OK. Here goes. This week auditioned Vandersteen Signature 3A, Legacy Signature III and Meadowlark Herons. Using tube pre-amp with solid state amps in passive horizontal bi-amp set up in 20' by 20' room. Any opinions on any of these speakers will be greatly appreciated. GOS
The Herons are beautiful, smooth sounding speakers. However, they do need a lot of room to keep their bass in check. Some large floor standers seem to do ok in smaller rooms, but the Herons get bloated if not well away from walls. Even then the bass can occasionally have a little bit of boxiness. But, hell, no speaker is perfect and I actually compared the Heron directly to the Avalon Eidolon. Despite the Avalon's clear sonic superiority on many counts, I preferred music through the Herons. (Looking at your room dimensions it seems the Herons would do fine).
Which speaker did YOU like and why? This would help people trying to advise you.
I auditioned the Vandersteen and Legacy lines and found the Vandersteens to be more musical. The Legacy sounded forward,
a tad bright and didn't seem to have that sense of air or
space around instruments like the Vandersteens did. It's the
latter of the above which led me to choose the 3A Sig's.
FWIW, I owned Legacy Classics in the past, and found Legacy bass to be very difficult to get 'right' in a decently proportioned room. I would imagine that they would be very difficult to get the setup right in a square room.
That said, I've only heard the Legacy's and the Vandersteen's on your list, and they are very different types of speakers. To my ears, the Legacy's are more forward, analytical, and bright speakers - whereas the Vandersteens are more laid back, musical, and forgiving.
It all depends on what you prefer. Legacy would be great for HT, whereas the Vandersteen would be better for 2 channel music, IMO.
I have owned Vandersteens in the past, and currently own Legacy Classics, and IMHO, I much prefer the Legacys. I don't believe that they are bright at all, but having said that, it also depends, in any system, how everything is matched up. If you have a very bright or forward CD player you'll hear it with the Legacys. It is true that the more air you can get around a Legacy the better they perform.
Vandersteen when set up nice seem to keep the stereo out of the music.
Box speakers have to be bright to overcome the box coleration that can seem to be thrown at you. If the recording isnt just right do you feel uneasy as i when some recordings go over the edge with brightness. Speakers with
large front baffels can fall short with diffraction distortion. Boxes can inject a cow mooing like coleration, noticeable on male voices,guitars,chorus etc. When these little reminders pop in as artifacts it can make you take notice that you are listening to the stereo ,instead of music. Vandersteens, small baffels mesures better with low reflection,and box related distortions.
...and each one of those drivers/boxes leaves their own sonic fingerprint on the music.My problem with them is that each unit competes for attention.Great solo performers but not an ensemble.
If Ken has a better way please let us know 6 db, boxless comes together better than anything i ever heard.
... when the reality is that I offended you by stating an opinion contrary to your own about the Vandersteen's.Now you have the nerve to personalise it on this forum.Not much class,I'd say.
Anyway,I will answer your statement,even tho I don't consider myself particularly qualified to design loudspeakers, I still can recognise problems of coherency. I might suggest Richard try to choose drivers that have more similarly voiced propagating surfaces and perhaps overlap crossover frequencies with more gradual slopes to aid in creating more seamless coherency between his drivers.That might advance his well marketed and highly successful design into the current decade.That is, unless the point is quick sales by a falsley glitzy presentation in a demo.
As you stated in your email:"this is supposed to be fun". Your post was hardly in that spirit.You stated that I sounded "angry".I wasn't before but you've gone a ways in changing that.
> > perhaps overlap crossover frequencies with more gradual slopes to aid in creating more seamless coherency
Ken, this puzzles me. Vandys are 1st order so by definition have gradual slopes and a fair amount of overlap between drivers. How could that really be changed or improved in that area? Admitted the biggest problem here is that the mid driver has to serve a very large range and that limits the amount of power and spl that you can get from the speakers without distortion, about 100db or so at ~15', IME.
While the comments about boxless aren't true, I do think that there is an advantage to separate boxes as you avoid back wave distortion from other drivers. Vandersteen isn't the only one to do this and others build boxes in boxes for the same purpose.
Just small points.
I made the grievous error of taking flex's bait at a time that I was fairly PO'd by his actions.I should have walked blocked his emails and walked away from the keyboard instead.
My assumtion about the Vandersteen's crossover slopes was incorrect and I erred by making a statement without researching first, and even tho overlapping drivers with shallow crossover slopes is an established means of integrating drivers, it would not be an appropriate remedy in the case of the Vandersteen's coherency problems.
Alas,my mistake must have shown as a sign of weakness.Contrary to Rod's interpretation, I did not in any way state or infer that I disapproved of isolating drivers from internal backwave interactions thru the use of separate enclosures nor of minimizing diffraction effects by maintaining as narrow a front baffle as possible.Quite the contrary,but I guess that the hyenas just couldn't resist.
I owned a pair of Legacy Sig IIIs for about 4 years. I haven't heard the other 2 you auditioned. I used a Wright Audio L-1 (tube) preamp and Legacy/Coda 2 channel (ss) amp with the Sig IIIs. I also used a Cary Audio cd player with them. They are about the largest speaker I think I could live with. The sound from them is pretty big and they definitely play with a lot of authority given the number of drivers in each. I thought the mid-bass from them was really solid. The low end was tough for me to control but it probably had a lot to do with the room I had them in and maybe the speaker itself as well. That's probably why Legacy sells the Steradian room correction device. You have got to give those speakers room to breathe. I'll bet they sounded pretty good in your room. I've since upgraded from them but I was happy enough to keep them for 4 years and to tell you the truth - I wish I could have afforded to keep those and buy my new ones. The Focus from Legacy gets a lot of attention and rightly so, but the price point the Sig IIIs are in they are tough to beat. I wish I had heard the other two you auditioned so I could give you a little better perspective. Suffice to say I liked the Sig IIIs an awful lot. Good luck with your decision.
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