Vandersteen 5 Floorstanding Speakers

5

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
Doug Barry   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 01, 2002]
Strength:

Too many to note, but their ability to fit into many placements is great. If you really want to understand these speakers, read Richard Hardesty's interview of RV, or buy the Audio Perfectionist journal from Hardesty. They need to be set up correctly and tweaked a bit, and I am still in the tweaking stage, but for all people who love music, just pure, accurate music, detail, soundstaging, etc., this is the speaker. I am a dedicated two channel advocate and these are now my speaker probably to the end. Upgradable too, and just do too many things to talk about here ( like having the built in powered subs with the dedicated bass amps and a high pass filter which allows you to use a musical amp for the mids and highs, without giving up base control and impact ).

Weakness:

Expensive and heavy, especially in the history of Vandersteen. A less expensive alternative is to use the 3A Signatures with the 2WQ subs and a high pass filter, see Hardesty's journal, etc. ( This is not a complaint, I thoroughly researched many speakers, many at a much higher price that I felt had much less overall performance ).

Give them an audition from a reputable dealer who has them set up correctly in a good room, and who has burned in the associated electronics properly. If they are not set up correctly, you may get a bad impression. I urge anyone thinking of buying Vandersteen speakers, especially the 5's or the 3A Sigs with the 2WQ subs to open their mind and read a bit of Hardesty's material on the subject, and especially on using powered " musical " subs in addition to the full range speakers by using a high pass filter which allows a system approach to amps, power, and ultimate re-creation of music. Not boom box subs, musical low Q subs ( or at least adjustable like the 5's and 2WQ ).

Similar Products Used: Magnepan MG3A's were my former speakers, for years.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 15, 2001]
Strength:

Truely, the best, most complete speaker ever built. The best bass in the world. Totally natural uncompressed sound from top to bottom! Time and phase coherent. The ultimate value in the highest end speaker. Upgradeability & flexability like no other speaker.

Weakness:

None

If you haven't heard a properly set up pair of Model 5s, go and do it right now. If you can appreciate the sound of natural instruments and human voices, you will fall in love. Also, with their 400 watt powered, 12" metal cone, push-pull internal subwoofers- along with the superb Vandersteen x-over system, they really do make the best, most extended and most articulate bass in the world. Bass that doesn't sound like a subwoofer!

Every other speaker sounds blurry, muddy and compressed compared to the Vandersteen Model 5. Even speakers that I otherwise really love!

Just go hear 'em.

Similar Products Used: Nothing else really comes close.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marcello   an Audiophile [Jul 17, 1999]

the Vanderstein 5's are The most insane speaker I have heard.I have Mine Hooked up to A BAT VK500 and A bat 5SE Pre amp and I have yeat to hear anything better.The active components in the speaker are A pair of 12" Aluminum Cone's "sub Woofer" smashed together with the voice coils starting at the top of one and ending at the bottom of the other.These are powered by a 400-watt Amplifier.This generates base that need's to be heard.The best words to describe this combo would be smoth and powerfull.you find your self being scared of the croschendos.
The woofer is a 7" in cone like the subwoofer it uses a precesion formed magnet assembly with copper rings for absolutely linear excursion and a heavy duty die cast basket for rigidity.The unique surround supporting it curvilinear poly/kevlar composite cone is made of a highly absorbent material molded into a distinctive shape that enhances important performance parameters.The dirver is a 4 1/2" Midrange drive that is also in the 3A model.The tweater is a 1" metal alloy dome tweater that has a dual chamber design to improve range and linearity. a 3/4' metal alloy dome tweeter is located on the rear of the speaker and can be turned on and off.
the cabinet is constructed of 22 layers of 3/4" MDF permanently bonded together.
The speakers weigh around 220 lbs. each and take about 3 months to get in but well worth the wait.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
AJP   an Audiophile [Aug 13, 1999]

I listened to these the other day, all I can say is they gave me goosebumpslike no other speaker ever has! They absolutely blew the JM Lab Utopias away,
and the JM's cost three times as much. The Utopias were killer but the Vandersteens sounded really REAL. The JM's sounded too forced. I now have had a chance to compare some of the most highly rated speakers to the Model 5's and they have remained my favorite. Make firends with your local dealer and listen to these for a while. UNREAL!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
David McCarthy   an Audiophile [Sep 07, 1999]

The 5's have an open (very British) sound. With amps such as the Cary 805SE, you better be playing classical and jazz records. The setup is too slow for rock-n-roll. Like the Vandy 2's and 3's, the 5's do a great job with vocals. I haven't tried them with solid state amps.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Yogi Saxena   an Audiophile [Sep 16, 1999]

I have been seriously into audio for over 20 years. I started during 1974s with CD-4, Shibata Cartridge and four speakers sound with matching Amp. On moving to USA I brought my equipment along and believed until 1984 that it was the best sound I had heard. Well, this was not the first time I was wrong. I have been proven wrong again and again. Every time I think I have reached audio Nirvana, I find something better.
My quest for high end resulted in my association with Vandersteens speaker system. During course of many years I have changed every thing in my system, you name it, TT, AMP, Pre-Amp, Cables etc., but one thing has remained constant, and that is my fascination with Vandersteen speakers. During this time, I have gone through Vandersteens model 2Ci, model 3, model 3A and now a very happy owner of Vandersteens Model 5s. Its not that I have not heard other speakers during this time. In fact, I have heard speakers costing 2-5 times more on systems costing over $150,000 including some very well known audio reviewers of well known magazines. However, it was always the value of the vandersteens that brought me back to them. Even at the lower end of their models, I found their performance exceeding most costing several times more, and could not find any other speakers that matched their performance any where near their price. I will admit that I have not heard all spekaers out there, but have heard my fair share of them.

Until a few months back, I had Vandersteens Model 3A and I used them with Quicksilver M-135 Mono Blocks, Audible Illusion M3A with Gold phono board and Magnan Vi cables in my system. The presentation with the above combination brought me great joy with palpable images and depth and width I was NOT able to find with systems costing several times more. Then I got a call from my friendly Audio dealer John Rutan of Audio Connection, In New Jersey, Verona. He wanted me to come and audition Vandersteens Model 5. John has always been a good friend who has provided me with excellent service over the years. However, finding out their price tag of $10,000, took away my initial enthusiasm to drive 40 miles to go and auditiont them. You see I have always associated Richard Vandersteen with value and somehow the $10,000 did not fit into my mind.

Then I got a call from an audio reviewer friend of mine who had heard Vandersteen Model 5, at the Hi-Fi show. He was very enthusiatic about them and thought that they they deserved an audition, even if I could not afford them. So, I took the trip. Man was I blown away, when I had thought things could not get any better, they were not only better, they were better by a wide margin. Sound stage was more clear, better defined. I could clearly hear into the layers and layers of width and depth. Sound was more immediate, better focus and tonally accurate. Earth shaking but tight bass. You name it and Models 5, had it. I was sitting there salvating over them and thinking how should I get them. How I got them is a different story. Lot of hard work lets say. Even now, I could not justify its price, however any one in the market to spend that kind of money needs to audition them. Them may the best speakers you would hear for any price. Again I have not heard all. There may be better speakers out there, I have not found any anywhere near this price point or several times their price. So while I will continue to complain about the price, my respect for Richard Vandesteen has grown further as he established a new standard at this price point.

Best thing about Model 5s is that they are upgradable at your home. All you need is a screw driver and a soldering gun. Now, I call that protection of your investent. As my Vandersteens Model continue to break in, I am happy to report that their sound just keeps getting better and bass tighter.

I will love to and give it a perfect 5.0 rating, however, I will leave it at 4.9, you see things do and can get better. I have confidence in Richard and I am waiting for John Rutan to call me.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Serious listener   Audiophile [Nov 04, 1999]
Strength:

Plays loud and is a fine add to the furniture setting of a living room.

Weakness:

Very careful room treatments and placement are key; otherwise, imaging just doesn't happen.

This is the flagship speaker in the line and when I heard it at a dealer's showroom, I felt tdhat it did not image well. Perhaps the dealer didn't set it up right. I was thankful that I had the 3A speakers which I thought and still think it is the greatest value for dthe money: $2,750 rather than $10,000.

Similar Products Used: Vandersteen 3A speakers, Proacs, B&W
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
Fred   a Casual Listener [Oct 05, 1999]

When I heard the Vandersteen Fives the one thing that came to mind is that I was not listening to speakers. The music just floated above them.I was also suprised not to see any room treatment.When I asked how much for these John at Audio Connection said 9800 bucks.After that, I said somehow,someday. Give these a listen even if you can"t afford them.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 07, 2000]
Strength:

Draws you into the music like no other speaker

Weakness:

None

I heard these at Audio Connection in Verona NJ and would highly recommend this place. This was the only speaker I have heard that could reproduce a Grateful Dead show similar to the smaller venues they played in the seventies. Micky Hart's drum solo was astonishing. I find the big difference between the Vandersteen and Martin Logan speakers is the Vandersteens present the entire musical experience, the Martin Logans are excellent speakers but often times you will find yourself picking out elements of the recording as opposed to listening to the music. If you enjoy live music give these speakers a listen and it will all make sense.

Similar Products Used: Martin Logan, Theil, BW
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David McCarthy   Audiophile [Mar 29, 2001]
Strength:

reproduction of vocal sound and transparency

I would like to append an earlier review. Since the 1st review, I have upgraded my amps to Cary 1610's. With more power, the speakers sound quicker and tighter than they did matched with the Cary 805's. Super amp unless you like colored reproduction. 5 Stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Similar Products Used: B & W 801, Vandersteen 3A
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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