Add a Subwoofer to my Vandersteen 1ce s or replace with Revel Concerta2 F36


Hey Audiogon community,
    Perhaps you guy can help here. I have a VPI Scout with Sound Smith Zephyr III Cartridge running into a Musical Fidelity v-LPS that runs into a NAD VISO 5 Receiver and back out to a pair of Vandersteen 1ce's. Since I recently bought the Zephyr III, it revealed some inadequacies, and I am in upgrade mode. My audio advisor from Brooks Berdan suggested I start with the speakers. Mind you, I Love my Vandersteens but wish there was deeper bass realism. I have been listening to the Revel concerta2 F36  recently with a Cronus Magnus powering them via some entry level Oracle turntable. I like the F36 a lot, and feel like they would give me more full range dynamics especially on the low end. I am looking at upgrading to the Rogue Cronus Magnus soon as well. And am hoping that upgrading to the F36 is the smarter choice than adding a sub that would seamlessly integrate. Any thought would be appreciated. Thank you.
voodooman13
" And am hoping that upgrading to the F36 is the smarter choice than adding a sub that would seamlessly integrate. Any thought would be appreciated. Thank you."

I wouldn't trade the 1's for a pair of F36's. I've heard them side by side and the Vandersteen is a better speaker. If you get a Vandersteen sub, you can plan on keeping it for a very long time. Its an extremely well thought out design and will work with just about any speaker. 

" I have a VPI Scout with Sound Smith Zephyr III Cartridge running into a Musical Fidelity v-LPS that runs into a NAD VISO 5 Receiver and back out to a pair of Vandersteen 1ce's. Since I recently bought the Zephyr III, it revealed some inadequacies, and I am in upgrade mode."

I don't know how many hours are on your new cart, but it will need to be broken in. The difference from new will be significant. However, looking at your system, your NAD is clearly the weak link. You're not hearing what the Model 1's are fully capable of. Its really not the speaker's fault that your system has a lack of dynamics and bass. If you put a better sounding, more powerful amp on the 1's, the change will be huge. The sub is a good idea, but you won't be so compelled to get one with a better amp in place. 
Since you are getting the Rogue,why not see how you like the Vandersteens with the tubes? You just might forget about changing speakers! You should take one step at a time!
What is the size of your listening room and how close are the speakers from the adjacent walls?
+1 sfall  Stay with the Vandys.  Do look into scoring a 2wq subwoofer to mate with them.  As was said a very good design and can be used long term with other speakers if you continue to upgrade down the road.  
+1 yogiboy  See how the Model 1s sound with the Rogue tube design.  I  have heard the 1s with tubes and it was a match made in heaven!

Thank you @sfall, @yogiboy, @kalali, and @hifiman5 .1 I have had the Zephyr for 5 months and it’s broken in. 2 My room is kind of rectangular and is about 12 ft deep by 16 ft. wide. I totally appreciate the one step at a time upgrade mode, and intend to get each new component about six months apart so I am thoroughly acquainted with my system, and am clear about what needs improvement. If I go Rogue first, would I hear enough improvement in the bottom end, that I would be happy for 6 months until a proper sub like the 2wq is in the budget again? Even with the weak NAD, it does sound pretty awesome, but there are certain furious piano passages on Analogue Productions -Nina Simone’s Little Girl Blue, and on the ORG’s Nina Simone Silk and Soul that get muddy almost distorted. I think it’s the speakers ability, and the lower end on say something like Ray Brown’s Moonlight Serenade just isn’t there. So I really want more full range depth and realism. Of course on a budget. Thanks again to all for your input.

voodooman13,

You have some really nice audio equipment, with one glaring exception. The NAD Miso 5 is a lifestyle 5.1 channel home-theater in a box. It is good quality, for what it is. But it is not of the same relative sound quality of the other hardware in your system and it would be the obvious first choice for replacement. Based on your initial post, I don't see a need for 5.1 HT as you only list 2 speakers (the Vandersteens). If this is the case, you should replace the NAD first, even if you ultimately decide to replace the Vandersteens or add a sub. You NEED quality amplification going forward, and you don't have it currently.

Regarding the muddy/distorted sound you are hearing now, it is likely not the Vandersteen speakers causing this. My guess is that the amplifier is running out of juice, or you have a setup problem with the TT. There would be the more likely causes of muddy/distorted sound.

Hey, it's your money and you can do what you want with it. But if you are trying to get audiophile sound from your system, and you have all audiophile level kit, with one glaring exception, you should probably address that exception first. That exception is the NAD HT/HTIB/lifestyle unit.

Good luck in your quest.
Post removed 
The Vandy 1CE is a 2 way and I owned a pair of 1Bs for years…great speaker and with the transmission line loaded 8" woofer those things can get down, so to speak. Also the advantage of the small baffle in there seems to work along with the simplicity of a good 2 way. Tube amps generally simply sound better than SS in my opinion, and I also think there is more "bang for the buck" in tubes as a moderately priced great sounding tube amp can be a better value (Rogue, the Jolida 502P I own, Prima Luna, etc.)…great SS amps are often relatively more expensive. I also suggest REL subs frequently as nice clean ones can be found inexpensively used (my Q150e and Q108e MK II were 200 bucks each and essentially perfect), and most models have all the adjustment you need…level, crossover, phase, etc., and you use the speaker outs for hookup. If you go for a tube amp maybe look for one with at least both 8 and 4 ohm outputs for compatibility with more speakers.
" Well, you're talking about making some major changes in both electronics and speakers. This seems unlikely to yield the best results."
If you don't change something in the system there won't be any results, good or bad.

" I'm a big fan of subwoofers. They offer advantages that no floor standing speaker can -- placement options. However, the Vandersteen subwoofer approach has several constraints. There are constraints on the electronics when using the Vandy system. There are placement constraints of the sub(s) when using the Vandy system. There are constraints on the bass performance of the main speakers when using the Vandy system. The Vandy sub design is specifically designed for Vandy speakers -- the constraints of using first order filters."

That's not even close to being true, and you know it. Show me where it says Vandersteen subs are specifically designed for Vandy speakers. The owners manual clearly states you can use the subs with a wide variety of products besides as well.

As for placement and first order concerns, its just the opposite. The real issue here is that you have an Ax to grind with Vandersteen. I've read some of your other posts where you were arguing with John from AC, and some of the others. You were trying to push your version of the facts, and got upset when you were proven wrong. Now, every time I see you comment on Vandersteen products, its always negative combines with false info.

I'm sure when you read this, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. 
Being a Vandy fanboy, I am hardly impartial, but I, too, would opt to keep the 1ce's and get a pair of 2w or 2wq's in a perfect world (though you would need a pair of M5-HP crossovers or a pair of fixed crossovers matched to your amp).
REL is a good alternative, so is HSU, and they are very reasonably priced.-maybe a temporary fix until you can get a pair of Vandy subs.
John Rutan of Audioconnection would be a great guy to get honest information regarding the upgrades you are considering. 
PM him, his Agon ID is Audioconnection.
B
Thank you to everybody who has weighed in. @sfall, didn't mean to start any conflicts lol. It's nice getting the reassurance that the Vandersteen's are a great speaker. I certainly have been thrilled with certain aspects of clarity and presence.  But I have known since I bought them that they lacked lower bass detail with my receiver (which initially was for dual HT, and two channel listening. I mainly listen to records through the system to ratio of about 90% records, 10% movies) And now realize that going exclusively two channel is more appropriate for my enjoyment. I mainly listen to post punk, rock, and blues, but as most Audiophile records are made for 50+ year olds by 50+ year olds( I know mofi has a bit of a wider breath). I now have a nice collection of jazz, and blues vinyl that sounds great! Anyhow, sounds like I need to audition the Rogue with my Vandy's first, and then the Revel Concerta F36's  with my NAD, and lastly a sub with my Vandy's and NAD, I've never auditioned any equipment, so not 100% sure how it works, but have read Robert Harley's guide, and there's an explanation of the process. I will say that I do trust my dealer Rick from Brooks Berdan, and know he'll be great council here, but it's always nice to get consensus outside of the shop. I appreciate you all!
Have no experience with the Revel you speak of so take my comments with a grain of salt
The ones are amazing.....the last pair I heard (I) driven by a Marantz receiver with a Bluesound Vault server/ DAC were glorious...( about an hour south of Monrovia.... hint)
but hey I am biased as a many model Vandersteen owner...
your dealer is solid but is not going to steer you towards Vandersteen- they have not carried them for many years.
Upgrade the amp with an eye to future... as others have said there are a number of excellent tube and SS integrated amps out there and affordable. Richard engineers for an easy load and also answers the phone.
you should be able to get a demo amp from any number of great so cal audio retailers.


Also
please point me to a good sounding post punk album....

Voodooman, if you like your 1ce's, replacing them with the Vandersteen 2 seems like a good idea. They may be better overall than the 1ce with a sub. The Model 2 with subs even better! When Brooks was alive and a Vandersteen dealer he sold a lot of the Model 2, his choice of best speaker in it's price category. If you're not in a real hurry, ask Sheila (Brooks' widow) to let you know when they get a pair traded in.
pretty good advice on the model 2 imo
they do take IMO a fairly ballsy amp to control the lower end but they can be stunning..and as I said you have a dealer close by..


My personal experience was similar to yours; trying to improve on the sound of Vandersteen 1Cs. I had a Def Tech sub, but it wasn’t doing the trick. I eventually acquired a pair of Vandy 2Wq subs. Better, but I still found the sound wanting. I upgraded from the in-line crossovers to the M5-HP battery biased crossovers and heard more transparency, but still found the system wanting. Too much etch and grain and congestion in the upper-mids and lower trebles. After upgrading my amp, preamp, DAC, cabling and power filtering, and treating the room, I finally concluded I had taken the 1Cs as far as they could go, without satisfactory results. But those 2Wqs I absolutely love, and still have. In fact, when I began the search for new mains, one requirement I had was that they reach 40Hz without any issues so that I could keep the 2Wqs in the system (they are that good, IMHO). In late 2009, I tried a home demo of Ohm Walsh 2000s, and have been thrilled with them ever since. I have heard many, many systems, with and without subs, and I would never go back to a system without subwoofers. Just my 2 cents; YMMV.
Interesting thread.  Fan boy here too.  Quatro's shipping in a few days.  Very familiar with all the speakers mentioned here.  I can tell you that if you like the Vandersteen's mids and highs, that once home and over time, you will be looking for a new set of speakers if you don't stay with the 1's or get a pair of the 2's.  The Revel's are fine speakers, but they can be tipped up at times.  Personally, (My ears) I find them fatiguing over time.  
The amp has to change obviously.  What is your budget?  Can you afford a 1800 integrated amp?  Can you afford a new pair of 2c's (he has made so many upgrades with new materials, I think a new pair is going to make him much happier IF he can go that route).

Personally, I would get a new pair of 2c's (go see Randy near the Santa Monica Pier.  I think it's third street.  We are all free agents and just because we love a dealer, doesn't mean you stay there if they aren't selling something you really want.  I always go visit dealers around the country and I often purchase new items from them. I use Audio Connections for most things as he usually has what I want.  Randy can get you into a pair of new 2's and pair you with an inexpensive integrated that will make you much happier for now and then you can upgrade the amp as you are able to.  That said, the new Belles integrated is beautiful with all speakers I've heard them on from ProAcs to VAndersteens.  I still love the NAD integrated amps with 2's.  If you get the large one, it has plenty of power for the bass and it has control that you need and want.  

Even though I had the Treo's for a couple of years, I still auditioned everything under the sun before getting the Quatro's.  I still go audition everything I can so that I know what's out there and what I like and don't like.  If I do find a speaker I like better than the Quatro's for the same price or less, I'll make a switch.  So far nothing I've heard comes close.  Folks don't truly realize how detailed his speakers are until they DON'T have them in their system.  It's the old you don't know what you have until it's gone.  That's why I don't think you'll be happy with the Revels.

JMHO Pete
@voodooman13

Upgrading speakers will likely be the most immediate path to getting significantly better sound. The F36 is a nice speaker, but you have other options. You owe it to yourself to visit Destination Hi Fi in Los Angeles and listen to a set of Legacy Audio Expression. The Expression offers a ribbon tweeter and 38Hz bass extension, and weighs in at 70 pounds, while the F36 weighs 50 pounds. The Expression has 8" woofers vs 6.5" woofers on the F36. The Expression will give you the low frequency dynamics you mention, in spades.

 http://destinationhifi.com/

For a real tweet, while you're there, have them connect the Expression to a Raven Audio Osprey tube integrated amp!

BTW, I'm pretty pleased for now with the audio quality I'm getting via my Denon X5200 receiver, paired with a Krell FPB-400cx power amp for the front L/R channels, and my Legacy Audio Signature II speakers, which are from the 1990s. I think you can get some pretty good sound from a package of your current receiver, separate power amp, and a significantly upgraded speaker such as the Expression.  You can always add a higher quality pre-amp later.
Thanks again to all who have replied. Sounds like I will be listening to some Vandy 2's as well. After all it was Brooks Berdan himself who told me about the 2's back when I was just 19 and purchasing my first Rega Plannar 3 with Sumiko Blue Point set up by Brooks. I did like the sound of the Revel F36 with the Rogue Cronus Magnum II, but also heard shrill highs that seemed like eventually could be fatiguing, I also discounted that to possibly "still breaking in." Anyhow, really solid advice guys thank you.


voodooman13-

The Vandy and Revel are (2) different speaker designs. Spend time w/ both to determine the model that is right for you.
Agree with jafant.  Listen to the subtle dynamics. Listen to the sibilance (John Mellencamp stuff is good here).  Listen not just to amount of bass, but also the quality of each note.  Which gives you a real sound stage.  Does the sound stage stay big all the time or does it change per recording?  I'd listen to well recorded music to see which one is better and then to other stuff you just love. 

It will be very hard to make a decision without have them in your own house side by side and all but make some notes and listen to the same recordings.  Get to know the cymbals and piano and then male and female voice etc...  Where are you sitting in the hall....I never understood components that put you IN with the band or orchestra, lol.  

Have fun with it all and listen as a system to make sure it's what you can get out of your own.  Also listen with top of the line components to see how much better your speakers can sound as you upgrade in the future.  Keep us posted.  Two speakers you list are a good start for sure.
Well, I hate to be a stick in the mud, but if you are considering the Vandy 2's, I suggest also looking at the Treo's. I bought ctsooner's pair after owning the 3a sigs. It was a good move. I like the more stylish design as well as the improved performance.
Since you feel you need added bass, perhaps the Quatro's would be a good move. You wouldn't need to add the 2w/2wq subs and their footprint is identical to the Treo's. 
Though I know you have a budget, and spending $4-5K might seem ridiculous, just remember that if you are buying a pair of 2sigs and a pair of subs, you really aren't spending that much less and you will be ahead in terms of upgrading.
Bob
I can tell you this from many years of audio. Integrating a good to excellent sub will make a monstrous improvement in your system. Period.  Very few speakers under $5k can come close to a sub like a JL Audio E110.  The musical improvement will floor you.

O.K., I have listened to the 2ce's and was floored. Much, much, better to my ears than the Revels! Now then, 1 thing I noticed is there are a lot of used Vandersteen 2ce's out there. I may be really happy with getting a pretty decent discount going used and getting some decent speaker cables, as the 2's are bi-wired. Obviously I would also like to maintain a relationship with a brick and mortar, and an Audiophile mentor in that way. But I noticed that the 2's go from $500 -$1100 used on here, which is way less than the $2560 new. Also there is a great savings on a gently used Rogue Cronus II on here for $1900.00 which is also a great deal. But I have never bought any speakers or amp second hand. How do you guys feel about buying used? I mean I just barely met the Vandersteen dealer. We did have some amazing moments as he hooked up the 2's to a million dollars worth of turntable, mono amps, preamps and phono stage to show me what they could do. So I would love to buy from him and help keep him doing what he does. But I may be able to get the Rogue, and 2ce's for not terribly more than the price of new Vandersteen 2ce's. Any thoughts? 

voodooman13 - Please keep in mind that the 2 has evolved dramatically throughout its ~40 year run.  Parts and drivers have been improved significantly over the years.  I think there may be details about the 2's evolution on Vandersteen's web site.  Plus, if not well cared for, the "socks" on the cabinets and the cloth insert on the top can look pretty bad after 10 or 15 years. 


You could also ask the dealers in you area to keep you posted on any 2's that get traded in to that dealer.  Knowing they have a ready buyer for a recent minty pair will encourage the dealer to make the trade up for the current owner to work out.


I bought my Vandy's and my current speakers new, but I have bought other speakers used, including my Vandy subs and the crossovers, and have had no problems with any of them.  But speakers do wear out with age, and may need some repairs to restore original performance.  Most common are the foam surrounds of larger cone drivers that disintigrate over time.  I am about to have these replaced in my vintage (and purchased new in 1978) Advent Large speakers.  Other parts, like crossover components, can also fail over time, and require replacement.

I have bought my 3a sigs and Treo's (actually ctsooner's) used, so I don't see a problem. Actually, I bought all my equipment used either here on Agon or USAudiomart.
If you do buy used Vandy's, it would be better to get the most current model. As pointed out, the 2's have been in production since the 80's. Richard constantly upgraded them, so the latest iteration will be your best bet in terms of sound quality. So, a 2ce or 2ce sig should be what you are looking for. Vandies are pretty well built. Even if you do buy a vintage model, your dealer will be able to have them repaired, usually for not too much money.
I understand your wish to keep local dealers in business, I too, feel guilty when I buy used, but the cost savings are the only way I can afford to buy what I like.-Though I always try to find a way to buy something from them, even though it isn't a big ticket item. I also try to give them as much free recommendations as I can. 
Bob
I think that 2c is a great speaker.  Personally, I wouldn't buy a pair  that was more than a year old.  I'd ask when they were produced.  Richard makes changes, like many top manufacturer's do and doesn't say anything about it.  It may just be changing a crossover point to warm up the mids, or changing components to a better one that they are able to buy in enough bulk to make it cost effective.  Lot's of little things they can do.  

I've sold and purchased gear used.  I know Bob bought my speakers, but he also came over to see and listen.  Speakers are funny as are transports and turntables.  IF you know the person you are buying from or can go see them before making the purchase, then that's great, but if you can't, I'd just be vary wary and make sure you read a person's feedback.  I've seen too many speakers, including demo's at some dealers (all lines of speakers) not in the shape they look like.  I worry about the socks as someone said above.  IF not careful, they can snag.  I also like to have a warrantee on a speaker.  IF  you can afford new, personally, I'd go that route if possible as warrantees are not transferable with Vandy's.  

Glad you love them.  Keep us posted on it all.  
The guys preceding this post are all on it.  If you buy used get a pair with the latest serial numbers you can from someone who presents with good feedback, unless of course they are in proximity to you and you can experience them first hand.
Again thank you guys for the sound advice! I do feel like it's important to buy new and get the factory warranty if you can afford it. Like I said previously, I've never bought second hand stereo equipment, but always lust after the savings. Especially because I sold speakers at one point and know their mark up. At this point, I really think that it's two pieces that need the upgrade, - the NAD, and the 1ce's and then I'll rest for a bit and listen happily. I believe the 2ce sigs may be my next ten years, unless there's a glaring contender (at $2500 or less) that is up to the full range competition that the 2ce sigs benchmark at that price. IMHO of course 😉Oh yeah, and just for a consensus, any opinions on online new speaker purchases? If you're out of state, you automatically save the tax, and usually without a stores overhead can get a bit of a discount (10-20%). Should I ask the local high-end dealer to match this? After reading Robert Harley, I'm hesitant to ask a dealer to match a reputable (music direct) online dealers prices, or for any discount at all, as I don't want to be offensive, or annoy them. But I'm not affluent, have to wait for my bonus to buy, and have a two year old little girl that takes most of my funds, so every penny counts here. Lol
Where do you live?  Who is the local Vandersteen dealer.  

O.K. So I made a "Rogue" decision, and went Cronus Magnum II and kept the Vandersteen 1Ce's. I figured that since I really like the Vandersteen sound, and most agreed that I would hear a significant improvement overall with the better tube power. They are right. I am hearing more musicality out of my Vandersteen's. Now I am still on a mission to find the best bang for my buck in the speaker category. But this improves where I am, and gives me time to listen to more speakers, and save more money if need be. I won't say Revel's are completely out of the running. I do like an American made speaker, but maybe looking at the upgrade from the F36 up against the 2ce sig II. And adding the 2wq in the mean time maybe a temporary fix. Thanks for all the advice! It really helped. 
Glad to hear you are happy.  As you see, the amps are a huge part of the equation.  That little Vandy doesn't get the press it deserves. It's upside is outstanding. That said, the brand new 2's are in a different league. I have a friend who has a pair that he pairs with an Ayre AX5/20 like I use and he said that it sound better to him than any speaker he's heard under 4k with the same integrated.  I heard a dealer drop a pair of the 2c's into his ref system or all AR ref gear and I was blown away.  Speakers have a max point obviously, but when you get a speaker that has no smearing or box colorations, it's amazing how high a ceiling it has.  I say enjoy your 'new' 1's and audition as many speakers as you can.  You'll know when's it right to make a move.
@CTSooner thanks for the encouragement! I believe I have listened to the 2Ce sig II on the same reference system. . . Randall at Optimal Enchantment?? Either way, I have heard the 2Ces fronting a reference system that has me a believer!  It's going to make it difficult for any sub 3k speaker to compare. But now on to the daunting task of listening to speakers. It's a trip how many speakers there are out there that never get any press or don't have local dealers. Makes you wonder what the possibilities really are. Also makes even the boutique audiophile equipment seem somewhat common. I wonder with companies like Harman, if having bigger manufacturing dollars affects the builds better or are they cutting corners somewhere (Revel made great and ethical while Infinity made o.k. in China to huge profits??). Typically big corporate parent means compromise. Anyhow, I'll be open to listening to all I can local to Southern California under 4k. I prefer to be under 3k but if there's something at $3500 that I'd be a fool not to enjoy my Vandy's and save a bit more for, I will, as I want to settle in and enjoy for 10 years. Thanks again to all who've weighed in. 
(((It's a trip how many speakers there are out there that never get any press or don't have local dealers. Makes you wonder what the possibilities really are.)))

Many years ago RV explained an experiment with trying over 80 grand worth of exotic drivers in many Box type speaker enclosures with same results always being a false sense of transparency or forced artificial brightness in order to hide vs balance the box artifacts think cows mooing ringing with Male voice etc when compared to far better results using a multi enclosure designs.
If you look at the most exotic successful designs of today they all share this similar stealth type design enclosure in common.
 Think more natural detail, lower distortion, less fatigue = more engagement.
 With the very reasonable system written about below, similar to yours is a pair of 2CE sig IIs and 2WQ Hi passed,Bi Amped and adjusted to preference.
 I wonder about the possibilities far less often now a days
 Enjoy
 Best JohnnyR
 Vandersteen dealer
 
http://ultrafi.com/martys-review-vandersteen-2ce-signature-iis-2wq-sub/
Thanks for the link Johnny.
The link from John Rutan was from the dealer I had back in Wisconsin before I moved to Arizona. I listened to a pair of Vandersteen Treo Ct's, {my current pair of loudspeakers} with a 2Wq sub. Jon Spelt, set up the system for my audition. All I can tell you is that little system produced some of the finest sound I have ever heard in my 45 years of being an audiophile and I have listened to many a mega buck system. The Vandersteen 2Ce Sig. along with the 2Wq sub would be incredible bang for the buck. Also the Rogue is a good choice. I have their hybrid Pharaoh integrated {185 watts/channel) which is a fine amp.
@mr_m Do you have 2wqs mated with your Treo CTs?

I just ordered a new 2Wq (1) for now due to financial constraints. It should be here in about 10 days. I will order another one and the premium crossovers with batteries as funds permit. I am currently retired and have a new financial boss. My wife......lol
I know Ctsooner will protest, but I know a salesman at the place I bought my Treo CT's from, and he feels the Treo Ct with a pair of 2Wq's will out-perform a pair of Quattro's. This arrangement with subs gives you (8) eight inch woofers compared with the Quattro's (4) eight inch woofers. For what it is worth. The Quattro has frequency equalization whereas the subs give you the best placement. Pick your poison....
Not protesting at all.  I do buy into 4 subs being better than 2 for any bass problems, but the EQ that Richard uses is special and that's one reason we love the Quatro's (well some of us).  It all depends on the room I think.  My Treo's weren't CT's, so the Quatro upgrade made sense, plus my wife would never have said 'oh sure, you SHOULD have two more large boxes in the room", lol.....  

I will say that adding two of the 2w's to any speaker may be the best quality bass you can buy under 10k.  It's not the deepest or earth shattering bass that some of the boxes make, but it's moves a ton of air still and has the best quality of bass I've heard anywhere near it's price range.  To add that bass to a pair of 2's.....wow.
Seriously, I love the Quattro's too. Just can't afford them....sigh.....
Fully understand.  Get what you can afford and love them.  The differences are not as huge as some make them out to be.  I'd be very happy with any of the Vandersteen speakers with good electronics.  
mr_m I guess you’ll have to make it as the "boss" permits. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Treo CTs with one 2wq. Adding a second will open things up even further. One of the nicest benefits of stereo subs is totally freeing your main amp from powering the deep bass. Your Treo CTs will sound even more dynamically alive.

I was listening at a new audio buddy’s place last night. He has Martin Logan Electrostats mated to two M-L subs. He’s powering the system with a 200 watt Audio Research tube amp. WOW. I have never heard any electrostatic system with the richness and dynamics I heard there. A real "you are there" experience.

@mr_m Consider the virtues of going shopping with the boss.  I have been purse and clothes shopping the last two weekends.  It doesn't hurt your negotiating position for that second subwoofer.  Especially if she is successful on those shopping trips!
If diplomatic persuasion fails, forceful negotiation is proper.....lol
Machiavelli would be proud!
I totally concure with ctsooner's opinions of the 2Wq sub.  Also, I never feel as if I have sacrificed extension or output for accuracy (of course, that's with two of them and the MHP5 crossovers).  I am sure mr_m will be pleased.  I would recommend you mass load them on top (I use boxes of ceramic tiles and ammo).
I have ctsooner's Treo's mated with a pair of 2w subs (not q's).
It is a superlative combination. I don't think I'll be changing them for a while.
Bob
@bondmanp You are so right about mass loading the 2wqs.  I have a 45 pound weight lifters steel disc on top of each of mine with Herbie's Big Fat Dots between the weights and the top of the subs so there would be no rattling under intense sub output. Your weight choice is more interesting in mine though.  Also agree about the MHP5 Crossovers.  If you want to maintain the transparency of the system you need the best crossovers.

hifiman5:  HA!  My weight "choices" were determined by a shortage of storage space for several boxes of ceramic tile and a lot of ammo.  Sometimes, stuff just kind of falls into place.  LOL!