Some lovely choices for you; kudos on your window shopping. As someone who has owned the Vandy 2CE in the past, I find it a warmer, less technical speaker. I suspect it would play more laid back overall than the other two choices, though I have only heard the ZU speakers at shows and reviewed the older generation of Tannoy Glenair, a different critter than the model you are considering, however of the concentric driver ilk, which relates to the Zu speaker especially.
Really, you can build a very nice rig with an�y of them. Be aware that you likely will get the most bass output from the Vandy, second likely would be the Zu, and the last place in terms of overall bass impact would be the Tannoy. (I'm not interested in arguing my thoughts - to those who might wish to be contentious about my observations).
The concentric driver is a captivating technology, and many love the tight, precise soundstage it offers. I have heard Zu speakers yield a compellingly taut soundstage and razor sharp phantom image (middle). The Vandy cannot do so, but that is a technical difference, not a shortcoming per se. (Again, those who wish to argue, I'm not interested.)
You have some good gear to start. You'll find that cabling is a most contentious topic; I suggest you do not adhere to stock/manufacturer throw away cables. I would put at least 10% of total system cost into cables, including power cords.
No one can tell the final result with your combination. You simply have to either do a home demo, or select and go from there. That is, unless there is someone using the very combination you discuss. Even then, the preferences may vary considerably.
You will have potential for a very different sound depending upon which speaker you select (As well as components, including cabling). My question would be; are you afraid of potential high detail and a more in your face sound? If not, if you love definition and can't get enough intensity, then I would suggest not the Vandy, but the other two. If you want to err on the side of warmth and avoiding the potential for a more bright or intense performance, then select the Vandy.
To the community, YMMMV
Congratulations on the big move upward. You will have a great time!
Oh, and BTW, you won't make the "RIGHT" choice. The only right choice is the one which you would select after you tried all three - or some other technologies such as a panel, omni, line source or horn speaker, etc.
Just sayin', you may think you're striving for a perfect selection. That's not really an option at this point. You would have to gain far more experience with different speakers to have a much more informed opinion.
So... don't over stress about making the "right" choice. The array of sound capable with simply these three speakers is staggering. I could make literally a dozen different presentations with them. So, look at this more like a longer term car lease which can be changed versus having to make a "correct" decision. It will alleviate a lot of unnecessary pressure put on yourself. :) Trust me, I know; I've been there a long time ago. :)
I recently bought a new pair of Klipsch Heresy IIIs after auditioning them and they might be the best 1500 bucks I've spent on audio. They need a sub though…but so do most other speakers.
I’m not familiar with your Luxman gear but in my experience the Vandersteen Model 2 speakers need some power to show their full potential. I’ve tried mine with amplifiers ranging from my own 10wpc Class A tube to 200wpc McIntosh MC2200 as well as a borrowed pair of Bryston 7B-ST monos and they sounded the best with my MC2200 amp. Zu is almost at the other end of the spectrum and can sound very lively with a low powered tube amp.
Also, the vandersteen 2CEs employ 4 drivers, and they are a true full range set of speakers. In the right environement and with power, I am sure there would be little to gain by adding subs.
not sure about running the Vandersteen with a low wattage tube amp, the 2 minimum recommendation is around 40 watts...so hearing it before buying with your power amp is probably a good idea....also the corner placement might do some strange things with the rear facing acoustic coupler...you are likely to get a lot of room gain and a lot of bass.....IF you wanted to stay in the Vandersteen line you might consider the VLR and a sub which you can adjust output on.
iF you like Vandersteen also check out Theil and Dunlavy
@douglas_schroeder I am just fine with high definition although I am also very interested in a non-fatiguing speaker. That was my qualm with the Heresy was it was engaging and lively but also proved to be a bit fatiguing with my SS amp - hooked up to my tube amp they were a different animal and that was at 10 WPC.
@tomic601 I am concerned with speaker placement above all with the Vandersteen. Not sure if I would have the same issues with the Tannoy or Omen but being nowhere near a corner does seem to not vibe with the placement recommended. I do like to listen at higher volumes funk, rock, hip hop, etc.
I was also interested in what speaker may present the largest soundstage. I may be confusing this with sweet spot but given the room set up with television and speakers in one corner and sectional couch in the other, any idea what speaker set would present the best listening experience in such a small space?
you can download a copy copy of the model 2 manual which will help some on math based places to put pretty much any speaker w exception of a panel or ombi
most applies to panels as well
didclosure I am selling a pair of 2Ce Sig for brother in law ( gratis ) so discount what I might say accordingly.... as well have not heard the other speakers you are looking at
soundstage - the 6 dB per octave Low diffraction approach generally know for wide and deep soundstage with a relatively small sweet spot = the area you can sit in to get that effect fully.
pretty much any speaker rewards meticulous setup
math helps avoid or minimize some room issues
hope that helps
get out and listen to some stuff
I have the earlier version of your Luxman amp the SQ-N100 which is identical except for the iPod dock position on the selector switch. I also have updated Zu Omens ( mk1 1/2 ) they make an excellent combination. The Lux has more than enough power for the Omens in my 14’ x 27’ room (with a cathedral ceiling) and the EL84 outputs compliment the sound of the Omens perfectly. Just give the Omens a few weeks to break-in they will sound a little thin in the beginning. Oh, and the 12ohm impedance of the Omens does not present any issue for your SQ-N10 at all.
I recommend a pair of Ohm Walsh Sound Cylinders. They will produce a 3-D image from anywhere in the room and sound superior to ANY box speaker! I own a pair and speak from experience!
I just picked up a pair of Heresy III and if you like your Heresy's sound character I think they are tough to beat at that price point. I would recommend considering used speakers that were in the $3K + range when new, you may get more bang for the buck.
Appreciate the thoughts everyone. I don't mean to broaden the scope here but I keep hearing from people about the Goldenear 3s 4s or 5s. Anyone have any experience with these models?
@tomic601 I would love to get into the Vandies, they just seem to be on everyones best of lists but I am afraid they may be too physically large for the space, and I do have a cat who may mistake it for a scratching post :-/
Go with the Tannoy. Not so anal.
your three options seem very good with the amps you have. I would add to it the XTZ 99.36 which has it all (not sure where you are and if you can get them easily); balance, power, big firm bass, details etc. With the Luxman I would favor these or the Tannoy, but the XT8F which has much more bass performance instead of the smaller model, also too small for your room (The Tannoy need a lot of break-in though). Personally it would be the Tannoy, as I think they have it all really. Better tuned, super mids, precise image and big soundstage at same time due to their technology of DC drivers, liveliness, they're very musical speakers. But just listen to all if you can and really pick from your heart and soul, not from reason. Music is not a question of reason, and you're going to listen to music, not speakers!
and here is the link to the XTZ. They are bluffing and highly performing speakers, if you have access, give them a listen. There is a return policy usually at XTZ. https://www.xtzsound.eu/product/99-36-flr