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5a VS Quarto Wood CT


Spm3
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Hi friends, I am making a decision soon that I need some help making. I am lost as to which model I should go with. 
I am between purchasing a used 5a or spending more money on a newer Quarto Wood CT. I don't know what's the better option because the quarto would have the newer carbon tweeter, but I have a feeling the 5a's would have retailed for more than the quarto CT even before the carbon tweeter version. I am lost as to what the best option would be... 
My room is both large enough and treated well enough for either speaker, so that doesn't affect my decision. It's just what would sound better - 5a OR quarto wood ct ?

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I don't know the Quarto ct well, but I do know the 5A's....been living with a pair for years.   When I auditioned the 5A carbon, against the 5A, they sounded very similar...cleaner clearer high end, but not by much in the system I was listening to.   ....and too, are you, like me having decreased high frequency acuity...even with hearing aids.....I just wonder if the increased abilities of the tweeter would bring that much value to you.   You have to measure the thickness of your wallet,  consider the differences and be happy with your decision.  ..just some thoughts.

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On 2/20/2022 at 10:17 AM, Spm3 said:

Hi friends, I am making a decision soon that I need some help making. I am lost as to which model I should go with. 
I am between purchasing a used 5a or spending more money on a newer Quarto Wood CT. I don't know what's the better option because the quarto would have the newer carbon tweeter, but I have a feeling the 5a's would have retailed for more than the quarto CT even before the carbon tweeter version. I am lost as to what the best option would be... 
My room is both large enough and treated well enough for either speaker, so that doesn't affect my decision. It's just what would sound better - 5a OR quarto wood ct ?

No matter how diminished ones hearing the difference between the Carbon Tweeter and the earlier Ceramic coated one is huge!  Any comparison analyses that feel less than that has not done the comparison side by side.  Those that have heard a direct comparison use words like "day and night".  The whole "Carbon" thing I believe has been my most important development in 45 years, especially since it dramatically enhanced long-term listenability and less sensitivity to recording quality.  I have described it as "the wound is still there but it is not getting salt rubbed into it",  YMMV.  

RV

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i owned 5a for years with a fantastic amplifier driving them but the move to 7 mk 2 is night and day. The distortion floor is much lower.  I listened for 12 hours straight the eve i got them….Would a current production 5a cost more than Quattro ? i don’t know, but the 5a cabinet and multi layer mdf head assy is expensive to make and imo not as inert as the cabinet within a cabinet design featured in the Treo and up.  A hint where things are headed is the Kento and new 7 extreme subwoofer configuration. The force cancellation aspects of those new drivers is somewhat mimic in the Quattro. The push pull sub driver in the 5a and even my 7 is very very good ( great actually ) but it can move even a fantastic cabinet leading to less than perfect upper bass and even reach into the midrange.  Finally the 5a ceramic coated metal tweeter is used in the 2. Nothing stands still at Vandersteen….constant improvement is the watchword….the CT is mesmerizing ease for hours on end…

After saying all that, a properly maintained 5a w fresh batteries, a properly setup high pass and setup correctly in tge room will trash most $30 k speakers……so will Treo CT and most certainly Quattro CT….my  two cents…. 

best to you in your search…enjoy the music..

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Welcome. Glad you joined up.   You know where I stand in this conversation, lol. The other thing that the carbon tweeter allows is the ability to scale extremely high when pairing electronics. If you ever feel you need more bass, you can one or two Sub3’s.  That takes the 100hz up on the Quatro’s to an even higher level. 

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On 2/20/2022 at 1:17 PM, Spm3 said:

Hi friends, I am making a decision soon that I need some help making. I am lost as to which model I should go with. 
I am between purchasing a used 5a or spending more money on a newer Quarto Wood CT. I don't know what's the better option because the quarto would have the newer carbon tweeter, but I have a feeling the 5a's would have retailed for more than the quarto CT even before the carbon tweeter version. I am lost as to what the best option would be... 
My room is both large enough and treated well enough for either speaker, so that doesn't affect my decision. It's just what would sound better - 5a OR quarto wood ct ?

[disclaimer] I would not take my advise.

In my case I have the old 2C, and added the sub.
I think that the sub is very worthwhile.

If one was on a budget, and if the room has the space, it seems like a sub is a better approach at a fixed $ amount… so I would go the Treo or Kentos and the subs.
(Whichever one is the cheapest one available with the CT.)

I am kind of caught in “no mans land” with the 2C. If there was a rebuild kit with CT etc, then I would do that.
I am sure that the Treos or others would be better, but once the subs were added to the 2C they stepped up a notch… So I’ll just buy some more albums.

And I have sent more on amps that I would have liked to. I wish amps lasted as long as speakers.

It is hard to make a bad choice at the level you are looking at.
However, I would not trade more bass in the main speakers and give up the CT myself.
I would literally get the Treo CT, and the subs. Or get the subs later.

But then again if you do not have a place for the sub, then the powered sub section speaker also makes sense.

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I've listened to 5as many times at a dealer in Michigan - Audio Dimensions in Royal Oak.  They were driven by an Audio Research Ref 110.  It was a match made in heaven.  They were very linear.  By this I mean they seemed to produce a satisfying, full-range sound regardless of the level.  They just sounded effortless.  They were beyond my means at the time.  I now own Quatro Wood CTs.  I've never had an opportunity to make a direct comparison between the two.  I have a feeling the Kentos were created to replace the 5s because the Quatros are as good as they are.  I think it comes down to what you want to spend.  A used pair of 5s - whatever version, are going to be serious speakers.   If I had purchased the 5as back in the day, I wouldn't have considered anything else now.  They are a lifetime speaker.  I think it comes down to what you want to spend.  Since you mentioned your room is big enough, and, more importantly, treated in some fashion, you will experience what either of these can do.  If you can do it, place them on the long wall.   They have excellent horizontal dispersion.  My Quatros are hampered by their placement in my room.  Too many compromises.  I've heard them when you can get them away from the side walls.  Do it if you can. 

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8 hours ago, Moose said:

I've listened to 5as many times at a dealer in Michigan - Audio Dimensions in Royal Oak.  They were driven by an Audio Research Ref 110.  It was a match made in heaven.  They were very linear.  By this I mean they seemed to produce a satisfying, full-range sound regardless of the level.  They just sounded effortless.  They were beyond my means at the time.  I now own Quatro Wood CTs.  I've never had an opportunity to make a direct comparison between the two.  I have a feeling the Kentos were created to replace the 5s because the Quatros are as good as they are.  I think it comes down to what you want to spend.  A used pair of 5s - whatever version, are going to be serious speakers.   If I had purchased the 5as back in the day, I wouldn't have considered anything else now.  They are a lifetime speaker.  I think it comes down to what you want to spend.  Since you mentioned your room is big enough, and, more importantly, treated in some fashion, you will experience what either of these can do.  If you can do it, place them on the long wall.   They have excellent horizontal dispersion.  My Quatros are hampered by their placement in my room.  Too many compromises.  I've heard them when you can get them away from the side walls.  Do it if you can. 

Thank you! From all my research, it seems the Quarto CTs are going to be better than the 5a speakers, but the pricetag of them are dramatically different compared to what the 5s are going for. 

The speaker I fell in love with are the quatro CT at an audio show a few years ago, but I think I will have to wait for them. 

I will stick with the 5s for now and hope to trade them in a few years later for a pair of Quartos. That'll be my game plan. 

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On 2/22/2022 at 6:11 PM, TomicTime said:

i owned 5a for years with a fantastic amplifier driving them but the move to 7 mk 2 is night and day. The distortion floor is much lower.  I listened for 12 hours straight the eve i got them….Would a current production 5a cost more than Quattro ? i don’t know, but the 5a cabinet and multi layer mdf head assy is expensive to make and imo not as inert as the cabinet within a cabinet design featured in the Treo and up.  A hint where things are headed is the Kento and new 7 extreme subwoofer configuration. The force cancellation aspects of those new drivers is somewhat mimic in the Quattro. The push pull sub driver in the 5a and even my 7 is very very good ( great actually ) but it can move even a fantastic cabinet leading to less than perfect upper bass and even reach into the midrange.  Finally the 5a ceramic coated metal tweeter is used in the 2. Nothing stands still at Vandersteen….constant improvement is the watchword….the CT is mesmerizing ease for hours on end…

After saying all that, a properly maintained 5a w fresh batteries, a properly setup high pass and setup correctly in tge room will trash most $30 k speakers……so will Treo CT and most certainly Quattro CT….my  two cents…. 

best to you in your search…enjoy the music..

Thank you! I feel the same way. I decided to go with the 5a for now! 

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On 2/23/2022 at 10:58 AM, Holmz said:

[disclaimer] I would not take my advise.

In my case I have the old 2C, and added the sub.
I think that the sub is very worthwhile.

If one was on a budget, and if the room has the space, it seems like a sub is a better approach at a fixed $ amount… so I would go the Treo or Kentos and the subs.
(Whichever one is the cheapest one available with the CT.)

I am kind of caught in “no mans land” with the 2C. If there was a rebuild kit with CT etc, then I would do that.
I am sure that the Treos or others would be better, but once the subs were added to the 2C they stepped up a notch… So I’ll just buy some more albums.

And I have sent more on amps that I would have liked to. I wish amps lasted as long as speakers.

It is hard to make a bad choice at the level you are looking at.
However, I would not trade more bass in the main speakers and give up the CT myself.
I would literally get the Treo CT, and the subs. Or get the subs later.

But then again if you do not have a place for the sub, then the powered sub section speaker also makes sense.

 

Well, i understand working to a budget, let’s make sure you get the most out of tge venerable 5a. Your checklist should include age and if needed replacement of all 4 sets of batteries ( inside speaker crossovers.. AND the required high pass filters ! make sure you get ALL the washers needed to achieve proper tilt.  If you have hardwood or non carpeted floors, get Vandy spike shoes. I would absolutely Bi-wire them from get go ! Finally IF shipping them make certain they are properly bolted to the original pallet included in the well designed packaging. Reach out to me if i can help, including virtual setup assistance.

Congrates. 

Jim

On 2/23/2022 at 10:58 AM, Holmz said:

[disclaimer] I would not take my advise.

In my case I have the old 2C, and added the sub.
I think that the sub is very worthwhile.

If one was on a budget, and if the room has the space, it seems like a sub is a better approach at a fixed $ amount… so I would go the Treo or Kentos and the subs.
(Whichever one is the cheapest one available with the CT.)

I am kind of caught in “no mans land” with the 2C. If there was a rebuild kit with CT etc, then I would do that.
I am sure that the Treos or others would be better, but once the subs were added to the 2C they stepped up a notch… So I’ll just buy some more albums.

And I have sent more on amps that I would have liked to. I wish amps lasted as long as speakers.

It is hard to make a bad choice at the level you are looking at.
However, I would not trade more bass in the main speakers and give up the CT myself.
I would literally get the Treo CT, and the subs. Or get the subs later.

But then again if you do not have a place for the sub, then the powered sub section speaker also makes sense.

 

On 2/23/2022 at 10:58 AM, Holmz said:

[disclaimer] I would not take my advise.

In my case I have the old 2C, and added the sub.
I think that the sub is very worthwhile.

If one was on a budget, and if the room has the space, it seems like a sub is a better approach at a fixed $ amount… so I would go the Treo or Kentos and the subs.
(Whichever one is the cheapest one available with the CT.)

I am kind of caught in “no mans land” with the 2C. If there was a rebuild kit with CT etc, then I would do that.
I am sure that the Treos or others would be better, but once the subs were added to the 2C they stepped up a notch… So I’ll just buy some more albums.

And I have sent more on amps that I would have liked to. I wish amps lasted as long as speakers.

It is hard to make a bad choice at the level you are looking at.
However, I would not trade more bass in the main speakers and give up the CT myself.
I would literally get the Treo CT, and the subs. Or get the subs later.

But then again if you do not have a place for the sub, then the powered sub section speaker also makes sense.

 

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Just informational the lineage is 5 then 5a then the 7 then the 5a Carbon…  my understanding is the 5a carbon  was expensive to produce  AND lower resonance cabinet designs ( cabinet within cabinet ) coupled with balanced force subwoofer drivers in the Kento yieled a bigger improvement ( much ) than just loading carbon / balsa drivers into the 5a cabinet.  ( gross simolification by me )

its a Saturday, my guess is Richard is at work today…trying to extract better value and sonics…for himself…and us….

Enjoy the music

Jim

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1 hour ago, TomicTime said:

Just informational the lineage is 5 then 5a then the 7 then the 5a Carbon…  my understanding is the 5a carbon  was expensive to produce  AND lower resonance cabinet designs ( cabinet within cabinet ) coupled with balanced force subwoofer drivers in the Kento yieled a bigger improvement ( much ) than just loading carbon / balsa drivers into the 5a cabinet.  ( gross simolification by me )

its a Saturday, my guess is Richard is at work today…trying to extract better value and sonics…for himself…and us….

Enjoy the music

Jim

Hi Jim, 

Thanks for the information! If I find a 5a to purchase, I will likely pick it up myself to save on shipping. If I pick them up, would laying them flat in the truck of my car be okay for the speakers? What would be the best way to transport them? 

Thanks, 

Shawn 

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NO ! they need to go upright on the pallet. @Richard Vandersteen can comment on how that can damage the rare and expensive push pull driver. I would be inclined to rent a pallet jack and an enclosed u haul trailer. i would also load some sandbags into the trailer. The 5a beefy as they are not heavy enough to soften the ride. Replacement packing is available from factory.

Jim

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This is what it looks like, if shipping by truck carrier, be sure to include a “ top hat “ to dissuade top loading !
As you might imagine, this was a very exciting day for me in 2015. 😉 marks 7 years of flawless ownership of 7’s.

You may find a trade pair w proper packing, updated batteries at a Vandersteen dealer is a better way to go. Just my two cents…

Jim

CCD61296-A938-4EB3-886A-21117AB2B672.jpeg

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Hi Shawn,

I purchased a pair of 5As a year ago from a retired fellow in my neighborhood. He was the original owner and had owned them for about 10 years. The 5As replaced a pair of 2CE sigs that I had bought new 15 or 16 years ago. Each day I sit down to listen to music via either of my comparatively modest sources, I am thrilled. Having these speakers in the system has been a real pleasure. You can take a look at my system in my profile, and if you want to read my account of my acquisition and set up of the 5As just search the site for my long winded posts. I will say that most of the folks on this site have owned and heard a lot more gear than I have, so I'm not chiming in to give you any advice, but just wanted to share my experience with you.

Oh, and in terms of transporting the speakers, this is what I did . . . knowing the speakers are very heavy, I enlisted the help of my daughter and a couple of her college aged acquaintances to help me make the move. Prior to the move I paid a visit to Home Depot and bought a roll of that cling film packing material, a couple of furniture blankets and rented a refrigerator dolly. I wrapped the speakers in the cling film, then the furniture pads and with the help of my college muscle got each speaker strapped onto the dolly, one at a time, and carefully slid one speaker into the back of our Prius hatchback and the other into the back of our Lexus 350. My move was only a few blocks. I made the move in reverse once I got home. Believe me, I could not have moved the speakers by myself, so if you do find a pair to buy and pick them up yourself I'd suggest you have at least one able person with a good back and a steady nerve to give you a hand.

BTW, the fellow I bought the speakers from, after flirting with a pair of MBLs, has ended up with another pair of Vandersteens. The Kentos I think.

Have fun with your search!

Rock on, John

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Oh dear lord, I just saw Jim's about transporting the 5As upright.

See! As I said, these guys have a lot more knowledge than I!

My speakers have seemed to have survived their non-upright journey, but I literally drove them about 5 blocks, slowly and carefully to get them to their new home.

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So the moral of the story is to just get a pair of Kento's as they are simply easier to move around and set up.  OP, just go to a Vandy dealer and have them bring over the Kento's and also set them up for you.  After you give them your check for set up, make sure they are full from a nice pizza and favorite beverage.  See how easy audio can be?  haha.  

Some GREAT info just by reach each post.  Learning more and more each day about my set up etc...  thanks for sharing guys.

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13 hours ago, TomicTime said:

This is what it looks like, if shipping by truck carrier, be sure to include a “ top hat “ to dissuade top loading !
As you might imagine, this was a very exciting day for me in 2015. 😉 marks 7 years of flawless ownership of 7’s.

You may find a trade pair w proper packing, updated batteries at a Vandersteen dealer is a better way to go. Just my two cents…

Jim

CCD61296-A938-4EB3-886A-21117AB2B672.jpeg

Thank you! 

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