Jump to content

2C speaker test


Recommended Posts

Who the heck knows what to think? #1 Older C’s, #2 given the photo, did he have the sound anchor stands? That’s kinda critical,  and #3 were they set up properly for tilt/time and phase alignment?  He stated that the sound was ‘confusing’, well, yea, if not set-up properly, they probably were.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t know I thought it was fair… It is 30 +years old, and it still seems pretty good.
Maybe using a DSP to flatten out the ripples would help?

One basically cannot make the step response correct on a modern speaker, if it is all jacked up… But one can take this and smooth out the FR and it seems like it would be hard to find a modern speaker (of another brand) that is anywhere close in the price range of this 35 year old speaker.

I did get a demo of some Australian made speakers today, and they were impressive. But I am chin scratching as they were in a room that I am not used to, and the sighted bias etc is difficult to overcome.

He also listens to a lot more speakers than many of us, so I am unsurprised with his review.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Holmz said:

A modern test of the classic:

https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/vandersteen_model_2/
And It has me chin scratching.

Holmz, not bad for a speaker 30+ years old without stands, stands, measured and listened to on the tweeter axis.  The focal point of all Vandersteen speakers is always slightly below the center of the midrange.  The Kippel speaker test suite is very powerful and can measure many different parameters including cone scans we use to see cone breakup.  His sonic comments are his opinion but we have all discovered what happens when the vertical tilt is not correct.

RV

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

The Kippel speaker test suite is very powerful and can measure many different parameters including cone scans we use to see cone breakup.  

RV

Minor point...  I'm not sure the tester is using the Kippel system any longer >>  https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/testmethods/

Of course, that doesn't have anything to do with this own sonic observations.

Personal opinion:  If the 2C's were perfect as originally designed and built, it's pretty likely that the design wouldn't have been changed over the past almost four decades.  What would have been the point?  The corollary to that is:  Why even make other models if the 2C's were perfect?   (This is from a guy who very happily used 2Ci's for more than a quarter century.)

My own observation is that one of the main sub-hobbies within the home sound reproduction hobby is debating and arguing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BKDad said:

Minor point...  I'm not sure the tester is using the Kippel system any longer >>  https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/testmethods/

Of course, that doesn't have anything to do with this own sonic observations.

I am > 99% sure that he is using the Klippel.
I pretty much do not trust anyone’s subjective flowery words, good or bad. And the parts of the objective data that are distressing (i.e. frequency response) can easily be corrected digitally.

 

1 hour ago, BKDad said:

Personal opinion:  If the 2C's were perfect as originally designed and built, it's pretty likely that the design wouldn't have been changed over the past almost four decades.  What would have been the point?  The corollary to that is:  Why even make other models if the 2C's were perfect?   (This is from a guy who very happily used 2Ci's for more than a quarter century.)

My own observation is that one of the main sub-hobbies within the home sound reproduction hobby is debating and arguing.

Arguing and debating like barstool quarterbacking 😃 It is a lot easier than actual work.

 

I’m not convinced that the speakers are not close to perfect. There is at least diffraction, cabinet resonances, driver performance and crossovers top consider. 

In terms of what has changed in the last 4 decades:

  1. Drivers have improved a lot, especially  in the last decade or two. It is almost to the point where one could have a rational debate about amplifiers being able to be heard when the speaker distortion goes from 1-2 % towards 0.01 %
  2. Computational DSP was pretty much in its infancy in the 60’s, and I have been moving towards the camp that active systems can be fundamentally better. So I am unconvinced that the 3-4 decade old crossover would a place for improvement.
  3. Understanding of resonances and diffraction, and other nuances has improved to across the industry, so that the budget and medium cost systems have improved significantly…
    1. But I am not sure that much has changed in the 2C lineup in these terms?

 

I have been thinking about selling the 2C and getting an upgrade, or modifying them. But they sound pretty good to my iron ears, so I cannot easily justify a reason to change.

So I’ll likely take a middle road, and use the Lyngdorf room perfect or another DSP to smooth out the frequency response. However three drivers in a biwire speaker sort of begs some questions surrounding the time/phase performance in the midrange and tweeter region. As the step function looks good, I’ll probably see how a DSP and two amp channels per speaker work. At least that does not destroy anything.
And maybe the speaker’s frequency response ripples are totally overwhelmed by room anyhow?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION:

The big thing is that the room is going to be the room.  There are a zillion resonant peaks and nulls, unless it's a true anechoic chamber.  (If you've ever spent more than about nine minutes in an anechoic chamber, you'd know that aside from being impractical as a listening room, it's also very unappealing sonically.)  This is true whether the room is a home listening room, a conference room, a practice room, or a concert hall.  Moving your seating position has a big effect.  That's the physics of it all.  In fact, from what I've read, just moving your head a little bit has such an effect that it is a significant part of the programming for your own aural system.  In fact, I think that may be part of what makes listening interesting.  Ever watch a dog or cat cock its head about while listening to a sound?

Personally, I found that reducing the "Q" of the room with some acoustic treatment reduced the magnitude of the peaks and nulls and made everything clearer to listen to.  Adding some diffusion helped, too.  That all helped make the room itself better.  That was true for just regular conversation or my wife playing a guitar.  

DSP processing doesn't really do that.  The best DSP correction changes the amplitude and time relationships of the audio signal so that when that signal is modified by the room physics itself, the summed value at the listening position is closer to some chosen target.  If you think about it, that is not really the same as adjusting the room.  It just is easier to use and rationalize.  Way higher tech, too. 

I have never heard a system I liked that used DSP correction.  Whether that was due to the various conversion elements in it, the filter algorithms, the added overall system noise, or what have you, it's never worked for me.  So, there's that.  Emphasis on ME.

I will offer that after twenty five years of using 2Ci's in our room, I think I pretty much had optimized their performance.  The list of what I tried is far too long to even contemplate, never mind discuss.  So, when Treo CT's became available, I decided to reassess.  Ultimately, we decided that Quatro CT's were worth the additional difference in price, for all the reasons you can find in the reviews and on Vandersteen's web site.

And, I will also tell you is that just dropping the Quatros into where the 2Ci's had been very, very carefully placed made a bigger difference than all the optimization I had done in the past quarter century.  Optimizing the tilt, the toe-in, the exact placement, and adding granite bases made an additional difference.  A substantial one.  So did some "burn-in" time.  Plus, now, smaller detail optimizations in the rest of the system are more easily appreciated.

Again, that's only my observation and opinion.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Mr. V. said last week during the 7XTRM demo.

-DSP isn't a free ride. What you gain in response equalization is lost elsewhere due to the algorithms used.-At least, that is what I thought I heard.

I also agree with @BKDad. The model 1-4's , are the 'barebones' of the Vandy design, but the Treo to 7's expound upon those designs ( and even influence upgrades on those models).

When I went from the 3a sigs to the Treo's (non-CT), I found the music much more 'relaxed/effortless'.

B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GdnrBob,  we all hope room correction, digital sources streaming and the like will achieve greatness because we are all a bit lazy and streaming is a lot easier than flipping, cleaning and finding a record.  We should not forget the laws of nature always win and all of this digital processing is zillions of energy transfers and conversions!  I would not hold my breath as last time I checked water still runs down hill.  For convenience I do hope you are correct but my lack of "goosebumps" when listening is a bad omen because the emotional attachment is the "drug" that gets people into this hobby and the driving force to improve every aspect of the listening experience.  If digital can hook up the emotions its simplicity will grow our hobby but if it doesn't digital will continue to shrink it since its inception.  Just to clarify, I am not anti digital but my job requires me to call it what by my ears.  You all won't accept any less from me!  This is not a argument for or against digital just a reminder to use both appropriately.

RV

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Holmz said:

I am > 99% sure that he is using the Klippel.
I pretty much do not trust anyone’s subjective flowery words, good or bad. And the parts of the objective data that are distressing (i.e. frequency response) can easily be corrected digitally.

 

Arguing and debating like barstool quarterbacking 😃 It is a lot easier than actual work.

 

I’m not convinced that the speakers are not close to perfect. There is at least diffraction, cabinet resonances, driver performance and crossovers top consider. 

In terms of what has changed in the last 4 decades:

  1. Drivers have improved a lot, especially  in the last decade or two. It is almost to the point where one could have a rational debate about amplifiers being able to be heard when the speaker distortion goes from 1-2 % towards 0.01 %
  2. Computational DSP was pretty much in its infancy in the 60’s, and I have been moving towards the camp that active systems can be fundamentally better. So I am unconvinced that the 3-4 decade old crossover would a place for improvement.
  3. Understanding of resonances and diffraction, and other nuances has improved to across the industry, so that the budget and medium cost systems have improved significantly…
    1. But I am not sure that much has changed in the 2C lineup in these terms?

 

I have been thinking about selling the 2C and getting an upgrade, or modifying them. But they sound pretty good to my iron ears, so I cannot easily justify a reason to change.

So I’ll likely take a middle road, and use the Lyngdorf room perfect or another DSP to smooth out the frequency response. However three drivers in a biwire speaker sort of begs some questions surrounding the time/phase performance in the midrange and tweeter region. As the step function looks good, I’ll probably see how a DSP and two amp channels per speaker work. At least that does not destroy anything.
And maybe the speaker’s frequency response ripples are totally overwhelmed by room anyhow?

No speaker is perfect especially 35 year old ones but the speakers we make today are not perfect either.  The question is does all that digital processing cause more harm than good when it comes to the emotional connection to the music.   Many listeners are always in the "test equipment" mode and have the advantage of not noticing timing errors and things emotional.  We are all different so we all have different solutions.  Many have the ability to fill in the blanks when they are missing.  I don't.  The Model One, Two and Three were all about using better crossover parts and drivers at any price point at the expense of cosmetics, cabinet resonances and diffraction in order to be "Time and Phase Correct" and reasonably low in distortion.  Some years ago the Treo, Quatro and SEVEN's required a more inert cabinet, less diffraction, pistonic driver cones to advance the art.  The improved cosmetics was only a wonderful side effect especially for my wife. In the end I designed a few speakers that work for me and hope enough people have the same expectations to keep Vandersteen in business.  YMMV.

RV  

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

Many have the ability to fill in the blanks when they are missing.  I don't.

RV  

Me, neither.

My wife has pointed out to me several times that her pals and professors from music school rarely had even passable home audio systems.  They plain didn't care and it all was irrelevant to them.  Most of them could read the sheet music and fill in the blanks.  How about that!  She saw people pick up sheet music, sway about some, jump around, laugh some, and actually cry real tears.  (BTW, it can be really frustrating for lowly humans like me to hang around those people for long, especially when music is involved.  Better to discuss sports.)

When they listened to performances, they either were looking for some technique ideas or were just enjoying the performers' interpretation of what was already embedded in the music.

Sadly, none of that really works for me.  It would be wayyyyyy more convenient and inexpensive if it did.  So, I just make do.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, BKDad said:

Me, neither.

My wife has pointed out to me several times that her pals and professors from music school rarely had even passable home audio systems.  They plain didn't care and it all was irrelevant to them.  Most of them could read the sheet music and fill in the blanks.  How about that!  She saw people pick up sheet music, sway about some, jump around, laugh some, and actually cry real tears.  (BTW, it can be really frustrating for lowly humans like me to hang around those people for long, especially when music is involved.  Better to discuss sports.)

When they listened to performances, they either were looking for some technique ideas or were just enjoying the performers' interpretation of what was already embedded in the music.

Sadly, none of that really works for me.  It would be wayyyyyy more convenient and inexpensive if it did.  So, I just make do.

That's a great story and so true of all the musicians I know.  Some do get it though, but most don't care as you said.  Does your wife teach at HART?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, BKDad said:

Me, neither.

My wife has pointed out to me several times that her pals and professors from music school rarely had even passable home audio systems.  They plain didn't care and it all was irrelevant to them.  Most of them could read the sheet music and fill in the blanks.  How about that!  She saw people pick up sheet music, sway about some, jump around, laugh some, and actually cry real tears.  (BTW, it can be really frustrating for lowly humans like me to hang around those people for long, especially when music is involved.  Better to discuss sports.)

When they listened to performances, they either were looking for some technique ideas or were just enjoying the performers' interpretation of what was already embedded in the music.

Sadly, none of that really works for me.  It would be wayyyyyy more convenient and inexpensive if it did.  So, I just make do.

Yes, it is very interesting. When I was getting my Treo’s from Don Better, we discussed this. Don is not only an audiophile, a high end audio salesman, but a musician as well, and a faculty member of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Even though he is both, you can tell he doesn’t really get it either. Yes, many musicians are only interested in listening to technique and interpretation of a work, and could care less how it is recorded or reproduced to hear that.  Don like the rest of  ‘us’ does not understand why you would not want to listen to music in the best possible recording and reproduction possible as well.

This actually doesn't seem different than other artists in other art forms. As a visual artists, yes, growing up I could see reproductions by various artists and be thrilled by them, even a small photo in a book, but always desired a high resolution photo of the piece to better understand it, or better, see the actual work in person. But is wasn’t ‘critical’. So yea, I get it. But then, I don’t 😁

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, bkeske said:

This actually doesn't seem different than other artists in other art forms. As a visual artists, yes, growing up I could see reproductions by various artists and be thrilled by them, even a small photo in a book, but always desired a high resolution photo of the piece to better understand it, or better, see the actual work in person. But is wasn’t ‘critical’. So yea, I get it. But then, I don’t 😁

'Zactly.  My only point was/is that everybody is different.  There are some broad categories people more or less fall into, but that's it.  It's almost certainly the same for other activities that have any sort of emotional component.  Maybe even the objective parts - who knows?

To argue which one is right for everybody therefore seems foolish, at least to me.  There is no one size fits all here.  But, if people want to debate, fine by me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

No speaker is perfect especially 35 year old ones but the speakers we make today are not perfect either.  

I would argue (in your defence), that it was pretty good in the day, and that the  output is largely correct. There were other nice speakers by other manufactures around too, and some of them were actually good sounding. Many of the speaker issues that speakers have were absent in the 2C. So they were a step closer to perfection 

 

8 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

…  The question is does all that digital processing cause more harm than good when it comes to the emotional connection to the music.   Many listeners are always in the "test equipment" mode and have the advantage of not noticing timing errors and things emotional.  …

The “Digital”   question that was not largely available in the 80s. I recall McIntosh had a digital room correction system, at one shop in Montrose or Pasadena. These days many powered (digitally corrected) speakers like the D&D, Genelecs, etc are turning heads. Some of the Lyngdorf and Genelecs are using alloy cabinets. 
But there is an emotional attachment to the electronics as well. I look at a Conrad Johnson or McIntosh, or AR stack and I “just know it will sound good”. And there are a lot of people that would be adverse to going powered.
That number of people was probably almost 100% in the 80s, and has been headed down hill since then.

 

8 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

….  The Model One, Two and Three were all about using better crossover parts and drivers at any price point at the expense of cosmetics, cabinet resonances and diffraction in order to be "Time and Phase Correct" and reasonably low in distortion.  …

That is a totally logical approach. There seems to be no other way to get it largely correct, at that price point, than how they ended up.
And there would be almost no way in the 80s to have digital crossover, or powered speakers, in people’s systems that were based upon a stack on maps and preamps.

 

8 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

…. In the end I designed a few speakers that work for me and hope enough people have the same expectations to keep Vandersteen in business.  YMMV.

RV  

The hundreds of thousands of the 2C being proudly owned, suggest that they were meeting many peoples expectations or needs.

I mean I have had mine since the mid 80s, and they have sound great to me for many years. I have no doubt that the Treos, or Quatros, would be logical step up, but I am (happily) stuck with something that is not perfect, but too damned nice to not keep. 

However a friend suggested that I try to put them up for sale, and then upgrade to at least the Treos,. He is not emotionally attached to the speakers, but it made some sense once he said it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go8 g up to treo is a huge upgrade. It’s more than just a prettier cabinet.  I often miss the Treo’s and they are the ceramic tweeter. It’s a great speaker value. Quatro’s are a great value for legit, full range high fi for many reasons, but I could easily live with Treo’s with great electronics. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I missed the live review today, but just watched the delayed YouTube version.
It was pretty theatrical compared to his normal presentations, and the wig gave him a familiar look (a bit like RV without a barber) 😃
And he seemed pretty complimentary to Richard too,

The part around 18 minutes in had me wondering… Is this why we want the speakers to not be toed in? So that we have some energy going out to impinge upon the sidewalls?

The compression part looked very good, and I guess the distortion is what has been overcome with the newer Carbon Kentos… etc.

I guess I need to start saving up, or continue to be happy. And it looks like a of previous 2C owners have went to Treos, etc…
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched most of this review and think it is fair except for the subject of "Time and Phase," which Erin admits he doesn't relate to and does not mention the step or any significance. Dr. Floyd Toole and, in a way, John Atkinson of Stereophile do not ascribe much significance to the step performance of a speaker. It is true that those of us that think preserving the "Waveform" as best as possible of instruments and voice accept some compromise to other speaker perimeters, especially amplitude response. John Dunlavy, John Bau, Jim Thiel, and myself think "Wave Preservation" is very important, if not primary. So in the overall scheme of things, we are the odd ducks. Dynamic compression is another area where Hi-Fi falls short of "live," and I do put a high priority on this parameter. In the Model One, Two, and Three, we have allowed for some amplitude deviations because of the top, dowels, and unsculpted driver steps in order to spend more on the drivers and crossover at their price points. To preserve dynamics with first-order crossovers (needed for "Time and Phase" alignment), two-way speakers need not apply at any price allowing for a 3 way or more. The Model One is an exception, but I did the best possible, but this is why it will get strained at higher levels and is meant to be entry-level. These designers are a small minority of all the designers in the industry, and the ongoing argument about "Waveform"  matters will continue forever, but I know it matters to some people. For me, it is a Go, no Go!  I know many hear it, some don't, and some don't care. My design priorities are Waveform and noise found with a waterfall plot. The Treo and above are designed with these same priorities plus eliminating more of the amplitude issues caused by diffraction and unsculpted baffle issues. One note for Erin: even if the drivers are staggered, tilt is the only way to get the listener aligned depending on ear height. The Acoustic Coupler in the rear has wires going to it as it is active. It would be interesting for you to measure a Treo, which is a more recent design, but you don't test for my highest priorities which would require the mic to be at listener height or the speaker to be tilted to the mic height. Entertaining and respectful!

RV 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like most things having to do with human emotions and interpretation, there's no single right answer.  Some people like chardonnay or single malt while others prefer Dr. Pepper (the original made with cane sugar).

I, for one, won't criticize anybody for their stupid and ignorant opinions.  😂

This does just show, again, why those double blind tests that purport to demonstrate the lowest acceptable common denominator may not be all that useful.  You have to choose for yourself.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just read the Stereophile review of the new Wilson Alexx V. 

He put in a footnote:

'Footnote 2: I should clear up some readers' confusion about my use of the terms "time-coherent" and "time-coincident" with multiway loudspeakers. The latter means that the outputs of the drive-units arrive at the nominal listening/microphone position at the same time. The step response is therefore a right triangle—a vertical rise from zero with then a slow decay to the timeline. This is very difficult to arrange—the only dynamic speakers I have measured that were truly time-coincident have been various Spicas, Thiels, Dunlavys, and Vandersteens. By "time-coherent," I mean that when the crossover's phase shift in the crossover region and the different distances of the acoustic centers of the drive-units from the listening/microphone position are taken into account, the result is a step response where the decay of each unit's step smoothly blends with the start of the step of the next lower in frequency. To the ear, the difference between perfect time-coincidence and perfect time coherence is relatively minor'.

4 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

John Atkinson of Stereophile do not ascribe much significance to the step performance of a speaker.

I was going to post this on a separate thread, but it seems you beat me to it.

B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...