Vandersteen 2ce questions

I have been upgrading my system over the past few months. My newest upgrade is some older Vandy 2Ce speakers(not sigs) replacing my little Jamo E855s. My system is now NAD c370, Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista DAC, and Yamaha dvds-1800 as a transport.I know its nothing special compared to people's systems on Audiogon, but I'm a single parent and my budget is low enough to be almost non-existant. I am wondering if I'm doing something wrong with the Vandys. The lierature that came with them says they go to true 30hz, but they dont have the bass slam that my little jamos do. I've moved them all over the romm(about15x23). Wood floors with nothing on the sides and about 24 inches behind them.I wanna love these as they cost me more than everything else put together. I'm really pleased with the mids and highs, and get ALOT more detail from these than the jamos. I just want more bass and cant really use a sub because I'm in a townhome. Any advice for this newbie?
Have you tried moving them close to the corners in your room? That should help in the bass department. Also, your listening position may be at a null point due to interaction with your room. Try different listening positions, either closer or farther from your speakers.

Best of luck,
Thanks, Dan.
Corner doesnt really work because the side of the room they are on has a stairway onening on one side and would cover the heating vent on the other. The manual says most living spaces are not ideal for best sound. Mr vandersteen has my room pegged. I actually moved them farther out from the wall to about 3 feet. This has helped. I'm getting low end ,but not what other speakers have provided. I'll keep fine tuning as the detail, mids and highs are nothing short of magical. Been playing music constantly since I got these yesterday.
I know your speakers fairly well. I know this is a fairly basic recommendation but I would check that you have all of your cables connected properly. If you make a mistake hooking them up, your lack of bass can definitely be a result. Assuming you made no mistake, Islandmandan's advice about trying different placements is definitely a good idea. My best guess, though, is that your NAD may not be able to give the Vandersteen's what they need in terms of power. I don't find them too difficult to drive but they do like a little power.

The one thing I can tell you for sure, is that Vandersteen's do have excellent bass. Unless your speakers are damaged in some way, the problem is not likely to be with your speakers. I think it would be a good idea to go try a few thing mentioned in the posts and see if anything helps. Also, if you didn't use the directions that came with the speakers on how to set them up, you really need to do that. You need to use the formula they give you so you know how much back tilt you will need.

I have a lot of experience setting up Vandersteens. Post back with an update. If the problem remains, maybe we can try some other things, as well. Once you get them working properly, you will be very happy you bought them.
I have a pair of 2CE Signatures. I really, really like the Vandersteen products. I drive mine with a McCormack amp that puts out 185 watts per channel. They do like, and benefit from a decent amount of power, and they are not extremely efficient. My first thought is that the Jamo speakers were more efficient and gave you more output from the NAD receiver, whereas the Vandy's are less efficient, and you get less sound output.....most noticibly on the bottom end. I would not give up on the 2CE speakers. One other thought, have you double checked the speaker cables to make sure they are in phase(+ and - wired the same at amp and speaker terminals)? If out of phase that will tremendously impact the output as well.

Good luck
The best guy to talk to is the guy who built them and is well acquainted with them. Call Richard Vandersteen at the factory. If he's not there, he'll call you back. Go to the website for the phone number. He's one of the nicest guys in the business, and will give you sound advice.
Do you have the jumper cables installed between the upper and lower speaker binding posts?
I have them bi-wired with Audioquest cables. The man who sold them to me supplied them.
I may have judged them too quickly. My jamos with 2 5 and a 1/2 in drivers produced room shaking bass on most everything. Since I moved these out from the wall more, I'm getting beeter bass response. I don't know if I'm getting 30hz in my room, but I just listened to Tom Waits' Mule Variations and it was pretty massive sounding. Now I'm playing Gorillaz' 1st and it is hitting pretty low.Maybe just more revealing of the recordings than I've experienced in the past. The cars 1st album did not have the low end I got with the jamos. Playing them a little louder than I normally listen makes them come alive more as well.
Its funny because I've been reading Audioreview and the folks either say massive bass, or no bass. They also said to live with them awhile and their strengths become more in focus. I am experiencing that. The fact that I have not stopped playing them is a good sign. Watching football with the sound down.
I don't remember your Jamo's, but often manufacturer's will add a mid-bass bump to the output in attempt to fool the listener into believing there is more bass output than is truly there with some of their smaller speakers.
I had the 2ce 's back in the 90's. I don't remember them being bass shy and I had them a ways from corners.

Double check your speaker cable wiring on both the amp and speakers and make sure you have all + to + and - to -. It's easy to make a mistake and bi-wiring makes it even easier.

Also put your ear up to each woofer and verify that you have sound coming out of both. Good luck.
You need anywhere from 100wpc and up to drive these speakers to their full extent. I have a regular pair of 2ce's in my second system and they are being driven by a Classe 175wpc amp and a tube preamp. I also used a 100wpc amp on the 2ce's as well until I got the bigger amp. The amp should be able to put out quite a bit of amperage as well, somewhere around 45 amps peak to peak and up. Good power will really ame the speakers sing. I inadvertantly damaged the speakers by using a 60wpc integrated amp. It was the clipping of the amp that destroyed one of the speakers crossovers.
Indeed, use a test CD/tracks to check if the wiring is correct.

Jamo E855 with their dual active woofers / speaker (is it bass reflex?) should have more emphasis on bass vs the Vandersteen 2Ce (one active / one passive).

I still use a pair of Vandy 2Ce in my study and the bass is more than adequate despite their dismal positioning -half hidden away between bookshelves - driven by just a 8W tube amp.
I have found sound balance to be a fickle thing, a new IC here, better speaker stands there, you get the idea.

I was going to suggest you bi wire them but you already have

Those speaker have plenty of bass, I have heard them in a few different systems with tubes and solid state both rocked out.

have you tried moving them even further out into the room?

good luck
Great advice. I havent done anything with the tilt as the stands were alreadt attached. I like them better about 3 and half feet from the rear wall. I don't really know what more power will do since I'm only using about 20 to 25 percent of the volume control as it is. They're plenty loud. It may just be a mid-base hump that I'm used to. I'll look at setting the tilt and see if that helps. I really like everything about them except the amount of low end.
Vandersteen speakers are sensitive to amplifiers especially in the bass department. It's not so much the amount of power as it is the quality of the power. The best bass I ever heard from Vandersteens was from a high quality 60 watt solid state power amp. Maybe your NAD isn't up to the task.
The amp is not the problem--I drove my 2CE Sig IIs with the NAD C372 and had bass as deep, tight, and tuneful as I could have asked for. It has plenty of power and current delivery. To repeat what some others have said, triple check to make sure you have both woofers wired in phase--if the polarity on one is swapped, each speaker will cancel out the bass produced by the other speaker. Swap the + and - on one speaker and see if the bass improves.

After that, try working with speaker placement based on the very good Vandersteen instructions (measuring your room and dividing by odd integers). If you don't have the manual, they're available through Vandersteen's website. Taking the time to do this can make the difference between fantastic, full sound and MIA bass.
I always found the Vandersteen 2 and 3 series to have good bass extension but not the bass slam you are looking for. While the bass can be maximized, I think the lack of slam is somewhat inherent in their design.
I have seen some folks place speakers on a piece of wood
on top of carpet or wood floor.
This allows the speakers to wobble or absorb the bass instead of let lt go.
Make sure the attached "bases are snug fit onto the speakers finger tight,then one full turn this is easily overlooked"
and confirm "spikes/nuts are all tight."
Make sure the spikes are in the floor or in a pair of Vandy Soft shoes on the wood floor.
"Having at least an area rug in between you and the speakers" avoids the first reflection.

The last room your speakers were set up in probably had floors most likely different than yours are now.
Most floors are never level.
When you get the tilt back set correctly as in the manual
it should change your perception of what you experience, not only in the bass,but also overall performance.
Read the manual Start with a bubble level string plum bob or "washer/string and get the speakers side to side level then do the tilt back."
Take a laser pointer set on top of the speaker inside
wood, aim it on the wall behind where your head was listening chair area.
Get a sharpie pen with a post it note, now draw a circle on the target O where the laser lands.
Next do the same for the other speaker and make sure both speakers have the same tilt landing on the O bulls eye next sit and listen,then slouch down in your chair,then listen sitting on a pillow.
One of the 3 positions will have magic.
Then adjust the final tilt to where your normal seating position is.
Please let us know when you find it.
Cheers JohnnyR
I owned 2ce Sigs, 3a's & 3a Sigs, all very nice speakers. I used them with a number of different amps, McCormack, NuForce, Musical Fidelity, Belles. While the bass is deep, I always felt they were lacking in "slam"/dynamics. As much as I liked the Vandersteens, in order to get the slam I was looking for, I ended up going with a different speaker.
I had the 2Ce Sigs with stands, purchased new from the local dealer in town, for about two years and I could never get them to recreate anything approaching a true 30 Hz tone, no matter what high power integrated amp (Musical Fidelity 5 integrated, Krell300i or CJ CA200 control amp) I threw at them, or where I placed them, treated the room etc. Bass was mainly a boom, or suggestion, and not a true note. They do have a very relaxed sound and just don't "slam" for dynamics, whic for some listeners, may be exactly the correct recipe. But not for me in the long run. So, I upgraded to Thiel 2.4s, which easily cover all the low extension and dynamics areas that were missing with the 2Ce Sigs. I have also listened to the 3As and have to say that, although better in the low end extension area, they are not that much more in the dynamics dept over the 2s. Only the 5 or 5A are the Vandersteen models I would now consider as equaling Thiels in this regard.
Speakers have a tendency to get the blame for many things when in reality the speaker is only reproducing what is being fed to it.

I would agree with your statement, up to a point. Different speaker designs definitely present what they're fed differently.

Without changing anything else in my system, I went from 3a Signatures, to Gallo 3.1's and found all of the "slam" I had been missing with the Vandies.
I plan to do all the measuring from the manual this weekend. I have move them closer together. I rolled the highs and mids back one knotch and it's getting there. I get some low notes, they are not the volume of the mids and highs. I will keep at it.
Ecruz, Did you power the woofers with an SA bass amp?

No, I just run the single voice coil. I found the Gallos to be more dynamic. Don't get me wrong, I owned Vandies for a LONG time, I really like them. I just found they didn't have the "slam/impact/dynamics" (whatever you want to call it), that I have found with other speakers.
What works with one speaker doesn't always work with another speaker. You need the right amp for the job.
One of the very things that impressed me about the 2C Vandersteen speakers when I first heard them was the quality of the bass, very natural without the irritating mid bass hump that many speakers in their price range exhibit as noted above. I agree totally with Dan, Zd542 and Rrog and of course Johnny. These gentlemen really understand these speakers. Proper set-up, interaction in the room and the amplifier used go a long way in realizing their potential which is considerable for a full range speaker in their price range. I would address the amp last after all set-up and placement issues are addressed. While the Vandies are not the most efficient design they don't exhibit any wild impedance variations that mandate a high current amp, relatively easy to drive but as is with any quality speaker, benefit from quality amplification and I would agree, they like power. No they don't have the slam of other speakers but what they really get right is natural tuneful bass as you would hear it live. These speakers are better suited towards acoustical jazz and classical and are NOT for headbangers, IMO.

You haven't stated your musical preference Biffrythm. Ultimately they may not be your cup of tea but none the less they are excellent speakers. I owned a pair for 10 years and I always enjoy hearing any of the Vandies that are well set-up.
It seems clear Biffrythm that for some listeners the Vandersteens will not produce the impact/slam/dynamics that they want, regardless of amp or set up, and that for other listeners a well set up pair are sonic heaven. It does seem from the response of the Vandersteen dealer and others, that proper set up may be even more important than usual with these speakers.
I own the 2CE sig II and you guys are right, set up and positioning is very critical with the Vandy 2's. 1/2 inch movement (tilt and toe-in) make a huge different. After six months of trial and error, I finally got it to where I think I nailed the sweet spot. When an audiophile friend of mine walked in while I was listening to Diana Krall, he ask me if I had my SUB woofer on, and when I said no, he was blown away. The bass is tight and at some point there's a certain frequency the you don't hear the bass but rather feel it, I assume that freq. is close to 20Hz. So I believe set up and positioning is the key.
I am going to do the proper set up this weekend. My daughters are at their mothers for the weekend. Good news is I am getting low tones now, so set-up seems to be the issue. The bass does seem to be at a lower volume than the rest of the frequency range. Not at all detached, like I've heard in other speakers, but subdued. I'm not a headbanger at all. I'm 46 so even the heavy metal of my youth is classic rock now. I listen to rock, blues, country, and reggae. And I do like these speakers. Best of ever owned. Only issue is bass, and it may simply be that I was used to the mid-bass hump. I love everything else about them and am even getting used to the subdues bass.I like them more every day. I'll do a proper set-up per the manuel and enjoy. Thanks for all the advice, everyone
UPDATE: After much work measuring my room(little smaller than my estimate) I have mondo BASS. Sounds great and am VERY happy I splurged on these monsters. Thanks again for everyone's help. Damn glad I found this site.
Its great to see that you got the speakers working. I have a question, though. What did you actually do to fix the problem. You say that you measured your room. Given that, I have to assume that it was a placement issue.
Glad to hear you made progress.
The Vandy owners manual is the best place to start for those of us who think we are there.
The Laser nails the focus further with fine tuning.
Enjoy JohnnyR
It was mostly a placement issue. A friend came over that has owned 2Ce sigs for years. He did the lions share of the placement. After that I was getting great deep lows, but not at the volume of the mids and highs. I rolled the mid and high levels back to -2db and engaged the tone stack on my NAD C370. The controls are still flat but the bypass is no longer engaged. I am damn satisfied with the sound I'm getting.
The speakers themselves don't seem that far off from where I finally had them. Just a little but they are tilted back a little further.
Also must admit to phase issues. I don't know how, though. the cables are Audioquest bi-wire(1 set of bananas on amp end, and 2 at speakers). My buddy unplugged treble on speakers and the lows didnt sound too low. He then unplugged the red and switched it with the other red and the lows were much deeper. then hooked up the treble again. I don't know how this would cause phase issues as the black still went to black at all points, but It was not a subtle change.
Its an impedance issue. Even though you have 2 sets of speaker cables going to the same speaker, they still have to be connected properly to work. The circuit that is completed when both sets of cables are used in a biwire config. are not the same in terms of resistance. In your stereo, resistance is tied with frequency. The higher the note, the higher the resistance. The crossover in the speaker only allows for certain frequencies to pass (High and Low, in your case). The set of speaker cables that go to your highs shows a higher level of resistance than the set that goes to the lows.

Simply put: Be more careful when you hook up your speakers.