Energy V2.4 / V2.0C / V2.0R / S10.2 Surround System
It was a question I hadn't considered until I stepped into the listening room on that gloomy Monday morning to greet my Canadian guests. Then it hit me like a slap shot to the forehead. Could I be the unbiased, emotionally unruffled reviewer that I know I am on this day, or was my bitterness simply too strong to give these visitors their fair shake? For you see, it was less than 24 hours earlier that one of the most important games in North American hockey history—the gold-medal final between the United States and Canada—had ended in utter disappointment for the Stars and Stripes. And now, these Canadian speakers were staring me right in the face—their phase plugs pointing at me in ridicule, their ports directing a sly, triumphant wink my way, and their cabinets standing a little taller and straighter after 50 years of Olympic-hockey frustration. My doubts quickly passed, though, as my foreign guests began expertly filling the room with the soothing sounds of the Mississippi delta and Virginia mountains, bringing an undeniable calm over me—even a hint of resignation. As much as I love hockey, it's their game, after all. If Canada starts beating us in football or baseball, I'll know the sports gods have really turned their backs on the good old U.S. of A.
Time to get serious, though. These Energy speakers are just that—seriously designed and built, seriously priced, and serious about wanting to sound good. The grape-vine had almost nothing but positive things to say about the newly revamped Veritas line, but it was time for me to see for myself if these newcomers could fill the large footprint left by their namesakes. Thus, a V2.0C center channel, two V2.4 towers, two V2.0R surrounds, and two S10.2 subs made the trek south to our facility, and the audio games commenced.
The V2.4 ($3,500/pair) is a 46-inch-high by 8.75-inch-wide by 18.125-inch-deep floorstander that puts a 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeter, a 2-inch aluminum-dome midrange, and three 6.5-inch composite woofers into play. Interestingly, the woofers' response is staggered (via Energy's Tapered Crossover System) to increase dispersion and reduce interference and phase issues between the woofers. While all three of the woofers extend down to 30 hertz, one tops off at 150 Hz, another at 300 Hz, and the third at 550 Hz. The midrange takes over from 550 Hz to 2 kilohertz, and the tweeter picks up from there—an ambitious range for a small-dome unit. The sturdy MDF cabinet is well braced, damped, and acoustically inert, with dual ports to the front and a single port to the rear. A pair of gold-plated, five-way binding posts allows for both biwiring and biamping. The V2.4 weighs in at 95 pounds, can accommodate floor spikes, and is available in a high-gloss-black finish, as well as the cherry veneer shown here.
Tapered crossovers are also at work with the V2.0C's ($750) dual 6.5-inch composite woofers. The higher-range unit reaches up to 1.8 kHz before it hands off to the 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeter, which completes the horizontal D'Appolito array. The V2.0C's cabinet is also constructed of MDF and offers dual sets of binding posts. Its dimensions are 9.125 inches high by 23 wide by 13.125 deep, and it weighs 39 pounds. This model is also available in a high-gloss-black or cherry-veneer finish.
The intriguing V2.0R ($1,000/pair) makes use of a 6.5-inch composite woofer and a 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeter on its front face, plus two side-firing 3-inch drivers. The V2.0R is switchable between dipolar and bipolar radiation, plus it offers a unique (as far as I know) twist with a third position called "corner." As you might anticipate, Energy designed this setting for setups in which the surrounds have to be placed in or near corners. To compensate for corner placement, this setting deactivates the side driver firing toward the rear wall, which eliminates the anomalies that result from a driver firing in such close proximity to a boundary. The hook is a level control that adjusts the output of the side drivers relative to those on the front baffle. At its highest setting, the side drivers are 1 decibel lower than the front drivers, while, at the lowest setting, the side drivers are completely off. Essentially, this means that you can run the V2.0R as a monopole, as well. To me, this is highly important for multichannel-music playback and cements this surround as one of the more-innovative ones I've ever come across. The V2.0R's dimensions are 14.5 inches high by 13 wide by 7.125 deep, with a weight of 38 pounds.
The S10.2 subwoofer ($500) offers room-friendly dimensions of 15.75 inches high by 15.75 wide by 17.3 deep, and it houses a 10-inch driver with a 150-watt amplifier behind it. The rear panel offers two speaker-level inputs and outputs and two line-level RCA jacks: One is a standard input, and the other is a crossover-bypass input. The front panel sports gain control and a variable high-pass-filter control (50 to 100 Hz), as well as an equalizer switch with an audio (unengaged) position and a video (engaged) position that bumps up the sub's output for soundtracks. The solid, black-ash-finished cabinet is ported to the front, and the whole package weighs in at a mere 33.3 pounds. Your hernias will thank you.
If I had to sum up the V2.4's two-channel performance in a few words, they would be "clean," "quick," and "detailed." Those who prefer an aggressive, tension-building speaker should look elsewhere because the V2.4 is smooth, laid-back with a relatively neutral amplifier, and never pushy, even when you push it. The flip side is that a similarly mellow amp won't exploit everything the V2.4 can deliver, as I discovered when I mated the Veritas towers with the Sherbourn 5/1500A amplifier. The result was a tonal shift toward top-heaviness and an occasional lack of presence in the mid-to-upper-bass region. The higher-frequency emphasis is hardly a problem, though. The V2.4's midrange is simply outstanding, with dead-on voicing and a clear sense of control and resolution throughout its range. The top end was highly pleasing, as well. I heard none of what some have assessed as (and, after looking at the measurements once I finished this piece, one might expect) a bright tweeter. Rather, I heard a clean, crisp attack and natural decay that very closely matched my conception of a successful top end.