Integrated for Vandersteen 2ce sigII


A quick question. I'm thinking of purchasing the above said speakers and was wondering what everyone's thoughts are about using my Marantz pm8004 or would a different integrated  amp be a better fit. Thanks
wmbode
The Marantz will work. Hard to put anything on Vandies and not sound nice. Should sound real nice.
I have used a 32 watt integrated tube amp and a 400 watt ss amp, both sound fine. I think the more power with quality electronics the better they will sound. Also the quality of the source will be important too.
Open baffle needs power.
To me they sounded very narrow or no soundstage at all with Belles 150 or Bryston 3b-st -- both over 100wpc. Macintosh MC352/Audible Illusions Mod3 pre did good job on these.
Tube amps on these normally OK only for chamber or symphony music. For rock or electronica they'll be very slow or require some room tweaks to compensate.


I have been interested in getting a tube integrated and have had my eye on a Rogue Cronus Magnum II. Now with that being said what could I expect sonically  from each amp? 
  The marantz has been an excellent  integrated but I don't see a lot of vandersteen owners running Marantz gear. Just wondering if there isn't good synergy with the two.
In low-powered setup listening to dynamic funky music such as Stanley Clark or Grant Green, I found that speed isn't there. I expected that the driver should stop after the drum beat or the bass slap, but it didn't. 
For the same price (+ a-bit extra) you pay for Marantz pm8004, you can get much more powerful Sansui G-9000 vintage receiver that compares to that little Marantz as BMW M-series vs. Mitsubishi Galant. Moreover, compared to this modern and cool Marantz that may go bad after just few years, Sansui is serviceable unit that will only go up the value and not down.



One of the top Vandy dealers in the country, Johnny Rutan at Audio Connection often demos Rogue/Vandy together as an example of a system of superior value. It's a nice match and Rogue is well built stuff, with great service. Cheers,
Spencer
sbank,
excactly at AudioConnection Verona NJ I was not impressed of Rogue/Vandy combo for the reason I described with all due respect to John Rutan...
He also demoed them with Bryston amps which was a-bit better. 
Speed for me was very important factor since I mostly listen to instrumental music rock, jazz, electronic and classical.
So I'm getting the feeling my Marantz is not going to bring out the best in the vandys. I would have no problem replacing my integrated with something more suitable if it will be an improvement and not just a lateral move. I would also prefer to stay with an integrated solid state or tube.
For several years I ran 2CEs with a Conrad Johnson CAV50 ("control amplifier", 4XEL34 based, passive pre,~37 WPC) as my first foray into tubes for a second system.  Really enjoyed the laid back sound for late night listening, quite revealing yet very gentle on the ears. Zero beaming or screech across the bandwidth. Loose but full bass sounded great with 60s', 70s' production values.  I do miss those 2CEs.
+1 adg101. Purchase the Vandys and give the 8004 a try. You can always upgrade later. I do agree that the Rouge integrated is nice. Both have a phonostage. Is this a requirement?
Conrad Johnson has a new integrated- CA 150.
I want to demo it as soon as possible.
I suggest the Ayre AX-7e. I had one powering my 3A Signatures while the AX-5 was back at the factory getting the Twenty update and it handled music and movies with aplomb. They show up on the used market around the same price as a Cronus.
Ayre and Vandersteen work very well together....  Hard to find anything better without lots of additional green
Thanks everyone who has chimed in on this discussion, every bit of information has been very welcomed. mesch- a phono stage is important because this is a system I'm trying to build around analog, hence the reason I'm interested in a tube integrated. This will be my first foray into analog& tubes since I was a kid. 
I’m baffled by the open baffle comment, only because I though 2Cs weren’t open baffle speakers, simply time aligned drivers. I’ll go look it up…baffling…OK…looked it up…they have minimal baffles as all Vandies do.
Open baffle Needs power?????

Not the ones I have had experience with. 

2CE's do not need power contrary to all the talk out there.
They are an easy drive despite the sensitivity.
They have a first order crossover, makes it easy to drive.
Have driven mine with all sorts of amps they sounded good with everything I have thrown at them,.  From my present Line Magnetic 211IA 32w valve amp.  They even sound better to my ear with this amp in 10 W triode - go figure.
All the way up to a 500 W - 8 Ohm - 1000 W - 4 Ohm. Class D
Did the headroom improve - No!  

Not amp fussy at all, the Marantz will do fine till you get the urge to change.
They do however respond to changes in the source very well the better the source, the better they perform every time.
Spend your bucks there far more rewarding.


Given your situation, I would purchase the Vandys and use your current amp to get accustomed to the new sonics. If your amp proves a pleasing combination you might be set. Should you, down the road, desire to upgrade, you might consider purchasing an an external phonostage. One that mates well with your vinyl setup. This, in turn would would allow consideration of line level tube integrated amplifiers. 
 I think I will hold on to the marantz and see how it goes and search for a tube integrated and compare the two. It's funny how you get older and your taste change. I listed to vandys a few times in the past and didn't care for the laid back sound but now having a chance to listen to them again i really enjoyed them. So here I am completely changing audio directions. Irritates  my non audiophile wife.
I owned the 2CE Sigs for several years and for the most part ran
seperates........large Pass and PS Audio amps as my room was fairly large, but one of the last amps I had was the Audio Research VSI60 and it really made the 2s sing.......I've also heard that Music Reference's seperate tube amps have wonderful synergy w/ the 2s in particular.....

I would also consider Hegel and Parasound's new integrated amp.....at the shows they have been pretty terrific, both brands.......

There's also an exciting review in Sphile this month on an 80w integrated from Unico that I would guess would be a great fit for those speakers....

Good Luck
Stewert0722- funny you mentioned  the parasound and hegel units because I've had my eye on those two for awhile now. So....do vandys tend to have better synergy with solid state or tube amplification in your opinion? 
  This  was supposed to be my first foray into a tube/ analog waters because I was thinking the vandys would be a good fit. But after reading everyone's suggestions I could go either SS or tube and be very happy. Banging my head against the wall.lol
I don't think it's really a matter of tube or ss shining on a given
speaker including the Vandys.......
It's a matter of the integrateds intrinsic personality and musicality....
and that these days can be achieved with SS or tube.......in fact over the past 10 years, tubes have moved toward sounding more solid state and solid state has aspired to musicality that previously was tube amplifier's domain........in the end, you just want something that has enough current to let the speaker sing without strain and you want an amp that will get out of the way of the music.......there are so many choices, but going with something other's have had great luck with is a great start.......For me, if I still had 2CE's, I'd still have them paired with the VSI60....which I feel is one of the greatest products ARC ever put out.....It's the best I ever heard the Vandys........but I think Hegel and Parasound would do very nicely.....I've never heard Hegel sound bad at a show, and I heard the Parasound at a dealer paired with Spendor towers and it really defined for me how great a 2500 buck integrated could sound......very musical and punchy........Having said all that, Vandersteens love tubes,
and the ARC VSI series would of course get very high marks in pride of ownership compared to the solid state ones mentioned......
Thank you for the reassurance. I get to reading all these forums and reviews I get so paranoid I might make a wrong choice that I find myself constantly going in circles. Kinda takes the fun out of shopping for new equipmnt.lol
That part is actually the fun of buying new equipment......
If you went and bought a pair of 2CE's and there
was a sticker on them that said "compatible with these two integrateds"
that would take the fun out of it........
You can't screw it up as long because ultimately it's just different
flavors of ice cream.........you just need to find the one that the
2CE's mate well with and that you like the taste of......
+1 stewart0722. Well put.
As far as your Marantz against the Parasound Halo integrated... yeah the Parasound is better but not by much honestly. One of the shops here in town carries both lines so I know both pieces. If you didn't already own the Marantz then sure go for the Parasound. The Parasound is a very nice full featured unit - Swiss Army knife for an integrated amp for sure.

Someone mentioned ARC VSI60; now that would be a nice step up. No comparison between the Halo and a VSI60... ARC here all the way.

Again get the Vandy's first and give your Marantz a try. Get to know the Vandy's first or you'll end up chasing your tail and later wondering how the heck you ended up with a pair of Wilsons wishing you still had your Vandy's. I had a set of 2Ci's  I ran with a vintage B/O receiver for a short stint which sounded stupid good using that receiver. Heard a lot of Vandy's over the years and never heard a set sound bad regardless what was on them.

Wish I kept my set. Mine had the beige socks which I thought looked great on them over the black. Thinking the wood was natural walnut and not the oak. Had the Sound Anchor stands. I'm wiping my tears...
OK you got my attention with the Arc vsi60. I will be doing some research on it. Thanks everyone!
There is one on USAudiomart w/ 300 hours on it and absolutely mint.....

I think a fair price would be about 2300-2600

Considering it takes care of amp and preamp, you could do no better!

Thanks


Does the  vsi60 have a phono stage? I was really hoping to integrate a turntable. 
No internal phono. You'll be better off buying an outboard unit anyway. Tons of very good affordable phono stages out there. Two of my favorite units are the Grado PH1 and Parks Audio Budgie. They don't come up used often though.

You'll end up w/ a Dedicated anyway, because all the internal ones are afterthoughts regardless of manufacturer........they will NOT make you happy so why pay for them.........?
I'd recommend looking at the IFI phono stage, a used PS Audio GCPH, Lehmann Cube, or Rega Aria
I agree with Oros. The Marantz will be fine. People on Audiogon tend to read too much into this hobby. I've been into audio since the 70's I've heard great systems built around vintage receivers, old tube amps, Marantz 8004s:)  No worries go listen and have fun!
I know it's been awhile since I posted anything but life got in the way. In my pursuit of the vandersteens I came across a very well cared for pair of vandy 2s.  I picked them up for $350  which I feel was a bargain. I felt at that price I could get 90% of what the sig. IIs would give me. I figured I could set them up and see if they play nice with my gear and room. So far so good, so much so  I'm not sure I would benefit from spending the extra $2000 for the sig II. 
  So my question is do you think jumping up to the signature II would be the more substantial improvement or would the money be better spent improving things down the audio food chain?
  The Sig 2s are money well spent and share not one common part that's in original 30 year old 2s.
 For 350 you did fine but more like 35% of whats capable in the current Sig 2. Check out the new Belles Aria integrated at 1995 it outperforms the above and then some perhaps then later a pair of 2CE Sigs.
 Best JohnnyR
 
JohnnyR thank you for chiming in on this thread. Many people praise Your knowledge when it comes to Vandersteens and the associated equipment that work best with them so I appreciate the time you took to point out my inaccuracies regarding the older vandys.
  My reasoning for purchasing them was i figured I could at least get a sense of what the vandys would sound like in my room with my current equipment. If all is well my intention was to purchase the newest version Vandersteens. 
  Update:  got the older vandys set up and all was good the first night, however the the next night I went to listen and my left channel was half the volume of the right channel. Reversed the cables to check if it was the speakers but the problem was consistent with the other speaker. Just to make sure I reconnected my Paradigms and sure enough something happened to my left channel. Any idea what happened and how to go about fixing it?
((((Any idea what happened and how to go about fixing it?)))

  You have to locate where in your electronics its coming from
 start with swapping rca wires at your CD player and then your pre amp,then amp etc
 make sure you have no splices or any wires shorting together.
 then check out simple things like Balance control intermittent switches on pre amp etc.
 swap in or try another back up amp. 
I swapped out the amp and everything worked fine. I started the process switching cables,swapping out speakers,checked cables and yes even balance controls. 
Rogue Audio, outperforms ARC integrated amps, for the record.
Jafant- that's a bold statement would you care to elaborate? 
  Anyone have any idea what might have happened to my pm8004? And if it would be worth servicing thanks.
I've heard and owned Rogue.  I've heard and owned ARC
integrated (VSI60)
I could not disagree with jafant more if I tried......
Well I took the marantz in for service only to find out it will be four weeks before he can get it on the bench.
   As you know by my previous post I acquired a used pair of Vandersteen 2s. So what I'm contemplating is do I repair the marantz and keep the older vandys or buy the the newer sig IIs.Or replace the marantz and keep the older vandys only to purchase the newer Vandersteen later? 
  Used Arc vsi60 or the new Bells Arial which would you choose?


The questions you're asking can only be answered by you. It boils down to how much money are you willing to spend, all at once or in increments.

An ARC VSi60, if you can find a nice one, will set you back at least $2600K-$3000K. Adding a Vandersteen 2Ce Sig will push the cost to around $5000K-$6000K range total. Does that fit your budget?

I am planning on upgrading both the speakers and amp but I decided to do this over time instead all at once so I guess what I'm trying to decide is which to start with. 
  Has anyone had any experience with David Belles amps? The integrated was suggested by JohnnyR ? I've looked up the dealership directory and the closest dealer is over three hours away. 
I agreed with your thinking regarding the purchase of the used Vandys. This will allow you to experience the Vandy signature sound (an yes the new version will provide more of it with greater detail) while providing time to consider upgrade options. Sorry about the Marantz issue, I also thought using it was a good choice.

Given that you are happy with the used Vandys, I would focus on an integrated that mates well with them. You might consider purchase of one comparable to your Marantz on the used market for the short term to allow time to assess the Vandy sound. One concern is that when it comes time to upgrade speakers you might find ones you want that have a different sonic signature and represent a different load to an amplifier. Thus not the best for your 'current' amp. Of course this would not be a problem if you choose the Vandy II sigs. Buying use will allow you to replace components at minimal expenditure and buy you time to make best choices down the road. Hey, you just might keep the used Vandys for some time.

 
I'd like to add this tidbit of info. When I went searching for an amplifier, a local hi-end dealer sold me a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Sig II speakers after two long listening sessions. I left without an amp even though he sold Leben, ARC and Shindo gear. After awhile he called me to say he had added another brand he was excited about because they designed gear based on the old Western Electric company in the US. When I went for a listen I really liked the sound and thought it was better than ARC. The company is Line Magnetic Audio. FWIW and as always, one must listen for oneself.
Mesch- I appreciate you hanging in on the thread. I am sold on the Vandersteens and will eventually purchase the sig II in the not so distant future. My dilemma is the integrated amp. I'm really interested in the vsi60 and the belles aria but neither are at my disposal to listen to. It would require a day trip or weekend. So any and all recommendationsorts are very much welcome. 

2psyop- thank you for throwing another option my way. I will definitely look into line magnetic. Thanks
Thanks, I enjoyed the ride. I owned the original model IIs, made in 1977 I believe. I bought them in 1986 and kept them for 8 years. I have heard the later models however not the II Sigs. I always thought them to be a great all around speaker, almost full range, very musical, good soundstage, kind to all forms of music. Knowing you are 'sold' on the II Sigs makes amplifier shopping much easier. Search out the amp you wish to pair with the II Sigs, it well serve the earlier versions well till you upgrade.

I have not had a chance to hear anywhere near the possibilities in the 2-3K price range. However, about 4 years back I owned a Vincent Audio 226 integrated, little brother to the 236. The latest version on the market is the 237. These are hybrid models, tube pre and SS power amp. I wish I never sold my 226, a great sounding amp. Many positive comments found on this forum for both the 236 and 237. Actually a couple recent thread concerning the 237. They all lack a phonostage however.

A friend of mine has the original Rogue Cronus Magnum driving a pair of PSB Signature 1s.  I think that is a very good all tube integrated. Latest version is model II. Rouge has a reputation of being very good to work with. 

Good luck in your search!
(((My dilemma is the integrated amp. I'm really interested in the vsi60 and the belles aria but neither are at my disposal to listen to. It would require a day trip or weekend. So any and all recommendation sorts are very much welcome.)))
One of our clients is trading in an ARC VSI 60 for a new Belles Aria
 Both are Made in USA and sound great.
 JohnnyR
From 5 years back, here were my 2CE Signature I's w/ the ARC VSI60

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVnFhnkrLTk

I haven't heard Belles, but probably great stuff, but the VSI60 is extremely musical and holds great resale value because of it's following, so if you can't hear one, just buy used and make sure you buy it right so you can get all your money back should you decide to try something else.....

As much as I love Vandersteen, I think the Ryan Audio loudspeakers out of California are the most musical non-planar speakers I've ever heard......I believe the 610s would give the 2s all they want and could be had probably around 1600 or so....I'm thinking of getting a pair from a dealer friend of mine for my home study......

These 610s were being driven by a fairly basic Musical Fidelity integrated....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe6WznxBdjQ
JohnnyR- what was it about the belles that inspired your client to trade in the vsi60? I have looked into the Belles Aria and I have to say it has my attention, so much so I am seriously thinking of purchasing one. Now I just need to find a dealer reasonably close. I was really thinking I wanted to go the tube route but from what I have been reading from all who have posted Vandersteens sound  beautifully with SS amps just as well.

Stewart0722- I loved the set up. Hoping to emulate that in my space. I'm just not sure I'm ready for  tube amplification yet, I still have little ones around and my fear they will be drawn to those beautiful glowing tubes.
My daughter was 6 when I owned that amp......ARC sells a tube cage for it, as do most tube amp manufacturers.......you're right tho....the Vandersteens will sound good with SS, but not all SS......you can't just swap the Belles for instance with Denon or Marantz or Sony.....

As far as a dealer being close, the whole "I gotta go audition it first" has sort of gone out the window with the decline in brick and mortars......that's why I suggest purchasing pre-owned, or get a relationship with a few far away dealers that don't mind shipping you a demo........listening to it at some dealer, with speakers that may not be what you end up with is a waste of time in my opinion......and you're basically gonna have a Belles dealer close or you're not.....

I bought my VSI60 without hearing it, as I have many components.....I've ended up selling a few, but only a few.........I do have a relationship with an ARC dealer, and I have a local dealer who carries Rogue, which would be another one to consider......The Cronus Magnum is less expensive than ARC, features a phono section, and has 30W more per channel using the same KT120 tube.....I don't know if it offers a cage or not, but I know for sure the ARC is available with a tube cage....

Like I say, if I was doing it over again, the Vandersteens would not be considered......I feel the Ryan speakers, even the 610 are far more musical overall........and I have heard them with the Rogue Cronus Magnum.....

At 2495 list for the Cronus and 1995 list for the Ryans not including stands, I would probably end up paying around 3400 for both........
remarkably better than a new Belles or VSI/SIG II's and you pick up phono as well as almost double the wpc....