amp for vandersteens


I have a set of Vandersteen CSE 2 signature 2 speakers that are languishing for a good integrated amp or receiver that is a proper sonic match for these speakers.
jjjaker
Luxman, Ayre, Arcam. :)
I had a Rogue Cronus Magnum with my 2ce sig II thought it was always a great match very musical  really enjoy them together and won't break the bank 
used Audioquest Rockefeller biwired speaker cables with them
A Belles Aria integrated should be a contender, especially if on a budget.
Otherwise, an Ayre AX-7. Actually, both are great integrated amps that will complement Vandersteen speakers.
Though you didn't ask, I would pair the above with AQ speaker cables.
Definitely, a match made in stereo heaven.
Bob
Budget, yes.  Cost always is a factor.
Yes- this we can agree upon.
Something with a very forward midrange balance as the 2CEs present vocalists as small and distant. They're one of very few speaker models for which I'd probably prefer a class D amp. Look into the Peachtree Nova series. 
Belles Aria integrated amp with Audioquest cables. Also Naim Uniti Atom. A bit more expensive but great choice non the less.
My local dealer is big into Vandersteens, has been the 20 years I’ve known him. I’m shopping for a preamp, and just heard his Quattros with a Parasound power amp and Prima Luna tube preamp. Very impressive! Stage was well delineated, instruments stayed put and were individual in space, but the group stayed coherent. Rhythm was wonderful. Lots of detail in recordings I was familiar with, and heard some new stuff, but not overly analytical. Could have stayed for hours listening! Not sure if that helps, but it sounded like a good match. He carries other electronics too, and I’ve heard the quattros on other systems, but this demo really impressed.
I had an Cambridge 840A years ago on my Vandys and it worked very well; heck before that I had an old B&O receiver and even it sounded really nice. Can’t imagine anything not sounding good on Vandersteens. Tried an older Marantz Reference integrated and felt it was too laid back and went with the Cambridge. Would suggest not to go with something too laid back or soft.
All the choices would suggest that Vandy speakers are compatible with many different amps.
Yes, they are very accommodating of a large selection of amps.
I’ve long held that on absolute terms the PSE and McCormack amps were especially good matches for them. That they were also an outstanding value combination was secondary. Regretfully these amps are getting old and will probably need servicing. I suspect that even with costly upkeep they will continue to be a good value combination.
I run a set of 2CE non-sigs with 2 vintage Mitsubishi DA15 amps each running a single speaker with a splitter allowing for each high and low to be driven by one of the four channels. I think it is called vertical bi-amping. These can be picked up for less than $450 each on the used market.  I have replaced all the caps with higher end audio caps and the sound is incredible. I am certain newer amps are great as well, but hard to beat sub $1,000 and 150 WPC of really warm musical sound. A Bryston 8b also does a great job. I run them from a DAC with volume control and mostly CD- EAD T-1000.  IMHO, Vandersteen’s are very musical and sound great with lots of amps but prefer adequate power and bi-amping. I have used them with multiple amps over the years- including a Vincent SV500 Hybrid. At low volumes- really low- the Vincent sounded fine but never could open the up. So a good question to consider is how loud do you listen normally ?
Even an ancient Mc 250 throws a big 6’ tall Diana Krall image with a properly setup set of II. Really just about any well designed neutral amp with decent damping factor ( to control the acoustic coupler) will do well. The mentioned PSE while rare has some history and merit w Vandersteen- Dick the engineer behind PSE is co designer on the new Vandersteen hi pass power amps.
Hafler, Bryston, B and K, Amber, Apt, Sumo, GAS, etc recapp and go !!
the Belles is wonderful as mentioned
for tubes Rogue and Quicksilver or a Music Reference RM-9 or -10
have fun, enjoy the music
jim
I've used YBA preamp and amp with Vandersteen 2 ce for many years. The combination is very synergistic and provide the closest tube experience without the tubes.
I've owned Vandersteens for 25 years plus and nothing comes close to tubes........I've heard them with Quicksilver, Audio research and Rogue with magical results.......I've also powered them with solid states from Bryston,Jeff Rowland, Rotel, NAD and more with good but not magical results........stick with quality tube amps and you will be very happy...... 
My 2Ce Sig IIs sing with the angels when driven by a Vincent 331-SP hybrid (SS/tubes) amp and a Schiit Freya (SS/tubes) pre.
But, this setup is in a dedicated room acoustic treatment.
The room will affect half of what you will hear.
That speaker is pretty tube friendly. We've had a number of customers with them over the years. Tubes really make them sing. In most rooms 100 watts or so is nice.
Thanks all for great advice.  With that in mind I will save up for the future and narrow my search to a tubed amplifier of at least 100 watts.  That seems to be the sweet spot for these Vandersteens.  In the meantime my wife pulled out her old Sony surround amp (I know) to use in the meantime.  Maybe not magical yet but I now believe these speakers are good with most any decent 100+ watt amp that tends to the bright side.  She was blown away with the sound.  Upstairs are the Vandersteens while downstairs is a Unico SE amp with Opera speakers.  Interesting  to hear the very different sound between them but both are very musical.  Perhaps I should sell one or the other setup but at this point I just love listening from one setup to another.  Remember that it is the journey.  Thanks to everyone again.  
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9a513-quad-esl-2805-electrostaic-planars#&gid=1&pid=1((( Quicksilver, Audio Research, and Rogue with magical results..... )))  quoted from above Bob FR.  Bob and I JohnnyR some time ago installed Quicksilver amps into his 9x12 room and easily made it work by hi passing the amps with both our choice preference 33 k Vandersteen x2
 your choice may vary which brought his in-room bass response to ideal results allowing these full-range speakers to work in this room amazingly well and also discovered he didn't have to settle for a mini box.
  Best JohnnyR

I had those speakers, honestly any quality amps with 40 or so quality watts will work. They are very forgiving. 
That being said they will reveal differences, so the higher the quality the better. 
I’ve used tubes and SS to great success. 
I run my Treo's with Atma MA-1's, albeit with crossovers and Vandy subs.
I bet a pair of M 60's would be capable of driving the Vandy 2's, even without the subs. Unless you want to reproduce a rock concert.
Bob
I use Ayre with my Vandy 5A's ..  Im happy
Steve Mccormark mentioned before in the forums that people who own Vandersteen speakers report that the Mccormack amps can make them sing and perform as if they were made for each other. However they are increasingly becoming hard to find, but not impossible, especially ones with the upgrades.
Second the post above - Audio Research tube amp should be strongly considered.  Buy the best newest one you can afford.  Older ones are fine too if you are on a tight budget.  Vandy's need a little 'waking up' in my experience as they are voiced on the smoother side of the spectrum.  ARC amps will give you the tube magic but don't roll off much at the high end.