Btw, I auditioned the Spendor D7 powered by Naim components and was very good but I didn't think they were impressive. I know that Stereophile regards the Spendor D7 very highly giving them a class A rating but I feel that the Treo CT sounds much more natural and musical. But to be fair, the Vandy was being powered by Ayre acoustics components, which could have made a difference in the listening experience. I say listen to both if possible.
As a Vandy fanboy, I can't see how you could go wrong with any Vandersteen model.
I owned the 3a sig's and am moving to the Treo's. I only sold the 3a's because of space limitations.
If you go with the Quatro's you can eliminate the subs. Treo and Quatro share same footprint.-I probably should have gotten the Quatro but since I have the Vandy subs, I am hoping to keep 'upgrade-itis' in check.
As far as loudness goes, maybe a more efficient speaker like Zu would give you the SPL you like, but, then again it might not be what you want.-Though at least you have a trial period with Zu.
There was a reason I recommended the 3's and subs over the Trio, and anything above it. I think the combo will better suit the OP's needs. After reading his description on how they will be used, I think anything above the Model 3's may very well be a downgrade. I listen to a variety of music styles and the quality of recordings are all over the place. Some recordings are good, while others are terrible. I went to buy a pair of Model 5's for myself, and decided against it because a good portion of my music didn't sound that good on them. The 5's are not as forgiving. The extra money wasn't the issue, its just that the 3's are a better choice for how I listen.
The GE Triton Ones is your best bet for the type of music you listen to. I use them in my main system after going through 5 other speakers and they sound incredible. Previously I had Vandersteen 2ci, Vandersteen 2ce, DeVore Gibbon 8, Von Schweikert VR33 and Tekton Pendragons.
The Triton Ones blow all these other speakers away. I am usiong a 160wpc solid state amp and an all tube preamp. I have never had better sound in my living room.
Great info everyone. I am pretty sure the Maggie's won't work for me (size and loudness) so that one is out although their attributes intrigue me.
The Triton Ones sound like they would work but I am a bit turned off by the fit/finish. Those sleeves/and the overall unit look cheap. What do you think as a owner?
Happy New Year, all...in my respectful opinion, the Tekton Pendragons and Double Impacts absolutely trounce anything in what most serious music listeners would consider a very modest price bracket. I've the very good fortune of working in the music industry and have access to a panoply of equipment, from the most basic to outlandishly esoteric, pretty much on demand. I have either owned or spent significant amounts of time with B&W 800D's, PMC IB2 and MB2's, ATC 150's, GoldenEar Triton Ones and Twos, various Tannoy models including System 15 DMTII's and Super Red / Gold, Klipschorns / La Scalas / Cornwalls, Wavetouch Mt. Raniers and Grand Tetons, several Wilson Audio models from the Sasha to the MAXX 3, Magico...you get the idea. All of the aforementioned are superb speakers and generally excel in at least one or two areas, but the Tekton models I've owned and heard compete at the highest levels in ALL areas and provide--for me, at least--an unparalleled degree of visceral impact and pure emotional engagement while sacrificing nothing in terms nuance, detail, imaging, etc. They are superb.
"The Triton Ones sound like they would work but I am a bit turned off by the fit/finish. Those sleeves/and the overall unit look cheap. What do you think as a owner?"
They look quite elegant in my living room and it has a very high WAF. If these speakers were made of fine grade furniture, they would probably cost 2,500.00 more than they do.
Tekton has come out with 2 new speakers recently. It would be interesting to talk to Eric from Tekton on how he rates his new speakers vs the Pendragon. Speaker comments are so subjective. What is brilliant to one persons ears does not mean that those speakers are better than the other. Case in point, I heard the Pendragons and Triton ones side by side and I totally preferred the Pendragons. Plus, like you I could not get over how ugly the Tritons looked.
My Sonic Labs Ultra Emminant EX
EMM labs Dac6e
EMM CD/SACD Transport
Nordost Valkyrie interconnects
Oppo DVD player
Harmon Kardon HT receiver
Revel ultimata subwoofer
Sound Anchor rack and stands
My custom designed dedicated "music room"
I am not certain of exactly how much I paid for each piece. All of the analog stuff was purchased new, most of the other stuff bought used or demo. The only other component is the refurbished Fisher 100b that my dad purchased back when I was about 10 years old...that piece is simply "priceless"
Lots of very nice options there! Dang, for $7K, you can get into a set of Legacy Audio SignatureSE. I was able to do a home audition on them in the Black Onyx finish a few months ago, and they are pretty awesome for music and movies. Air Motion tweeter, and quality bass down to 22hz. Man, you can injure your knuckles rapping on the cabinets!
I would trial the phase correct Vandies first. I think once you hear them, then you would have a great basis to rate the other speakers.
I would also recommend that you read the Richard Hardesty Journals:
He covers a lot of ground and provides sound advice regarding speakers.
To complete my thought, I was absolutely rocking my ProAc Studio 148s NYE. Playing older Metallica, Dire Straights, Prodigy and the new The Crystal Method all on vinyl. Stunning how they compress the room down to what I would consider a flat and honestly 25hz in their stated measurements.
They strongly remind me of the ProAc Studio 125 I had on demo with the lovely midrange (many say the 125 get classic rock so right). But my 148s have a much better and controlled lower end than the 125 or D20 I’ve heard and the 148s have the same tweeter as their Response line.
Not only can they rock, but for classical they get the single and double reeds so correct and the space between the notes are just on with jazz trios with piano, drums / cymbals and standup bass.
I really think the Soundocity SEV9 outriggers took them to the next level (not affiliated with Soundocity or ProAc). See my system page for details.
Previous speakers included Tekton 6.5t on rigid Linn Tukan stands, which I still have, Tekton Mini Lores and Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers with the RIAA ribbon tweeters, both which I did not care for as they did not sound lively and rock the room.
Do not get the Magnepans unless you can get them at least 5' away from the front wall. You will want dual subs if you get Magnepans and listen to a lot of rock.
I can definitely vouch for the Vandersteen Treo. My brother owns them, and I've gotten a decent amount of time with them. They're very good. I'm sure that the CT version is even better.
Will see if there is someplace I can demo the the Vandy CT's and do some research on the ProAc and Legacy. Would prefer if at all possible to stay closer to $5k.
Wife coming around to the Maggie's. And can get them 5' from the back wall. My only real issue is there would be a couch in the soundstage (between but behind). Not sure what that will do to the sound. I can start with the 1 Rel 328/Maggie's.
I also really like the ProAcs. (It was probably because of sbrownnw's recommendations that I auditioned them in the first place--so thanks!) I listened to the 148s with The Pixies, Stone Roses, Nick Cave & REM among others; I can attest they handle pop/rock really well. The difference between a good & bad recording was immediately obvious, but manifested as 2d vs 3d imaging rather than any sort of harshness. I also had some Aphex Twin and the bass is extended and articulate. They do have what I'd consider a British mid-range, but I think that's a good thing when complemented by their excellent treble & bass.
I currently have Monitor Audio (Silver 2) & my guess is MA is not what you're looking for. I find them admirably neutral (especially for the price), but so refined they're almost stodgy--though a power amp of your caliber may be able to kick them into gear. Personally I think the Dynaudio & Vandersteens I've heard are better speakers for rock.
If you don't hear something you fall in love with locally, I'd think setting aside some funds for a trip to a show or dealer or even return shipping would be a better use of funds than buying something non-refundable based on hearsay.
" Will see if there is someplace I can demo the the Vandy CT’s and do some research on the ProAc and Legacy. Would prefer if at all possible to stay closer to $5k. "
If you are looking in the $5K range, and still want to check out Legacy Audio, they also have the Classic HD, which I would definitely want to hear. This is an 84 pound speaker with a ribbon tweeter, dedicated mid range driver, two 8" woofers, and well built cabinet, not a 40 pound speaker.
I also agree that Dynaudio are great for rock music. They kick azz with drum shots!
Just a couple of follow up notes:
This is strictly for 2 channel audio. No movies (I have a separate room/system for that)
"I would also recommend that you read the Richard Hardesty Journals"
Very Vandy focused but great info in those journals
"You can find a pair of Thiel CS 2.7 for $5K"
Only seeing the Thiel CS2.7 used. $5500-$6800 on HiFi Shark (overseas only). No way to demo. Most likely out of the running
"The 148 ProAcs like a strong amp at 4 ohms (my Audio Refinement does 200 @ 4 ohms)"
I believe the CJ MF2500 is around 450 into 4 Ohms.
"I listened to the 148s with The Pixies, Stone Roses, Nick Cave & REM among others; I can attest they handle pop/rock really well. The difference between a good & bad recording was immediately obvious, but manifested as 2d vs 3d imaging rather than any sort of harshness. I also had some Aphex Twin and the bass is extended and articulate. They do have what I'd consider a British mid-range, but I think that's a good thing when complemented by their excellent treble & bass"
This intrigue's me. I'll add these to the list. ProAc has a bad website. Not sure if there are any nearby US dealers at this point.
"If you don't hear something you fall in love with locally, I'd think setting aside some funds for a trip to a show or dealer or even return shipping would be a better use of funds than buying something non-refundable based on hearsay"
Good suggestion. This process is going to take a while.
"But, I suspect if you like the Maggies, you will love the Vandy's"
"If you can find a pair of 3a sigs or Treo's, I doubt you would be disappointed"
"I've seen used non-CT version Treos for $3400."
I'll focus on the 3A's & Treos (non CT) for now.
"How far apart (inner edge to inner edge) could you have Magnepans? Imho you need them at least 5' apart"
Min 5' apart is no problem. In my room they are more likely to be 9' to 11' apart
"If you are looking in the $5K range, and still want to check out Legacy Audio, they also have the Classic HD"
I currently own the Proac 140 MK2 , I heard the 148 and was impressed by their excellent dynamics and bass. The PSB ,Dynaudio and especially the Revel you mentioned are good options too ,However if you can stretch your budget for really thrilling hi end speakers try the Proac Response D48R or the PMC Twenty 26.
I would let you listen to my system if you ever made it to the Seattle area. Did you check out my system page? My 148s are about 12" away from the front wall, wish I could go farther out but it does not work for my room layout.I did. 148's look nice there. Thanks for the offer on the listen. Most of us have a room trade-off to deal with it seems
PSB, Revel does interest me as well. Hearing the Dynaudio may be a tad bright
Any opinions on the Focal 936/948's?
Another Legacy fan here. How would you like to keep a ton of cash in your pocket and improve your sound with a speaker that will blow the smaller Vandersteen's down the tubes? Here's the suggestion: Find a mint pair of used Legacy Signature III's or a nice used pair of Legacy Focus speakers. The Signature III's are a bit of a rarity these days on the used market, but the Focus's are more common. Good pair of Signature III's go for around $1500. The Focus's go fro around $2000-$2500.
Click on my avatar to see the Signature III's. And yes, I've heard the smaller Vandesteen's and made the comparison. No contest.
There are a pair of Vandy Quatro's on Audioconnection's website preowned for $5K. If I knew, I would have bought them instead of the Treo, oh well.
Where are you located? Johnny Rutan is the best and can give you the best advice on Vandy's. PM him, he is audioconnection on Agon.
I will also reiterate my recommendation for Zu as a low cost alternative.
For a speaker without crossovers, it gives comparable sound to many higher priced speakers. Plus, you can trial them for 30 days and only lose shipping costs.
The Tritons are very good, some of the others on your list are too polite for what you are looking for. Look at the Tekton range - the dynamics and slam from my Lore Reference speakers with just 50 tube watts is stunning. Mahler 5 Chicago Symphony, realistic levels, no compression on the huge peaks and the brass had a ton of bite. Stunning.