Vandersteen Forum

I bought an older pair of Vandersteen 2Ce and did not like them. Found out one woofer was crackling (what I did not like was poor tweeter and midrange). I went onto the Vandersteen forum to see if changing a component or two would better the sound than 25 year old speakers. In 2022 almost anyones speakers sound better than 25 year old Vandersteen technology. 
The replies raised my eyebrows. I was just wondering if anyone else has had any experience with that forum and did they find it cult-like or is it just me?


I am an aerospace engineer.  My dad was an audiophile for decades.  He designed and built his own amps, preamps, feedback loop subwoofer (circa 60's), and even designed and built an electronic starter for cars in 1973-4.  Because of this background I have always looked at specs.  Over time I started getting away from the engineering and started listening to the music.  This can be good and bad.  Everyone has a sound they like, hence all the variations of sound from manufacturers.  However, if the goal is to repeat the sound as it was produced then you can't turn away from the engineering/science.  I've now come full circle; I will look at specs then listen but if the specs are bad I won't.

I own a pair of B&W 802 D3 Matrix for over 20 years.  Been very happy with them.  My goal was not to color the music.  I liked these speakers because of their "newer design" stiff individual boxes for woofer, mid, and tweeter so as not to color the sound.  I'm in the market for new speakers now.  I have always been impressed with the sound of Wilson WATT Puppies, ignoring the specs, they sound brilliant.  This could be due to men not having as good capability to hear highs.

Again, I want no coloration, my definition of my goal as an audiophile.  When reading about speaker design, enclosures/reflections, baffles, cross-overs, and cone distortion I saw few that met my goal, no distortion.  Then I read this article SoundStage-Richard-Vandersteen.pdf (

I've read your above comments, thinking Vandersteen people are cult like, so maybe you will consider me as another "drinking the Kool-Aid."  Again, I don't own a pair of Vandersteen's I read the article regarding his research and reasoning.

If your goal is to have speakers that reproduce the sound, then they should be time and phase correct; I had to consult an expert in electronic cross over theory.  His statement is that you can't simply change the polarity + to - to correct for phase.  I think Richard Vandersteen created his first speak, with multi-cabinet enclosures and minimal baffles in the 70's.  In the 70's all speak designs, except of V, had one enclosure with a huge baffle which creates distortion.  He even looked at when the speaker cone is on the return, there is reflection (distortion) due to speaker structure, to create minimal distortion.

When I looked at the Wilson Watt-Puppies plots, phase correctness, ect, I was at best disappointed.

From an engineering standard V are better.  It's up to you if you like the sound.

I bought my Vandersteen 5A’s in New Jersey and the seller set them up beautifully. When I moved to Arizona and took the speakers and the same components, they didn’t sound the way I remembered. Richard himself called and offered to help set the speakers up over the phone with some of my tools. The result is music that sounds real...with space and depth. took a couple of days and call backs, but was a wonderful experience. I always learn from the Vandersteen website....a great place to read and reflect

@stringreen  I’m guessing you got your 5a’s from John Rutan.  I bought my first pair of Vandersteen 3a Signatures (used) last year and the Vandersteen Forum has been a great, welcoming place to get advice.  Between the forum and Audio Connection, I was able to tweak placement and setup to the point where my system has never sounded better.  Great people and Richard’s an active participant too.


Got my first Treo';s from Johnny and now have Quatro's.  I was a huge fan for many years after hearing the 2's and meeting Richard in 1983,  They were set up perfectly and it was at Stereo Unlimited in SD (Navy time).

I then went to buy a pair of 2's in RI in the early 90's when I could afford them, but the dealer liked ProAc better and those were set up correctly and the STeen's weren't.  I disliked them at that point for that reason, but didn't realize it.  

I left that store with 3500 ProAc's instead and built from there.  Then when I wanted new speakers, I went to Rutans to get the ProAc's as he was the closest dealer.  He made me (and my family) listen to Treo's.  We all were floored and it was a no brainer.  I was hooked.  Still am.  As Richard has said the speakers will measure well, but from there he can tweet and make them sound better and better.  He's kept doing that for so many years now and those of us who deal with his company know how personally he takes each speaker and his support is as good as anyone's can be.  It's not a cult as much as Wilson isn't a cult or Magico isn't........