Vandersteen 1B Floorstanding Speakers

1B

8-in woofer, 1-in tweeter

User Reviews (31)

Showing 1-10 of 31  
abcxyz   Audio Enthusiast [May 13, 2010]

I agree with the other reviews. These are simply the best speakers for the money and match extremely well with Arcam A65+/ with built-in phonostage. You can also tune in the treble as needed on each speaker. Their tweeters are a silk dome not metal but very smooth yet detailed. Their 90dB efficiency is perfect for a smooth 40 wpc ss amp or even better with 30 watt class A ASL 1003DT tube integrated. After trying different entry level cables, Tara labs, Kimber, etc, I got the best response with the AQ Type 4 (no smearing, great highs and lows, clear mids). Finally, I got the best acoustics when I placed them on the long wall and shorter distance to the sweetspot, YMMV. Just a little effort like this, synergy, placement, and a good pair of solid core copper cables, gets me the most out of this speaker. With the midrange of the Arcam and the bass extension of the Vandersteens, playing records on a simple AT PL-50 turntable, reproduces a near life-like sound. These will be my mains forever!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wpm   AudioPhile [Jan 16, 2008]
Strength:

Warmth, richness, transparancy, and and overall "rightness" to their sound. Big bass without need of a subwoofer (room dependent).

Weakness:

None that I could detect (I wasn't listening for them, either).

I was about to give up on floor standing loudspeakers, because they simply did not interact in my 13’ X 15’ room the way I wanted them to. Having gone through numerous speakers of varying quality, from Magnepan MG-12's to JBL L80S, I found none of them truly impressed me; at least in the way I felt content to keep them indefinitely.

Oh, sure, the MG-12’s imaged like crazy, but they did not offer the bass I wanted or expected. The JBL’s, while having great bass, could, at times, make your ears bleed with their titanium tweeters. That, and the 80s “loud and clear” technology really showed its colors. And all the others in-between, well, they were just variations of the two.

Then I went to a friends house one day and heard a pair of Vandersteen 1B's. In his house, hooked up to a vintage Pioneer Spec 4 system, they sounded smooth, rich, and detailed. I was immediately impressed. To make a long story short, I purchased the speakers (thanks, Dave).

I won’t spend a lot of time waxing over audiophile terms except to say that in my home, hooked up to my Quicksilver Audio system, the 1B’s sound absolutely stunning. I have never heard such richness, transparency, and vibrancy. Music just seems to come alive through the 1B’s. They have the transparency of the MG-12’s with the bass of the JBL’s. Seriously. These unassuming speakers put out a surprising amount of bass. The whole soundstage gels, whereas before it sounded detached and, for lack of a better word, incomplete.

So, if like me you have big speaker aspirations, but your room and, indeed, your budget is better suited to stand mount designs, get yourself a pair of Vandersteen 1B’s ( or 1’s or 1C’s). They just may be your ticket. Highly recommended!

Similar Products Used: Planars, stats, dynamics... too many to list.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wpm   AudioPhile [Jan 15, 2008]
Strength:

Warmth, clarity, richness, and an overall "rightness" to their sound. Big bass in a small package. A must for smaller rooms.

Weakness:

Absolutely none that I could detect. Truthfully, I wasn't looking for (or listening), either.

I was about to give up on floor standing loudspeakers, because they simply did not interact in my 13’ X 15’ room the way I wanted them to. Having gone through numerous speakers of varying quality, from Magnepan MG-12's to JBL L80S, I found none of them truly impressed me; at least in the way I felt content to keep them indefinitely.

Oh, sure, the MG-12’s imaged like crazy, but they did not offer the bass I wanted or expected. The JBL’s, while having great bass, could, at times, make your ears bleed with their titanium tweeters. That, and the 80s “loud and clear” technology really showed its colors. And all the others in-between, well, they were just variations of the two.

Then I went to a friends house one day and heard a pair of Vandersteen 1B's. In his house, hooked up to a vintage Pioneer Spec 4 system, they sounded smooth, rich, and detailed. I was immediately impressed. To make a long story short, I purchased the speakers (thanks, Dave).

I won’t spend a lot of time waxing over audiophile terms except to say that in my home, hooked up to my Quicksilver Audio system, the 1B’s sound absolutely stunning. I have never heard such richness, transparency, and vibrancy. Music just seems to come alive through the 1B’s. They have the transparency of the MG-12’s with the bass of the JBL’s. Seriously. These unassuming speakers put out a surprising amount of bass. The whole soundstage gels, whereas before it sounded detached and, for lack of a better word, incomplete.

So, if like me you have big speaker aspirations, but your room and, indeed, your budget is better suited to stand mount designs, get yourself a pair of Vandersteen 1B’s ( or 1’s or 1C’s). They just may be your ticket. I cannot recommend them enough.

Similar Products Used: Planars, stand-mounts, point sources, di-poles... just about everything!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DMA   AudioPhile [May 29, 2003]
Strength:

The Vandys may not be the best at one area of the musical spectrum but like all of Richard Vandersteen's offerings, they excel at all of them. "Boxless" design truly gives a very open, spacious sound without the box speaker coloration. Laid back and smooth. One of the best speaker bargains in high end audio.

Weakness:

The only weakness IMO is their looks. I would like to see an attempt at updating it, but I guess the Vandys have always been about substance over style.

I have owned the 1Bs for nearly 10 years. They have been my workhorse speaker. They have survived 5 different moves, been knocked over several times by my dogs and still look and sound like new. Will probably have them another 10 years.

Similar Products Used: You name it, I've heard it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bart   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 30, 2002]
Strength:

Amazing imaging, very 3d-like. Never get tiresome to listen to. No shrill highs or thudding bass - just beleivable pleasing sound.

Weakness:

Could use a little lower bass extension, but for their size they probably couldn't go lower w/o losing their tightness.

Nothing better for the money. Have had them for 11 years and like them as much as when I bought them. A great investment, haven't even had the itch to "upgrade" them.

Similar Products Used: Snell, MB Quart, Thiel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Miguel_pt   AudioPhile [Jul 24, 2002]
Strength:

Bass extension - they go to 34 hz, unlike some have said here... Absence of box colorations Dispersion and imaging

Weakness:

Need a good amp - you'll notice huge differences in bass response as you upgrade amplifier

I really don't understand why people complain about these speakers bass when they use it with lousy amps! These are made to sound fabulous when partnered to a DECENT amp, and when properly positioned in the room. I've had a pair for more than 10 years, and I'm quite addicted to them. Bass has an extension very difficult to find in speakers of these range, and they play organ well, which is quite rare!! Besides that, the absence of boxyness and coloration of the midrange is something quite addictive when you get used to it, and after you're used to these you'll have lots of difficulty finding speakers you like! As for home theather, I'm presently using them for it, together with a pair of mirage rear effects and a center from sonus faber, and a Rel storm3 sub - all the equivalent from vandersteen was far too expensive here to be considered. I drive them now with mono amps from cyrus that can deliver very high peaks, and the sound in stereo is still fabulous... You do need a good amp to grab them, and lots of care when positioning in the room, but when you get it, the sound is amazing...

Similar Products Used: None - heard a lot of speakers.. quite like monitor audios, especially the metal cones ones, and love some panel speakers sound, like martin-logans ang magneplanars... Can't afford them, though, and
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Achilli   an Audiophile [Aug 20, 1997]

I am using the 1B's in a system powered by an Audio by Van Alstine Super Pas 3 Preamp and a B&K ST-140 Amplifier. I also use Audioquest Indigo Speaker cables. I don't use any of the buzzwords that the reviewers currently use, so my comments may seem shallow to most. All I can say is that the sound is clear, with excellent soundstage. The bass, midrange and highs are well-defined. The speakers looks great, have a small footprint and don't need to be 8 feet from the rear wall to sound good. Customer service from Vandersteen is excellent. My only complaint is those stupid banana plugs!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Bill   a Casual Listener [Feb 22, 1997]

GOT A GREAT DEAL ON THESE SPEAKERS WHO STEPPED UP TO THE2'S!! CURRENTLY POWERING THEM WITH A NAD316 AMP AND THE
MARRIAGE SEEMS TO BE QUITE ADMIRABLE. THE LOWS ARE NOT
BOOMY BUT QUITE CLEAN. THE ONE THING I HAVE TO HIT ON IS THE
IMAGING OF THE SPEAKER, BE IT AUIDO OR VIDEO THE VANDERSTEEN
IS A GREAT ALL AROUND SPEAKER.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Darris   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 30, 2001]
Strength:

accuracy, clarity, soundstage, imaging--To me, these are a perfect introduction to High End Audio

Weakness:

Bass--but perfect for beginning Audiophile on a budget--live without bass until you can afford a good subbie--that's what i did and proved to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

I'm not a salesman nor do I represent a company. And I'm not going to get all technical, but this is my experience with these speakers.

Back in 1988 I listened between 20 and 30 different speakers in the $500/per range. I had pretty much had already made up my mind when I walked into this high end store. Vandersteen???--this was 12 years ago. When he told me their least expensive speakers were $800/pair, I started walking. He convinced me to give them a listen. I was amazed, nothing else I'd heard even sounded close to as accurate or real. The rest is history. I am soooo glad he convinced me to hear them.

I've got:
Vandersteen 1B's
Velodyne servo 1200
esoteric audio cable--looks to be about 8 gauge
Yamaha RX-700
Yamaha CD--810u (five disk changer)
Aiwa tape deck (dolby hxpro)
Technics linear tracking turntable

Do I have the most impressive system???--No, But I'll tell you this--Almost everyone has been absolutely amazed at the sound, especially when I have them close their eyes and put on some classical music. Their imagination does the rest.

From my experience, most people have not heard High End sound and have a "These 18's really kick" type attitude (if your one of these people, that's OK, but do not buy these). The 1B's are a good "foot in the door" product. When you can afford to supplement your lack of bass with a good subie, that's when your enjoyment will really start--Don't believe me??? Demo them first with a good subbie, preferably servo controled, then get back to me.

12 years later the sound is still amazing even with substandard electronic components. I'm convinced that the people giving this product negotive reviews are not concerned with imaging, soundstage, accuracy, clarity or realism and that they should buy Cerwin Vega's. Either that or they got a lemon.

Similar Products Used: JBL, infinify, advent, klipsh--many others
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Jonathan Graehl   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 07, 2000]
Strength:

Pretty sound (hooked up to Audiosource amp two). You'll have to give them a listen. Adjustable treble. Nice enclosure.

Weakness:

No ultra-low bass (response rolls off at 60hz I think?), so if you want subsonic rumbling, you'll need a sub. Bass seemed somewhat low in volume until I screwed in spikes so the speakers were in firm contact with the floor, rather than resting on the carpet. More than enough bass now (albeit not in the subsonic range)

I really like the music that comes out of these speakers. You wouldn't believe the poor quality of my interconnects ;D Banana clip with a wrong-sized screw securing the wire. It still sounds wonderful (electrical contact is electrical contact, right?). What can I say, people panning this speaker must not be very musical, or haven't properly installed it. I'd rate the speakers a 5 just to offset the weirdos giving 1 star, but I don't believe in dishonest reviews ...

Good luck auditioning speakers in such a way that you really come away with the best speakers, not the ones that happened to work best in that particular listening room/material ... buy 1Bs, for the price range, you won't be disappointed - the spikes really helped the bass on plush carpet ... not sure if they're standard.

Similar Products Used: Big Cerwin Vega speakers, not sure what model - definitely had lower bass, but didn't sound as nice for my musical taste. AudioTechnica ATH-M40 headphones - better stereo separation (duh ;), great clarity, but not as much fun to listen to as the 1Bs.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 31  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com