The Show Debut of the Von Schweikert Audio VR-55 MkII SE Loudspeaker

Scott Walker Audio united with Soulution and Von Schweikert Audio to present the show premiere of the new active Von Schweikert VR-55 MkII SE loudspeaker in fabulous McLaren Volcano Orange finish ($85,000/pair). The latest successor to the original VR-55, which was designed by the late Albert Von Schweikert and released in 2014, this 3-wayspeaker with beryllium- and ceramic-diaphragm drivers contains significant crossover improvements and technology trickled down from Von Schweikert Audio's top Ultra model.

While the VR-55 MkII comes in a passive version ($65,000/pair), the VR-55 MkII Aktive ($75,000/pair) contains 700W class-D plate amplifiers for its bass drivers and a level control attenuator that enables you to dial in the speaker to the room and adjust for personal preferences. Its $10,000-more SE edition shown in Costa Mesa also contains a significant upgrade—the same Ultra midrange as in the top line speaker. Specified frequency range is 16Hz–40kHz, sensitivity 88dB, impedance 8 ohms, and each speaker weighs 186lb.

The VR-55 MkII SE loudspeaker got a boost from Von Schweikert Audio Shockwave V-12XS subwoofers ($16,500/each). The system's other substantial goodies included the Soulution 511 amplifiers ($37,500/each) and 725 preamp ($65,000), Aurender N20 music server ($14,000) and MC10 Reference master clock ($15,000), Berkeley Audio Designs Reference 3 DAC ($28,000), Sonorus Audio ATR10 MkII reel-to-reel deck ($32,500), Synergistic Research SRX cabling, and Artesania rack and amp stands.

I wasn't able to hang that long in this room, but I did hear a tape version of part of Yello's 2009 album, Touch, that was "1.5 layers from the Master." (Hope I got that right.) The music was fabulous, the soundstage huge, and the midrange characterized by pleasing but not excessive warmth and smoothness. Perhaps the subs were dialed up a bit too much, but the sound was still a joy. I've got to listen to this Yello album when I get back home.

Ortofan's picture

... defined in the article linked below, where does a copy that is "1.5 layers from the Master" rank?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I report what I'm told. Unless I took notes incorrectly, that's all the information I have when I asked, "Is this a master copy?" That may sound like a cop-out, but in the context of an audio show, to question every statement and constantly dive deeper only results in fewer rooms covered which leads to more complaints from manufacturers and readers. So sometimes I let things be and breathe.

I urge you to ask a tape deck manufacturer. There are a number of them. I need to focus on show reports.

I now have a manufacturer telling me how disappointed he is that I didn't cover his room. Did I receive a press release about his speaker debut? No. Was the room listed in the floor maps in the show guide? No, because there were no floor maps in the show guide. Did I bother to read his ad? No, because I figured that there would not be rooms hidden away from other rooms in an area of the main floor that one would not normally frequent, let alone no signage to point the way.

Joseph Cali, who sells Gryphon, discovered that people couldn't find his room because it was all by itself in a corner on the main floor, beyond the escalators to the two lower levels. So he insisted that the management of the show post signs with arrows pointing to his room. Alas, other exhibitors on the main floor did not make similar requests.

rschryer's picture

...people are getting more daring and demanding.

Great coverage, btw. Again.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Lots more to come.


Jason Victor Serinus's picture

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Fleschler's picture

5 audiophiles with mid to high end systems, one is a successful cable manufacturer. One owns the VR35 Export and we all love his system sound. My wife and I heard the Ultra 11 and I also heard the Ultra 9 and some version of the VR100. The Ultra demonstrations were the finest we ever heard. I intend to purchase a VS speaker, hopefully the Ultra 7 someday.

However, walking into the S.H.O.W. room twice on Friday by 4 of us and the cable manufacturer friend on Sunday was a very negative experience. We heard the same Yellow Touch in Rm 222 on much less expensive but very musically engaging equipment, the highlight of the show (as well as many other LPs and CDs). We did not hear Yello in the VS room. What we heard wasn't considered music to us. We do not blame the speaker. Something in the combination of cabling, equipment and terrible room conditions must have ruined the experience for us.

We hope that in the future, don't show the great VS speakers if they sound so bad. We know that there are quite a few reviewers who really are neither musicians or have a good ear for musical sound. What a disappointment since the VR55 and possibly Ultra 55 could soon be in my price range. We will have to visit the VS showroom in Riverside to hear the new speaker and Ultra 55.