Dahlquist DQ20's vs. Vandersteen 2CE

Hey guys, Question: I'm thinking of trying a different set of speakers, now enjoying the DQ20's I would like a wee more lower bass response, mids and highs are awesome no complaint. Eventually I'd like to find a nice set of Von Scheikert's jr.'s I guess what I'm trying to ask is, will the Vandies get me to where I want to be, or should I hold out until I can find a pair of Von jr's I can afford ?

McIntosh 2500 amp
McIntosh C 34 pre
McIntosh MR78 turner
Musical Fidelity
pre 24 CD
Harmonic Tech. speaker cables
Zu and Alissa tweaks IC's
Maple audio power cord ect.ect.

Room: 22'X 22'X 7.5'

Any input greatly appreciated,

Merry Christmas to all ...
Ron ..
Hi -
First of all, you might want to check out my fairly recent Thread here (entitled Dahlquist DQ-20 Fan Club Rant) at:


I recently auditioned a number of "higher-end" speakers than my old DQ-20's and found none of them provided the velvet smooth mid-range and highs that you are now used to.

Specifically to your question, I auditioned a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures at a local dealer, and found them to be quite nice, slightly more bass, but the mids weren't as sweet. I saw no reason to make a change. The DQ's don't go to 30hz, but they're certainly "adequate" on their own. I really doubt you'd find the 2CE's a step up, unless there's a problem with your woofers. (Have you checked your surrounds lately? - They're probably going to go soon, if they haven't yet.)

Also, you probably know this already, but placement can either reinforce or subtract from your bass response tremendously. If you play with that (especially moving the DQ's closer to the corners of the room) you may have some success.

My solution, so far, has been a Velodyne 15" subwoofer, but in fact it didn't blend too well because the Dahlquists go too low for the fixed crossover in the Velodyne - so it's been sitting idle. Velodyne knows the DQ's well, and will tweak the crossover in the Servo Amp to mate properly (at about 65Hz) for $60 or so.

I also bought a 2nd pair of DQ-20's last weekend and I can tell you that running 2 pairs in parallel is pretty awesome. The bass is much more powerful and the imaging great - after playing around with relative placement considerably.

Good luck - be sure to follow up here with your experiences in listening to other speakers.

Go with the DQ20's if you want to tinker, Vandys if you want turn-key.
would condsider vandies if you want a "warmer more forgiving sound"


Alon's II or IV instead of the dq 20's... they are a very highly reguarded speakervery similiar yet updated design of the dq-20 (same designer)
also, the alon drivers are still available...the iv's might do better for the bass response given the size of your room..

keep in mind the alons are very inefficent and extemely revealing compared to the vandersteen ( much more refinded in the mids and highs, the vandys sound signature are warmer/more forgiving in this range..) but the alons will totally disappear when set up right ( the alons are very cohearent...like a maggie but with bass... one of the most musical speakers i have heard hands down....

like any dipole, they are sensitive to rear wall placement but much more forgiving on the side wall placement..

good luck,

Mike, very good suggestion, I have DQ-30I's.
I talked a friend into getting the Alon V's, since they were a little easier to find at quite reasonable prices.
I find all the speakers in metion above including Avalon Ascent Mk.2's (yes pricier) are very open sounding, extremely musical, without any major downfalls.
Another speaker I like (but can't find) with similar attributes are Metaphors.
i found the Alons very pale in comparision to the DQs, expecting them to be similar due to the creator but perhaps improved because of more updated materials, in the end the DQs proved irreplacable. the Alons put out a sound that comes from an exact point, unlike the DQs, that put out a very wide image.
For greater low end, if you really like the DQ-20 (as I do), add a REL sub. They are so tailor-able, they will mate with just about any good speaker. I spent upwards of 40 hours with a tone disk and a sound level meter to get totally seamless bass. It is a lot of effort, but with the combinations of adjustments in the REL, that is what it takes to get a flat room / gentle roll-off.