Another data point to consider is Vandersteen has been and, in all probability, will continue is business for a long while. How times has Von Schweikert gone in and out of business?
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you need to try a speaker with a much bigger woofer...vanderstein's woofers are not capable of reproducing realistic concert levels of any type of music. be wary of a dealer that says you can only play certain types of music with certain speakers. the electrical components are just inferior. try a pair of jbl 4430 or 4435 they will reproduce any type of music at any type of sound level with extremly low distoration. the key is setting them up correctly in a good size room and they will image like a mini monitor without the restrictions of audiophile speakers. i am not trashing the vand, they are alright but you do get what you pay for, and with those components, you cant play very loud music esp rock and/or classical.
I love to read the responses about Von Schweikert going out of business. Its hilarious. Every time someone brings it up I think to myself, "who are these people and where do they get their information?". Every time I mention that when his factory was flooded out in the Northeast, he moved to California and has been happy ever since, the poster either makes a joke out of it, or ignores it. Von Schweikert is an honest and reputable man. I have spoken to him personally on the phone and he stands behind his speakers. He recently changed his models to stay competitive and will be around a long time. I don't believe the question was, "should I buy this speaker because I think the company will stay in business?". Stay on topic and don't waste everyone's time with your personal opinions about a manufacturer. CBMAN asked a legitimate question about comparing speakers. My thoughts? My VR-4JRs are great with rock and roll: authoritative bass, highs that are forgiving of overly bright pop albums, but then I like them for everything. Mostly I listen to Jazz, Classical, and acoustic players, with Eagles, Santana, Clapton and the rest thrown in. Good luck in your search.
I have the Vandersteen's and very much like the VR4-Jr's. In your opinion, what are the Vandy's missing? Although I don't listen to that much rock anymore, I don't think that I find them lacking in any regard. Check your setup, placement, tilt back. These are really fine speakers in my opinion for not a lot of money and, unlike what people like to say about them, they are not particularly forgiving. Of course, they are not hyper-detailed, but nor are they dull, lifefless or lacking in jump factor. If you are experiencing any of this, I would suggest looking at placement within your room, followed by associated cables and electronics. These speakers can be made to sing, but it does take careful setup.
As I said, I do like the VR4's. Great dynamics, great soundstaging and excellent bass from a small speaker. Although I'd love to have a pair of VR-4's, I don't think that I would sell my Vandersteen's. It would be wonderful to have both.
Tell us what you dislike about the Vandersteen's with rock music and tell us about your room, cables and electronics.
I bought 2 2Wq subs and the sound is fantastic in the low end now. Where the lows were mushy and sometimes boomy it is now tight and strong! Jazz is crazy with these subs and for soft rock if you like you can add boom by changing the Q setting. This setup surpassed my expectations!! I tried one sub first a W2 but I thought that set up sounded lean so I took it out and ran the 3as alone until I got the pair. Everyone said these were musical subs and I agree they make music not noise, I got down and put my ear by the slot and was surprised how high up the scale they went. Also many people think this set up is 80 - 90% of the 5. If you like the Vandy sound you will love this set up!! If your still looking send me an e mail with your # and we can talk .
ditusa: I'm a little surprised by your statements. I own 3a sigs, with a turntable no less, and a Mufi A308 and I can report that the speakers are capable of literally thunderous yet highly detailed bass. From Reference Recording's "Pomp and Pipes," to the Telarc Saint Saens Organ Symphony, or the 45 Rpm Prokofiev Scythian Suite--which delivers slashing dynamics via the Vandy's...I marvel daily. Perhaps your CD player is/was a weak link? I'm an orchestra musician as well.
CBman, as I mentioned, I own the same speaker and marvel daily about they're delicacy as well as they're explosive qualities. I use a turntable to get such results, but I'm now reminded of my search for CD players and how different they all sounded via the Vandy's, especially in the bass/punch department to which you refer. Having auditioned the Rega Planet, the Sony XA999ES, the 1K Marantz, the 3k Marantz SA14 v.2 and the MuFi 308 CD player--all in the home--I finally settled on the Marantz SA14 v.2, which had the best "punch" and bass by far. None of the above came close, though my Scoutmaster handily blew the Marantz away in the end. What CD player do you use? Believe me, I humbly but strenuously suggest that it's *not* the speakers, it's your CD player.
I think my statement of mushy and boomy was incorrect!! Boomy was mostly my room and the placement of the 3a's I think my saying the bass was mushy was an overstatement of the sound without subs and with subs. I agree with Pubul57 the subs help the sound of the 3a's. It isn't that there is lots more bass there is better defined bass, 3 8" drivers per subs vs 2 10' drivers per speaker. with 300 watts per sub taking some of the load off the amp. When I had 1 sub I removed it and was happy with the 3a's. CBman what amp are you using?
By removing (filetering) low bass from the 3A to the subs, the speakers cabinets of the 3As are exposed to much less internal vibration and this makes the midrange performance of the 3As much better; technically, I think it is a reduction in intermodulation distortion. I found that when the 2wqs were tuned in, you almost could not tell they were on, even if you went right next to the subwoofer; but the whole soundstage and sense of venue opened way up; I suspect that alot of hall or room ambinece from a recording includes a lot of low bass information.
Precisely. It is a hard subwoofer to audition because a musical subwoofer is not impressive in an obvious our loud way; it is about quality and that does not "blow you away"; but the improvements are real and musicall satisfying in the long term. If you are looking for bombastic bass, that's not what the Vandersteen approach is all about.