Shahinian Obelisk vs VandersteenTreo


HI fellow ’goners.
I own the Shahinians, thinking of upgrading to the Treos. The Obelisks sound a little smallish for the room... And the room is not square, it's a big living area of a house, with access to the second floor's roof. 
Will this be an upgrade or just a sideward move?
Room approx 60m2, driven by Musical Fidelity A5.5, 250wpc at 8Ohm (thinking of replacing this one too).
Mostly jazz and acoustic music, less frequently - classical and pop.
Thanks!

ja_zz
I remember the Shahinian's from long ago. It is a nice speaker.
The Vandersteen is a whole different animal. In my opinion, Vandersteen's will smoke them.
I own the Treo's with a pair of 2w subs and use an Atma-Sphere MA-1 and MP-3 with an Ayre Codex and couldn't be happier.
Your Musical Fidelity amp should have enough power, but I am unfamiliar with their sound. All I can say is when I switched out from a McCormack DNA-1 and preamp to the Atma's, everything came alive. ( I had Steve McCormack upgrade the DNA-1 to monoblocks, so I will have a shoot out soon, and, yes, he knows what he's up against.)
Bob
Gdnrbob,
Thanks for your response. I used to have Vandy 3A Sig, and they were nice speakers. However, when I moved to another home, their sound was less than satisfactory. I bought open- baffle speakers and they sounded fine, but I am in a totally new home now, and the OB speakers sound like cr*p. Shahinians sound much better, but I exoect some better performance from the Vandees, as the Obelisks, like I said, are smallish for the cubature of the current home...
Or maybe Quatros?) Have a pair offered at $5200 mint ))

Yes, Quatro's would be the way to go, in my opinion.
The upgrades between the 3a sigs and Treo/Quatro line is significant.
If you are looking at the ones for sale here on Agon, I am looking at them, too.
I really like the Shahinian's, but their design is mostly based on the Bose 'direct/reflection' theory. You get lots of nice diffuse sound, very relaxing, but lacking in structure and definition. A properly set up Vandy will give you a more precise soundstage. IMHO.
B
Gdnrbob,
Thanks, but... The Q now is: Treo at $4K or Quatro at $5200? ;-)
But, I guess, this is now up to me. 
I would contact Johnny Rutan and get his opinion (audioconnection).
Also, contact the sellers directly. You can get a better idea of what is being offered.
Bob
Sure, Bob, but calling a dealer in the US won’t help me much here in Russia :-)
The items are not on Audiogon. But I have spoken to the sellers, of course. Thinking...
Looks like Quatro is the way to go, since its bass performance can be tweaked. 

I Didn't know about your being in Russia. That makes things a bit more complicated. I never would have guessed it, as your English is impeccable.
You can certainly PM Johnny R and get great advice for free. He is one of the premier Vandersteen dealers in the US, and for good reason.
I would agree, getting a pair of Quatro's would be the best way to go, for the long run. You have a fairly large room. The Quatro's would be a good fit.
And, Johnny can help you with assessing your current amp and preamp, which, should you get the Quatro's, would probably be worthy of another upgrade in the future.
Bob
Q all the way
11 bands of analog bass EQ
powered sub
your amp works hardly at all
opens up a wide range of tube or SS amps including OTL designs

you could also call Richard....

Gentlemen,
Thanks for the advice.  
Bob, what is Johnny's nickname here on a-gon? Will PM him on the amp choice q.
tomic601,
I am aware that this amp is probably a weak link in my system. A good friend of mine who used to have the Quatro, gave 5 stars to Meridian G57.
Another amp I use is the Sringray II  from Manley. Actually, I am listening to it with Shahinians as I write. Great little amp, but hardly a match for the Quatros.
On the side note...
Why do you guys think Musical Fidelity is the wrong match for the Quatros? I realize this is a more or less "budget" amp, however its tech specs show ample power and current, it works well with low impedance speakers, and most reviewers praise its sound signature.
I used to have the Vandees 3A Sig powered by an MC402 Mac, and I am not sure this was a "match made in heaven". The sound was dark and laid back, lacking agility and punch. But, I guess, this was typical Mac sound. 
Since MF has a different sound, why should it not match the Vandees?

Jazz
Choices
The Quatros
When used with an Integrated it needs to have the Preamp out
as well as the main amp input for the Hi-pass advantage.
This nicely relieves the main amp of heavy lifting with the lower frequencies.
The Quatro’s self-contained bass amps with adjustable in room
Bass Tweak takes performance dramatically to another level.
Of course, if you have a preamp and power amp this works as well.
Some Years back we hooked up a pair of Quatros to an MF Trivistor integrated that had pre-out Main in with success.
The well-written manual explains the setup procedure and downloading a
Vandertones CD on the website makes for an easy setup.
The single most overlooked task is improper High pass adjustment.
This is easily solved by setting the dip switches in the high pass to manuals
published input impedance but positively confirm it correct with a Voltmeter set to AC volts playing Vandertones Trk 27 adjust the volume of the preamp to 1 Volt AC with probes at amp or speakers + - then play Trk30.
Adjust hi pass dip switches until this reading is .707 or as close as possible, 5 percent it’s now set correctly.
After each dip adjustment, you must start again at track 27 confirming 1 V AC then trk 30 is perfect.
If purchasing a used pair of Quatros make sure you adjust all 11 pots on each speaker so they are set straight up and down 12 o’clock 6 o’clock position.
These speakers are not for the neurotic audiophile, easily overwhelmed or feebly minded scared to bust a move.
Folks that get it are the same that know achieving something this special is worth the extra effort to do it right and the rewards of music speak for itself.
Best,
JohnnyR
JohnnyR,
Thank you for your response. 
What can you say about Treo?
A lot easier logistically for me, and costs less - $4K, almost unused.
Thank you. 
Also, can the filters be fitted between a source and an integrated amp? 
That is on top of the fact, that the filter on sale is for XLR ICs... 

jazz
i was not poking at your amp
the powered sub and hi pass filter take the load off any amp you choose to use

MF makes fine sounding products, his all class A 100 watt battleship is still one of the best amps i have ever heard period.

i had a MC202 driving 3a Sig for a decade
getting the autoformers out of the way is important but i upgraded to 5a first then an Ayre amp replaced the Mac.

CTsooner and gdnrbob could coment extensively about Treo

again if it were me - Quatro all day long

tomic601,
Thanks for your comments, no offence taken anyway. 
If it is an integrated, I am not sure I will be able to fit those filters...

Your integrated amp has pre out's (according to a quick Google), so you are good to go. You can buy fixed crossovers for approx. $200 in RCA.
You can also buy them directly from Vandersteen.
Bob,
It indeed does, as well as the ht/aux switchable input. However, I am not sure that controls will be working, fully enabling usage of the amp as a pre/pwr pair.
Will test and report.
((((Your integrated amp has pre out's (according to a quick Google), so you are good to go .))))

 Not so fast
 Bob, you have separates think about it preamp/main amp
 Jazz needs to be able to put the Hi Passes in between the preamp and power amp he may not have a main in.
 If Jazz is emotionally attached to his MF he can always get a normal pair of Treos. Or plan B he can also use his MF as a pre-out and try a separate amp something like a basic 275 NAD amp and do the High Pass bi-amp with Quatros and acquiring an RCA version pair of Hi Pass units selling off the XLRs that come with the Quattro deal.
 Hope that clarifies
 Best,
 JohnnyR
JohnnyR,
Thanks for your comments. 
No, I don't have any specific emotional attachment to the musical fidelity. Trouble is, I just bought it. So, I would like to at least use it for a while. However, I'm willing to upgrade the power section with a separate Power Amp. What brands and models would you recommend? I don't believe in NAD being high-end equipment. Musical Fidelity is also a dark horse for me. I was looking at Meridian but the amp I was looking at was sold too quickly for me to get a grip on it.

Also, you didn't say anything about the Treo. How inferior to the Quatro are they? In which department would the difference be most?

((( I don’t believe in NAD being high-end equipment. Musical Fidelity is also a dark horse for me. I was looking at Meridian but the amp I was looking at was sold too quickly for me to get a grip on it.)))

Majoring on the minors lesson learned
Jazz
When I started working at Tech Hi-Fi I walked into the showroom much like all the folks believe here.
A young lady the sales manager Mary Ellen said what are you staring at
I replied all those electronics they must all have there own sound and personality.
She gave me a quick response and said the real differences we hear in sound is the Loudspeaker and it is mostly responsible for the sound we hear.
That statement is still to this day an important lesson learned
Most preamps and amps today have little coloration and we can all debate our faves ying yang neutral etc.
Most sources today are honest low coloration and semi-affordable.
As we go up the food chain better electronics seem to just get out of the way of the music nicely.
If the loudspeaker makes the single biggest contribution, add in a decent
normal living room with natural diffusion, bookcases chairs, plants area rugs, nik naks etc and electronics that get out of the way of the music and our goals are kind of met.

The Quatros hi passed and bi-amped tuned to your room with proper set up are such a speaker that even with a cheezbox dennon 80-watt receiver with preamp out main in let alone in your opinion lowly NAD
would still impress cause it s the Speaker that matters.
We recently did a pair of Quatro CTs with an Arcam receivers pre-out to a Nad power amp until he can afford the Ayre gear.
It still had us all pinned in our chairs not wanting to leave and
that’s what it’s all about.
JohnnyR
JohnnyR,
Many an audiophile will not concur with your statement on little importance of electronics (or, say,  WIRES - the marketing myth that never fails to amuse me).
I, however, will.

And in no way did I want to call NAD lowly )))
I just think that engineering-wise and component-wise one could expect more from a less "budget" brand. This translates into reliability, which is important for us cost-minding guys, who don’t like to buy new. Also, matching all those parameters (sensitivity, impedance, current, blablabla) sometimes really matters...
But. I do hear you about Quatros. If that pair (or another one) is still on sale in a month, when I am back from my US vacation, I will get them. 
@audioconnection 
Yes, I forgot that you need an amp in connection.
@ja_zz 
You did refer to NAD as:
 I don't believe in NAD being high-end equipment
Bob
I would try to avoid the Quatros woods with lower midrange suckout. It is disctracting. I believe it is the first version. There is a later, non-CT iteration that did not have that problem. The quatros mostly solve the bass issue of the treos.
Bob,
True, bit "lowly"?? A much stringere Word IMO.

Ohlala,
Thanks, nitty how do you distinguish them?
Sorry, Italian keyboard kicking in on my smartphone... stringere=stronger
Nitty=but
Outside of hearing them I don't know.

again....use the phone and call Richard...hardworking dude picks up the phone....
he actually uses science and measures his speakers so IF there is a “ lower midrange suckuot” he would know and could probably tell you IF he made chages  to rectify that. he is all about continual improvement to the product. you might also look at the “ ask Richard” section of the website

       "the quattro's mostly solve the bass issues of the treo's"                    So will a pair of 2Wq subs. Actually, the Treo's don't really have bass issues. They just don't go quite as low as the Quattro's. Proper placement will enhance any speakers lower frequencies. As well as room treatment. I have listened to a pair of Treo CT's with 2Wq subs, and a pair of Quattro Ct's.  I preferred the Treo CT/2Wq subs to the stand alone Quattro CT's. So did the salesperson. In regards to my listening, just my opinion. Dynamics really stood out with Treo combo. 8 eight inch woofers for Treo combo versus 4 eight inch woofers for Quattro's.
Cheers,
Tim
+1 for mr_m.
OP, I thought you said you were in Russia? Where does the Italian keyboard come in?
B
probably a plot to make  it look like the Italians did it.....
Bob, Tomic,
It’s definitely a plot: you have surely seen that picture on the internet where a lady is writing to customer support asking whether her password is safe from Russian hackers. Customer Support’s answer: Da.
That must have been me ,😂
Yes, indeed, I am a Russian. A Russian, also speaks English, French, and Italian. Hence the Italian keyboard.😁
Finally received my newly bought second-hand musical fidelity A5.5 and hooked it up to the shahinians instead of my beloved, but child-unfriendly Manley Stingray.. So far the only good thing about it is that it doesn’t have any attractive switches or protruding glowing valves...
I guess, I must be doing something wrong. I did, however, phase the plugs and add a good DAC to feed it.
Underwhelmed...
Underwhelmed, how?

I was expecting that "neutral, sweet, tubey" sound that everybody raves about. Fidelity to music. Something like that.

What I got was... like I covered the speakers with a blanket. Powerful, loud, yes, but ... mushy. No air , no clarity, no dimension. The music was in the speakers, it did not come alive.
Calypso Minor from Abdullah Ibragim’s Sotho Blue, or, better, Someday Soon Sweet Samba from Capetown Revisited - all... boring.
Maybe it will get better with time.
Sorry, I did not clarify. Treos are good speakers. No problem with their extension; I find the LF is just not articulate. The quatros are better. I have heard the sub combo. It is not for me, so no argument there. The later quatros solve the midrange dip problem. Don’t have to believe me, stereophile measured it, although I think the reviewer underplayed the degree. I have a pair of B&Ws with very similar problem.
@ja_zz 
I think some of your disappointment might be with the Shahinian's. 
Another might be the preamp section of the integrated amp.
Though without being there, it is hard to give a good reason.
Unless, you want to fly me to Russia...;)
Bob
Bob,
I'll think about it;)
Meanwhile, I am coming over to the US like... tomorrow :))
Da
your password is secure !!!
hope you have a fantastic vacation here
i did a bit of an AM email exchange with RV
the measured response was a room floor bounce / wall coupling issue that JA did measure but that you do not see in the anechoic chamber plots, completely fixining it for real rooms = box like sound that Vandersteen not known for.
the Quattro is designed for closer placement to back wall for ( my words) WAF
you might chat with RV about changes thru the production run prior to the CT
i did not ask about that
i am a fan with 7 MK2 in my home and his amps on the way so I am bissed
2nd home will get Quattro CT
some day

Tomic601,
Thanks, enjoying VA right now. Next stop Boston, then on to Niagara and on to Chicago :-)
You were saying "his amps". What exactly did you mean?
@ja_zz 
Vandersteen has made his own amps for the 7's.
@tomic601 
You are one lucky guy!
I must have that &@$€£¥* ! Italian keyboard also

i just wanted to explain my bias

and yes lucky bastard

Jazz - must be some Quattro stocking Vandy dealers somewhere on your whirlwind USA vacation pathway....
Post removed 
Gentlemen,
Thanx for your support. 
Once I am back home, I have a friend who owns a pair of Quatros AND an amp another friend (an ex- owner of this combo) recommended for them - a Meridian G57. Will audition them both. 

Jazz
 Please make sure if you switch amps in the system that you use Vandertones and nail the X 5s hi pass set up proper dip switches to confirmed its exact input impedance with a voltmeter as instructed in the Vandy owners manual.
 It is essential to not just take for granted the amps input impedance spec as it's a good place to start most likely off and it could push the x over to 80 Hz which doesn't allow the Lightning fast Quatro driver to be at its best.
  Best JohnnyR
 
JohnnyR,
Thanks.  Wil work on that. 
Well, after a while I finally decided to go for those Quatros and did so.
Got them a week ago and only now got home to update the battery and tune the HP filters and get a dedicated listen.
Unfortunately I discovered that midwoofer on one of the speakers produces distorted sound (especially audible on piano). I did all the fiddling with changing the wires, amps, sources, powering the speaker off, etc, but the middle speaker (right below the tweeter) sounds distorted no matter what I do. The other speaker sounds better.
The seller tells me that all was good with the speakers when he was listening to them last. Also, a week passed since I received them...
So. Has anyone had experience of this sort? What can be wrong with them?

Nuts!
Sorry to hear about your troubles. 
How were they shipped? In their boxes? 
I would call either Johnny R(or PM him), or Mr. V.- he calls back the next day. I believe the Quatro is designed so that you can remove and replace the affected driver with not too much problem- should it come to that.
Bob
One thing to be aware of, Vandersteen matches their drivers within the speaker pair.  One thing to check.  Is that driver tightly screwed into the front baffle?