Got some more time this weekend with the VP180 and the more I use it the more I love it. Music has never sounded better, and hearing it with the VP180 just makes me want to listen to more and more
I ran it set to large without a sub this time and it was absolutely incredible. For anyone who's heard the M80's without a sub they will know what I mean. If it weren't for movies, I could easily live without a sub.
To keep this from turning into a love fest, I will comment on the horizontal off axis performance. Now, before I get lambasted, this is not a complaint, negative, con, or knock on the VP180. It is entirely possible that my following comments apply to any and all horizontally designed and oriented centre speakers, so take it FWIW.
There is a very slight dropoff in SPL and a very slight change in FR as you move left/right. The dropoff is more significant as you move towards the extreme left/right. You can still hear the VP180 loud and clear and detailed, just not as loud or prominent as in the sweetspot, which is direct centre.
I do understand that this is normal for horizontal centres, so there may be no way to actually change or improve it. I'm just wondering if having a tweeter above a mid driver (to mimic a vertical speaker) would improve the horizontal off axis performance. My frame of reference is the M80, which IMHO has outstanding horizontal off axis performance, so it may be asking too much.
OTOH, the vertical off axis performance of the VP180 is fantastic. I know this matters little to most people, but my VP180 sits close to the ground and needs to reach an elevated back row of seats. Whether I'm sitting on the ground or standing on the elevated platform, there is almost no difference in sound. Simply amazing.
I want to add that the horizontal dropoff is difficult to notice if/when the mains and/or surrounds are playing content at the same time (ie. under normal conditions). Isolating the centre by disabling all other speakers made the differences easier for me to hear. Also, you will only notice it if you keep sliding from one side to the other, which no one does when listening to music or movies, so practically speaking this shouldn't be an issue for most people.