A different kind of recommendation question

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Tom Bombadil

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A different kind of recommendation question
« on: 9 Mar 2018, 01:09 am »
I've owned a pair of VR-4 tower speakers for going on 22 years.  Had the VR-5/7 upgrade done to them probably 16 years ago.  I absolutely love them.  Have compared them to multiple speakers in the $12K to $20K range and have yet to find anything better. 

However life happens and I'm moving into a much smaller apartment.  The living room is only 12' wide and it looks highly unlikely that I will have sufficient space for the VR-4s.   I've found that they sound best when positioned at least 2' from the back wall and that's going to put my listening position no more than about 6' (or less) from the speakers.   Not optimal and would make the living room seem more like a hallway. 

So I may need to look around at bookshelf / monitor speakers.  With a budget of just $5K.  Not adverse to buying used. 

It will be very difficult to give up that Von Schweikert sound.   Any recommendations as to what monitor speakers out there which best produce a VS-type sound signature?  I do have a rare pair of Von Schweikert VM-2 monitors, but they fall well short.  Used them as side channels in a 5.1 setup for a while. 

smilach

Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #1 on: 9 Mar 2018, 02:40 am »
You may want to take a look at the VR-33 (New) or the VR-35 (Used).  They are designed to be placed very close to the rear wall and image nicely.  They won't play quite as low as the VR-5/7 upgrade but you may like them.  I replaced my VR-4 Gen II's with VR-33's due to my smallish living room and in this space I would not go back to my VR-4's.

Tubeburner

Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #2 on: 9 Mar 2018, 02:55 am »
Why not try your speakers first. I have VR7 HSE in a near field setup and placement made a huge difference. I do have vaulted ceilings which help, but I wouldn't let these go without trying every arrangement possible. My wife thought they would over power our room and they actually gave the room the symmetry it needed.

Tom Bombadil

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #3 on: 9 Mar 2018, 04:35 am »
I estimate that from the front of the speakers to the front of my coach will be about 5'.  That's pretty near field and quite dominating in terms of how the room is laid out.   8' ceiling.  Not much room for these speakers to "breathe."  Less than most bedrooms. 

I probably will try them, but I'm thinking it is far from optimal.

BigSwede

Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #4 on: 10 Mar 2018, 10:20 pm »
I have my VR-33s nine inches from the back wall. :)

Tom Bombadil

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #5 on: 11 Mar 2018, 05:08 am »
I tried my VR4 (/5/7) at 10" from the back wall once and it diminished the soundstage and muddied up the bass a bit.   Still sounded good but some of the magic was gone.

Worse yet was the time I placed my right speaker just a foot from the side wall.   These speakers like being out into the room. 

SundayNiagara

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #6 on: 11 Mar 2018, 01:15 pm »
I tried my VR4 (/5/7) at 10" from the back wall once and it diminished the soundstage and muddied up the bass a bit.   Still sounded good but some of the magic was gone.

Worse yet was the time I placed my right speaker just a foot from the side wall.   These speakers like being out into the room.

Pearson's "Rule of Thirds"still applies. :)

Yun66

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #7 on: 20 May 2018, 04:09 pm »
Just joined the Circle. So kind of late to post on this topic. I have a small room about 13x14. After extensive reading and talking with Leif, I settled on a pair of VR33. This was about 6 months ago. I'm very happy I did. I have the speakers about 9 inches away from the wall and sit about 9 ft from the speakers. The soundstage is so wide that sometimes I have to turn my head side to side a little to appreciate it.  I just got a Purity Audio tube preamp. The soundstage gets deeper and instruments appear playing outside the wall. I think VR33 is born for people with small listening rooms. Highly recommended!

Delacroix

Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #8 on: 23 May 2018, 01:28 pm »
While there's no  substitute for space, I do think it's worth trying your VR-4s in that new room as each environment is unique. FWIW, I have heard the VR-22s close to wall placement and was very impressed with the sound so there's definitely an option there to stay in the family and have a tidier layout. But as to the 4s, I have played around a lot with placement of my 5-Annis over the years and was quite amazed at one point at how good they sounded when pushed up against the wall. I did not leave them there but what particularly struck me was that rather than the soundstage collapsing, I felt this position seemed to create the illusion of the music coming from further in front of the speakers than normal. While the physical size of the cabinets might still pose some challenges for aesthetic and layout reasons, you may enjoy the sound enough to postpone thoughts of scaling down.   

Let us know how it goes.

Best, Patrick

ASMAN

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #9 on: 24 May 2018, 01:51 pm »
I use the VR22's in a room similar in size. I have the speakers12-14" from the back wall and listening position 8-9 feet from them.
Very wide sound stage with great depth. When listening to Roger Water's Amused to Death  music and sound seems to come from everywhere, much wider than the speaker positions and way behind them.
Can't recommend them highly enough.
Bass 'o plenty. I use a DSpeaker Dual Core 2.0 to tame room aberrations. Couldn't be happier.

SundayNiagara

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2018, 03:09 pm »
I use the VR22's in a room similar in size. I have the speakers12-14" from the back wall and listening position 8-9 feet from them.
Very wide sound stage with great depth. When listening to Roger Water's Amused to Death  music and sound seems to come from everywhere, much wider than the speaker positions and way behind them.
Can't recommend them highly enough.
Bass 'o plenty. I use a DSpeaker Dual Core 2.0 to tame room aberrations. Couldn't be happier.

Amused To Death is recorded in "Q" Sound, which tinkers with phasing. That's why you are surrounded by sound. The Pink Floyd DVD, Pulse, is also recorded in this manner.

ASMAN

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #11 on: 25 May 2018, 01:32 pm »
I am aware, doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.

Yun66

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #12 on: 25 May 2018, 04:53 pm »
Amused To Death is recorded in "Q" Sound, which tinkers with phasing. That's why you are surrounded by sound. The Pink Floyd DVD, Pulse, is also recorded in this manner.

Didn't know that. Always wondering why sounded different. Thanks!

SundayNiagara

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #13 on: 25 May 2018, 10:28 pm »
Didn't know that. Always wondering why sounded different. Thanks!

You'rewelcome. :)

Tom Bombadil

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #14 on: 26 May 2018, 11:02 pm »
OP here.  I was able to arrange the living room a bit different, I'm letting my speakers dictate the layout of the room.  As a single guy, I can do these things.

Right now I have the speakers 16" out from the back wall, 4' apart, and 7' from my listening position, at least to where my ears are positioned (just 5.5' from front of couch).  Have only performed a bit of casual listening and some HT.   Not enough to form any judgements.  But I'm going to give it a try.   Room is 230sf. 

mhconley

Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #15 on: 27 May 2018, 01:15 pm »
I have my VR-4 Gen III HSEs in a small room. They are 12” off the rear wall, 5’6” apart and 8’ from my ears. My room is a right trapezoid about 159 ft2 but the back is open to a much larger space. Listened to the 1974 live recording of DSOTM, Kate Bush Hounds of Love and some Zeppelin last night. I think my setup sounds incredible. Have fun.

Martin

SundayNiagara

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #16 on: 27 May 2018, 02:18 pm »
OP here.  I was able to arrange the living room a bit different, I'm letting my speakers dictate the layout of the room.  As a single guy, I can do these things.

Right now I have the speakers 16" out from the back wall, 4' apart, and 7' from my listening position, at least to where my ears are positioned (just 5.5' from front of couch).  Have only performed a bit of casual listening and some HT.   Not enough to form any judgements.  But I'm going to give it a try.   Room is 230sf.

Too close to the back wall.

SundayNiagara

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #17 on: 27 May 2018, 02:20 pm »
I have my VR-4 Gen III HSEs in a small room. They are 12” off the rear wall, 5’6” apart and 8’ from my ears. My room is a right trapezoid about 159 ft2 but the back is open to a much larger space. Listened to the 1974 live recording of DSOTM, Kate Bush Hounds of Love and some Zeppelin last night. I think my setup sounds incredible. Have fun.

Martin
This is why VSA make VR22/33/35. :)

Tom Bombadil

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #18 on: 27 May 2018, 04:05 pm »
Too close to the back wall.

Oh, I agree.  In my previous listening rooms I've had them 24" to 30" from the back wall.  But at least it is a bit better than 10" to 12".   I really can't get them any further from the wall in this room without them being right on top of my couch.   I'll see (or hear) how it works soon.

At least they are well out from the room corners, which are speaker killers.

Tom Bombadil

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Re: A different kind of recommendation question
« Reply #19 on: 5 Jun 2018, 04:40 pm »
It's still early but I've had time to listen to some of my regular evaluation songs.   

Note at this time I am using a low powered amplifier, a custom Dennis Had (founder of Cary Audio) hand built single-ended tube amp which develops 17 wpc.  Not enough power to drive my speakers to loud volume levels but I love this combination and it is sufficient to drive them to my typical listening levels.   I have other higher powered amps which I will, eventually, use in this room.

Listening position is rather close, mostly at around 6' to 7'.  Can't do anything about that - except to get closer. 

Overall impression - quite favorable.  Clarity is excellent.  Instruments are well defined, separation of voice is excellent, no congestion or muddiness at all.   Bass is clean and well defined, better than I expected in this smaller room and given that the speakers are only 16" from the back wall.    If anything it sounds a bit light through the 60-120Hz region, but that's an impression I've had with these speakers going back to when I had them upgraded over 15 years ago.  I know most of that perception comes from how these speakers are flat through that region when so many speakers have a bump in that region.  They seem a bit lighter in this room, perhaps because of them being well out from room corners. 

Soundstage is good, but not as big as in previous rooms, when I was able to get the speakers 24" to 30" from the back wall.  It is still better than my other speakers, but not as big and 3-D as when in a large room.   Previously I had them in rooms of 500 to 600sf and they filled those rooms with an astounding soundstage. 

I imagine the bass output will be more substantial once I connect my 200wpc SS amp. 

I was concerned that in this smaller room and at such a close distance, that much of the magic of these speakers would be lost.  That the bass would be boomy, the imaging lost, the open, natural sound congested.  Some of that is true, but only to small degrees.  And the clarity and separation might even be a little better now, probably due to the close listening position.