Vandersteen sub purchase and placement?


Before I start I would like to let you know what I am running in my "theatre". This is a multi purpose room in which we entertain, watch movies, and listen to music. it is an "L" shape with the "theatre" portion being 13 wide by 16 long. (I plan on posting some pics as soon as my screen surround and my fireplace granite work is complete.)

My system consists of:
Vandersteen 3A Sigs for main, VCC 5 center, VSM 1s for surround, a V2W sub, Bryston 9BSST 5 channel amp, SP 1.7 processor, BP1.5 phono stage, Harmon Kardon T-60 with Benz Gold MC cartridge, Benq 8700 proj, VINC Bravo D2(DVI),and an old Mission PCM7000 that desperately needs replacing.

I want to get another sub. I was thinking of a Vandy 2WQ.

The way my room is set up, placement is very limiting. I can't put subs in the front corners due to the placment of my 3As. My VCC5 center is of course in the center on a custom Sound Anchor stand which also holds my amp on it's base. The sub (V2W)is positioned between my center channel and my right main speaker.

The VSM 1 surrounds are on the side walls close to the back wall. There is no room for a sub on the left rear side wall due to a door way.

So this leaves me with 3 choices for additional sub placement: between my left main channel and my center channel, on the side wall in front of my right main channel, and at the rear under my right surround speaker.

If I were to get one 2WQ then the thought was to put it up front between the left speaker and the center channel. Now having said that Vandersteen says in the manual for the V2W to not use a single V2W and a single 2WQ together!? But yet it's OK to use a pair of 2WQs with a V2W?! My thought was to use a 2WQ with the appropriate X2 crossover and use the V2W for LFE only without the X2.

If I were to get a pair of 2WQs then I would put them both up front and move my V2W. BUT...where the heck do I move it to!?

I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore audio or videophile, but I do appreciate good sound and vision. Right now I just feel that my 3As are a little light on the bottom end when listening to music (I like rock). Especially on 5.1 music DVDs. For movies the system rocks! Pearl Harbor and Devil Boy (yes lame movie)shook the house!

Help and advice would be appreciated, especially from some of you seasoned Vandy owners (of whom were helpful in assisting me in my component choices in the first place - thanks).


I have a HT in which I'm using twin Vandy 2W's. I've never missed anything about the extra driver in the 2WQ. I also understand that it's less exact in the bass, since it's purpose is more for video than strictly audio listening. So, I chose the 2W (that is, the older 2W sub)so as to have the best quality bass whether audio/video at a very reasonable price. A pair of 2W's and you'll not think you're lacking in low end. You can always use the "trim" or whatever it's called on the back (the adjustment) to make the second 2W blend with the room.
My guess is that the warning against blending the Q sub with the regular one is that you'll possibly hear qualitative differences from each, or that it'll be hard to get the sub with extra driver to blend with the other one.
I spent tons of time obsessing about bass anomalies when reading about building HT's and worried that I'd get bad bass. All for nothing. The sound is terrific. I'm guessing you'll do well also with a couple 2W's, and they are cheap! Used for about $6-700.00 on audiogon. My goodness! With twin subs and 3's you'll have PLENTY of bass!
Then again, I'm now in middle of obtaining my second pair of Eminent Technology LFT-8's so I can run TWO pair of them as my main speaker. Each one has an 8" woofer. So, I'll end up with ten bass drivers running - Six in the two subs, and four in the main speaker(s). So, I'll get my share of bass too! What's sweet is that all the bass drivers will be 8" which means less distortion (typically)than using larger drivers.
Hi - I had the virtually the same configuration as you do (I don't have the VSM's for the rear surrounds). If you are going to use either a 2W or 2Wq - these are more for music than home theater - the V2W is specifically for video and can only be connected to your processor via the LFE channel output. The 2W or 2Wq can only be connected correctly using the high pass filters which are selected based on the input impedance of your amplifier that is driving the 3A Sigs. Vandersteen does recommend using 2 of the 2W or 2Wq's for best sound. Also, you cannot mix a 2W with a 2Wq. You can use just one 2W or 2Wq with the V2W.If you are going to use the 2W or 2Wq - it is best to put these in the corners behind the 3A's for the best seamless integration with the 3A's. If you do have these, then you should pull out the 3A's from the wall behind them - this will generally improve the imaging from the 3A's. (if you have the 3A's in the corners, then I don't think you are hearing them at their best - I would recommend them being at least 3 feet out from the wall behind them - hopefully you can do this). If you do this, and only use 1 2W or 2Wq, you should be able to put the V2W in the other front corner. If not, you can put the V2W behind the you - but it will produce the best bass output in a corner (same for the 2W/2Wq as well). hope this helps
Thanks Douglas.

As far as the V2W producing "less exact bass", in reading reviews such the "Widescreen Review" / Audio Perfectionist review it is stated that V2W is a 4.5 out of 5 on "music" and a 5 everywhere else. So, less exact, I would agree, but ever so marginally.

It performs awesome.

BUT, with 5.1 music (DVD concerts for instance) there isn't enough bass. The .1 channel hardly carries any good bass in most cases.

Again in 2 channel, using "extra bass" in my Bryston it rocks!

In 5.1 movies, it rocks.

So, I am leaning toward a 2WQ for 5.1 music DVD videos as well as for when I use the bypass in the Bryston which effectively turns the processor into a Bryston analog BP25.

I will always run my main speakers as "large" if I incorporate a 2WQ.

I am not going to sell my V2W to replace it, I want to supliment it.

I really don't think that I would physically have room for 2 2WQs and my V2W (see my equipment layout in my original post - correct me if I am wrong).

I looked at your pictures...nice job. It is rewarding isn't it?!

I can hardly wait to post some pics of mine!

Babybear, the measurements to the center of the 3As are 22" from the side walls and 27" from the rear. Believe it or not, this doesn't leave room for the subs in the corners due to the Sound Anchor's rear brace. If I really had to I could pull the 3As out another foot,but it is less than ideal cosmetically and functionally. Do you think that it's a huge problem placing them between the 3As and the center channel?


Dwight - I think the best way is to try and see how it works for you in your room. When I pulled my 2W's (or my V2W) out of their corner placements to see how it would sound, the output levels of the subs drops noticeably for me - hence the corner placement. I also think that the 27" from the rear walls is still too close - again, try pulling the 3A sigs out to 3 feet and try to keep the distance between the 3A's measured from center to center in the 7-9 ft range (this may already correspond to the 22" from the sidewalls)- just to see how they sound - if you don't notice much difference, then you're probably OK - but at least give it a try to be sure you are maximizing the potential of the speakers.
Dwight - one other source of very good information on this subject is Richard Hardesty's Audio Perfectionist Joural. The web site address is Click on Free Journals and select Journal2rl - this is an excellent source on speaker and subwoofer placement - Richard H in this journal is describing his then own setup - using Vandersteen 3A sig with 2Wq subs in his own listening room. This is very good reading and can provide you alot of very valuable info from a very knowledgeable person.
By the way, I misread "not to use a V2W and a 2WQ together". He says not to use a 2WQ and a 2W together which doesn't apply to me.

Babybear, the distance is 8 feet between my speakers. I just got out of shoulder replacement surgury so I won't be lifting any thing for a little while but I will give it a try. I really think that it will block the view of my fireplace on the left side and possibly infringe on the view of the 92" screen for the viewers sitting in the side seats.

Hypathetically, if I put a 2WQ on each side of the center channel (between the center and each 3A), by my description in my original post, where else could be a possible spot for the V2W?

I have read some of Hardesty's stuff and it has been benificial. In fact it was due to him that I decided to go with some of my Vandy choices.