Von Schweikert Audio announce the VR-100XS speaker system. All aspects of its design have been approached with the goal of an “acoustically holographic listening experience of a live musical event”. To achieve this, the company have engineered an all-new Noise Reduction cabinet construction based on their Triple-Wall constrained layer patent, a matched driver array using the same magnesium diaphragm material from woofer to mid to tweeter for coherent timbre response, transient-response “speed” matching of the driver array using proprietary servo-controlled filter circuits instead of a “crossover,” and room-correcting subwoofer design that eliminates the standing wave phenomena through the entire room.
The speaker drivers are implemented as a vertical array as in the company’s VR11-MkII. As recording microphones are “point sources” Von Schweikert have designed a Point Source concentric driver array to recreate a “holographic experience”. The initial source of the focal point is the centered tweeter, with concentric arrays of midrange and woofer drivers. On the rear of the tower is a two-way Ambience Retrieval System that will complete an omni-directional spherical-wave radiation pattern.
In each VR-100XS tower, the four 7″ woofers and two 5″ midrange drivers are custom-designed, ultra high speed, non-resonant magnesium-coned units, damped with a layer of ceramic oxide. The cone material is extremely light, rigid, and tonally accurate and the company says “surpasses any electrostatic driver for transparency”.
The newly designed ribbon tweeter, placed centrally in the array, has both ultra wide frequency response and wide dispersion due to a proprietary wave-guide. Transient response matching of the drive units, from the 15” magnesium-coned subwoofers up to the 2” magnesium foil/Teflon ribbon super tweeters is controlled by a proprietary circuit with “servo control” using the drivers’ back-emf for sampling of the signal versus driver response “speed” in actual “real” time. A feed forward circuit was designed to electrically damp the driver behavior to match each other driver as closely as possible.
The new one-piece cabinet is massively constructed and each tower weighs over 460 pounds. The Main Towers are 1ft wide x 6ft tall and are available in many high quality automotive finishes.
The external sub-woofers, the “XS” of the system, are also an all new VSA engineering solution. They are designed to be placed near the rear of the listening area and are aimed at the main towers. Von Schweikert’s new patent pending technology will “eliminate room response anomalies when integrated with the already outstanding bass performance of the VR-100XS towers”. The XS subwoofer amplifiers have Time Delay controls to adjust the response for the room dimensions and can be adjusted to compensate for standing wave modes in any room, no matter the size. “The elimination of standing bass waves in the room is not achieved by equalization in the subwoofer amplifier, but is achieved by acoustical cancellation of Eigentones throughout the room, without any digital implementation of any sort”.
Bass extends down to 10 Hz and has transient response speed and clarity that equals the response accuracy of the loudspeaker’s midrange drivers. The supplied subwoofer amplifier is designed and built in the USA; it supplies over 1,000-watts r.m.s. into each of the four voice coils of the Super Duty High-Speed Infrasonic Subwoofer driver. With a 60 pound motor and four 5” voice coils configured in Push-Pull operation, the 15” magnesium cone with a 3” total excursion potential has the” lowest distortion and quickest transient response speed of any subwoofer on the market”. A Signal Sensing Cable made by Delphi Aerospace is supplied to connect the Main Towers to the Sensing Inputs of the XS subwoofers – the subwoofer signal is not sent from the preamplifier. In order for the subwoofer to “follow” the main woofers, Von Schweikert have implemented a ‘servo-controlled’ feedback loop from the main woofer’s back-emf (electro motive force) output to “tell” the 15” woofer where to go, in terms of speed and tonal quality.
The rear-facing implementation of the VSA “GAIN” Ambience Retrieval System “breaks new ground”, as Von Schweikert have engineered a solution to recreate the desired dispersion pattern of an omni-directional speaker system. This required a dipole implementation of a rear wave that combines with the front wave to generate a “side beam” of sound to enhance the “openness” of a live performance. Using both a 1.25” dome midrange and an additional 3” ribbon super tweeter, the 2-way design operates from 1,5kHz to 100kHz. “The 1,5kHz frequency was chosen by examining the polar response of the front driver array’s response at 90-degrees off axis”. When both the front and rear driver arrays are measured, the speaker behaves as a quasi-omni speaker, similar to a cardiod pattern as in recording microphones. This new “HGAIN” technology couples with the front drivers, completing the you-are-there holographic experience.
Relevant specifications at time of publication are: $145,000 for the 4pc system consisting of two Main Towers and two XS subwoofers with 15” drivers and 1,000-watt amplifiers. Main tower is 6 ft tall x 1ft wide x 30” deep with a weight of 468 lbs uncrated. The XS subs are 176 lbs @ 24” x24” x 24”. System sensitivity is 90dB, impedance is 4-ohms, recommended power rating is 50 watts to 1,000-watts, frequency range is 10Hz to 100kHz. Main Towers have Autoformer Level Attenuators for front Tweeter and Rear Ambience.