After hearing many good things about Vandersteen speakers I purchased a pair of 3a signatures. They sound beautiful with chamber music or small group jazz but quickly fall to pieces with symphonic works or rock. Have other people noted this deficiency with Vandersteens? 
" I consider the term "broken" as largely a dismissal of the panel sound. There seem to be nearly as many fans of Magnepan as Vandersteen - they are both premier audiophile speaker sellers in North America. Maggie fans would be as able to describe the sound of a Vandy, or any dynamic speaker, as sounding "broken". Technological preference plays a large part in your comparison."

Poor choice of words on my part. I should have taken the time to compare the differences between the speakers than to just say they sounded broken.
having owned 3A Sig for a decade before moving to 5 A and now 7 Mk2 I will say there are a couple of critical things to get right about the Model 3 in general.

First it sounds like you did not buy them thru a dealer - make sure they are not broken including a fried voicecoil or  a delaminated surround. IF you did get them thru a dealer make them work to support you. IMO just about every Vandersteen dealer is crazy about the product and supporting it. Richard also takes a lot of ? via web and posts answers and of course he picks up the phone.

setup - verify gas tight and correct phase connection thru the chain. Are you biwiring ? do you know IF the connections are correct ? Shotgun or ?

Follow the setup directions to the T
did you do the math on the room and use the golden ratio setup #’ ?
the sound anchor stands are essential do you have them ? are they by any chance touching the back wall ?
the acoustic coupler will connect to the back wall in a massive way if they're too close. you can also tune the bass a bit by experimenting w distance to back wall. You can download Vandertones off Vandersteen website and use a simple radio shack analog SPL meter - this way you will know what your room is doing..more non Vandersteen owners should also do this...many prefer head or ears in sand...
Use a tape measure and a helper to very your ear height at the listening position and the distance to speaker, get the tilt right !

you can also download the setup manuals off the Vandersteen website

finally IM experience you need an amp with high damping factor to control the woofers BUT also a sweet top and mid - they are pretty revealing. I used a 200 WPC Mac and I would say it worked well. My LiL Mac 240 would run them barelyy...ha The Mac did not do so well with the 5's but that is a deifferent tale...

My old 3 A sig still in service making great music in brothers system - 150 WPC PS Audio has a vice like grip on Bass, Mac preamp, SOTA table.....ah.......



Very good info from the replies to your post. I have 2CE's, 3ASigs and Maggie 1.6 in different systems in my home. They ALL sound great to my ears and other's who have visited. With Vandersteens and Maggie's, set up is VERY IMPORTANT!! All of the points made regarding set up by the folks responding here are spot on. Read the manual, experiment  and take your time. If possible, speak with Richard Vandersteen or John Rutan of Audio Connection. They will help you get the speakers performing their best. I'm a long time customer of John Rutan's. He's the best in the business and he's "Way Recommended".
gdnrbob, please keep us posted on your thoughts on the Treos. Are you getting the CTs?
I'm sorry, but I really have to agree with bewoods1962, he is absolutely correct in what he is saying and I do know what he means without asking him for a further clarification. I know this because I used to own Vandersteens at one time and got rid of them. Please, I really don't want to get into an argument with anybody here as this is just my opinion and I'm just expressing it like everyone else. Vandersteens are really nice speakers, but certainly not worth what they are asking for them as I feel they are incredibly over priced for what they can do. They are nice enough for acoustic jazz at low volumes, but just cannot hack it for rock or symphonic works. There is so much better out there for the same or mostly less money than Vandersteens and no, I am not going to tell you what I think is better as that will lead to more arguments of which I already am going to have to defend myself for just saying this small piece. All I am doing here is agreeing with the original writer ( bewoods1962 ) that is all.