Well, I haven't found that Vandies need to be bi-amped to sound their best, provided you have a good quality amp driving them. I have, however, found that bi-wiring provides better sound quality with Vandies than using a jumper plug and single speaker cable. Richard Vandersteen recommends bi-wiring for the Vandy models that have two pairs of binding posts on each speaker.
If you get the 2wq subs then you are technically bi-amping the speakers because the subs contain a 300 watt amp within. Maybe that's what you're refering to.Even without the subs the Vandy's are a terrific sounding speaker and that includes all models.I've owned the 1b's,2cesig's and now have the 3a sig's and willl be getting 2 wq subs in a few weeks.The 2 subs give you about 75% of theModel 5's performance according to Richard V.(who I 've spoken to a few times)
If you ever want a mind blowing audio experience go listen to the Model 5's properly set up with Cary or Audio Research tube electronic,and vinyl ...you won't believe how great it sounds!
You don't need to biamp for good sound but I really believes it helps. I think it depends on the quality of the amp and speaker wire you start with. I'm currently using a 4 ch Theta Dreadnaught biamping a pair of 3A Signatures with a pair of 2Wq subs. After much setup, I'm finally happy!
I agree with Bigtee, bi-amping absolutely not necessary, but recommended if you can swing it.
How absolutely not necessary? The Vandersteens were on my short list of loudspeakers and now to find out that unless I bi-amp, I will not get the best that I can get from the speakers is very depressing. I guess my search continues. It isn't that I can't swing bi-amping; it is more than I want to setup the best, non-complicated system for a modest investment. Bi-amping puts more time and energy into a system than I want to put in. My goal is to setup the system and forget about it and just listen. I have been researching and reading for many months now and it is beginning to wear me down. How do you guys do it? Honestly, I don't have the audiophile blood in me. I just want a good sounding system. Now what.
I asked Richard Vandersteen about bi-amping he said in no uncertian terms NOT TO DO IT! Just go with the subs and you'll be 75% at the level of the model 5's
an EXTREMELY FINE SOUND! Call Vandersteen yourself ,and he'll take your call since he's the person who deals with all questions regarding his products.
P.S. Like I said previously if you get the subs you're bi-amping already so you don't need to get another amp to do what you've already done. So don't worry ,get the speakers first ,live with them for awhile and maybe you'll be happy enough that you won't want to get the subs.If you do decide to get the subs It's cheaper and more efficient than to buy another amp IMO.Better to get a better amp down the line than 2 that may not be so good.
Hi Match...; I bi-amped the Vand. 3Asigs with a pair of McCormack DNA 2 Rev As, and could not honestly tell the difference between one amp and two (but initially I CONVINCED myself that I could-- bad mistake). But then the DNA2 is a very powerful amp (300 wpc 8 Ohm) to begin with.
I'm with the guys who responded above, if you like the 3Asigs, they are excellent speakers, and subs will improve them much more than bi-amping. Bi-wiring, as Vandersteen recommends, is worthwhile. Just use a good quality 200 wpc (or so) amp that you like (I used a McCormack DNA-1 Dlx with excellent results), and you'll be happy. The 3Asigs are wonderful speakers even without subs too. Cheers. Craig
Wait! Joeavid said up above that Richard Vandersteen told him to NOT biamp and Garfish is telling me that Vandersteen recommends biamping(or are biwiring and biamping different things?)
I am confused.
Vandersteen recommends it in HIS owners manual with the following caveat---"Don't biamp using two cheaper (ie;poorer sounding) amps. It is better to use one amp of high quality than two of lesser."
I biamped my 3A Sigs using a pair of standard McCormack .5's and could definitely hear a difference over a single .5. With my Theta, it is a close call.
Just use a good quality amp and bi-wire. Worry about the biamping stuff later if you want. It isn't needed to get good sound out of the Vandersteen's. Everybody tries to get that last bit of peformance out of equipment which is where I feel biamping lies. It may NEVER be worth it to some folks. Some of us "Audionuts" are "Anal retentive" when it comes to this stuff. I mean, I consider myself in the just idiot class to maybe just a total dumb ass! I mean I spent $5000 for an amp that is, yes, a little better than the $1200 I had in the two McCormack's (used). I have more pristine highs but at a price. It goes back to the old adage, you have to spend a lot of money to realize you didn't need to spend a lot of money.
Matchstikman,bi-wiring is just running 2 seperate cables to each speaker,1 cable will be for the mids and 1 for the bass.So you wind up having 2 cables going to your left speaker mid and bass imputs.and 2 cables going to your right speaker mid and bass inputs.At the amp end you can have the ends of the cable terminated so that it will look like any other cable 1 left spade or banana plug going to the left amp input,and the same for the right amp input.Some people just buy 2 sets of cable and connect them as is ,the perferred way is the former set-up.
Bi-amping is much more involved so if you aren't going to go that route just keep it simple.
I think all of the above posters will agree that Vandersteen is one hell of a speaker for the $,so ask your dealer or better yet just call Vandersteen..He'll be very direct ,no B.S. and of course very helpful...good luck
Matchstikman; just for the record, bi-wiring and bi-amping are NOT the same thing, and I agree with Joeavid's post above. Also, as it's generally used in audio language, using subs is also not considered either bi-amping or bi-wiring.
The Vandersteen manual does strongly recommend bi-wiring and explains well how to do it. Vandersteen also recommends passive bi-amping, but if you're really not "into" this audio stuff, leave bi-amping alone, and as I stated above, the sonic gains are minimal anyway. One GOOD amp is better than two mediocre ones.
Keep it simple man and enjoy the music. If you are going to get Vandersteen speakers, whatever model, please, please, please do yourself a favor and get an appropriate owners manual-- even if you have to pay $5. for one from Vandersteen. Good Luck, and Cheers. Craig
Garfish,this is what Vandersteen says about using the WQ subs" The drivers are connected to a built-in 300 watt amplifier with advanced feed-forward error correction. This powerful amplifier provides the benefits of bi-amplification to the system without the additional expense and complexity of an additional separate amplifier" So technicaly it's NOT bi amping as you say but does provides the benefits...it would be an interesting shootout to try both.
Joe- there really would be no comparison, as the sub provides an additional dimension, in addition to additional amplification. The quote from Richard Vandersteen, is, I am sure, referring to the fact that you will "free up" substantial power from your main amplifier by not having to reproduce the lowest bass notes. If you've ever had an amp with meters and watched them swing in time with the bass line, you will know what I mean.
In my setup using even a single Vandersteen 2Wq improved the sound much more than when I tried Bi-Amplifing without the sub.
Using the sub also eliminated some serious room resonances around 80hz that I couldn't eliminate by repositioning the speakers. Personally, if I were you I would not worry about Bi-Amping at this time, and just bi-wire (if you can afford it). When you are ready to step up, then compare Bi-Amping to using a Vandersteen 2Wq.. and judge for yourself which gets more for the money.
In the meantime, keep listening and try not to get headaches over gear :)