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Vandersteen Signature Series Speakers...Opinions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott-C, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    I just got done reading a very favorable review of the Vandersteen 3A Signature (L/R main), VCC-5 (center), and VSM-1 (surround) speakers in the November 2001 issue of WSR. I know nothing about these speakers and was curious if anyone owns them or has heard them.
    If so, what are your opinions of these speakers (primarily for HT use)? How did they compare to other speakers you demo'd?
    The reviewer goes as far to point out that these speakers perform far better than their price point and can favorably be compared to much more expensive speakers. Being the kind who always likes to hear multiple opinions, I'd enjoy hearing your's if you have experience with this speaker line.
    Thanks!
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    Scott
     
  2. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

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    I almost posted a similar post, except I've been looking at the 2Ce Signature and wondered how it would compare to my current Paradigm Studio 40's and CC center. I'm using a Servo-15 sub, which I would keep.
    Phil
     
  3. Mario_C

    Mario_C Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Just my $.02...........If I weren't a planar guy, I'd be using either Vandersteen or Joseph speakers. I do use the Vandersteen 2Wq subs though.
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    Q
     
  5. Mario_C

    Mario_C Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    I have been fortunate enough to be living with a pair of Vandersteen Five's in my setup for exactly one year (this Halloween). Eventually, I will add in the corresponding center and surrounds but I am quite pleased for now.
    I'm sure I'll get in trouble by saying that I think these sound as good as any planar out there with a much better low-end punch and defintely better than any other dynamic speaker dollar for dollar.
    If the article said the Vandy's are good for HT, wait until you hear how well they do audio.
    Several fellow HT'ers have listened to my setup and then gone out and switched to Vandy's. Give them a listen - you won't be disappointed. My advice would be try to get hold of used pair and go from there.
    Lin
     
  7. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Vandy 2C's are amongst my favorite speakers for music.
    ------------------
    My DVD Library
    Runaway production? No thanks. Where I've filmed, benefiting local economies: AL, CA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, NV, OH, OR, TX, WA, WY.
     
  8. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

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    Without getting into a "subjective" debate on sound, I'm asking in general only, how would you classify Vandy's sound using the following terms:
    Warm/Neutral/Bright
    Airy/not airy
    Thin/Fat
    Or has anyone ever compared them directly to some Paradigm Studio speakers?
    I do not have any dealers in my state at all, or I would just go listen myself.
    Phil
     
  9. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    It really depends what you feed them but in my findings they are very neutral if you use solid-state amps and take on warmer characteristics with tubes.
    I am assuming you are referring to soundstaging and imaging on airy/not airy. The 2's, 3's, and 5's are very good at disappearing into the room and have excellent soundstaging abilities.
    Not sure what you mean by thin/fat. If you are referring to total frequency response then they get fatter based on how much you spend. The 5's are full range and have an excellent low-end (tight and quick). The 3's are very good and the 2's start to tail off at the low-end. I would not say that any of them are thin though. A friend who has 2's in a fairly small room gets pretty good response out of his driven with the Outlaw Receiver.
    Hope this helps.
    Lin
     
  10. Joe Tompkins

    Joe Tompkins Extra

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    I originally ran Vandersteen 2ce's as my front
    speakers with 2 2w subs. I have since upgraded
    to the 3A Sig and moved the 2's to the rears.
    The subs are currently idle, but I'm thinking
    about getting the model 5 cross-over and connecting
    the 2W's with the 3A's Sig's. My dealer feels
    this will give me a "mini Model 5 system". I
    have the vcc-1 center as well. Great speakers
    for both music and theater.
    Regards,
    Joe T.
     
  11. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Joe,
    Can you elaborate on their capabilities in a home theater arrangement? Imaging/creation of wide & deep soundstage, dynamic range capability, etc.
    Thanks!
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    Scott
     
  12. Joe Tompkins

    Joe Tompkins Extra

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    Scott,
    The speakers do present a deep and wide soundstage.
    They really disappear in the room. They are very
    detailed in presentation, bringing the subtle sounds
    and noises of a soundtrack that give you that you
    that "you are there" feeling. Isn't that the object
    of HT? Now, there are a few things to consider.
    1. Room size, you need to give these some room to
    breathe. Set them up according to the manual
    and they will perform as advertised.
    2. Dynamic, yes they are, but they are also limited
    in there ability to play very LOUD. If you are
    looking to build that blow away theater to play
    at Reference levels and above, maybe the Vandy's
    are not for you. Do people really watch at the
    Reference level?
    3. I find the vcc-1 center channel to be the weakest
    link in reference to number 2. It will start to
    sound a little strained and thin as the volume goes
    up. I suppose the vcc-5 handles this much better,
    but have you seen the price on that one, or the
    vcc-1 Signature????
    4. Can't comment on the new subs (wq, v2w), I have the
    older ones, but the bass is very tight and clean
    from these. Most may find not enough BOOOOM for
    Home Theater. I guess that's why the new ones
    have adjustable "Q" levels to bring out that
    factor. They also offer a line level input so
    they can be used off your ".1" channel. The older
    ones DO NOT and have to be integrated into your
    Main channels. Vandersteens original idea was to
    have a sub for every channel. Great for Vandersteen,
    bad for public. I guess that marketing didn't go
    over so well.
    None of these items are a factor to me. My system
    is really 75% music, 25% theater. If I want boooom,
    I crank up my M&K sub, it's a real beast. Perhaps
    when I get my HD set top box, things will change.
    Regards,
    Joe T.
     
  13. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the reply.
    quote: 2. Dynamic, yes they are, but they are also limited
    in there ability to play very LOUD. If you are
    looking to build that blow away theater to play
    at Reference levels and above, maybe the Vandy's
    are not for you. Do people really watch at the
    Reference level? [/quote]
    That statement does concern me. Any purchases I'm considering now would be for use in a future dedicated, soundproofed home theater, and I would like the ability to play at reference level. Bummer - they seem like great speakers. Why are they limited in their ability to play loud?
    Ah, I may still have a look at them anyway.
    Appreciate the comments!
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    Scott
    [Edited last by Scott-C on October 23, 2001 at 01:04 PM]
     
  14. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  15. Joe Tompkins

    Joe Tompkins Extra

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    Scott,
    Don't take that the wrong way, they can play loud,
    but they are not P.A. speakers. I believe the speaker
    efficiency is 86 or 87db and most important the
    design is a first order cross-over. First order
    cross-overs keep the music "in-phase", that's one
    of the reasons I feel this speaker is so natural.
    But those two factors will limit the speakers ability
    to really BLAST.
    Mine are setup in an 18X24 dedicated room.
    Do yourself a favor and go check 'em out. They are
    tuff to beat for the price, especially after you hear
    them.
    Regards,
    Joe T.
    [Edited last by Joe Tompkins on October 23, 2001 at 02:13 PM]
     
  16. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    OK, thanks for the clarification. I'll definitely put them on my short list of speakers to check out when the time comes.
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    Scott
     
  17. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I have a set of 1Cs and I'm quite happy with them. When I was trying out speakers, these were the only ones that I was satisfied with listening to music. The music seems to come alive with these. The only regret was that I couldn't afford the 2ce at that time. It definitly addresses the weakness of the 1C, which is that it is lacking somewhat in the midrange. I will eventually upgrade these in the future for more Vandys.
    Jason
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    My DVD Collection
     
  18. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Vandys are amoung THE BEST soft dome tweeter speakers out there (I say this, b/c I prefer the sound of B&W, but I have some Vandys in my "b" system, and if you like that type of sound, GO FOR VANDYs.
     
  19. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    The Vandersteen line uses critically damped metal-alloy tweeters, not soft-dome units.
    I personally have never liked alloy tweeters due to their typical oil-can resonance modes and ringing. But, last month, after listening to the Vandersteen 3A Signatures, I finally heard an alloy tweeter that I liked--and I liked it a whole lot. The tweeter (along with the entire speaker) is clean, detailed, smooth, and nonfatiguing. A first for me, and possibly the best tweeter I have ever heard, including those in speakers costing many times the 3A's price.
    To these difficult-to-please ears, the 3A Signature is, overall, the best speaker under $10,000 I have ever auditioned.
    Next month I'll begin building a new house with a larger dedicated theater room, and when it's done I anticipate installing a Vandersteen 3A Signature system in there. This audiophile was greatly impressed.
     
  20. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

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    It's my understanding that the 2Ce Signature uses the same tweeter that the 3a does. That is what drew me towards it. I'm looking for "smooth" and "warm", with "full" midrange.
    Phil
     

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