Vandersteen 5 vs Model 2c/2wq Combo

If anyone out there has read any of my posts, I have been scouring the Earth to find a speaker setup that will fit my needs and fit my pocket book. I have found some great info here and now I have another question.

I thought about getting the Vandersteen Model 5. I believe that with this setup, I would not have a need for a subwoofer, but my listening room is small and I believe that the Model 5 would be alot like practicing scales with my guitar plugged into 100 watt Marshall stack in the bathroom. It would be complete overkill in both price and size for me; plus, I don't think I could afford that big of an investment all at one shot and you know how savings usually goes out the door because of emergencies or whatever. However, I could afford to get the Vandersteen Model 2ce this year(with help from tax refund) and then next year maybe get one Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofer. How would this setup compare to the model 5 in sound quality? The model 5 would probably still be much louder and probably get better integration, but how close can I come to a good sound with the 2ce/2wq combo?

The 2Ce/2Wq combo is a pretty far cry from the Model 5. The closest thing to the Model 5 is the 3A Signature with a pair of 2Wq subs -- that will give you about 80-85% of the performance of the Model 5's at roughly half the cost (this comparison is direct from Richard Vandersteen himself).

The Model 5's have an outstanding proprietary 12" subwoofer with built-in amp plus equalization that allows the bass frequencies to be tuned to your room. The 2Wq's are excellent subwoofers, but they do not offer the equalization feature. If space is a limitation for you (as it is for me), then the Model 5 is really hard to beat.
Scott and I both like to post on these Vandersteeen questions. Scott always makes good points and knows his stuff.We have similar tastes. I have a different view on the answer to this question though. Scott is right that the 2Ce is not a 5. The thing that strikes me here is that if your budget is not in line with the 5 don't sweat the difference. A pair of 2Ce's will sound better with(you don't mention what you plan to run them with)more budget minded front end gear than the more revealing/demanding 5 or even the 3's that Scott recomends.I would rather listen to 2's with a great CD player than 5's with a lesser source. Even a pair of vandersteen 1C's and spending a bit more of that budget on the rest of your stuff(the best source you can afford)would sound better than 5's run by a less than great budget solid state integrated amp and decent but not world class CD player. Even vandersteen 1c's by themselves or with a 2Wq and even better yet two 2Wq's as Scott mentioned can be great with better fornt end stuff.

Scott makes a good point about the bass EQ for the 5, but you need to realize that to get the most from the 5 you need to place it where the mid range and highs sound best, this isn't always the best spot in your room for bass. That is why the 5's have the EQ feature, and the set up of that alone is a bit more complex. By seperating the low bass from the mids and highs using the seperate subs you get some flexability of placement that other full range speakers don't usually have. The 2Wq can be placed where it workes best,(in my case it is in the corner of the room) or where it can fit in less than ideal conditions and still not compromise the mids highs. This gives you more options and the main speakers can go where they need to go to sound their best. I can have my main speakers closer to the back wall than I would be able to without the woofer and not get boom(the low bass is filtered out of my main speakers).

As for the sound quality of the 2Ce, again I will say it isn't a 5 or a 3A Sig, but I have yet to run up against it's limits or in other words their ability to show the improvements of parts of the system up stream from them. What I am saying is that the rest of my system improves, so does the sound that comes from the 2's. As I refine everything from amps and CD players to power cords to AC outlets, to isolation devices, the 2's are there letting me hear the improvements very clearly. My point is, as I have said before in other posts, to quote myself,"speakers IS dumb", they just reproduce what you feed them. Send a great speaker an OK so-so signal and you will get an OK so-so sound back. Now take a quite good speaker and now feed it with a great signal and you can get very good sound back. By the way, the 5 will not be louder than 2Ce' with 2Wq's. The sensitivity is the same for both.

The whole point of my post is get it right from the source and work from that point. Anything you loose from the start is lost for good. Spend less on the speakers to start with and buy the best CD palyer(or TT) you can get your hands on and buy the Vandersteen that fits into that budget. Great speakers dont=a great system. Great speakers finish a great system.
Sdcampbell, let me just add that buit-in active woofers in model 5 have more powerful amps and go more far to the bottom than in 2Wq.
Hmmmm, that is an interesting response. I am starting to think that I might as well buck up and save my pennies for a year or two and get the model 5. Ya think? I just have this fear that I am going to blow my ears out with all that volume and power. I wonder if Vandersteen dealers offer a financing plan!
I have a small listening room and had the same concerns about the Model Fives. My dealer let me take them home for a week trial. After finding the correct placement and adjusting the subwoofers to my room they sound exceptional. I have no experience with the Model 2c but I have been very pleased with the Model Fives. They are my 4th pair of speakers in the last 5 years and they are staying.

I agree with the above posts...if you can't afford the appropriate hardware to drive the 5's (or now the 5A's), you'd be better off going with the 2Ce Sigs or the 3A Sigs.

Also, don't get caught up in the "It can't be good if it's not uber-expensive" mentality - especially with the Vandy's. The 2Ce Sigs are nothing to dismiss, and the 3A Sigs are so good that I personally can't justify lusting after the 5's.
I agree with Maxgain, if your front end is not up to it, you could become very discouraged after purchasing the model 5. I have done exactly what he suggested. I have put my $$$ into the best front end I can afford, and am only now shopping for an amp - speaker upgrade that will satisfy my needs.

In any event, I would advise you to get up and running with a good entry level system that you can work with. The high end is full of well-meaning snobs (no disrespect intended, this includes myself) who have such pride of accomplishment in the systems they build that they generally do not divulge their beginnings.
In your situation I would go with the Vandersteen 2c.
OK, Judit, roll back the clock about 30 years when I was in High School. Before this I had listened to my brothers system, but this was my first and I remember planning it out for MONTHS; Pioneer PL-71, it was their top of the line($300)direct drive turntable(it had a nice arm on it)with some Audio Technica(bright orange stylus) cartridge that I can't remember the model. A Marantz 1060, 30 watt per channel integrated amp driving EPI 100's(two way's with inverted dome tweeters and 8" woofers if I remember right). there you have it!
Nrenter is right on. I bought a pair of model 5 about 10 months ago and that was an unjustified bad decision. If I were buying it over again I would choose a pair of 3A sig and 2Wq instead.
Thanks for all the feedback. I have alot to think about. Ok, I understand how the source and amp make a big difference. Right now I have two 60 watt, tube, monoblocks, no-name and hand built, and I am interested in getting something by Audio Research in the future.

Anyway, here is another question; what kind of amp matches well with the Vandy 5a? With the 2Ce? What are Vandy-ites using?
I am using Theta Dreadnaught to drive my model 5 because I double my 2-ch with HT setup and I already have the Dreadnaught before I bought the 5. Ultimately what amp matches well largely depend on your taste. I like the 5 driven by tube amp better so in the future, when the upgrade bug bites, I would probably get something like BAT VK-75SE, Quicksliver V4, or Atma-Sphere.
If you could stretch your budget, I would highly recommend the 3A Sigs. They are much better than the 2's, and you may not even need the subs. If you decided to purchase the subs in the future, you would have a setup that comes close to the performance of the 5's for less money. In the meantime, you could enjoy the outstanding performance of the 3's.

Good Luck ....
Maxgain offers a good analysis. I owned a pair of 2cis for about 10 years, and as my electronics and source improved, I was able to get much better sound and lots of enjoyment from my modest (in high end terms)speaker investment. I have now graduated to 3Asigs and they are MUCH better, but if space is a problem, these suckers are BIG. If you want to keep $ down, I would start with 2ce sigs and a single 2WQ, then move up to 3A sigs, then add a second 2WQ. Right now I am reasonably content with the bass, and am upgrading electronics (bi-amped McCormack DNA 0.5 Rev B to Rev A). You can get by with a lower powered amp if you use a powered sub; the tubes you are using would probably not be enough for the 3A sigs, but would probably work with 2/2WQ or 5s (due to powered subs). I would vary slightly from Maxgains rec by focusing on a high quality pre and then go for the source (either new CDP or add a used DAC-very cost effective). Just my 0.02, YMMV. Have fun.
If you want to go cheap: Get a set of 2ce Signatures and power them with a mccormack dna 1 or .5 rev A. You will get great sound from this and probably won't need a subwoofer. I feel that from a price/performance/packaging viewpoint, the 2cesig is his best speaker. In some ways I preferred the speed of the 2ceSig to the bass of the 3aSig's.

If you want to go cheap and have bass, I would just go for the 3aSig's, a mcormack dna1 or 225, and skip the subwoofer. This combo has awesome bass. You should be able to get those for 2-2.2K. Try to get a dna1 w/revA.

The 5 is a world class loudspeaker. The 5 and my current eidolons are my two favorite speakers of all time. The avanti running a close 3rd. The model 5 does offer something unique in that you can drive it with a smaller amp & save money there. I drove my set with a 100w audio research vt100m2. Match made in heaven. It gave me the lowend power of a solid state amp, the midrange of a tube amp, and the coherency of an integrated rull range speaker. I think it would be reasonable to use a 125w dna .5 to drive them. The five is an enormous step up from the 2's. The downside is that you really need a big room for them to sound good and you need to have the hipass filter between the amp and preamp. I sold my set because I couldn't get them to sound good in my L shaped 16x12 room without moving them 5 feet into the room. You might be able to pick up a used set of 5's for 7-8K now that the 5a is out. The 5 had the most perfect integration of heavy bass and mid/hi range. I've never been able to get a subwoofer to match a mains speaker as well. In fact I've kind of given up on subwoofers.
Well, this is becoming a good thread with lots of relevant commentary. I have a few clarifying remarks I'd like to add:
1. I did not mean in my opening post to sound disparaging about the 2Ce/2Wq combo. Before owning 3A Sig's, I owned the 2Ci and then the 2Ce, and I think it is an excellent speaker offering very high value. IMO, however, the 2Ce is some distance from the Model 5 in performance, whereas the 3A Sig is much closer.

2. Someone above commented that the 3A's are much bigger than the 2Ce's. Depends on what aspect of size you mean: the 3A/3A Sig's are about 8" taller than the 2Ce, but the width and depth of the two speakers are identical (16" wide, 10" deep). Put differently, both speakers have the same footprint, but the 3A is taller. The extra volume of the 3A/3A Sig speaker cabinet contributes to its slightly lower frequency response, but the main difference between the 2Ce and the 3A series is attributable to the 3A series having better quality drivers and crossover.

3. Marakanetz comments that the Model 5 has a more powerful built-in amp than the 2Wq sub: 400 watts vs. 300 watts. As a practical matter, this power difference is negligible, amounting only to about 1db difference in power output. The smallest discernable increase in volume for most people is 3db, and to achieve a 3db gain you must double the power of the amp (i.e., go from 300 watts to 600 watts).

The 2Wq sub is capable of response down to about 18 Hz, whereas the subwoofer in the Model 5 may get down another 2 Hz or so lower. As a practical matter, this is also largely irrelevant, since your listening room will almost certainly restrict output below 22-24 Hz. The lowest frequency reproduced by any musical instrument, the pedal organ, is about 16 Hz, but there are not more than a handful of recordings with frequencies that low. The LFE in home theater is also restricted below 25 Hz. Hence, it does not make much sense to obsess about trying to reproduce frequencies much below 22-24 Hz unless you have a really large, really GOOD listening room.

The chief virtue of the equalizer built into the Model 5 is to provide a more uniform frequency balance in the lower 2 octaves (20-40 Hz, and 40-80 Hz), not to enhance response below 20 Hz. It's 11-band equalizer allows the user to discretely adjust for dips and peaks in the lower 2 octaves, where there can be significant response anomalies from one room to another.

If you read the posts made by owners of the Model 5, you will generally find that they most appreciate the balance and transient response of the subwoofer. The proprietary subwoofer in the Model 5 actually uses two 12" cones which oppose each other and operate in push-pull fashion, and are driven by an enormous magnet assembly. The 2Wq sub uses three 8" drivers which have roughly the surface area of a single 14" driver, which is substantially less than the two 12" drivers in the Model 5.

To wrap up this rather rambling note, I don't mean in any way to discourage you from starting your system with the 2Ce/2Wq combo. However, if your budget will allow, get a pair of 2Wq subs, since they provide much better system performance than a single sub. Infact, Richard Vandersteen really designed the 2Wq to be used in stereo pairs.

Last, if your budget allows, get a pair of used 3A's -- there is a pair listed here on Audiogon for $1500. They will give you better performance than the 2Ce, and they can be upgraded to the 3A Sig's at a later time for relatively little.

Hope all this helps and isn't overkill. Good listening!
This has been a big eye opener when it comes to what I want, what I need and what I should get. After reading all the specs on the Vandersteen site and reading what other who own them have to say, I now feel that the Model 5A may be a little more than I need; however, I am now leaning toward a model 3A/2Wq combo. In reality, I only want them for music. I do not need them to go down so low I can only feel it and not hear it. I am thinking of getting the 3As sometime next year after I have a chance to try out a pair at my home. It may turn out that they produce all the bass that I need. Right now I am using B&W DM602s as my mains and an Infinity subwoofer that has had some tweaking done to it that gives it a little more push than it use to get(please, no laughing). As you can see, any Vandy might thrill me to death as it is.
I think the 3A/2Wq combo would be an excellent place to start for you, providing a lot of performance for a reasonable sum of money (by high-end standards), particularly if you buy used equipment. Further, you have an upgrade path available to you with the 3A Signature. Whatever you eventually decide to do, always remember the audiophile "caveat": trust your own ears!
I would like to chime in here as Vandersteen products are among my favorites. Throughout their lineup they offer some of the best values in audio.

Matchstikman a few years back I had the opportunity to audition side by side both the 3a Sigs and the 2ce Sigs with an Audio Research VT 100 Mk II amp and a Ref 1 pre. I know there are many positive comments on the pairing of the Vandy's with both McCormack and Scott likes the Bryston but to my ears over the years, the Vandy/ARC combo is the best I've heard, great synergy. This particular set-up was ideal. I listened to both speakers and had goosebumps almost the entire audition of the 3a Sigs with my music, excellent, excellent. Check out that combination before you commit to anything.

Also for the price difference I concur with Scott, go with the 3a's or Sigs if you can. As good as the 2c's are the 3a's are really worth the difference. I also agree with Maxgain and all respondents concerning not skimping on the quality of the gear up front, the Vandies will reward you well if you do, good luck!

I am a newbie audiophile who has just upgraded his electronics and have only one old component....a Genesis 44 speaker from 1985!! I have witnessed their getting better and better with each component purchase(all used!) I intentionally did this to educate myself. WOW! I read reviews and threads all day and, in theory, Vandy is the way to go for me. Now all I have to do is audition them. I live in Vegas and have a store with a 3a for me on Monday. There is Ces next month! :-) I did get to hear a Dunlavy 3a and it was tremendous.(little bass shy) These are second on my list. I plan to get a used 3a and upgrade to Sig. I cannot imagine anyone's selling a 3a sig.(I guess you guys have helped sell me, along with the rave reviews) I do have a question. I have an expensive FB212 Monitor Audio sub. Would this be a good substitute for the Vandy subs? I obviously will not get another FB212 ($$$$) and this could be superior to 2wq. The FB212 seems similar in operation to the 2wq on the surface. I admit to not studying the 2wq, but some thread somewhere lead me to conclude that! I will have to sacrifice the balance of two subs unless you guys feel it is absolutely essential.
Thanks for any advice!

Audible Illusions L-1
Sony 222ES sacd player modified by SACDmods
Marantz MA500 monoblocs(4 of them)(this may be a weak)
Audioquest sidewinders and type 4 speaker cables for now
Match...: many good observations above. What size is your room? I've owned (and enjoyed) the 2Ces, 3As & 3Asigs, and presently the 5s. I started with the 2Ces in a 12 X14 room and could never play them at more than low-mod. levels w/o overloading the room, and a sub was out of the question. After remodeling and going to a 14 X 22 ft. room, the 3A/3Asigs sounded great at any sane listening level, but I never felt that I had room for even one sub.

All these Vandies are large speakers, but because of their bass tunability, the 5s may actually work best in a smaller room, but as John_1 said, they do need to be placed well away from walls, but then so do the others. Also, you don't need a sub w/ the V5s (subs take up room).

The Vand. 5s are wonderful speakers with world class bass, and my last speaker, and they fit well in my medium sized room, but I wouldn't want them or the 3As in a 12 X 14 ft. room.

Since I got the V5s, I'm going from a 300 wpc McCormack amp to a 100 wpc McCormack DNA.5 Rev A Gold. As others have noted, the McCormack/Vandersteen combination is a good one if you want an SS amp.

Hope I haven't sounded discouraging, but if you really do have a small room, I'd be looking for a high quality stand mounted speaker and maybe a small sub. Looking back on it, that's what I really needed in my 12 X 14 room. Best of Luck, and Cheers. Craig
Garfish and John1 are saying what I am in a diffderent way. The very best state of the art stuff in the wrong room with poor set up won't sound like it should.

I have a friend who has much more expensive stuff than mine in the wrong room for it. He has $13000 speakers and 450 watt mono tube amps in a nice, but overly live room(the speakers are big stats to boot). Mine kills it! Not to say he can't someday get it to work, but set up and careful planning are everything.

Another friend of mine got a pair of 3A sigs at a bargain basement price and they were mint. It was the score of a lifetime in my opinion! He then assembled a system of similar components to mine(same CD player, Mono versions of the amp I had at the time, and a pre amp from the same manufacturer) including a 2Wq. He needed to move it out into a bigger room that he had never tried his HiFi in before. Again my system killed it. It sounded nice, but should have been more than just nice! It may have been the room or some other factor that I am still trying to form a theory about. I would have loved to bring the 3's here to see what they did but I never got the chance. He got discouraged too fast and took the opportunity to turn about a $500 profit on the speakers after only a few weeks.It was my only time to listen to the 3A Sigs. This tells me that proper set up and taking the time to working out bugs trumps spending more money on better speakers until your system is ready for them. Hell yes I want 3A Sigs and another woofer! I think the rest of my system, room and set up are up to the task.

I have read about people who have web sites where they pan handle from strangers to pay off huge credit card bills or huge Hospital bills and people send them cash. Ok now is your chance to be a good citizen! Send your cash donations(no checks please!) to "The Maxgain Speaker Fund". The web site isn't up and running yet so for now just send me an e-mail and I will tell you where to send that bushel of $20's and $50's and $100's!
Garfish, my room is small, I mean very small. It is about 12x12 on a good day, but it is practically empty except for the system and I have some homemade room treatments in there. I have done my amateur best to get a nice sound in the room.

After reading my original post, I may have made a mistake in my question. Obviously, the 5a are light years passed the 2ce. It is like comparing a Honda Civic to a BMW. Maybe my question should have been; will Vandy 2CEs and a Vandy 2wq be equal in sound to a pair of Vandy 3As?

I thought I would add how I listen to music. My listening room has a walkin closet and inside this closet is my PC on a desk. I can close the door to the closet and no one will know that a PC is even there. I do alot of work on my PC and I enjoy playing music at a comfortable volume. I sort of consider the music as the soundtrack to my work. The music inspires me. The thing is, I love it when the music sounds good. I am looking for a quality of sound as opposed to the loudness of it. The music rarely gets so loud that I can have a conversation over it. In fact, I thought that all I need was to turn on some music on my PC, but that just didn't cut it. The music from my PC sucked and never inspired me to do a good job.

In the end, I would like a setup that I can live with for years with little modification. I am on a trip to upgrade and I would like to get good things and then be happy.
Hi Match..; If you're really set on the pretty big Vandersteen 2Ce/3A, they will sound very good when played at low volume settings. In fact that was a characteristic that I really liked about those speakers. The 5s have to be played louder to sound natural. In a 12 X 12 ft. room, you can't get low bass anyway-- probably no lower than about 40 HZ, but for most music that is enough.

You probably already know that square rooms are acoustically difficult to set up stereo systems in because the "squareness" creates some bad room modes/nodes. If you're set on a good sized speaker, the Vand. 2Ce sigs are excellent and would be my choice, and they do sound good at low to low-mod. volume settings in a small room.

But in my 12 X 14 ft. room, I wish I had chosen something like the small Proac stand mounted speaker (don't remember the model number), and a small sub to get greater bass solidity. Good Luck, and Cheers. Craig
No one seems to like the Vandersteen 1c around here? If you have a budget crunch they are one of the best values in speakers under the price of 2's and sell for real bargain prices here on Agon. There is a pair of 1b's on now for $325, and 1c's can be had for a bit more. 1B's or 1C's wont take up any more floor space than a monitor on a stand and you dont need to spend lots of cash on realy good stands. Think of them as monitor speakers with the stands built in and deeper bass than tiny monitors. These may even be overkill in a 12X12 room. Check out the Sound Dynamics RTS-3 at Audio Advisor. I have several friends with a pair of these and they are amazing for about $200 a pair right now! Seriously these sound great. Don't let the price put you off. HP from The Absolute Sound loved these things and so do I. I have a friend who sold his Silverline Panatellas and went back to listening to these.(he did like the Silverlines and am not sure whay he did it, same guy who sold his 3A sigs after a few weeks)
Good point Maxgain, re the Vand. Model 1 speakers. I've only heard them in-store, but they sounded good to me. They would be easier place and use in a 12 X 12 room. Cheers. Craig.
FWIW, my son had a pair of Vandy 1's for almost 10 years while in college (currently finishing his PhD thesis). About 18 months ago, I helped him acquire a used pair of 3A's, but he is still using the Model 1's for rear channel surround. The 1's have served him very well, making good music although they don't go much below 40 Hz.
I don't have nearly the experience of some of the other posters. With that said, I find the Vandersteen 2's to be the best value in their line and amongst the best values in audio. You did not mention your room. I think that Vandersteens can be quite fussy about room and placement. I believe that all of the Vandersteen options should be easy to audition. BTW, I'm not a big fan of the McCormack amps in general but they do seem to work very nicely with Vandersteen.
After using Vandersteen's for a long while and going the progression-2Ce-2Ce Sig and then to the 3A Sigs, I would stick with the Signature versions of these speakers. The 2Ce does not sound as refined as the 2Ce Sig like the 3A does not sound like the 3A Sig. In fact, the 2Ce Sig and 3A are very close in sound and I personally would take the 2Ce Sig over the regular 3A. The money is close on the used market. I currently use the 3A Sig and a pair of 2WQ subs. It takes a LOT of setup but worth the effort.
To me, unless the equalization is precisionally done on the Model 5, they overload a lot of rooms. Not to knock the model 5 (because it wasn't set up) but I heard a pair in Atlanta (dealer) and I know he could have sold them to a kid for a car and the kid would have been in heaven! He said listen to the bass. That's all you could here. I wish dealers who sold Vandersteen's would take time and set them up correctly (a very uncommon thing in my experience) The Vandersteen line can SUCK without proper electronics and setup. Most people don't understand them because dealers don't understand them and don't want to take time.
I used McCormack amps for years and they are a good match but when I went to a 4-ch. Theta Dreadnaught with 4 200w modules biamped and biwired---WOW!
I really think the ARC 100MkII or III's would be great. I heard this combo and I have to use another-WOW!
All of the Vandersteen line will give you beautiful music but setup is the key. Also, If you do use the 2Wq subs don't use the x series filters. Those things are as about transparent as mud. Buy some Infinicaps and make your own. It is not hard using the formula 6.28 x imput impedance x crossover frequency (80hz for the 2Wq) Michael Percy Audio carries everything you need (along with some other stores) try it, you'll like it! And it's cheaper to boot(about $40 vs $125). Otherwise use the Model 5 crossover box ($695).
"Matchstickman", "Sdcampbell" and "Maxgain":

So far, this is proving to be a VERY informative board for Vandersteen fans (such as myself), and present and past Vandersteen fans alike. I am liking what I am reading so far. I am finding this forum to be quite educational and informative. As I am thinking about revamping my system a little bit in the eighteen months before I am getting married, I am now weighing the options as to what amp and speaker combinations I want to enter my marriage with after I marry my lady and give her my last name in 2004. And given what my present living quarters are like right now, as well as those that I may encounter when I am into my marriage, it looks like that if I were to pick a Vandersteen combo to be with, I would be leaning toward the 2Ce Signatures with a pair of 2Wq's right now. It is either that, or I may get me a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures and use them by themselves. The difference being that I can get the 2Ce Signatures right now, and I don't have to change my amplifier if I don't want to do so. Even with the tricky impedence and complex driver configurement of the 2Ce Signatures, my Adcom GFA-545 MkII should suffice (given that it is rated to deliver 100 Watts Per Channel into 8 Ohms, and 150 Watts Per Channel into 4 Ohms........ more than enough for the 2Ce Signatures in my opinion), but if I should choose to go with a pair of 3A Signatures instead of the 2Ce Signatures, then I may need to change my amplifier then, and go with a more powerful one (probably one rated at about 250 Watts Per Channel). That is probably the real major difference right now.

Well, since I don't own a pair of Vandies yet, but I have listened to them before, and fell in love with them on top of that, I will continue to check this board for any new posts as they may come along. I find this board to be very informative, and will allow me to make an informed and confident decision when it is time for me to finally purchase my set of 2Ce Signatures.

Do keep them coming...... I love reading about Vandersteen speakers.

Ok guys Chaskelljr2001, brings up some interesting questions.My direct experience with the 3's is limited. They were not introduced until after I got out of the dealership where I sold Vandersteen(I do know a bit about the Model 4 first hand though, talk about a bitch to drive!). I have never thought of the 2C in any version to be difficult to drive as far as load or any other aspect. The Model 3 is more efficent on paper by 1db. Why wouldnt the same amp that can drive 2's drive 3's as well? I don't see why not. Anyone?
I know that I found a very significant improvement when I went from a McCormack DNA 1 to a pair of DNA 0.5s in a horizontal bi-amp. I know that RV recommends vertical biamping, but right now I've got one Rev B and one Deluxe, so I've got the Rev B on top and am saving to upgrade both to Rev A. Whereas a single 0.5 was plenty with the 2cis I had. One thought Chas, with the 2Cesig/2wq combo, you can definately get away with a smaller amp, with the 300watt sub amp taking care of the lows. I would respectfully suggest that the Vandys would benefit from a better, lower powered amp. If I had one or 2 2wqs in the mix, I would probably use a single 0.5 Rev A gold or similar high quality amp, maybe BAT VK60/75, Pass, etc.
Swampwalker, brings up a good point. Perhaps spending some of the money on better associated equipment might be a better investment than spending it all on speakers.
By all means I think that most people give up on their speakers before they know what they are capable of. Hell, I don't think "Dick" himself knows what a 2Ce/2Wq combo can sound like, as well as I do. They get better every time I tweek what's in front of them! I think I have gone beyond what most Model 2 owners have before they moved up to another model in the line. I wonder if he(Dick) has cryo treated Hubbell's in his listening lab? I do!(if you don't have, get some!) I also have custom made X-2 sub woofer x-over filter clones that blow his off the face of the earth! These refinements along with my slow and careful selection of gear has shown me that there is more performance potential in many speakers than most audiophiles understand.
I agree Maxgain, the 2Ce/sig are very capable of showing changes in up-stream components and tweaking for good or ill. I continued on the up-grade path 'cuz I had the bucks to do it, and ultimately specifically wanted the 5s for their built in subs more than than anything else.

Either the 2Ces or 3As (and sigs) are excellent alone and great when subs are added. Cheers. Craig.