I recently had a go with Vandy 2CE Sig IIs. Despite many attempts with various setup configurations, I just didn’t find them nearly as impressive as expected. It might be that 100watt/ch amps don’t provide enough juice, idk, but I couldn’t get them to sound nearly as good as what I remembered of the 1Cis. I found the midrange was recessed and only average imaging. Keep in mind this was in a dedicated listening room with plenty of space for speaker positioning and acoustic treatments.
Where I think you’ll find difficulty in replacing the 2CEs is the bass. Few speakers in this price range play as deep, and if they do, it lacks definition. I use good stereo subs in my system which made this a non-issue.
One speaker that immediately comes to mind is the Stirling Broadcast LS3/6. It won’t play as deep as the 2CEs, but in my room, they definitely have the upper hand in imaging and resolution, by a large margin. They’re easy to dismiss by their looks but that’d be a mistake. They are every bit deserving of their price tag, and even a bargain compared to many I’ve auditioned. The midrange is as good or better than any speaker I’ve heard, at any price point. Music Direct currently has an open-box pair for $4600. I’ve seen brand new pairs listed for an even $5K, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d accept $4K or just a little over. They do require stands, and the best option (Sound Anchors) command about $600.
Another speaker I really enjoyed is the Spatial Audio M4 Triode Master. This speaker imaged well in terms of width and depth but lacked the pinpoint imaging you can get from a good mini-monitor (think LS50 or LS3/5a). Of course everything in speaker design involves trade-offs, so what the Spatials lacked in imaging precision, they made up for in soundstage scale. They can play really loud before compressing and produce realistic scale better than probably any other speaker at that price point. Resolution was also quite a bit better than the 2CEs, with a tweeter/midrange driver that sounds more like beryllium than it does titanium.
Being as I value imaging precision over absolute scale, I decided not to keep them.
If you you’re not one of those who really struggle to integrate subs in your system, you might consider a small 2-way monitor that gets high-passed through high-quality subs. To my ears, this is the best approach for achieving full-range sound along with great, transparent imaging and not draining one’s IRA.
Many smallish 2-way monitors compete well with the megabuck speakers in the midrange and above, partially because they don’t have large cabinet surfaces to tame. I find more and more that I agree with the ol’ assertion that "large speakers have large problems" (can’t recall which speaker designer said it first).
You can pick up the Vandersteen 3A used for very little money and it would be a big step up.
(((((replacement speakers for my Older Vandersteen 2ce speakers. )))Before you jump ship.
It sounds like you could have an improper tilt back
in your set up to be complaining of that area amongst other things. Glad to see you are enjoying your new table
Shoot me a call at Audio Connection NJ 973*239*1799 and Ill dial you in. Best, JohnnyR
Though I know it may not be something you want to hear...
My thoughts would go to changing first the speaker cable to AQ. A set of GO-4 isn't too expensive. I use them for my Treo's and find them a good match. Johnny probably knows your current cables and can give you good advice.
Second, I would change the Krell to an Ayre or Belles. They just seem to work better with Vandy's.
You have a nice system, but sometimes it takes a bit of tinkering to get 'synergy'. I think you chose a very good speaker, too.
Get Johnny's take on this. He is one of the best out there and won't try to sell you anything. Trust me.
I was thinking that initially and even demoed Shunyata Deltas but yes I will reach out to Johnny
thanks so much!!
Love my Tekton double impact monitors, solid, detailed and lots of bottom end thump
How old are your 2 CE's? The newest versions are light years better sounding than the older models. But as John Rutan suggests, setup is critical, especially tilt back. I have the Treo CT's, and have never looked back.
@mr_m The CE’s were purchased in 92-93 new from Ocean State Audio boxed for quite a few years and recently brought out. Did not like the old parasound HCA 1200 amp that powered them but my Krell has improved them significantly. Room is 16” wide x 14” deep snd have them 3 feet from back wall toed in slightly and tilted back a few degrees.
I owned the 2ce Sig II for a couple years. I had my own issues with them, but soundstage and imaging was not one of them. They do this remarkably well IMO.
I agree it could be a setup issue and recommend you call John Rutan per above.
Also, sorry for the obvious suggestion, make sure you dont have the polarity reversed on your speaker cables.
"Room is 16” wide x 14” deep snd have them 3 feet from back wall toed in slightly and tilted back a few degrees."
In my experience with the 2Ci model, the set up without any toe-in yielded much better results in terms of soundstage and imaging. Also, the use of sound anchor stands and how they're coupled/isolated to/from the floor, depending on the type of floor, made a big difference.
They also scale with the quality of the electronics feeding them.
@kalali okay I will square them off. Yes Sound Anchors with lead shot. Wood floors.
No toe-in, no rack between the speakers, proper tilt-back per RV, listening seat at least 9' from plane of speakers, acoustic treatment, acoustic treatment, acoustic treatment. Also try getting speakers closer to front wall, the rear-facing acoustic coupler works wonders that way. Bi-wire almost mandatory. They sound significantly better from mids up with bi-wire setup.
I own a pair of Vandersteen 5As and I had some issues with them. I use a 100wpc stereo amp as I felt that I only technically needed to power the top half of the speaker since they already have powered sub-woofers in each speaker. I was playing around this weekend and I hooked up a more powerful amp at 220wpc both of which I made so the only difference was the power technically. As good as the smaller amp was, and it is outstanding, the larger amp was even better especially in more openness and easy of the music flow. So before you make the change, speak with JohnnyR and see if yo can try another amp on them.
@bigkidz Since I started driving them with the Krell 200 watts per channel they sound much better. Yes I will speak to JohnnyR and see what he thinks. Maybe some new shorter cables will help. My old 15ft TaraLabs RSC Primes are probably hindering. I only need 6-8ft now.
I’ve had 2ce’s for many years.
What I have found is they are extremely capable when driven with the right equipment.
Run a good tube preamp - VTL 5.5
Run a good amp - a bit of power - Aragon 4004 mk2
Use reference quality speaker cables & Interconnects - Cardas NR biwire speaker & GP interconnects
Use a good source - VPI / Soundsmith Zephyr cart or CAL Alpha tube DAC
Use some good tubes in your preamp & DAC.
Use a good recording
I had older non reference level cables for a long while, but when changing to reference level cables, the speakers open up.
They are time & phase coherent.
I’ve had Magneplaners prior.
I’ve seen reviews that say essentially these do nothing great but everything right.
When you use the right equipment, I believe they do everything great. They do for me.
Feed them right & I know you will be quite shocked at exactly how amazing these 2ce’s can sound
I like the suggestion of Vandersteen 3 or 3A or 3A Signatures, depending on what you can find. You should get similar but better sound from them.
(I own and use a pair of Vandersteen 4A in one of my systems)
The latest 3A Sig's have the newest 4 inch reflection free midrange, the same one used in the Treo CT's. I believe this new mid offers the greatest resolution the 3A ever had. IMO.
I found my 2ce’s definitely improved in every way with improvements in the front end, especially the power amp. Moved to a big Bel Canto class D and it made a big difference. Really brought them to life!