Comparison of Thiel CS2.4 vs. Vandersteen 3A Sig.

Interested in hearing about any comparisons between these two speakers, Thiel CS 2.4 and Vandersteen 3A Signatures, integration into rooms, ability to drive speakers, sound quality, any new updates or options that should be considered, etc.
While ancillary equipment is important I don't think you can change the fundamental characteristics of either of these speakers. Thiel's = cool, dry, analytical, revealing. (Not a "harsh" word here for them). Vandersteen 3A Sigs = warm, lush, involving. It really does come down to personal preference. I lean toward a warmer, more involving sound at the expense of precise imaging and ultimate detail retrieval--and therefore the Vandy's. However, unlike the 5A's (and to a lesser degree the Quatro's) in which the bass response can be tuned to the room, the 3A is overripe, fat and ponderous. To my ear this is the fatal flaw of all the Vandy designs below the Quatro. In addition, the sub-Quatro models also are lacking in their ability to portray dynamic gradations (micro and macro). These speakers are like warm cozy slippers--great for a Sunday morning but you wouldn't want to work in them all day--or at least I wouldn't. The Quatro is really the starting point for this brand (and as such is a costly "entry level" model) and the 5A is in an entirely different league. Ultimately, having heard both the Thiel's and the Vandy 3A Sigs with the "right" ancillaries, I believe there are far better choices out there that present somewhere between the two extremes.
Hi Mike.

Wadia 861 - No mods
Supratek Chennin Pre - single ended
Parasound JC 1 amps
Vandy 3A sig
Stereo 2wqs - Model 5 xover
Audioquest Cheetah and Cardas Golden Cross inter
Alphacor MI2 bi wired spk cable
A few GIK panels at 1st and 2nd reflec points
13' ish X 35' X 8' room with spks on 13' wall
I have had the 3As and all over the place for the last year or so and have them sounding quite good. I have settled on positioning that gives a little more slam and bloom in the upper bass lower mid but at the expense of some resolution and precision. This tradeoff is worth it for me as a more dynamic presentation "fools" me more often than perfect imaging. I am somewhat suspect of my pre amp. Last night I removed the pre from the system and ran direct from the Wadia and bass slam did improve but the layered, 3d, realism thing that I find tubes do so well was gone. If I could get these spks to rock I know I would be happy for a long time because they do so many things right.
Hi Braro,

It's interesting that your preamp had that affect. It would have been my first question anyway. You may want to try some other options in the tube arena. For cheap $$ the PSE HL-1 was always a good match...especially with upgraded tubes. The Aesthetix gear is fun too. In any case, I wouldn't run the Wadia direct because of how they do (or, I think they still do) their volume control in that unit.

The only other suggestion I have is to try all Audioquest wires. That way you'll know what the components are doing...using different cables ends up like using tone controls.

Good luck, you should be able to achieve what you want without a lot of hassles.
Hi Dodgealum,

I think you underestimate the affect the ancillary equipment and room have on the speakers. However, your point does have some merit with the 3As. They can easily over power smaller rooms. Really any room under 15x20 is too small. That and needing to couple them with good medium to high power amps are the only caveats really.

The 2Ces don't have this problem, but also don't go as low.

My point really is that I respect your opinion. However, I think that wherever you heard them on the "Right" equipment could have been better. I've heard what you're talking about and it's down to system and room. The Vandies are superb at disappearing and showing you what you have around them.

Happy New Year!
No matter how much opinions we give you, you are highly recommended to audition both speakers yourself. It is a matter of personal taste. Some like it open and detailed, but some like it laid back and relaxed. Both are very decent and capable speakers. If you pay attention to upstream components and cabling, I am sure you can make either speakers sing.

I have owned CS2 and CS3.6. I could make the 3.6 dull sounding and boring by mismatching amps and cables. Good luck and hope you make the right choice.