Sorry can't answer that; all I know is that the ones I purchased new earlier this year sound freakin' fantastic!
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The last Vandersteen that I owned( and I still miss them) were the Model 2B( sold them in 1988). If the newest 2Ce are that much better, then I'm sure they're something special. What is unique about the Vandersteens is that they breathe life into the music, a quality that very few speakers achieve. I have mini-monitors now, but if and when I upgrade to full range again, you can bet that Vandersteen speakers will be at the top of my list. Enjoy whatever version you end up with.
Foir the last 9 yeras I have owned and enjoyed what was the last version made of the 2CE's. Recently, when upgrading my system with the Musical fidelity A5 CD, I decided to upgrade to the 2CE signatures. Went to my dealer and also listened to the 3Asig, but decided that the extra bass was not my taste, and purchased the 2CE signatures. When I got them home, I was struck by what , in comaprison to the 2CE , sounded to me like a too bright and harsh top end. Also, With my old 2CE's I sort of floated in the middle of the music. With the signatures I feel sort of batted about by the music. (I am so glad I did not trade in the old 2 CE's as the wife suggested ("what are you going to do with ALL those speakers?") - The sigs certainly are different to my ears after all the years I spent with the CE's. I am ambivalent- Richard V. obviosuly thinks the sigs represent his concept of the sound I have loved, yet I still havent warmed up to them. Break in? I am not sure it applies as much to the top end as the bass end re: loosining up cones. Besides, if RV matched and voiced them, why would I want them to "change" Have the latest signatures been optimized to appeal to the HT crowd, a departure from the time when the older 2CE reigned?
I am ambivalent about which set is going to stay with my 2 channel system- I may just decide to keep the old CE's with my CDP and set the sigs up in the TV room.
Thanks for your input. I currently have a pair of 1cs and am considering upgrading to the 2ce-sigs. Since RV has been updating them every year, I would think that even minor changes compounded over 8 years would at some point become signficant. Also wondering if any of the technology from the Quatros or 5A has trinkled down to the 2ce-sigs.
Does your 2ce have the 1" or 3/4" tweeter? RV says in his Q&A that the last few months of the 2ce had many of the upgrades of the 2ce-sig including the 1" tweeter. That definitely would affect the top end.
Could you let us know how the new 2ce-sigs sound after you've tweaked their placement/tilt and are fully broken in?
I purchased a pair less than a year ago and thought they had a nice tonal balance with lots of detail but not harsh. I then moved them around and they sounded bright and a little edgy even after adjusting the tilt. Even though the speakers are about 4 feet away from the side walls, I noticed a big difference when folded blankets were placed temporarily along the side walls as recommended in the manual. So I ended up mounting some absorption panels to deal with the reflections and couldn't be happier. The brightness is gone and the soundstage depth increased quite a bit also. Might be worth a try Johnstassi.
I listen to all types of music. Moderate Rock (Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Clapton, Blondie, Rush, etc.) some Celtic, and symphonic music.
I've read that the Vandies are better for jazz, than say rock, but I like the laid back sound. I don't want anything too up-front and bright. I'm content with the 1cs, but feel the mids could be fuller and the overall sound more open.
Vandersteen's are hard to load into as frequency increases and tend to roll-off up high. I don't know why this is, as i've never pulled one of his speakers apart, but my guess is that it is something in the crossover network. I don't know if he uses Zobel networks on the various drivers, but i have seen this cause similar situations.
With that in mind, you need to keep the impedance of the speaker cable VERY low and have a stable amp. If you use speaker cables with a higher nominal impedance ( most are ) and / or an amp that is very load sensitive ( some are more than others ), you'll end up with a softer, closed in sound.
The key here is to look at the system as a system and build it accordingly. Since part of what we hear is quite room / speaker placement dependent, that obviously needs to be considered as part of the system too. Have you exhausted the existing variables available to you in trying to resolve the lack of midrange weight and treble response or are you looking to try a "drop in" answer to your problems?
Knowing what you have for gear and / or how it is set up might get you a lot closer to what you are looking for without having to ship your speakers anywhere. Then again, you might be forced to do something like that or even replace the speakers all together to achieve your desired sonics. While i can understand your line of questioning, and it is quite valid, we can't really help you with the other things that you mentioned until we have more specifics. Sean
Sean Thanks for the generous sharing of your experience- Id like to keep the speakers and cdp, integrated amp until my next go around (I average about 8-9yrs with a system) Had I not taken a chance on the sigs, I would probably be "content" with my old 2CE until I found the next best thing. Instead I went for the Sigs. What else do you think I can modify here besides the equipment to get the most out of the sigs ?
I am using a Muscial Fidelity a5 integrated amp 250W into 8 ohm, 400watts into 4 ohm. and the Musical fidelity A5 cdp.
my interconnects are what was expediant at the time to obtain- Monster M1.
Speaker cable runs are 12 feet , Bi wired, expediant hook up with Monster Xp
Room is carpeted, 16ft x 24 ft.
Speakers are 6 feet from rear wall, 41/2 feet from right side, 51/2 from left. Speaker centers are separated by 51/2 feet. Listening position is 9 feet from speakers
On the rear walls behind the speakers are book shelves with a window in the center, in between the shelves.
Hanging wall tapestry is on the right hand wall. Left hand 0side wall has a stone fireplace with rough stone of different depths. Floor is carpeted. Ceiling is 8 foot, plater walls. There are windows behind the listening position with light curtains.
John: You really need to work on your speaker placement. I know that there are TONS of different speaker formula's that one can use, but quite honestly, nothing short of a dedicated purpose built listening room is perfectly symmetrical and / or without variances according to a given formula.
My first suggestion is to get the speakers further apart. Using a monophonic recording of a female voice OR throwing the mono switch on your preamp ( if it has one ), spread the speakers apart just to the point that the center image just begins to get vague. The image should remain solidly in the center, but not pinpoint. While doing this, the speakers should be "flat faced" or forward firing i.e. with no toe-in or toe-out. This will give you some of the "open" sound quality that you are looking for.
Once you've found a good spacing between the speakers, then experiment with the distance from the back wall. What you are looking for here is the point where the voice sounds full yet natural, not lean or "chesty". You should now have a reasonably solid center image with pretty decent tonal balance.
The next step is to play with the angle of the baffle i.e. keeping the speakers flat faced, a little bit of toe-in, etc... The more toe-in that you run, the more vivid the center image and the brighter the sound. The less toe-in that you run, the wider the overall image with a warmer sound. This is how you "fine tune" the speakers to the specifics that you want to hear from your system at the seated listening position.
Doing the above will get you pretty close to where you want to be. I would suggest listening to the system ( in stereo ) as you normally would for a few days and then adjust things accordingly. If the soundstage is too vague, bring the center to center distance between the speakers in a bit more. If the width of the soundstage is too narrow, slightly reduce the angle of toe-in. You get the idea.
It is at this point that very minute adjustments, not only side to side, front to back and / or the angle of the baffle, but also your seated listening height, listening distance and tilt angle of the speaker becomes quite critical. You might end up having to make several different adjustments here over a period of time, but be both patient and methodical in your adjustments.
I think that you've got quite a bit of room for improvement in this area. Using this approach should net you sizeable gains without having to spend anything other than time and effort. It will optimize your system for what you already have, giving you the greatest return on your initial investment.
Once you've got that done, this will tell you whether or not you feel the need to look into replacing your existing cabling. I won't go into specifics here, but what i will say is that it has been my experience that good cabling can make very noticeable differences in not only what we hear, but how much we enjoy our systems. In my opinion, you've got plenty of room to move in this category also.
Having said that, i would recommend working on a "first things first" basis and start with better room / speaker / listening position integration. Once you get the system to the point where it is doing the best that it can with what you've got, you'll be in a better position to make more consistent comparisons between various cable changes if / when they should occur. Trying to change too many things at one time can make for more questions than answers and / or a misinterpretation of what is causing what. Sean