Vandersteen 1c Loudspeaker Reviewed

Vandersteen 1c Loudspeaker Reviewed

Using their patented aligned dynamic design Vandersteen has made a now classic in the Model 1C. These speakers reasonably high efficiency and offer a stable load allowing them to be powered by most decent amplifiers.

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Entering the world of high-end audio can be an exhilarating and terrifying experience, in that order. The exhilaration comes after first experiencing the jaw-dropping performance of a cutting-edge audiophile system. Then comes the horror of realizing that what you just heard probably costs as much as your home, or at least your car. Typically, one of two things happens at this point. Either the customer leaves the store shaking his head, never to return, or the customer tries to act calm while staggering back to the smaller audition rooms where the entry-level equipment is located. If he's lucky, there he will find a pair of Vandersteen 1c loudspeakers.

Additional Resources
• Read dozens of
audiophile grade floorstanding speaker reviews from the likes of Bowers & Wilkins, Paradigm, THIEL, MartinLogan, Magnepan and many others.
Follow AudiophileReview.com, a blog about audiophila, for insights on affordable audiophile speakers.http://audiophilereview.com/affordable-speakers.html

Richard Vandersteen has a long history of helping budding audiophiles get their feet wet with quality pieces, such as his entry-level $995 per pair 1c. The 1c utilizes an eight-inch woofer, a one-inch metal alloy dome tweeter and, like all Vandersteen speakers, a first order crossover network ensuring time and phase integrity of the signal. Phase is simply the motion of the driver in relation to time and Vandersteen is a firm believer that it should not be tinkered with by an overly complex crossover network. Time simply means that the sounds from the two (in this case) drivers arrive at the ear at the same time. In theory, preserving these as the original signal intended results in more precise imaging.

Having spent time with the 1c, it's difficult to argue with these concepts. The 1c is a remarkably open-sounding speaker that provides some truly amazing imaging and makes great music. If one is looking to rattle the walls, this is not the speaker for you, as there is only so much a single eight-inch woofer can do. However, if you are like most budget-conscious audio enthusiasts, then the virtues of the 1c will far outweigh its limitations.

Read about the high points and low points of the Vandersteen 1c on Page 2.

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High Points
• There is something magical about the imaging of Vandersteen speakers,
and the 1c is no exception, despite its low cost. A speaker such as
this, with correct phase/time design, is able to disappear and get out
of the way of the music.
• The 1c is an absolute value leader. I can't name many other audiophile speakers that do so much right for such a little investment.
• The 1c provides a stable impedance curve that allows it to be driven by anything, including small amplifiers and receivers, with excellent results.
• Vandersteen offers a very generous five-year warranty on the 1c, so anyone investing in this speaker can sleep easy, knowing that it will provide many years of enjoyment.

Low Points
• I will be blunt here: the 1c is not a very pretty speaker visually. It is little more than a rectangle with a black sock pulled over it.
• The 1c is not a magnetically-shielded speaker, so it cannot be placed closer than ten inches to a traditional television set, unless you like everything on your screen to look like an acid trip.

Conclusion
The Vandersteen 1c is a safe harbor in the often tumultuous world of high-performance audio.  This speaker is as close to a safe bet as one is going to find. For under a grand, you get a company with a long history of customer support, a five-year warranty and a pair of speakers that offer some truly amazing imaging and musical purity.

Additional Resources
• Read dozens of
audiophile
grade floorstanding speaker reviews from the likes of Bowers &
Wilkins, Paradigm, THIEL, MartinLogan, Magnepan and many others.

Follow AudiophileReview.com, a blog about audiophila, for insights on affordable audiophile speakers.

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