Vandersteen Quattro review in Stereophile

Some of you may recall the rather heated discussion that occured in this forum some months back stimulated from a "Watchdog" piece by Richard Hardesty that made it to these pages where he slammed the Wilson Maxx speakers.
Hardesty has been and still is a very avid supporter of Vandersteen designed speakers.
It was with great interest that I read Michael Fremer's review of the Quattro. It was a very positive review and he did bring up the previous thread that was generated here.
He admitted that maybe Hardesty was right about the sound of the Vandersteen's and declared the Quattro one of, if not the, best bargains in audio speakers. He also admitted that it was better in some ways{which are actually important to me} than the Wilson Maxx( a speaker I personally respect but don't particularly like for the money) and offered up a lot for much less money($44,000 vs $7500 including the required filters.)
It is not my point here to bring all this back up but to say I was glad to see that Fremer and Stereophile do honest reviews and I think he handled the previous disagreement well (after he heard for himself) with what I would consider somewhat of an admission that maybe Hardesty isn't as nuts as he was originally made out to be. I have always thought Fremer wrote excellent reviews and I had a feel for where he was coming from even though I certainly didn't agree with everything he said. I was disappointed how he responded to Hardesty but I'm truly glad to see his appreciation of what Vandersteen can do for a lot less money. Now he needs to review the 5a (or the soon to be released 5a Signature.) I think he would find, when properly set up like all Vandersteen's speakers, a real treasure for the money.
The regular "Sock" model was reviewed. In this review, MF was impressed with the resolution and openess of the speaker bettering the sound staging, etc. of the Wilson Maxx(his reference.) I think he said he had not heard better in this area.
The dealer in NC said the wood cabinet was better by what he thought 20%. I kinda find that hard to believe but I haven't actually heard the wood version and understand it is a little different cabinet(more than just the finish.) I did hear the sock version and was mighty impressed with its capabilities.
I also liked the smaller footprint with the built in subs. It is considerably smaller than the 3A Sig's and certainly the 5a's. I felt it to be an improvement over the 3A Signature and a pair of 2Wq's. It also has the 11 band equalizer of the 5a to precisely adjust the sound from below 120hz or so to the room. It also appeared to have a level control as well as a "Q" control. Lots of possibilities here with such a moderately priced speaker.
Of course it does require a little setup effort to get everything right just as all Vandy's do. Overall, I thought them to be an unbelievable bargain in todays market.
Re: Sock vs. Wood Quatro

I have been looking at the Quatro (among others; MBL, Acoustic Zen, Sound Lab) over the last month or so. My local Vandy dealer says that the Wood uses an improved tweeter (from the 5A) and that several other modifications were required during development of the speaker due to unanticipated impact from the use of the wood cabinet. The party line is that the wood is a superior speaker.

My own experience is that the "Sock", "Wood" and 5A are all (pardon the pun) cut from the same cloth and share very similar sonics. At this point, I'm leaning toward a pair of Socks.
bigtee,i agree with you,Fremer could have down-played the vandersteens and gave wilson the upper hand but he didn't... i have always enjoyed Fremers writing /reviewing abilitys and appreciate his honesty in the stereophile review... kudos mikey...
IMHO, the Quattro is one of the greatest values today. The catch is that you have to care more about music than hi-fi buzzwords like resolution and whether the flute is 2ft or 2 1/2 ft from the left speaker edge. Also if you listen in nearfield or want a speaker that you have to sit in some locked middle location than the Quattro is not for you. If you listen to orchestral and organ (as well as jazz, rock, country and everything else like me) and like a sound that spreads across the room and are not shy about realistic volumes, than belly up to the bar boys & girls.

The simple explanation is they sound like music to me and the only reason I didn't buy them was the dealer was too far away to allow for a home trial.
If you listen to orchestral and organ (as well as jazz, rock, country and
everything else like me) and like a sound that spreads across the room and are
not shy about realistic volumes, than belly up to the bar boys & girls.
Does this mean they have to be cranked up to sound good?

And by the way, folks, Quatro has just one "t".