VANDERSTEEN: Treo loudspeaker test review

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Model Seven Mk II_Grille-On

John Atkinson (Stereophile) writes:

In one sense, Richard Vandersteen has been the victim of his own success. His Model 2 loudspeaker (footnote 1), introduced at the 1977 Consumer Electronics Show, put his company on the map but proved a hard product to improve on. Based on the idea that the HF and midrange drive-units should have the minimal baffle area in their acoustic vicinity, both to optimize lateral dispersion and to eliminate the effects of diffraction from the baffle edges, the Model 2 also used a combination of a sloped-back driver array and first-order crossover filters to give a time-coincident wavefront launch.

But of perhaps equal if not more importance to the commercial success of the Model 2 and its variants—more than 80,000 pairs had been sold by the turn of the century, and the speaker is still available as the 2Ce Signature II—was the fact that Vandersteen had offered the speaker at a price significantly lower than should have been possible for the sound quality on offer: $1125/pair in 1986, and only slightly higher, $1295/pair, in 2000. He managed this by dispensing with the usual wood-veneered enclosure, instead surrounding the speaker's carcass with a black rectangular sock.

And such was the Model 2's performance/price ratio that it wasn't until .........

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Thank you. Neil McCauley / Editor in chief

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