If you think that Vand. 2Ces lack image specificity, and for that matter transparency, you do not have them properly set up. The Vand. 2Ces are some of the most transparent speakers I've ever heard, and with mine, stereo image is excellent. Same with the 3Asigs. I've not heard the 2Ce sigs.. As to how they rate, read the Stereophile review-- Class C for the 2Ces, and B for the 3As. I've never seen a bad review of Vandersteen speakers. Of course room acoustics also can have a big impact on any speakers performance. Cheers. Craig.
In the 6 years of listening to the vendersteen line of speakers on a myriad of different gear I have never ever been impressed by them. The imaging is horrid and they are overall very dull speakers. They gloss over the music way to much. I have the thiel 2.3's and love them. But thiel are a pain in the butt to match gear with. I guess vandies are a great kick back and relax speaker. They defininatly don't draw you into the music though but they will never irritate. The 2ce's seem a little livelier but still no depth at all. The image is maybe a little tighter but still very small.
Kacz; It's interesting how different people have different reactions to different speakers (or other audio equipment for that matter). I guess that's why there are about 100,000 speaker manufacturers. I've used the 2Ces for 7-8 years , and the 3As and sigs. for 2-3 years-- they never fail to satisfy. When TJN summed up his review of the 3As in Stereophile, he said: "they sound terrific with a wide range of program material"-- I agree. Cheers again. Craig
I'm with Garfish. I think my Vandy 2ce's are great at imaging and, though not as detailed as the Thiels, are pretty good in the high and mids. The Thiels and Vandersteens are really on opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to sound, so there is little comparing between them. I would say that if your looking for detail, if your equipment is on the brighter side then you will have a better result on the mids and highs as the Vandy's are a laid back speaker. But they work very well with tubes as well.
With the right combination of electronics, program material and room, the Vandy's are wonderful full range speakers especially at their price point. They make music and they don't offend. Not all speaker systems can make that claim. They are not WizBang speakers (thankfully, there are enough of them) and it is hard to think of too many full-range speakers at their price point that do as well let alone better. Let your own ears decide. I owned a pair of 2C's for 10 years but had to move on because I couldn't get them to work in my new room. Richard Vandersteen is a smart designer who has true value products. I recently heard the 3A Signatures and was VERY impressed with the improvement over the 3A's. The 2Ce Signatures are also better than the 2Ce's. Some dealers don't even carry the 2Ce because most want the signature after listening. Good Luck
Personally I think the Vandies suck. When I listen to music I generally don't have cotton stuck in my ears but with the Vandy, that's the way the music sounds. It's ok if you are into really shitty music like most audiophiles are but I really like good music. I recently bought the Silverline Sonatas which are better then the Vandy in every way. I have to admit that I'm lucky. My hearing doesn't suck like most audiophiles hearing sucks. If your hearing sucks, the Vandy is probably all the speaker you will ever need. Hope this helps!
Joe your input is once and again a revelation. Doesn't it make you wonder though how Richard Vandersteen has fooled the masses into buying over 90,000 pair of his 2 series speakers? By the way Joe what kind of "really good music" do you like, maybe you could share it with us. P.S. Joe I would hope the Sonatas sound better they cost 3.5X as much as the Vandy Sigs.
Joe Coherent, I would like to understand 1) what qualifies as "shitty" music; 2) How you know what "most" audiophiles like; 3)How you settled upon your screen name...is that supposed to be irony?
Thanks for your replies -- keep them coming. Interesting how wildy opposite opinions are on Vandersteens. Like to hear from some Thiel owners who also auditioned Vandersteens. Any comments on low slope vs. high order crossovers?
I would have mine now, if UPS didn't kill one of them. Always have been impressed with them, and hate to even get rid of my little 1C's. Everybody keeps comparing my $1600.00 speakers to $3500 - $5000 speakers, it just says that much about them. Long live Vandersteen!
It always amazes me how much debate gets generated over Vandersteen speakers. I have owned Vandy speakers since 1988 (2Ci, 2Ce, 3A), and they have never failed to satisfy me. Maybe I'm an abnormal "audiophile" in that I love a wide variety of music - classical, jazz (all genres), blues, bluegrass, some country, some pop, older rock (mostly pre-1980), some new age, world music, even gospel. The various Vandersteen speakers have never failed to "play music". Do they reach out and grab you by the throat, or analytically present every little detail? No, they don't. What they do, at least to my ears, is present music the way I hear it when played live. Although I concede that the Vandy's may not be the best in all performance characteristics, I have never felt that the Vandy 2Ce's lack imaging specificity or transparency. My wife, infact, has often commented on the immediacy of the imaging. The Vandy 2Ce's may sound just a bit veiled compared to speakers costing 2-3 times as much, or even compared to good mini-monitors in their price range, but I can't think of another speaker that does as good a job from mid-bass to top end. I recently sold my 2Ce's and bought a pair of Vandy 3A's (soon to be upgraded to the Signature version). A friend of mine who has good ears (and owns Vandy 2Ci's)was listening to my Vandy 3A's last weekend, and said that he was so drawn into the music that the speakers seemed to "disapper". To respond directly to your question: I think Vandersteen speakers represent a superb choice at their respective price ranges. If you can afford the 2Ce Signatures, I think the extra $200 is well justified - in short, an excellent return for the small additional cost. I have been an audiophile for about 35 years, been a high-end audio salesman several times, belonged to the Pacific NW Audio Club, and consequently heard a hell of a lot of speakers over the years. The one speaker that is always on my list of recommendations to friends are Vandersteens. You can surely spend more, but you won't get more - maybe different, but NOT necessarily better.
Well stated post Sd-- I agree. Cheers. Craig.
Get the Vandersteens or the Magnapans in the same price range. Everything else is a waste of time,including any advice from joeblow. You can't go wrong!
"The Vandersteen 3A is a great speaker which affords a lot of flexibility". Found this post on AA under "Would like to leave feedback on ML" date August 15. The above post is by none other than Joe Coherent, I knew you were just "tricking" us Joe.
You don't read so good Tubgroover. You don't hear so good either. This thread is about the Vandersteen Signature 2CE. You are quoting my comments about the Vandersteen 3A. I stand by my statements on both. If I did not have the Silverline Sonatas and was as financially challenged as you appear to be I would have strongly considered purchasing the Vandersteen 3A. My job at Chase Manhattan bank affords me many luxuries in life that you can not possibly appreciate as an employee of McDonalds.
Well thanks for clearing matters up Joe. At least we found another system other than the Sonatas that you DO like and isnt it ironic it comes from the same manufacturer that you bash in this thread and has very similar tonal characteristics. I still think your funning with us.
Joe, you make the Silverline Sonatas sound so appealing. I'm wondering if you are referring to the now discontinued Avalon rip-off version or the new retro-Wharfdale sand-filled model.
I am glad working in a bank makes you an athority on sound and music joe,and therfore qualified to dispence advice to others. I ran a store where we sold both Theil and Vandersteen. They are both quality products but the Vandersteens always sound more like the real thing. The standard 2Ce does not lack transparency or image specificity. That sounds like a problem with the equiptment running them. The problem is that most people run the 2Ce with good, but not great electronics and front end gear. Hook them up to a first class front end and some great tube gear and you will get a very realistic and musical experience. I have run them with both ARC and Cornad Johnson electronics. I have also ran them with Adcom and NAD, not that these are trash, it's just not going to let you hear what the speaker is capable of. Unfortunatly most people hook up this kind of SS gear to them and then proclaim that the speaker does this or that. Just ain't so! I have the standard 2Ce myself with the 2Wq and it is very good. The sub makes the system really come alive. I am sure that Richard Vandersteen would like to be informed that his hearing sucks. Of course he dosen't work in a fancy ass bank and therefore must be stupid. next time I need HiFi gear I will proceed to the ATM and hope golden ears pop out of the machine.
“Oh what tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive” It seems old “Joe”coherent who it would seem on the surface was just trying to have a little fun with his flame throwing may have a little darker side after all. The good folks over at Audio Asylum discovered it a little sooner. He stirred up quite a ruckus over there as well and even went so far to say that there was a conspiracy against him. He further states on AA that on Audiogon he was registered as Joe Coherent and that the Joecoherent on Audiogon was fabricated by an imposter that was trying to defame him, and that he was going to find out who. He used near identical language on another thread made against me, I thought he was just throwing grenades again, apparently he really meant it. There is no Joe Coherent registered on Audiogon just our joecoherent using the same style and phrasing that he claims is an imposter. The threads for those interested are on Speaker Asylum 8/14/00 “Amp for Silverline Sonata” and General Asylum 8/15/00 “ Confirmed I purchased the Sonatas”. If you read this Joe all remarks and comments to you made by me were in fun and jest, I got a real chuckle over some of your insults although you were starting to push the envelope. If you think there really is a conspiracy against you, better get some professional help. Oh joe, exactly who are you? Sherlock !!!! Why don't you come and join us. That isn't an invitation for an insult, it is genuine.
Thanks Tubegroover. The guy's a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. Who knew?
Maxgain: Your point about driving the Vandy 2Ce's with a good quality front-end is bang on! In the years I have owned Vandy speakers, and in the years I sold high-end audio gear, most of the people that I knew with the Vandy 2-series speakers generally used mid-fi amplification with a mediocre vinyl or CD setup. When the Vandy's are driven with a good front-end and good electronics, they provide performance that competes well with speakers at twice the price. So, to go back to the original question that started this thread, Vandy's are a fine speaker when part of high-quality SYSTEM - with the emphasis here on the word "system". Good speakers accurately reproduce what is fed into them, and that is certainly true of the Vandy 2Ce / 2Ce Signature.
That's a very good point Sd. In fact, my Vandy's are pretty good at showing me the true quality of a recording. And I'm starting to understand that most recording out there are real junk. I was running mid level equipment and thus built my CD collection around it. After I got the Vandy's and my other gear, I wondered what was wrong. The more expensive equipment didn't appear to be an upgrade at all. Then I slipped an MoFi Ellington recording in, and WOW what a difference. Then I knew where the weak link in my system was....it was in the recording themselves!
Issabre You have discovered the most important point in audio period. That given an excellent recording all systems will improve. An excellent system can make the recording come alive. My first experience with a true high end system was with these speakers. If I were recommending a relative budget system to anyone, I would recommend these speakers and encourage that the money be spent in the electronics, not in more expensive speakers. The Vandys will certainly improve upon what is in front of them and there is no reason in many cases to upgrade these speakers to something "better". They truly do it all.