The original 1 is quite veiled. The IC is much more transparent. It's as if a blanket has been removed from the speaker.
The new I CI is a major improvment as wendel mentioned
The bass loading, x overs, inductors, all new drivers,
computor matching of drivers in chamber improved Bases, places the new Vandy 1CI well above the mark of 24 plus years ago. You will really love the new ones.
I never heard the original Model 1, .... but I LOVE my Vandy 1C's. And all my music loving buddies are absolutely astounded at how great they sound. What's really cool about the 1C's is that they sound really, really good with modest amplification,.... but they sound absolutely wonderful as the electronics improve. For example, they were terrific speakers with my old Arcam Delta 90 integrated amp, NAD 533/Goldring Elektra analog set up, and Marantz CD-63SE deck. Then as my budget allowed over the past few years, I upgraded my system to the Rogue Audio Cronus, Rotel RCD-1072 deck, and Rega P3-24/Exact 2 table and pick-up.
HOLY COW !!!!.... my Vandy 1C's now sound better than ever. So, my advice to you, Martincollins, is easy .... buy them, enjoy them, and allow them to improve as you can afford better stuff. At their price, I don't think there's a better speaker out there.
Good Luck, and Happy Listening.
Good Luck, Martin.........Enjoy the Vandersteen experience. It really is quite special. Hook 'em up and take the time with proper positioning (refer to the Vandersteen website for the correct positioning and vertical tilt specifications.) Then, sit back, forget about the equipment, and simply enjoy the music !!!