Energy Veritas V2.4 surround speaker system Page 3
In any event, I strongly recommend that any audition of a Veritas system that includes the V2.0C also include listening to a variety of films from different seating locations to see if the coloration I've noted will be an issue for you. Some reduction in the highest frequencies will occur off-axis with almost all speakers; listen for changes in timbre and in intelligibility in the upper bass and midrange. Well-recorded male dialogue is the most revealing real-world test. Hint: find a scene with well-recorded male dialogue and put the DVD player on A–B repeat so you can hear the same material from different locations. The results in the showroom and in your home theater won't be identical, but such a trial can tell you a lot about what to expect from this or any other center-channel speaker.
I spent a considerable amount of time comparing the Veritas V2.4 with the Revel Performa F30, mainly with music in 2-channel stereo in System 2, without subwoofer. Both speakers performed exceptionally well, but sounded distinctly different in a number of respects. Driven full-range, the Veritases' bass was crisply detailed, and few listeners would find it limited in any way in a modestly sized room with a music source. But while the Performas' bass was a little less tight—though still very well controlled by any reasonable standard—it was clearly deeper, freer, and more powerful.
Taking into account the immovable presence of the big-screen TV currently occupying the space between the front speakers in System 2, both sets of speakers soundstaged very well. Through the midrange, both were free of any unnatural coloration. The Veritases sounded distinctly more laid-back—I suspect a somewhat recessed midrange curve (as I write this, the Veritas system has not yet been measured), since our measurements of the Revels indicate a very flat response (SGHT, November 2001, p.90). This gave the Revels a punchier quality on soundtracks and large-scale music, though the more relaxed quality of the Veritases was appealing on smaller-scale program material and some vocals.
The Veritases sounded more open and detailed on top, with a sparkle that the Revels could not quite match. This showed up not only on fast transients, but on voices as well, which sounded just subtly more alive through the V2.4s. But this was somewhat counterbalanced by the Veritases' more laid-back lower midrange.
And what about the Veritas V2.8, mentioned at the beginning of this review? When I brought a pair of them (briefly) into the comparison, they bettered the V2.4s in midrange balance (a little less laid-back) and warmth (though my experience indicates that they can sound too warm in some rooms without very careful positioning). The V2.8's high-frequency response was very similar to the V2.4's, but the slight leanness of the latter made its treble sound more prominent. The V2.8's bass is right up there with the Revel's in extension, though it's not as tight. And, last but not least, the V2.8 produced a larger, but no less precise, soundstage than either of the other speakers.
While I didn't listen to the next smaller model in the Veritas line, the floorstanding V2.3, readers who plan to use a subwoofer might find it a less costly option than the V2.4. With one less woofer but an otherwise similar design, the only compromise with the V2.3 is likely to be in the LF response below about 40Hz—which you won't miss with a sub handling the bass. The $2500/pair V2.3 would save you $1000 on the overall system price.
With its quick, detailed sound, the V2.4 will definitely find a place in a lot of audio systems, both 2-channel and home theater. The only limitation to the system's performance in the latter application is the dedicated V2.0C center-channel. I wasn't particularly happy with its off-axis performance in System 2, though it did somewhat better in System 1.
Fortunately, for those of you who fall in love with the V2.4 but find the V2.0C somewhat compromised, there's another option. The stand-mounted Veritas V2.2, a small 3-way system, virtually duplicates the sound of the V2.4 above 80Hz (though it sounds a little leaner below that, even with a subwoofer). Its vertical orientation will make it difficult to position as a center-channel speaker, but it's a better match for the V2.4 than the V2.0C. You might, however, have a tough time buying just one V2.2.They are typically packed and sold in pairs. In addition, the V2.2 is not magnetically shielded. This should not be a problem on top of a rear-projection TV (the magnetically sensitive components are below the screen), but probably rules out use with a direct-view set.
What I'd really like to see is a Veritas center-channel speaker that places the midrange/tweeter Convergent Source Module between a pair of those 6.5-inch Dual Hyperdrive woofers. While no horizontally configured center-channel will be completely free of the lobing (acoustical interference) problems that beset this sort of design, such an arrangement would significantly elevate the overall performance of what already is a very impressive, solid-performing home-theater package.