These speakers are a bargin in the used market. Vandersteen sold so many of these that they are a easy find if you look hard enough. Rather then rehash what others have said I will touch on a couple things I've found. First download the manual from the internet, read it and placement will be a snap. 2nd you don't need a huge room or a whopper of an amp. I drive them with an Audio Research D-115 100watt tube amp and they need NO sub woofer. The problem with many lower wattage amps is a micky mouse power supply. My ARC has three huge transformers and weighs 75lbs. I also play them with an Odyssey ss amp witch is 150watts and they sound good but the bass is thinner then with the smaller amp so I think its the power supply in the ARC that makes the difference. I also play them with an old Sansui au9500 which is only 85 watts and they still sound good. My room is a little on the tight side for these speakers at only 15x13 but using the suggestions in the manual they image nice. The best sound stage i've had in my house ever. 3rd if you get them used don't forget to pickup the stands and try to get the cables they were using if they were bi wired. They sound best bi wired even if you most used cheap cable to from home depot to make them it will be better then a quality single cable. Mine came with Audio Quest Indigo Blue cables which would have been $$$.
These speakers will just embarrass many speakers in the way they image and the bass goes way low. I think they look cool as well, speakers today all look like our wives bought them at Pottery Barn.
These speakers are so good they make me want to buy the newer version which I'm told are even better.
This is an add on review to my previous review of my Vandersteen 2ci speakers. After approximately a year and a half I'm still in love with them, in face more so, but I learned something recently. I had always thought that my old NAD speakers lacked bass and fullness. When I bought my 2cis I fell in love with the sound, but thought that they also lacked bass and that the sound wasn't large enough. I thought I was going to have to eventually upgrade Then my old Kyocera 310CX CD player finally died. It had always produced a nice warm involving sound, but I was selling some Infinity RS 2.5s, and the buyer told me the Infinitys were good, but I needed a new CD player. The 310 died soon after, and, as I liked the Kyocera sound, I found a used Kyocera 710CX in good condition. The 710 was Kyocera's top of the line audiophile grade CD player. As soon as I hooked it up the sound stage expanded and the bass I thought the 2cis were a little light on appeard. In spades. The 710 improved every aspect of the Vandrsteens performance. Clarity, seperation, spatial presentation and bottom, it's all there, and the Vandersteens now sound WONDERFULL!!! I never feel now that they are lacking in any aspect, and I no longer feel that I'm going to have to upgrade to be satisfied. I've heard the Vandersteen 3 Signatures and the Quatros, and if I had the money I'd buy a pair of Quatros in a flash. But I am SO happy with my 2cis now. Ive also listened to Martin Logans, Alons, ProAcs, Thiels, $25000 a pair Montanas, and various assorted and sundry other speakers. None of them do every thing as well in balance as Vandersteen speakers do. They may be superior in a certain aspects, but the Vandersteens are the only speakers that I don't feel that something is missing from. If you are shopping and see a pair of used Vandersteen 2 or 3 Signatures, grab them.
The point of this re review is to say to those of you who feel the Vandersteens are lacking, or don't have enough bass or presentation, it's not the speakers, it's the other equipment. I had no idea a differant CD player could make that much differance, but it did. For the record I auditioned several other CD players including
NAD (too clinical), Denon (too laid back), SONY SACD, Cal Audio, and more. The old Kyocera DA710CX was the best. Easily. If you are shopping for an audiophile quality CD player and don't want to spend a grand, these can be found on EBAY for appx. $200. Well worth it.
This review is for the 2Cis, not the 2Ces. I can't say enough good things about these speakers. I had upgraded to a pair of Infinity RS 6000s that I found for $125.00 after I got fed up with my NAD model 10s. Yes they made speakers for a couple of years. Mine were a 10 inch 3 way system. Anyway, they're gone and I DON"T miss them. I thought I had a pretty good pair of speakers with the Infinitys. Especially for $125.00 for the pair. The EMIT tweeter is nice. Then I found a pair of RS 2.5s which I bought. But I got curious after reading about Vandersteens, and went and listened to a pair of 2C Signatures. I was sold, but couldn't afford them new. I found a pair of 2Cis used for $400 and bought them, took them home, set them up, and sold the RS 2.5s. These Vandersteens are WONDERFUL. Balance, harmony, integration, warmth, clarity, everything is where it should be in the proper balance. I realize now what the Vandersteen dealer was talking about when he mentioned the Infinity smile, that Arnie Nudell made his speakers top and bottom heavy. The old classic infinitys are great speakers, but not balanced.
I thought at first that the Vandersteens were a litte lite, not enough oomph, but I didn"t have them wired right. I had some crappy 12 guage wire from Fry Electronics and had them bi-wired wrong. The guy who bought my RS 6000s gave me some quality solid core insulated wire to try out and I vertically bi-amped the 2Cis. Wham, they woke up. It was like night and day. I'm now a believer in quality wire, it does make a differance. Peope talk about needing some power to push them, that they aren' t good for late night low volume. Not true. Mine are running now at about 2 wpc and they tug at me from the next room. I have an old Soundcraftsmen Pro Power 10 mosfet amp that's actually two completely seperate bridgrable amps in one. I'm sure that a nice tube amp would sound better but as soon as I got the good wire on the 2Cis and vertically bi-amped them they just started to sing. The bass came alive, the mids and highs opened up and I'm SO happy. They're spacial, a larger sound stage then the Infinity RS 2.5s. I can't believe I got a set of speakers that sound this good for $400. I'm sure if I was spending 5 grand I could get something that sounded better, but you can get a new pair of 2C Signatures for about $1700. If you are going to buy speakers, you owe it to youself to audition some Vandersteens. These speakers are a blessing.
There is no category for the 2c which sadly because this model had probably been put in everyone basement by now, but I just got a pair a couple weeks ago. I have heard the 2ce's with a different setup and loved them so when I was these speakers for so cheap I jumped on the opportunity to own them. I know their old, but they rock. Imaging from a vandersteen is like nothing I have heard before (I know that that this is not a objective opinion). Finally, I don't have to play my home theater sub when I listen to music to experience bass. Overall, these speakers are great as long as you have a lot of space and live with people (girlfriend/wife) who don't mind their looks.
This is for the 2Ci model that I have owned since 1991. Price included stands. There has never been a problem. The speakers always sounded musical. I upgraded to all C-J amps, and the sound improved right along with the amplification. Sounds fine with lesser amplification. I used a B&K ST-202+ amp for 11 years (with a tube preamp and a solid stae preamp), and the sound was better than many other's more expensive systems. Those that need etched "audiophile" sound should look elsewhere. These are for people who enjoy music and don't obsess over every new audio gadget that hits the audiostreet. My dealer's comment: "When I sell somebody a Vandersteen speaker, they don't buy any other speakers for a long time". I've been listening to my pair for nearly 14 years. There are other brands out there these days that I feel will compete nicely at roughly the same price.....VMPS Ribbon Monitor 1, Shahinian ARC, and other smaller makers. However, their dealers are few and far between. I have not had so much as a single screw or connector come loose in those 14 yeras of listening. All styles of music are served well. They did NOT mate well with my old Heathkit W-5M tube amps. The bass was rather woolly and the max sound level before clipping and dynamic range was rather restrained. You will need a beefy tube amp of at least 100 watts to make them sound their best, or a high current solid state amp of at least 100 watts as well. A Counterpoint SA-100 is the bare minimum power I have heard them sound their best. My C-J MF-2250 does a better job, but it's a considerably newer amp and retails for $2400 these days. While tolerant of lesser amps such as B&K, these speakers really sing with better amps as they are phase coherent and really let you know what is going on upstream. Every upstream improvement is clearly audible, and those who state they lack fine detail usually value exaggeration over naturalness. You will never hear what isn't there. Bad recording sound crappy, but the crappiness isn't exaggerated as it is with some speakers. When mated with laid back amps such as old B&K's, you will get a laid back sound that is tolerant of bad recordings. Few people use these speakers with the correct amps and front end components that reveal what they can really do, and the SET and OTL crowd are very much out of luck due to the somewhat low sensitivity. A tube amp able to bring out the best will usually retail for about twice or more what you pay for a pair of new Vandersteen Model 2 speakers. I heard them with Rogue tube amps at the dealer. While nice, my solid state C-J amp decidely gives better sound, particularly in the bass and in dynamic contrast. Tube preamps mate very nicely with any Model 2 speaker. One of the best combos will be a tube preamp and solid state power amp, and that has been my definite preference down through the years, although a B&K Pro10-MC did a creditable job for a solid state preamp, being better than most cheap tube preamps, and with a great phono stage. My new VMPS Ribbon Monotor 1 speakers are a better speaker, but you have to dink around with the bass tuning a lot to make them excell in the bass. The Vandersteen Model 2 speakers, any of the various models down through the years, are a "no brainer" for beginners in high end audio. You can forget about speakers for a long time while you fine tune your front end. I kept mine as a second pair to use with the original B&K amplification. These are a better deal on the used market than on the new market, and American audiophiles should have no big trouble locating a good pair for $600 or less. Not quite the outstanding deal they once were if buying new; there are now several other brands I would consider before laying down my money, especially if I wanted to use low powered amplification. Any VMPS neodymium ribbon loudspeaker will beat it in the midrange and top end, but those are hard to find at a used bargain price.
If anyone is interested, findings inside the popular Vandersteen design...
I have an old pair, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I will soon have an upstairs music room for myself and the kids: Some guitars and amps. PA stuff. Dape decks. Odd stereo equipment. I plan to refurbish the Vandys and use ... Read More »
Just got a used pair, excellent condition. But here goes, These are in my 24 year audio experience the worst speakers I've ever owned. I hear bass, treble, no midrange presence. Midrange suckout galore. I hear a smoothness I guess, but lacking transparency, inner detail, slow, veiled. Everything ups ... Read More »
I have a stereo system with Vandersteen 2ce signature..
Those speaker are not efficient and requires A LOT of power. I hear people saying "A Musical Fidelity a300 is fine" or "A Anthem Int. 2 is fine", anybody have any experience with those speakers that could recommend me a nice amp used or new ... Read More »