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Vandersteen, wow!

post #1 of 832
Thread Starter 
Picked up a used pair of Vandersteen Model 2Ce speakers just to play around with. Holy Shi*. I was not expecting this. They almost sound holographic in HT and for two channel music they are nothing short of superb.

I gotta wonder why they don't get more notice here.
post #2 of 832
Unless the speakers are mail order or internet only brands, there aren't many supporters on AVS. There is propably more talk about White Van speakers than on Vandersteen.
post #3 of 832
I have been preaching for Vandersteen for a 6 months now, but not many people listen because they are "ugly." I also have a pair of 2CE signatures and they are better sounding than the Wilson MAXX or Sophia speakers that I heard. Richard Vandersteen truly knows how to make a transparent speaker (accurate). If you love music you will love the Vandersteen line of speakers. If I had the money, I would have the Quatro Sigs for two channel!
post #4 of 832
count me among those who love Vandersteens. And I agree, it's a shame that more people don't know how good they are. They were definitely on my short list when I was in the market for my speaker upgrade.
post #5 of 832
Thread Starter 
Actually I don't find them ugly at all. They look just fine and blend well. This is the exact reason I buy stuff just to buy stuff. I have had a chance to own and listen to Dunlavy and Triangle, both brands that are not hugely popular with SVS. I don't think I will ever part with these though. I have had two weeks of playing with them, pushing them, experimenting with them. On all types of music and movies and connected to my Sherbourn amp and my Denon 3806 as a preprocessor must say that these speakers sound as good as anything I have ever heard at any price range. I was unprepared for the beauty of this speaker's sound.
post #6 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

Picked up a used pair of Vandersteen Model 2Ce speakers just to play around with. Holy Shi*. I was not expecting this. They almost sound holographic in HT and for two channel music they are nothing short of superb.

I gotta wonder why they don't get more notice here.

For home theater, they can get a tad pricey as the recommended center goes for $2000 (the VCC-5). The VCC-1 by all accounts can only keep up with the 1c (that from the horse's mouth, ie. Richard Vandersteen).

For two channel, in the sweet spot, they are a revelation.
post #7 of 832
Quote:


I gotta wonder why they don't get more notice here.

That they only seem to have ~46 dealers in the United States, a big chunk of which are in California, doesn't seem to help
post #8 of 832
Nuance you are bang on about Mr Vandersteen. Although I quite like the look of all their models except maybe the Quatro, but I would expect it to sound very good.
post #9 of 832
This is exactly why forums like this are so valuable. I understand how a lot of people who may be new to this hobby want to stick with some of the more 'known' manufacturers, but there are so many great smaller companies out there with some really good products. Vandersteen is obviously not on par with something like Paradigm or Klipsch with regard to name recognition, but I consider their speakers superior to both. My preferred speaker company - DeVore Fidelity - is less known about than Vandersteen, yet their speakers are among the best I have ever heard.

There's nothing wrong with going with a better-known company, cause they typically offer very strong value. But for those willing to do their homework and take a little more time to look around, you can really find some gems like Vandersteen and DeVore Fidelity.
post #10 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

For home theater, they can get a tad pricey as the recommended center goes for $2000 (the VCC-5). The VCC-1 by all accounts can only keep up with the 1c (that from the horse's mouth, ie. Richard Vandersteen).

For two channel, in the sweet spot, they are a revelation.

You are right, the center is pretty darn expensive, but is among the best I have every heard. Heck, it *is* the best I have heard A

Although the *good* center is more than the 2CE Sigs, the price of the 2CE Sigs more than compensates for the price of the center. Seriously, these speakers could (and probably should) be sold for $4000 a pair, but Vandersteen knows the game. He practically gives them away but knows that they will sell. He also knows how much joy they will bring to those looking to reproduce symphonies in their own homes (accuracy baby)! Some dealers also allow customers to trade up after a year. So if you want to trade your 2CE Sigs in to the dealer you purchased them from after 364 days, you can if they allow it, and they will put the full price you paid towards the model up (the 3A Sigs, Quatre Sigs or the 5A's). I can't imagine paying 50K for speakers like some do when the Vandersteen Quatros are around $8000 for everything; no offense to those who paid that much. Audio is subjective, so...
post #11 of 832
I have a Vandersteen dealer in my area and have listened extensively to several of their speakers. They are by a pretty good margin, the best speakers I have ever heard. there is definitely something to this "time and phase correct" thinking that makes for an amazing realistic soundstage. If any of you ever have a chance to hear Vandersteens, you will probably agree that they are certainly in a class by themselves. I think the most amazing thing about them is that his best speaker (which some experts believe are the best speakers on the planet) is less than $20,000 a pair! Dennis
post #12 of 832
I've been considering buying the Vandersteen home theater package. Can any of you recommend a receivers that would match well with the 1C, VCC-1 and VSM surrounds?
post #13 of 832
atdamico,

I think you don't hear much from Vandersteen fans because there are not many speaker models. Richard Vandersteen does not release new models very often, unlike more prolific designers and manufacturers out there. Just because they're not popular on avsforum or wherever does not make them lesser products.

Glad to hear you enjoy your 2CEs. I have found with my Vandersteens in my room that loudspeaker placement is very important. You can really dial in a great sweetspot if you follow the placement guide and from there, make small 1-2" adjustments. So good in fact that I go with phantom center for movies.

I would never go far as to say that 2CE or 3A Signatures sound the same as, or better than Wilson MAXXs or Sophias. Maybe the 5 or 5A Vandersteens...

Consider getting a single or pair of 2W/2WQ subwoofers. I did after owning my 3A Signatures for a little over a year. They provide a seamless, unobtrusive bass extension which is very enjoyable.

- Steve O.
post #14 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by En Sabur Nur View Post

I've been considering buying the Vandersteen home theater package. Can any of you recommend a receivers that would match well with the 1C, VCC-1 and VSM surrounds?

Make sure the receiver can provide at least 150 W, if not 200+ for those speakers. Also, having bass management control would be good in case you go for a dedicated subwoofer. I've run the VCC-1 and VSMs in "small" mode, and 3A Signatures full-range.

- Steve O.
post #15 of 832
Scorch, how do you think those vsm's would mate with another brand of mains? I'm not sure when DeVore Fidelity will be coming out with their on-walls, and if it's going to be a while yet I may go in another direction. Those VSMs look pretty interesting, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they would be sonically compatible with my Gibbon Super 8s. I don't expect a perfect match, but since I'm not running much multi-channel audio, I can get away with a different manufacturer's product in back.

Thoughts?
post #16 of 832
Thread Starter 
As I really bought the Vandersteen's to play with, I hadn't given much thought about a center. Right now I'm still using my Triangle Nabis 222 center. (set me back around $1,600 2 years ago) and actually it's a pretty darn good match. I will replace it eventually, but I am surprised how well they blend together. I will be keeping the Vandersteen's permanently.
post #17 of 832
Yeah, the 2Ce are friggin' fantastic. The dealer a few blocks from me (Audio Connection) usually has them set up on tubes (I've heard them on various Quicksilver monoblocks) and they're truly seductive when so juiced. Forget all the audiophile crap, they sound like instruments in front of you.
post #18 of 832
Atdamico.
Which of the 2Ce you bought? The signatures or the non signatures?
post #19 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

Picked up a used pair of Vandersteen Model 2Ce speakers just to play around with. Holy Shi*. I was not expecting this. They almost sound holographic in HT and for two channel music they are nothing short of superb.

I gotta wonder why they don't get more notice here.


Just curious, how much would a 5 channel HT Vandersteen speaker set cost?
post #20 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Scorch, how do you think those vsm's would mate with another brand of mains? I'm not sure when DeVore Fidelity will be coming out with their on-walls, and if it's going to be a while yet I may go in another direction. Those VSMs look pretty interesting, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they would be sonically compatible with my Gibbon Super 8s. I don't expect a perfect match, but since I'm not running much multi-channel audio, I can get away with a different manufacturer's product in back.

Thoughts?

Summa,

Make sure the VSM design type loudspeaker is what you want. It is a coaxial arrangement, not bipolar, like some surround speakers. I would make sure the sensitivity rating and frequency response is compatible with your fronts. I do not fool myself into thinking these are full range speakers! I do like them quite a bit for movie effects - sounds like breaking glass, metal clanging - sound pretty darn realistic.

Another plus for me is that they have a small footprint, and can be easily mounted vertically or horizontally on a wall. I use small bookshelf stands from Target (the store, not the specialized component rack folks) to keep my VSM-1s at a good rear surround angle.

If you happened to live near Phoenix, AZ, I welcome you to bring your gear over

- Steve O.
post #21 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reginald Trent View Post

Just curious, how much would a 5 channel HT Vandersteen speaker set cost?

Reginald,

It ain't cheap - unless you happen to be a lucky fellow who supposedly finds used Vandersteens at the local Salvation Army or Goodwill.

I bought mine used, in stages (all prices are used, 2nd maybe 3rd hand)

Front mains (3A Signature) for about $2000 a pair
Center (VCC-1) for about $300
Rears (VSM-1) for about $650 a pair
Subwoofer (2W) got lucky - normally around 500-600, I think

I think this approach was good because it forced me to plan ahead and be patient. Nearly all of the used speakers were found on audiogon, and the sub off eBay. Depending on your room size and listening preferences, you might consider a similar approach. Many folks are very happy with the 2CE/2CE Signature as front mains, saving $$$ in the process.

In hindsight, I would have not bought a VCC-1, and instead gotten a VCC-5, but those don't show up used very often.

Ideally, I would have saved up for a LONG time and just gotten the 5As and been done with it for good.

- Steve O.
post #22 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Summa,

Make sure the VSM design type loudspeaker is what you want. It is a coaxial arrangement, not bipolar, like some surround speakers. I would make sure the sensitivity rating and frequency response is compatible with your fronts. I do not fool myself into thinking these are full range speakers! I do like them quite a bit for movie effects - sounds like breaking glass, metal clanging - sound pretty darn realistic.

Another plus for me is that they have a small footprint, and can be easily mounted vertically or horizontally on a wall. I use small bookshelf stands from Target (the store, not the specialized component rack folks) to keep my VSM-1s at a good rear surround angle.

If you happened to live near Phoenix, AZ, I welcome you to bring your gear over

- Steve O.


Thanks, Steve....I wish I was a bit closer, I'd take you up on that offer! My mains are tonally balanced and very transparent. Last time I heard the Vandies, I remember them having similar qualities. I may try and do as you did and pick up a used pair of off Audiogon or something, that way if they dn't work out for me I can just toss 'em back up for sale.

Hopefully John DeVore will have his on-walls out in the not-too-distant future and it will be a moot issue, but I'm going to keep the vandies on my short list.

I'm sure your system sounds pretty damn good!!
post #23 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

atdamico,

I would never go far as to say that 2CE or 3A Signatures sound the same as, or better than Wilson MAXXs or Sophias. Maybe the 5 or 5A Vandersteens...

- Steve O.

Have you ever spent a day listening to the Wilson stuff? I did, and at the end of the day I was so confused; they were horrible sounding which is why I spent the whole day there in confusion. I also listened to them at another shop a few weeks later in case that dealer had them setup incorrectly. Again, they were awful! What the heck? Then I looked at the measurementsahh, I see now is what I thought to myself. The Vandersteen 2CE sigs or 3A sigs mated with two 2wq subs destroy the Wilson's for music and HT in my opinion.
post #24 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Reginald,

It ain't cheap - unless you happen to be a lucky fellow who supposedly finds used Vandersteens at the local Salvation Army or Goodwill.

I bought mine used, in stages (all prices are used, 2nd maybe 3rd hand)

Front mains (3A Signature) for about $2000 a pair
Center (VCC-1) for about $300
Rears (VSM-1) for about $650 a pair
Subwoofer (2W) got lucky - normally around 500-600, I think

I think this approach was good because it forced me to plan ahead and be patient. Nearly all of the used speakers were found on audiogon, and the sub off eBay. Depending on your room size and listening preferences, you might consider a similar approach. Many folks are very happy with the 2CE/2CE Signature as front mains, saving $$$ in the process.

In hindsight, I would have not bought a VCC-1, and instead gotten a VCC-5, but those don't show up used very often.

Ideally, I would have saved up for a LONG time and just gotten the 5As and been done with it for good.

- Steve O.


Mosy people probably consider $3000 is a lot of money for a used 5 channel setup. Which begs the question, how much would a new 5 channel setup cost?
post #25 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reginald Trent View Post

Mosy people probably consider $3000 is a lot of money for a used 5 channel setup. Which begs the question, how much would a new 5 channel setup cost?

The 2CE Sigs are typically $1650 a pair with the stands. I advise you to pop for the VCC5 center which is $2000 (it's the best center I have ever heard). And the rears (VSM-1's) are $800-$1000 I believe. If you listen to music then I highly recommend getting *two* 2WQ subs which are about $1250 each. They are designed more for music than movies. If you want their movie sub, check out the V2W (I don't remember what it costs). Otherwise Axiom, HSU and SVS make killer home theater subs.

If you pop for the whole shebang (with the two 2WQ subs), it brings the total to $7150. It seems expensive, but their Quatro Signature speakers (which are probably the best speaker I have ever heard next to the model 12A) are about $1000 more than that just for the pair. $7150 is cheap when you consider how much happiness it could bring you (*if* you like that Vandersteen soundcan't imagine why you wouldn't )

When I am all said and done I will have purchased 4 of their 2WQ subs, one or two of the V2W subs, the 3A signatures (or the Quatros *IF* I can afford them), the VCC5 Center and the VSM-1 on wall rears. I will wait to do this until I move into a house in a few years, but when it is complete I may never leave that dedicated HT/Music room. I hope my wife doesn't get jealous!
post #26 of 832
What does a nice little pair of 5A's sell for in the US?
post #27 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Have you ever spent a day listening to the Wilson stuff? I did, and at the end of the day I was so confused; they were horrible sounding which is why I spent the whole day there in confusion. I also listened to them at another shop a few weeks later in case that dealer had them setup incorrectly. Again, they were awful! What the heck? Then I looked at the measurementsahh, I see now is what I thought to myself. The Vandersteen 2CE sigs or 3A sigs mated with two 2wq subs destroy the Wilson's for music and HT in my opinion.

Hi Nuance,

I think I see what you're getting at - speaker measurements should correlate with speaker sound. It's a hotly debated topic - best arguments I've seen against Wilson's are R. Hardesty's essays. Interestingly enough, he's a big proponent of Vandersteens...

- Steve O.
post #28 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Habs4life View Post

What does a nice little pair of 5A's sell for in the US?

The Model 5A price can vary due to the different wood veneer finishes available. US suggested retail price is listed on Vandersteen's webpage.

They don't show up used often - and I have a hunch that because there isn't a higher model currently offered, and it's a true high-end loudspeaker. Switching from one brand to another can end up quite expensive, depending on the rest of your system.

If you don't have a local shop, I would search out high volume Vandersteen dealers if you're serious about making a new purchase and see if you can find a discount.

- Steve O.
post #29 of 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Hi Nuance,

I think I see what you're getting at - speaker measurements should correlate with speaker sound. It's a hotly debated topic - best arguments I've seen against Wilson's are R. Hardesty's essays. Interestingly enough, he's a big proponent of Vandersteens...

- Steve O.

Hardesty as in Richard? I haven't read what he says about Wilson but have read his views on Vandersteen. It's funny; I never paid much attention to what he said about them until after I listened to them (years later). Then I went back and re-read his views and ended up pretty much completely agreeing with what he said. I also agree with his time and phase theories.

What does he have to say about Wilson? Speaker measurements don't make a good speaker, but it helps.

I believe the model 5A's are around 15K give or take. They are very nice!
post #30 of 832
Nuance,

You should be able to find excerpt journal PDFs on Hardesty's website where he makes his case against Wilson audio's loudspeaker design. It really stirred up a lot of controversy back when it came out.

- Steve O.
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