The Vandersteen Seven

A new speaker from Vandersteen Audio doesn't happen very often—Richard Vandersteen introduced his Model 2 in 1977 and the 2009 CES witnessed the debut of the Model 7, which, at $45,000/pair is the most expensive speaker ever from the frugal Mr. V.

But for that price, you get a feast of loudspeaker technology: As well as the new midrange unit described in my other Vandersteen blog entry, the new speaker offers active, equalized woofers using the same carbon-fiber/balsa-cone material, a fully balanced crossover, and an enclosure based on an carbon-fiber shell, finished in high-gloss automotive lacquer.

Richard was demming the Model Sevens with the cost-no-object Clearaudio Statement turntable and, as Wes Phillips reports below, Jim White's Atlas amplification, which can also be seen in Jon Iverson's photo. I asked to hear, as I had in many other rooms, Steve Ray Vaughan's "Tin Pan Alley" from his Couldn't Stand the Weather LP. Aah...expensive the Model Seven may be by the standards of the Vandersteen heritage, but not when compared with speakers that offer sound as refined, as dynamic, and as uncolored as the Sevens did at CES.

Dr. Herzenstube's picture

Oh brother. I have a pair of Vandy Quatros that I dearly love and have been pining away for a pair of 5A's, which if I scrape & save I might one day be able to afford. Now there's THIS bloody thing to lust after. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hear them someday. Richard V. is one of a kind, a real living legend, and approaches what he does with more simple integrity than most out there. I do think the finish is a little Dave Wilson-y though. C'mon Richard, don't they make nylon socks that big?

Frank's picture

Vandersteen has indeed been a hero of sorts, his 2Ce's are still hard to beat. I still prefer a real wood finished loudspeaker, but the evidence says we're trending away from that..

al's picture

I currently have a pair the the wood version of the quatros which I absolutely love. I actually preferred the sound over the 5A. I would love to add the 7 someday because of the built in Subs. Incredible bass. Richard has continually been at the forefront of technology, and as far as I'm concerned to my ear builds the best speakers out there today.