Vandersteen does not upgrade a model unless there is a true sonic improvement. If it were me I'd try and find a pair of 1Ci's. I got mine for a really good deal and I use them in my 2nd system.
Does the Vandersteen 1C Hold Up to Modern Standards?
There are a pair of Model 1C speakers in my area on the used market. We don't get many of them up here in New England. I am considering going to listen to them and possibly buying them. I'm in a small room (14'x9'x7'). They look to be in excellent condition and they are inexpensive enough that shipping the woofers (if needed) back to Vandersteen for re-foaming is still a good deal. I have a good subwoofer I can use if needed. Since I'll be listening in an unknown room with gear I don't know, I just want to put it out to see if anyone has experience with these.
I currently have Wharfedale Evo 4.2 speakers and find that they sound a little tubby in my space and I just wish the imaging was a little more open. The vertical dispersion of the AMT tweeter is pretty bad, so I have to be sitting for the tonal balance to be correct. I've moved them around quite a bit within the available space. They are on the factory stands and are located 3' from the wall which has a built-in bookcase.
I listen to large ensemble jazz, orchestral music, pop from the '70s/'80s, and a variety of other music. I enjoy scale and dynamics of the large ensemble music I listen to, but I'm not a headbanger by any means. 85 dB peaks do me just fine. Not a fan of speakers that are too forward (B&W/Focal, etc.)
The rest of my system is a MacBook Air, Bluesound Node, Schiit Freya+ Tube Preamp, and a PS Audio Stellar S300 power amp.
Any thoughts before I go over there are appreciated!
The Vandy 1's are a great bargain for the price, especially used.
If you can demo them, then listen for any distortions that would indicate a bad driver-Buzzing and the like.
All Vandy speakers are time and phase aligned, so they are very easy on the ear. When set up properly(use the manual-available online), the will offer a wide soundstage, free of 'beaming'.
That you have a sub is good, as the 1's are a bit bass shy-mostly due to their physical limitations-Which is not to say they lack bass, but a sub would definitely improve their low range.
As you are aware, Vandy's are somewhat limited on the used market, so if they sound good and are priced well, I would go for it.
PM me if you want any other info.
Should be similar to the 2C, which I have had for coming up on 40 years,
Objectively the 2C rate a 4.4 on the olive scale.
Thanks for all of the advice folks. I forgot to mention that I have a Schiit Modius D/A and the system runs fully balanced. I'm not sure that it helps much over the D/A that is in the BlueSound Node. But the suggestion from @audiotroy has not been lost on me. The trouble for most of it is that it is so hard to try things out before buying.
I get that the tonal balance is opposite from the Evos. I'm hoping they are worth the 1 hour drive to get to them. In my heart, I'm hoping for that "sound coming from nowhere" effect that I haven't heard since my friend's Snell A II's back in the day.
Still in production since 1977 and highly evolved is the 1Ci + model. They sound great but the low diffraction time and phase accurate design is optimized for a sweet spot. A new pair is a inflation beating $1,400 with Soundanchor stands… remarkable value IMO. You can replace drivers and fabric socks yourself w video support on Vandy website. Owners forum same place.
@spacecadet65 , Jim(@tomic601) probably didn’t consider recent price increases.
I will also say that you could also go with the VLR’s. Nifty little bookshelves that will work best in corners, but can also be stand mounted.
I use them in my office and find them to be a real sleeper in the Vandy lineup.
PM John Rutan (audioconnection). I know he will steer you in the right direction.
Though he is a dealer, he won’t try to sell you something. He offers great advice for free. (And, believe me, I hated dealers until I met Johnny).
Though you probably don’t want to start from scratch, I can say that if you bought a pair of VLR’s or 1’s, added a subwoofer (preferrably a Sub 3), and a Belles Aria Integrated- you’d have the makings of a very impressive system.
My 2 cents...
You have received some great info from Bob, Jim, and Holmz.
I still have my 1C’s, 2C’s, and now Treo’s. All great speakers in their own right. For ‘big sound’ with orchestration, the 2C’s would be better, but, I still listen to my 1C’s in my secondary bedroom system, and they still sound great, even though not optimally set-up.
How much are they being sold for? I got my 1C’s for about $350 which was a steal. If they are closer to $1K used, I would consider used 2’s, but again, depending on cost, the 1’s used can be a great bargain.
As far as foam surrounds, I believe Richard just stated on the Vandy forum the only 1’s with foam surrounds were some of the original 1B’s, thus, all C’s should have rubber surrounds.
As far as a more ‘modern sound’, maybe not if you want absolute clarity and detail, but regardless, to me, Vandy’s just sound ‘right’ to my ears.
Well said @bkeske
I am not sure how much more modern it gets?
At the top shelf, there is a lot of R&D and good engineering in some, but even at the top, there is a lot of designs that do not seem right. (Time and phase)
That said, I did lash out on some new speakers yesterday… which is going to be a bit of project and some months of time until they are ready.
And the fact that I love the 2Cs is saying something when I actual spend money on something else. I heard some 27 k$ focals that I thought sounded better than the 35+ year old Vandys, but not a whole lot better.
Worst case is I have the 2Cs in the main room, and the smaller speakers in more of a reading room… Plus the Mrs’ old bookshelf jobs (Richter of Au) are a bit dilapidated with the (de)vinyl covering falling off when they get touched.
I doubt I would sell the 2Cs …they are worth more to me than someone would pay me for them. They are too good,
But what is a “more modern sound”?