Munich High-End 2018 Ron Report: Von Schweikert Audio / VAC

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,207
86
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#1
Damon Von Schweikert and Leif Swanson, on behalf of Von Schweikert Audio, and Kevin Hayes, on behalf of VAC, partnered to put together another of my favorite systems at this show. The combination of the Von Schweikert Ultra 11 loudspeakers and the VAC 450 Statement iQ amplifiers have been garnering rave reviews every time this traveling audio show comes to town.

Burdened by a difficult room for such a large system the resulting sound nonetheless was one of my five favorites at the show.



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PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,935
34
48
North Shore of Boston
#2
Pretty serious looking turntable in the corner. I think that is one of Valin's references, but I can't remember the name right now.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,415
65
48
E. England
#3
I think it’s the Acoustic Signature Invictus flagship.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,359
28
48
Switzerland
#5
Damon Von Schweikert and Leif Swanson, on behalf of Von Schweikert Audio, and Kevin Hayes, on behalf of VAC, partnered to put together another of my favorite systems at this show. The combination of the Von Schweikert Ultra 11 loudspeakers and the VAC 450 Statement iQ amplifiers have been garnering rave reviews every time this traveling audio show comes to town.

Burdened by a difficult room for such a large system the resulting sound nonetheless was one of my five favorites at the show.



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Went 4 times to this room trying to figure out the sound...it just sounded...wrong. If this is the sound that you are aspiring too then I can only say we are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Just across the hall was the Living Voice/Kondo...a sonic oasis and the best sound of the show and on another planet from "hifi".
 
May 9, 2015
284
15
18
Cologne, Germany
#6
The sound on Thursday was "hifi", much better on Sunday!, it looked like, that they played around with 2 additional subwoofers to control the room resonances, such a set up takes some hours (days) to get tweaked in the right direction...
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,415
65
48
E. England
#7
Juergen, in 2016 the Cessaro Gamma/TW room on Day One was worse than awful, bland beyond belief.
By the end of the show it had mainly redeemed itself.
I was astonished by the change.
I wonder if Brad gave the VS room another chance.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,359
28
48
Switzerland
#9
The sound on Thursday was "hifi", much better on Sunday!, it looked like, that they played around with 2 additional subwoofers to control the room resonances, such a set up takes some hours (days) to get tweaked in the right direction...
I didn't make it there on Sunday. I tried other three days and thought that should be enough.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
2,604
5
38
Eastern WA
#10
Went 4 times to this room trying to figure out the sound...it just sounded...wrong. If this is the sound that you are aspiring too then I can only say we are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Just across the hall was the Living Voice/Kondo...a sonic oasis and the best sound of the show and on another planet from "hifi".
Can you elaborate any more? What was missing, or too much?
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,359
28
48
Switzerland
#11
Can you elaborate any more? What was missing, or too much?
other than sounding a bit cold/analytical (despite an all tube chain) there was a weird psychoacoustic effect where recordings with voices were hovering in the middle where they ought to be but sounds on the left and right seemed stuck at the speakers, which made the voice sound isolated in the middle...like a voice enhancing DSP that pushes the music that would be normally behind and around the singer out of the way! Only way I can think to describe it.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
2,604
5
38
Eastern WA
#12
The VAC preamp might be as much to blame for that as anything. IMO it's a dud. If volume was increased that problem may have gone away?
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,031
22
38
Manila, Philippines
#13
Why do you think that bro? I don't carry the product, in fact it runs smack against a couple that I do but I think it is excellent. I've directly compared them with the JPA-66 and VTL7.5 S2. I find it has the refinement of the EMT and the balls of the VTL. I am also puzzled at brad's observation. instruments stuck on these speakers given their radiation pattern only happens to me when either something really is panned hard right (easy to check with a Lamm, dual volume controls ;) ) or I'm concentrating on the drivers on one side. It hardly even happens when I'm in the couch at back and am pretty much on axis with one of the channels. Anyway, it is what it is. He was there and I wasn't.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
2,604
5
38
Eastern WA
#14
Playing with one it became clear to me. Only newer hot music was sounding good, to start with. But the quality of sound varies greatly with how far the dial is up or down. It's most likely because they use a potentiometer. Electrically you can drive a potentiometer better so it's more transparent, but that's really hard to do with tubes, and they may not have any circuits they've developed that would really do it. I consider potentiometers dead weight, personally. Everything sounds better without them.

In contrast I've heard Spectral & MSB directly drive 450's, and that sounds good without huge changes in sound with volume. What's funny is that either VAC/VSA (I forget) mentioned they didn't driving direct :confused: I guess maybe if you just have the volume up a lot then the VAC pre adds some tube magic.
 

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