There are many good speakers, also of much less price. But everyone has it's own demands and budget to spend. When you have the mony for a pair of vr5 mkII (second hand) it's the money worth. At the other hand for much less money you'll het also a good speaker and you hear still all the details. It's true, when you have an average good system, you must pay a lot of money for little improvement.

Similar Products Used: Audiolab Axis, Von Schweikert vr4jr, Pied piper super active, Translator Stylus One, Von Schweikert vr4 mkII
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
meijer   AudioPhile [May 25, 2007]
Strength:

Looks and finishing, super sound.

Weakness:

Price new is very high, especially abroad due to importcosts.

One of the best speakers i have ever heard. You must put in a great signal. It is very sensible for quality inputs. When you use average amplifiers and cables the sound will be average. But when you have a good match it sonds incredible.

The detail and imaging are great and the sound is delicated, very smooth and pleasant. In my livingroom it is a strong point that the bass is tight and fast, and not too loud and heavy.

Similar Products Used: Avalon Eidelon and Wilson Watt Puppy, Translator Stylus One
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 25, 2001]
Strength:

Soundstage, Imaging, Detail, Accuracy of Bass, Quality of Construction & Finish, Value

Weakness:

Significant break-in required - at least 200 hours. But this is often typical of a high quality speaker. Will reveal the weaknesses of your system and recordings!

The VR-5 with the Hovland Special Edition option is in my opinion unbeatable for the money. The accuracy and detail are amazing without that analytical sound. Bass response is incredible for a speaker having a relatively small "footprint". Tight and fast with no muddiness best describes the bass performance of these speakers. The mids and highs are silky smooth with no harshness or grain. They do require a good break in to sound their best. They are quite forgiving in terms of room placement as well. The quality of their construction and cabinet finish are world class.

I would like to add that Albert Von Schweikert is a true gentleman as well as being a "guru" when it comes to speaker design. He will take the time to explain his product and philosophy so that a potential customer can gain real insight into his speakers'design.

Seeing how good the VR-5's are I can only imagine what the VR-7's must be like!!

System:
McIntosh MC 352 Power Amp
McIntosh C-42 Preamp
Electrocompaniet EMC-1 with 24/192 Upgrade
PS Audio P300 Power Conditioner
Technics Turntable & Grado
Cardas Golden Cross Balanced XLR Interconnects
Analysis Plus Oval 9 Bi-Wired Speaker Cable
Von Schweikert VR-5 HSE

Similar Products Used: Energy, Monitor Audio, Polk, B&W, Linn.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ned   Audiophile [Nov 11, 2000]
Strength:

Exquisitely ORGANIC and articulate at all frequencies: particularly articulate bass. Easier to place than my gen II VR4s.

Weakness:

don't play quite as LOW as VR4 gen IIs

Well, I should begin by stating that I'm more of a "music listener" than an audiophile. I am fortunate to have gradually built what many would call an "audiophile" system. Value has always been the primary factor in purchasing new equipment. "Bang for buck" is my bottom line (at least most of the time - I own a Bedini Clarifier and Harmonic Recovery System and Tice Solo).
My system: VR5s
Aloia 13.01 PA w/inductive PS
Conrad Johnson PFR
Musical Fidelity X-24K (from DV525 and CD2)
Pioneer DV-525 (for 96/24 audio transport)
Nakamichi CD Player 2 (multidisc to X-24K)
B&O RX2 w/Parasound PPH100 preamp
Pioneer TX-6500
MSB PAD-1 and Digital Director

Most often I'm playing CDs on the DV-525 into the X-24K. Speaker wire and interconnects are (mostly) mid priced LAT International. I should mention that I listen to A LOT (2 - 3x per week) of live music - mostly acoustic small venue amplified folk, rock, alternative and the like. I do have occasion to orchestral presentations 4 - 8 times a year. From this experience comes my review. I have less opportunity to compare "products" - my comparison is to live music, at least the types I get to hear.

Anyway, without reservation I can say that the VR5s have been the single most valuable step toward LIVE music that I have made. I have been astounded as to how organic these speakers are. More "truth" has entered my listening room than any other upgrade I've ever made, including moving from VR3s to VR4 gen IIs. (The gen IIs always gave me trouble at the lowest frequencies - probably room related). The smaller size of the 5s makes them easier to place. There is little sacrifice in low frequency notes. Actually, while the 5s do not seem to go as low as any of the speakers I mentioned above, the bass is more articulate and "usable" than any of the three. In fact, the VR5s bass is the most coherent/deep COMBINATION I've ever heard. Listening to Gomez's debut LP (a very dynamic, slightly compressed mix of acoustic and electric w/contrasting vocals) revealed just how ORGANIC the VR5s can be. Leading and trailing edges of instruments and voice are clearly defined with all the attack and decay of real life. Ambience as a total and around individuals has never been more evident. Harmonies have never been more harmonious in my room. Brian Wilson's "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" cast vocal dimension and reality that even the most casual listener would relish. Springsteen's "The E Street Shuffle" (the digital remaster and something I've listened to hundreds of times) evoked such compelling reality I was literally laughing out loud with excitement. So unencumbered. So detailed without a hint of being analytical. So much like real life. SO ORGANIC. YUP ORGANIC! Now excuse me, please - I need to go water my VR5s.

Similar Products Used: VR4 gen IIs, Vandersteen 5, Dunlavy SC VI
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul Uittenbogaard   Audiophile [Oct 26, 2000]
Strength:

Dynamics, detail, bass, staging

Weakness:

finisch


Great speaker for dynamics and staging. The "bel" Von Schweikert tries to create really gives the most realistic reproduction of music i ever heard. The low end is very good as well. Not there if it should, and very much there if it is necesarry. Very controlled too.The finisch of the speakers is not as good as the sound however. Albert should be working on that. All in all a very good speaker for the price and in absolute terms, though the new Infinity Prelude is supposed to be even better for the same price.

Similar Products Used: avalon, audio physics, monitor audio
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve Siener   Audiophile [Aug 30, 2001]
Strength:

great tonal accuracy, fast, dynamic, full range, image great, make wonderful music

Weakness:

fall short of VR-7

Albert upgraded my VR-4 gen II speakers with VR-5 drivers. My speakers have a bit better bass performance since they were able to fit 8.5" woofers in my enclosures, which are larger than the standard VR-5 woofers. I paid $2,500 for the modification which includes all new drivers, wires, and crossover parts. I have an SACD player for a front end, hooked to an RE Designs SCPA-1 preamp, connected to two Bel Canto Evo amps running in mono mode. My wires are Analysis Plus. With the exception of the preamp, my setup very closely resembles Albert's demo system. It's no accident he uses these components; they sound incredible together!

Speaking of sound, I cannot say enough good things about these speakers. Sure, the VR-7's have astounding bass and produce a bigger soundfield but my speakers possess the same character: Albert's character. There's a lot of solid engineering in these speakers, but, in the end, it's the sound that matters. To my ears, Albert is one of the best around at voicing speakers. I trust his ears above anyone else's in the industry.

I thought the Audio Physic Avanti III's had better high frequency detail retrieval but I still think my speakers best them in overall driver integration and definitely in bass. I've also auditioned the Talon Khorus (much more expensive at $14K) but came away not convinced they're better. I can't really make a judgment, however, since the Talons were not fully broken in (they take forever to break in). Regarding break-in with the new Von Schweikert speakers: it takes quite some time and the speakers sound pretty bad until they're broken in. Be sure to audition some that have at least 400 hours on them.

To sum it up, Von Schweikert speakers make wonderful music. They are incredibly neutral and accurate. The drivers are so well integrated that they disappear, as all great speakers do. They are great bargains at their respective price points.

Similar Products Used: VR-7, Wilson WATT 6's, B&W 802, Theil, Audio Physic Avanti III, also many others in the price range that were not in the same league sound-wise
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jack   Audiophile [Jan 01, 2002]
Strength:

Cabinent, binding posts

Weakness:

Soundstage, highs, lows, materials

I really wanted to like these speakers, they were bought over the internet based on on-line hype and reviews like this. What a disappointment! You can do much better for less money. These were sold, my next mains will be DIY, if they don't work out then its between Vandersteen and Legacy.

These are supposed to be coherent speakers, but compared to other time and phase aligned speakers these were lacking. I did have better results when the rear firing "ambience" tweeter was disabled, it really seemed to confuse the sound stage. The use of the metallic drivers gives the sound a harsh quality the bass was weak and tuby. The fabric tweeter produced soft muffled highs, horns never sounded right. I was concerned about the use of foam rubber used internally for dampening degrading over time. These speakers also had problems reproducing flugelhorns with any degree of believability. Very narrow "sweet spot", what little sound staging was there was quickly lost when moving your head just a little.

The cabinents are beautiful, the cherry finish is wonderful.
The Cardas binding posts are very nice and allow you to bi-wire.

System:
AI 3
DNA 2 Rev A
Rega Planet
DIY Turntable & DIY Tube phono stage
DIY Silver Teflon ICs
DIY Jon Risch Belden Dual-Coax bi-wire speaker cables
HSE VR5s

Similar Products Used: Thiel, Dunlavy, Meadowlark, Vandersteen, Leagacy
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Larry   [Oct 18, 2001]
Strength:

VR-5 HSE- _all_ the drivers, cross-over tuning, internal wiring.... bigger magnesium woofers (7"), Hovland caps

Weakness:

Errr...

Wow! Real, organic MUSIC from my speakers! Didn't think that it was gonna happen with a digital front-end.

The previous couple reviews capture the listening experience accurately. Base accuracy/imaging with the VR-5 HSE was heretofore "unheard of"...heheh. And -that's available with just the VR-5 and woofer upgrade. Driver integration? Well, I haven't heard better- Wilsons, Dunlavy's can't hang. Forget my old Hales T5's...

My only gripe is my listening triangle is too small- 7'X7'X7'; 2ft from rear wall. I've heard 'em 9X9X9 and 5 feet from rear wall- they throw up an enormous soundstage for speakers of their size.

What an incredibly natural sounding speaker. I'll never return to metal midranges and tweeters. Or any other speaker manufacturer I've heard from to date, period. I really wanted the VR-7's, but no room for 'em. Some day soon :)

System:
VR-5 HSE

Audio Artisan DVD/CD (modified player, detailed analgue section)

VK50SE

VK150SE- 4-6 ohm taps: great bass control

all sortsa Shunyata stuff-2 KC V2's,3 Viper V2's, Hydra

Audience Au24 1 meter speaker wire w/jumpers (actually seems to sound better than external biwire)

Analysis Plus Silver Oval balanced IC's

Golden Sound cones, DH squares

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mark burhenne   Audiophile [Sep 08, 2000]
Strength:

You name it

Weakness:

can't think of any now...well ok, had to wait too long to get them

I wasn't going to write a review this early after buying this speaker, especially since these speakers are not yet fully
broken in. Also, my front end is "down and out" for the time being (Rogue, VAC tube amplifiers) and I am being
subjected to a solid state integrated (Linn Majik) borrowed from my next door neighbor (Thank you Bob-I owe you one!).
Yet even more inconvenient, one of the twin aluminum coned Super Duty woofer cones is rattling a bit. I called Albert,
and he's already "on it" for a fix.
Nevertheless, what prompted me to write despite the above was a revelation which just occurred. Last night I saw
Ottmar Liebert in concert, something I do whenever he's in town. Dave Bryant, one of the percussionists, sits on a
drum which, when played, has always irritated me a bit. I have always found the sound to be inappropriate for the
band's sound. Well, tonight, one night after hearing him live, I heard it in my living room. For the first time in ten
years, it elicited the same response in my home as it did live in a concert hall! I was so suprised to hear it this way,
that I went back and played it again several times. To my chagrin, the VR-5 is uncanny in its recreation of this sound.
It is already clear to me that something magical is at work here with the VR-5. I am hearing things that I have not
heard before in my living room, and in a way that I have never heard outside the concert hall. I applaud Albert for his
design, and am almost happy that the flood in New York brought him out to California to design this speaker (although,
I'm sure this caused him and his family a great deal of stress).
The above list of speakers I have either owned in the last ten years or extensively auditioned for the last 6 months.
I'm glad I was introduced to The Von Schweikert Line (Thank you to Mark S.), since none of these speakers, for me,
have recreated what the VR-5s do. I look forward to the return of my tube electronics, a complete break-in of the
speakers, the repair of the woofer, and more time to critically listen to these speakers. I hate to think what the VR-7s
sound like! I will write in again with a more detailed review.


Similar Products Used: B&W 803, 802, Ariel 10T, Revel Salon, Hales Sytem Two, Silverline Panatellas II, Sonatina, Sonata,ProAc 3.8, several top Avalons...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 12  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com