Vandersteen in a HT?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin C Brown, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Need some other's thoughts on this:
    (I have Def Tech all around now.)
    2 weeks ago, I was all set to pull the trigger on the 2 CE Sigs up front. (I'm 80% music. Already have a V2W sub.)
    Then over time I would add a VCC-1 for the center.
    Those are the easy ones! [​IMG]
    For the L + R rears, I don't want the VSMs. I have no desire or space to mount them on the walls.
    So that leaves me with, a) maybe 3 VLR-1's for the L, C, and R rears. b) Or maybe even 3 more VCC-1's back there. c) Or, what I really wanted to do: 1C's for the L + R rears, and then a VLR-1 or VCC-1 for the rear center.
    But I called the company, and actually got Richard himself, and he said that the 1C's won't work in the back because they are not a point sources (unlike the VSM, VLR-1, and VCC-1's), and that they "wouldn't converge before the sound hit my listening spot."
    So I got confused enough that I never bought the 2 CE Sigs for the front, and am kind of stuck now.
    For those of you who have, or have had Vandersteens, what did you do for the rears?
    Cheers, and thanks... [​IMG]
     
  2. Joe Tompkins

    Joe Tompkins Extra

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    Kevin,

    I originally had 2ce as my fronts and when I

    upgraded to 3A Sig's I put the 2's in the rear.

    Mine sounds fantastic. I'm not convinced you need

    speakers every three or four feet in your room in

    order to convey realism. What are we up to now,

    7.1???? There isn't much going on from the rear

    to be worried about 3,4,5 .... speakers.

    Only if I find a used vcc-1 will I add a center to

    my rear channel.

    I think you will be fine.

    Regards,

    Joe T.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Joe- Cool.

    I started at 5.1, and then added an external Dolby Pro Logic Processor to my 5.1 DD/DTS pre/pro to get the rear center for 6.1. I set my system up with 6.1 in mind, two 3-channel amps. But you're right, at least in my room, 7.1 I don't think is going to buy me much over 6.1. Law of diminishing returns...
     
  4. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Kevin,

    Are you stuck on Vandies if you make a speaker change? What kind of music are you listening to? Are you still using the Acurus amps?
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Jason- Naagh, not "stuck on Vandy" but definately intrigued by the "time and phase correct" thing.

    As for the type of music, kind of eclectic: late 60's early 70's "maximum R&B" (Who, Purple, Zep, Cream, etc, plus Yes, Genesis, King Crimson), 80's/90's alternative (Sonic Youth, Cure, Smiths, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, and whole bunch of similar bands that not a lot of people probably have heard of: Cheer Accident, Chavez, Paris, Detective).

    What kind of speakers would you recommend?

    My "short" list is Vandy, Paradigm, and NHT.
     
  6. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    I went from an all NHT set up to all Magnepan and am very happy with the switch. I made the mistake of giving the Maggies a listen and there was no turning back. I do realize that are not for everybody as they are demanding in terms of upstream components,room size,placement,SAF, and may not be the best choice for rock music(the last is subjective). They have quite a different sound than direct radiators but if you can accommodate them they are great speakers for movies and even better for music.

    Jason
     
  7. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    A crossover frequency of 240hz for the center would be a non-starter for me. For two channel, the Maggies rule, but I do not think they are a good choice for home theater.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Jason- Interesting... Will have to look at them further. The size is kind of odd. (I could just see my cats trying to climb up them!)
     
  10. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony,
    Have you heard Maggies in a home theater setting? I disagree with your assessment but must admit to the same feelings.... Until I heard a set-up like mine in a local high end shop. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had an all NHT speaker complement prior to the Maggies. This consisted of NHT VT1.2s as mains, a VS2a center and VT1a for surrounds. Definitely an H/T slanted set-up and quite good at the price point. I expected the Magnepans to better them easily on music, but was not prepared for how much better they were than the NHTs for movies! Dont sell planars short as not being dynamic enough for movie soundtracks. It is a bum rap they do not deserve. Like I said,they are not for everyone but while size,placement,and such may rule them out,performance will not.
    Jason
    BTW My set-up is like the one in the review with the exception being the center channel. I have the MGCC1 as the two was not available yet. Also the freq. roll off for the MGCC1&2 is 120hz. Did it say 240? I will have to re-read the review.......Damn, I gotta stop pimping these things and retire my fuzzy, purple pimp hat to the closet for a while[​IMG]
     
  11. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,
    Cats can be a problem with Maggies. Of the three we have,two are declawed(adopted, and that way when we got'em) and the one with claws is too old to bother the furniture or anything else. I have heard that mouse traps placed under paper,(to keep the kitties from getting hurt or pinched) and put around the speakers, will cause them to aviod the area.Never tried it myself because mine seem smart enough to realize that when the paper is gone, there would be no reason to stay away. Then again, maybe I give them too much credit[​IMG]
     
  12. NicholasF

    NicholasF Auditioning

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    Kevin,
    I have a pair of 2ce's, and for my ears, these speakers are just right. After many years of listening, they are still such that I don't find myself desiring any other speaker. These speakers cured my "up-grade-itis" bug. If I got stuck on a desert island I would take the 2ce's. (okay, assuming I have a budget!)
    Unfortunately I got some cats after aquiring these speakers, and let me tell you the 2ce's are not cat proof either. In fact they are a cat's best friend, and even have an "air matress" on the top that they like to sleep in. The grills wrap all the way around the speaker and are non-removable, so you can't check if kitty's claws have damaged any of the drivers. If you have cats and can't isolate your listening room, you may find yourself constantly at war with the felines.
    To fix this situation I picked up a pair of NHT SuperOnes, up on stands, and paired them with a Sunfire sub. The cats ignore the NHTs, and I like the sound enough, although they don't sound quite as wonderfully smooth as the 2ce. It is also difficult to integrate the sub just right for music. The 2ce's sounded wonderful for music without the need for a sub. Perhaps if I had gone with an NHT SuperSub instead the integration with the SuperOnes would have been easier. I wish my receiver has crossover points other than 90Hz. But all around, the SuperOnes + sub, considering the price, is a great option. The SuperOnes have been discontinued, but are still available on eBay. Their replacement, the SB2, uses metal dome tweeters instead of cloth dome tweeters in the SuperOne. I have not had a chance to compare SuperOnes with SB2.
    More qualities about the 2ce: All around great speaker, for me they don't have any major shortfalls when it comes to music. I never find myself thinking: wish they had more bass, or wish the imaging was better, or wish they could be a little more clear. Nope, I just am able to listen to the music come through. They are pretty sensitive to room placement though, and do need the matching sand filled "stands" that increase the price by $150 - $200. Yes I know there are better speakers out there but I would have had to spend a lot more for incremental improvements. I still occasionally take them out of the closets and listen to them, keeping a third eye on the cats.
    For HT though, the 2ces might be a little laid back / too delicate for some. It depends on how loud you like it. They also might have difficulty with some of the low freq effects, even though they can handle music without a sub just fine. But you already have the Vandersteen sub, so maybe this is a non-issue!
    As far as the "dimensional clarity" time-coherent concept that Vandersteen emphasises, I think another company (besides Spica TC-50's which I don't think are on the market anymore) that follows this path is ACI. They make a speaker called the Sapphire III which has received some great reviews. They also make matching subwoofers and a smaller speaker (perhaps good for surrounds) called the Emerald. If you are the DIY type, I think kits are available. I can't say if they would "mesh" with 2ce's as mains and ACI's as surrounds / centers, as I've never heard these speakers.
    This is ACI's web site:
    http://208.55.6.118/index.html
    Good luck, -Nicholas
     
  13. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Also see Dunlavy and Wilson for phase and time coherent designs, IIRC.

    Jason
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Nicholas- Yeah, you don't have to "sell" me on the 2CE's performance as a speaker. [​IMG] Just what Vandy speaker to use for the surrounds.
    Even with my current Def Techs, I have "cat problems." For the fronts, I have the bottom 18" covered with Al foil (cut out in the back where there seems to be a passive radiator opening), and I just keep the plastic shipping bags over the rears except when I'm actually using them.
     
  15. NicholasF

    NicholasF Auditioning

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    Sorry Kevin, that was an over caffinated post [​IMG]
     
  16. Ken Rivera

    Ken Rivera Auditioning

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    Hi Kevin,

    I have had Vandersteens for about 3 years now. I have 2Ce Sigs in the front, VCC-1 center, and VSM-1 surrounds. Really, they are wonderful. I auditioned lots of different speakers before I bought the Vandys, but none sounded as good as the Vandys for the price. The Martin Logans sounded good, but much more expensive. The Mirage OM's sounded good too, but I didn't have the room to place them away from the wall to take advantage of the bipolar design. NHTs were too bright, Def Tech and Paradigm were ok, but not as good as the Vandys.

    Anyways, the Vandys have always had plenty of dynamics. I first used them with an 85Wx5 Marantz receiver which was good, but once I changed to a 200Wx5 Rotel amp and Marantz pre-amp they got so much better. These speakers really shine with good electronics. The clarity, intelligibility and precision of these speakers are amazing.

    I'm not sure what your dimensional requirements are for rear speakers, but the VSM-1s are very good. I have just built a new house and a dedicated HT room with 7.1 sound. I could not fit the VSM-1s in the rear vertically, so I bought a pair and mounted them horizontally (the coaxial driver really doesn't care). They sound great - had to pay an extra $80 to get the wood finish on the bottoms of the speakers. Seems that if you have enough space to mount the VCC-1 or VLR-1, you should be able to mount a VSM-1.

    I couldn't comment on using 1Cs or 2CEs for the rears - sorry. I'm sure if you had enough space where they weren't butted-up right next to you they would sound fine. Seems to me that my 2Ces sound better with at least 6-7 feet of space in front of them. In a large room they would probably sound good as surrounds.

    Although the 2Ces are great in mids and highs, I have always thought they were a little lacking on the bottom end. I have always used the 2Ces with a sub. I had a Velodyne FX-12 servo sub before, but although it was great with music I didn't think it had enough grunt for movies. I sold it and switched to a Sunfire Signature sub - tons of power for movies, good for music (not as good as the Velodyne). With my new HT room I just bought two Vandy 2Wq subs. I haven't finished hooking them up, but I plan to run them crossed-over with the 2Ces directly, with the Sunfire serving as the .1 channel for movies. I think its going to be amazing when I'm done.

    Also, I sold my Marantz AV-9000 preamp and bought an Integra Research RDC-7 preamp. Again, still haven't finished hooking it up, but I believe that it will be a step-up from the Marantz.

    In the end, its hard to take advice from anybody. You really need to decide with your own ears. But, if you like the sound of the 2Ces, then I would recommend that you stick with the Vandersteens. Their whole line of speakers are really excellent. Whatever the configuration that you choose I'm sure it will be great. Good luck!!!

    Ken Rivera
     
  17. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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  18. Christian Speights

    Christian Speights Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Ken:

    For our theater room (in a new home now under construction) a Vandersteen system is presently under consideration. Like your room, I, too, might utilize four VSM-1s in a 7.1 configuration. I prefer dipoles and bipoles for surround use with movies and have concerns about the monopole VSM-1s not creating a sufficiently diffuse rear image. I wouldn't normally consider a monopole for movie use, but the time- and phase-coherent design of the VSM-1s has me intrigued.

    Just in case, I have prewired all four surround locations with 4-conductor cables so I could utilize monopoles (e.g., VSM-1s) or bipoles for music use and separate dipoles for movies.

    In your experience, do the VSM-1s manage to sonically "disappear"? Or, like most monopoles, do they occasionally call attention to themselves?

    Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
     
  20. Ken Rivera

    Ken Rivera Auditioning

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    Hi Alex,

    At my previous house I had a really difficult HT room - 15 wide by 12 deep with the sofa against the back wall. I had my VSM-1s mounted on the side walls directly on the sides of the sofa about 6ft up in the air (about 3 ft above your ears when seated). In this configuration the speakers sounded great with 5.1 channel music and good with movies. On movies, occasionally I could detect the individual speakers, but really it depended on the source material. Well-mixed, spacial source material disappeared, stuff with very direction effects occasionally well locatable. Still, I was impressed considering the set-up of the room. I don't think that any other speaker (direct radiating or dipole) could have done better in that application.

    In my new house (I don't have my system connected yet - maybe next weekend), I designed the HT room to be 15x22x9. I have plenty of space to place speakers. The left and right surround speakers will be mounted 6 feet high on the side walls about 1 ft behind the main seating position (about 6 feet from the rear wall). The center surrounds will be about 7.5 feet high about 2.5 feet to the left and right of center on the rear wall. Also, the rear center speakers will be modified to be mounted in a horizontal configuration (I can't fit them vertically with the placement that I want). I have am very confident that the VSM-1s will sound great with the extra space that they will have to breathe.

    Honestly, I think that the VSM-1 is an ideal surround speaker. Direct radiators are great for music, but too directional otherwise. Dipole/Tripole speakers are difuse, but some material needs to be directional. The VSM-1 is a happy medium between the two. They are much more difuse than a typical direct radiator. Plus, if you're going with a 7.1 configuration, they should literally wrap you in sound.

    I don't know if this has helped you. Depending on your timing, I could give you some additional feedback in a couple of weeks once my room is operational. Take care.

    Ken Rivera
     

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