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Vandersteen VLR Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 218 90.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 16 6.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.1%

  • Total voters
    241

fpitas

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Unless the grill has a notch filter at 4.2kHz, it's not going to help these much. Maybe your ears won't bleed as badly.
 

IPunchCholla

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Who are you referring to as the "end user"? Maybe you're reading something I missed. The person who posted on Vandersteen's Forum, name not shown, didn't utter a word about grills. Sure, the grills happen to be removed in the photo to which Mr. Vandersteen commented as he did.

In hindsight, yes, I agree. If so, maybe the manufacturer wouldn't have been so severly punished in this forum as heretics were in the Middle Ages. Or that might not have made any difference in our current age of gleeful ostracism.
Have you ever read descriptions of what was done to people to get them to confess (and up until the present day in supposedly modern enlightened countries, not just in some distant past)? If not, perhaps you should, and remember that these were real people, maybe imagine it happening to you. At the very least, have yourself waterboarded, which is just “enhanced interrogation” not torture. Then imagine having your bones broken, your limbs dislocated, being permanently crippled, scarred, and psychologically damaged.

That is what you are comparing people pointing out measurement issues on an expensive speaker. No one is calling for the designer to be banished (also usually a death sentence up until the enlightenment, and even then pretty horrible (read a distant shore)), or even ostracizing anyone. Nor is anyone even saying you shouldn’t like the speaker. The speaker didn’t measure well. Subjectively it didn’t sound good to Amir. There might be particular use cases (grill, wall mounting) that make the speaker better, but if so, those should be in the manual. If it is such a big deal to you (on par with the torture and murder of tens of thousands of people), maybe buy a Kipple and test them yourself?
 

fpitas

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They are nice cabinets, though. Maybe they could be repurposed.
 

Rick Sykora

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They are nice cabinets, though. Maybe they could be repurposed.

Yes, Vandersteen usually uses decent drivers. Would be interesting to get one and how much work it is to fix. :)
 

itz_all_about_the_music

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Have you ever read descriptions of what was done to people to get them to confess (and up until the present day in supposedly modern enlightened countries, not just in some distant past)? If not, perhaps you should, and remember that these were real people, maybe imagine it happening to you. At the very least, have yourself waterboarded, which is just “enhanced interrogation” not torture. Then imagine having your bones broken, your limbs dislocated, being permanently crippled, scarred, and psychologically damaged.

That is what you are comparing people pointing out measurement issues on an expensive speaker. No one is calling for the designer to be banished (also usually a death sentence up until the enlightenment, and even then pretty horrible (read a distant shore)), or even ostracizing anyone. Nor is anyone even saying you shouldn’t like the speaker. The speaker didn’t measure well. Subjectively it didn’t sound good to Amir. There might be particular use cases (grill, wall mounting) that make the speaker better, but if so, those should be in the manual. If it is such a big deal to you (on par with the torture and murder of tens of thousands of people), maybe buy a Kipple and test them yourself?
Umm, wow. Now was an AHR (Audio Hostility Review).

Peace - out.
 

itz_all_about_the_music

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Yes, Vandersteen usually uses decent drivers. Would be interesting to get one and how much work it is to fix. :)
Agree as coax drivers should proliferate in many future designs by many manufacturers. So many advantages far outweighing disadvantages. But the up front tooling investment must be considerable at least relative to more conventional cone and/or dome drivers.

Am suspecting the significant protrusion of that driver from the front baffle was a consequence of the driver's inherent packaging/basket constraints. Wondering if KEF's efforts and their flush mounting result from both havng their own proprietary driver design, and in LS's benefits of composite enclosures which can, by their own design/injection molding fabrication, lend a more detail fit to the driver itself.

Fingers crossed that some owner will one day disassemble one and provide driver pics and telltale signs of who makes it.
 

Thomas_A

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I don't know the exact dimensions since this seems to be a driver that is not exactly circle as that SEAS model, but if the distance from driver center to the edge where the driver protrudes is 8-8.8 cm, you will get diffraction effects that could be what is seen in the measurements. Also there are sharp speaker baffle edges present. No matter what, if the grille has a function as diffraction limiter by design, it should be fastened with screws, IMO.
 

Head_Unit

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Code:
would it make sense to apply multi tone testing to speakers too?
it's a real bear to do because frequency response changes will change things.
Yeah, so you could not directly compare one speaker's measurement to another. Still, I feel it would be really interesting. I've heard so many speakers that sound lovely with like solo female voice, but put in Ted Nugent etc and they morph into a hash of edgy distorted sound. I suspect those would show a lot of junk between the 32 tones.
 

fpitas

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Yes, Vandersteen usually uses decent drivers. Would be interesting to get one and how much work it is to fix. :)
Hopefully you could tweak the crossover. If it's something like the junction between the tweeter horn throat and the cone though, life may get tough...
 

Bren Derlin

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I wonder. I live in decent size city in Rochester NY. I would have to drive to Buffalo (60 miles). Maybe Toronto (150 miles) or NYC (300ish miles) to hear them. Not even sure anyone in Buffalo has them, but maybe. And even then, I’ve never had a decent showroom experience when buying a speaker. It’s so hard to get anything more than initial impressions before the sales guy is comparing the speakers to his sound system in his VW scirocco in the 80s. I think most buy Vandersteen based on reputation now.
We have a local dealer in Milwaukee who sell Vandys. When I was looking for new speakers, this (highly recommended) little boutique audio store was my first stop. The first speaker they chose for me to audition.... The Vandy VLR Wood ($1,600 at the time). They pushed them right up against the front wall - specifically stating this how they need to be placed in your room to get any bass out of the speaker. I remember being wow'd by a giant sound stage. I had to ask to listen to other options, or their audition of speakers would have ended there. ...and as the comparisons moved on to the Sonetto 1 and the KEF R3, the more and more apparent it became. The VLR Wood speakers were a muddy blooming mess from top to bottom.

In the end, I bought the Revel M16 off of Crutchfield to test in home based on the reviews and comments here. The M16's never went back. They're just a far more resolute/coherent and better balanced speaker. Looking back at the experience, I'm shocked the VLR Wood is the first speaker a boutique hifi store wanted to show off to make a "first impression".
 
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Jim Shaw

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Going down to 2 Hz seems a bit of overkill, and that skews the data right off of the plot.
There is over 4 octaves of garbage on the left, 2-4, 4-8, 8-16, And 16-32 Hz.

- 20 Hz would be too low.
- And 40 is probably better in general.
There is acoustic music all around that plays to 16 Hz, the lower limit of our ears. For what reason do you not want to hear those frequencies?
5525659.gif
 

Holmz

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There is acoustic music all around that plays to 16 Hz, the lower limit of our ears. For what reason do you not want to hear those frequencies?
5525659.gif

I am more interested in the last entry on that chart from 300 Hz to 3kHz, than the pipe organs near the top.
For what reason do you not want to hear those frequencies?
I have speakers that play down to 20Hz and a subwoofer, so maybe I do want to hear them?
And I would not shop for a bookshelf speaker if I was interested in pipe organ music.

But talk about misrepresenting a quote…
It was in the post #201 complaining about the graph starting at 2Hz.
This was graph I was referring to:
23BC8F96-99D7-42FF-B1DA-3BF78426AF03.png


I bolted the parts to focus on:

I’ll give you the fundamental, but I am not going to buy a bookshelf to do what a floor stander is needed for.
And 2/3rds to 3/4s of the towers still would like a subwoofer.
To think that a bookshelf should get to 32Hz is starting to border on optimism, and 2 Hz seems like it is around 4 octaves below that!
And also somewhat below the canonical 20Hz.

So to even show an impedance down to 2 Hz is bordering on intentional dishonesty for almost anything but perhaps a rotary subwoofer…
And one risks loosing credibility when they do so.

I would argue it is deviating a ways from science when a bookshelf speaker is tested to 20Hz, much less 3+ octaves below 20 Hz.
It reflects poorly on the tester, and for people to defend it, it can also be postulated as they’re having lost their sense of critical reasoning skills.


Hence I brought it up as Amir specifically said, at the end of post #1, “that recommendations and comments were welcome.”
I assume I am in the minority here, as that plot is being defended.


Here it’s is for review:

I do not know how much more helpful I can be?
I assume that “we” want to be taken as serious adults.

Again, where are the serious adults who would expect to feed a bookshelf speaker 2Hz?
Or in your case, would you consider these a viable candidate for use with pipe organ music?
 

Bren Derlin

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Organ Pipe. Using? To be fair, this comment is you’re talking about size of the speakers while listening to a specific style/type of music without taking the room size into account.

I’m not letting the room size nor speaker size dictate what I’m going to listen to. If I have a smallish listening room, I’m not buying big floor standers, even if I’m listening to Organ Pipe Music.

Anyone suggesting you can’t listen to bass heavy (Organ Pipe?) music without big floor standing speakers is absurd. Small room + small speakers + sub. Perfect? No. Better than “good enough”? Absolutely.
 

Holmz

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Organ Pipe. Using? To be fair, this comment is you’re talking about size of the speakers while listening to a specific style/type of music without taking the room size into account.

I’m not letting the room size nor speaker size dictate what I’m going to listen to. If I have a smallish listening room, I’m not buying big floor standers, even if I’m listening to Organ Pipe Music.

Anyone suggesting you can’t listen to bass heavy (Organ Pipe?) music without big floor standing speakers is absurd. Small room + small speakers + sub. Perfect? No. Better than “good enough”? Absolutely.

Lets see some examples of those speakers that play low?
(And violate, “Hoffman’s Iron Law.”)

Again, where are the serious adults who would expect to feed a bookshelf speaker 2Hz?


I think you mean "pipe organ".

Reading that - resulted in the morning coffee spraying out.
(And hence the term, “kick the bass”.)
 

Bren Derlin

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Lets see some examples of those speakers that play low?
(And violate, “Hoffman’s Iron Law.”)

You have to be pretty tone deaf to the miss the point of my post. I'm not stating I'm buying bookshelf speakers that will go sub-30's, much less sub-20's to faithfully reproduce 'pipe organ' (derp) music. I'm saying, if my room is small, and I buy smaller speakers that fit the room and acoustics (adding a sub or not), I'm not going to limit what I listen to because the size of speakers bookshelf speakers. Even if that means I want to listen to 'pipe organ' music on a highly rare occasion.

But if you feel you need to cram the Utopia EM EVO with stack of REL No. 32 subs in a 12 x 14' room because you listen to an over abundance of Pipe Organ music, have at it. Either way, I couldn't care less. The argument you need to a specific sized speaker to listen to any type of music is absurd.
Reading that - resulted in the morning coffee spraying out.
(And hence the term, “kick the bass”.)

Did it come out of your nose? Inquiring mind must know....
 

Holmz

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You have to be pretty tone deaf to the miss the point of my post. I'm not stating I'm buying bookshelf speakers that will go sub-30's, much less sub-20's to faithfully reproduce 'pipe organ' (derp) music. I'm saying, if my room is small, and I buy smaller speakers that fit the room and acoustics (adding a sub or not), I'm not going to limit what I listen to because the size of speakers bookshelf speakers. Even if that means I want to listen to 'pipe organ' music on a highly rare occasion.

But if you feel you need to cram the Utopia EM EVO with stack of REL No. 32 subs in a 12 x 14' room because you listen to an over abundance of Pipe Organ music, have at it. Either way, I couldn't care less. The argument you need to a specific sized speaker to listen to any type of music is absurd.
....

You have to be tone deaf to have missed my point.
It was that showing impedance curve down to 2Hz seemed misleading.

Given that most bookshelf speakers usually come with some accompanying “you’ll need a subwoofer with these,” sort of implies that they do not often fill the room with low notes.
I suppose we can arguse whether bookshelf speakers, or full sized speakers, should measured to 16Hz, 20Hz, 32Hz, 40Hz. But 2Hz seems a bit low.
IMO - 2Hz is probably at least an octave too low for even a subwoofer... maybe 2 octave too low.



Did it come out of your nose? Inquiring mind must know....

… the olfactory organ.
(Unprocessed coffee does not come out of an organ pipe.)
 

krabapple

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I suspect @krabapple pictured the term “organ pipe” in much the same way as I did... 1-2 Hz is about right for them.

Actually I've never heard 'organ pipe' refer to anything except, generically, any pipe that's part of a pipe organ (never capitalized), or, a type of cactus . So I've probably no idea what you are talking about...nor why it made you spit your coffee. Nor why the other guy kept writing "Organ Pipe".
 
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