wet blankets, CSNY and what a difference a DAC makes

About a year ago I purchased a pair of VanderSteen 1ci ’ s.

I’m not so sophisticated that I can go into a store and buy "what sounds good" - I need the reviews too.

One comment that reviewers said was that Vandersteens sound like a speaker with a wet - blanket thrown over them.

I’ve never understood the comment and still don’t.

If it is a reference to the high end, it is the exact opposite of my experience. I found the the 1ci shrill at first, actually hurting my ears on the high end. I’m not sure what changed - placement, break - in, or fiddling with the tweeter adjustment, but that’s better now.

It can’t be a reference to volume. My teenage son, who I swear has bionic hearing, tells me my music is "really loud".

And - since the purchase of a second-hand Teac DAC - I’ve found the bass UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, I had no idea a dac could do so much. I’m talking feeling the bass even at low volume levels.

Even a CSNY CD I purchased some 25 years ago was somewhat redeemed (although I’m still convinced the engineer accidentally pushed the sliders to "off" for all frequencies above 2k).

What next? I don’t know if you, dear reader of my post, experience this, but I find the more I improve the sound of my system, the more I want to continue to improve it.

I guess first off a set of improved tubes for my amp.

Then ... Vandersteen 3? Harbeths?

Ahh well.

Ooh boy are you looking for trouble!

As one of the resident Vandy fanboys, I would suggest getting at least one 2wq sub to complement you great speakers. After that buy an Ayre Codex DAC.
What are you using for amp and pre?
One thing I will say from experience - DON'T CARE WHAT OTHERS SAY.
Your experience is what it matters. I had similar experience very recently when auditioning different loudspeakers. One of the loudspeakers that folks generally say as sounding harsh/shrill at high frequencies, was sounding really awesome. System matching is important. In their systems a loudspeaker might sound bad, but in another system it may sound very good. And besides, how many people do you think actually take care about placement and room treatments? Just have fun and enjoy your music. That is all that should matter.
((((One comment that reviewers said was that Vandersteens sound like a speaker with a wet - blanket thrown over them.)))
(((I’ve never understood the comment and still don’t.)))

That comment was made from an audio dealer with an agenda.
They were so tired of losing sales to Vandersteen that he came down with Vanderphobia.
 First, signs of this Vanderphobia are foaming at the mouth, constant babblings, persistent hopelessness also consistently attempting penetration using negative persuasion.
 All it takes is one listen.
 Best JohnnyR
 Vandersteen Dealer 27 years
Great comment--love when Johnny weighs in!  Full disclosure, Vandersteen 5 owner (and lover).  
With an integrated, I don't know if you can take advantage of the Vandy sub, as it requires a pre out and amp in. I only make the suggestion because the Vandy 1's really benefit from a little more bass from a sub-heck, even my old 3a sigs benefited from the subs. They just give the music that subtle nudge towards realism.
 Maybe Johnny can make a suggestion. He's the man to contact (other than Mr. V.) about things Vandy.
@gdnrbob Funny you should bring that up. I was on the phone today with Johnny R. and David Belles and we confirmed you can run a sub on the Belles Aria by connecting a high pass filter to the MON OUT and MON IN jacks. I don't know, however, if this will work with the PrimaLuna Prologue 1. Perhaps John could chime in.......