Vandersteen 5A Speakers

I currently have a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures with a Wadia 381 up front, a Pass X250.5 amp and a Rel B-3 Sub. I am thinking about up-grading to the 5A speakers.

My question is do you think I can get the 5A's to sound proper in a 12 X 16 X 8 foot room???

As of now the 3A's sound fine. I just got the up grade bug and I realy like the Vandersteen sound.

I believe the minimum listening distance for the 5a is 8 feet from the plane of the speakers (judging by the tilt chart in the 5a manual.) So it might be pretty tight fit in that room.

My preference would be for long wall placement (to put the speakers as far away from the side walls as possible). Because of the bass EQ, the Vandies do not need to be way out in the room, but that would still put your listening position close to the back wall. Some 4" thick panels on the back wall should help.
It should work as good, probably better than the 3As. I have a similar sized room and just upgraded from 3As + one 2Wq to 5s (not 5A). The 5s sound better all around and while I haven't played with the low frequency EQ yet they have better bass (deep but not boomy) and are more open sounding. I don't regret it. As Daverz points out eight feet is the minimum listening distance, but you should not have a problem with that.
No problem with Vandies being adjustable in Room compensation
If you look at the Vandersteen on the 5A owners gives a graph showing suggested speaker placement. See if it works in your room.
Audioconnection said it well...that plus, I've never let the room shape/size dictate the speakers I own.
That doesn't mean that I haven't had more and less success in terms of sound.
Knowing the golden ratios by heart, doesn't mean that any of us are fortunate enough to have such a room.
Also, I'm such a fan of 'Nearfield listening', that I can simply put my chair wherever I want when litening time is available.
Go for the 5's--they're absolutely wonderful speakers.

Good listening,
Thanks for the information.

If the 5As will be positioned on one of the short walls I would highly recommend something to take care of the side wall reflection point.
Hi Tdaudio

Yes I have treatment on the first and second reflection points and also behind my seating position whitch is 28" to the rear wall behind me. The 3A's sound great. I just always wanted to try to get a pair of the 5A's. It's been my dream for a long time.
Larry, you should know as well as anybody, that speakers like the Vandy's will need a minimum of space between the listener and the speakers for proper driver integration.
Of course, you're right up to a point. Here's that point.
My comments were, that the size room he has, depending on which wall he uses, accommodates this.
About 8' listening distance is the reccommended for most 'fixed' time aligned, (I made that up, that was THIEL's).
So, if he goes three feet into the room,(with speaker placement) then comes a like three feet in,(into the room with his chair) he's about nine feet away,(allowing for the depth of the speaker), he's more than that minimum.
Again, I PERSONALLY would try it...that doesn't mean that any sane person would try it...but the drive for great audio, is almost a biological urge in my lexicon.

Good listening,
Larry, I too prefer a near field listening position. I currently sit a little over 9' from my speakers, though if the room allowed I would sit perhaps as much as another foot away. I was just concerned that some might take the "...I can put my chair where ever I want when litening {sic} time is available." , as an appropriate strategy for use with the Vandersteens.
By the way, the tilt chart in the 3A Sig manual also shows a minimum listening distance of 8 feet. However, the 5As are twice as deep as the 3As (20" vs. 10.5").
FYI gentleman
When referring to the tilt chart measurements should be taken from the middle of the speaker to the wall behind and side walls.
Cheers Johnnyr
Can you explain further how measurements to the front and side walls are used when referring to the tilt chart?
That's odd...not doubting your claim of 'middle' of the speakers, but most 'launch' charts are measured from the 'face' of the speaker.
Example, the Essence 10's which were 'time alignable' with launch charts, a protractor and height/distance--called for measuring from the edge of the woof cabinet.

Thanks for the info.

Good listening,
I had a question about the tilt on the 5A. or the 3A's.

How doses the angle of the speaker affect the tweeter responce if you are having the speakers sounding a bit on the bright side????

I don't think the 5A's ever sound bright. I sit about 13 feet from the front of my 5A's. In the setup kit that came with the speakers there are shims which are placed between the cones and the enclosure...I think there are 6. I had to use all 6 on the rear spike..and that wasn't enough, so I put a Cardas wood block under the rear cone with all 6 shims. That made the music bloom...instantly I knew it was right. I then found a fuzz spot between the 2 speakers, so I very slightly turned the speakers inward...not facing the listening chair...but just enough to eliminate that fuzz spot. The result is a gorgeous picture to the music. Richard would be the first one to tell you to experiment to get the best from the speaker. These speakers are so good, you can easily tell when your adjustment is good or bad. By the way...the speaker is just 2 ft 1 3/4 inches from the rear wall. I followed the Vandersteen setup chart...did the math...and it really sounds good where it is. If you click onto "system" and see where the speakers will notice artwork on the wall in back of the speakers. I had an artist come in for consultation. The triptych shows a background with the same grain as the speakers (kowazinga finish) with those seemingly abstract lines...then you realize..that's the speaker cable. The artwork is oil on canvas...I filled the back of the artwork with fiberglass matting and covered it with cheesecloth. It looks and sound fabulous.
Lrsky you are correct for tilt chart we measure from face of speaker
((Can you explain further how measurements to the front and side walls are used when referring to the tilt chart?))
Excuse me I Meant the Grid chart in the owners manual for uniform in room response position.
As the grid shows mesuring from the middle of speakers to walls
RussB((How doses the angle of the speaker affect the tweeter response if the speakers sound a bit on the bright side????}}}
With more tilt back we change the angle of the tweeter, mid range, and bass drivers. this allows for a more precise transision/blend and will seem to smooth out the top.
Try listing to just one speaker if its brite
slouch down in your couch until its right
then adjust the speakers tilt back to be correct where you are at normal seating height.
Try a level laser pointer on top of the adjusted speaker pointing it behind your chair put a band aid on the wall where it lands now adjust the others speaker's tilt back to the same height so that both speakers hit the same mark.
Cheers Johnnyr
Thanks Johnny for the expalination on the setting of the angle. I will recheck the angle of my current 3A's. I do notice that if I slouch down in my chair the left speaker is smoother on the top end. No trouble with the right.


one other thing...
make sure the speakers are side to side level as well
placing a bubble level on top of the 3asigs and get them
exact even if you have to install an extra washer on one front side more than the other.
Cheers Johnnyr


Thanks for the advice. I will check all my settings this weekend. Have a good one.

Wanted to thank everyone for there responce, and advice.

I checked all my settings this time using a laser level. I found that the left speaker was off in the tilt even though both speakers had the same amount of spacers installed. I feel this is because the floor is not the same on both sides. After I leveled both 3A's out and got the tilt set to match each other the sound stage has realy locked in, even the bass has improved. The top end is alot smoother still with detail. Centering of vocals is now dead center when the music calls for it to be. It is amzing how a few adjustments made a difference.

Thanks Again
Most floors are off I think we all need to get out the level.
Great News happy listening...
If you're using a laser level, one thing you can do is get the tilt exactly what it should be for your listening distance (rather than just the closest line on the tilt chart.) If you're ear height is 36.5 inches, for example, tilt the speakers until the laser line rises 1.5 inches just behind the listening position.

I am not sure on what you are saying in regards to the 1.5 inches. can you explain in more detail.

If you look at the tilt chart in the manual, you'll see that for a 36" ear height at 8 feet it has you tipping the speaker back until the top rear of the speaker is 1/2" behind the bottom rear. Since the speaker is 4' tall, this means the top of the speaker has a slope of

1/2" / 4' = 1/8" / ft => 1" rise in 8 ft

In other words the speaker is tilted so that the listening axis is pointed at your ears if you were sitting 8 feet away. If you put a laser level on top of the speaker the laser line would rise 1" from its height just in front of the speakers to the height at the listening position. (For my Craftsman laser level, it would rise from 50" to 51").

If you're listening height is 36.5", the laser line should rise 1.5".

Usually I'll get one speaker at the right tilt, measured with a tape measure, then set the tape measure on the floor and extend the tape up just behind the listening chair. Then adjust the tilt of the second speaker so that the laser line heights matches up on the tape measure.

Thank you for explaining. I understand what you are saying. My ear hight is at 36" and I sit 9 feet away. I will check with my laser tonight.