Vandersteen 2CE doing well as core for home theater

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mr645, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Mr645

    Mr645 Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 23, 2011
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    Boca Raton, Florida
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    After about 12 years I finally upgraded an old B&K front end to something more modern. I picked up a Pioneer VSX-32 receiver on the cheap, close out and finally I can explore the latest BluRay audio formats. Anyway, I have always enjoyed my 2Ce pair for music. Excellent soundstage, life like sound and they have performed perfectly for about 15 years. I kept the external amp (Parasound HCA_855) that was powering them for years and used the Pioneer as a Processor. I found that even though the Pioneer is rated at 110wpc and the Parasound in 85, the Parasound is much more powerful. Both the Pioneer and Parasound set set up in Bi amp mode, 4 channels to the 2Ce pair. Well yesterday I finally had some time to really tune the system. The VSX-32 gives me a lot of automated set up options and manual control over everything, except the crossover for the sub, an M&K V75II. With a little tuning, mostly smoothing out the eq adjustments the MACC auto set up made to the speakers, and tweaking the sub output, I am really happy with the sound quality. I would say that the Pioneer is not quite up to the B&K Ref 20 it replaced for 2 channel sound, but exploring some multi channel BluRay audio, it is sort of like going from an MP3 (DD5.1) to CD quality sound. The Master audio formats coming over BluRay sound awesome. I listened mostly to music while tuning. So after being really happy with the set up and listing to some BluRay concert footage from Blue Man Group, Rush, and Joe Bonamassa, (all performances I have heard live) I started wondering how close to concert levels could get. Well, pretty darn close. As I added volume a couple of DB at a time, I listened for clarity, soundstage and any sounds of distortion. As the Pioneer went into the positive DB numbers, the volume kept getting louder. finally at +8.5 on the display, the whole house was shaking, it was starting to get uncomfortable to listen to. Soundstage had weakened slightly, the bass, while solid, was not to concert level impact but I was impressed at the clarity and overall sound quality. I also noticed that after about 6 or 7 minutes at this level, both the Parasound amp and the Pioneer receiver were only slightly warm. The Pioneer powers the rear surrounds. Todays project will be to set up another preset for movies. Sony BD-580 Pioneer VSX-32 Parasound HCA-855a Vandersteen 2Ce M&K VX-75II sub M&K LCR-750THX rear Interconnects by Audio Quest Speaker cables by Straight Wire

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