VR-1 Build Quality and Finish
I have to say that Von Schweikert Audio VR-1's, VR-2's, LCR-15 and VR-S/1 sub had remarkable wood veneer finishes. The speakers we reviewed were finished off in a beautiful African Hazelwood veneer. The only other wood tone that I've found to match their beauty was in my Carver and Guitar Factor guitars. Albert told us that they even go out of their way to pay extra for the veneers to assure that the grain structure match for each pair. Von Schweikert offered several different finishes, including Maple, Red Cherry and Black, but what's interesting is that they do not charge extra for any selection. The other redeeming quality we recognized about the speakers was that the bottom and back of the cabinets were also finished with matching veneer. The finishes assured that not only did we receive a quality looking product, but the speakers would likely breeze through the Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) .
Build Quality - Edges
But Von Schweikert didn't stop at just the veneer finish. In addition to finishing the entire enclosure, the speakers also came with chamfered edges around the front perimeter, forming a compound angle in the corners. Once again, even the bottom-front of the speakers were finished with this chamfer, indicating that this company paid attention to detail and craftsmanship. Additionally, both the woofer and tweeters were fully recessed into the cabinets given a more uniform look while also minimizing the potential of unwanted refraction.
The VR-1 Reference Studio Monitors sported a robust pair of binding post. The binding posts were fitted with 6-mm spade lugs and are silver plated. These robust binding post seemed to be well suited and kept in line with the buildquality that we noticed about the Von Schweikert Audio speakers.
The VR-1 Drivers
VR-1 Mid Woofer
Von Schweikert incorporated what they call a VSA Low Distortion Motor system
including a 6.5" resin impregnated mica/cellulose composite cone, cast metal frame (unusual in this price class), high temperature voice coil, and large shielded magnet. The build quality of this driver aroused our expectations of this speaker, which was quickly satisfied once we listened to their stellar performance. Most speakers in this price range offer a lesser quality driver basket motor structure such as stamped metal or plastic molding. A cast basket had advantages in terms of strength, reduced resonance, and non magnetic properties that ensured the potential of the magnet was not compromised.
Recognizing that high frequency distortion can be a problem in speaker designs, Von Schweikert states that they put great emphasis on the tweeter. Their secret they claim, was to develop a new type of dome material, a space age composite that is significantly less prone to ringing within the audio band. In addition to the tweeter had a very powerful motor structure that can control the motion of the dome at extremely high volume levels. By lengthening the voice coil and doubling the depth of the magnet, they tell us they were able to increase the power handling of the motor thereby reducing distortion while also allowing the tweeter to play lower in frequency than many conventional designs to ensure more uniform blending with the mid bass driver. The tweeter employed a composite diaphragm made with linen fabric and laminated with four coatings of synthetic rubber/plastic resin compound. Their proprietary dome material is a hybrid of both hard and soft dome designs, providing the frequency response accuracy of hard domes with the smoothness of soft domes. To combat mechanical distortion at high volume levels, the dome's suspension is controlled by the addition of Ferrofluid cooling liquid in the magnetic gap (very common and cost effective measure in quality high frequency drivers), acting as a lubricant as well as drawing heat away from the voice coil to aid in power handling. This tweeter can be found in the VR-1 Reference Studio Monitors, VR-2 and their matching center channel LCR-15.