Just got ruined by a pair of Treo CTs

So, went down to my local hi-fi shop today and they just so happened to have a pair of Treos with the carbon tweeters on display. He put on a Donald Fagen record and my jaw dropped, the top end was just...blissful... just perfect. Hard to describe.
Immediately afterward I heard the magnepan 3.7. while sounding great, the Treos sounded substantially better IMO.
Ok..so was planning to get a brand new pair of model 2s at some point, now I'm not so sure. The Treos CTs cost $8500. Oh dear...
Just keep in mind they probably had $$$$ electronics feeding those 85dB @ 6 ohm puppies so YMMV depending on what you have at home. But still they'll spoil your ears no matter what. I had a similar experience with Quattro CT at a friends's home and it took me a few days to start enjoying my own system afterwards.   
I think the Treos with a pair of SUB THREES might just be my ultimate set-up. Got a lot of saving to do...
I had the Treo's and upgraded to Quatro which is still better than Treo CT with the pair of sub 3's ;)....

Yes, they are awesome in most ways.  Mine found a great home and that makes me sooo happy (yes, I'm a fool as I love it when others enjoy my gear like I did).  

As for driving them, they are very very easy to drive. Not a difficult load at all.  You can actually run them on NAD or Rotel integrates if you need to and then save for something else.  

Johnny Rutan in NJ is running some of his using Belles integrated or the separates.  He swears by them adn says they are world beaters.  I have heard the integrated a few times and loved it on the Vandy's.  That's only a 2k integrated so that's definitely not $$$$ dollars at all.  Not sure why so many feel that way, but it is a misconception in the online world for some reason.  

Richard is a frugal Dutch man, who may have even held back his own company a bit by giving folks bang for their buck from his 7's down to the 1's. It was very difficult for them to move from the d2 adn 3 to the 5 and the higher end line.  I'm really glad he did as there would be no way I could afford to get this type of high end sound in my room for the price this price of admission.  

Which dealer do you work with?  All who I have met are great guys (I have personally purchased gear from 5 of them at one point or another, lol).
@OP, I am glad you like the new Vandie's. They really are a leap ahead of the 2's and 3's.
I know the Treo CT's are really super, but I bought ctsooners, Treo's (non-CT), and have no qualms. If I could afford the CT's I would do it in a heartbeat.
My suggestion is to wait for a pair of Treo's to come up for sale used. (There was a pair of CT's for sale not to long ago- They went fast).
As far as subs, I would still opt for a pair of 2wq's. I know the newer EQ sub 3 will smoke them, but, like you, I don't have readily available funds for such purchases, and will have to wait until a pair comes up for sale in the used market.
In any case, I enjoy my Treo's and 2wq's immensely and have no intention of changing anything speaker/sub-wise for a long time.

Now, if I could just find a nicely priced Ayre KXR....
I had the Treo's and upgraded to Quatro which is still better than Treo CT with the pair of sub 3's ;)....
You think so? The Quattro only has 2 drivers, sub 3 has 3. Seems like sub 3 would be more powerful. (Also has a bigger amp)
Which dealer do you work with?  All who I have met are great guys (I have personally purchased gear from 5 of them at one point or another, lol)
I see Tim at Bradford's Home Entertainment in Eugene Oregon. They are small and don't have very much gear on display, but what they do have is pretty great. I was surprised when I saw the Treos since is has been years since I've seen any Vandersteen on display. Have to go to Tacoma to demo more of the vandersteen line (I don't think even Portland has a vandy dealer)
Bstat...like any respectable audio crack dealer, “ the first hit is free “

i think i might be gaining a unique non dealer perspective on the breadth of the Vandersteen line owning and listening to three pairs from 1ci to Treo CT to 7 mk2

and as a previous 3a-sig and 5a owner the Treo and up are a departure keeping the famous seamless coherence but removing a layer of grunge and cabinet distortion that when you hear it is difficult to comprehend...it is a clear water like purity and I can say the Treo CT are killers....

i think I have assembled a frugal ( well all things relative..ha ) system of Delos, Basis 1400 Rega OEM 300 into Musical Surroundings wpc which runs Treo just fine....

sure I could hook up an Ayre, etc..and improve things but I am staying up past my bedtime listening to everything from Tidal to Funny Girl soundtrack on ancient vinyl......

now back to Ones.....what a freaking incredible value....people whine about how expensive this hobby can be, at $1,300 they and many other made in USA speakers to wit Magnepan offer a real high end taste and incredible musicality...

bstat good on ya brother
musical surroundings phenomena II into a NAIM Atom streamer / amp....40 WPC class A/B
The ones are up to 1300?  I bought my 2Ci brand new for retail at 1195 plus an extra 50 for the Vanderstands.  That was in 1992.


doubt that high end loudspeakers are in inflation basket of goods but $1 in 1992 is $1.79 in 2018
.... looks like the Frugal Dutchman of Hanford has been doing pretty good....

your 2ci would be $2140 no stands and hopefully we might agree that the upgrades to current status 2 are worth the premium above inflation... ?

i sold a ton of 1b in 1985 for $660 a pair, pretty sure if I ran those numbers he has beat inflation by a bunch

just my $.02 in 2018 money...
$660 in 1985 = $1,540 today
no stands in 1985
stands are about $150 additional today

here is my take of a killer system:

Mofi Table
Ortofon bronze
Quicksilver, Belles, or Rogue Integrated
Steen 1ci

decent wires
add a BlueSound or Aries Mini...

holy cow
"As for driving them, they are very very easy to drive. Not a difficult load at all."

Any other 85dB/2.83v/1m speaker I've owned, even at 8ohms (vs. the Treo 6ohms) required solid power to sound good. These must be an 
The experience is true typically of any given brand. Listen to a lower model, then compare to a higher one and... watch your wallet hemorrhage cash! ;) 

Passion many times costs more, but yields intense experiences not reproducible with lesser products. 
Wow, what a great system Tomic.  I love that Belles integrated. Would drive the heck out of the Treo CT's and it's less than 2k, lol.  Talk about making them more affordable.  That's teh cool thing about Vandersteen, they really are an easy load. As long as you feed it good power, they will perform. They just scale better than many speakers, so you will get full enjoyment the better amps you hook them up to.  Not all companies can say that about their speakers.  
@douglas_schroeder ,
But, you have to admit the Vandersteen line is very well priced, considering how much quality sound they put out.
Last Saturday I was at the T.H.E. SHOW in Irvine, CA and went in the room that carries Vandersteen Speakers and saw that they were demoing the Treo CT, I was really surprised at how the Treo CT sounds was, it so happen Richard Vandersteen himself was there in the room, I told him I thought my Current Vandersteen 2CE Sig II sounded really good, but the Treo CT is in another level, just simply amazing. I told Richard I am now considering selling my 2CE Sig II and get the Treo CT, he smiled and said yes that I will not be disappointed, he also said what I’m hearing now is not fully broken in yet and it will get even more better.
How much extra is the bird's eye maple on average? I just realized the $8400 does not included the maple and that it is an added cost. (of course the higher priced one has to be my favorite option)
The Treo CT is a wonderful speaker.  I can certainly understand how you got "ruined" by a pair.  Myself, I was ruined by a pair of Vandersteen Quatro CTs about a year and a half ago.  I listened to them at a dealer and compared them to Proac and Wilson.  There was not a bad speaker in the bunch but at the end of the day I found the Vandersteen to fit my budget and my ear the best.  If I had gotten the Treo I knew that eventually I would want a sub(s). Having always had a sub in my system I knew I would miss the deep bass... so I splurged for the Quatro with the built in subs.  I have never enjoyed the music from my system as much as I have over the past year and a half with the Quatro.
Bstat.... birdseye is brutal $$$ , Made the $600 upcharge for Ambrosia Maple a pawltry thing......
all driven by rarity and the market for really fine veneers... price changes every day

miket- yes they did sound good at The Show and I was there for a bit visiting with RV, buying records, drinking a margarita and checking out the cars....The Treo were in 
kind of a phone booth sized room, so they are capable of so much more :-)

Heck, go all out and have them painted in any auto color you want, lol.  I paid a big upcharge for Audi Havana Black and have not looked back.. I then spend 100 extra and installed a 4" down light can above each speaker, lol.

I will then install a separate 30amp power line, grounded separately behind each speaker using the brand new Furetech nano carbon outlets, lol behind each speaker so you can't see the power cords, lol....  I had to make them look their best of course.  Wife is happy about the set up.  

I now am saving for the Vandersteen mono blocks to go with them.  I don't have a choice......;).  
I was also at the THE Show in Irvine this past weekend and I have to agree with MikeTuason about the Treo CT.  We came back to that room twice.  I have heard Vandys at shows before, but these were far better than my audio memory served up.  They were driven by simple PrimaLuna amps and preamps with a Meridian 218 streaming source.  The coherency was perfect.  They sounded like music and could play a wide variety of music with authority.  I felt that they and the Magico A3 that we heard were the two best setups of the show.  Most of the expensive, larger speakers overpowered the rooms or suffered from hi-fi sound.  My friend who has Harbeth 30.2 on order is now considering the Treo CT.
I recently heard the Quatros at a friend's and they sounded quite sterile and glaring.
@rwwear  Did your friend have a system up to the quality of the Quatro's?  Were his speakers set up well?
If they sounded sterile and glaring, I can almost promise something was wrong in the room or set up.  Often times it's the room for any speaker to sound totally different than most people hear them.  

I had the Treo non CT and LOVED them. Coherent, musical, engaging and warm when the recording was warm is one way to describe them. When I moved to teh Quatro CT, it was another ball game. The CT version makes a huge difference of course, but freeing up the amp from reproducing 100hz down makes a huge difference on dynamics and other things.  

Richard does make some wonderful speakers for many of us.  I like the bigger Harbeth's, but there is no detail. Syrupy and sweet.  Everything sounds good on them, which is fine if you want that sound.  I would personally rather have a true audiophile speaker that still gives a warm presentation without glare or harshness in a coherent package.  That's just me though.
I love all the Vandersteen speakers and have had my 5a’s since 2004. From what I’ve seen lately here on Audiogon, used audiophile equipment has never been more affordable. Would you buy new Treo CT’s at $8400, new Quatro CT’s at $14,600, or used 5a’s for $9000ish?
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Yeah, If you don't like neutral, natural mids and highs with lightening quick bass and extension, I guess I can see your point.....;-)
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Funny No one ever talks about the deal breaker the
Funny 1900's binding post's.    The man should talk to Cardas about them or anyone
the binding posts which are actually a custom made barrier strip is integral with the crossovers which eliminates 4 connections.....

plenty of high end wire company offer Vandersteen sized spades....

but IF it’s a deal breaker for you I understand.....
RV also stated that the terminal strip also made the speakers sound better than standard 5-way binding posts. I believe this theory has been tested by others.
The speakers were set up by the dealer with their measuring devices. They were refined by another dealer friend who said they were much worse before. The ancillary equipment was an Audio Research LS-28, Oppo BDP 105 and Parasound amp(not sure of model but the latest).
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Tastes and opinions change..... thank God we have choices

now let’s get those Quattro sounding right....
yes tastes do change.  I know mine have as I've grown older and heard better and better quality equipment.  I had Johnny Rutan come in and set them up properly.  I was amazed at how he set them up, but they are really sounding great.  It's amazing as to how great things can get with just a small adjustment here or there.

Taking the time to set up the rake of the Quatro and then getting teh bass right, should give you bliss.
tomic60.... I agree with you about the Vandersteen 1's. Have had the 1Ci's for a couple of years now with a Belles Aria integrated amp and every time I listen I hate to turn the damn thing off! I have to call BS on all the idiots out there that insist that great audio is not affordable... a luxury exclusively for those with deep pockets. The 1's may not be for everybody, but I dig them and they might just ruin a lot of people compared to anything anywhere near the price. Don't even get me started on the Aria...
@2chfreak  I am a current Treo CT user but when I went to John Rutan's Audio Connection to pick them up I had a great interaction with a pair of 1Ci's driven with Quicksilver amps.  I never would have believed the "gestalt" those speakers can have!
Same thing happened to me with that carbon tweeter. Now I have Quatro's coming in. Love Vandersteen's!
Hifiman5 - "Gestalt" aptly describes the nature of the Vandersteen 1; the sound emanating from the speakers belies the no frills exterior, as well as the affordable price. John Rutan demoed the Belles Aria with the Treo's (non CT version if I recollect correctly) and that convinced me to buy the Aria. Couldn't spring for the Treo's, but the 1's sound pretty incredible in their own right. Amid all the audio rhetoric and hearsay, John Rutan keeps it simple and brings clarity and expert guidance to those who have the good sense to visit his shop.
would be a hoot to take the 1, Belles, some copper DBS audioquest cable, decent $1 k ish VPI table and $600 Grado etc to a show, put it behind a black grill cloth.....and blow people away !!!!!!!

big  fun

But speaking of Treo CT
the Music room in Colorado an Agon dealer has a Walnut pair for $5,800
i have no affiliation besides buying and selling a bit of gear to them.....

It's possible to get close to 90% of the the best out there for 90% less money, more or less, but anywhere close to that figure is amazing when you consider the stratospheric prices a lot of this audio gear costs.  My goal was to discover an amp and speakers whose quality and performance was out of all proportion to its cost. I think what I have meets that criteria. Other brands offer great bang for the buck I'm sure, but the Belles/Vandersteen combination made me forget the equipment and get lost in the music, so there you go.

No doubt that if you remove - from view - the gloss and the glitter and the massive build quality by hiding behind a screen, many people would be pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. More money doesn't mean better sound, but some people just have to have that designer label to stare at to validate the worth of their system.... and themselves. 
@2chfreak  +1   John Rutan is everything people say on A'gon.  He has a comprehensive knowledge of both gear and tunes.  He know how to set up a system to maximize its abilities and is an absolute straight talker.  No BS from him.👍

  • i would suggest a look at recent show photos of Vandersteens ( Munich for example ) which should give your friend some idea about a starting point.
  • i use a Leica disto and a laser level to setup speakers, both tools under a hundred $ total
  • use blue tape on listening chair and or wall behind chair.
  • tweeters should not be aimed right at ears
  • check tilt also after careful measurement of both ear height and distance to speaker, verofy correct number of washers...
  • i am available for a telephone call to run thru setup...
  • zero toe in rare.....
I just got a new laser level and Bosch laser measuring tool.  Tomic, where should I have the tweeters pointing on a rear wall?  I have a long room and sit about 8' or so from the speakers.  Johnny set it up and I'm wanting to dial it in a spec.  I will say that after owning Treo's (non CT) and now Quatro's, the bass in my room is outstanding.  I have a lot with too many open walls so bass is brutal for me to get right. I may even get the new Vandy subs or just change out to Richard's new amps when they come out.  I may just not be getting the dynamic drive I want from teh Ayre AX5/20, but I think I probably do.  Hmmm.....choices..

Those 1's are sick good for the price.  I love the Belles Aria and have heard that the new Belles separates are SICK good.  Very cool for them. Will need to get down to Johnny's soon to hear all of them.  Will figure out getting a ride there, lol...