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Steve Guttenberg reviews the newest 2CE III


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I was at Audio Connection on Saturday.  It's the best shop around.   John Rutan is a legend and the rest of the team is great too -- Samir, Jeff, Nick.   Super nice guys who give great advice and love to talk gear and music.  I'm glad the Audiophiliac reviewed them and gave them such a great review.  I auditioned the 2ce Signature 3s back in October with John who also demoed the Quattros for me.  I loved the Quattros and really liked the 2ce.  Then about 2 weeks later, I found a pair of 3a Signatures that were being sold because the owner bought Treo CTs from Johnny.   It was too good a deal to pass up.  Now I'm just marking time until I can get Treo CTs  (which I just auditioned ).       

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I was at first impressed, but then I remember that I never heart the fellow say a bad word about anything… “Well, Depends, etc.”

I am just as confused now as I was before.

  • Got the 2C in 84
    • I’ll bet that the new model is better, but it is hard to know.
  • I think that the Treos are easier for WAF and better against a wall, but how do they compare to 2C iii sigs”
  • And is a Treo or 2ce III sig and a subs equivilent to a Kento…?
    • I think not, as they have the carbon tweeter

It would probably be easier if the ol 2C were not still seemingly competitive.
So I am considering an amp or sub upgrade.

Holmz 16:1 “Blessed is he with mostly the first world problem.”

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5 hours ago, Holmz said:

I was at first impressed, but then I remember that I never heart the fellow say a bad word about anything… “Well, Depends, etc.”

I am just as confused now as I was before.

  • Got the 2C in 84
    • I’ll bet that the new model is better, but it is hard to know.
  • I think that the Treos are easier for WAF and better against a wall, but how do they compare to 2C iii sigs”
  • And is a Treo or 2ce III sig and a subs equivilent to a Kento…?
    • I think not, as they have the carbon tweeter

It would probably be easier if the ol 2C were not still seemingly competitive.
So I am considering an amp or sub upgrade.

Holmz 16:1 “Blessed is he with mostly the first world problem.” 

 

Blessed is he with mostly the first world problem.” — LOL

If you have a 2C from 1984, you're going to hear a big difference when you listen to the newest 2CE Sig III. I think. I love my Sig IIIs, but I know I would be very happy moving up to the Treo CT, for all the reasons explained here and in other threads. It's really about budget, but also: WAF. I have my own listening space so the 2CEs are fine, but in a shared space like a living room, I'd have the Treo CT and my wife would approve of the upgrade cost. According to "my" dealer, that happens pretty often. Wife says, "Those (2CEs) are ugly." Husband: "The Treos are a lot more expensive" (he didn't even think the wife would go for the 2's). Wife: "I don't care. The Treos can go in the living room. The 2...nope." I also like that I could place the Treos almost against the front wall, and have a longer throw to my listening chair in my small room. My 2CEs are about 24" out from the wall. 

From my reading, a pair of Treo CTs with subs will get you close to the Quatro CT, but if you're getting Vandy subs, you're not saving much money and you're probably better off going straight to the Quatro.  BUT—if you want to do a 2-stage ugrade, you could get the Treo and then add a sub or subs later. One of the guys at my dealer did that for his retirement system, and seems very happy. He already had Treo CTs, and chose to upgrade with subs. 

The Treo CT + subs is not very close to being the Kento, I'd bet. One has to be reasonable in expectations!

I listen to a lot of acoustic music, most of it not bass heavy (I do rock out sometimes, less each year). The quality of the bass that the Treo CTs put out is excellent, tighter, cleaner, more resolved than the 2CE. Maybe slightly less in quantity, but the quality is better. The bass from the 2CE is good, imo.

I am trying to convince myself to pony up for Treo CTs, because I know I will love them, but I am very happy with my 2CE Sig IIIs and I am tight with a buck (I'm not Dutch, but I should be 😎). It's all about the cost-benefit ratio, isn't it? I am certain that the 2CE Sig III is a superb value for the dollar, and a Hall of Fame speaker. Absolute Sound calls them on of the greatest bargains in hi-fi, and I agree 100%. I could live with them forever and be happy, because at 65, my ears aren't getting better! Oy. Then again, I know of an 80 year old who only hears to 8000hz, and yet got a million dollar system. It's a REALLY GOOD 8000hz! You never see a Brinks truck following a hearse, is his theory. 

Happy listening. 

 

Edited by Patrick D
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I moved from the 3a sigs to the Treo's (non-CT), and definitely heard an improvement sound wise. I just moved to the Treo CT, and got a bit more enhanced clarity.

I also own a pair of Sub 3's.

IMHO, this combo is probably closer to a pair of Quatro's.

Kento's have a bit more going on internally, as well as a better designed cabinet.

B

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Oops, I forgot to add that Steve Guttenberg should review the VLR's.

He often posts lots of bookshelf speakers, so I am surprised he hasn't gotten to these little guys.

Despite my many posts on Audiogon, the VLR's seem to not get the praise they deserve.

Bob

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7 hours ago, Patrick D said:

Blessed is he with mostly the first world problem.” — LOL

If you have a 2C from 1984, you're going to hear a big difference when you listen to the newest 2CE Sig III. I think. I love my Sig IIIs, but I know I would be very happy moving up to the Treo CT, for all the reasons explained here and in other threads. It's really about budget, but also: WAF. I have my own listening space so the 2CEs are fine, but in a shared space like a living room, I'd have the Treo CT and my wife would approve of the upgrade cost. According to "my" dealer, that happens pretty often. Wife says, "Those (2CEs) are ugly." Husband: "The Treos are a lot more expensive" (he didn't even think the wife would go for the 2's). Wife: "I don't care. The Treos can go in the living room. The 2...nope." I also like that I could place the Treos almost against the front wall, and have a longer throw to my listening chair in my small room. My 2CEs are about 24" out from the wall. 

Maybe we switch to Confucism… “Man who notice WAF, he have accepting boss.”
The Haus-Boss commented on liking the look of the new phono stage and preamp, and the AVR… “Much better than those black monstrosities.”

I might look at the Treo spec sheet, and fabricate some mock-ups… Cardboard, carpet knife, and tape…
And get some WAF approval, and find out what wood is preferred for the lounge room Feng Shui.

I suppose I could move the 2C into the study or towards one of the offspring.

 

7 hours ago, Patrick D said:


From my reading,
…. 

Happy listening. 

 

I have read so much I need reading glasses now. 😎

I have sort of poisoned the well a bit… I got the M5-HPF (XLR), so that sort of is sliding towards some balanced amp.

But the video also mentioned that older 2C was more bass, and I do not mind that.

Edited by Holmz
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19 hours ago, Delkat said:

Steve was also gushing about the Sig IIIs in his Schiit amp review he released last week. 

I thought that “guten” was the German word for the english word “good”?

Maybe it was “Gushingberg” and got modified when the relatives alighted on Ellis Island ?
(At least the bloke is consistent.)

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On 1/18/2023 at 8:58 PM, Holmz said:

I thought that “guten” was the German word for the english word “good”?

Maybe it was “Gushingberg” and got modified when the relatives alighted on Ellis Island ?
(At least the bloke is consistent.)

That’s a good take. 

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More from the Audiophiliac… his latest review is the NAD M23 power amp. It’s a class D with Purifi Eigentakt modules.  He really liked the pairing with the Vandersteen 2CE Sig 3s.  I haven’t heard one but I was able to try a GanFet class D amp — Orchard Audio Starkrimson Ultra — for a couple of weeks with my 3a Signatures. I thought it was a great match. Had more bass control than my Belles monoblocks but didn’t give up anything in midrange or highs. Lots of detail and very musical at the same time.  I opted to stay with the Belles but the experience really opened my eyes to class D potential. 

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The only issue I have with the class D amps I’ve heard is that you lose time and phase correctness. It’s been covered in many threads. I best that over time the Belles will be a better pairing for IrT getting time and phase correct. I have to run digital front end, so I lose that part, but I still live the Steens sound.  YMMV   I own and love much of the NAD gear btw. I do like that amp a lot and can see how he would like that pairing. Rotel is another strong brand with Steens in those price ranges. 

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18 minutes ago, ctsooner said:

The only issue I have with the class D amps I’ve heard is that you lose time and phase correctness. It’s been covered in many threads. I best that over time the Belles will be a better pairing for IrT getting time and phase correct. I have to run digital front end, so I lose that part, but I still live the Steens sound.  YMMV   I own and love much of the NAD gear btw. I do like that amp a lot and can see how he would like that pairing. Rotel is another strong brand with Steens in those price ranges. 

Not to be overly combative, but I would like to see some proof of that.
If I remembered how I did the analogue to digital capture, I would take a crack at it.
Basically one could subtract the incoming preamp signal from the outgoing amplified signal, and compare them in amplitude and phase.
I know of not way to do it easily by ear unless things are very dire. And teh room, speakers and mood factor in.

 

To quote the chief himself, it was something like, “Every component is time and phase correct except for the loud speakers.”
(It’s rIght ‘bang on’ the 8:00 minute mark.)

 

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Dialog as I listen to Richard and I’ve spoken to some folks I know who design digital. They have said that with digital timing errors (I assume jitter, but I’m not an engineer) throw off true time correctness. As has been discussed on numerous threads, analog seems to be the only true way to keep time and phase correctness. I personally don’t care as much. I do hear the difference and like T&P better sounding by a lot, but I am all digital and love the steens more than others I’ve auditioned. 
 

I may not have stated things properly. 

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There are certainly not as many T&P correct speaker options as there were in the past.

But I am not sure about what the DSP based speakers are doing. That crowd generally puts a lot of weight on Toole’s work, and I believe that that discounted phase and polarity in favour of frequency response and radiation pattern.

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