OK, it's late so I won't go into great detail, but I was able to finally play with the VP180 today. I figured I'd start a new thread to save others/newcomers having to read through the massive VP180 thread before getting to any reviews/feedback. I will start with my (unprofessional) impressions but any and all other owners are encouraged to add theirs as well.
Here is a picture of the VP180 standing on end beside an M80 for reference, sorry I don't know how to attach an image.http://www.flickr.com/photos/51286284@N02/4716480288/sizes/l/
Yes, the VP180 is a beast and is every bit as big and heavy as the M80. The M80 only appears slightly taller because it has four rubber feet supporting it.
First part of listening was done with the VP180 oriented vertically (like in the picture) and compared to an M80. In a nutshell, the VP180 sounds incredible!
It is literally as close as you will come to the sound of an M80 without actually getting an M80. First thing that stood out was the depth of sound. Did not sound hollow or tinny, it did sound full and rich and detailed. Bass was plentiful and provided lots of punch, just like the chest thumping effect I get from the M80's. I did all my testing without a sub and the VP180 didn't miss it that's for sure. The mids and vocals were clear and smooth, no evidence of any sibilance whatsoever, just like the M80's. The highs, again like the M80's, were detailed, crisp, and...well...sweet. By sweet I mean not overbearing or bright or fatiguing, at least it wasn't for the 3 hours I was listening.
So is it 100% identical to the M80? No, but I'd say 99%. It's hard to describe the difference. First off, even though the specs say sensitivity is the same as M80, I found that I had to increase the VP180 level by 2dB in order to acheive the same SPL as the M80. Even with that correction, though, I could still hear a very very slight difference. I will cautiously say that I found the M80 to be *slightly* more forward (prominent?), BUT the difference diminished as I lowered my ear level, so maybe it has to do with the driver alignment. Without direct comparison to the M80's I'd likely be more than happy with a pair of vertical VP180's as mains, but I can't really think of a situation where I'd ever recommend that setup over a pair of M80's. Horizontal placement is an entirely different matter. Here, there is no comparison at all, the VP180 wins hands down.
Geting too late and too tired now, sorry can't think of anything else to write. Will add more if I can remember. Feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to answer, that may be the easiest way to get info out of me, LOL.