Hi Eagleman, it really depends on your price range. I'm running my 2CE Sigs on a Rotel Receiver mostly. However, I've run them on my downstairs system and they are revealing enough to justify a true high end system. So far, I've liked amps from Quicksilver and BEL on them the most. PreAmps from Aesthetix, Theta and PSE. That's not all, it's just my top picks. Hope this helps!
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A McCormack power amp and a Audible Illusions preamp are a excellent match. Depending on how much you want to spend, a smaller ARC power amp is also excellent. The Belles 150a Hotrod sounds really good. As for the AI preamp, a used L-1 is in the $700 range, M3a around $1200(with phono) or the L-2 at about $1700. I have personally used all of these combo's so I know of what I speak. Don't shortchange the electronics with these speakers.
Versatile enough that they sound great with everything from NAD integrateds to Jadis separates. Revealing enough that each change along the way is easily heard and appreciated. They sound particularly fine partnered with Rogue and Music Reference gear. Amps with very small output levels don't work well.
Good comments above. I have particularly liked the 2C speakers with tube amplifiers, but not under 30 watts or so. As Siliab says, these speakers are revealing enough to reward you with each improvement in electronics driving them. Among the amplifiers I would consider if I were buying 2Cs once again are:
Atma-Sphere M60 or MA1
David Berning ZH-270
Shindo Labs Montrachet EL34 (40 watts)
Conrad Johnson Premier 11 (used) or MV60
Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) VK-55
Rushtons choices are all good and it is true that these speakers mate will with even some pretty high end stuff like he listed. Considering cost factors, I had pretty good luck with McCormack DNA 0.5s and 1.0s which you can have modified to truly reference status if you desire. As far as pre-amps go, CAT is a good buy if you want a phono stage, or BAT (3i) if not. A 0.5 and a VK3i would set you back well under $2K and made an aweful nice rig with my Vandys.
My own 2c agrees with everyone else here. Having owned them for a few years,SS and tubes work well.with some power above the 30W range definately., I actually bought mine after a demo using a Jadis Defy7 amp from a Esoteric Transport/DAC.It was the first and only time I ever heard a Vandesteen completely dissapear!( years back before the 5 came along) So, they definately are capable of responding to the best electronics, yet will sound good with mid-fi as well. The second best set up Ive heard them partnered with was a AI M3 pre into a Pair of Quicksilver Silver sixty's. Very nice indeed.But, as Bigtee points out..dont shortchange the electronics with them. What you can save $$ with the Vandy's, you can put into the front end and amps.:) Enjoy! _Ken
I've owned and enjoyed my vandy 2ce's (non-sig.) for a couple of years now. Currently, I run them w/ a McCormack dna .5 dlx. and audible illusions 2d pre (which I picked up for 400$), but I started out w/ a Cambridge Audio 50w integrated. Prior to the audible illusions pre, I had a conrad johnson 10al which was very lush, romantic, and tubey. The CJ was very nice w/ vocals, but overall, the AI is much better pre--more dynamic, better bass, cyrstalline highs, plus it has a darn good phono stage. I agree with the above comments that the vandies work well w/ entry level gear (like the Cambridge) and reward investment in better gear. Ideally, it would be nice if you could work with a dealer and audition some gear at home in order to find what you like best.
Diva Classic One preamp and Diva Blue Sky Signature 50w class AB push pull. With this combination I had sufficient power to play earth shaking rock, pop, and yet also had the finese to play classical, jazz, with all the tonal colors displayed.
The sound is very similar to SE tube, but with the mussle to play more demanding music. Plus the price is a steal. Highly recommended.
I owned a pair for many years. The best I ever heard them was with ARC tube electronics better to my ears than many of the ss products I heard them matched up with. They are truly superb full range speakers in their price range and above and are worthy of much pricier electronics to bring out the best they have to offer which is considerable.