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Vandersteen - Owners & Discussion Thread


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1 minute ago, hazzac181 said:

Yeah it has a pre-out on it. I don't know anyone else in Melbourne with an amp of any description, let alone a class D power amp – unless another forum member in Melbourne is willing to be reasonably trusting and generous with their time...

You could borrow mine, but of course lockdown makes that hard...

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G'day @audiofeline @darthlaker......I'm a happy owner of the VLR CT's and totally agree with all the comments above, I remember when I first inquired about them one of the retailers had few words abou

Any other Vandersteen owners here? I have enjoyed a pair of 2ci since the 1980's, and still have no complaints about them.  They do benefit from careful positioning, there are good guides in the

Hey af, congrats on being a Vandy owner. They are amazingly musical and neutral speakers at all price points.   I have a pair of Vandy Sevens and L.O.V.E. them - I used to have a pair of Van

4 minutes ago, hazzac181 said:

Yeah it has a pre-out on it. I don't know anyone else in Melbourne with an amp of any description, let alone a class D power amp – unless another forum member in Melbourne is willing to be reasonably trusting and generous with their time...

 

Made tentative arrangements to head back to the repairer to listen to some of the collection of amplifiers he had in store

Reason I suggested a Class D is because they are often the size of a book and can be posted easily. 

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We'll know soon enough if it's amplification. NC400 monoblocks should be more than enough to tell.

Edited by Ittaku
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After listening to @Ittaku's monoblocks with the vandy's (many thanks once again), I noticed the following: a reduction in the harshness I was experiencing at the higher volumes compared to using my amp as a power source, and a lot more control. Everything sounded tighter, if you will. However, bass did not improve. 

At all. 

 

What is the likelihood that the rubber on the surround of the driver is now harder, reducing bass? I ask only because there as been a comment suggesting that the drivers could be old and/or tired. 

 

Alternatively, perhaps I have overestimated the bass capability of the vandy's, which seem far more suited to classical and jazz than my perhaps more crude tastes. Otherwise, I'm at a complete loss

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Sounds like two separate issues entirely then. It did start out as a complaint about harshness at volume, but the bass seems to be a separate unresolved problem. Sounds like turning the bass up is what they need since that was done when you demoed them since they were obviously capable of it with enough extra bass thrown at them?

Edited by Ittaku
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2 hours ago, Ittaku said:

Sounds like two separate issues entirely then. It did start out as a complaint about harshness at volume, but the bass seems to be a separate unresolved problem. Sounds like turning the bass up is what they need since that was done when you demoed them since they were obviously capable of it with enough extra bass thrown at them?

Certainly appears to be the case. I may look at substituting them for more appropriate loudspeakers given what I now know

 

Thanks once again to all for commenting and shedding some light on the issue

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3 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

After listening to @Ittaku's monoblocks with the vandy's (many thanks once again), I noticed the following: a reduction in the harshness I was experiencing at the higher volumes compared to using my amp as a power source, and a lot more control. Everything sounded tighter, if you will. However, bass did not improve. 

At all. 

 

What is the likelihood that the rubber on the surround of the driver is now harder, reducing bass? I ask only because there as been a comment suggesting that the drivers could be old and/or tired. 

 

Alternatively, perhaps I have overestimated the bass capability of the vandy's, which seem far more suited to classical and jazz than my perhaps more crude tastes. Otherwise, I'm at a complete loss

If you walk around the room is there strong bass somewhere? In a corner maybe? More bass than in the seat?

 

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4 hours ago, Bunno77 said:

If you walk around the room is there strong bass somewhere? In a corner maybe? More bass than in the seat?

 

Not that I've found, and boy have I done some walking

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9 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

Not that I've found, and boy have I done some walking

Pretty safe to say it's not acoustics or amp now then. 

Still strange that you liked the sound after the repair. 

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21 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

What is the likelihood that the rubber on the surround of the driver is now harder, reducing bass?

Theere's a lot of possible reasons why.

 

If you're repair man said he had to turn up the bass knob when he was testing them to get them to sound right..... then I think you know what the root cause is (it's not your electronics).

 

 

You'd need to take them to someone who can actively diagnose the issue.

 

21 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

Alternatively, perhaps I have overestimated the bass capability of the vandy's

It's hard to comment.... some people have funny ideas about "what is right"....  The Vandersteens are well engineered speakers.   If they are working properly they should produce the correct amount of bass.

 

If that isn't enough for you.  Use some EQ.    However assuming what you alluded to earlier is right (the repair man, didn't think they made enough bass)..... then they are likely "faulty".

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14 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

Not that I've found, and boy have I done some walking

Once again. The Vandersteens are not the speaker you are looking for. The hint is in the music preferences.

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4 hours ago, Bunno77 said:

Pretty safe to say it's not acoustics or amp now then. 

Still strange that you liked the sound after the repair. 

It appears I liked the sound with some EQ adjustments – something I can't do with my current amp.

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10 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

Once again. The Vandersteens are not the speaker you are looking for. The hint is in the music preferences.

Largely the conclusion I've reached, however I'm still surprised by just how large the differences between my expectations and the product were – I mean I was shocked enough to warrant the creation of a troubleshooting thread. 

 

I guess I'll sell them and move on to a more efficient loudspeaker better suited to my tastes. 

 

I'd like to thank all for your assistance once again – it has been invaluable

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6 minutes ago, hazzac181 said:

Largely the conclusion I've reached, however I'm still surprised by just how large the differences between my expectations and the product were – I mean I was shocked enough to warrant the creation of a troubleshooting thread. 

 

I guess I'll sell them and move on to a more efficient loudspeaker better suited to my tastes. 

 

I'd like to thank all for your assistance once again – it has been invaluable

See if you can find ones with a bass hump, or an amp with tone controls just to be sure. The Yamaha I referenced earlier is a good example of one that would suit.

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2 hours ago, Uglu said:

You might want to try different cables.

This would not cause a big enough difference to correct the amount of bass lacking the OP is complaining about.

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3 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

See if you can find ones with a bass hump

I assume this means aim for speakers with a bass hump in the frequency response? Still learning

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1 minute ago, hazzac181 said:

I assume this means aim for speakers with a bass hump in the frequency response? Still learning

Yes. Low frequency extension to 20Hz is rarely what anyone actually wants as the bass most people want is in the 40-60Hz range, and trying to make speakers go down to 20Hz for bragging rights comes at a cost in other ways. If you find something with a relative boost around the 60Hz range in the frequency response, I suspect it will be exactly what you're looking for.

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Like Dave said above, Vandersteen are well engineered speakers. If the bass is completely absent after 4 pages of experimentation ruling out all but the speakers, I think something is faulty. I have owned and heard a few Vandersteens, not the 1C, but they were never completely absent of bass.

 

I would measure the speakers as a last resort.

Edited by kelossus
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1 hour ago, kelossus said:

Like Dave said above, Vandersteen are well engineered speakers. If the bass is completely absent after 4 pages of experimentation ruling out all but the speakers, I think something is faulty. I have owned and heard a few Vandersteens, not the 1C, but they were never completely absent of bass.

 

I would measure the speakers as a last resort.

I had 2c's back in the late 80's for a while and they were nice. The Epos ES14's were better I thought. I ended up getting Quad ESL63's for the music I was listening to at that time.

I think this is the same situation but with different music.

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2 hours ago, Wimbo said:

Once again. The Vandersteens are not the speaker you are looking for. The hint is in the music preferences.

Well engineered speakers play back any/all content with high-performance.

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I think the woofer in these vandersteens is a vifa P21WO model, which can have surrounds that harden with age (ie. lose plasticisers ) which can/will cause the lack of bass and this hardening could also affect cone edge dampening, thereby changing the woofers top end response.

 

cheers

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14 minutes ago, afa said:

I think the woofer in these vandersteens is a vifa P21WO model, which can have surrounds that harden with age (ie. lose plasticisers ) which can/will cause the lack of bass and this hardening could also affect cone edge dampening, thereby changing the woofers top end response.

Could be on the right track there.... 

 

If the surrounds "harden" and reduce the suspension compliance.... then this would affect the low end even more (reduce it) than the top end.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Could be on the right track there.... 

 

If the surrounds "harden" and reduce the suspension compliance.... then this would affect the low end even more (reduce it) than the top end.

 

 

Yeah and maybe they are the wrong speakers for his music type.🤣

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Ive had some vifa P"xx" models where the surrounds have hardened so much that the Fs is 2 to 3 times what its supposed to be...

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Hi all, 

Took my system into the repair shop today to compare a number of amps with mine, as well to compare my speakers with some Richard Allen bookshelf speakers he had, which also had Vifa 8" drivers with the surrounds replaced. Direct comparison between my speakers and his revealed:

- a small, but none the less existent difference in bass, in favour of the Richard Allen's. Still not satisfactory for my tastes however

- all other amps apart from my Moon (70s pioneer receiver, some luxman unit and the Marantz PM-54) did not have the harsh highs I have been experiencing. The Moon produced the same sound on both sets of speakers

 

It therefore appears that the speakers are simply not to my tastes (as opposed to being faulty) as has been suggested above, and are not a good pairing with the Moon. I'll relist the Vandersteens on the classifieds shortly and chalk this experience up as a learning curve

 

Thanks to all once again 

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22 minutes ago, hazzac181 said:

Hi all, 

Took my system into the repair shop today to compare a number of amps with mine, as well to compare my speakers with some Richard Allen bookshelf speakers he had, which also had Vifa 8" drivers with the surrounds replaced. Direct comparison between my speakers and his revealed:

- a small, but none the less existent difference in bass, in favour of the Richard Allen's. Still not satisfactory for my tastes however

- all other amps apart from my Moon (70s pioneer receiver, some luxman unit and the Marantz PM-54) did not have the harsh highs I have been experiencing. The Moon produced the same sound on both sets of speakers

 

It therefore appears that the speakers are simply not to my tastes (as opposed to being faulty) as has been suggested above, and are not a good pairing with the Moon. I'll relist the Vandersteens on the classifieds shortly and chalk this experience up as a learning curve

 

Thanks to all once again 

Always good to hear the outcome of these discussions, even if the result wasnt really that satisfactory for you, thanks for updating! 

Good luck with the next round. It'll be worth it in the end and TBH knowing now what u r looking for is 'half the battle won' !!

 

Edited by tripitaka
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43 minutes ago, hazzac181 said:

It therefore appears that the speakers are simply not to my tastes (as opposed to being faulty) as has been suggested above, and are not a good pairing with the Moon. I'll relist the Vandersteens on the classifieds shortly and chalk this experience up as a learning curve

Wow! fantastic outcome!!

expect you 'll spend a lot more time listening before buying your next set.  Although, on the other hand its low risk buying unheard  if you buy on here, try and move em on if not to your taste. Dont worry if you like speakers that are not considered "accurate" or stereophile class A or whatever. In the end you will have to listen to them and you need to like them. Over time your taste may change or not. Main thing is you like the way they sound now, otherwise you wont enjoy listening to them and no matter how much everyone else thinks your speakers are "good"  they will be  a waste of money cos you dont listen to em.

 

Someone else will love those Vandy's.

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2 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

Took my system into the repair shop today to compare a number of amps with mine, as well to compare my speakers

good on you for doing this... well and truly put this to bed ! 

 

2 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

t therefore appears that the speakers are simply not to my tastes (as opposed to being faulty) as has been suggested above, and are not a good pairing with the Moon. I'll relist the Vandersteens on the classifieds shortly and chalk this experience up as a learning curve

 

good to find this out...amp and speaker matching is just so important....somethings seem to work, some dont as combinations. nothing ventured nothing gained...heres to checking out some other stuff to hopefully find something that works best to your taste :) 

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Whoever buys these Vandersteens will need to examine the condition of the bass drivers. On YouTube is a clip showing how to get the black grille sock on Vandersteens moved so one can examine and possibly replace the faulty driver. Looks easy enough but finding a matching VIFA driver (s?) could be the trick. I have owned Vandersteen 2C, 3A, Quatros and the Treo CT's and never had any complaint re their bass quality or output. Mind you the cost of new drivers versus the resale value of a pair of Vandersteen 1C could be very tricky.

Cheers

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Looking at the Vandersteen website the 1C speaker started production in 1996 and ended in 2010. Sorry for the history lesson but we are dealing with a speaker in 2020 which is somewhere between 10 to 24 years old. What sort of lifespan do bass drivers have?

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FYI

The replacement surrounds to fix the Vifa drivers which suffer from surrounds that harden up, are available from here

https://www.speakerrepairshop.nl/en/rubber-surrounds/vifa/g-10000054

 

BTW. They also sell surrounds for B&W drivers (which have surrounds that go soft and tear due to the effect of the solvents of the adhesive used on the basket/surround interface)

https://www.speakerrepairshop.nl/en/rubber-surrounds/bowers-wilkins/g-10000098

 

cheers

Edited by afa
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1 hour ago, 075Congo said:

Looking at the Vandersteen website the 1C speaker started production in 1996 and ended in 2010. Sorry for the history lesson but we are dealing with a speaker in 2020 which is somewhere between 10 to 24 years old. What sort of lifespan do bass drivers have?

24 years- they have a long way to go yet , my original Acoustic Research 8 inch drivers, with cloth surrounds, are 51 years old, and are like new. 

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3 hours ago, 075Congo said:

Looking at the Vandersteen website the 1C speaker started production in 1996 and ended in 2010. Sorry for the history lesson but we are dealing with a speaker in 2020 which is somewhere between 10 to 24 years old. What sort of lifespan do bass drivers have?

That's a fair point, and I wouldn't know. This thread will be linked in the for sale post for full transparency when I get around to making it in a week or so

 

All I can conclude is that the level of bass was only marginally worse than the Richard Allen's I listened to, which had the same driver albeit with the surrounds recently replaced. It would be folly to think there have been no changes to the sound of the speakers as they have aged, but after having done a direct comparison between original vs refurbed drivers, I think they're in a more than saleable condition – otherwise they'd be in for repair before they went up for sale. 

Edited by hazzac181
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I know I'm a bit late to the party, and did NOT read the 100+ other messages...but a thought that might help you build a better and more flexible system. 

 

Not sure if you are using a front-end source like a streaming service - Spotify or Tidal.   But if you CAN.....then here's a tip.      I recently tried a (free?) subscription to roon.    There are some amazing features inside roon...such as a DSP engine.       Say your roon receiving device is a Yamaha amp.......  you can click on the DSP button on that device and see a flat frequency graph - using you PC laptop of large tablet as the interface.     You can then use you mouse to cut or boost or cut any frequencies you like, and store a nunber different sound profiles for that Yamaha.      So using roon not only gets you all material on Tidal (for an additional monthly cost) BUT it gives you flexibility to tailor the sound profile to what you want using roon's builtin DSP engine.   

 

Say next year you change your speakers....No problem....twiddle with roon's DSP feature and optimize the sound for the new speakers.   

 

I've tried to attach a page shot of the interactive graph in the roon DSP engine.      Cheers

2020-08-11.png

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21 hours ago, hazzac181 said:

That's a fair point, and I wouldn't know. This thread will be linked in the for sale post for full transparency when I get around to making it in a week or so

 

All I can conclude is that the level of bass was only marginally worse than the Richard Allen's I listened to, which had the same driver albeit with the surrounds recently replaced. It would be folly to think there have been no changes to the sound of the speakers as they have aged, but after having done a direct comparison between original vs refurbed drivers, I think they're in a more than saleable condition – otherwise they'd be in for repair before they went up for sale. 

Good to see we came to the same conclusion😇

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This thread was a great read - what a journey of realisation/testing! You probably condensed most peoples' audio journey in to a week! 

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20 hours ago, AJL999 said:

I know I'm a bit late to the party, and did NOT read the 100+ other messages...but a thought that might help you build a better and more flexible system. 

 

Not sure if you are using a front-end source like a streaming service - Spotify or Tidal.   But if you CAN.....then here's a tip.      I recently tried a (free?) subscription to roon.    There are some amazing features inside roon...such as a DSP engine.       Say your roon receiving device is a Yamaha amp.......  you can click on the DSP button on that device and see a flat frequency graph - using you PC laptop of large tablet as the interface.     You can then use you mouse to cut or boost or cut any frequencies you like, and store a nunber different sound profiles for that Yamaha.      So using roon not only gets you all material on Tidal (for an additional monthly cost) BUT it gives you flexibility to tailor the sound profile to what you want using roon's builtin DSP engine.   

 

Say next year you change your speakers....No problem....twiddle with roon's DSP feature and optimize the sound for the new speakers.   

 

I've tried to attach a page shot of the interactive graph in the roon DSP engine.      Cheers

2020-08-11.png

While I can't see myself paying for a service such as Roon (I'm already trialling tidal currently), I will admit that this is a damn cool feature. I could probably use the trial for testing in the future... Thanks!

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21 minutes ago, roh008 said:

This thread was a great read - what a journey of realisation/testing! You probably condensed most peoples' audio journey in to a week! 

Hopefully my experience is of benefit to someone else on the forums! It has certainly been a little tumultuous, but ultimately well worth it I think

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9 minutes ago, hazzac181 said:

Hopefully my experience is of benefit to someone else on the forums! It has certainly been a little tumultuous, but ultimately well worth it I think

1 point I don't believe has been mentioned yet is that when you get a speaker that has great bass control it can sound lean initially. I've read on these forums of several people changing their system and feel let down by bass initially until realisation that this is how bass should actually sound! I also remember several people talking about the lack of bass on Kii 3 speakers at the last HiFi show. The bass was there in spades, but it was tight and fast and not overblown as many systems do, like the Osborns at the same show.

 

As they say, season to your taste. I like big overblown bass for HT use, but never use that same system for stereo playback.

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