Von Schweikert Audio Manufacturer Spotlight

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
90
185
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Hello All,

We’re excited for this opportunity to share with you; The What’s Best community, our latest products as well as some recent coverage of Von Schweikert Audio. There’s a lot going on at VSA this year so to help keep things organized, I’ve created separate threads for each topic linked here…


Regarding our new products, I’ve provided an overview in each one of these threads, but we expect some questions. Please do not hesitate to leave comments and/or questions in this thread or the individual ones. We’ll try to respond as quickly as possible. Also, please feel free to message me directly or call the offices at (951) 682-0706. Both myself and our Chief Design Officer Leif Swanson are available to assist with any questions you may have as well as direct you to one of our dealers for a first-hand experience of these new products.

All my best!

VSA-at-PAF.jpg
 
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Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
90
185
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Hello All,

It's just a few weeks until the first Pacific Audio Fest 2022 and we're very excited to be in Seattle along with our room partners VAC / Valve Amplification Company and The Audio Company presenting our newest flagship loudspeaker, the ULTRA 7.
If you haven't made plans yet, there's still plenty of time. We hope to see you there!!!

VSA at PAF2022.jpg
 
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Willgolf

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2019
310
416
135
68
Gold Canyon, Az
Damon
What are the biggest differences between the Endeavor and the Ultra 55 besides a major price difference? Components? Sound quality and characteristics of the speakers from a voicing perspective?
 

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
90
185
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Damon
What are the biggest differences between the Endeavor and the Ultra 55 besides a major price difference? Components? Sound quality and characteristics of the speakers from a voicing perspective?
Hi Will,

I'll do my best to answer this great question as I'm sure many are curious about this as well, but I fear my explanation will fail to describe exactly all the differences as well as the similarities. So let me say that if there are any questions about my response, please follow up with me. I welcome all questions in the hopes of answering this as precisely as possible.

In my opinion, ALL designs are an exercise in compromise. Even cost-no-object designs are limited by several factors not the least of which is the current state of technology. But in the case of the Endeavor Line, we were trying to design the highest performing full-range loudspeakers we could where price AND space were the limiting factors for the potential buyers. We were targeting specific price points, yes. We were also targeting mid to small sized sound rooms knowing that if we achieved our goals there, the Endeavor Line could be paired with subwoofers to pressurize larger sound rooms.

Beyond that, we put every design technique used to create our cost-no-object flagship loudspeakers possible into the E-3 MkII, Endeavor Reference Edition, Endeavor Special Edition and E-5 MkII.

To state it more succinctly, we recognized that people with midsized to smaller sound rooms; potentially in more urban environments, and spending $10K, $20K or even $50K still wanted; and in our opinion, deserved a no-compromise experience. That was our driving benchmark and if we could not deliver that, we wouldn't put these designs to market.

To this end, we employed all the things we're known for and are present in the ULTRA series of flagship loudspeakers into the Endeavor Line given the price budget and room size requirement.

The same cabinet resonance control system we’ve iterated on since the original VR-4 from 1992 is present in these loudspeakers.

We’ve judiciously spent the Bill-of-Materials where we would get the biggest bang for the buck. The aluminum woofers and Kevlar midranges punch well above their class. And this allowed us to invest in the very costly; but well worth it, ScanSpeak Beryllium domed tweeters we use on the Endeavor RE, Endeavor SE and E-5MkII. These are the same tweeters used throughout the ULTRA Line. Given the budget, we went with the ScanSpeak dual ring radiator silk tweeters for the E-3 MkII

We also spent the lion’s share of our budget on the network components for the tweeters and midranges where they would make the biggest impact to performance including top-tier Mundorf capacitors, high-purity copper ribbon foil inductors and top of the Line Mundorf resistors. All wired point-to-point in distributed networks with MasterBuilt Reference II internal hook-up wire to eliminate distortion as much as possible.

And when it comes to driver integration, even our fiercest competitors will acknowledge our competency in that regard. Like the ULTRA Line, you can stand a foot away from the Endeavor Speakers and have full driver cohesions with none of them standing apart from the others.

When it comes to voicing, we strive for the same balance between resolution and musicality. If we can’t get the tonality right, the entire design would be a failure in my opinion.

Lastly and most importantly, we employ the same understanding of psychoacoustics to create as close to a fully realized omnidirectional wave launch as possible. The speakers are designed to first couple with each other and then the room to produce the most realist and wide/deep soundstage as even our flagship speakers do. When setup optimally, they create a sweet space for multiple listeners. And in the better room environments, we create a three-dimensional soundstage that can be observed from outside the typical triangulation of speakers and listening chair.

One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a designer is playing the Endeavor SE on our cost-no-object show system and have people remark on just how good the ULTRA speakers sound that they assume are playing. When I point out it’s the Endeavor speakers, it usually invokes expletives from multiple people in the audience.

To me, it demonstrates not only how well these speakers will scale with the components you put in front of them, but that we achieved our goal of getting the most bang for the buck.

I think the Endeavor Line; in certain ways, speaks far more of our success in loudspeaker design than even the ULTRA series do because of what we’ve achieved in the constraints of both price restriction and sound room size. If I could only present one speaker to a potential dealer as a representation of what our designs do, it will almost always be an Endeavor given their extremely low barrier of entry compared to the ULTRA Line much less how they perform compared to the other manufacturers in this space.

I'm sure I've missed quite a bit but I hope that helps. As I said, please let me know if you or anyone else for the matter has more questions.

Thanks.
 
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Willgolf

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2019
310
416
135
68
Gold Canyon, Az
Damon
Thanks for your very detailed and honest response. I have been following your speaker line since I met you at the Horizon launch at Steve's house. I have said to other people if I didn't love my horns, your speakers would be super high on my list. Down the road, you never know though...;)
 

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
90
185
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Damon
Thanks for your very detailed and honest response. I have been following your speaker line since I met you at the Horizon launch at Steve's house. I have said to other people if I didn't love my horns, your speakers would be super high on my list. Down the road, you never know though...;)
Thanks Will, that's very kind of you to say. All my best!
 
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Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
90
185
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Damon, Thank you. What do you consider a small, medium and large room size? Does ceiling height play a roll in what is considered small, medium and large?
Well, that's kind of complicated to nail down but I'll do my best. And please note these are just generalities I use in classifying room size. I'm certainly not the authority here. Also, I've listened to systems in rooms smaller than the size I classify as "small" and had great sound. It's all a matter of how the space is utilized.

Small Room
I would say in general, a 10' to 13' short wall with a 15' to 18' rear wall at 8' or 9' tall to be a small sound room. There's not enough space for low frequency sound waves to complete their cycle and yet bass buildup is an issue. Unless you sit nearfield, you'll have the bass building up around or just behind the listening position. There certainly are exceptions to these physics and I have a firsthand experience I can share in a bit*

Large Room
18'+ short wall, 30'+ long wall at 9'+ ceilings. Basically, any room where the speakers are completely decoupled from room boundaries. This is most common for us at shows where we set up in ballrooms but there are a few systems that come to mind where this is their actual sound room size.

Medium Room
Anything in between

*We have a small sound room here at the factory as well as our personal sound rooms. But when my dad first looked at it, he claimed we'd never get good sound. I think he was grumpy at the prospects of moving the factory but I was pushing for it to cut down my two-hour commute when he was only driving 15 minutes ;) That said, we achieved incredible sound in this room but it took some effort and we had an unexpected feature working in our favor. The factory is a large concrete building and the offices inside have drop down ceilings at 8'. In this small room, we get all the impact and weight of the bass launch but none of the buildup because the pressure dissipates up through the ceiling. It was a very fortunate situation for us.

But ultimately this discussion of room size for me is one of physics. The goal in my opinion is for the speakers to pressurize the room and broadcasting the wave launch optimally. And there are MANY factors that impact the success or failure. That said, we employ numerous techniques to mitigate issue and optimize performance.

So for me, one of the best ways to get great sound is selecting an optimal speaker that will benefit from the size of your sound room. It is possible to "shoehorn" a large speaker in a small room or "beef up" a small speaker in a large room but you're already starting the process at a deficit. If you're in the position to select a speaker for an existing sound room, you will minimize the massaging needed to get great sound.

This is why Leif and I as well as our dealers spend a great deal of time consulting with clients about their room size, sound treatment if any, positions of windows, doors, low walls, reflective surfaces, ceiling soffits, etc. Only after we learn about their room characteristics (as well as existing system, listening preferences, etc) will we make a recommendation on which; if any, of our models would be ideal for them. We recently had a client who was looking at the ULTRA 9 but when we saw his sound room, it was apparent to us the ULTRA 7 with outboard Shockwave subwoofers at the back of the room would perform much better than the ULTRA 9 in his listening room.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if I should elaborate or clarify anything.
 
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