My friend and I drove up from San Diego to the Von Schweikert facility for the second time , only now we were to have an in-depth demo of the VR44.
They had the VR44 aktive speakers hooked up to Jolida 211 tube monblock mk2 50wpc amps.
Albert explained that the amplifier for the bass was no ordinary class D amp, this one actually had circuitry had mimics the main amplifier going to the top section. You can feed it tubes and the whole speaker will sound the same. Nice with a twenty watt tube amp that may be great for mids and highs but not enough power for thunderous bass. Cool….
The VR44 we heard the last time during the VR22 /VR33 demo (see below) were just plunked down in the middle of the room. The sounds they made had us both waiting in anticipation for a full demo when they came back from the Denver show. (this pair of 44s were sold before we arrived for this demo)
These VR44s were now positioned correctly for listening, about 36” from the rear wall in a 12x19’ room (I think); toed in to the sweet spot on the couch.
Albert played the same cut we heard the last time with a bass instrument’s strings being plugged, plucked, snapped and played. Same fantastic sounds but the immense depth we heard the last time wasn’t there. The speakers needed more room to breathe I think; my friend agreed they needed to be pulled out more.
We listened to an extensive variety of instruments, vocals, strange noises (these were fun). We took a break while the tube amps were swapped out for Channel Island D200 watt monoblock mk2 amps . Albert explained these were not switching amps but class D amps which are super-efficient. The amps had been playing in another room and were already warmed up but you could still hear the sound change as they went through the recharging process.
As excellent as the VR44s were on the 211 amps, they excelled with the Channel Island amps, simply breath taking. I have never heard dynamics and transients sound like that unless it was Live music. The jump factor at times was startling. The VR44 can play loud without any congestion or breakup but how would they play at low volume? We lowered the volume to Late Night listening levels, Albert dimmed the lights. We were silent for a very long time hearing cut after cut, we were no longer listening to speakers, we were sitting at a performance.
Now, if I was only born rich instead of good looking...