I love my Vandersteen's but . . . . . . . .

Over the last 35 years I have only owned Four different speaker brands . In the 70”s Radio shack ,In the 80’s ADS L-990's and Vandersteen 2ci , In the 90’s to present , Snell B’s and then back to Vandersteen 2ce sig’s .. You can see my current system here on Audiogon.. Do a search In virtual systems for Stumpies System ..This will give you a lot of info on my system.

Ok ,, Here is my question … I love the sound from my current system but there are times I wish I could get a little more volume out of it . Most of the time when I listen the Meters on the McIntosh amp are bouncing around the 40 watt area with “peaks” around 100 W . But there are times I wish I could turn it up some . If I try to turn the Vandersteen’s up the sound starts to get “compressed” ,, Instruments loose there air around them ,, everything gets thin sounding so I always turn it back down.
Is there a speaker out there that will play “bigger” in my small listening room ?
Speakers I have been considering are B&W N-804’s ,, Von schweikert VR4jr ,,, Green Mountain Audio ,, NHT .
I listen to all kinds of music . Light rock mostly . Eva Cassidy,,James Taylor,,James McMurtury,,Lyle Lovett,,Mark knopfler,,Bob James,,Larry Carlton,,Lee Ritenour ..

What to do ??? Any help would be appreciated ..
Mdhoover ,, Thanks for your kind words. Its been 10 days since I moved the Paradigm’s in my listening room and I’m just loving it ! They are interacting fantastic with my room/equipment.

Kt_88 , , Every one of your questions can be answered by going to “My System” here on Audiogon . Also read my follow up post here in this thread dated 4-8-06 ,, It will also help you understand. Believe me ,, Its not my amp..

Stevecham , , A McIntosh MC-402 is not enough horse power for Vandersteen 2ce sig’s ???

Thanks again everyone for your input . Some of the speakers that have been suggested will be tried in the future ..

Kt_88 said :

Also the recommened wattage is between 40 and 160. So to have them hooked to a 40 watt amp ( and then cranking the volume ) is not going to give much in the way of music.
And ,
40 watts is 40 watts. That's all I have to say.

Kt_88 ,

My amp is 400 watts a side. NOT 40 . Not sure why you think its only 40 w ?????

I have a pair of 2CE sigs that I am running through a Tube Audio design 60 Amp and 150 preamp. The TAD puts out 60 watts a side. Prior I had a McCormack DNA-1 (185 watts/side), B&K 4220 (225 watts/ side)and a B&K 140 (105 watts/side)in that order. Each move was a huge improvement over the last one. The TAD-60 matched with the TAD-150 pre is by far the best combo. It throws a wide and deep sound stage and sounds more robust and open at higher volumes. I listen to classic rock almost exclusively. I have found that certain amps / preamp combos just do not work with certain speakers. I think that Mac equipment, IMO, seems to sound better with speakers that are more forward sounding. However, it is also a well known fact that Vandersteen speakers are very revealing of the equipment that runs through them. A well known Hi-end store where I bought my Vandys had a nice sounding powerful amp when I auditioned my speakers. A year later I brought a friend to audition the Vandys that I recommended to the same store in the same room. They had replaced the amp with an well known 80 watt amp. The sound was totally different than what I recalled when I first listened. No soundstage, lack of character, thin sounding. Nevertheless, my friend and I both agreed that this combo did not do justice to these fine speakers. Not trying to promote Vandersteen but, the point that I am trying to make is that amps and speakers are almost like a marriage. If the pair don't get along the marriage goes to pot. Just like amps and speakers

Oops! My mistake I confused the watts with the first post. But I must agree with Eagleman6722, there must be a marriage between the amp and the speakers. I have had Quicksilver M-60's ( 60 watts per channel ) matched with the Vandersteen 3's and you would have thought you died and went to heaven if you listend to them. I also know that Richard Vandersteen highly recomended Quicksilver for his speakers.

I also recall listening to McChintosh through a pair of Vandersteens one time at a audio store. And to my suprise the salesmen looked at me and said " this system sounds really boring " No I wont reveal the store or the Mac that was running :)

But if you ever do decide your going to throw away those Vandies..... Throw them my way!