Vandersteen Subs 2W, 2Wq, etc. as LFE

Okay, I think that the only Vandersteen sub that is made to take an LFE signal is the V2W. The others are made to meld into working with a standard pair speakers rather than use the LFE output. My question: is there any way for these other Vandy subs to be used for LFE purposes?

I ask for a few reasons. First and foremost, the 2W is generally the cheapest and most common used Vandersteen sub. I've got a Maggie 7-channel system, so it should meld well. However, I don't want the sub to just work as the low end for one pair of speakers. I'd like to either use this as the LFE sub or as a "speaker sub" for all the speakers by having the Lexicon sum the low-end of all seven Maggies and sending it to the Vandersteen. In either event, it would require sending a direct signal from the preamp, not the amp. But is there any way to do this with these Vandersteen subs?

The Vandersteen 2W and 2Wq are designed to be used with separate preamp and power amp. A resistor is inserted at the inputs of the power amp to cut off low frequencies to the main speakers and relieving the amp from trying to produce those low frequencies. The subwoofer is then fed a sample signal from the outputs of the amp via speaker wire to the sub. To my knowledge this is the only method of using the Vandersteen 2W and 2Wq.

The 2W is the oldest version of the Vandersteen subwoofers and shows up used more often and the condition varies. The 2Wq is the later version with even more flexability. This is the reason for the difference in price that you have noticed.
Damn! Thanks Rrog, I appreciate the information. I was afraid that this was the answer--almost sure actually--but I wanted to ask to be sure.
Aewhistory: You can use a 2W or 2Wq for LFE in addition to using it as a sub for the satelite speakers. The 2Wq adds an adjustable Q control, which may come in handy if you want big, booming, home theater-style bass instead of the tight, controlled and accurate bass the Vandy subs are known for. If you have one of these subs, tell your processor that the mains are large, the other speakers are small, and that there is NO subwoofer. This will send the bass from all channels and the LFE to the front two channels, where the Vandy crossover/resistor scheme will send all the bass to the 2W or 2Wq.

That said, the V2W was designed specifically to use the RCA subwoofer output of a pre-pro.

IMHO, these are all excellent subwoofers. I have been using a pair of 2Wqs to augment my front mains for several years, and i really love 'em. I use an old Def Tech sub for LFE and bass redirection from the center and surround channels. I guess it depends on how much you care about surround sound quality vs. 2-channel sound quality. Obviously, I care much more about 2-channel sound quality than surround sound quality. YMMV.
Hi Bonmanp,
Thank you! This is such a simply idea I wish I'd thought of it myself. I was so wrapped around the idea of using the pre/pro at the center that I hadn't really thought outside of the box (in this case that saying rather applies literally, doesn't it?). I think the Lex doesn't use Large/Small settings, it uses X Hz crossover pts, but I don't see why this wouldn't work the same way, would it? It would simply allow for a greater level of control and refinement?

Actually Bonmanp, you've just given me an idea for how I could literally spend thousands of dollars!!! My wife is gonna kill me.... and she might hunt you down too! :-) Just kidding.....

You'll want to disable the crossover processing in the Lexicon so that the Left & Right are full range signals, as well as, doing whatever is necessary to have the LFE channel mixed into the Left & Right. Bondmanp's post is the standard way of doing it.

The Vandy high-pass filter is a capacitor that uses the input impedance of your power amp to create a first order filter. I don't recall the crossover frequency; maybe 100 Hz. The precision of the filter is determined by the accuracy of the power amp's input impedance value at the crossover frequency. The corresponding low pass filter in the sub is also first order. For this reason, it's best to use Vandy subs in pairs and place them fairly close to the main speakers.
Hi Bob, thanks! Okay, I see where you're going with this... damn, that shoots my crazy idea down. I don't know if this is pure stupidity, but here goes:

Essentially, what I started to wonder was if I could work toward a system where there would be sort of three "levels" of subwoofer. At the lowest end, really subsonic, would be a buttkicker linked to the LFE output with a very low crossover point. Use my two current subs (SVS 16-46CS+ x2) as general system subs covering the middle low bass (say, 25hz to 50Hz) and then another pair of subs--such as the Vandys--set up exactly as mentioned above and handling roughly the 50Hz to 80,90,100Hz range. I hadn't thought about anything like this, and I've never read anything like this before, but it seems doable.... but then again the very fact that I've never heard of this is probably a bad sign. I dunno...
It sounds like you're willing to place 5 subs in your room. I don't know how you'll convince the Lexicon to send full range to the Left & Right with the LFE mixed in AND have the LFE active so that it can be sent to another sub.

There's nothing necessarily magic about Vandy subs -- I do like that the system high passes the main speakers. If it were me, I'd take a modern sub from SVS, Velodyne, Rythmik, etc. (sealed cabinet preferably) and employ room mode correction. You'll be less constrained to place the sub near the main speakers.

Have you looked at the subwoofer measurements here:
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the links, I'll take a look at them ASAP.

There are alot of ideas that I'm trying to digest into a long-term plan. For instance, my father has a 7-channel HT using Quad ESLs, and uses either three or four Janis subs as well as a 15"? Velodyne. So when Bondmanp made mention of using the Vandersteens in parallel with my Maggies instead of straight from the Lex, it reminded me of my father's setup and got me thinking about a few ideas. Alot of these ideas are, errr, experimental (lets call it that).

However, let me do some more reading. It sounds like some of my ideas are simply bringing too many disparate elements together. What I'd like though is to conceive of a long-term plan, even if I can't implement it in its entirety now, which is why I'm trying to as much down as possible. Still, it might not be possible.

More later....
I know that many people feel that a single Vandy sub must be placed in the center of the mains to avoid any localization of the upper bass. However, that was not my experience. I purchased my 2Wq subs one at a time. During the months that I had only one 2Wq, it was placed in one front corner of my room. I had no issues whatsoever with localization anywhere in the audio band that I could hear. YMMV, of course. Also, remember that Richard Vandersteen designed these subs specifically for corner placement, and recommends such placement whether using single or multiple Vandersteen subs.
I second Bondmanp's experience, assessment, conclusion and his recall of Richard's placement intent.
When I went on the subwoofer hunt many years ago, a telephone conversation with Richard Vandersteen left me with his advice of "save your money until you can buy two."

But, as Bondmanp stated: YMMV in your room. In general, first order filters place an additional constraint on subwoofer placement.