What an amazing thread guys. Thanks to all who are posting such cool stuff. I love to learn and am open minded (regardless of how I may come off when posting).
I have always loved CF and it's usage. When Richard saw some walking sticks I own (I use a rollator for most of my walking), he noticed the same CF he uses for his drivers. It's a very expensive and highly specialized CF that isn't as easy to use as most of the CF on the market.
Materials matter as much as implementation. Caps and inductors are next in line from what many designers have shared over the years. Cool thread guys. Thanks.
Didn't know you guys were islanders. I'm up in CT. Would love to meet up when things clear up, lol. I've never really been to Long Island other than Fischers island via boats and JFK, lol.
I usually dislike the NYC dealers as everyone has been kind of a dick to me.
My buddy Johnny Rutan (Audio Connection) sells the Belles. I love the line. The new Aries Integrated is one of the great buys in all of audio. David knows what he's doing. I can easily see an amp like that on a Theil. That would be a good match I assume.
Hi Jafant. it's great to be posting a bit again. Jim was a neat guy. I was blessed to meet him a few times. The local dealer was the biggest Theil fan. he still owns a pair of the big ones. I think he finally got rid of the new ones though. They were a bit too hot for my ears in the 90's, but I realized later that was because they ran them with the wrong electronics. I have heard them with the larger Mark Levinson mono's in the past and really enjoyed that. They also looked nice. Heck, I also liked the JSE sloped speakers back in the 90's too, Hmmm. I own Vandy Quatro's that are nothing like a 'box' speaker cabinet either...trend???? ha
I'm up in Berlin. Half way between Hartford and New Haven. Live on a pretty lake. As for meeting him, I can't remember, but it was eon's ago. I know it was twice as those were the only times he was up here from what I had been told. Heck, I know I met Paul Klipsch as well as David Hafler and a few other top designers back in the very early 70's. The store in Newington was a very well known one back in the day. It's how I learned about audio. Dad, who didn't make a lot, took me there nad we came home with a modest system of a Pioneer receiver, house made 3 way speakers (that were very good and how stores sold back in the day) and a Garrard TT. I bought my own system in '73 with Bar Mitzvah money. Yamaha YP 211 TT with the top Grado cartridge (Grado was in the store when I made my upgrade from the Garrard that came with it and told them to throw in the cartridge. As most know, those all cost them about the same to make and they had a major uncharge.). I too had the same speakers as Dad had. I rocked out with my drums in the basement while mom complained, lol.
Joe, the owner was a named big band director and most of the audio elite would come visit him and he would always let me know who and when. That's why I got to go in the basement and listen to the whole Klipsch line with the Phase Linear and Crown gear with top TT's, but I don't even remember which ones, lol. I got a few of my HS buddy's to purchase systems through Joe's place, even though we had the shlock shops too. Most got the baby Klipsch's (forget the name but they are in the classic line) with their larger Yamaha receivers. Sorry to for the history, lol. I've loved this hobby and the people in it for most of my life.
I think it's why I get jaded at times and why I am always open to auditions to keep learning. I know it's hard to believe, but I didn't love Vandersteen's until about 10 years ago when I went to the closest dealer in NJ to buy a new set of Pro Ac's D series and walk out of their knowing I was going to purchase a pair of Treo's once I saved enough. I didn't even want to audition them, which was unlike me, but I was there with family as my cousin was getting married and he lives in Verona.
Theil and Vandersteen's are so much alike, but sound so different. I think it's the time alignment etc.. that my ears really appreciate hearing. Both designers to me, are as important to audio as anyone else.
Add Brinkman to that list and you have zero feedback designs that work BEST with TRUE time and phase correct speakers like Thiel and Vandersteen. Many speakers will claim they are like Wilson, but only the adjustable Wilson's are time correct, but are in no way phase correct as they claim.
I can promise you that to MY ears there are differences for sure. The deal with all digital is that it's so room/house dependent. That's mostly for power cords and conditioners and grounding. Ethernet and USB do make a noticeable difference to me though.
Dave is a great guy and really knows his stuff. He's fascinating to talk to.
One area in phase that you is always left out is the phase of the midrange cone during playback. If you look at the Wilson midrange it's out of phase as it's not a true pistonic driver. That's not marketing hype by Vandersteen.
I have no idea, but I wonder if the pre 2000 cones were phase correct for any speaker? There are break up's when they aren't pistonic and it throws things out of phase.
On the flip side of phase, not everyone is effected by it. Some folks don't even notice it, but they may notice soundstage depth and pinching in the rear. Those who don't notice phase anomalies may be more aware of stage size etc... We all hear differently.
I'm the first to say that I couldn't listen to Wilson speakers until recently. They have done a great job of making a dynamic speaker, that is non fatiguing, but to MY ears lack the micro and macro details that I am aware of as my Vandersteen's don't smear. It effects the leading and trailing edges per say.
All speakers have to have compromises. It's who's compromises you like best or who's marketing you buy into. Makes it fun.
Same Jafant! Hope all is well in your world.
Happy New Years to my Thiel friends. Hope you ae all enjoying your music...
Jafant and others. I have the new Vandersteen mono blocks in the house. I had two dedicated, individually grounded 20amp circuits installed behind the system. The audio will all be on the same circuit. I'll have the TV, Router (off an LPS) running off the other one.
Waiting on the motorized quad volume control to arrive as it will be installed into my The Memory Player. Mines the prototype before they order the new two milled box units. I'll have the server, streamer, DAC and volume out of one box and all with separate LPS's etc... Stealthcaps, Vishay naked and other top components. Hopefully it will arrive this week. Can't wait.
Observation in this long standing thread... Theil and Vandersteen owners are similar. They are here for the love of music, more than the love of gear (which we also love). It's about companies who buck the trend and make what they feel is gear that's closer to 'the truth'. It's not even about competition with others, but about doing what they feel is right and not just about profits.
We are all similar and it's why I always enjoy posts from owners of Theil. Back to regular programing, but had to post as it just hit me.
Happy Weekend Jfant! I have to share something that I've wanted to share for a while now. Every time I listen to my Vandersteen Quatro's, I'm reminded of the CS 2's from the early 80's. I find it so interesting that Richard Vandersteen and Jim Thiel both produced a bass EQ (first of Jim's designs) as well as phase and time correct speakers. They each had a different sounding high end, but both are the most coherent speakers going (the original Thiel's). If Jim was still alive as Richard is, he too would have come up with his version of the 'pistonic' moving drivers just like RV.
To me, these are the two greatest speaker designers as it's impossibly to say that a time and phase coherent speaker isn't the most correct way to reproduce the sounds that we call music. That's basic physics. Even AJ Conte (of Basis Audio, RIP) loved these two brands for how they achieve their great sound.
Just wanted to share some random thoughts. thanks folks.
I'm really enjoying this long thread guys. Thanks for letting it meander a bit.
I just read about 'why' Vandersteen subs. Being a Vandersteen owner (I still love other speakers too and have owned more than a few, but rarely change my main speakers (average over 15 yrs of owning my main speakers since 1969 before moving on).
Vandy subs are special in the way they mate with the main amps. You don't ever lose the 'voice' of your main amps. If you are using an NAD integrated amp, your sub will morph into the NAD sound. If you are using the largest 70k amp, it will do the same thing. You don't lose that house sound that you paid so much money for. I never understood buying a sub and the amp doesn't match the main system. It may seem small, but as you move up in a system you certainly hear the difference.
The room correction is done in the analog domain too. I have yet to hear anything done in the digital domain that you don't hear. I've heard some exotic gear that uses DSP etc.. and It's never sounded as good to my ear than analog. I do miss the ease of using the digital for correction, but I still can hear it. Just my two cents and the Sub 3 is an affordable sub by most accounts. Their Sub 9 is the best sub I've ever heard and I've heard it in a couple of systems that weren't Vandersteen speakers.
IRT cables back in the day, I too owned the original Monster cables, but only AFTER I was using the Polk speaker cables. They were my first. I owned Polk 10's which were an amazing speaker back in the day and their speaker cable made a positive difference (Moscode and Roberson amps with a Conrad Johnson preamp and Rotel turntable with a top Grade cartridge as well as the top AT cart).
Bruce Brisson (started MIT) was the brains behind the original Monster stuff. It was as good as anything on the market in the beginning for many reasons (little competition). Noel Lee who owned it was like Mark Levinson. Both men are sales men. They knew what branding meant, before folks in audio even thought about branding per say (my ex is/was?? Mark's lawyer so I do have a spec of insight). Colangilo was the engineer behind Levinson as most know. I any case, when Bruce had his issues with Noel, he left to start MIT. That's when I met Bruce and started using his top cables at teh time (the MH 770 wire used for the Spectral gear, not the 750 wire used on the majority of his top cables. I also used the top 350 shotgun interconnects. He tuned the cables for my Quicksilver tube gear and it sounded better than the Kimber I was using. When he and Karen Sumner has their split and she started Transparent, I used both of them, but the MIT sounded better in my system. I think part of that was because my Quick preamp and monos were rewired with MIT's wire. When we (dealer and Bruce) did the rewire (brand new units) it made a HUGE difference. I never expected that type of difference. Then they tube rolled and upgraded the sockets to ceramic and then upgraded the caps to the Supercaps or whatever the top ones at the time was and it kept getting better adn better.
I know this is too long and im' sorry, but the point is that wire/cable changes teh sound, but not always for the best. It's why we see so much cable on the used market. I now only use AQ cables. I have had much of the uber expensive ones in and out of the system and the AQ cables constantly perform more neutral in my system than the others. If I wanted to tune my system, I'd just purchase different components. I want what I paid for. Again, just my opinion and it takes nothing away from others. (using AQ Niagara 3000 with Dragon power cord into the AQ Edison outlet on dedicated, separate earth ground, Hurricane power cords for everything else, including the subs on the Vandersteen Quatro's, balance Fire interconnect from analog out of The Memory Player server/streamer/dac (bespoke) to Vandersteen MH5-HPA amps, William Tell Silver true bi wire with the Zero and Bass cables).
I've been learning a bit on the Vandersteen forums (we have some Thiel lovers there too :) ) on peoples preferences for true time domain and phase correct speakers and how you need proper cables that are capable of delivering all that you paid for from your designer. Hope all are well. Pete
Good to see you as always. Thank You for addressing Vandy subwoofer(s) and their application in audio systems. I enjoyed reading about M.I.T. and Transparent cabling as well. I hope you are ready for Spring.
First off, grills and designers are a funny thing. Most want you to take them off and others say don't. I was always told by my dealer who sold and owns the last of Jim's designs (the larger ones), to never take the grills off and he designed and voiced them with grills.
Vandersteen's also use grills that shouldn't be removed. I've never once taken the grills off my TReo's (sold) or Quatro's. They have special heavy felt that are there for the upper drivers. It makes a large difference as a dealer proved when I was auditioning them.
As for the MIT vs Transparent deal, feel free to DM me and I'll share my phone. I knew the owners and designers of both back when the split happened. It was so ugly. My dealer was the only one left who sold both lines. After he sold and got out around 2001 or so, they forced folks to make a decision one way or the other. Transparent has done a much much better job of moving forward than MIT has IMHO. That said, I'll take the AQ's that Garth Powell has designed over any of the exotics etc...