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commsysman's picture
Last seen: 22 min 1 sec ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

Could the Vandersteen Treo be the world's most perfect speaker?

For me, it certainly IS!! For its size and price it is completely without equal IMO.

I have had Vandersteen Model 3A speakers for many years, and have been to the CES and dealers all over the place for 20 years trying to find something better for under $10,000, but no luck.

Yes, there are many great speakers out there. but every one has some flaw that disqualifies it. The PSB Synchrony One, for example, is a wonderful speaker in most respects but simply does not have the dynamic response to reproduce a Steinway grand piano convincingly.

They either lack some dynamic capabilities, or do not image well, or some part of the spectrum is lacking in purity or SOMETHING. They all have significant flaws.

I bought the Vandersteen Treo because I thought it would be a significant upgrade to my Model 3A speakers.

Instead, I find that I have a speaker that has totally redefined for me what a speaker is capable of.for less than $20,000. I could not believe what I was hearing when I hooked them up. Instead of a slight upgrade, I have ascended to audio Nirvana.

Actually, i have only heard 3 other speakers that can produce the dynamic range and realistic tonal purity of both a Steinway grand piano and a full orchestra. They all cost over $20,000 and are 3 times the size of the Treo.

For a speaker of this size to do that, and it does, for only $6000, and in this size, is an accomplishment that leaves me awe-struck. The tonal purity of the Treos is awesome for any type of music and its dynamic range is unprecedented for a speaker this small.

For me, it is sort of like Ferarri anouncing a maximum-performance new model for $20K instead of the usual $200K.

I can only say that $6000 is cheap cheap cheap for what this speaker delivers.




Demondog's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 15 hours ago
Joined: Feb 22 2009 - 5:01pm
So I guess you like them?

So I guess you like them? Haha I bet they sound great. The Stereophile review of these was pretty interesting.

I'm intigued by the Vandersteens, and other time coincident speakers I've heard, including KEF, TAD. While I've not heard the Treo, I was very impressed with the Vandersteen Quatro in the Audio Alternative room at the last RMAF, and the Model 7 of course. The Vandersteens always sound very clear to me in the upper range.

I sometimes wish I was in a situation that allowed me to choose speakers based only on sound, but my wife has alredy made comments about "looks like a college dorm room." The Vandersteen asthetics just wouldn't help much in that area, being a little boxy looking. Another concern in my spot, would be the Treo's relative insensitivity as I feel like I'm starting to run out of gain with my amp combination on some lower level recordings, using speakers in the 88 dB range. Not a problem for most I know, and I do plan on replacing the amps,  but you know how that can go.

Good luck, and happy listening.

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 22 min 1 sec ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

Well, the Treo is basically the same speaker as the Quattro minus the subwoofer module. I am using a NHT B12D sub with them, but actually I don't even turn it on for most music. It has a lot of bass by itself.

In switching from the 3A to the Treo, I did not notice any difference in the power required to drive them, but there is a 2 db difference according to Vandersteen.

I am using an Audio Research LS-26, which has a lot of gain to spare, and a Bryston 3BSST2 amplifier, which has tons of power, but I'm sure I'm not using 10% of the available power to drive them. They do not drop nearly as low in impedance as the 3A, so they are not that bad a load to drive.

Vandersteen says any amp over 40 watts is OK, but who knows. It's the huge peaks in some music that will test that.

The way the Treo slopes back and tapers at the top keeps it from looking "boxy" in my opinion, and my wife, who thought they were too big from the pictures, really likes their appearance. They are certainly much much smaller than the 3A, which I could not bring from the old house to the new, because they were 16 inches wide. Visually, they seem to be less than half as big, but the sound is sure a lot better in every way.

We got them in the dark mahogany finish with black grilles, and the finish is beautiful.

Someone will be getting a heck of a deal on my previous speakers, which are Gallo Classico CL-3s; less than a year old. They are very good speakers. I am going to ask $1000 for those, and they are beautiful but not nearly as tall. If anyone is interested, send a PM.

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm

Bump. Just to get the spam post offthe top of this forum. 

Allen Fant
Allen Fant's picture
Last seen: 6 days 10 hours ago
Joined: Sep 12 2010 - 3:42pm
Nice guys! I,too, am a fan of

Nice guys! I,too, am a fan of the ARC preamp and a Bryston power amp.

Both the Treo & Quattro are on my short-list.

pulsetsar's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Jan 4 2012 - 7:56am
Additional Info?

Thanks to the OP for the post. I loved these speakers when I demoed them and just got a new pair. I'm waiting to break them in before doing any critical listening or setup tweaking (based on recommendations and the manual), though they already sound pretty amazing.

I'm wondering if  the OP / someone else familiar with the Treos can comment on the break-in period? The manual recommends 100 hrs. Is that enough? What about the sound do you think changed during this period (if anything)? I ask because I've leaned somewhat skeptical about the whole speaker break-in concept in the past. My PSB Image T6s changed only very slightly during the first few weeks of use and mostly sounded great right out of the box.

Also, can the OP / someone else comment on their listening position (ratio of speaker width to listening distance) and degree of toe-in? I know this will be very room specific, but it's helpful to have guides and know what people have found worked already.

Allen Fant
Allen Fant's picture
Last seen: 6 days 10 hours ago
Joined: Sep 12 2010 - 3:42pm
I would say 200 hours, at the

I would say 200 hours, at the very least!

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