Vandersteen 2CE Signature II

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by Miketuason, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Miketuason Audioholic Intern

    Miketuason
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    Any owner here and what's your thought?
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  2. ridikas Banned

    ridikas
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  3. Miketuason Audioholic Intern

    Miketuason
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    Thanks, I have read it and it looks like the speakers for me.
  4. class a Enthusiast

    class a
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    I had 2CE's years ago and totally enjoyed them. Setup is critical to get the best out of them. I kept them about 2 feet away from the side walls and about the same from the back wall. Give them room to breath and they will sing.:)
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  5. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    Richard Vandersteen is a legend and his speakers the same legendary, but beware... So neutral speakers may sound like "nothing", which is correct as they don't add anything, in the long run you will enjoy this :p
  6. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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  7. Dan Full Audioholic

    Dan
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    I have the 3A sig but listened long and hard to the twos before moving up. They are similar in a lot of ways. The pro is the very clean sound and superb spacial imaging. The con is that they are very finicky about placement so you need some flexibility to shift them around some. The sweet spot is very small (about two closely spaced heads wide) both verically and horizontally which is reflected in the poor off axis response. If you plan on having large groups listen they will disappoint. If you listen solo they are great as long as you sit dead center. The image is so good there that a center channel makes the soundstage collapse for concert videos, so I listen to those in 4 channel mode.

    The big difference between the two and three is that the two is a bit deficient in the high end (or bass heavy take your choice) while the three is very well balanced. That's why I moved up. Both the two and three are pretty ugly.

    BTW Richard Vandersteen hotly disputes the Stereophile measurements. I'm not really sure who to believe.

    If looking for a similar priced alternative with better off axis response I suggest the Salk Songtower which I might have gotten if they were available when I was buying.
    Dan,
  8. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    They don't look great because Stereophile measures them in an incorrect way, micropone is only 50" from speakers and that's too close, so you can disregards these measurements as not being optimal, they measure ruler flat if done properly :p

    Jim Thiel, John Dunlavy, Richard Vandersteen and Pat Mc Ginty all had the same opinions about Stereophile measurements, this is not a criticism to Stereophile, it's just not the best way to measure speakers like this....
    John Dunlavy made some remarks to this about his SV-IV, which is a totally different animal but some of these things are also true to the Vandy's which is why you really can't trust the measurments fully here.....
    http://www.stereophile.com/content/dunlavy-audio-labs-sc-iva-loudspeaker-manufacturers-comment

    You would be hard pressed to find more linear spekeakers than the Vandy's at this price

    You can see similar artifacts with also other time coherent speakers utilizing first order x-overs, measurements in Stereophile doesn't reveal the true nature of the speakers unfortunately
    Example Thiel CS 2.4, CS 3.7, Vandersteen Quattro, Vandersteen Seven, all extremely linear speakers, but the measurements are not showing the real performance of speakers :p
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  9. ridikas Banned

    ridikas
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    Above post is inaccurate. 50 inches is not enough distance? That's almost 1.5 meters. Are you telling me that the midrange and the tweeter don't sum up properly at 1.5 meters and need more distance?

    There's nothing wrong with Stereophile's measurements, as a matter of fact, they're very accurate and almost always similar to Soundstage's (where the NRC anechoic chamber is used).

    The reason why most of these listed speakers measure poor is because of improper driver placement and crossover design.
  10. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    yes, Stereophile's measurements are not accurate for these kinds of speakers, which is also what John Dunlavy states in the above post that I refer to

    As I stated wbove, John Atkinson does a formidable job in his reviews and also technical asessements, unfortunately he does not have access to an Anechoic room, so he has to measure closer than what's ideal or we will get measurements of John Atkinson's room and not the speakers at hand.

    How many of you listen to full range speakers at 50" distance?, equalling 1 meter 27 cm
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  11. ridikas Banned

    ridikas
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    Who cares what he states? He's defending his product and embarrassing himself, that's all.

    Take a look at these huge Revel speakers, the Salon2/Studio2, ranging 47"-54" in height and using multiple 8" woofers. Surely these would also need 10 feet for the woofers/midrange/tweeter to properly sum up?

    Take a look at the perfect on-axis and off-axis response:

    Revel Ultima Studio2 loudspeaker Measurements | Stereophile.com

    And here at the anechoic chamber:

    SoundStage! Measurements - Revel Ultima Salon2 Loudspeakers (12/2009)
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  12. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    No, you're incorrect, these use totally different slopes that sum up in different ways.
    John Dunlavy, Jim Theil, Richard Vandersteen and Pat Mc Ginty, all respected loudspeaker designers all claim the same thing about these kinds of measurements, I believe they have more knowledge about this thing than mostly anyone around here will ever have....

    The thing is that if you want linear extremely well sounding speakers this is it, you may probably contact Richard Vanderrsteen himself and he can present perfectly flat measurements from an anechoic chamber, unfortunately the Revel's you are referring to are not that transparent as they're not phase/time coherent and as such they don't preserve the time coherent nature of music.

    I lived with Duntech phase coherent speakers for a long long time, and I have no wish to go back to speakers that's not phase coherent, it's not the same genuine musical presentation, you need at least a couple of weeks.... it's not gonna show in a short demo, you can ask many people who had similar speakers and hardly anyone disaagree with this fact....

    If I were you, I would easily go with the Vandesrsteen 2CE sig :p
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  13. ridikas Banned

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  14. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    Time/domain performance of Revel Ultima Studio 2
    [​IMG]

    Time domain performance of Vandersteen 2 CE
    [​IMG]

    Ideally this should be a triangle, clear to see which is superior in this sense :D
  15. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    I rest my case, you obviously know more about loudspeaker design than Richard Vandersteen :p
  16. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    As a former fan of Dunlavy speakers, and a current owner of Salon 2s, I think these two graphs present an extremely interesting question. That question is, can the human brain differentiate between arrivals less than 3ms different in time? If you were to compress the x-axis on that graph it would show that the Studio 2 probably produces a more effective triangle than the 2CE does.

    I never convinced myself to buy the Dunlavy SC-V, so I haven't directly compared the V to the Salon 2, my listening tests were in different rooms, and I'll be the first to admit that making audition comparisons, what, seven years apart, is lunacy. I spent well over eight hours listening to the SC-V (mostly because I couldn't really afford them at the time, so the decision process was quite lengthy), and I still use the same CDs for speaker auditioning. Lunacy aside...

    I can say without any doubt in my mind that there's *nothing* an SC-V could do, realism-wise, that a Salon 2 can't. IMHO the SC-V was - is - a remarkable speaker and a remarkable accomplishment, but I'm at a loss to attribute any advantage to the time-coherent nature of the design. If John had stayed in business and lived I sincerely wonder what he could have accomplished with modern drivers like those from Seas, but time incoherent designs can produce absolutely enveloping imaging, and highs so realistic (like when reproducing cymbals) that I'm not sure I could choose the real thing blind-folded.

    So if it isn't imaging and sounding "live", what are these supposed advantages that only time coherent designs can provide?

    (I should also mention that I have heard the 2CE and thought it was very good, especially for the price. I'm just not convinced it is good due to time coherence.)
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  17. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    To say that these speakers is good due to time coherence is not correct....
    Time coherence is an extremely important aspect of a speaker (IMHO)

    There's so much engineering going into all Vandersteen products, same with late Mr. Dunlavy's spekakers.. it's probably too much to mention here, I only have a clue about some few of these things...

    It's probably safe to say that both of them would never add something to a speaker that increase cost without a related audible gain, so exotic materials will only be there when it really makes a difference, contrary to many other manufacturers out there, probably why it took Mr. vandersteen so very long time before he came up with his model seven, only now can he do this upscale speaker and make the added cost worthwhile.

    Some of the things that Vandersteen is known for:
    • Vandersteen was one of the first in the industry to start using FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) Computer Analyzer, originally developed for aerospace industry
    • Cost cutting in cabinets while making audible performance top priority
    • Careful selection of materials for all drivers, critical damping in all areas in drivers and cabinets
    • Patented "reflection-free" midrange drivers, although this is probably only used in model 3A and up....
    • All crossovers are hand soldered and tested to make sure there's less than 0.1dB deviation to the reference
    • Drivers are matched to within 0.1dB tolerance
    • Crossovers are hand tweaked and speakers measured in anechoic chamber to make sure they perform as well as the reference
    • Baffles are as small as possible to reduce/eliminate diffraction => improves imaging
    • FFT is employed to find optimal size, shape and thickness of different parts of the enclosure
    • +++ probably much more that I don't know about.....

    Some of these things were also true for all of Dunlavy's models, so when we say these speakers are well performing it's because of an incredible amount of sound engineering going into the products :p

    Compare cost of Vandersteen products to other speakers in the industry and take into account the level of engineering and the effort that goes into the QA process and it's really impressive how it's possible to make the products he does and still keep retail prices at the level he does.
  18. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    There is a speaker for everyone. :D

    My 802D2 sound awesome to me - I don't care if their off-aix don't measure as well as some speakers. :D

    Sure, measurements are nice. I would have liked the 802 to have better FR.

    In the end, the important thing is that the speakers sound great to you and that you like them a lot.

    I'm sure there's a lot of engineering that goes into some of these speakers, including Vandersteen.

    And if they sound great to you, that's what matters. I was just saying they don't measure as well as some speakers in some aspects like FR, just like how my B&W don't measure as well as some speakers in terms of FR.
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  19. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    802d is probably for mostly everyone but me then :p
    I just can't like the 802d, they don't fully trick me to believe I listen to music but they provide an artificial recording....
    perhaps it's just the dealers over here that never managed to demo them properly but I never liked them at all, it's just my opinion

    It would actually be very interesting to audition 802D with other amplifiers than what they do here, perhaps it's the Classe amps the dealer use around here that don't get the best out of the speakers

    Happy for you that you like them so much :D
    Which amps are you using with them?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  20. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    The problem is that what you think sounds great at a point in time can change as the way you perceive sound changes over time. I believe this is the most convincing argument for accuracy. IMO, the more accurate a speaker the more likely you will like it long term.

    Of course, as many people have pointed out (including me, with the time coherent discussion) focusing on individual measurements isn't likely a good idea, so choosing which combination of measurements to pay attention to is difficult. Lately I've been wondering about what measurements truly differentiate tweeters, because flat frequency response doesn't seem sufficient.

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