Fellow Vandersteen Owners

Just purchased some 3A Signatures. Love the sound. Problem is the look and size. Have any of you guys modified the cabinets, you know, cut the dowls, removed the top, vaneered the rest, removed the sock, etc.? Is this a bad idea? I have acceptance issues from the sig. other. help me out guys! thanks, Mark.
Hi Mark...; I too own the Vand. 3Asigs, and also have the very similar 2Ces in our family room-- both are great speakers. The Vandersteen "boxless" speaker was VERY CAREFULLY designed and constructed to eliminate the sound of "box" speakers-- that is why they sound so clear and open. I guess I'm lucky as my wife rather likes both pairs. While I sympathize with your WAF problem, trying to modify (unless you are an expert speaker designer/builder) your 3As would probably, at the very least degrade the high quality sound you paid for, and may destroy it, and it would certainly destroy their resale value. Although I hate to say this, if your wife really can't tolerate the 3As as is, my advice is to sell your 3As and take her shopping for a pair of speakers that you can both live with. I personally think the 3As & 2Ces are very attractive. They are big. I've also always liked the looks of thiel speakers-- nice wood cabinetry and a contempory look, and I considered the 3.6s (but did not audition). I like the transparent, open sound of the Vandersteens so much though that I really didn't hesitate to buy them. Good Luck. (REALLY). Craig
.....Sorry, I should have said "significant other" rather than wife. But still best of luck.
I have owned several pair of Vandersteen speakers, I agree with Garfish, please do not modify the 3A, it will ruin the sound! I know Richard Vandersteen, and he is a brilliant designer, the speaker is constructed the way it is for sonic reasons. I also agree that if you cannot live with the appearance, go look for something else, as Garfish says. The only other possibility, is "hiding" the Vandersteens with a (Japanese?) screen or other decorative item, remove the screen or cover and place in another area when listening. I know it still shows when the music plays, but for musical wallpaper sound, it could possibly be left in place until serious music begins. This solution would allow you to hold on to the Vandersteens, which are excellent speakers.
I suggest you actually phone Vandersteen Audio and ask Rick. I have called them 3 times in the last few years and always got to talk to Rick (or his son, I think). Just ask for technical support. Anyhow, when the model 3 was first introduced, Rick was showing it at a high-end shop in Palo Alto and I remember him telling a story about how the prototype did not have the frame and fabric, just the functional units and [really!] he said his wife complained about how ugly that was, so he designed the "open" frame/fabric to hide the stuff. I'll bet anything you can take that off! Call and ask them.
Hi Mg123 & Mark; I have no doubt that you could remove the corner dowels and cover fabric of your 3As but what you would have is "80 lbs. of ugly", so that is not the point. Rather, Mark would like to add his own cabinetry-- an exercise fraught with peril (IMHO) (for the 3A and its sound quality).
Thanks guys. I do have access to a cabinet shop and a guy who actually makes very fancy speaker cabinets with beautiful veneers for a living. my thought was to just remove the top piece and corner dowls, then veneer the WHOLE thing, except the fronts of the upper driver cabinets with the felt.has anyone seen this done or done it themselves? thanks. P.S. I'm a carpenter/contractor myself.
Go for it ! The sock is an attempt to make the basic design more home friendly. It's not integral to the sound of the speaker. Whatever you do, don't remove the felt. It's critical to the sound. The comments about resale value are correct, you won't have any.
Whoa!!! I think you will change the WHOLE SOUND of the speaker if you take off the sock/frame and add your own enclosure. Thats a complete science in itself: the effects of the cabinet. The frame/fabric is an acoustically invisible cosmetic coverup. And yes, it will have NO resale value at all.
Mark-- Mg123's post above is right on, and I don't mean to downplay your ability as a carpenter or your friends speaker cabinet building ability. BUT, this speaker was specifically designed to have NO CABINET. If you do what you are proposing, you may end up with a usable speaker, but I'd bet almost anything that it would no longer sound like the 3A you paid for. Good Luck. Craig
Hi Mark. I agree with most Vandersteen Owners-Don't Do It! You may be better of with a different speaker than to cut-up and modify the 3A sigs. I know Vandersteen is coming out with a new Monitor Speaker, and I've been told it looks different than the standard line-up and even the 5's. Costs are 5,500 plus. By the time you purchase materials and add your labor etc to modify the 3a's, these new speakers may not costs much more. The 3a sigs currently still have good resale value. Has anybody seen these new monitors yet, they have been on display at various shows, maybe Vandersteen can send you an early picture, go ahead and call them direct, they are very helpful. Good Luck!