Vandersteen 3A Signature Floorstanding Speakers

Vandersteen 3A Signature Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

3 way w/ 10in active coupler, 8in woofer, 4.5in mid, 1 in tweeeter

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 27  
[Mar 30, 2020]
harmonxjim33


Strength:

This 3a Signatures is a good speaker for its size and price, its so awesome and I've been using this for almost a year now. Subway Surfers download - free running game online

Weakness:

no weakness for now

Purchased:
New  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Mar 23, 2020]
audiofreak71


Strength:

I’ve recently received my 3a Signatures and am about a month in a half in the break in period with approximately 150 hrs on them. Coming from 2Ce Signatures (which we’re excellent themselves) I am absolutely blown away with how exceptional these speakers are . I am running them with a Musical Fidelity NuVista M3 (305wpc upgraded from the factory) and a Musical Fidelity TriVista 21Dac for the digital side and a custom Marc Morin ARXA Turntable for my analog, Everything I play on the 3a Sigs is like I’m either in the studio or at the live event I’m listening to. Bad recordings sound bad good recordings sound good , exceptional recordings sound well you get the picture , these speakers do it all from top to bottom . I recently had someone I know who owns the Model 7MKii’s , he used to own the 3a Signatures as well as the 5a Carbons and said that the 3a Signatures sounded much better than the 5a Carbons in his opinion and that they are not embarrassed at all against the Model 7MKii’s. To me that’s a pretty impressive statement in favor of the 3a Signatures coming from someone who owns a $64k set of speakers . I had initially set my end game speakers at the 5a’s and now I may be having second thoughts based off what I am hearing from the 3a Sigs , they are that good.

Weakness:

They need real power to make them shine , a weakness? Probably not as people buying speakers at this level should probably have some good amplification anyway .

Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
2012
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Apr 28, 2018]
Francisco


Strength:

Lots of natural and clear sound , very truthful tones, great sound stage, immersive speakers.

Weakness:

None. Not very exciting for hard rock lovers.

Price Paid:
7000
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2002
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jul 23, 2007]
namotuman
AudioPhile

Strength:

it's cliche, but clean, crisp highs. you can hear the STRIKE of a triangle or cymbal. not a hint of brightness. you can listen to rock tracks at very high volumes w/out experiencing any ear fatigue...a midrange that really lends itself to almost all voices (sting is a bit of an exception). the blatant sound of brass, the smooth sounds of strings, it is all there right in front of you. bass is very tight and accurate. i listen to everything flat and the music sounds so natural.

i really don't think you are going to find a speaker at this price range (3900 brand new) with the character of the 3a sigs. i happened to luck out finding them at a store that got them as a trade in for the next level of vandersteen.

Weakness:

super, super low cycles get a bit muddled. these speakers make poor quality recordings painfully obvious and then buying new or finding better recordings becomes a necessity.

i've had these speakers up and running for a tad over a year now and am still amazed every time i sit down to listen. the framed art on the wall in front of my listening couch seem to eminate music. the imaging and sound stage on these speakers is nothing short of spectacular. i've had friends that are just casual music listeners say that "i've ruined them". music of all genres come thru so pure with the time and phase correct aspects of these speakers that my vinyl collection is seemingly growing exponentially, much to my wife's chagrin. only lately have i come across a few tracks where the bottom end of bass, i mean really, really low cycles, was a bit muddled. i will soon remedy this with the addition of a pair of 2wq subwoofers from vandersteen. the soundstage is almost as deep as it is wide. depth layers from well mastered recordings (like "aja" from steely dan) are there in front of you...watch out for the floating saxophones!! i simply don't listen to my music in the same manner, i keep finding nuances that just were not apparent before played thru other speakers....

Similar Products Used:

infinity reference, klipsch, b&W, bose, vandersteen 1c

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 14, 2003]
barvindh
AudioPhile

Strength:

clarity, neutrality, precision across spectrum, soundstage is impeccable

Weakness:

Weight, .. looks (I like the looks but some people think these are unconventional)

Well, Well, There is not much that needs to be added to the already glowing reviews. I listen mostly to classical music and I have never heard such clarity, neutrality, soundstage (both wide and deep) and control. There are notes where other speakers including the aerial 5Ts produce smudges. I found two things helped a lot. (a) positioning .. these were VERY positin sensitive. if you like to experiment and play with the speakers you will be surprised with how great they can sound, and how they can be hollow 12 inches away. (b) they need time to break in - at least 120 hours. Finally. One last thing. Dont even try bad recordings with these speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 07, 2002]
IN2MUSIK
AudioPhile

Strength:

build quality,sound

Weakness:

none

The most natural and seamless speaker Ive ever listened to. I paired these up with a pair of 2wq's and it sounds dramatically better than my B&W setup. Better sound stage deeper bass and the detail is out of this world. The sounstage is both deep and wide.

Similar Products Used:

wilson ,B&W, revel, dynaudio, sonus faber

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 27, 2002]
forddonald
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

A startling 'upright' sound, with everything in it's place. The midrange is to die for. A great speaker for those who aren't afraid of bass. A great value given the components quality and construction.

Weakness:

Low-tech look on such a high quality, scientificly advanced design. I wish the 3A Sig looked as good as the 5. Customer support after the sale is coin-operated and disapointing from such a small, neich player.

I've owned my 3A Signatures for about 3 months now, and everything I heard them do right at the dealer is starting to emerge. I finally own a REAL pair of floor-standing, full range, no BS, reference grade speakers, and I can't be happier. The sound is as big as I want it to be, with everything in it's place in the soundstage (a credit to being phase and time correct). The speakers are flexible with placement (just follow the included directions), easy to amplify and easy to live with. The included 'third leg' Sound Anchor stands are super-easy to adjust. I think they sound much more 'right' in the middle & upper frequencies that the Paradigm Ref Studios I used to have (and liked very much). That shouldn't be hard to do at this price point, but they also get it right where the Martin Logans sounded smeared and indistinct. The B&W line nearly drove me from the room with their ultra-forward, in-your-lap sound. These speakers are not bass shy. In fact, they include two big woofers to fill in the lower range with good, tight sound. Finally, a speaker the gets down without being ashamed. Note that you must bi-wire these to get correct results. Go ahead and build that cable cost into your budget now. Also note that the terminal strips used require a specific spade width; not bananas or pins or anything else. Overall, I think I've finally found the stereo and front channel speakers I can keep for a while. I'm off the audiophile merry-go-round. I knew they were keepers as soon as I heard them. Associated Equipment: Krell 300r as an amp (rep. by Bryston soon) Yamaha RXV2095 doing Pre/Pro/DAC work Pioneer DVD and CD transports A mix of Kimber (where it counts) and Liberty wires Monster Power 5k for pwer mgmnt A side note: A recent call to my dealer to resolve a problem with requesting one finish (on a different speaker) and receiving another was really disappointing. Several weeks of delayed response lead me to work with the Vandersteen factory directly, and even then Mr. Vandersteen himself offered only a pay-to-resolve option or using a can of spray paint on it!

Similar Products Used:

Paradigm Reference & auditioned Martin Logan, Monitor Audio, B&W, Vienna Acoustics & more

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 22, 2000]
Loren Oswald
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Deep bass. Good value.

Weakness:

Loose bass. Difficult set up.

After reading the review in TAS my interest was sparked and I went to audition a pair of 3a sigs. The TAS review was, at the end of the article, positive. When I went to listen to them I found that the bass was loose, warm, and deep. The mids seemed a bit colored. Knowing that they are very
sensitive to setup, particularly tilt, I decided to sit on the floor. The coloration was gone in the midrange, but he bass was still a bit boomy. Perhaps the dealer had not correctly tilted the speakers back or the room was not large enough to let them breathe. I'm not sure at what levels the dealer had the treble and midrange knobs set (the Vandersteen's are adjustable). The speakers were about 3 feet from the back wall and about 10 feet from the side walls. Everything TAS stated in thier mag was what I had heard in the store.

I applaud Vandersteen's focus on value, not spending too much money on cabinet materials. The all black color will make them fit into just about any decor. The manual is supposed to be very detailed and thorough.

The salesperson, hearing my concerns, let me listen to the Thiel 2.3's. I later purchased the 2.3's instead. Again, everything TAS stated about the 2.3's is what I heard in the store. Good magazine!

I'm sorry to say that I do not remember what associated componets were used playing the Vandersteen's. Test music: The Crystal Method, Sarah McLaughlin, Type O Negative, Tori Amos, Hydyn's String Quartets 1, 3, and 5.

Similar Products Used:

Thiel 2.3 and 3.6, B&W 804 and 803's, Dynaudio 3.0's.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 05, 2000]
Will
Audiophile

Strength:

Deep, Rich Midrange, tight bass, good soundstaging

Weakness:

Too for my room.

I recently auditioned this speaker and after living with the 2C for many years now realize again why I like Vandersteen products so well. They just reproduce music faithfully without any embellishments. I got rid of the 2C's because I could never get them to sound the way they did before I moved, that is to say wonderful. I tried everything and eventually gave up. I was casually listening in an audio store and came across the NHT's which is in my estimation a fine speaker system but only when mated with excellent electronics and cables. These speakers can be ruthless with lesser components as I well know.

My music preferences tend more to classical than anything else. I do however listen to both Jazz and Rock (love Hendrix) and I also like Latin music especially Brazilian Jazz. In other words I like all kinds of music. To me a speaker must perform classical music well. Full orchestral music is very difficult to produce on an audio system in my experience. Rock you can get by with Altec's. Jazz and vocals are well served on planer and electrostatic speakers. But trying to find a speaker that does it all well is very difficult.

Out of curiosity I wanted to hear the Signature series brought on by a friend who was auditioning speakers and before he got to listen to the Vandy's ended up getting a great deal on another speaker that he couldn't pass on. I was still curious so when I got the opportunity to audition both the 2ce and 3 signatures series, I jumped on it.

By the way if you want to hear the best from Vandersteen Audio Research is in my experience the way to go. While they are forgiving speakers they are truly at their best with ARC tube gear. The system the dealer was using and requested by me is similar to mine which includes the following:

ARC VT-100 MK2 amp
ARC LS-15 pre-amp
Rotel CD Player (not bad)
MIT Speaker cable and I don't know what interconnects

The 2Ce Signatures were fine indeed. The midrange and highs were much better and refined than the 2c's The room was well set up and the speakers were carefully positioned. A fine demo. What I did notice also a weak point of the 2C is that there is just not enough upper and mid bass energy in this design. It was just lacking the ass I was looking for. I guess I am past this design, next.

It took about 15 minutes to set-up the 3's. Everything good about the 2's was there only better. What I really noted especially with that glorious amplifier (you have got to give this one a listen if you like tube gear and have 5k lying around) was that the bass really moved some air. There was much more body on the bottom than the 2CE Sigs. I was impressed. I was more than impressed, I was in lust. I really liked what the speakers were doing. The music was just there and washed over me. The mids were deep and clean. Vocals were there. Diane Krawll, Simone, Ella, The highs were sweet, and the bass while not the deepest was very very tight and on a recording I brought of Shelly Manne's Poinciana the wave of the percussion was "there" nothing artificial just there. This is a great recording and a good demo to hear the mid bass upper bass response of a speaker.

This was 1 week ago, I have been thinking about those speakers since then and am trying to figure out if they will work in my room or what it will take to make them work in my room. They are a great value. In the meantime I live on with the NHT's which by the way for you classical music lovers really unravel complex orchestral works quite well for their diminuative size. Try the Archiv recording of Beethoven's 9th, John Elliott Gardner conductor. In the meantime I am back on a Vandersteen kick damn it! 4.5 overall rating, nobody gets a 5.

Similar Products Used:

Vandersteen 2C; NHT 2.5i

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 10, 2000]
Aaron D.
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Deep Sound Stage,Transparent

Weakness:

The way they look

I've had the Sigs. for a little over 3months and at this time will recomend them to any and everyone. Real life sound
put on your favorite cd and let the Vandys put you through a true musical experience. I use all tube gear and I find it hard to do some of mundane things in life after a good listening. Vandersteen has a reputation for being a bit sweet without real bass punch. The babies will erase and of that audiophile hyperbole. On thing that I'm not really crazy about is the look and all the work that goes into adjusting the height. But once you get past the actual setting the 3A Signatures up it's ALL GOOD! Beside I do my most critical listening in the dark anyway.A must for true jazz enthusiast. One side note these must be biwired to get the most out of any of the Vandersteen models.
System Consist of
PSE Signature Studio V MonoBlocks
PSE HL-1 PreAmp
Audio Research CD2 CDPlayer
Cardas Golden Reference XLR(Interconects)
Audiotruth Clear & Forest Speaker Cables.

Similar Products Used:

NHT,Revels,B&W

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 27  

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