Q on the inevitable upgrade path.


I currently have a HT system (Vandy 2Ce's, VCC-1, VSM-1 with Hsu VTF -2) driven by B&K AVP 4090 and B&K AV 500 II. System sound good but not getting enough goose bumps/emotional connection to the music/movies, particularly music. My room is 18.5x10.5 and 10 ft ceilings, Front speakers are 2 feet from wall and 10 feet from me.

Question on upgrading, thinking of getting Maggie 1.6 QR's to start and then building an all Maggie system around it. Other option is to upgrade the Vandy's to 2Ce Sig's and/or get a better pre/amp (thinking Outlaw 950 and a 150 or 200W/channel amp).

Any suggestons what would work well for me.

Types of music is very varied, lots of jazz/blues, classical (opera and symphony) and some hard rock.

Maggies might be a bad idea.

how many people watch movies with you? If it is just you and the better half then it might be ok, but if you have several people over then they probably wont be able to enjoy the sweetspot with the planars. Not to mention it might be hard getting those maggies to breath properly in that space. Im not so much worried about the fronts as the rears.

I used to have a Definitive Technologys HT setup that blew my mind, man that sounded good. might want to check into those as well, next time i build a HT im definatly going back to the Deftechs. Talk about making the hair on the back of your neck stand. thinking about the chase scene with Jengo Fett and Obe-Wan with the Seismic charges in "Attack of the clones"
It's always tough to give someone else advice about their HT systems, since your listening room can have such a major impact. That said, and given your current system, I'd personally suggest upgrading your speakers to the Vandy 3A Signatures. They are a quantum step up from the Vandy 2Ce's. Then, if your budget allows (either now or later), add a pair of Vandy 2Wq subs, which will not only increase the "goose bump" factor for movies, but will also make a significant improvement in your musical listening enjoyment. You can take a look at the description of my system (see link below) to see one person's approach.

I have a rather strong bias, the result of some 40 years as an audiophile, that the single most dramatic change / improvement you can achieve in your system results from improving your speakers. In most systems today, the speakers are the only electro-mechanical transducer (phono cartridges are the other type), and transducers are subject to the greatest non-linearity of any audio component. A really good pair of speakers will allow you to get the best performance from your other upstream components, thereby making it the best first step before upgrading other components.

One other comment: given the dimensions of your room (rather long and skinny, with moderately high ceiling), I suggest that you move your main speakers closer together. Based on my experience with Vandies (owner since 1988), I have found that the Vandy 2-series and 3-series speakers need to be more than 2 feet away from the side walls. Try moving your speakers from 2.5 to 3 feet from the side walls and see if that improves your imaging and bass response.

Scott C-