“The Sound of Reality” …what does that mean?

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
It was at Capital Audiofest 2019 that not one, but two separate manufacturers approached me claiming "they got" what we were chasing with our loudspeaker designs. They claimed they now understood that we were pursuing something different than other high-end companies. We were striving for as close to the live event as possible without putting a spin to it, coloring the sound with an artificial affectation that is apparently common in other brands either intentionally or not.

I was both thankful for the apparent compliment but also confused. Had Leif and I as well as my father before us striven for something different than the rest of the industry? Wasn't everyone trying to achieve the same goal? I'd never considered this.

My father theorized in the mid-70s that the goal of a loudspeaker is to "inversely decode what a microphone encodes" and we have pursued that goal ever since. From a marketing sense, we refer to what we achieve in that pursuit as The Sound of Reality. And the highest praise we can receive is from musicians who comment that they've never gotten closer to what live music sounds like than with our speakers.

With the return to the audio show circuit, these comments were made again several times both in person and in critical reviews of our speakers. It's prompted several conversations as I realized I took what we did for granted and apparently, I wasn't the only one. Greg Weaver of The Audio Analyst provides this discussion on the Von Schweikert "Sound."

I know many high-end audio reviewers and audiophiles who go to live performances numerous times a month, listening to the live event a few hours a week and then enjoy their audio systems several hours a day.

Professional musicians on the other hand listen to live music many hours a day and enjoy their audio system a few hours each week. We are honored by all favorable critical press of our work but when a professional musician who also happens to be an audiophile appreciates what we do, it gives all of us at VSA a great sense of fulfillment because at the core of every design, we strive to recreate the musical recorded event. And then when they decide to keep the speakers for their personal use, well that's just the best!

We hope you enjoy this review linked below of the Endeavor SE by Dr. Michael Bump for Enjoy the Music. And for those interested, here’s a very brief overview of his professional credentials…
  • Professor/Director, Percussion Studies at Truman State University
  • Board of advisors at Percussive Arts Society
  • Former Percussionist at Columbus Symphony
  • Reviewer for Enjoy the Music
Here’s an excerpt from his recent Endeavor SE review…

"From a musician's perspective, what I find particularly intriguing is just how revealing and comprehensible musical form is in the ESE listening experience. Exceptional clarity, air, and space, among other acoustic variables, allow compositional intent and performance interpretation to be laid bare without unintentional vagueness. Perhaps most importantly, the ESE helped open the door to the energy of the music. Aside from the technical language that we often defer to in sonic descriptors of high-end audio, the ESE brought forth the intangibles of live music — that which moves both mind, heart, and body simultaneously."

- Dr. Michael Bump, Enjoy the Music

We’ve linked the full review here, enjoy!

Endeavor SE Review - Dr. Michael Bump, Enjoy the Music
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