Oy, just got me 2ce sigs in august, now I have to have angst over an upgrade.
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I saw the review, too, and found it unclear as to which features were new and which were carryovers from the previous version. But I believe it said that the tweeter was new, something about a thin ceramic coating and a wave guide. The review was obviously not written to address those who are curious about the specific differenceseither features or sound qualitybetween the old and new versions. As of yesterday, Vandersteen's Web site didn't even give a clue that there's a new model.
Looks like the original 2ce Signature will not be discontinued. Here is a Q&A from the Vandersteen website:
John (12/18/06): Around August I purchased the 2CE signatures new and would like to know what options I have to upgrade them to the 2CE signature II?
Answer: HELLO JOHN, THE 2CE SIG WILL CONTINUE AT $1545.00. IT WOULD BE WAY TO EXPENSIVE TO UP-GRADE ALL THE COMPONENTS CHANGED IN THE 2CE SIG II. THE PRICE OF THE 2CE SIG II IS $1995.00. IF UPGRADEABILITY IS AN ISSUE I SUGGEST YOU LOOK INTO A PAIR OF 3A SIG'S WHICH ARE UP-GRADABLE
I finally got my Jan 07 Stereophile yesterday. Art Dudley's review was very positive. More and more I'm thinking these could be my next speakers. The only thing that gives me pause is the frequency response measurements. John Atkinson found he could geta smooth upper midrange/treble repsonse by measuring on the mid-range driver axis, but that also resulted in a lower midrange suckout. He suggested a higher listening axis would fill-in the lower midrange trough, but in turn causing the treble suckout. Weird. After Richard Vandersteen's rebuttal to the measurements from the 2000 review, I'm surprised that Vandersteen did not specify the microphone height (nor did JA ask, apparently).
I wouldn't really care about this (especially because JA measures at 50" and Vandersteen recommends to listen at >8'), but JA also did an in-room 1/6 octave response: the midrange and bass didn't measure very well. I'm not sure what to make of this other than I need to listen for myself.
You do need to listen for yourself. Over the years I've owned a lot of different speakers, Martin-Logan, a couple different Magnepans, NHT, Epos, but once I heard Vandersteens that was it. I've owned the 1 series, the 2 series & now a pair of 3A's, they are great speakers. I can listen to them all day, they're VERY non-fatiguing, yet nice detail.
Thanks, Ecruz. I agree. I've listened a bit to the 3A Sig and I would rank it among the best I've heard (a list that includes the Avalon Eclipse, Thiel 2.4, Revel Studio, and Wilson W/P 7). At that price, the 3A is quite a value. I would have figured out how to pay for a pair by now if I had a dedicated listening room (those large boxes would dominate my living room - my wife already thinks I'm crazy). Again, near 3A sig performance in a smaller package is very appealing . . . One other thought on JA's measurements: I was amazed at the low freq extension, albeit at relatively low levels.
I don't know why the low freq extension numbers. Both the 2Ce & 3A go much lower in my room than the specs state. I think the 3A is suppose to go to 26hz. I'm getting output down to 20hz and only a few db's off of flat. That's according to the readings I'm getting from my Behringer DEQ, in room analyser mode.
According to Richard Vandersteen, the 2ce Signature II has the same tweeter and mid-range as the 3A signatures. Here is another Q&A from the Vandersteen website:
Bill (12/23/06): I just received my issue of Stereophile and enjoyed reading Art Dudley's rave review on the 2Ce Sig II. I have two questions. I am looking for 3A Sig performance but in a smaller package, how close are the new 2's? Could you explain why the anechoic measurements that John took are very flat yet the in room measurements are not as flat?
Answer: HELLO BILL, THE NEW 2Ce SIGNATURE II DOES HAVE THE TWEETER AND THE MID-RANGE OF THE 3A SIG'S. THIS AND DOZENS OF OTHER CHANGES INCLUDING STRUCTURAL PUSH THE PERFORMANCE IN THE DIRECTION OF THE 3'S. THE MODEL 3'S ARE LARGER AND HAVE MORE ADVANCED DRIVERS IN THE BASS SO THE MID BASS AND BASS ARE STILL SUPERIOR BUT THE GAP IS CLOSED AT THE HIGHER FREQUENCIES. I SUGGEST WHEN YOUR DEALER GET A PAIR AN AUDITION. I WILL SAY IT HAS TURNED AN OLD CLASSIC INTO ONE INCREDIBLE SPEAKER. AS FOR MEASUREMENTS, JOHN MEASURES ALL SPEAKERS THE SAME AND IT IS A SIMPLE PROCESS TO READ THE MANUAL AND GET THE TILT AND ALIGNMENT CORRECT FOR ANY INSTALLATION. THIS WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN BETTER MEASUREMENTS HOWEVER THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO POINT OUT THE SPEAKERS TIME AND PHASE CHARACTERISTICS VERSES OTHER DESIGNS. I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT THE IN ROOM MEASUREMENTS WERE RELEVANT BECAUSE A LISTENER WOULD HAVE TO HAVE A RUBBER NECK TO GET A AVERAGE FROM THAT MANY POSITIONS WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC. ALL THE OTHER MEASUREMENTS JOHN MAKES I APPLAUD BECAUSE THEY WILL DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DIFFERENT DESIGNS FOR THE READER. THE PROOF IS IN THE LISTENING.
Say you want to go with this speaker thinking it's a good deal at $1600. Is there an integrated tube amp priced under $2K that can adequately power this 86db speaker? A 60 watt Ayre SS seems to be cutting it close and these are about $2K used, $3K new.
Given about $2K, what amp would you put in front of this for a medium sized room?
To Stevesanders: I've heard the Ayre AX-7 drive 3A Sigs, which are 'sposed to be a more difficult load than the 2ce Sigs. I thought it sounded great. I didn't crank the volume, but another Vandy owner told me that the AX-7 will drive the the 3As plenty loud albeit with some compression at high SPLs. I have the AX-7e (I consider it the foundation of my system) and am planning to get the 2ce Sig II next year - hey, that's tomorow!!