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Back into Vandersteen, but looking for the right speaker


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I bought my first pair of Vandersteen 2s back in the early 80s.  Went on to be one of the early buyers of the full surround setup and sub.  Had a great dealer, Salon 1 Audio in Wisconsin that is long gone.  Still remember the day Richard called me to ask what I thought of the surround system.  I was floored that he called.

I'm back into audio again and sadly learned my local dealer in the Twin Cities no longer sells Vandersteen.  That means a 350+ mile trip to Milwaukee or Kansas City just to audition some speakers.

My current setup is a Hegel H120 Amp which I love along with Paradigm 800F speakers that I am selling.  I am currently demoing the Sonus Faber Sonetto V.  But I really want to get back to Vandersteen, just hard to do when there aren't any local dealers.

Trying to decide which Vandersteens to audition and make sure the dealer I visit has them available.  My old 2s were great, but I thought they needed the sub (but that was a long time ago!)  Now I'm wondering if the 3s or Treos are the best starting point.

Scares me that I cannot demo them in my own listening room like I can some other speakers sold locally.  Would appreciate any thoughts, it is really tough to not have a local dealer.

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Hi Dave,

Welcome to the forum; thanks for jumping on board.  The Treo is a terrific speaker and includes the new carbon tweeter.  But, if your budget can stretch, I think the Quatros are the sweet spot in the Vandersteen line.  Just to reinforce the advantage of their 11 band tunable bass feature, I had mine for seven years before I got around to performing that function (with the assistance of another forum member).  I expected the bass to improve, but had no idea that the rest of the frequency band would also get better.  

It's only been since April that Jim helped me, but now, EVERY record I play sounds more "fleshed out."  I was already loving their sound, but as no two rooms are the same, the bass tuning really does make them a Super Speaker.

Play on

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It is sad that so many good dealer have retired or closed their doors over the years.  Many of the remaining dealers want much more margin than Vandersteen offers and still more simply want to clerk sales.  I can say most of our dealers are in it for their passion for the music and strive to bring it into our homes.  In home demo's are great but if one has a room where other properly designed speakers have made good sound it would indicate the room is good.  If the room is reasonable and one has reasonable placement flexibility Vandersteen's will do what they are designed to do.   A dealer demo will let you know if they are what's expected but I would bring your amplifier (if the dealer does not have the model) and some of your favorite music with you.

RV

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i would say make the, drive and rejoin the Vandy family…. We drove 6 hours each way ( Charleston to Atlanta ) to  see a trusted Vandersteen dealer. It was worth it.

This is a picture of our Labrador auditioning power amplifiers with Model 7

best of luck on your continued audio journey

 

541D3A98-B1CB-4677-8F07-7A20F34126FD.jpeg

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@DaveMN,

If you are patient, you can score a used pair of Vandy Treo's, Quatro's- should budget be the limiting factor.

I owned the 3a sigs but bought @ctsooner's Treo's. It was the best move I ever made. The 3a Sig's were great, but the Treo's outclassed them with refinement( I can't find another word to describe the difference). Plus, they look nicer- Well, refined.

If I had the room, I would have gotten the Quatro's, as the sub is integrated. As it is, I have the Treo's with

 a pair of Sub3's that can be placed unobtrusively, so it is a win/win for me.

I will second @Steve Edwards's recommendation to contact John Rutan at Audioconnection. I can PM his phone number if you wish.

Bob

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3 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

It is sad that so many good dealer have retired or closed their doors over the years.  Many of the remaining dealers want much more margin than Vandersteen offers and still more simply want to clerk sales.  I can say most of our dealers are in it for their passion for the music and strive to bring it into our homes.  In home demo's are great but if one has a room where other properly designed speakers have made good sound it would indicate the room is good.  If the room is reasonable and one has reasonable placement flexibility Vandersteen's will do what they are designed to do.   A dealer demo will let you know if they are what's expected but I would bring your amplifier (if the dealer does not have the model) and some of your favorite music with you.

RV

I home auditioned my Quatros in a larger room than is typically available at most shops.  They just walk away from the competition in a bigger room IMO.

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What's your listening room sq footage and ceiling height Dave? The lower the bass, the more room volume is needed to correctly reproduce it.

In general I'd suggest to try the Treo and see if there's enough bass there for you. The newer Model 2 and 3 are also great, however Treo takes refinement to a new level.

 

How do you like the Sonetto? I do like Sonus Faber sound at low volume levels, but once they get opened up there's just too much distortion for my ears. 

Treo go down a bit lower in bass than Sonetto, and noticeably lower than your Paradigm speakers.

 

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I drive a few hours to Rutan's in NJ.  Yes, he's as good as it gets.  Honestly, I have visited or spoken plenty to most of Richard's dealers.  They are all going to be great in helping you put things together.  That said, Wauwatosa where Jon Spelt's place is (Milwaukee dealer) is a fun area of the city.  Great food and other shopping.  Jon is as knowledgeable as anyone and is as respected as any of the dealers.  Wife is from WI.  If you are down there in Aug, let me know as I'll be in Madison for the last three weeks of Aug and plan on visiting Jon when I am out there.  I'd drive down to meet up with you or anyone else on the forums (as long as I can borrow our car for the day, lol).

As for choices, it's a cost deal.  I had the Treo's and sold them to Bob (gardener bob).  I went to Quatro's that I also feel are the sweet spot in the line.  I know that your current speakers are about 5k/pr.  If so, I hope that you can move up to the Treo CT's. (if you are able to move up in the line from there, I'm sure that a simple audition will let you figure out your cost/value proposition).  

Let's keep this thread going as it will be fun to read about your journey as you go forward.  Very cool.  Welcome again.

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3 hours ago, ctsooner said:

Let's keep this thread going as it will be fun to read about your journey as you go forward.  Very cool.  Welcome again.

Ditto!  Eagerly awaiting news of your discoveries.  Whatever pair of Vandersteen speakers you wind up with, quite confident you'll be happy.

Play on

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