Loaner: Vera-Fi Audio Vanguard Speakers (bookshelf monitors) Here are more photos of the speaker. We will be sending you the one made of bamboo. The bamboo is very dense making it an excellent low resonance material. Description of the Vanguard by Vera-Fi Audio The Vanguard speakers are bookshelf / near field monitors that pay homage to the BBC LS3/5A in size and look but but with modern drivers, a fresh take at the crossover of my own design, and a voicing that aims to reproduce the intelligibility, naturalness, and realism of the LS3/5A. The original BBC LS3/5A cabinet design called for internal hardwood battens and thin wall 9mm Baltic birch panels with a removable front baffle. Taking cues from this, we followed it where we thought it made sense. We are not trying to make a copy in every detail. We indeed have internal battens and 9mm panels but with an 18mm thick front baffle to provide enough support for the mounting screws and rebate to permit flush mounting. The big departure comes from trying to make the speaker attractive to use without a grill. The drivers are flush mounted and grill is held on with hidden neodymium magnets vs unsightly Velcro stapled onto the baffle. The external dimensions of 12in tall x 7in wide maintains the classic visual proportions of the beloved BBC monitor. However, the depth was increased to 8in from 6.5in to provide a bit more bass extension. The Vanguard uses a premium low distortion 28mm diameter silk dome tweeter protected by a wire mesh grill. The woofer is a treated paper cone 5.25in mid bass driver with rubber surround and ample bass extension, with a clear wide bandwidth output to give a natural non-fatiguing sound. These two drivers are combined with a unique asymmetric filter crossover based on a variation of the passive Harsch topology developed by myself, but with an inverted tweeter. The crossover is approximated by a steep 4th order low pass on the woofer and shallower second order high pass for the tweeter at a rather high 5.5kHz crossover frequency. By making the crossover frequency high, the required delay of a traditional Harsch crossover can be achieved without any digital delays to produce a quasi transient perfect step response function. The Vanguard’s step response can be compared against the LS3/5A’s and you will see that they both exhibit this quasi transient perfect feature. This was achieved with a complex 11 component crossover and offsetting the woofer behind the baffle in the LS3/5A. While on the Vanguard, only 6 components were needed. The measured frequency response of the Vanguard shows the similar recessed range from 200Hz to about 1000Hz giving it increased intelligibility and naturalness. I have also given the Vanguard a right downward tilt of about -5dB from 200Hz to 20kHz - the so called “Harman House Curve” and this makes a speaker enjoyable all day without treble induced fatigue. The sensitivity is about 84dB at 2.83vrms and 1m: One of the characteristic “tells” of a Harsch quasi transient perfect crossover is that the woofer and tweeter combine to have a slight decrease from the bare woofer below the crossover frequency. And if we compare it to the measured response of the Stirling by LS3/5A by Stereophile we can also see a similar voicing: The difference in the crossover frequency is apparent here in these measurements, but this is not seen in the step response, which is more important for how we perceive music and percussive sounds as natural. Here is the Vanguard’s measured step response: If you compare this the step response of the Sterling built LS3/5A as measured by Stereophile you can see the similarities: The Vanguard has its drivers flush mounted and interior is lined with foil faced mass loaded butyl damping sheets and then lined with eggcrate foam to provide a clean resonant free cabinet. Here is the measured electrical impedance and phase of the Vanguard, the phase is simple and smooth with no value of the impedance ever going below 7ohms and no peak greater than 21ohms: The Stirling’s measured impedance from Stereophile by contrast is a bit more complex and a more difficult load to drive with peaks going well above 20ohms (not even shown what the peaks are): So in the end, what I think I have come up with is a simpler, elegant compact two way monitor that pays tribute to the voice and articulation of the LS3/5A but executed using modern drivers and a new crossover topology to yield classic great looking speaker that sounds familiar and is enjoyable to listen to all day everyday. This speaker has been auditioned with many people for feedback into the final crossover voicing. I think it sounds exceptional but you will just have to try it out for yourself on the SBAF tour. Here are some construction details of the cabinet and other finishes. The speakers are made from the highest quality materials with an exceptionally high level of surface fit and finish. The Vanguard comes in a variety of finishes including solid laminated bamboo, glass-like high gloss blonde Baltic birch, and satin piano black enamel on Baltic birch. Do I get a prize for uploading all those images?