30-year itch, downsizing from Vandersteen 2Cs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by William Bryant, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    It is indeed a time to enjoy listening to music!

    I downsized a few years ago before retiring. The Vandersteens have always seemed a bit too large in a smallish space where we love to entertain and socialize. Loudspeakers that are easy to move out of the way or even out of the room would make it a simple matter to add a couple of chairs when larger groups gather.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  2. There's no replacement for displacement. I can see the 2Cs being a bit too big but to keep on the Harbeth track, I wouldn't go smaller than the M30 model. I owned a pair of C7ES3 but ultimately felt they fell short and moved them on although I almost went back to the Harbeth M30.
     
  3. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    and stick with the speakers you have :cheers:
     
  4. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Given that we are now in a smallish room and enjoy socializing, this has been problematic. What I have does indeed sound nice, but it takes up room when we have friends over. Have you ever tried moving a couple of Vandersteen 2C speakers bolted to 60lb lead-filled stands? Ha!
     
    2channelforever likes this.
  5. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    I think my PMCs and stands weigh as much or more and yes I moved them when we “right-sized”. Glad I did :D:cheers:
     
  6. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    But back and forth every time company comes over?
     
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  7. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I remember when I was selling my Dynaudio speakers ob craigslist. I had a customer over to my house for a listen. He showed up early and my Harbeth P3ESR's were playing in my little home office. He walked in and looked at the Dyn's in the living room and quickly realized that they were not playing. He apologized for interrupting my band practice. I was playing some bluegrass on the Harbeth's. He asked if he could listen to the band and started walking to back of the house. He was absolutely stunned when he saw what was making that glorious sound. He then told me that he is a music teacher and could not believe how much like real instruments the Harbeths sounded. Obviously by the time he got to the small room where the system was playing he realized that the scale was smaller than a live band, but he had to put his eyes on the speakers to believe it. He did not buy the Dyns.
     
    William Bryant likes this.
  8. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    I have an upstairs stereo as well:righton::cheers:
     
  9. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Get the right speakers and who needs a gym membership!
     
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  10. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    I see on your profile that you also have small KEFs and Proacs. Should I listen to these as well, or would you recommend the little Harbeths?
     
    Art K likes this.
  11. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    I’m just trying to help :wave:
     
  12. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Helping my third hernia repair surgeon make his Porsche payments? Much appreciated!
     
    timind likes this.
  13. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    LOL:cheers::cheers:
     
  14. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    Couldn't you just look into getting extra compact portable seating and leave the speakers alone? 4 of these would be easier and cheaper than changing a beloved component.

    Robot Check

    [​IMG]

    Really, even if you entertain once a week, it doesn't seem worth bothering with the speaker change if you can find a workaround.
     
  15. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Good points. Well worth considering. But now let’s muddy the waters with my question about whether loudspeaker design has improved in the last 30 years. Since I’m already concerned about space constraints, since I’m already thinking about changing speakers for reasons other than sonic advantage, is there nonetheless any sonic advantage to getting new speakers? Will a modern Harbeth or KEF (within its limits) sound more lifelike than my 30 year old Vandersteens?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    bhazen likes this.
  16. onemug

    onemug Well-Known Member

    Do some research on the Legacy Studio HD. I have a feeling they may fit you needs. Around 1800 new and good looking monitors.

    I own them and their bigger brother, the Focus SE. The Legacy's are the only box speaker I've heard that can compete with the 'box-less' Magnepan and Apogee's that I lived with for 10 years.

    I've never heard any Harbeths but given what I've heard 'about' them, they would be on my short list of speakers to try out if I was going to go looking.
     
  17. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    You could. I like them all but with your background with live acoustic instruments I would staick to the Harbeth's or ProAc's.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  18. Luxmancl38

    Luxmancl38 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester NH
    The Totem Sky Tower comes in at around $2500. Easy to place w/full sound. I'd also look at the Totem Arro too.
     
  19. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    WAF filtered those out. She just didn’t like the look of them.
     
  20. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    I've owned 2 pair of Harbeths going back to 1980 with the original HLMkII when Dudley Harwood was still designing speakers.
    At the time they were a revelation.
    In the mid 90's I bought a pair of HLP3ES speakers.
    Far, far better than the previous speakers.
    These are great little speakers for your room & given the music you listen to as good as it gets imo.
    They will sound better than the circa 1980's Vandersteens you currently have.
    They won't go as deep obviously so pipe organ music will suffer but any system that doesn't dig to 16hz would suffer sa well, right?
    As some have suggested, perhaps go with a slightly larger Harbeth to give more low end & ease on symphonic or large ensemble acoustic music.
    The classic strength of Harbeth is in the midrange where the majority of music exists but will not disappoint from the mids on up & soundstage is exceptional.
    I would highly recommend searching Audiogon or other used site as folks who own Harbeth are not going to abuse them and any abuse will be evident.
    Best of luck with your search & keep us updated & please listen to speakers as much as you can
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  21. bhazen

    bhazen Infinitely Baffled

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I'm going to guess that yes, they will. All things being equal, etc. ... the technology, design concepts and materials have moved along. Yes, it's true that Harbeth and fellow travelers in the BBC tradition are still developing along the same lines, or using the same values; nonetheless, material progress has still been made.

    I'm going to venture you will be pleasantly surprised by how some newer speakers sound, playing the music you love.
     
  22. Get a gear rack on wheels so you can move it out of the way when necessary. And a motorcycle lift jack or modified small pallet jack to move the speakers. And modify the speaker stands if necessry so the jack can lift them conveniently.
     
  23. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    I agree with mongo, but you should really just go hear some speakers and decide for yourself, William.
     
  24. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Sigh ... road trip.

    I guess I shouldn’t complain. There’s a lot of breathtaking scenery between here and the coast.
     
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  25. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    You're in a good spot, since you love your current speakers and aren't in any rush. Take your time. Maybe you'll even decide to just keep what you have.
     
    bhazen likes this.

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