Dear audiophiles, I'm getting ready to buy some new speakers after 25 years of using AR10pi's. I've narrowed my choices to Vandersteen's 2Ce, Thiels 2.3, magneplanar 1.6. Please give me your thoughts on reliability, accuracy, other comments. I will power them with Onkyo m-504 amp (150w/ch) and use rega phono and cartridge,some CD's on a Denon 370. Thanking you in advance hififile, (aka: Bennett).
Bennett-I don't have much experience with Theil speakers,but currently have a set of Maggie MGlll A's in my main system and Vandersteen 2Ci's in my second system. I think your electronics will be a big factor in your decision. I've used a variety of tubed and solid state electronics with the Vandersteens,and have had fine results with all of them. These speakers ALWAYS manage to honor the music(all types)and might just be the most tonally balanced(top to bottom) of your three choices. I think the styles of music you listen to will also be a critical factor. If you listen to a wide variety of music,again, I can't help but think the Vandersteens would be a great choice. Consider this,too: when you get the itch to upgrade, the Vandersteens can be converted to 2Ce SIGNATURES by replacing the drivers,and I understand you can do this yourself. I love the MG lll's but haven't heard the 1.6's. They are probably more sensitive to the gear in front of them,and optimal placement will be more finicky,if my experience with my own Maggies is any indication. My gut feeling is to go with the Vandersteens-my old 2Ci's never cease to amaze or SATISFY me with all kinds of music. Good luck,good listening! Bob LaBarca
I have listened to Vandersteen 2ce and Theil 2 2. The Vandersteens are definately more laid back sounding, I have always thought that they sound their best with classical as opposed to jazz and rock. The Thiels on the other hand have a lot more get up and go, the music jumps off of them much quicker that the Vandersteens. The Thiels don't have the relaxed sound that the Vandersteens do. I think that it boils down to your personal opinion on listening to music. I you like to kick back and just let the music wash over you with out thinking about it to much then the Vandersteens are probably better. If you like to get analytical and extract every detail that the music has to offer then I think the Thiels are better. Personally I would choose the Thiels, but my friend would go with the Vandersteens.
The advise your getting on this thread is very good. The Thiels are way better then the Vandies. There is no comparison. Unfortunately the amp you have will make the Thiels sound like wounded rinos. The Thiels require amps that give predigious amounts of current at 3 ohms. If you look at the specs on your amplifier you will note that the power at 8 ohms is not doubled at 4 ohms. This means its current limited. That current limitation will be heard on the Thiels. Unless you are willing to purchase a Krell or other super amp don't go to Thiels.
I used to sell both Vandersteen and Thiel but own Magneplanar 1.6 QR's. They are all very good speakers and I agree with most of the comments noted above. The Vandersteen's are easiest to drive, the Maggies and Thiels are less efficient, with the Thiel being the most difficult load on an amp. All three benefit from proper room placement but the Maggies are most critical being a dipole. I personally prefer the sound of the 2ce over the Thiel 2.3. You'll have to hear a set of 1.6 Q/R properly set up to believe how good they can sound.