I run what some might judiciously call "vintage budget". I have the 2Ci, on their original "T" shaped metal stands. I drive them with Harman Kardon 17s pre-amp and 16As amp. I am very pleased. I do classical and jazz. I can even do the Telarc LP of the 1812 with the cannons, and feel them, plus hear the small tinkles of a triangle in another part. The H-K amp is biased further in to class A than many - I don't know if that makes a difference. I run them through the original Monster cable - the big round one the diameter of a garden hose. However, I also have heavy duty jumpers at the banana jacks, so not bi-amped.
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I recently sold my Vandy 2Ce's and upgraded to the 3A's. I am driving them with a Bryston 4B-ST, and I am VERY pleased with the combination (so is my wife, who has much better hearing than I do). The Bryston is very transparent and neutral, and provides detail from both LP and CD that I have never heard before in my system. If you decide to consider Bryston gear, I have a suggestion to save you some money. Contact the guy that sold me my Bryston gear, Danny Oovlin. Oovlin advertises in Stereophile, and runs an Internet-based high-end audio business located in Santa Clara, CA. The easiest way to reach him initially is by E-mail at: [email protected] Give Danny your phone number and he will return your call. I found him to be very prompt and professional, and he offers excellent prices.
I think you're making a good move with the McCormack. When you're ready for the pre-amp, the Audible Illusions Modulus 3A is one to consider. It has a very well respected phono stage. I've been using one with a DNA-1 Deluxe (waiting for it to return any day now from it's upgrade) and have been very happy. I'm using Thiel CS3.6's and I've been told they have a lot in common with the Vandersteen's.
I have had my vandersteen 3aSigs hooked up to tube amps and solid state. I think they are actually pretty good with solid state. Usually I prefer tubes by a mile, but not so with the vandersteens. It's about 50-50. Better midrange, but inferior bass with the tubes. Vandersteens are the most forgiving high end speaker I have ever heard.
Hi Swampwalker; The McCormack amps-- all of them sound great with Vandersteen 2Ces, 3As, and 3Asigs.. I would guess that's true for the earlier 2Cis as well. Richard Vandersteen and Steve McCormack used to exhibit together and use each others products. I haven't heard the new 125 & 225 amps, but own the DNA-2DX and DNA.5, along with Vand. 3Asigs., and 2Ces. They're great together. Good Luck. Craig.
I am not 100% positive but I believe that Vandersteen use to have their line run by McCormack amps at past audio shows.Possibly used their amps as well.The DNAs as you know also can have incredible sounding upgrades and there are no upgrades available for the new line.The pre amp you have is quite popular and should stay in your system.