Center Channel Speakers
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 03 March 2008
One eventually has to watch something besides flame throwers, Uzis, and overuse of the color red. Becoming Jane is a nice family movie with lots of speaking, both male and female. The voices all sounded very natural, with no chestiness that plagues some center channel speakers.
So, this brings me to the second thing I noticed about the VisiUN. It has an amazing ability to maintain the sound when the listener is sitting off-axis. In fact, I don't think I have ever experienced better off-axis center channel sound than with the VisiUN. This is due to a very careful layout of driver placement in the enclosure.
This, in fact, may be the most important feature of the VisiUN, because most of the time, we watch movies with our families, or at least, one other person in the room When I watch movies with my wife, she is usually in the sweet spot on the couch, and I am slightly off-axis in my easy chair. The VisiUN gave me a very clear (as in voice intelligibility) off-axis sound that makes a huge difference in movie enjoyment.
Now, if you were paying attention to the first part of the review, you read that I used electrostatic speakers for the other channels. It might seem odd to have a cone speaker for the center while the others are such a completely different kind of technology.
Well, actually, what you want is continuity of tonality across the soundstage, and this is why one usually has the same brand and model line of speakers all the way around. However, my ELSs sound very natural, and what I wanted to hear was whether or not the VisiUN matched that natural timbre.
Obviously, this is a very expensive speaker. Probably more than most people spend on an entire sound system. So, you would not purchase the VisiUN to go with some modular home theater in a box components. It is meant to go with speakers in its same league. In fact, the VisiUN is designed to go with the Von Schweikert VR-4 SR MK II speakers. The review unit is the standard model, and you can also get the Signature version which is designed to go with the VR-5SE, VR-7SE, VR-9SE, VR10 Mk II and VR-11 speaker models. The signature version is $11,000. Take a look here to see the complete list of models and prices.
If you are thinking, "I can't afford speakers like this, so why am I reading this review?" well, I can't afford them either, but I am taking the time to write the review because we all need to experience everything we can in life, even if it is just for a short time. It shows us what the standards are and what we are capable of achieving.