A Vandersteen Patent has recently expired--Vandy clones may be on the horizon

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 3224 times.

mgsboedmisodpc2

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 300
The below footnote was taken from the most recent Vandersteen Model 7 Mk. II Stereophile review.

"All the Perfect-Piston cones are handmade in Hanford, CA at Vandersteen Audio, along with the open, "aerodynamic" baskets of the 4.5" midrange unit. (This basket carried a patent for over 20 years, which only recently expired.)

I wonder which audio manufacture will use this Vandey design on any future loudspeaker design?

ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
There have been others who have broken the patent rules for years.  One is one of the most known brands in the history of speakers and headphones.  Other may try, but I highly doubt that others will build a speaker as good as Richard. They just don't have the time into it as it's not just about patents.  Interesting catch on your part that's for sure.  Thanks for sharing.

lowtech

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 487
I would wager that most of the better European OEM's have been using similar, or better, technology for at least the past decade.

 

If you've ever looked at some of the drivers that Vandersteen uses (even in their top-of-the-line speakers) they pale in comparison.  IMO.

ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
Ummm, pale in comparison???  Are you serious?  Pale how?  I always laughed at some of the folks who over engineer products and add major cost without adding sound quality. That said, Vandersteens drivers are built as well as anything out there.  It costs a lot of money or them to make them the way they do, but that's the only way for him to get the sound that he wants.  What most fail to understand is that Avalon (when Charley Hansen was there) and Richard Vandersteen are the only true pistonic driven drivers.  A lot goes into his drivers that you don't see.  Heck Wilsons still using cheap paper cone drivers in their speakers and those break up at 30 HZ and are distorted.  Sorry, but I'd have to disagree as to the quality not comparing to other drivers.  That said, SQ is what it's all about and most I know love their speakers, even if they have others.  I know of a lot of reviewers and manufacturers who own Vandersteen 5 or 7's and paid for them themselves, because they feel they are the best speakers in the world right now. 

zybar

Ummm, pale in comparison???  Are you serious?  Pale how?  I always laughed at some of the folks who over engineer products and add major cost without adding sound quality. That said, Vandersteens drivers are built as well as anything out there.  It costs a lot of money or them to make them the way they do, but that's the only way for him to get the sound that he wants.  What most fail to understand is that Avalon (when Charley Hansen was there) and Richard Vandersteen are the only true pistonic driven drivers.  A lot goes into his drivers that you don't see.  Heck Wilsons still using cheap paper cone drivers in their speakers and those break up at 30 HZ and are distorted.  Sorry, but I'd have to disagree as to the quality not comparing to other drivers.  That said, SQ is what it's all about and most I know love their speakers, even if they have others.  I know of a lot of reviewers and manufacturers who own Vandersteen 5 or 7's and paid for them themselves, because they feel they are the best speakers in the world right now.

ctsooner,

Your admiration for Vandersteen is certainly fine and in no way am I questioning it or asking you to change it.

That said, your posts come off as a super fanboy and as such, probably aren't taken as seriously as you would like.
 
There are lots of other great speaker companies out there and Richard Vandersteen isn't the only talented designer.  There is nothing bad or negative about that fact.

I currently own Vandersteen, Salk, and Spatial Audio speakers and I think all three are great.

Maybe dial it back a bit???

George

Folsom

It takes more than just a driver to copy a speaker.

ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
Zybar, that's more than fair.  I totally understand. I too like many other speakers out there and have owned them.  The new Proacs are the first ribbon tweeter I've liked, the older Avalons really did it for me.  I get that. 

What I was saying is that the Vandersteens, as you know are not using inexpensive built drivers.  Folsom, yes, of course a speaker is much much more than it's parts.  That goes for all gear.  There are only so many ways to skin a cat.

ZY, I can be a fanboy as you put it, for many speakers that I don't own but have enjoyed listening to over the years, but yes the Vandersteen line blew me away a couple of years ago when I first heard them.  I never gave them any thought since the early 90's when my local dealer had them, but didn't set them up right and the auditions stunk.  I just assumed the new ones were going to sound similar to what my dealer had auditioned for me years ago. 

Salk and Vapor are two lines I've not heard and want to, but that's a story for another thread. 

It's all good and thanks for calling me out as I do want to be taken seriously of course.  My main point still remains, that they use very high quality, hand built in most cases, drivers and implement them extremely well.  Other's have tried to copy them for years, so I guess that's flattery. 

JakeJ

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 2069
  • Summer in My Neck O' The Sand!
What most fail to understand is that Avalon (when Charley Hansen was there) and Richard Vandersteen are the only true pistonic driven drivers.

The only pistonic drivers in the world?  Might want to check out PMC.


I think Sony did some back in the seventies.

*Scotty*

Unless laser interferometry is used in the design process to analyze the cones behavior across the range of frequencies of its intended bandpass there is no way the mfgr. can be sure that they have accurate pistonic behavior. "Perfect piston" amounts to marketing speak most of the time. See image below generated with laser interferometry.

LINK TO GIF OF IMAGE ABOVE
http://www.optonor.no/Vibration.aspx
Scotty

ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
Vandersteen uses laser interferometry as shown in their Model Seven lit on the driver page of the midrange at 5K.  All of their tweeters are pistonic as well as all drivers in the Model Seven for their respective frequency ranges.

Guys, if you want to argue, RV is the guy to argue with.  Personally, I don't care one bit.  All I know is that I spent all day Saturday at Audio Connections and listened to Quatro's and the 7 mk 2's and enjoyed the music.  It was fun.  The common sound signature was point source with deep and tunefully tight bass.  All frequency's were right on.  Not saying that other speakers don't sound great, but over the last two years now, I've been sold on Vandersteen's.  I also love the new Proac D48R's and even the Maggies when set up properly sound great from the lower mids up to the upper frequencies.  I don't like the bass on the Maggies no matter what the set up, but that's me.  The Tidal speakers set up with all Tidal gear really sounded great to me also, but in the end I love the Vandersteen line up and down.

That's why  I'm selling the Treo's as I"ve stated.  I want the bass tuning ability of the Quatro.  We can talk about the perfect anything and it doesn't exist I guess, but to come as close as they are coming, to document it to show exactly what you are getting and to get the sound correct the way they do is amazing to me as we couldn't get this close just a few years ago. Other too are getting better and better.  As much as I don't like Wilson speakers, I like their new range better, but I still wouldn't own them. Same for the B&W Diamond 3 series.  Just not my cup of tea (my favorite two dealers sell these and are doing good with them). 

Not here to argue graphs or interferometry (I can't even spell the word, lol).  Just loving the music.  Is that a fanboy?  I hate that word, but use whatever words you like.  We all hear differently and if you are spending this kind of money, you need to go listen for yourself.  I've always said that.  Even when I did consulting years ago, I'd only let folks purchase what they listened to.  How many times have we all been surprised by going to listen to something and then being told to listen to something else and loving that OTHER product?  Well, that's my story with Vandersteen.  It's only since the advent of the newer speakers that I've loved them.  A few other lines are like that for me also.  I do still love Proac's too as I've owned them for over 25 years now in many of their iterations. 

See I can applaud many other lines and not just what I personally own.  I'm fortunate to be able to get out a lot and audition so many lines of gear.  Just lucky. 

hifiman5

Lucky you are ctsooner!  My area has gone dark on high end audio.  The home theater craze "took out" our brick and mortar audio salons.  I read a lot to learn what is out there and then must plan an "excursion" to actually audition equipment.  I'm guessing I am unusual for buying new speakers that I had never seen let alone heard.  My 30 history with Vandersteen Audio and what I read about the Treo Ct were congruent and matched my own personal experiences with his products.  That allowed me to take the leap and they, lucky for me, ended up being so much more than I was expecting.  No regrets.  Only lots of smiles.  I guess I'm quite lucky as well. :)

rotarius

I have owned Vandys with the patented basket and the drivers were nothing special.  I never liked that 4.5" midrange all that much, could not keep up with orchestral pieces.  I never heard the benefits of the patented design that has been touted for years so cloning them would not interest me.  Speakers did sound quite good when playing small jazz ensembles though.

ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
Hifiman.  Yes, I'm lucky.  So glad things worked out so well with the Treo's. I feel the same way about them.  It really was a treat listening to the 7's the other day with Ayre Ref Stack.  Just a treat. 


mgsboedmisodpc2

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 300
lowtech, curious but what loudspeakers use the pictured drivers


7x57

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 83
I bought a pair of Vandersteen 2Ci speakers in 1991. In 2001 I replaced them with VMPS Ribbon Monitor 1 speakers with the new Neopanel midrange, which is a true push-pull planar speaker using neodymium magnets. The cost was close to the cost of new Vandy Model 2 speakers, but the VMPS speakers were clearly superior in all respects: Can play louder before distorting, more dynamic range, better bass, 3 dB more efficient, and the real difference is the much better midrange provided by the Neopanel, which is about 3X the cost of the 2Ci midrange. The RM1 crossover network is also a bit more advanced.

When you crank up the sound to headbanging levels is where you really hear the superiority of the RM1 over the 2Ci. If you live in an apartment and have to keep the levels down, the difference is not so apparent, but since I live in a house and can crank the volume now, the RM1 is definitely superior to the 2Ci.

The Neopanel had a membrane so light that it weighed 1/2 as much as the air it pushed. Because of this, it was damped by the air it pushed and did not have the resonance effects of cone drivers. VMPS had the entire supply of these drivers, which were designed by Bruce Thigpen, the owner of Eminent Technology. Bruce manufactures his own line of planar magnetic speakers.

Vandersteen has one big advantage over VMPS. Vandersteen is still in business and Richard Vandersteen is still alive. Neither is true of VMPS. However, I will keep the RM1 speakers as long as those Neopanels are surviving, and they are noted for their robust nature and long life. One of my 2Ci woofers is buzzing, so they have been out of service for years. The twin 8" woofers of the RM1, plus the higher efficiency requiring 1/2 the power, make them much better at headbanging rock concert levels than the 2Ci. Vandersteens are NOT the end all and be all, but they are way above average.

ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
Vandersteen also will be in business long after Richard retires too. That may not be for quite some time, but with his kids in the business they will keep on going and growing I'm sure.  The newer Vandy speakers are so much better than even 10 years ago. It's amazing at what Richard has done using newer materials at hand.  It's just crazy. 

Lot's of fun speakers out there for us to all enjoy. 

walkern

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 358
If I'm not mistaken Celestion was using laser interferometry several decades ago.  I believe the first models to have pistonic tweeters were the SL6 and SL600s and 700s.  I always loved the sound of those tweeters.

Vandersteen uses laser interferometry as shown in their Model Seven lit on the driver page of the midrange at 5K.  All of their tweeters are pistonic as well as all drivers in the Model Seven for their respective frequency ranges.

Guys, if you want to argue, RV is the guy to argue with.  Personally, I don't care one bit.  All I know is that I spent all day Saturday at Audio Connections and listened to Quatro's and the 7 mk 2's and enjoyed the music.  It was fun.  The common sound signature was point source with deep and tunefully tight bass.  All frequency's were right on.  Not saying that other speakers don't sound great, but over the last two years now, I've been sold on Vandersteen's.  I also love the new Proac D48R's and even the Maggies when set up properly sound great from the lower mids up to the upper frequencies.  I don't like the bass on the Maggies no matter what the set up, but that's me.  The Tidal speakers set up with all Tidal gear really sounded great to me also, but in the end I love the Vandersteen line up and down.

That's why  I'm selling the Treo's as I"ve stated.  I want the bass tuning ability of the Quatro.  We can talk about the perfect anything and it doesn't exist I guess, but to come as close as they are coming, to document it to show exactly what you are getting and to get the sound correct the way they do is amazing to me as we couldn't get this close just a few years ago. Other too are getting better and better.  As much as I don't like Wilson speakers, I like their new range better, but I still wouldn't own them. Same for the B&W Diamond 3 series.  Just not my cup of tea (my favorite two dealers sell these and are doing good with them). 

Not here to argue graphs or interferometry (I can't even spell the word, lol).  Just loving the music.  Is that a fanboy?  I hate that word, but use whatever words you like.  We all hear differently and if you are spending this kind of money, you need to go listen for yourself.  I've always said that.  Even when I did consulting years ago, I'd only let folks purchase what they listened to.  How many times have we all been surprised by going to listen to something and then being told to listen to something else and loving that OTHER product?  Well, that's my story with Vandersteen.  It's only since the advent of the newer speakers that I've loved them.  A few other lines are like that for me also.  I do still love Proac's too as I've owned them for over 25 years now in many of their iterations. 

See I can applaud many other lines and not just what I personally own.  I'm fortunate to be able to get out a lot and audition so many lines of gear.  Just lucky.


ctsooner

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 265
Wow, what a youtube. I hope everyone gets a chance to view it.  That really puts it in perspective.  I find it interesting that so many other designers are trying to do the same thing now and some are.  That's one reason the costs are so high on so many drivers. I've never found paper cone drivers that I like and I am now assuming this is why.  Folks can spend money and R&D on special cabinets etc, but it still comes down to drivers and crossovers.  It just does.  Cabinets make a huge difference, but you don't have to spend most of the budget on them as Richard has proven.  If you do decide to do that, you get the 7's at 62k and you don't need to go into the six figure range.  JMHO