Phasing the Vandersteen 2Wq

I thought I had this all figured out until I bought a pair of single ended Vandersteen Model 5 battery biased crossovers. These are the ticket in my opinion.
My question is this, in the setup instructions, the phasing should be set for highest ouput at the crossover point at 80hz. I can see where this would keep the transition phase correct. However, this does not yield near the amount of deeper bass as having the phase reversed relative to the above.
When set for highest output at 80hz, using a Stereophile test disc and a Radio Shack meter, the frequency relative to 1000hz is about 0db(great!) But, the lower registers drop off to about 4db down at 40hz. If you reverse the phase to the subs, you get a small suck out of about 2db at 80hz and the bass comes up to + or - 1.5db from 60hz down(also excellent)
Now, most people would say go with the most bass BUT with the subs in phase with the speakers, the mids sound better. Reverse the phase and the mids sound slightly leaner but you have a better bottom end.
I can compensate for this by increasing the sub gain and deep bass returns. However, it sounds a little out of phase and slower relative to the speaker.
So looking at this from a phase perspective, which would you deem correct?
By the way, I use 3A Signatures and the meter is calibrated.
Hi, I suggest talking it over with your dealer or with Richard himself.
Good luck!
Sometimes physically moving the sub a few inches one way or the other can have a dramatic impact on bass performance. That is what I'd try first. Moving it closer or farther from the satellites will also affect the phase relationships, and too, the overall bass performance.

Also, if your only choices for phase adjustment are reversed and not reversed, that may not be adequate. Many active crossovers give you a continuously variable phase adjustment, which makes it a lot easier to achieve good results. That's one thing I like about the Paradigm X-30 that I use. It's very effective and simple to dial in.

If your only choices for phase adjustment are reversed and not reversed, then there are only a few positions in your room where you could locate the sub and the phase relationship to the satellites would be correct. One position is with the subwoofer's driver in the same plane as the satellites (probably not the best position for achieving deep bass because most satellites like to be located out in the room away from bass-reinforcing boundaries). The other location may not be where you want it to be, but you could set up the sub for maximum linear bass boost and then reposition the satellites where they blend the best (probably not where they're currently located). Or, you could save yourself a lot of trial and error by using a crossover with the aforementioned variable phase control.

I went through this whole process a few months back when I moved my gear into a new room, so I know what it's like, and I feel for you. Sometimes you have to settle on the best compromise. But with a little experimenting and patience, I bet you can improve the performance.
When I set up my stereo pair of 2Wq's (with my Vandy 3A Sig's), I tried them both in-phase and reversed-phase, and the outcome was similar to what you describe. I subsequently got the Rives Audio test CD (which has test bands that are corrected to work with the Radio Shack SPL meter), and tested the subs' frequency response while making small placement adjustments (as Plato describes). After several hours of moving the subs a few inches nearer or further away from the side and rear walls, and driving the subs in-phase, I eventually got a much flatter frequency response. The Vandy subs, in my experience, take a good deal of experimenting to find the best placement, but then reward you with full, fairly flat response.

The frequency response of the Vandy 2Wq sub also depends on the "Q" setting that you choose. The maximum "Q" setting (lowest number on the dial) gives you the flattest response, while the higher settings have a pronounced "hump" in the frequency response. When adjusting your sub(s) your subs, I advise you to begin with them in-phase and the "Q" setting at its lowest number.
Yep, call Richard, and hope you get him on a good day.