Von Schweikert Audio’s Stealth-Bomber Endeavor Special Edition $26,000 Review

July 22, 2022 § Leave a comment

Driven by the mighty HUMBOLDT, one might mistakenly walk away with the impression that the ESE offers plenty of cacophonous thrills, dynamic fireworks, and crushing bass, but little in the way of nuance, delicacy, and overall refinement. This would be a mistake. For starters, the ESE speaks with a superbly coherent voice, this despite its use of five (5) drivers per side composed of different materials. When a speaker designer can blend the outputs of drivers fabricated from beryllium, anodized aluminum, and Kevlar into a coherent wavefront, much of that success owes to a simple factor: the use of a high-quality, well-designed crossover network.

The core VSA crossover technologies (VSA prefer to call their crossovers “networks”) devised so many years ago by AVS and here tweaked, refined, and reimagined so skillfully by Damon and Leif, also yield a sound of remarkable transparency, image and staging solidity, and overall cohesion, along with plenty of low-end slam. Whatever the musical genre, the ESE allows the listener to focus his or her attention on each aspect of the transducer’s considerable performance envelope while never losing sight of the sonic whole. Let’s start with the “image and staging” portion of the equation. From the “almost” entry-level E-3 Mk II up to the earth-shaking U11, all VSA models stage and image “out of box” as impressively as any dynamic driver system that I have encountered.

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