Hi Everyone, I have the S400's on preorder and have been waiting for a while. In the meantime I upgraded mu amp from a Parasound to Krell Digital Vanguard, driving my Vandersteen 2ces. The Krell has opened up the sound of my Vandys and I wonder now if I should just cancel my order and invest in better speaker cables and interconnects, etc? Anyone own the Buchardts?
I own the S400s. About the sound characteristics, they are as a lot of folks claim. The sound is much larger than the cabinets would indicate and bass extension is far lower than it should be. Imaging is very stable and the sound stage is superb. Instrument separation was acceptable. I listen to a lot of recordings from the 1930s through the 1950s. Even with bad ones, the sound is always pleasant enough to enjoy That cannot be said of all speakers.
For lack of better terms, the S400s sound pleasing and natural never harsh or fatiguing. There is a lot to like about the S400s.
Like all loudspeakers, there are some things I would change. My criticisms are few, though. I would like a bit more openness on the top-end. They are a little more "neutral" than I prefer. Vocals can be a touch muddy at times, also, but I didn't notice it often. That may have been recording-specific. Lastly, they are not very efficient so you will need some juice to wake them up. After seeing your amp description above, that should not be a problem. I am not singling out the S400s for low-efficiency as many, many stand-mount speakers are similar. Overall, they get a lot right for under $2,000.
While I can't determine if you should cancel your order based upon the sound of your current system, there is no harm in keeping your order for the S400s and trying them out. They come with a 30-day in-home trial with free shipping both ways. That should allow you an opportunity to make an accurate decision.
I hope you enjoy them.
Thanks smdesforges, curious what does your system consist of? My hesitation comes down to my Vandersteen’s and whether I want to keep such big speakers. I love the look of the s400s and I ordered them in white. What stands are you using for them?
Vocals being muddy is a general side effect of wide dispersion, if you want clear vocals that cut through everything you want a speaker that has a rise in 3-4k region and has limited dispersion so you are listening to a higher percentage of direct sound. KEF, Revel, Amphion, etc speakers will exhibit this in some recordings as well. This is really the only small downside of a design that has wide dispersion. However since the average listener in psychoacoustic studies prefer wider dispersion and spacious sound over narrow dispersion and clarity/pinpoint imaging, it’s a small trade-off to make.
I listened to them for quite a while at AXPONA and for the most part agree with @smdesforges. I wanted more transparency and presence. The bass is great- truly a big speaker sound because of the passive radiator. I was disappointed because the hype fore these was sky high. One online reviewer compared them to the Joseph Audio Pulsar. I am being polite when I say he is not correct about that. My preferences would lead me elsewhere for the asking price.
Why chase your tail Make sure you also have Audio Quest DBS working for you Bill Lowe AQ and Vandersteen co patented this design bi wire speaker cables and interconnects with the Vandersteens is a must. The latest 2CE Sig 2 will easily outperform a 2 way cuties box especially when the lights go out. Most woman when performance matters pick the Vandersteen faster then their nervous Nellie boy worrying what fashion police thinks as their right brain doesn't enter into analysis paralysis. Vandy"s form following function, performance, allows the beauty of the music to win out especially in the dark . Best JohnnyR Vandersteen dealer
audioconnection, I’ll look closer at the DBS. Don’t really know anything about them. Do you have a recommendation for speaker cables? Presently using older Taralabs RSC Primes in 15ft length but now I’m in a new house and only need 6-8ft. Always been a Vandys fan and turned many friends onto them. Thanks for everyone’s input :-)
Depends what you like - the northern europeans who make them need to advertise them with, in between speakers, what looks like hard alcohol and a jar of cannabis buds. Maybe that’s what's needed for good sound. Bravo. Buchardt lifestyle. https://youtu.be/GkpE0sXJRyE
I suppose buchardt send bottles and a jar to youtube reviewers... They won’t sound bad that way! I have had the 2CE signature in my room 10 years ago, and i had them biwired with canare 4s11.. Sounded great i thought! And it's a convenient inexpensive cable.
Hi. I am interested in purchasing the Buchardt S-400 but I am not sure my amp would be compatible and would be thankful for your advice. My amp is a Yamaha s-301 with the following power spec:Would this work in your opinion? Thank you very much.
A-S301SpecificationsMinimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz)60 W + 60 W (0.019% THD)Maximum Power (4 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD, for Europe)95 W + 95 WHigh Dynamic Power/Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms)100/120/140/150 W
Made the leap to Buchardt s 400's......in a word they are pretty amazing. Running them with a Peachtree 220se, Bluesound Vault, ML dynamo 700 and Amazon HR. They replaced a set of Dynaudio excite 18's that I enjoyed very much but found that they lacked the ability to fill a pretty good size room 20 x14. Enter the S400's and they do more then just fill the room, they rock. Are they the most detailed....No. But music is the sum of all the parts and the S400 adds up to be a very very good all around speaker. I will say speaker height is very important as well as making sure you have decoupled from the speaker and floor and speaker and stand. If your on the fence I would suggest you give them a try, at the very least you will be amazed with just how Buchardt gets out of this pretty small package.
Itchy, huh? You have done it to yourself. Couldn't wait, upgraded. Now you have a problem don't you? ;)
Let me guess, you are selling, or have sold the other amp. That would be the classic mistake, rather than trying both on the new speakers incoming. (Unless you absolutely have no money to hold the one until compared)
No one here can tell you which you would prefer, especially when amps are thrown into the picture. You simply have to try all iterations to assure your best result. Any other answer is guesswork. You simply have to try all amps, all speakers in discrete systems. There are thousands of iterations (I am being conservative) with fundamentally different characteristics. You'll get every bit as dramatic changes with different speakers, cables, etc. ALL speakers are subject to such upgrades/dramatic changes with amps. That's no shocker.
Changing cables midstream, and looking for certainty? Not possible. You are manipulating multiple aspects of the system and will not find certainty on your expenditures. You simply have to make a choice and go with it. The less items you end up with - speakers, amps, cables - to compare in iterations of rigs, the less your chance of building a dream result. The more you have to build iterations, the better the outcome.
Then, just wait; you'll adore two different rigs. Then, you have a different problem! :)