Richard Vandersteen got into the speaker business the same way as a lot of other high-end designers did and still do: He made speakers for himself, and started selling them through a local hi-fi store. That was in the mid 1970s, but Vandersteen’s speakers bore little resemblance to what other home brew entrepreneurs cooked up.
Most guys start with a box and fool around with drivers. Vandersteen made recordings of everyday sounds and musical instruments, and used the recordings to guide his progress for his prototype designs, and quickly discovered that as he reduced the size of the front baffle the sound was more realistic. He knew from the get-go he wasn’t going to make a box speaker.
The Model 2ci remains a four driver/three-way design, but the driver complement, sourced from different manufacturers, continued to evolve over the years. The 2B’s driver sizes
- a 10-inch active bass coupler, 8-inch woofer, 4.5-inch midrange, and 1-inch tweeter – are still used in the current design. The large, open-frame speaker has a wrap around cloth grille.
Vandersteen claims all of his speakers are “time- and phase-accurate," and use first-order crossover networks, and each crossover is individually tweaked to match the drivers as they’re measured in the factory’s anechoic chamber. The goal is to more accurately maintain the signals’ amplitude and timing relationships than more conventionally designed speakers.
The original Model 2 retailed for $760 a pair in 1977, and the current model goes for $2,395, so in real dollars it’s about the same price after the M.S.R.P is adjusted for inflation! Vandersteen still builds every speaker in Hanford, California, and provides service for every speaker that rolled out of that little factory
The 2Ci does a better job of providing true deep bass than any other speaker I’ve encountered close to its price range. The 2C has the ability to produce a true 30Hz at low to moderate volumes with excellent control, whereas most speakers in this price range either give up well above 35Hz or end up with considerable boom.
The crossover is extremely smooth across the band. Many speakers claim to have advanced technology and components but still reveal at least minor problems. The Vandersteen 2Ci rivals electrostatics in its seamlessness and integration.
The speaker’s radiation pattern is extremely well chosen. Imaging is excellent over a relatively wide listening area, but room interaction remains limited. There are no major shifts in imaging and soundstage as frequency rises—a chronic weakness in virtually all speaker designs.
Power handling is greatly improved over earlier models. This is not a “rock speaker” in the sense (or lack of it) that you can drive your ear drums far into your skull. Neither can you push the bass output to the level of a speaker three or four times its size; for that sort of game, you’ll need the higher priced Vandersteen or a subwoofer. It will, however, handle orchestral peaks, loud jazz, and rock exceptionally well.
The Vandersteen 2Ci has a very flat impedance curve for so sophisticated a design. It should be an easy speaker to drive; it could even (Heaven forbid!) be used with your receiver as you claw your way up after the latest visit to bankruptcy court. In a world where more and more speaker manufacturers assume it is their God-given right to make you buy a new amplifier suited to their particular speaker, Richard Vandersteen seems to be willing to sell speakers that allow you to keep the rest of your system.
The Vandersteen is visually inconspicuous, and its stands raise it to just the right height for good listening without having to worry about most minor furniture interference effects. “Livability” is not a common characteristic in high-end loudspeakers—the 2Ci is a real exception.
The 2Ci is intended for bi-wiring, but can also be easily used with only a single speaker cable. Bi-wiring, however, is clearly beneficial: the bass is more dynamic and controlled, and crossover performance seems smoother. Even non-tweakers will notice the clearer treble and midrange, particularly at low levels or in complex passages, and dynamic transients also improve.
The Vandersteen is the product of both considerable design expertise and considerable evolution. Vandersteen, one of the most respected speaker designers in the US, introduced his model 2 in 1977. One of the first speakers to minimize baffle area, pay careful attention to driver alignment, and use first-order crossovers, it has since benefited from extensive use of the Gen-Rad 2512 Fast Fourier Transform analyzer and the Heyser Time Delay Spectrometry system. The Vandersteen 2 started out with all the bells and whistles of its time; the 2Ci has been refined over several years by an outstanding designer who is also an excellent listener.
The result is an extraordinarily revealing speaker. It will show the effect of small system adjustments, but does not exaggerate their effect. It is a good speaker, for example, through which to listen to differences in wires and VTA/SRA. It is very revealing of the differences between a DC and an AC input on an amplifier like the PS Audio 200C. You can clearly hear the Audio Research SP-11 and D-250 II warm up. While such reviewer quirks may not interest you, they rarely emerge with such clarity in other cone speakers. In fact, the Vandersteen 2Ci will give the Quad ESL-63 one hell of a good run for its money in terms of resolution and transparency.
PLEASE CONTACT for SHIPPING and PURCHASE OPTIONS
This is for a pair of Vandersteen Model 2Ci, 3 way Floor standing speakers with metal stands. This is a carefully preserved pair of speakers and work flawlessly as they should. Both the mid range and the woofer have a rubber surrounds. CUSTOM FOAM LINED BOXES and PACKING- READY TO SHIP via UPS/FEDEX
WRAP AROUND GRILLS in GREAT CLEAN CONDITION
OAK TRIM is in VERY GOOD SHAPE
ONE OF THE FINEST VINTAGE SOUNDS AVAILABLE
Pair of Vandersteen 2Ci Speakers with METAL STANDS
ORIGINAL Manuals Included
New Shipping Boxes as REQUIRED…READY TO SHIP
Prefer Local Pick Up
Weight: 64lbs each
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