What changes did you make from Richard's suggestions?
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There are 15 knobs that one can vary on each 5A. I turned 13 on each speaker. The speakers are set up differently from each other except for the contour adjustment which must be kept the same or the phase is out of adjustment with each other. These adjustments only control the bass, however, that affects how one perceives the mids and highs.
It's quite encouraging to hear a story like this. I too am a Vandersteen owner (the other end of the speaker line from Stringreen .... 1C's) and a customer of John Rutan (my Rogue Audio Cronus was bought through Audio Connections.) Over the years, I've had several telephone conversations with both gentlemen, always very happy with their guidance and thoughtful ideas on how to get the best musical sound from my system. I'd also like to add that Mark O'Brien and Nick at Rogue Audio have also been extremely helpful whenever I needed to contact them about my amplifier. It's just nice to know that the sometimes lost art of quality customer service is still alive and well.
Originally, I bought the speakers from John at Audioconnection in New Jersey, and he did an excellent job of setting them up for me in my home in New Jersey. I have since moved to Arizona and took the speakers with me. I paid a former Vandersteen dealer to set up my speakers again, however, I noticed that every setting was set to maximum. I also noticed that something "might" be wrong when I couldn't really distinguish words on the new Paul Simon, or Norah Jones albums. I thought that the recordings were very badly produced, however, when I heard them on a relatively inexpensive system that a friend had put together, the recordings sounded better on his than on mine. As luck would have it, Richard Vandersteen heard that I was wondering if something was wrong with the speakers themselves, which prompted his outreach to me. Again...thanks to Richard and John Rutan, I was able to tune the speakers properly.
Ditto here as well. Though I have visited with Richard at numerous shows, I have only spoken with John on the telephone, actually through this website, as he was selling a preamp I was interested in. So fulfilling have my experiences with John Rutan been, that I am considering purchasing a pair of Vandersteen 2wq subs from him to pair with my 3A Signatures ..and I live in Orange County CA, he is in New Jersey! I am that confident that he will ensure I get them installed and set up properly in my listening room.