Vandy 2CE S or Gershman's Cameleon: High-End Spks?

For many months, I have seen much praise on this site for Vandersteen's 2CE Signatures. (also, many resale ads for them which makes one wonder.) They retail for $1549. So, can somebody tell what makes them so popular?? I gather from the discussions they far exceed their performance/cost ratio?? or are they just "average" across the board? ALSO,has anyone compared the Vandersteen's 2CE Sigs to the Gershman "Cameleons" which are $1799, and only a two way system?? I am curious which speaker would adapt to and perform better using hi-end electronics.
Vandersteens are popular (I have a pair) because they're terrific value for the money, because they sound better than a lot of designs that are far more expensive, because they sound exceedingly neutral and natural, and because they will reveal improvements upstream with marked aplomb. It took me quite a while to get used to my pair, which I've had for a year: I went from living with Thiels for 16 years to the 2 CE Sigs, and for the longest time wasn't happy-- I planned to trade them in for other speakers. After extensive listening, though, I discovered that my restiveness wasn't with the speakers after all, but with my associated equipment. I upgraded my front end and cabling, and voila (it was the addition of an LP12 to the mix that showed me what Vandies are all about). While I enjoyed listening to much more expensive Aerials and Sonus Fabers (and almost bought the Aerials) the Vandersteen are hard to beat for acoustic music IF you're willing to work to match them up to a system that will show them off to their best advantage. PS-- they also sound good, but not great, with average equipment...
There really isn't too much to add to what Swklein notes, very concise well stated and most importantly true. What I really see in great designs is how the intrinsic character of the design is brought out by complementary components. Many folks will fail to realize this well before optimization and give up. My initial experience with the 2 series Vandersteen is that it was the across the board best speaker that I heard compared to speakers costing up to 4 times more. It also had state of the art (at the time) components in front. Oh yes, the more expensive speakers I did listen to at that time did certain things better but none, NOT ONE had a better blend of balance, tonality and full range performance that was in a word, satisfying.

After years of owning those Vandies I sold a friend that pair and they sounded excellent in his room with his gear but he thought they were "boring", go figure. To my ears they sound MUCH better than what he had prior and are at least on a par with what he currently is listening to which is 2.5 times the price of the Signatures which are yet much improved over the 2C's I speak of.

The answer isn't which of your 2 choices is better rather than which one do you prefer. I have heard Gershman speakers, not the ones you mention but a more expensive model and was little impressed. I've also heard the Vandy's and wasn't impressed but lucky me, I've heard them when they have been properly matched with components that really highlight what they are capable of. Only you can decide, not one of us can give you the answer. The Vandies are a steal for the money if full range on a budget is what you are looking for. A great speaker value capable of really great music at least to these ears.
I agree with the above. The Vandersteen's are untouchable in their price range for what they offer. They actually have very high resolution and what is exceptional bass for the money. They are sensitive to setup but once its right---well it's just a great speaker. It doesn't throw sound at you like most all speakers in this price range and higher. They allow you to listen to the music.
As for listings used, a lot of the folks are moving up the Vandersteen line to the 3A Signatures.
I owned a pair of the Vandersteen 2B speakers in 1983 and enjoyed them immensely for 15 years. It also took a well set up Linn LP-12 to really appreciate them. I own the new Meadowlark Osprey, but I sometimes miss my Vandies. They really grow on you as they do what they are designed to do, make music. I am not familiar with the Gershman's to give a comment. Oh, and yes, Vandersteen speakers are definitely considered "high-end",however they need associated high-end components to sound their best.
Many thanks to those who responded so far. A shrinking budget and listening interest prompted this thread. Misters Klein and Tubegroover seem to have this product down cold. Careful system matching seems to be the key. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or money to play "musical chairs" auditioning amps, pre-amps, CD players and speaker cables. This is not meant as a criticism or put-down of the above advice or the Vandersteen 2CE Sigs. I must for both monetary and time reasons "run" with my current electronics which are: an Aragon amp; a Conrad Johnson pre-amp and Sonographe CD player. They are dated hi-end, but hopefully worthy pieces to make the 2CE S's bloom. Nevertheless, I think both members indicated that these speakers pushed them to the limits of non-satisfaction before they made component changes, and then they came into their own. This is a bit worrisome to me, because I did not enjoy my last speakers in the last years I owned them, and so don't want to wait through a belated honeymoon period for the Vandersteen's. Like the Audio Physic "VirgoII" which I considered buying many times, the Vandersteen's seem finicky and demanding. I realize many great speakers have the same M.O., but I am not sure I am patient enough to see them through the parameters of my set-up and room. Thanks again, Jim
Sunnyjim, I didn't think the Vandersteen 2B's that I had were very demanding. I had a modified Musical Concepts Hafler DH 200( 100w 8 ohms) and there was plenty of headroom for loud listening. If you are sincerely interested in the Vandies, continue searching the threads, including the two other sites, and to compare other user's notes to your own, especially those with your same electronics.The Vandersteens lean to the warm side, so I would think any neutral or slightly lean may be the best match with the Vandies. It has been years since I have had my Vandies,2B's, which have gone through many changes since this model, so I am not as reliable a source of info as Mr. Klein and Tubegroover. I too am in a similar situation as you as I live way out in the boonies with little to audition. Most of my system, including the Osprey were bought sight unheard. I'm happy, though. No regrets yet.
If you click on my system link, you'll see that I have similar amplification to yours. I've been extremely happy with my 2ce's and my system as a whole since acquiring them six months ago. In fact, for the first time, I haven't felt the need to experiment with new cables, etc., or to upgrade my source components (well, the urge to upgrade my tt is there, but it's a managable urge). Placement is an issue with the vandys (as it is with almost all speakers), but for me, placement was a rewarding process, not a frustrating one. They sounded pretty darn good no matter where they sat, but experimenting with placement over a couple week period paid off in terms of soundstage and imaging. If budget is a big concern, you might want to consider looking at the CE's v. the Signatures. I've heard both, and the Sig's have a sweeter, more extended high end, but for me, it just wasn't worth the extra 500$ (I was able to pick up my CE's here on a'gon for 600$).
the vandys are classics...a destination speaker...the gershmans sound great but check back in about ten years.