Vandersteen Quatro vs. GMA Calypso

I know you didn't ask for opinions about other speakers and at the risk of offering one you may want to check out the Daedalus DA-1's. I haven't heard the GMA design you refer to but I have heard the Quatro on several occasions/locations for lengthy sessions. To my ear the DA-1's easily outperform the Quatro and for considerably less money. They look better too as they are crafted out of your choice of real hardwood (no MDF)--walnut, oak or cherry. The Quatro is a good speaker but not a great one. It has some resemblence to the sound of the 5A but is not nearly the performer of that great speaker system. The Quatro has a slightly warmer, euphonic presentation compared to the DA-1, which is more truthful to the recording without in any way being analytical. The Quatro also throws a wider soundstage with somewhat greater precision than the DA-1, which trumps the Quatro in off-axis response, providing a really wide listening window. In all other respects the DA-1 is superior--faster, more dynamic, able to play louder without strain, tonally accurate, musical, the bass is far more natural even when the Quatro is optimally tuned to the room. At 96db the DA-1 is more sensitive and open to different types of amplification--though the designer really likes high current solid state designs best. If live music is the reference point my two year search for a quality floorstander tells me that the DA-1's cannot be beat below $12K. I've only heard a few really high ticket speakers that rival or surpass them--the Vandy 5A being one of them. Sorry if this represents an intrusive response to your question but whenever I see people grappling with a speaker decision in this price range I feel compelled to tell them about the DA-1's. Give Lou a call if you are curious--he is a great guy who believes in what he does without the arrogance that sometimes attaches itself to people in this industry.
I'm unfamiliar with the GMAs, but can add one more positive voice to the Quatro choir. I've been thinking about 5As for a while, but after a recent audition, I can't honestly say that the 5As are superior to the Quatro Wood. Of course, I didn't listen to all material in multiple rooms, but from the brief session, I believe that I'd have a hard time identifying these speakers blind.

Other than the need to listen somewhat louder than other speakers for dramatic "presence" (I thought they were both a bit laid back at more modest SPLs) both the Quatro and the 5A are about as good as I've heard.

Good Luck


PS- I'll probably buy a pair of Quatros next week, unless I hear something (Zu Definitions?) at the LA show that changes my mind.
If you hold off for a few weeks let me know. I'm slated to receive a pair of Calypsos in the near future. I can't offer direct comparisons but can let you know my thoughts on this new GMA product.
Excellent, Girardian. I'm interested to read about your impressions. Post links to pictures if you can.
I recieved a pair of GMA Calypso's last tuesday. I can tell you these are serious speakers. I'm still breaking them in, but the sound of these speakers right out of the box is dramatic. I was impressed immediatly with the fit, finish and execution of the design. My pair is fitted with Bolivian Rosewood side panels and they are perfect! A cabinet maker friend was very impressed and he's constantly finding fault with everything made of wood. Not so with the Calypso's. All the parts went together smoothly and fit as they should. Craftmanship is a lost art with many companies....not so at GMA! The bass response is outstanding and the mids and highs are typical GMA stat-like sound. The imaging is amazing with great depth and instruments have proper timbre, size and placement. Vocals are to die for. They simply vanish in my room. They will play un-godly loud if you want them to. They are without a doubt the lowest distortion, most coherent 3 way speaker I have heard. I doubt you will find the need for a subwoofer with these speakers. I'll post a full review once they are broken in. Listen to these speakers before you purchase anything in this price range.