Obviously, if you can get the new Vandys into your home, you'll be able to make a more informed decision. I would *not* swuich to Maggies - bad WAF, costs a lot of money, you'll lose the seamless transition you currently have with the all Vandy setup.
So, try to get the new Vandys into your home and determine if it's worth the cost to you...If you cannot, sit pat and enjoy what you have - that is a very nice system you've assembled!!
I recently added a new pair of 2CE, Sig II.
Before I purchased, I auditioned a pair in my home. At first,I was not that impressed. However, after some tweaking and placement adjustments they sounded fantastic.
My new Integrated (McIntosh) was delivered yesterday, so today I will be re-doing my system and repositioning everything. I loved the Vandys with my older set up (16 year old Carver seperates) and cannot wait to hear them with the new Amp today.
For the money, the current 2Ce, Sig II is a terrific buy.
Agree with RW 100%, integrating the Maggies with the existing set-up plus placement issues would make that route a real challenge and could very well leave you wanting in the long run. I would as RW notes try to get the lastest 2Ce's in for a listen before committing to buy if this is possible. Is is a natural thing to want to improve but nothing is more frustrating, at least to me, than making lateral moves and spending money to do so. It might prove more cost effective to look at changing other components in the chain but again, only if you can listen first. For a home theater set-up you do indeed have a nice one!
Oh,how I love upgrading speakers with in the same line. This naturally always leads you to start thinking about the other speakers and asking the question what if I upgraded those. You see the quandary here. Pathologic right?
I would not get the maggies. The need a lot of space to take advantage of the technology behind them. They always get a lower spousal approval rating. As stated already integration with exsisting speaker is problamatic. Upgrading the amp is a great idea also. So many choices, we could on for days on that subject alone. That is just my opinion because I like to explore amps.
Will the shop, let you take them home on trial? That is always an easy way to solve this dilema.
Also, have you optimized the listening space to take full of your exsisting system? Speaker placement? Cables? Floorcovering?
What ever you do don't fret. Have fun doing this.
Thanks for the responses.
I don't think it is possible to get new Vandersteen's in my house just to audition. The dealer near me doesn't have new ones in stock and said he would order them directly from Vandersteen if I purchased them.
I guess the real question is - how much better are the new Ce Sig ii circa 2013 vs. the ones I bought in 1994. I'm sure they are better, but is it $2K better?
I do play around with the speaker placement, and they do better at least 2-3 feet away from each wall, which is where I keep them (even though they look better closer to the wall :)). We have hardwood floors and a wool rug on 80% of the floor in there. I think the windows and the vaulted ceilings don't help much. I have been thinking about getting something soft to hang on the walls behind and on the sides of them.
I appreciate the comment about not fretting. It's true that to some extent this is partly about being obsessed with the final "product" of the system. It sounds really great for jazz and folk or rock where there are few instruments and non-harsh sounding instruments. I have a big collection of hard rock from the 80s and 90s that sounds terrible. I know its the recordings, but of course the system brings it right out there - flat, compressed, mushed together - lack of distiction between the elements. When I play that stuff on my iphone and listen through headphones the enjoyment comes back into it. Odd thing is -the more you spend on the system, the worse it gets :).
I was also wondering if anyone knows whether Rotel and Vandersteen are a particularly good or bad match. I have not tried to mix/match either to have a comparison.
Stick with the Vandersteen package you have. I think you would find more improvement with an amplifier upgrade. What is your dealers favorite Vandy amp? I'm sure other Vandy owners could make some good suggestions.
Chrysos , Conrad Johnson works very well with Vandersteen speakers. I used CJ amps and preamps for years with the 2CE..... sounded fantastic!
I could be wrong , but I thought the latest version of The 2Ce sig 2 have been out for about a year. You may have heard the latest version when you recently auditioned the Vandersteen sig 2. When exactly was the midrange on the 2CE changed?
I would stick with the Vandersteens and upgrade the amp. Talk to John at Audio Connection in Verona, New Jersey. I don't know where you live, but I'm sure he would talk to you and give good professional advice.
Get a record player. I'm sure you will disagree, but vinyl can be a much more rewarding listening experience, regardless of speakers or system. I have no problem with digital and have owned a 10K+ CD player, so I'm fully aware of what digital can do. Nevertheless, IMO, analog is just more musically satisfying. So that's it.
Call your dealer and ask him to loan you the already run in demos.....
When you try them make sure you remove the old speakers out of the room so they perform at their best. Make sure you adjust tilt back
This will allow you to feel more comfortable in making a decision..
Thanks for the great suggestions everyone. Maybe I will borrow a record player and see how that sounds :). But the convenience of controlling all of your media through an iphone is really great. Oh, and I have no records :)
I found some older threads on Audiogon where people advocate for Audio Research, Ayre, Theta, CJ, McCormack amplifiers. I will probably borrow some of these and test them out from various dealers around here. Seems like the amp may be a bigger improvement than the speakers, but some of those amps are very expensive. And the ARC mono-amps are too huge for my family room.
If you don't have records now, I wouldn't suggest starting now. Your system isn't bad, if you just have to upgrade, I think your on the right path by considering amplification.
I flipped between Vandys and Maggies, etc. for years. In the end I realized that I was seeking "the One," a single speaker to satisfy all my desires to hear music; there's just one problem - it doesn't exist!
I stopped the foolishness and bought both a dynamic and panel speaker, and found joy at last. Perhaps you are similar, and should give very serious consideration to owning both types of speakers. IF you have the room, the addition of the panel speaker would bring FAR more enjoyment overall than any other component change. The current Vandy's are quite capable and can be nearly infinitely "upgraded" sonically with attending equipment over the years.
I assure you that if you choose to buy a different box component you will end up at the same point in time. Contrarily, if you widen your horizons and are able to accommodate two radically different technologies in your home (dynamic and panel speakers) your enjoyment will be virtually unending; the moment you are bored you can switch and fall in love with the newness and experience all over again. It sure beats flipping speakers forever! :)
It appears that we have extremely similar systems: similar age, similar layout (I have one open wall connecting to kitchen nook and kitchen), and similar usage (I also stream wired & with AirPlay). I have been contemplating upgrading my front speakers due to their age and a little to much love from one of our pets. I was very pleased when I saw this thread and with the advice given. In reading the thread, it looks like I should at some point consider upgrading my center to the VCC5; however, my current progression is most likely to upgrade LFE to V2W, add a 2wq, replace 2Ce's with 2Ce Sig II or Treo.
The one tidbit that I can add as far as amplifiers goes is that when I was using a VCC-1 as a center channel, and I was switching components around for cleaning, I switched out an Outlaw Audio M200 amp for one of the channels in a Bryston 3B-ST. I was completely surprised how much more open and clear the VCC-1 was. Within a month or two I purchased a Bryston PP250 for the center channel and sold the M200.
I am interested if you were able to explore any of the suggested amplifiers (Ayre, ARC, CJ, Quicksilver, Rogue, etc) and if you found any significantly more satisfying than your Rotel.
I am even more interested if you ultimately upgraded your 2Ce's, stuck with Vandersteen's, and your experience with the new speakers.
Pre-Amp: Marantz AV7701
Amps: Bryston 4B-ST, 5B-ST, PP250
Front Speakers: Vandersteen 2Ce, purchased new in 1993 (one year earlier than yours)
Center Channel: Vandersteen VCC-2
Rear Speakers: Vandersteen VSM-1
Rear Center Speaker: Vandersteen VCC-1
Subwoofer: Outlaw Audio LFM-1 and considering upgrading to Vandersteen V2W
TV: Samsung LCD 60 inch
Universal Player: OPPO BDP-93 connected via HDMI
Streaming: Stored FLAC from Windows PC running MinimServer to Marantz
Thanks for starting this thread and the replies you and others have made.