Vandersteen 2Ce Signature Floorstanding Speakers

2Ce Signature

User Reviews (50)

Showing 1-10 of 50  
Jeffrey Stratton   AudioPhile [Jan 17, 2017]

These replace a pair of 2ce's. slightly more refined. I've read reviews by people who say they don't get it. That they sound laid back, veiled, dark, midrange suck out, etc. No two people percieve sound the same so I won't argue these points. I will explain a couple of things. 1st order crossovers employed by Vandersteen to maintain phase response create a narrow verticle listening axis. You must listen with your ears within a couple degrees of the tweeter height. the Vandersteens do almost everything well and several things superbly. They are not, (although as close as any speaker can be) all things to all people. instead of listing the things, or the types of music they do well, I will list what they don't. I you are looking for maximum SPL? Look elsewhere. They will play loud. they don't really need a lot of power. I have used a 50 year old Fisher X202 integrated amp with 20 watts a side. Sounded fabulous. I highly recommend tubes. In short if you like Cerwin Vega's, listern to Avenge Sevenfold, 5 Finger Deathpunch, and Lamb of God, you might want to look elsewhere. I bought my first pair, and my second pair because I listen to a lot of acoustic music,vocal, chamber music, full orchestra, classic rock, jazz. I need speakers that sound great on a wide range of program material. I am not independently wealthy. I place a great deal of importance on imaging and soundstaging.( ever since I owned Dalquist DQ10's for a decade) Vandersteen 2ce Signatures were the obvious choice

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
William Stevenson   AudioPhile [Oct 23, 2012]

My only complaint with these speakers is that they're somewhat inefficient (though I still had great results with a Audio Refinement 50 wpc integrated) and you can't take them up to ear splitting levels and the bass can be a little tubby but otherwise they're amazing for the money and in the used market for around 500 dollars I don't know of any other speakers which come close. For vocals and midrange they have amazing presence and they tend to be forgiving of your amplification which is a roundabout way of saying they roll off the high frequencies some but for me not in a way where you feel anything is missing. Richard Vandersteen is one of the Gods of audio because of these speakers and if you have a chance give them a listen.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
M. J. Waterman   AudioPhile [Jul 14, 2010]

There's not a lot I can add to previous reviews on Vandersteens. I posted a couple of reviews on Vandersteen 2 Cis in the 2Ce section, and I still think for the money they are the best speaker you can buy period. For the money nothing comes close. For twice or three times the money I haven't heard any speakers that match their performance in presenting a warm emotionally involving nuanced balanced presentation that you can listen to for hours and never suffer ear fatigue. Again I go back to the key word for me which is balanced. I'm writing this review because a previous reviewer had said he had 2Cis, and had not upgraded his speakers, he had upgraded his source material. I think he said he bought a Creek CD player, and that it was a revelation. To a point I agree, as I had a similar experience when I upgraded my Kyocera Cd player. But better upstream components will ALWAYS make your speakers sound better, that's a given.
That said, I upgraded from 2Cis to 2Ces to 2Ce Signatures. In between I also had 3s and 3As.This was always with the same components upstream, so I think it was a pretty valid comparison. I'm in love with my 2Ce Signatures. I sometimes miss the larger presentation the 3As had, but I think the 2Ce Sigs are a little tighter and faster in the upper bass, and have a little better separation and definition in the mids and highs. My friend Jay and I also think the 3As were a little vaguer than the 2Ce Sigs. But I'm nitpicking, the 3As were wonderful also. In any event, if you have 2Cis or 2Ces and have the chance to upgrade to 2Ce Signatures DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It'll be the best $200 to $400 you ever spent. I was always a little disappointed in the 2Ces I upgraded to from my 2Cis. While the 2Ces had more detail than the the 2Cis, they didn't have the emotional connection the Cis had, and they were a little too bright. In the meantime I had heard the new 2Ce Signature IIs at Brooks Berdan, and was knocked out by them. What a killer speaker. So when I saw some 2Ce Sigs for sale I went and listened, and was immediately sold. The warmth was back, the brightness was gone, and everything else was improved. Better imaging and separation, more open, better detail in the mids and highs. And sometimes when I'm playing them and not listening they grab me and I find myself saying "Man, I can't believe how good these sound. I can't believe I bought a pair of speakers that sound this good for $650." Sure, I would love to have the new 2Ce Sig IIs. And I'd love even more to have a set of 3A Sigs, and will buy a pair when i get the money. But if I don't I am so satisfied with these 2Ce Sigs. I never feel they're lacking something or that I need something better. Man they are just so sweet. So if you have some other model of 2s and have a chance to buy 2Ce Sigs do it. It'll be the cheapest best upgrade you'll ever make.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
benita   AudioPhile [Feb 18, 2009]

If possible, and if time permits, I'd like to thread 4 yellow rubberrings around my husbands erect manhood and walk naked through the streets of an high-income neighbourhood. In summer of course, or else the rubberrings might fall off.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Merid Lavid   AudioPhile [Jun 01, 2008]
Strength:

A very pleasant midrange and certainly plenty of bass. The fit and finish were top shelf and the manual, stands, etc. were high quality. Not bad!

Weakness:

These speakers are exactly as described in most reviews, They are more or less voiced for "everyman/woman" and would be unlikely to be called poor speakers by any listener. Unfortunately, they lack that certain something that makes a great speaker great. The are certainly worth every penny in their price range and then some. They just are not the level of delivery I expected. I think my Triangles moved up 3 notches after walking in these well-reviewed speakers.

I purchased these used in absolute mint condition. My objective was to obtain a full-range speaker to augment my incredible Triangle Celius 202s

Customer Service

I hear it is exceptional!

Similar Products Used: Spendor, Harbeth, Triangle, Totem
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Discriminator   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 16, 2006]
Strength:

Sound quality
Build quality
Value
Lack of nasal cabinet distortion
Honest, open imaging

Weakness:

Tasteful but unremarkable appearance (fine by me)
Bass somewhat compressed

Purchased Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures new in 2005 to replace a pair of aging Snell Type E/III’s from 1988. The Vandersteens are in an entirely different and better league than the Snells, which were not bad at time of purchase (made Stereophile Class B, for instance). The appearance is not flashy but in the end they are easy enough to ignore as one’s attention is commanded by the music.

The 2Ce Signatures take a little fussing over and getting used to. I spent hours shuffling them around to get the best imaging. Even moving them a couple of inches can have a profound effect given the lack of a speaker cabinet. Then there’s loading the stands and leaning them back just right. In the end they can sound open, spacious, and very honest. Adding lead shot to the utilitarian speaker stands helped to tighten up and stabilize the image. The bass goes deep but tends to lack a little punch in my opinion compared to a standard enclosed bass reflex speaker system. In the end the thing that’s designed more like a drum tends to sound a little more like a drum. This perception could be due to shortcomings of my source (HHb Pro CD Burner c. 1998). The flipside of that is that ears accustomed to Vandersteen sound will readily perceive that after Vandersteen, virtually everything but electrostatics sounds like it’s coming out of a box – because it is! The Vandersteen sound is tonally balanced, inviting and lifelike. Female vocals, piano, upright bass and other standard references sound convincing. The sound is relaxed but detailed, precise (time and phase aligned), and well-paced enough to be exciting. My wife commented that the sound or performance just seems to be in the room rather than coming out of cabinets.

I repeat previous warnings – these speakers are likely to significantly exceed your expectations at the price point and may cause you to spend thousands upgrading everything else in your system. I had been happy with my previous system for over a decade but in the 10 months since purchasing the Vandersteens I’ve replaced my amp and preamp twice, upgraded all of my interconnects and cables, and added a Vandersteen subwoofer for good measure. Every change I’ve made has unveiled new glory from the 2Ce Signatures and I have every reason to believe that they could sound even better. I’ll have a new CD player on order by the end of the year, perhaps an Underwood HiFi mod.

Since I’ve tried a few amps with these speakers I can comment that the BEL 1001 MkV sounds excellent with a PSE HL-1 hybrid line stage. It seems to take control and bring out the bass and micro-dynamics without anything seeming exaggerated. I tried Odyssey gear and did not feel that was a good combination – sounded thin to my ear, as did an Acurus DIA-100 passive preamp integrated. If you end up with the BEL amp by all means get the BEL P-1 interconnects and S-24 speaker cables. They are reasonably affordable and the speaker cables work very well with the BEL amp. The BEL P-1 interconnects are better than LAT and others I’ve tried. I notice the biggest improvement in the bass.

Ah, the bass. I don’t want to seem obsessed but in my experience bass is one thing that few systems do very well. So despite the 2Ce Signatures’ valiant attempt at being a full range speaker I found a good deal on a used Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofer and hooked it in with BEL S-24 cables and custom crossover filters. Now I have deeper, punchier bass and perhaps even sweeter midrange. I fancy that my 50-Watt BEL amp is working a little less hard. Most importantly I no longer feel like something is missing (except perhaps another 2Wq for stereo subwoofers - oh, and maybe a nice turntable setup).

Similar Products Used: Snell Type E/III, Sonus Faber, Avid, Advent, Genesis, Cambridge Soundworks, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Ed Huber4339   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 25, 2004]
Strength:

Reference grade reproduction, complete with bass. A STEAL at $1500. Phase accurate-They will reproduce a sine wave

Weakness:

Not enough bass for "Home theatre". These are too good at music

I Upgraded from the 2 to the latest 2ce Signature. These speakers are better than most electronics. They reveal the solid-as-a-rock, deep& wide soundstage of 24/96 audio. Instruments have a lot of space and air around them. The midrange is the biggest improvement--or is it the treble over my old 2s. anyway the improvement goes further than using the midrange and treble drivers from the 3A a new crossover is used to match the drivers. The treble is the smoothest, most extended yet with dynamic transients. Of course the bass is very low in distortion and even deeper.

Similar Products Used: Toshiba 9200 Proceed PCP,P.S. audio Electronics Sunfire True Subwoofer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RobertinChico   AudioPhile [Sep 21, 2003]
Strength:

High perceived value, good bass extension, good composure at high sound levels (but no better than that), love or leave it looks, relative freedom from boxy, nasal, smeary cabinet diffraction.

Weakness:

While agreeable speakers, they are too DEFICIENT in transparency, upper harmonic clarity, air and sparkle and the soundstage drifts around. I kept wanting to hear better results, but even with EXPENSIVE cables and interconnects, they failed to produce. I opted out of purchasing these VANDERSTEENS.

I AUDITIOINED these 2ce Signatures at two different shops, under different acoustic situations and with GREATLY varied equipment, but all gear was HIGH END including the top notch cables. All CD recordings were very good items that I was very familiar with in terms of their sound capture to make sense of the auditioning. I took analog and digital recordeings of instrumental, voice, harpsichord, ROCK, country and symphonic materiel to audition.

Similar Products Used: Thiel, KEF - and the new Wharfedale Pacific Evoluition 30 and 40 model BLEW my mind while auditioning these VAndy's - the "Dales" were simply superb in terms of detail and tonal accuracy.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Philip Canard   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 30, 2003]
Strength:

Just an all around great loudspeaker. I think they sound best at a fairly loud level with rock music that contains strong drumming and bass guitar. But then again, I play bass guitar. If you are a drummer or bass guitarist and need a serious listening tool that is within reach of average working stiffs, consider any of the Vandersteen Model 2 series from the 2Ci and later. Earlier models are a bit laid back in the treble due to a different tweeter. You can pick up an excellent pair with stands for under $500 on the used market if you shop carefully. I have never heard better bass reproduction for the price IF an amp of fairly high current capability is used. The sound quality is consistent across the audio spectrum. Later models do not need X-terminators, so you save $100 there.

Weakness:

I haven't had a single solitary problem with mine in over 12 years of very heavy use. Not a single problem. There are NO real weaknesses. I wish all my gear was this dependable and wonderful sounding. This is NOT a loudspeaker for the detail freaks that like a jacked up high end. You need an amp similar to a Counterpoint SA-100 or B&K ST-202 at the least to hear what it can really do in the bass. OK, they are not the most beautiful loudspeakers you can get at this price, and are downright Plain Jane in appearance, but THIS Plain Jane cooks and boogies like no other. She also likes X-terminators (if she is a bit more mature), so you have to blow an extra $100 on gold jewelry to make her REALLY happy and willing to perform her best for you.

I am upgrading a previous review due to upgrading my amplification. The price includes Super Vanderstands and lead shot filling. Price does not include tax or Monster X-terminators which allow very tight speaker connection. X-terminators add $100 to price tag. I am still using Audioquest Type 4 speaker cable in bi-wire configuration. I see no reason to change the cable. What did make a difference was changing the amplification. I now have a Conrad-Johnson EV-1 phono amp, PV-14L linestage preamp, and MF-2250 power amplifier. It cost me a small bundle, but........ Whoa!!! I vegged out in front of the speakers for a couple of weeks listening to this setup. Front end is a VPI HW-19 Jr. and Audioquest PT-6 tonearm swinging a Grado MR8 cartridge. Also have an old Rotel RCD-855 spinning the CD's. It's true, when you upgrade the front end on Vandersteens the speakers will definitely let you hear it. The C-J amps have an easy, fluid, dynamic, detailed sound. Just like the C-J ads say, "It just sounds right". It is easier to hear inner details now, and while the old B&K amp setup lacked the listening fatigue common to value priced electronics, the C-J amps are much lower still in listening fatigue while increasing detail retrieval, and the Vandersteens let the difference show through clearly. These are the old 2Ci version, and I rate them a solid 4.5 for the price. The 2Ce Signature version must surely rate a 5 for the price. If you have the older versions like I do, I would investigate upgrading electronics before selling out and buying the Signature version. The C-J amps pack extremely high quality passive components, tubes, and premium matched FET's and are very low feedback designs with very wide bandwidths. The PV-14L uses a switched attenuator rather than conventional potentiometer for volume control. Music has incredible harmonic richness and tonal color that was not as apparent before the amp upgrade. I want one of Conrad-Johnson's DF-2 or DV-2b CD players to go with the amps. Maybe then CD's will sound close to analog. I am going to upgrade my cartridge to one of the better Grados in the near future. The Vandersteen Model 2 is perfectly happy mated with components beyond it's price class. I would strongly suggest getting an amplifier that costs at least as much as the speakers, and preferably solid state with a 4 ohm rating of at least 150 watts. The Vandies need at least 100 watts into an 8 ohm rating to really make them speak out in a dynamic manner. My results with tube amplification have not been as pleasing as the MF-2250, but I do not own a tube amp of equal quality.

Similar Products Used: I don't think there is really a whole lot similar at this price point and performance level. The JMLab Daline 3.1 came the closest, but I could not get them to perform as well in the low bass, and sin
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   AudioPhile [Feb 08, 2003]
Strength:

Imaging, soundstage-disappearing act, tuneful bass, accurate sound

Weakness:

nothing at all(need to mate with decent electronics, but you can get by with less just plan to up grade)

I owned the 2ce version of the speaker not the signature.I felt I had to write this because I have listened to the signature and have owned the ci,ce versions of the speaker. Alot of people mention that the speaker sounds laid back, some mention an even keeled sound that lacks excitement. My system consists of a PSE Studio IV amp, Audible Ilusions Modulus 2d,Rotel 955,and Ocos, audioquest cable interconnect combo. If you already own a good amp/pre-amp combo,(PSE killer,sleeper amps)then listen a creek cd player or maybe a Rega Planet. I assumed that since I had my bases covered with my amp, pre-amp I was all set.I then realized that my set up was lacking in excitement and dynamics. I then listened to a creek cd player in a set up similar to mine. It made all the difference in the world!These speakers will reward like no other speaker when you up grade to better electronics, but you can get by on just about anything out there until you can afford a decent amp,pre-amp,cd player.These are truly great speakers, and only one other that I know of competes at this price, but is 600.00 more and just barely gets to 45Hz.

Similar Products Used: Thiel 1.2,Thiel 1.5, Alon 2, Legacy Classic,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 50  

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