Hi, Elmuncy: I'll try to answer some of your questions, but to get some comprehensive information about the various models in the Vandersteen line, I suggest you go to their web site and do some reading. The web address for Vandersteen is: http://www.vandersteen.com/
For the sake of this thread, let me quickly define the model numbers of the Vandy speakers that you mention above:
1. The Model 1C is the latest version of the Model 1, which is a 2-way speaker, and Vandersteen's least expensive model.
2. The current Model 2 is the 2Ce and the 2Ce Signature. The 2Ci ceased production about 10 years ago. The 2Ce (and its Signature version) are 3-way speaker systems, and somewhat larger physically than the Model 1C. If we exclude the flagship Vandersteen model, the Model 5, then the 2Ce is the middle speaker in Vandy's current line, and is one of the best selling speakers ever manufactured (more than 120,000 pairs sold, as I recall).
3. The Model 3A and 3A Signature are the tallest of the Vandy models (48" tall), and are also 3-way speakers.
Your Creek 5350SE should provide adequate power for the Model 1C and 2Ce, PROVIDED you don't listen at very high volume levels and that your room isn't heavily damped. If your listening tastes, however, run to full-range organ music or heavy-metal rock, or your listening room is carpeted and is furnished with a lot of heavily padded furniture, then the 5350SE may have marginal power. There is no question, though, that the 5350SE is a very good integrated amp, and the Vandy 2Ce is sufficiently revealing that it works best with good quality amplification.
The size of your listening room is not particularly large, and thus presents no obvious problem. My own listening room is about 13x17x8, and I previously owned a pair of Vandy 2Ci speakers which worked very well in this room with a 150 wpc amp.
There are a number of very happy Vandersteen owners who frequent this forum. I suggest that you spend some time reviewing the info on the Vandersteen web site, and then return to this forum to get answers to specific questions that you may have.
In my opinion, entry level high end begins with the Vandersteen 2ce. I began with the model 3 myself 10 years ago. The 2 ce will give you plenty to listen to.
What is nice about Vandersteen is that they are very forgiving. Some speakers require very expensive upstream components in order to deliver the goods. Vandersteens can sound very good with more moderately priced electronics. One idea would be to call around to Vandersteen dealers and find out what they are using to drive the 2ce. Usually dealers will pay attention to synergy and commensurate cost in putting together demonstration systems.
The Vandersteen 2Ce line are rated to handle between 40 and 160 watts. Your 85 watt Creek should be fine, especially given the relatively small room you have. As far as solid state integrateds go, you could do (much) worse. The Vandies are a fine speaker (I own a set), but what don't you like about your PSB speakers? They are not bad speakers---maybe it is how you have them set up? Or something farther up the chain?
I am not going to try to disuade you from buying Vandies, as I personally love mine. I can tell you that they really shine with tube amplification. They sounded 100% better in my room with tubes than solid state. I went from a well regarded 152 watt solid state to a 90 watt tube amp, but the tubes blow the transistors in all respects.
If your current sound with the PSB/Creek match sounds a bit shrill for you, you will get some some relief from Vandies in that regard. They tend to be more rounded on the highs to most ears. Another good upgrade to reduce any shrillness associated with your system is to get an outboard DAC. The 951 is not the top CD player in the Rotel line, and the DAC is a bit aged by this time. I like Rotel myself (I use thier 980 CD transport), but a Perceptual Tech or MSB Link DAC will greatly improve the sound of your system for a reasonable price.
You may not get a true picture of the Vandersteen's sound in the showrom as they need to be properly placed (3 feet away from wall, at least 3 feet from side walls) and broken in. Vandersteens definitely have their own sound, and are unlike any other speaker. The time/phase correct engineering does convey a slightly different sound (Vandersteen lovers would say a more "correct" presentation). It does take some time with them before you begin to get a grip on thier presentation and appreciate them for what they do well.
Having owned the 2ce's, 2ce signatures and now the model 3A signatures, if you want the best sound for your money(in the vandersteen line), go with the 2ce signatures. They are considerably better than the 2ce's for a touch more money. The creek will be sufficient but to be honest with you, the Vandy's perform better with a bigger amp (more current.) I owned a Creek 5350se for a while and am very familiar with its sound. Its probably the best integrated i've heard for any where close to the money. It will be excellent own the highs and midrange for sure. Bass is a big function of your room and setup. The vandersteen's MUST be set up correctly or you're miss the beauty of these speakers. Don't let anyone tell you they are soft. When set up properly, they are about as neutral of a speaker as you will hear. Also, bi-wiring is a MUST! I agree with an above post, might want to upgrade the CD portion of your system.
Both Philo1 and Bigtee are on the money about vandy room placement and setup. It took me a few months to get this right and realize just how good these speakers are. By the way spend the extra $ and get the 2ce Sig. they have the tweeter used in the model 3.Also get an amp with enough power--I got the Musical Fidelity A300 (150 watts) and am really happy with it except that it needs a bit of volume to really shine. My solution was to also get a pair of monitors for softer nightime listenning. Good listenning, John
I have owned both 2ci's and 2ce's. Great sounding speakers but their size and placement requirements can dominate a room your size. I also agree that the 2's sound better with tubes. However, the 1c's are smaller and seem to be more forgiving of electronics. I would suggest you audition them before deciding. Would also suggest you show your wife some pictures of them before you drive 150 miles.
I don't know if the Creek will drive Vandy well. The only way to be sure is to try it out. I suggest you bring the Creek with you on your audition trip. You might want to call the dealer in advance for their permission. And while you are there, listen to the 3A Signature as well.
Good luck and enjoy your speaker hunt.
there is a wrong statement in this thread that entry level high-end begins from Vandersteen 2Ce...
you can start with 1C or 1B and later-on add 2Wq. in this ensemble you will smoke 3As. their cheepest model is one of the most successfull entry-level 2-way designs vs price offered and they will match great with your Creek. They're the best among speakers in $1.500 price range that you can get used under $500. After all you can simply compare your amp connecting to the different pairs of speakers in the demo room if you have such possibility. imo 2Ce's sound seemed to me unopen and undefined when i listened them in the demo room with Basis 1400/Audiable Illusions Modulus 3A/Rogue M120 magnum monoblocks... another words they didn't meet my expectations since i love music to be more with life and with more colours than black-and-white.
3As are not the tallest vandy speakers. The tallest are series -4 that are discontinued and replaced by 5.
I thank all of you for your help. I'm going to make the trip, not sure when, but I've heard so many good things about Vandersteen that I need to hear for myself. So many speakers sound great at first, but get old quickly. One of the things that a lot of people have said of the Vandy's is that there is no listener fatique, and they seem to get better with time.
...somewhay i miss my previous vandy's 1C :)
In my (very opinionated) opinion, only three Hi-end loudspeakers are really needed to cover all price ranges:
Reasonable: Vandersteen 2ce
Expensive: Audio Physic Virgo
Stupid: Wilson Watt Puppy's
I feel the Vandersteens do enough right to satisfy most music lovers. I owned the 2ce's for 5 years and was always very satified with the sound. They don't offer the ulimate resolution but they do convey an awful lot of the music. The creek should drive them nicely but you are mixing a warm sounding amp with warm sounding speakers. If you like a smooth warm liquid sound you should be happy. Even though I have become stupid, I still miss the vandersteens.
I believe I said, "in my opinion". Our difference of opinion serves Elmuncy well ... there is much to listen to in the Vandersteen line.
I suppose it's kind of ironic. I began in the digital section asking about what digital device to buy. I was told to get rid of my speakers. In this forum I'm told to get a DAC. I have a Creek OB-14 and an Adcom GDA 600. If anything both of these make the sound more shrill and sharp than without them. I was trying to do an upgrade on the cheap. Would the MSB Link with oversampling be better? I know that this is the wrong forum for this question, but others have mentioned it.
OK. I've driven the distance and finally heard the Vandys. I don't know enough about them to know if they were set up right or not. I heard the 1's, the 2CE signature, and the 5's. They all sounded fantastic. I think I'd like to have the signatures. Thank you all for your help.
How would you compare the way that the 1C's and the 2CE's sound? Would 40 to 50 watt/channel amplification (NAD C340, Creek 4330, etc.) be adequate to drive the 1C's, which are Vandersteen's least expensive speakers, or do they require more power to sound good, like the 2CE's? Do the 1C's have sufficient lower bass to be used as full-range speakers in a system, without a subwoofer? Thanks to all who have posted -- this is an interesting thread.
I have 1C's, and a friend a few blocks away has 2Ce's. They sound quite similar, with that special Vandersteen coherence, open-ness, and dispersion. The 2Ce's have a fuller lower bass and sound larger and a couple of shades darker, all things being equal.
Short answer: A NAD C340 would be adequate for a pair of Vandersteen 1C's at moderate volumes in a room of moderate size. I think that it would not be up to the task of driving adequately a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce's. Also I think that a 1C-subwoofer combination can be better overall than a 2Ce.
Longer answer: When I first got the 1C's, I ran them with an old NAD 60W/channel 3300 PE. I missed fullness in the lowest octave and general "slam" with about half the music I listen to; I enjoy mostly jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and some rock and "classical" (Eastern and Western). So I bought an ACI Titan II LE subwoofer and that did a superb job, better than a Vandersteen 2WQ in my room.
A few months later, I bought a 120W/channel NAD C370 (mostly for the remote), and I was surprised how much fuller, deeper, and more natural the music became. The subwoofer comes into play significantly less; my 1C's would now be more than adequate on their own most of the time.
My friend runs his Vandersteen 2Ce's rather well with 50W/channel Audio Research tube amplification in his moderately-sized room. I rarely miss a subwoofer with his eclectic mix of rock, jazz, and classical music. I suspect that an increase in power would improve the bass and ease of the overall presentation.
What I've heard in comparison of these speakers with no sub used is that 1C has more open and full midrange, has better dissapearance effect than 2Ce while 2Ce has its bass a-bit deeper but not enough to be a full range speaker.
Getting 1C with 2wq woofer will give better results than the same would be done with 2Ce.
On the other side I also noticed that somehow 1C benefit if you throw there some juice. I used to drive them with Creek 4330R rated at 40 W/ch and I fealt that it has enough power to swing the driver but not enough power to stop it i.e. the drum sounded longer than it's suppouse to sound. When I hooked them up with Bryston 3B-st they sounded much fuller and defined.
Adding a woofer will ease-up the task of a speaker and enhance its work on midrange and top end. Moreover it will more create a 3d and better stage.
Of course your room and desired listnening levels are important in your amp selection. I think the Creek could run the Vandersteen 2's but, just barely. I would recommend an amp upgrade to get the most out of these speakers. As for Marakanetz recommendation, lets just say we almost never agree on anything.
you're not the only one Unsound,
but i still do not understand what people find in 2Ce compared to 1C maybe spending more bucks??
Marakanetz, I could make a laundry list of why I prefer the 2's to the 1's and find the 2's to be a better value, but you have obviously made the same comparisons and come to a different conclusion. To each his own. Ulitmately, every buyer does the same.
could you tell me about the best room set up
on the 2ce sigs