Vandersteen's Low Spousal Acceptance Factor

I purchased the Vandy 2ce sigs recently, and really like their sound. I know everyone has strong opinions about them on this site, but to me they sound very natural and balanced. I've owned Revels, Thiels and Von Schweikerts, but they all sounded slightly colored and/or dry by comparison.

Enter the dreaded Spousal/Wife Acceptance Factor. My wife HATES the way the Vandy's look. Is there anyone who can modify/dress the Vandy's to make them more presentable?? Or, is there another speaker (even if it costs a little more) out there that has that first-order sound, but doesn't look like a black box? Help!
Well the Quadros or the 5's. Nothing else near the price comes close to the performance that I have found. You can get good sound the trouble is the sound stage and openness of there design.

You could try getting ligher socks that make it blend into the room more. Other than that you can ask your dealer about getting 2 vsm wall mounts and one or 2 subs. THat would be one heck of a small satalite system.

What is your buget?
The Gallo Ref 3 is a terrific speaker for $2600. WAF? No idea, let your wife look at the website. Apparently there's quite a wait to get a pair, but certainly worth the time.
a castle harlech or howard- you're wife will think they are beautful and they have that 'natural' thing the vandys have. an incredible value, and the best sounding furniture at any price
Make the socks out of your wife's favourite chintz and voilĂ : same spaeker but with that feminine je ne sais quoi! What more could she want?
Try for a pair of Meadowlark Kestrel 2s - factory liquidation, they're about half price right now.
just start showing your wife pictures of bigger, more obtrusive speakers telling her that you are considering replacing the Vandy' her the Avantgarde Trios...after looking at the speakers...and the price...she'll be begging you to keep the 2ce's

other than that...I think that Pbb has the best idea...unless your wifes favorite fabric is some $300/sqyd stuff that would end up tripling the cost of your speakers.

best of luck
I had the exact same problem. Loved the sound, but they just overwhelm visually. Unfortunately they had to go. If you really love the sound all I can say is, good luck.
I'll second Zkzpb8 suggestion. Considering what you have already tried and your price point the Meadowlarks seem like a worthy alternative. Keep in mind you won't have the company support.
Try Green Mountain speakers. they are first order, and next time try to get her OK first lol! I am lucky mine loves big speakers, had AR-9 and now Innersound Eros and she loves them!
OK, had Vandy's (wow great speaker), lost to low WAF, got Maggies (low WAF but could hide out of the way behind a screen), got Gallo's for high waf (lost to low WAF on the sound) replaced with Maggies again. Hey, they are thin and light, you can move them.

Love Vandy's though, sweet.
Hi - I've written this before, but you can spend less, have possibly much higher WAF (depending on preferences), and have extremely similar but even better sonics (IMHO) with Dahlquist DQ-20's. Under $500 used for a beautiful pair and still one of the most magical mid-ranges out there. I'm always keep a pair around my place.
If you like the Vandy sound, I would look at picking up a used pair of Meadowlarks...

I can sympathize with you on the Vandy's, I too like their sound, and the better half (the wife) said, "there is NO way in HELL you are paying thousands of dollars to have it covered with an ugly black sock that looks like a box..."

heh, and I went looking in another direction...
You can remove the speaker grill cloth (audibly unnecessary). The top & bottom panels must stay on, for the tweeter first reflection and the 4 poles that brace the frame. Then you could paint the black wood box some other color or shinny. Or you can order a different color grill cloth from Vandy or obtain it from another source like a fabric store, just make sure there is no audible differences.

Or get rid of the wife :)
Trade the spouse on a pair of 20 year olds and keep the Vandy's.
I like the way he thinks out of the box (no pun intended) You were looking at this the wrong way. Instead of trading the speaker trade the spouse. Nice clear open rich voices out of the speaker or constent screatchey nagging? Your choice.
Are you not the man in the relationship?
Time to upgrade your "stones"...... They are too small!!

Getting rid of wife is usually a costly proposition. Let alone trade in for value.
Thats truely funny. Trade in value...

Wax her up, clean under the hood real well, make sure the tailpipe isnt draggin' and yer good to go.
Wife or Speakers. (I am sorry but, why the indecision?)
Real helpful guys
Let's get this straight right now. You obviously haven't seen my wife - she's a total Sicilian hottie. The Vandy's are going way before she does, so how about some real suggestions??

Like the Meadowlark Kestrel 2 idea, but afraid I'd be giving up bass. Am I wrong?
Gfields, well fine have it your way! Can we at least wash her up and poke around under the hood? =)

Seriously, I agree with your wife, the Vandy's arent all that presentable. Must have something to do with the sock or something.

You know Ellery has a point, you could take your wife to the audio shop and point out the most massive speaker they have and tell her you are considering it. Something like, oh, a Klipsch K-Horn. May work then again may not.
OK, I answered before as I swapped out my Vandys for same reason. I went with Meadowlark Audio Shearwater Hot Rods. Very happy with resultant sound. The sloped baffle helps them blend into a room with ease so they are winners on several levels. Actually if I were in the market I'd be looking for a pair of used Herons.
I would suggest Shearwater Hotrods - I don't know if it's Italian Rosewood :), but there's a Rosewood model available for 1500-. Those are great speakers - I like the older, "classic" Meadowlarks.
Does the Sicilian hottie have a sister? Sorry, had to ask!!
How about sonus faber cremona?

Poor speakers. How would she like it if you critized the way she looks? Maybe tell her she needs to shed a few pounds, or that her nose is too big. See how she likes it. Seriously, I dont get why women hate speakers so much. I think the Vandersteens looks fine, if not great.
Dave, you arent a divorce Attorney by chance are you?

Nah, I'm not. I wish I was, though, then I wouldn't be broke!
I think some women are opposed to anything they perceive as overly masculine in the home,I think alot of men today have lost alot of ground in that area. Tell her you agree and the speakers will go and you will purchase a Harley and get those tattoo's you always wanted and that the two of you should get out more and make some new friends up at Uncle Knarley's bar and grill ( tell her you already ordered her pool cue for her with the sreaming skull's on it.
OK guys, Just locked down a pair of Kestrel 2s in mahogany - absolutely beautiful. Call me superficial, but the shearwaters are almost as butt ugly as the Vsteens. Not looking forward to the 200 hours of break-in though. thanks for the suggestions.
Tell your wife about your life-long interest in the following:

1. Small aircraft
2. Motorcycles
3. Cheerleaders

The aesthetics of your audio hardware won't seem as bad. At least she'll know where you're at - at home in front of your system.
Congrats on the Kestrels. Did you show her a picture?

I've seen the Shearwaters in person, and they look better than in the pix - definitely better than Vandys. Of course, the Kestrel 2s were probably the best choice. Hope you guys like 'em.
say goodbye to those low notes
I bought a subwoofer for my setup as well.
Gfields...thanks for keeping us posted with how you solved your dilemna...too many people ask for suggestions and then disappear without a thanks or a follow-up to let us know what they ended up choosing.

Hope the Meadowlarks work well for you...I think they are great looking speakers also although I have never heard them.

and 200 hrs breakin...don't sweat it...pop a cd in and put the player on repeat when you leave the house...that 200 hrs will pass by before you even know it!

Happy listening


p.s. I still recommend taking your wife on an "ugly and obtrusive speaker tour" sometime...just for future reference...maybe those big Calix speakers will scare her enough that you'll be able to have any speaker your heart desires.

you know...your wife wants want her butt ugly and you'll be able to happily compromise at ugly...and win.

all said in pure fun
Thanks everyone for their input. It's amazing - or incredibly foolish - that I'm willing to risk about $1000 based on advice from people I've never met! You could all be WRONG!

Just kidding; almost every recommendation I've gotten on this site has been excellent.

I'll post again once the 'larks arrive
The 'Larks have landed! They are absolutely beautiful in Mahogany. BIG, off-the-charts-positive wife acceptance factor. She loves them.

They're significantly smaller than the 2ce sigs, which is nice given my cramped listening room. Hard to compare sound until these are broken in, but so far I'm very impressed. Bass is even good considering small cabinets. I don't quite hear the cohesiveness of the Vandys, but I've got many hours of break-in ahead (I've been told as high as 500 hours!!).

I found a scratch on the front panel of one of these, so to compensate, the distributer has agreed to cut me a deal on a great MJ acoustics sub (down to 15hz!). Can't wait to integrate this set up.

See? Sometimes, it's not the worst thing to listen to your wife. I ended up with new gear that looks great!

Thanks again to all of you. The 'Larks were a superb suggestion! Meanwhile, I showed my wife that Consonance teardrop CDP - her jaw dropped. "What is that?! It's beautiful!". Yes, I can see this situation working to my advantage more and more....
That's great, I'm glad it worked out for you. A harmonious home with great music! Glad you didn't trade your wife for a pair of speakers.