$ 2500 ....Stay with Vandersteens ??...what else ?

Please refer my "system" to see my current set-up. Everything sounds wonderful together.....extremely musical, great soundstage depth and width, beautiful rendition of timbre and tone, natural presentation of voices and acoustics. BUT....I have the speaker "upgrade itch," wanting fuller, richer, deeper sound, and I need advice from my friends at Audiogon.

I spend around three hours a night of "serious listening," about 2/3 digital and 1/3 vinyl. Roughly 70% of my enjoyment is 1950's - 1960's jazz (Miles, Coltrane, Basie, Rollins, Brubeck, Ella, Mobley, Morgan, etc., etc.), 25% "classic rock" that I grew up with (Allman Brothers, Dead, Dylan, CSNY, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Led Zep, Yes, Hot Tuna, etc.), and the other 5% "newer jazz audiophile stuff" (Patricia Barber, Rebecca Pigeon, etc.)

Keeping the rest of my system the same (except for bi-wire speaker cables if needed), what do you guys recommend for new speakers ? Vandersteen 2CE Sig. II's seem a natural option, but what else should I consider ? I'm open to all kinds of suggestions. Thanks a lot, and Happy Listening !
You have a nice system. I just bought a pair of Salk SongTowers. Check 'em out. They have optional dome or ribbon tweeters (which I opted for). The dome tweeter version would certainly be within your budget and you could have them finished practically in any real wood veneer you want. The ribbon tweeter version would be right at your budget. The QWT transmission line bass design digs deep, yet works very well in smaller rooms (like mine).
with the music you love, and the very cool Rogue that you have "postulatin'" tunes, a pair of vintage Klipchorns would rock out. My fav speakers for rock music, that that from a guy who always has Maggie's.
I haven't heard everything but, with a budget of $2500 (new), I am unaware of anything as good as the 2ce Sig IIs. In fact there is nothing else at that price point that at all piques my interest. If I ever upgrade, I'll be looking at speakers >$5k - that's how good I think the Sig IIs are . . . YMMV.
Adam, Can't 3Sigs be had for that kind of money? Sell the 2s and get a 2WQ or two.
If your room will support the large 2CE sigs I say go for it. I had the 1Cs in a small listening room and loved them. When I upgraded to the 2CE sigs I was disappointed. It wasn't the speakers as much as it was the room. Your system pics look like the room would support the larger speakers so what are you waiting for?
I think the Acoustic Zen adagios are great speakers for the money. Not sure about their sensitivity, or how they mate with the Rogue. Something to consider.
Beside the Vandy, the other "go-to" extended bandwidth speaker at this price point is IMHO the Eminent Tech hybrid. However, you'd probably have to switch out the amp.

Good luck,

If you were happy with the 1c's you'll have trouble leaving your chair with the 2Ce Sigs MKll!!! Break out the Ray Brown, Jazz will blow you away through the 2Ce's!!!! When you feel rich again buy a pair of 2Wq's and you'll be in Jazz Nirvana, they free the amp from having to produce the low frequencies the result being, the amp is quicker,sound is more open bass is better and you feel like you up graded the amp and speakers!!
If you buy used you'll be able to get biwired S/C's and possibly upgrade I/C's too!!
I have the speaker "upgrade itch," wanting fuller, richer, deeper sound,

Your description of what you want certainly sounds to me like a bigger Vandy would fit the bill...looks like your room would be good...what are the dimensions?
Thanks for all the response so far.....My listening room size should be "plenty big" to supoort the 2CE Sig./II's.
I guess the next step would be to find a dealer that has the Rogue and Vandy's, and compare the 1C's and the 2CE Sig./II's in store. Obviously a home audition would work best. I'll check it out.
Anyway, any other speaker suggestions for my system ?? Let me hear more ideas. Thanks
Once you are connected to the Vandersteen sound you may find it difficult to accept another brands sound characteristics. There is something to be said for the rightness of the 1st order X-overs/time-aligment-baffeless design. I have had many other brands but always go back to Vandersteen

To return to the question...I would recommend a used pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures. I have not had personal experience with the 2CE Sig MkII's, but I believe that the larger bass enclosure and hence the extended frequency response of the 3's are what places them above the 2's. The only other speaker I might suggest would be a Sonus FaberÂ…the Cremora, but that is outside your price range
I would suggest you have Mark Obrian at Rogue Audio install the special 6DB 80 HZ Vandersteen High pass in your existing Rogue Cronus integrated
Next add the a Vandersteen 2WQ this will lower the systems overall distortion while dramatically improving the clarity and transparency of the whole system also allowing you to control the amount of bass in the room to your preference not to mention since you are unloading the main amp the Tubes will last longer.
Of course you could go to the Vandy 2CE sig II Bi wiring them and then the above but either way you will have an awesome system
We have High passed many of the Rogues/Vandy 2WQ with fine results and customer satisfaction.
Cheers Johnnyr
Going from the Vandersteen 1c to the 2CE is certainly a logical upgrade. At the same price, however, I think it would be worthwhile to audition a pair of Mirage OMD-15s. There are some things that it would share with the Vandy 2CEs, such as smooth response, linear extension in both directions (I think the OMD-15s go a little lower), and sensitivity (the OMD-15s are spec'd at 1dB more efficient--certainly they're in the same neighborhood). Where the two depart is in impedance curve and dispersion. The Mirage has a bit flatter impedance curve; it's nominally 6 dB and dips to 4 ohms; the Vandy dips to around 2 ohms. Between the two the Mirage should present a bit friendlier load to your Rogue integrated amp.

The second difference addresses whether you prefer more specific sweet spot imaging (Vandersteen) or a room friendly soundstage regardless of listening position. The Vandy will present a sonic hologram in the sweet spot; the Mirage will energize the room like live music, meaning you get the same basic response curve wherever you are in the room. Because a significant amount of the treble response is rear-firing, you can easily adjust the HF tonal balance by experimenting with the wall hangings behind the speakers.

You wouldn't lose with either speaker, but the Mirage presents an alternative way to energize the room and listen to the music. These speakers disappear into the music and scale up and down from solo voice to large ensembles very naturally. Definitely worth a listen.

They should match well with your Rogue integrated.
I owned 1c's, went to 2ce Sigs, 3A's & now 3A Sigs. If you like the Vandie sound, it only gets better as you go up the chain. At some point I may add a couple of Vandie Subs, but otherwise, I've bought my last speakers.

I used to have a very old pair of the original Vandersteen 2C's... my first high-end speaker, although they were physically too big (and, in my wife's opinion, too ugly) for the new room I had to move them to, so I was off on a speaker search. Given that I loved the Vandy's and we have similar musical tastes, here's a "left field" suggestion.

I don't know what the output of your amp is (I'm running an 80 watt/channel Unison Unico tube/SS hybrid) but you might want to consider one of the Ohm line of speakers. I have the Micro Walsh Tall's, which are fantastic for a small room and will only set you back $1000 plus shipping. Or, you could well afford the Ohm Walsh 100-S3 (Series 3) which is "only" $1700 to $2000, depending on the finish you choose. They're only sold factory direct these days, but you get a 120-day in-home trial, with a money-back guarantee. The Ohm's are incredible at the price if you like the sound.

My 2 cents. ;-)
I've heard the Vandys...I'd look for a pair of Snell Type AIII's, do the woofers if necessary and save about $1000 of your $2500.

The Snells will have a similar sound to the Vandys...just a better version of it(imho).
Johnnyb53.....In response to your query....My audio habits are quite selfish, and my insulated/panelled/carpeted basement listening room is set up for a specific sweet spot (my leather chair and the small swivel bookcase to my right where I can rest my Scotch and my books on Jazz)...The main level of our home is a separately amplified and sourced system, set up with in-wall and ceiling speakers for "multi-person enjoyment." So,...with the Vandy 1C's that I now have in my basement system, I do enjoy a "sonic hologram in the sweet spot'" and I want to sontinue with this type of musical presentation.
0-23-08: Adam18
Johnnyb53.....In response to your query....My audio habits are quite selfish, and my insulated/panelled/carpeted basement listening room is set up for a specific sweet spot (my leather chair and the small swivel bookcase to my right where I can rest my Scotch and my books on Jazz).
Then I'd say you'd want to stick with a time-aligned speaker that projects a 3-D hologram in the sweet spot. The Vandy's are certainly that. You may also want to consider the Acoustic Zen Adagios. They list somewhere north of $4K, but they sometimes show up in the A-gon classifieds for $2500-3200/pair. They're a time-aligned D'Appolito configuration with a transmission line to augment the bass.
Thanks for your interest, Johnnyb53. I appreciate the solid advice and your seemingly keen insight. Happy Listening, my friend, and stay well !

And to everyone else who has helped in my quest for the proper speaker upgrade for my musical tastes and audio system....Thanks so very much. It's definitely an honor being part of this Audiogon commununity.
Here's another vote for the Acoustic Zen Adagios. You're missing out is you don't audition them.
Thanks for your input
FYI i think you may be the one missing out not hearing the Latest Vandersteen designs even the guy who makes your cables owns them.
Cheers Johnnyr
Meanwhile, back at the ranch......I spent three wonderful hours last night listening to some amazing jazz and guitar blues through my Rogue/Rotel/Vandersteen system, and my ear-to-ear grin was constant. I was, very much, the "happy camper."

Prior to my listening session, I re-read the Vandersteen 1C's manual, and re-measured and slightly re-adjusted the "vertical tilt angle" of the speakers acc'd. to Richard's explicit instructions. The improvement was subtle, yet noticeable.....so I'm assuming that the originally set tilt angle changed over the years as the spikes further settled throught the carpet and padding into the floor..... Pretty cool stuff,.....don't ya'all think ?
I still think, if your room can accodmodate them, that the Vandy 2's will be a significant upgrade. IMHO, the Vandy 2's are one of the all time greatest values in all of audio. If you do decide to upgrade to the 2's, you might want to consider a more powerfull amp.
It is very easy to veer off in the wrong direction in this hobby, going from the 1s to the 2s will keep you from doing this. If you like the Vandy sound, I would stick to getting better sound within the product line - Vandy's portray soundstage differently than most speakers with the time coherency, 1st order xover approach and if you like that (many do)go for the 2s, I think the now use the same tweeter as the 3s which should be all the better. There is a reason so many Vandy owners keep their speakers for a long time and if they make a change it's to move up within the line - it's not a coincidence. If you buy the 2s, you will one day own the 3s.
I'm really enjoying reading everybody's reasponses, and I am learning quite a lot about the wonderful "uniqueness" of Vandersteen sound. I just came upstairs after spending almost three hours listening to wonderful music (I was in a great mood after watching my Giants beat the Steelers). Tonight was all vinyl.....Hank Mobley, Grant Green, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Dave Brubeck.....The records, the Vandy's, and the system all worked beautifully together to create a stunning musical presentation. I think, as soon as I have the dinero, I'll be moving on up to the Vandy 2Ce Sig. II's. It should be quite a ride.
Impossible to think you would regret it:)
I would definitely stay with Vandersteen if you're already happy with them. The differences that other speakers present are only due to one form of coloration or another in my opinion. No other speaker line goes to as great a length to minimize coloration and faithfully reproduce the input signal, all for a justifiable price. I'm sure the 2s would be a nice step up but wouldn't rule out a nice used pair of 3As if you can find someone upgrading to the Quatro or 5A. With the 3A you'd get better integration with a pair of Vandersteen subs when budget allows and that combination would get you very close to what the Quatros can deliver.
100% agree with Sonofjim. The 3As are definitely worth the extra costs, just a matter of when you get there, but the 2Ces are a very nice place to park for a while as money allows.
John (audioconnection) is way too modest to share his true knowledge and expertise. He has created musically thrilling systems using medium powered tube amps and Vandersteen speakers for many many years. If there is one person on this planet you should trust with advice about this type of system, it's johnnyr. My first high end system was a pair of Vandersteen 1B's and a 40 watt quicksilver amp. Still , 15 years and thousands of dollars later one of the most purely satisfying systems I've owned. Your posts share your joyful listening experiences with your system. This is due to the synergy of the rogue and the 1C's. Substituting the II sigs will give you both more and less. The rogue is only
barely powerful enough for the II sigs. If, on the other hand, you do as john suggests, place a high pass filter in the rogue, and add the Vandersteen 2WQ,
a superb music sub, it's a win/win/win. First, you'll seamlessly add bass and rhythmic drive, you retain the magical synergy between the Rogue and the IC's adding articulation and transparency by relieveing the rogue from amplifying bass notes below 80Hz, and have a significant amount of change to upgrade your analog front end with a first class moving magnet cartridge. An improved front end will be an addition you can cary forward as you upgrade other parts of the system.
If in the future you'd feel the need to upgrade to Vandersteen 3Sigs, the combination of the 2WQ and the 3Sigs is heavenly.
John has led more audiophiles (including me) to musical satisfaction than anyone i know, and NO ONE is better at system matching with Vandersteens than he is. Just my .02.

(I have no financial or business relationship with john other than respect for his abilities)
Hey Jdolgin...............Thanks for your response. You've really made a lot of sense. Last December, when I decided to upgrade from my old Arcam Delta 90 integrated amp and Marantz CD-63SE player, I spoke several times with both John Ruttan at Audio Connection and Mark O'Brien at Rogue Audio. I explained what I really enjoyed about the way my Arcam/Marantz/NAD set-up drove my Vandersteen 1C's, and what I was hoping to "hear in the music" through the Vandy's with new electronics. After much research and review reading, I followed the advice of both gentlemen, and bought the Rogue Audio Cronus and the Rotel RCD-1072. The entire transaction process with John was a pleasure.

As you can see from my posts, I'm extremely happy with "all my stuff." I've recently spoken with John again, and he thoughtfully and happily explained the rationale behind his recommendation of the high pass filter/Vandy 2WQ upgrade, while kepping my 1C speakers. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Your recommendation has further enlightened me as to the benefits of this idea. So,.....the saga continues
John is a good guy and will steer you right.
I 100% agree with Jdolgin regarding John Rutan. I have lefet the Vandersteen fold, but I have had great systems built on the Vandersteen platform based on John's recommedations. He is about as much a straight shooter as you will find in a audio retail shop.
consider a panel speaker. you could listen to martin logan or magnepan in that price range. if you buy used, your options for a panel speaker expand.
Would panel speakers in that price range rock?
The 1c doesn't have the Vandersteen mid range speaker one of the reasons to own Vandy's!!!! This is what you get with the move to the 2's Richard's own speaker creation the 4 1/2" mid range, very important!!!!! How can you compare inner detail and dynamics to a fuller bass??? When I had "just" the 3A sigs the sound was great (like it would be with the 2Ce sig MKll), when I added the subs the sound was better the point being they were good first!! The 1c just isn't in the same league!!!
Very true, and on a related not the move from 1 to 2 is significantly bigger than 2 to 3, but worth it nonetheless, but that makes sense, there does come a point of diminishing returns, but as Samhar says, the midrange driver found in the 2 and up is a key to the Vandersteen sound as you move up the line compared with the 1. I think the steps up the Vandersteen are real and reflect the prices asked. What I'm not clear on is whether I would would prefer the 3a/dual 2Ws or the 5a - forgetting the ergonomics. There is something to be said of bass loading with the two subwoffers versus bass equalization electronics. Nice problem to have when you have to choose, but I suspect the current revision of the 3A with subs is a very viable option to the 5A.
Pubul57 you hit on my dilemma, are the 5A's 40%( as some say) and $10,000 better? I've passed on two sets of 5's because of the newer tweeters in my 3A Sigs!!
I know 5A owners are likely to disagree, but I thought the old 3As with the two subs were not far behind the 5As of that time, the new 3As should be even better. John Rutan knows this gear a lot better than me, but I wager that if ergonomics is not a consideration, the 3A/2Wq would not be far behind the Qauttros or 5As and a great value. Of course the Q and 5 are a neater, more elegant, one-box solution. I thought having the two subs with the mains was cool in my dedicated listening room -- in a living room maybe a different matter.
From a Minimalist Post Modern point of view they are very "cool", the 5A's aren't particularly exciting proportion wise and the Quatro Wood is bizzare looking. The more I live with the 3's and subs the more they grow on me, and now my wife likes the look!!! So my switching to 5A's would be for sonics not looks!!!
Okay,...... so let's go with the theory that the midrange speaker is a key element to the "Vandersteen sound" in the models above the 1C. Now, how do the mid-range and tweeter drivers in the 2CE Sig./II compare to those in the 3A Sig. ? What do you guys think ?
Gee whiz... get the 5A's and be done with it.
My understanding is that the 2Ce Sig ll are a leaner sound more in line with the wood Quatro. The 3A Sigs have a more Vandesteen house sound and align with the 5A's. I've auditioned the Quatro Wood and liked the 3A Sig 2Wq combo better!
>>>how do the mid-range and tweeter drivers in the 2CE Sig./II compare to those in the 3A Sig. ?

The 2ce Sig IIs and 3A Sigs are *identical* in the mid-range and tweeter! With the latest iteration of the 2s, you only give up a bit of bass extension (and, possibly, definition) compared to the 3s. IMO, the 2 Sig IIs give you nearly all the performance of the 3s in a smaller (thus, more attractive) and more affordable package.

I own the 2 Sig IIs and have heard the 3A Sig driven with the same model amplifier, but in a different room - so I have direct experience to inform this opinion. I've also heard several mega-buck speakers (Wilson W/P 7, Thiel 7.2, Avalon Eclipse, Revel Studio, among others) and am here to tell you that - no, the Vandersteen is not better than these - but gets you nearly all the way there for a fraction of the price. If I ever upgrade ($$$ dependent), I'll be looking at stuff like the Quatro ($7-11 K), Thiel 3.7 ($12K), or lower-end Avalons (>$10 K). I'm convinced that that's the kind of money I'd need to spend in order to get a substantial sonic improvement!
Rufipennis I'm not knocking the 2Ce Sigs ll some prefer them to the 3A Sigs especially with the 2Wq's. I've heard the 2's, 3's,Quatro Wood and 5A's in the same room with the same equipment at Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica CA. It was months back that I listened to the 2Ce Sigs ll so I can't compare directly. My opinion there comes from Randy's responses to my questions and other clients questions and opinions as to the 2's & Quatro. The QW is a great speaker, one I could easily live with, it seems "quicker" than the 3's with 2Wq's and less full (one less 8" woofer ?) and it doesn't seem like a mini 5A.
>>>Rufipennis I'm not knocking the 2Ce Sigs ll

No worries - I was only responding to Adam18 a couple of posts up. Not sure how you got the idea I thought you were "knocking the 2Ce Sigs ll".
My vote goes for the Wharfedale Opus2 M2 $2699 with the stands thru Wildwestelectronics,stunning standmount with floorstander bass.
This has been a great exchange of ideas, and I really appreciate everyone's input. So, last night I spent around 3 hours in front of my current set-up, listening to all CD's......Rob Wasserman (both "Duets" and "Trios"), Sonny Rollins ("The Bridge"), and Jennifer Warnes ("Famous Blue Raincoat" re-issue.) The music sounded absolutely fantastic, and I was in "audio heaven." So, maybe I'll just leave well enough alone for now, and keep on enjoying my system just the way it is. Who knows ?? This crazy hobby of ours certainly is a lot of fun. Take care, ya'all, and Happy Listening. I'll keep you posted.
You've just reached the same conclusion I most often do when considering an upgrade/change. When you sit down and listen and are still moved by your current set up why change? Anyone can spend a bunch of money and have a pretty system. A frugal hi-fi system that still delivers is a more admirable accomplishment in my opinion. That more expensive equipement will still be there when you're ready. Meanwhile, you're obviously doing something right so just enjoy.
Thank you, Sonofjim. Very nicely stated. Enjoying the music is what it's all about.
Take it easy......