Endeavor Special Edition on the cover of Image HiFi (Part 1)

Leif S

Industry Expert
Feb 14, 2015
770
166
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California
www.vonschweikert.com
We are extremely pleased with the review of our newest member to the Von Schweikert family....

Speakers Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor SE Author: Christian Bayer Photography: Rolf Winter

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…would be one that doesn’t sound like a loudspeaker at all. Von Schweikert Audio strives to do exactly that with his loudspeakers. But did the US manufacturer steeped in tradition succeed in this with the Endeavor SE?

An ideal loudspeaker…

On a beautiful, warm February day, I sit in the image listening room and immerse myself in music that had always eluded me: Antonio Vivaldi’s Flute Concertos, played by Jean-Pierre Rampal (Erato/RCA ZL 30624, Germany 1978, 3-LP). Fairly quiet, but completely present and illuminated, it sounds so unlike a reproduction at all, that I forget all the kit around me. The sunlight draws beautiful patterns on our acoustic curtains and it is as if the sounds were dancing around me: weightless and yet perfectly formed. In the "Concerto for Flute and Strings and Continuo No. 5 F major, F. VI, 1 (PV 262)“ the "Largo e cantabile“ develops such an enchanting beauty that a picture arises in me: On a warm spring day I lie early in the morning on the soft lawn in the Possenhofen castle park and look into the crown of my favorite tree. I look upwards – between branches, leaves and light reflections. How soft the grass, how warming the sun, how cheeky the sparrow who landed next to me to see if I might be a source of food! A perfect harmony, a paradisaical state, a smile on my face. You think this is nonsense? Well, these images and feelings come up as I listen to music through the Endeavor SE. They are my pictures and I consider them a gift. Maybe pictures would arise in you too if you could spend time with these great speakers? There is still far too little known about Von Schweikert Audio (VSA) in this country, and I think this ought to change as a matter of urgency.

But this is about the Endeavor SE and there is another story behind it. Leif Swanson is a guitarist like Albert, who was involved with sound engineering and PA systems early on. From the very beginning, he was more interested in their sound quality than in reliability and sound pressure as is usual in the industry. Since his wife was a singer, he focused his attention on natural voice reproduction and experimented with methods to minimize the coloration of the drivers and the resonance of loudspeaker cabinets. In the 2000s he owned a CNC production facility for professional loudspeakers and built a number of models for PA purposes. One day he received a commission from VSA, also based in Riverside, California. Albert recognized Leif’s potential and became his mentor for the next ten years. Finally Swanson started his own loudspeaker company with Endeavor Audio. Despite great successes at HiFi shows, he could not really get going due to constant under funding. So Albert and Damon made a brilliant move: he took over Endeavor Audio – including Leif – and Albert withdrew from his company in 2015, well knowing that with his son Damon and Leif he had made ideal provisions for the future. Swanson became vice president of VSA and develops all new speaker models together with Damon.
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The basic idea for the Endeavor SE was clear from the beginning: the technologies of the Ultra series and those of the former Endeavor top model E-5 MkII were to be broken down and realized in a "smaller“ loudspeaker. Leif has an approach that will surely surprise some readers: "The last thing we want here for any of our designs is that they sound like you’re listening to a hifi speaker.“ Instead, at VSA they are looking for a realistic "musical“ balance between high resolution and musicality, in short: a natural sound without artifacts. Here Leif benefits from decades of experience in judging "bare“ drivers, which he selects for tonal similarity. Another component of the VSA secret recipe, as Leif revealed, is to tune the crossover so that the loudspeakers don’t just radiate into the room, but project a kind of musical bubble, comparable to a live concert, and thus practically turn the entire room into a sweet spot. This reminds me of my encounter with the huge VSA Ultra 11. When I saw this giant loudspeaker – more than two meters high with over a dozen drivers – I thought: "That can’t be good, now how am I gonna get out of here fast?“ But when the music started playing, I didn’t actually want to leave after all. Why not? Because this highly complex loudspeaker masterpiece sounded like a huge full range driver, completely integrated and as if from a single mold.

Inside the Endeavor SE it is orderly and yet refined. The bass coil sits on its own board, resonance damped and isolated from the rest…
…of the crossover, whose fine components are also damped as well as isolated from the insulation board behind them. There’s more than just one kind of insulation here.

The crossover design that makes this possible is based on Albert von Schweikert’s studies from the late 1970s, in which he took psycho acoustic effects into account for the first time. He calls this technology G.A.I.N. („Global Access Integration Network“) and it seems to me that this was a veritable stroke of genius that no competitor has been able to really replicate to this day. A lot of attention was paid to the avoidance of information loss in the crossover components. Also crucial is the very steep separation of the frequency ranges, because, according to Leif, excessive overlapping of the individual drivers results in narrower radiation and significantly greater distortion in the wider sound field. Therefore they use a 4th order crossover with 24 dB roll-off slope for the Endeavor SE, which separates at 250 and 2200 Hz. Like all G.A.I.N. crossovers, it works with a delay of less than 2 milliseconds, which is not really audible and yet seems to make a positive difference.
 
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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Leif.....Congratulations to you and Damon

Well deserved IMO
 

Leif S

Industry Expert
Feb 14, 2015
770
166
180
California
www.vonschweikert.com

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Manila, Philippines
Her name was Rio and she dances on the sand........ Can't wait 'til the 3 and 5 SEs get here buddy. :)
 

Leif S

Industry Expert
Feb 14, 2015
770
166
180
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Her name was Rio and she dances on the sand........ Can't wait 'til the 3 and 5 SEs get here buddy. :)
Stop calling them 3's LMAO.........ESE buddy:p
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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600
Manila, Philippines
Sorrrrryyyy. yeeesh Hahahahahaha
 
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Holli82

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JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,880
909
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Manila, Philippines
Endeavor thrr...thr...th....th... LMAO

I'm TRYING Rodney :D
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,880
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Manila, Philippines
EeeeeEsssEeeees! There! Got it! :D
 

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