VMPS Tower 11/R loudspeaker October 1988
Since my review of the VMPS Tower II/R (Vol.11 No.5), I have lived with and reviewed a number of small loudspeakers, some of them exceptional. During that time Brian Cheney of VMPS sent along an update to the Towers, which he believed might answer some of my criticisms about the midbass. My follow-up had to wait for the completion of other reviews, but at long last I made the change. It involved substitution of crossover capacitors and can be performed by any dealer or an owner having some skill with a soldering iron (the hefty, upgraded internal wiring in my samples required a heavy-duty iron).
After my stint with smaller loudspeakers, returning to a larger pair with full bass extension was a bit of an adjustment. It also pointed up the strengths and weaknesses of the VMPS. Despite the update, these were largely as I originally described them. Soundstaging was good, although no match for the best of the minis. Highs were clean and relatively sweet, a bit recessed in the lower treble but with plenty of subtle detail on top from the ribbon/leaf tweeter. Bass was awesome in depth and power, but it remained a bit full rather than taut and punchy, with some excessive warmth and fullness in the midbass. The change wrought by the modification was not pronounced enough to alter my basic conclusions: the Tower II/R is a good performer in its price range from the midbass up, with a low-bass power and extension you might normally expect to pay more for, the tradeoff being some fullness and coloration in the midbass. Pax.Thomas J. Norton