Hi Rayhall; The Vand. 3A sigs. are great-- and with a broad range of music. I had my 3As upgraded to Signatures last summer and noticed more crispness and detail but the overall character is the same-- relaxed, musical, and (I think) with very good bass. In the words of one audiogon responder "the Vandersteen 3As are about $5000. undervalued"-- I agree. Vandersteen speakers are attractive, but they are not expensive furniture.
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The midrange and entire speaker is very transparent. They are very dynamic and have a huge, deep, and wide soundstage. Imaging is beautiful. It's beautiful base goes very, very deep when needed. It's an absolutely wonderful sounding and outstanding speaker. They are also beautiful. I have a pair. They are possibly for sale because I am buying a large pair of electrostatic speakers which I have never owned. The thought of selling them is a very tough decision and one I may decide not to do. Please call Edward at 941-947-8759 or e-mail at [email protected] or leave your phone number or e-mail on the screen. P. S. (Just recently I've heard how outstanding the Plinius SA-100 amps are.)
Read the article at www.soundstage.com in the archives of the reviews at the audio on line section.Also read owner reviews at www.audioreview.com The 3A's are a little laid back on dynamics which may actually be a good thing. Everything else they do very well.So if you do not need to sit in an armchair and have your hair blown back as in the old TDK ad,then the 3As are a tough act to follow at double the price.
I recently (Friday February 25) auditioned both the Vandersteen 2Ce and 3 Signature series. I owned a pair of the 2C's for many years and on a previous audition of the 3's (about 5-6 years ago) the only real difference I noted was that the mid bass and lower bass moved more air. There was an obvious difference on the highs between the 3's and the 2C's since there was a different tweeter. This was improved on the 2 series with the metal dome introduced on the 2Ci. The 3 Signatures (as well as the 2CE Signature have dramatically (in my opinion) improved on the midrange. It is superb although I was listening through the ARC VT-100 MK2 and LS-15 amp pre-amp combo, ARC was always a synergistic match with the Vandy's. What I really noted on the 3 Signature's was the taunt tight bass not the deepest but quite accurate to my ears. I really liked the speaker and would certainly recommend that anyone looking in that price range (3,500.00) audition it. Vandersteen does however have a characteristic laid-back presentation of the music. Although it is all there it doesn't jump out at you and in comparing the Vandersteen speakers with live music, I feel the music is rather reticent rather than YOU ARE THERE, ultimately missing the transparency that some speaker possess. I do however feel that there are VERY few speakers in the price range that offer so much as the 3 Signatures. I didn't have time to listen to the 5's but I do plan to in the future. The high's on the 3 Signatures did not affect me in the same way that the midrange and Bass did. That is to say it wasn't doing things wrong which a lot of speakers do on the upper frequencies. Ain't nothing like a planer or electrostatic on high frequencies in my opinion.