vandersteen 2ce sig/ 3a sig power requirements

just auditioned both speakers with ss and tube gear what a difference. tubes blew away ss big time. listened to the 2's with 60 watt audio research integrated amp vs. 200 watt seperates which cost twice as much. unfortunately only listened to the 3's with 100 watt tube seperates (newbie error). prefered the 3's alot more compared with the 2's.
my question, do you think that 60-80 tube watts is enough juice for the 3's i'm considering cary sli-80 and rogue tempest magnum. room is 18x14 with 9' ceiling. mainly classical and jazz.
aloha keith
aloha keith
Ag insider logo xs@2xatagi
It will be if you don't play the speakers very loud. The 3a Sig. is not a demanding electrical load but they do have a somewhat low impedance of less than 4 ohms over some of the range. They are also somewhat inefficient. I would try before I buy and see. Could be fine. I think Vandersteen recommends a minimum of 100 watts.
Also, give them a listen with a Belles 350a solid state amp if you can. You might be surprised what you hear! It is rated at 250w/ch @ 8 ohms and doubles at 4. It is the best sound I have had out of the 3a Sigs period. The bass control is amazing( an area where I'm afraid the cary will come up short)The Sigs also sounded great with the ARC VT100 mk.III tube amps in a biamped arrangement (although the bass was not in the same league with the Belles)
thanks bigtee,

i'll be sure to try with 60 watt amp. i don't listen very loud. does the belles lose anything in terms of spaciousness vs. the tubes? i couldn't believe the difference in sound.
You're right about tubes-- when I switched from Musical Fidelity A300 (150 w ) to antique Sound Lab 1001 (50w ) the sound went to a whole new level on my 2ceSigs.
I currently am on my second pair of Vandersteen 3A sigs (nothing wrong with the first pair, just tried something different for awhile). I don't think you will be satisfied with just 60 watts of power.
In fact, they are really best when vertically bi-amped which means two amps per speaker. That doesn't have to be as expensive as it sounds. I first started out with a Audio Research 100 mk amp which mated well with the Vandys. Then, to experiment with vertical bi-amping, I switched to a used Theata Dreadnaugt with 5 channels. One, of course, goes unused (now I have a back up :) ). I would never go back to a single amp per channel with the 3A sigs.
Atagi, I found the Belles amp not to give up anything in soundstaging or any other significant factor. The amp ws reviewed in Soundstage( by Doug Blackburn who also uses the 3A Signatures. I actually became interested in this amp because of the sterling review. After owning it now for a year, I have to agree with him on all counts. It is a great amp and leaves nothing to be desired.
This amp replaced a Theta Dreadnaught I 4-ch amp. I felt the Belles was a little more neutral and certainly better in the bottom. The Theta is a great amp but mine hummed fairly loudly. Theta knew of the problem but wanted over a $1000 to fix it. The answer was going to dual transformers. Seemed they had a power transformer issue. I felt this was a little bit on the crappy side considering the price of the amp. It had a warm, transparent sound but seemed a touch dynamically limited. I understand the mk.II was the cure for this but lost some of the warmth in the process.
I did use both amps with a tube preamp. I now use an Audible Illusions L-2(one excellent preamp) I also use a pair of 2wq's. I'm very satisfied with the system as it stands.
I have tried numerous tube amps and other solid state amps and this is what I've decided on. Of course your prefered sound could very well ride with tubes. A lot of people do. I will say, with this combo, I don't see how it gets much better. The speakers absolutely disappear with such solid imaging and a real sense of space. (I've also spent a lot of time on the room and setup)
Read the review and see if it perks your interest. For me, a tube amp was a pain in the butt. Those output tubes must be replaced more often than you think for peak performance. They are also expensive. That is the main reason I searched out suitable solid state. I'm kind of a low maintenance guy. The preamp tubes are enough for me. I do think this combo delivers a very good sound (pairing a tube preamp with a solid state amp) Good luck and just be a little careful with that synergy with the 3A Sigs. They can be incredible with the right stuff but pretty bad with the wrong stuff. They definitely deserve the best electronics you can afford. You will be richly rewarded.
thanks again bigtee, have added jolida jd1000a 100 watt tube integrated and belles 250i hybrid integrated to the list, i think the amp i choose will be temporary solution until i can rationalize spending more bucks. originally planned to spend only 4k as this is my first system. will demo jolida at home, and also demo 60 watt integrated at the dealer with the 3's before deciding on amp. listen to alot of orchestral music and like a big soundstage outside of the speakers.

aloha keith
In the past I have owned a pair of Vandersteen 2 C's I paired with an Aaragon 4004 and Audible Illusions 2C pre. I agree with Bigtee that the ss amp and tube pre combo give you most of the tube benefits without the tweaking and maintainence a tube amp demands.
I have not found a speaker at the 2CE Sig's price point that offers such even and musical sound without some glaring fault that, for me, leads to speaker fatigue i.e. lack of bottom end, glaring or steely highs, etc. For this reason the 2CE Sigs will probably be my next system upgrade from my current vintage 15 amp Rogers LS3/5 a's. I would be most interested, Ataqi, in how you find the match with the Belles 250i and the rest of the amps on your list. On paper (power, specs, tube pre, etc.) it seems as if it would be a wonderful match if the amp is as musical as touted.
I understand that Richard Vandersteen voices his speakers through ARC gear so I have been hoping to hear the 2CE Sigs through some of this gear as well, perhaps a 100.2 amp and tube linestage or the new 150.2 integrated.

--Listen with your heart, vote with your dollars... it's all about the music!

ended up getting the 3a sigs as dealer had a pair that a customer ordered but upgraded to 5a's before taking delivery. didn't demo the belles, i was going to buy it blind. did demo the 2ce's with arc (vk?)55i and the combo sounded excellent. much better than ayre ss seperates. ended up getting bat vk3i pre and vk 200. also demo'ed jolida jd 100 cd player vs. ayre cx-7. unfair because the ayre cost 3 times as much but the jolida kept up all aspects except seemed to drag a little on a few cuts. very close. ended up with ayre. also purchased a jolida jd 302b 50 watt integrated which i think will be a perfect match for 2ce's. i prefer it over the bat gear. it's a great little amp and has way more juice than i will ever need in 18x14x9 room. bass is almost as good as with subs and mids are silky smooth. i would highly recomend the jolida integrated with 2ce's and it's dirt cheap to boot. also, 2ce's are great but the 3a sigs are better. if you get the jolida, the money saved would allow upgrade to the 3's. good luck in your search. right now i'm in audio bliss.

aloha keith
Vandersteen speakers usually match very well with tubes. Between 70 - 120 should do just fine. I drive my Quatros with 78 watts per Chanel cyber 800 mono blocks.