That children should be seen and not heard is an expression many parents use often. I have found myself exercising it now and then when my playful kids begin caterwauling like Presidential candidates in a debate. However, not all noise is unwanted. If you ask an audiophile, the opposite expression is true when it comes to loudspeakers.
Speakers should be heard and not seen. They should be loud and clear, but inconspicuous in a home theater setting. No one wants their attention drawn from the screen or diverted from hearing great music to a box set against a wall. That is, unless you have a set of the new MB Quart Vera speakers. The cabinet design of the new Vera series of home speakers is so well built and nice looking, they should be on display to appreciate their beauty while admiring their sound. German manufacturer MB Quart has produced high performance speaker systems
with a European flair for nearly three decades. Located in Obrigheim, Germany, the company is a leader in the development, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing of premium loudspeaker products and technologies. MB Quart was created for the engineering and development of all types of transducers including microphones, headphones and professional loudspeaker components. Later, the company narrowed focus to the development and marketing of high-end loudspeaker products, which incorporated mobile speaker applications in 1987. Three years ago, MB Quart joined forces with the Rockford Corporation to develop a stronger market share. Rockford owns some well-established companies including Rockford Fosgate, Lightning Audio, Al Research, Hafler, and Fosgate Audionics.
The Vera line of reference speakers is sold in separate components to match each consumer's spatial requirements. Five models are offered to complete any two-channel or home theatre system. There are two sizes of bookshelf speakers (VS 05B and VS 1B), a floor standing tower speaker (VS 1F), a center channel (VS 1C), and a large passive radiator sealed subwoofer (VS 1SW). The speakers represent the flagship selection by MB Quart with high-quality design and innovation.
A primary enemy of driver performance is heat. The longer and more assertive a driver is expected to perform, the more heat is generated. As temperature rises, a condition known as dynamic compression can occur, which raises voice coil resistance and increases distortion. Prolonged overheating may even lead to permanent damage to the driver. To combat heat, MB Quart uses die-cast aluminum speaker baskets. The basket design in the Vera speakers has aerodynamically shaped ribs and additional heat-dissipating fans. Moreover, the drivers used are new and larger, averaging a 300% increase in voice coil surface area than standard six-inch woofer or midrange drivers. The larger voice coils are also made of aluminum and wound on a titanium former. Not only do these innovations reduce high operating temperatures, they also give a wider and more uniformed power distribution, reducing audible distortion.
Proprietary designed drivers are manufactured in-house at the Obrigheim plant. A rugged, stable, one-inch titanium dome tweeter is encased in an aluminum "hip" cover that separates the two mid-bass drivers from the tweeter. The cover minimizes the transfer of speaker energy to the cabinet and functions as an additional heat sink to disperse heat.
Speaking of the cabinets, MB Quart put as much attention into designing a strong, flex resistant cabinet as they have in heat dispersion. Constructed from a 25mm-thick, high-density fiberboard, the material alone would be enough to minimize flex, but MB Quart engineers went one step further. Solid metal dowels located between the front and rear panels brace each cabinet. The result is a rock solid heavy unit that rejects vibration and reduces standing waves inside the enclosure.
The Vera VS 1SW sub is a sealed sub- woofer with a 12-inch down-firing active driver and dual 10-inch passive radiators. The radiators are positioned in a clamshell V design on the front of the enclosure behind an attractive silver cover plate. Power comes from an onboard 450 watt amplifier RMS (1000 watts peak). The 1SW even comes with a remote to control the power and volume duties.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
Rearranging these speakers is best managed by two people. They are heavy and awkward to move. Think twice before using a flimsy piece of furniture if you use the VS 1B bookshelf speaker as it was intended. It's heavier than your typical speaker. For my evaluation, I was shipped two VS 1Fs, two VS 1Bs, a VS 1C center channel, and a VS 1SW subwoofer. Each of the surround speakers has a bi-wire connection cleverly concealed by a gray plastic cover emblazoned with the MB Quart logo. Even with small girly hands, I had a tough time manipulating the Z Series Monster Cable speaker cables into place because the binding post cavity is rather cramped. The subwoofer was connected using LFE interconnects, and two DIP switches were changed to reflect the settings (XLR, reserved, RCA Stereo, LFE-RCA). With two rotary knobs on the back of the sub, the crossover can be adjusted from 40Hz to 140Hz and the phase can be dialed in from zero to 200 degrees. A power switch is located on the rear of the mammoth enclosure and volume controls are up front. However, these are mimicked on the subwoofer remote control.