Vandersteen 2Ce Floorstanding Speakers

Vandersteen 2Ce Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

3 way w/ 10in active coupler, 8in woof, 4.5in mid, 1in tweeter

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 73  
[Aug 06, 2016]
amadorj
Audio Enthusiast

I just recently picked up a set of Vandersteen 2ce (not Signature). They replaced my B&W 602 S3. I've been horizontally bi-amping from my Emotiva and Yamaha MX800 and for the most part the B&W did a decent job. Well once I connected the Vandies a whole new world opened up. WOW! The separation and clarity has opened up plus the bass seems to touch nicely with my Velodyne MiniVee Sub. My FLAC files (via iMac/Fidelia/DAC) sound amazing and the sound separation on the instruments is excellent. I LOVE THESE BABIES!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 18, 2015]
jjff168
AudioPhile

I got back into this hobby two years ago and have acquired a few pairs of speakers including Vandy 2c and 2ci after reading good reviews about them. No, I haven't heard or owned the latest model 2ce. My feeling of the 2c and 2ci models that I owned in last year is really just average. The strength and value of these speakers simply match their market prices as used. In the past two years, I heard or owned Merlin, Silverline, Dunlavy, Thiel, Vandersteen, Martin Logan, vintage JBL, Tannoy, B&W, Meadowlark, Klipsch, and other so so brands. The Vandersteen 2 to me is almost at the end of the names that I mentioned. My amps are CJ, Rogue, Audio Space, Bryston, etc.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Feb 22, 2015]
William
AudioPhile

These speakers are the Vandersteen 2CE Sig II model and I purchased them in 2012.

I had not heard of the brand Vandersteen before I bought these speakers. I had met an audio dealer by chance, since where I live there are not many left at all. I had just listened to Magnepan 1.7s and I had favored them. I had worried that my amp would not drive them as well as the powerful McIntosh the dealer was using....but they were the frontrunners when I was looking for a two channel speaker within my budget.

I had listened to about two dozen pairs of speakers by B&W, Klipsch, Paradigm, Totem, KEF, Rega and some others. When I listened to the 2CE Sig II I was sold. Dynamic, musical, balanced and just right. I had brought CDs of many kinds of music I enjoy for two sessions of just.... listening. Whatever was thrown on the CD player, the Vandersteen reproduced very well. I was amazed since I did not think this older, odd designed speaker could sound this good. Even with a push-pull low powered tube amp..... they sounded great.

So this is my glowing report after owning them for about 3 years. I might add a GR research subwoofer or two down the road. But for now.... I am really enjoying this musical speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 20, 2008]
Slimpikkins
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Price used or new, Bass, Imaging, Giant sound stage even in a small room, Quality of parts and construction, Customer service (I called Vandersteen service department and got Richard Vandersteen)

Weakness:

none

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.

Good luck on your speaker selection!

Similar Products Used:

Magnepan 2.6, B&W 703, many older Infinity RS models, Martin Logans (not in my house)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 09, 2008]
M. J. Waterman
AudioPhile

Strength:

I think I've said it. Sure, there are better speakers. I recently auditioned the new big Quads. They were a dream and I could listen to them and be happy. While, maybe a tad light on bass. They were only 10 grand, but sounded like more. On the other hand a new pair of 2c Signatures2s are $1995. And they sound like a LOT more. I sat last night and listend to my Vandersteens for an hour and a half, and they make you want to keep on listening. I can't think of any aspect of musical reproduction they are lacking in. Full distinct bass down to about 30hz. Warm clear clean vocals and mids. On "Long Way Home" off Tom Waits magnificent new Orphans album you can hear the brush on the snare drum so cleanly and distinctly. The highs are clean and crystal clear, but never sharp. Spacial presentation in the sound stage is distinct and you can pick out where on the stage the individual instruments are. And it's all in harmony and balance. I guess balance is the optimal word. Nothing is out front. The Vandersteens have a warm natural distinct presentation that is so involving and rewarding and they are never fatiguing. And they make you smile. I can't believe I bought a pair of speakers that sound this good for $400

Weakness:

None, except maybe the appearence. But I've seen them with the sock off, and they look WAY better with it on.

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.

Similar Products Used:

Listed earlier, plus I've listened to Mirage, Klipsch etc. Lots of differant speakers. Vandersteends are far and away the best speakers in their price ranges.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 06, 2006]
M. J. Waterman
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Clarity, soundstage, balance, integration, seperation, warmth. They have great dispertion, they're non directional. What comes out of them just sounds right. Some people don't like the looks, but I think they're okay looking. Not beautiful, but they're for my ears, not my eyes.

Weakness:

None that I can hear. I could maybe find something if I tried hard, but these 2Cis are the best speakers I've ever heard in this price range. And I've heard KEF and Mission and a lot of other higher end speakers

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.

Similar Products Used:

NAD Model 10s, Infinity RS 6000s and Infinity RS 2.5s.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 06, 2005]
ahmann
Casual Listener

Strength:

- good imaging - very clear (listen to classic guitar) - honorable low end - nostalgia

Weakness:

- looks - low sweet spot even with stands jacked all the way up.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 05, 2005]
Philco50
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The strength is that there are no glaring weaknesses. You can find a good deal on a used pair as they were/are manufactured in very high numbers. Any Vandersteen dealer can help you get a used pair by letting present owners know he has a willing buyer in case the present owner is looking to upgrade. More forgiving than the VMPS Ribbon Monitor 1 of lesser quality upstream components. They can play rather loud if the amp is up to the task. You can find these easily on the used market.

Weakness:

They aren't pretty, although far from as ugly as some of the oddball designs now on the market. Will NOT mate well with low powered amps, you need at least 100 high-current watts with good 4-ohm drive capability. Not the speakers for late night listening at very low levels.

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.

Similar Products Used:

VMPS Ribbon Monitor 1

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 21, 2003]
Chris
Audio Enthusiast

Weakness:

They are ugly and so are the Sound Anchors. The inputs being located halfway up the backside mean having a little more cable.

I first heard the Model 2's in 1977 and was entranced, but never owned due to size (my listening space was small) and because a few friends had them. Went through B&W's, Apogee's, Audio Concepts, and Thiel and was happy with each for a time. Moved to a home with a big (35x35x20) room and finally pulled the trigger. Actually went to hear the 5's at a guy's house and fell in love-the price, even used, was out of my league-but he said that he also had a pair of 2CE's he'd sell and I took them home. That was about a year ago. I later added a pair of balanced B&K M200 Sonatas and a Theta Miles that I run directly through the B&K's into the Vandy's. Interconnect and cables are Nordost Blue Heaven. Everything was used. For about $2500 I have a system that brings me great pleasure. Occasionally I break out the old Classe integrated and the Sota/Grado for vinyl, but usually leave that in the study. I still go and listen to other stuff, but nothing has so much as tempted me. To a person, whether casual or seasoned listener, each has been amazed and absorbed into the music. "Play another one, play another one, do you have any . . .?" My wife walked through the room the first night I hooked them up and said, "Those are the ugliest ones you've had." I replied, "If you really don't like them, I'll get rid of them." Over her shoulder she said, "Don't you dare, they're also the best sounding you've had." I highly recommend budget audiophiles give these a listen-go for the signatures if you can.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 28, 2003]
Granger
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Truly a natural and lifelike speaker. It sounds like music!

Weakness:

No artificial bass impact or forwardness for the rock/pop music junkies.

I bought these used and have listened to them for about three months now. Can you spell bargain??? These are truly high end with a seemless, balanced sound from top to bottom. Image depth is the standout feature. I'd like to comment on the bass though. At first, I thought the bass was a bit light and not as tight as some of the speakers that I've heard or owned. Actually, what I've come to appreciate is that this is the most NATURAL bass I've heard. However, if you like a lot of pop music and want the bass to hit you in the chest this is not the best speaker. But if you listen to a lot of jazz or classical (especially classical) this is one of the most lifelike accoustically proper bass ranges that you'll ever here. They remind me of the IMF Studios that I had many years ago but better in nearly every respect. I think the transmission line bass provides an extraordinarily balanced in room response. And, yes, room placement and setup is key. Be sure you have the room to play with positioning from the back wall and corners and get the stands because getting the right tilt is critical. The upper mid and highs especially are critically dependent on the proper angle. I'm using these with a B&K ST202 amp which seems very satisfactory. The liquid top end of the Mosfet design is most alluring on these speakers.

Similar Products Used:

IMF Studio Infinity Reference Standard B&W DM640 NHT zeros & subwoofer with passive crossover Thiel CS2.2 have auditioned many other top end speakers in store and on loaner in home

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 73  

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