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vandersteen VCC-5 Review (Center Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 108 48.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 102 45.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 10 4.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 0.9%

  • Total voters
    222

Kennyknetter

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IMO, the results aren't that bad.


The response is a bit jagged in the very top end, but the notches are so narrow that I doubt it's audible.

The horizontal dispersion could be smoother, but it's a lot better than most other center speakers, thanks to the coaxial speaker.

There are better coaxial drivers though, but this design is almost 20 years old by now. By the old standards, I think it's pretty good!

It's heavy, but it's also housing a ton of material.

It's expensive, but it also handles quite a bit of power, especially for it's age.

It doesn't have a lot of output below 100hz, but a center speaker isn't expected to.


Sure, if it's still on sale, I wouldn't pay more than 600 bucks for it or so. But back then, I would argue that 2700 bucks wasn't too much to ask.
 

pseudoid

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Funny how measurements can topple cult classics so quickly.
I am fine w/my 3rd upgrade set of the Vandees 2c(x), as I have not known anything else which agrees more with our ears and the room.
I musta have had about 8 different (upper market) other pairs in the same room, over few decades.
IMHO: I haven't found any competitive and/or comparitive "Bang-for-the-Buck" set of speakers that I would be totally happy with, yet.
I'd vote for the headless PP for this center but my Vandees will not be "toppled", like some historic confederate statue... a "cult classic" or otherwise!
 

LTig

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I voted for the headless panther because with the original development costs payed for since ages, I see no excuse to sell such a flawed speaker at school a high price. At least the crossover should be redesigned with 2nd or 3rd order filters to let the midrange show its smooth FR. They could even offer a new crossover as upgrade.
 

pseudoid

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They could even offer a new crossover as upgrade.
Vandersteen gave up on the upgrade (for fee) route.
When I stated "w/my 3rd upgrade set", I meant 3rd purchased set (not "updated", per se). Sorry.
 

sarumbear

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In my opinion, it is unfair to judge or compare a location-specific or purpose-specific speaker (center, surround, ,...) on things like frequency response, directivity and music, in a standalone setting by itself.
These speakers are designed specifically to tweak response and directivity for their intended purpose/design goal, so music on a standalone speaker or even in stereo is going to sound awful.
The only fair way to do a listening test on these type of speakers is to substitute them into an existing surround sound system. Swap out the existing reference center/surround and place the one you want to test and then play the tracks you want to audition in full surround.
You are very mistaken. The centre speaker is the main speaker in a home theatre. The majority of the sound is generated by it.
 

SwampYankee

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In my opinion, it is unfair to judge or compare a location-specific or purpose-specific speaker (center, surround, ,...) on things like frequency response, directivity and music, in a standalone setting by itself.
These speakers are designed specifically to tweak response and directivity for their intended purpose/design goal, so music on a standalone speaker or even in stereo is going to sound awful.
The only fair way to do a listening test on these type of speakers is to substitute them into an existing surround sound system. Swap out the existing reference center/surround and place the one you want to test and then play the tracks you want to audition in full surround.
Directivity and horizontal dispersion are important to a center speaker's intended function. My very modest HT system has to serve listening positions across a 120-degree arc from the TV. I don't expect the same audio experience from all seats, but it does matter to me if some seats have awful vs acceptable dialog and center sound effects. I agree that listening to a center speaker in an HT would be an interesting addition to these reviews, but the measurements provided are plenty useful.
 

Remlab

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The HD in the 1 to 3khz range is most likely the first order crossover not rolling off quick enough on the tweeter, which is almost always the case when it comes to these types of designs. My old Dunlavy SC-1's blew out both tweeters for the same reason, and the 1st order crossover occurs at 3.5 khz with that model.
 

3125b

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I voted "poor". That's mainly based on the price to performance ratio. 2700$ is a lot of money, more than a KH 310 A, a superbly well engineered 3-way active speaker. I just don't see that here.
 

Daverz

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I'm hoping for Klippel measurements of a more representative Vandersteen model eventually. (No, I'm not shipping one of my Quatros to Washington.)
 

Putter

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KEF Q350 has a 5.6 reference score w/o EQ, is one of the better coax designs, and will likely EQ better than this speaker, at about USD300 per speaker when not on sale...

On the subject of "Made in USA", we have at least one local boutique speaker manufacturer here in Adelaide, Australia that offers better product at a lower price than the imported competition. I would not blindly accept that a speaker made in a "western" country should be 2x more expensive, just because labour costs more.
Maybe I'm a cheapskate, but by my calculation your could get five Q300's and still have enough left over for the AV receiver or for sub(s).
 
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FeddyLost

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20+ years old passive design with intention of getting coherent triaxial mady by 20+ years old drivers.
I'd say looks like very nice try. Good artifact of old age.

Of course, I see no reason to buy something like that now.
For 2,7K one can buy 8341 for example.
 

squeedle

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I'm hoping for Klippel measurements of a more representative Vandersteen model eventually. (No, I'm not shipping one of my Quatros to Washington.)
Agreed. This center channel seems like BS to me, no value proposition. The 2 series speakers however would be exciting to see properly tested. I believe Erin had lined up a pair, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing those results! :)
 

squeedle

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At least the crossover should be redesigned with 2nd or 3rd order filters to let the midrange show its smooth FR. They could even offer a new crossover as upgrade.
Vandersteen's whole philosophy is based on using 1st order crossovers due to time/phase alignment. I don't think he would ever use anything else.
 

richard12511

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Vandersteen's whole philosophy is based on using 1st order crossovers due to time/phase alignment. I don't think he would ever use anything else.

If his ultimate goal is time alignment(which it seems to be), why not just go active? That should allow even better time alignment, and do so without adding all those compromises in other areas.
 

sarumbear

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Vandersteen's whole philosophy is based on using 1st order crossovers due to time/phase alignment. I don't think he would ever use anything else.
A designer who is not an engineer.
 

sarumbear

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If his ultimate goal is time alignment(which it seems to be), why not just go active? That should allow even better time alignment, and do so without adding all those compromises in other areas.
Active in last century was analogue, which offered limited time delay functionality.
 
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