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Part Time Audiophile recommended


ctsooner

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Just reading through their bookshelf speaker recommendations.  Glad to see the VLR CT's at recommended.  Few reviewers are even familiar with them let alone have auditioned them.  Jon Spelt is BIG on these speakers and sells many of them.  I heard them at Rutan's. I think it was the non CT version, but can't remember.  I was blown away by their sound.  I had never even thought about recommending them to friends who wanted bookshelf speakers.  

 

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2020/12/04/the-best-bookshelf-speakers-buyers-guide-2021/?utm_source=PTA+Full+Mailer&utm_campaign=132fe83fea-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_03_12_04_55_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5454ba75df-132fe83fea-349783113

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They sound great.  Even the non CT version I feel is a great value under 1400.  I've heard them with about 20k worth of gear and was in shock at how big they played and how they were still Vandersteen speakers.  A real point source due to the Coax design I assume.  They also mate well with some of the all in one players out there or even just a vertical NAD integrated streamer.  

I fully get the active speakers in this range.  I've heard a few here adn there that I have enjoyed. One of the leaders is KEF LS50's, but they have a wonky midrange to me.  I honestly like the smaller KEF series that come in various colors etc...  Many of the active speakers don't play nice with video sources IRT using your remote control for volume etc...  Most TV's now have synch modes at least.  It all depends on what your needs are, just like anything. I do feel these are so overlooked by our community as well as audio in general, but shouldn't be.  Cost isn't bad (for a high end speaker) and they fit in most places nicely.  JMHO

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  • 4 months later...

Have owned the VLR Wood for two years, at the recommend of John Rutan at Audio Connection.  Currently using with Simaudio Ace and AQ speaker and power cables.  Will likely upgrade to CT model of VLR down the road.  Great transparent sound.  Backed against rear wall per recommend from John and Richard Vandersteen.

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@ctsooner,

If you are referring to when we listened to the William Tell cables, then I believe they were the CT's.

@Everyone,

Ctsooner and I listened to the VLR's at Audioconnection when Mr. V. was demonstrating the Kento's at Audioconnection.  The music was streamed -either Bluesound Node or Aurender N100(probably latter), with a Belles Aria Integrated and one of those CAD ground control boxes. He had to disconnect the Sub 3 when he hooked up the W. Tell's, but to our amazement, the VLR's sounded like they had a sub connected.-At least to me.  It was one of the most dramatic changes I ever heard from speaker cables.

My office system has the VLR (non-CT), Hsu VTF subs, Belles Aria Monoblocks, Atma UV-1 (still waiting for Mr. Belles to finish my preamp), Ayre QB-9, and Innuos Mini with the William Tell's and AQ Diamond cabling. It went a bit further than I originally envisioned, but it really sounds amazing.

Like @gknapp says, they are meant to be placed near the corners of a room. I have mine near the ceiling - ala monitors- and find the bass so substantial that I think I might just get rid of the subwoofers. But, I have to admit, they add that added depth when required.

Bob

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Bob, as you know that was my first time hearing them.  I knew nothing about them.  I wish I did as I would have gotten them instead of my Bluesound sound bar for the bedroom TV.  I know Jon Spelt was a HUGE proponent of the VLR's.  He may have even pushed for a CT version a bit.  That's the speaker I really want to audition.  I bet it would have been a great match for the AX5/20 or a Mimas.  

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  • 11 months later...
37 minutes ago, gknapp said:

Wish we could get a full review of the VLR-CT.  Tone magazine did a great review of the VLR Wood which greatly assisted my purchase decision.  

I hope what you heard had more to do with your decision than a review.  You have the VLR Wood and have lived with it for several years.  Do your own comparison and see if you like the difference and think its worth the money it will cost.  Most of the reviewers I have met over my 45 years don't hear any better than the customers I have met, they just know how to describe what they hear.  Most reviewers do not find "Time and Phase" to be as important as listeners who end up settling on Vandersteen's do.  I believe it is important to develop your own confidence in your decisions because they will stand the test of time and be a better long term investment.  Now you know why I tend to not have our products reviewed until they are well established in the market place based on their own merits!  Review lead sales cause a lot of product on the used market which ruins their resale value, IMO.  RV

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I met Jon last year during a month stay the wife and I had in Madison (her family lives there).  He is an AWESOME guy.  Just like all the other Vandy dealers I've met over the years, he really stands out for his honesty and passion and knowledge.  He told me about the VLR's and how the CT version came about.  I think he sells more than most of the other dealers.  He is in love and for good reason.  If we have to move to a smaller place in the future, I may need to go the VLR CT/dual Sub 3 route.  There is an advantage to an easy to move speaker for me.  I've never done a true A/B vs other speakers, but I have heard enough over the years to know what I was hearing and it was that special.  I too was shocked that folks don't talk about this amazing speaker.  Heck, I'm just waiting on my wife to get 'upset' over using the Bluesound bar so that I can get a Naim all in one or something similar and then get the regular VLR's (the CT is overkill in my bedroom system)....  Now I need to find a great all in one that isn't expensive, ha!!!  

Hope you can go listen, but make sure you have your credit card with you (or Venmo set up, lol).

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When I listened to the VLR CT at Audio Connection I was impressed with them.  I was lucky enough to be able to bring them home to listen in my own environment. I guess that’s one of the advantages of a small portable speaker and living close to a trusted dealer. After I got them setup properly in my listening room the real magic started to happen and that’s when I decided to order them. Over the years I have owned and still own many name brand full-range floorstanding speakers, but there is really something special about these little Vandersteen’s. I must be that “Time and Phase” thing.

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7 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

Those little VLR's can really rock. I, too, don't understand why they don't get more press.

Bob

Guys give me a break!  They don't review products unless the manufacture sends them to them for a long period for no revenue.  I don't intend to do that as we have no provision for "B" stock,   like it the way it is.  People who discover them and love them because of their performance is great and I am content!  What is wrong with that?   RV

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11 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

Guys give me a break!  They don't review products unless the manufacture sends them to them for a long period for no revenue.  I don't intend to do that as we have no provision for "B" stock,   like it the way it is.  People who discover them and love them because of their performance is great and I am content!  What is wrong with that?   RV

I meant that the people who own them don't seem to be as vocal as say, the floorstanding models.

B

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This is a good place to talk about discernment and confidence in product AND dealer network. The old adage, you have to hear it at home, in your room is somewhat silly….  RV and his dealers have a product line that wins awards for best sound of show…in horrible hotel rooms…. Your room w careful placement and a bit of tuning, often enabled by 11 bands of bass EQ, is just going to be awesome…..

🙂 i do want a pair of VLR in Nextel finish for the recording studio….. ALL based on a listen at Advanced Audio in Tacoma….

Carry on !

Happy Sunday All, enjoy the music

Jim

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On 4/3/2022 at 12:09 PM, GdnrBob said:

I meant that the people who own them don't seem to be as vocal as say, the floorstanding models.

B

Perhaps because they are not obsessive audiophiles and are just happy listening to the music.

Unlike some of us...  😬

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I own a pair of VLR CTs. Paired with an Ayre AX-5 Twenty for over about 3 years years until a few weeks ago. (Upgraded to Quatro CTs.) The VLRs are extremely resolving. I really enjoyed them and may keep them for my office system rather than sell them. No comparison with full-range floorstanders, but for bookshelf speakers they are the best I heard for their price range. And they can actually move some air for their size, guests were constantly amazed how they sounded, and a number of people asked if I had them paired with a sub, which I did not.

I mostly found myself listening to piano (which they render incredibly), ambient electronic music, jazz trios, etc. Music with a bit more dynamic range and fewer instruments. They do vocals beautifully. And they can handle any music, but I didn't find myself listening to as much heavy or dense music (like rock, big band jazz, techno, big film scores, 60s/70s, psychedelic, etc.) which I usually prefer. I think I was missing the bottom end, and having to turn up the volume to feel some lower frequency punch meant the high frequencies got too loud. With the VLRs I tended towards a preference for more sparsely orchestrated genres, the VLR CTs do "delicate" really beautifully. I bet the VLR CTs would sound awesome with one (or two) of RV's subs.

The VLR CTs were just supposed to be a tide-me-over until I could afford full-range floorstanders. I just wanted to get into the Vandersteen world (after I heard a friend's Treo CTs.) But, during my 3 years with the VLR CTs I discovered all kinds of new music that I might not otherwise have found. A good lesson that even on the path towards an "ultimate" system, a period of "good enough for now" can lead to great experiences and great discoveries.

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2 minutes ago, ursus13 said:

And they can actually move some air for their size, guests were constantly amazed how they sounded, and a number of people asked if I had them paired with a sub, which I did not.

When I heard them at Audioconnection connected to a single Sub 3, powered with a Belles Aria Integrated, they sounded as good as floorstanders, IMHO.

 

On 4/3/2022 at 2:17 PM, TomicTime said:

Nextel finish

What makes this finish so desirable? I have never heard of it until now.

B

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20 minutes ago, GdnrBob said:

When I heard them at Audioconnection connected to a single Sub 3, powered with a Belles Aria Integrated, they sounded as good as floorstanders, IMHO.

I believe it! With a sub and proper stands I bet they can sound amazing.

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