Vandersteen Quattro

What's the buzz about Vandersteen's Quattro? Anybody hear them at CES 2005?

I have my ears on them, because my next pair of speakers will be time and phase aligned. To the best of my knowledge, that doesn't leave too many choices other than the Vandersteen, Meadowlark, and Thiel lines. Je pense le Gallo Reference 3A is time, but not phase, aligned.

Anybody know of other candidates?


I can only offer a second-hand comment based on a conversation I had yesterday with Tim Ratcliffe, owner of "Experience Audio" in Seattle, WA. (For Seattle-area audiophiles who are not familiar with Tim's store, I'll quickly mention that his product lines include: electronics from Aesthetix, Audio Research, Plinius, Copland, Gamut, 47 Labs, and Klyne; speakers by Avalon, ProAc, Alon/Nola, and Reference 3M; turntables from VPI, ClearAudio, and Nottingham turntables; cartridges from Grado, ClearAudio, Benz, and DynaVector; cables from Acoustic Zen; power line conditioning from Richard Gray.)

Tim just returned from CES, and he said that he listened at some length to the Quattros and was very impressed with them. He thought the Quattros offered exceptional performance for the money, while also taking up less "air space" than the larger Vandy models.
Jburidan, I believe that phase-aligned and time-aligned are the same thing. A system can't have the wavefront created by all its drivers be in time alignment unless all the drivers (and crossover, of course) are phase-aligned.

I could be wrong and I'm willing to read more info about it.
Hi, Jeffrey. Not to contradict you, but phase-aligned and time-correct are not the same thing.

When one refers to phase-aligned, it means that all of the drivers in a speaker are wired so they are are in positive phase or negative phase at the same time. Put more simply, all of the drivers are either moving forward (toward the listener) or back (away from the listener) at the same time.

Time-correct means that the wave front generated by each driver arrives simultaneously at the listener's ears. Time-correct speakers normally have a sloping baffle, so the tweeter and mid-range are a few inches further away from the listener's ears than the low-frequency driver. Further, to be time-correct, a speaker must have a first-order crossover (6db slope). There are very few speakers that are both phase-aligned and time-correct, such as Vandersteen, Thiel, Meadowlark, and Dunlavy (now out of business).

Single panel planar or electrostatic speakers are, by their design, always "in phase", since there is only panel, and it can only move in one direction at a time. They may not, however, be "time correct", since high frequency signals propogage faster than low frequency signals. This problem was addressed many years ago by Quad, which designed a concentric area in the middle of the speaker panel that created a radiating wave pattern from the center to the sides of the speaker panel, thereby reducing the tendency for the speaker to "beam" (have a small "sweet spot").

Hope this helps to clarify matters.
Alon, which is now Nola.

Brad Day
Atlanta, GA
Well, I was heading in the right direction, and S, you didn't contradict me. As I said, I'm willing to read and learn.


Your comment about Quad's solution must be why my 989s sound so GREAT.

If you are interested in phase coherent speakers, you must try to listen to Green Mountain Audio before you decide. The Continuum series uses quality drivers with really good first order crossovers and mechanical adjustments for the midrange and tweeters to assure a phase coherent wave front for any listening positio.
Thanks, I'll check out the Continuum series, Nola, and Dunlavy, too.
The local Detroit Vandersteen dealer believes it will be mid summer when the Quatros will start being shipped.
Finally heard the quattros a couple of nights ago in Tacoma, WA Advanced Audio. Nice little shop with great stuff and friendly, informed staff. Anyway, I literally got dizzy and short of breath listening to a very familiar piece of music. This is not a step or two up from my beloved 2CE's but a small step down from the 5A's, which they also have on hand for comparison. I know what my next speaker will be and I have never repeated a brand before. Priors include; B&W, Apogee, Thiel, ACI among others.
I only know again from second hand experience from several people that these are awesome and designed to work in a tighter space than the 5's. The people that listened to them I know well and they were impressed, that is no small feat. As with most Vandies for the price I think these are hard to beat. I also had 2ce sig and just got the 5a first speakers I repeated a brand in also. These speakers are the kind you keep for life.
The poster above mentioned that single panel planar speakers are always in phase. That is not correct. Maggies have the panel broken into different sections and in some models the low and high frequency sections are wired out of phase.