Vandersteen 2ci used. Good speaker/bargain?


I've found a pair of Vandy 2ci just a couple hours from where I live. I'm interested in upgrading my speakers (bottom of the line Spica SC-30...a great budget speaker)but I'm on a serious budget. I have an NAD C340 intregrated amp and in a year or so will probably upgrade that as well. What do you folks think of the Vandy 2ci, made around 10 to 12 yrs ago, I believe. I probably can't put speakers any further away from the wall then 18 in to 2 ft. Room is about 14' by 16, with a cathedral ceiling (overall, very oddly shaped). I listen to jazz vocalists primarily--the Dianna Kralls, Stacy Kents--plus light jazz intrumentals. Also about what price should I pay for a pair in very good condition (stands are included). I probably can upgrade to something more expensive (presumably meaning, much better) in about 3 years, but in the meantime, I wonder if these might fill the bill.
bmatth3790
I think that you'll be very happy with the Vandy's. They will definitely have more "bloom" and "body" along with greater extension than your current Spica's. The NAD will drive them, but it may come across as being "TOO warm & smooth" sounding. Then again, this is typically preferable to something that sounds "ear bleedingly bright". If need be, you can always resort to a bit of treble boost on the NAD. Sean
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if possible(won't cost that much more) try to go to the 2ce's. a much better speaker for only $100 to $200 more. in the long term it will be worth it.
The Vandy's sensitivity is only 82db or so. The NAD may get them to moderate levels in a smallish room but check your Alice in Chains CDs at the door.
Owning a pair of these, I would have to say that Viridian might be mistaken, these have a sensitivity of 88db@1 meter, sound pretty good on 35 watts tube per channel. You have not mentioned price of speakers but I am quite pleased with mine.
Very good speaker/ better bargain. I am not familiar with your NAD integrated. Please keep in mind that the Vandersteens drop to 4 Ohms and really benefit from bi-wiring. While the Vandersteens are rather forgiving of electronics make sure your amp is up to the task at hand. Vandersteen recommends a minimum of 40 watts (8 ohm). Your room may be a bit small for the bass these speakers are capable of. I have heard many Vandersteen 2's in many different rooms and IMHO, room and placement are serious considerations for these speakers.
I would say that Sherriehyder has made the mistake of taking the manufacturers spec as gospel. Although Vandersteen's published spec is 88db sensitivity several lab tests,including those at Stereophile and HFN&RR, have correctly identified the anechoic sensitivity at 1W, 1M, the standard measurement, at 82.5db. This is quite low but mitigated somewhat by the very smooth impedance curve as mentioned by Unsound. When I owned the 2CEs, excellent speakers I might add, my experience with the speakers was that they needed quite a bit of juice as stated in my earler post.
Regardless of the specs issue, I owned those speakers for about 10 years and always found them to be musical, non-fatiguing, and they always sounded better as I upgraded my sources and electronics. They are, in my opinion, a steal at the current used price. I used them with ss, hybrid, and tube pres, as well as hybrid and ss amps. I replaced them with 3Asigs; I guess you could say I am a Vandy kind of guy.
I just bought a pair of used Vandersteen 2Ci a couple of weeks ago and I am using the NAD 2100 50 wpc stereo or 300 wpc bridge. The sounds is so musical as if they were meant for each other. The more or longer you listen to the 2Ci, the better it sounds and I might add that I have a small room 12.5'x 13.5' I also have a McIntosh 2100 amp that I will be using once I get it back from the shop. The 2Ci is one of the best loudspeaker for the price.
Viridian is a typical stereophile who tries to justify his total ignorance with obscure technical jargon! Vandersteen knows what they are doing when they spec their own production and I have owned 2Ci speakers since 1990! I have also owned 94.5 db Tannoy, 101db lowther and 85 db Stones(made in Sweden).
With the half a dozen different amps I own and various comparisons in real SPL's:
I would say that the manufactiurer's specs are actually conservative and that sensitivity is at very least 88db regardlless of what stereophile tabloids might publish. It is in their interest and the interests of other advertisers in their publications to diminish what Vanderstien has been able to produce and offer at such a low price!! I use my 2Ci's as a reference regardless of what else I might own. For the price, there is nothing comparable!
Geez Wattnatt, I don't think Viridian was showing total ignorance at all by just stating what was published. So far as Stereophile goes, Vandersteen used to advertise in their magazine, not sure if they still do and I can't possibly see any reason why they would falsify test results. I think you are being maybe a bit defensive but to what end I'm clueless. One thing I do agree with you on though is that there is nothing I am aware of comparable for the price, I owned a pair of 2C's for many years and loved them, great full range speaker for the money and a lot more for that matter.
Tubegroover;
Check out this link when you have the time:
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-311644.html
Sean, I used to have the 2CI and let me tell you, they are an awesome speaker, very clear, good sound staging. I was driving them with a pair of NAD 2100 power amp that was set to mono at 100 wpc. So if the price is right go for it you will not be disappointed. Make sure you get the right stand and spikes for it.
Miketuason, you do realize that Sean posted that over 9 years ago.
oops my bad, I didn't pay attention to the date, thanks Unsound
Watt- lighten up, carrying a resentment over Viridian's opinion for NINE YEARS.
I would write Richard Vandersteen with any question I had with my Vandy's, he would always reply, in volumes.
Great sound, butt ugly speakers. I even tried with the socks down. Wife said get those !@#$% things back in the attic.
It wasn't until I had the speakers for a couple of years that I tried them with Bryston and Krell monos. They never sounded better. They will open up to another level with good powerful ss amps.
The best I ever heard the 2ce sigs and the 3a sigs was with ARC tube electronics. This includes over the years many different amplifiers including Threshold SA-1s, the best of the SS and wonderful in their own right, McCormack, Nad, Krell KMA100's, McIntosh MC-60's highly modified, ARC M-100, ARC D-115 MK2 and ARC VT100,(the best). The last, with the VT100 was at a dealer's showroom. The set-up and attention to placement was impeccable and both these speakers sounded the best I've ever heard Vandersteen 2 and 3 models ever including several shows and in my listening room, they were really dialed in. It proved to me, again, how great these speakers are but more importantly their potential relative to the price of admission and the space they will be used in.
Wattnatt, I think that's cute. I didn't realize that SPL measurements were obscure technical jargon. They have been used for most of the last century and are part of the Vandersteen literature. So your beloved Rickie Vandersteen hides his glorious speakers behind obscure technical jargon?

One would think that freqency respose, modulus of impedance plotted against phase angle and freqency, and SPL measurements are the three most basic, and easiest to measure metrics that are applied to loudspeakers. And again, they have been in use for over 50 years.

As far as the ad hominem part of your arguent goes, only a child attacks the messinger when the message is too complex for his little brain to process. Better to ask questions and do a wee bit of reasearch first.


((With the half a dozen different amps I own and various comparisons in real SPL's:
I would say that the manufacturer's specs are actually conservative and that sensitivity is at very least 88db regardless of what stereophile tabloids might publish. It is in their interest and the interests of other advertisers in their publications to diminish what Vandersteen has been able to produce and offer at such a low price!! I use my 2Ci's as a reference regardless of what else I might own. For the price, there is nothing comparable!))

Amen
I brought home many different amps over years to drive
2Ci,CE and Sig 2s most all of them had a picnic driving these speakers to enjoyable levels.

Whats confusing to the meter readers is Box speakers with baffles will reflect their unwanted reflection artifacts as a higher SPL number.
Because the Vandersteens are a baffle less multiple enclosure design, they possess less unwanted reflection firing back on them and then into the SPL measuring Microphone
Also why they disappear so well.
Cheers Johnnyr
Johnny, would you happen to be a Vandersteen dealer perchance?
Yes Audio Connection Has been a Vandersteen dealer for 25 years and own them myself
Best Johnnyr
Thank you. John Rutan then; that clarifies things a bit.
"It is in their interest and the interests of other advertisers in their publications to diminish what Vandersteen has been able to produce and offer at such a low price!!"

I don't get this statement at all. To what end does Stereophile gain anything to deliberately diminish or falsify a product's test results that is or isn't advertising in their rag, because they somehow are being pressured by other advertisers? Sounds like another lame conspiricy theory to me. You really think they are going to deliberately yield to a concerted effort by multiple manufacturers as if there might be such an effort, to the extent of manipulating measured data? It just doesn't fit or make any sense. You don't really believe any of this do you John Rutan? Is your "amen" to that statement? If it were true and that cat ever got out of the bag the credibility of the magazine would go into a tailspin if it became common knowledge. Measurements, depending on the methodology used and explained should be ONE damn thing to believe in if not the vanilla flavored listening impressions of some of their reviewers.
Vandersteens are absolutely wonderful speakers, and perhaps other than Richard V. himself, John Rutan knows them better than anyone else. So why don't ya'all put aside your audiophile egos, place your favorite record on the turntable, and enjoy the music ! We share a great hobby, with many divergent ideas, and life is good ! Relax, everyone, and Happy Listening !
I'm not sure what the sensitivity of the 2s is, but a fella with a lot of experience once told me the best he ever heard the 2s sound was with the small Music Reference RM10 with 35 watts - probably not for head-banging, but I suspect with 35-40 tubes watts you can get them to sound pretty good.
Adam you might try reading the WHOLE thread before you put your foot in your mouth and ramble on about egos. You are coming into the game too late to act as referee. No one is saying anything about the value of the speakers and what R. Vandersteen and John Rutan know. The issue is the published measurements and the motives of a magazine, at least that is my issue.
Tubegroover, besides the motives of a magazine, we have the motives of a dealer that entered the thread without being clear about that.

What I find interesting is that no one is bashing Vandersteen in the the thread and we still have all of these personal attacks and dealer shilling. It's really unnecessary. The speakers sell like hot cakes and they have a solid following. The unseemlyness in the thread does nothing to enhance the image of the marque.
Vandersteens are absolutely wonderful speakers, and perhaps other than Richard V. himself, John Rutan knows them better than anyone else. So why don't ya'all put aside your audiophile egos, place your favorite record on the turntable, and enjoy the music ! We share a great hobby, with many divergent ideas, and life is good ! Relax, everyone, and Happy Listening !
Viridian, I hear you. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has been visiting this site as long as we have and it may not be common knowledge to all readers who they are if they don't make it clearly known. It is an important point though. The point being, some may ask, is to keep the forum from becoming a free promotional tool under the guise of being "Joe Average" participant rather than having a vested interest. On the other hand I do welcome their participation in these threads for the knowledge and experience they can provide.

Any dealer or manufacturer that enters a thread concerning a product in which they have a vested financial interest in promoting should CLEARLY STATE what that interest is.
Viridian
What part of this do you not get?

Whats confusing to the meter readers is Box speakers with baffles will reflect their unwanted reflection artifacts as a higher SPL number.
Because the Vandersteens are a baffle less multiple enclosure design, they possess less unwanted reflection firing back on them and then into the SPL measuring Microphone

Cheers Johnnyr Vandersteen Dealer
Good point. Might be good practice to include that in a signature - even most folks know who Audioconnection and Atmasphere are.

Any way, since this thread could have started yesterday for 2cs in general, yes, they are both good speakers and solid value.

One may or may not like Stereophile, I've been subscribing since the early 80s, but I just can imagine Atkinson falsifying data, that is much to objective and peer group verifiable to mess with, and I really don't see the motive for doing so whether one advertises or not.
John, I believe that I understand your point. That, due to SPL measurements being taken anechoically, in-room reflections are not part of the measurement. So with bafleless speakers the measurement discounts reflected sound, whereas with speakers that have baffles, the sound is actually reflected off of their own structure, becoming part of the measurement. The anechoic technique itself yeilding measurements that understate true in-room loudness levels for baffleless, omnidirectional and dipolar radiators.

It's too bad that you have great insight and knowledge to bring to this thread and chose to not identify yourself as a dealer who is financially invested in the product under discussion.

Hey Tubegroover........
As I have taken "my foot out of my mouth," I read through some really old Audiogon stuff, and found this :

11-01-00: Tubegroover
I am a 50 year old environmental contractor, married living in the South and raised in the Northeast who has loved music since I can remember. There was my great Aunt Hilda and her husband Rudy who always played piano duets when we visited. But it was Rudy who captivated me at 5 or 6 years old with his most engrossing (to me) rendition of List's Hungarian Raphsody #2. Everytime we visited I requested that he play it and it was the beginning of my love affair with Classical music in general and the piano in particular. I played various instruments throughout primary and secondary school starting at age 9 including clarinet, flute and saxophone. The school system had a fantastic music program which ended for me when I attended a parochial high school. My interest in playing waned at that point because it was like starting over again. My parents both loved music. Dad was an amateur singer that always sang at our big family get togethers. He was involved in local musical theatre and charity events and was always in the church choir often as a soloist. I wasn’t blessed with his voice, unfortunately. Musical tastes have expanded through the years. I really enjoy all types of music from rock to blues to jazz and of course classical. I have been to numerous concerts over the years and still enjoy them. Even attended Woodstock for 1 day in 1969. My wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm for rock so most concerts these days are classical only. Got my first system for college, a Scott integrated, dynaco speakers, garrard turntable. It was warm and wonderful, I couldn’t have wanted for more at the time. I stumbled into the high end in 1984. Heard about a shop that sold good stereo that was better than McIntosh, WOW! It was an eye opener for me. More importantly it brought back to me the beauty of music reproduction through tube electronics after a hiatus from the Scott days. Since that time I have owned for a brief time solid state electronics before going to tubes for good in the early 1990’s. I have always considered myself a music enthusiast more than an audiophile. I think I have over the past few years made the transition to audiophile through my relentless upgrading that has realized a quantum improvement in well reproduced audio in my home. I am living the good life and the music has NEVER sounded better. Thanks to Audiogon and all you great audio enthusiasts for helping me with the journey. This site makes it that much more fun. Best to you all!

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I salute you sir, and your musical/audiophile experiences can serve as an inspiration to all of us. Thanks for all the really good contributions to Audiogon all these years, and for your keen insights and good knowledge. I did not at all mean to disparage you in my above comments, and I am sorry that you took my thoughts the wrong way. I was simply trying to keep everyone in a peaceful state of mind and a good groove. You are an asset to our hobby, and I hope you continue to love the music for a long time to come. Take it easy, enjoy the tunes, and Happy Listening.
Thanks to you Adam for your thoughtfulness, no hard feelings really :)
As much as I expect those in the industry to identify themsleves, I'm much more forgiving of those whose user name is the same as their business name. FWIW, I'm willing to give Johnny and Atmasphere a pass.
((It's too bad that you have great insight and knowledge to bring to this thread and chose to not identify yourself as a dealer who is financially invested in the product under discussion.))
Hey Veridian
Yes I am a Vandersteen dealer, what are you insinuating?
After selling "boatloads"of these speakers the only time we've had trouble driving them is when someone that"s a hard on hearing!
Cheers JohnnyR
Agreed,

go for the current 2 model. You will be pleased (musically).
John, it spelled "viridian", with three "i"s and I am not insinuating anything. I am however pointing out that you have a financial interest in the advice that you are giving, which was not clear from your initial post in the thread, if you reread it. Simple enough. Is that somehow unfair to you? I am going on the assumption that you don't sell speakers at cost.
Viridian, your point is well taken, but I think John assumes most people know Audio Connection is a Vandersteen dealer (largest in the country?), I don't think he is motivated to hide the fact, though it is probably good form to have manufactuers and dealers have "signature" requirements disclosing the fact.

Not sure how you get disclosure of another type of finacial interest - folks (users) that own equipment they are intending to sell, or want to be one day, and pump up a products virtues for the day the list the item on Agon - to see through that takes careful reading over time and getting to know the community members, but this concerns me more as an undisclosed "financial interest". Dealers are easily rooted (ratted?) out by other dealers:)