To Peter Roth,

I was reading your review of the Vandersteen Seven and your comments were similar to my impressions when I heard the speakers last week at Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica, California. I currently have the 5As and they almost sounded broken when I got home and listened to my stereo. They sound better now that my memory of the Vandersteen Sevens is fading. I am considering purchasing the Sevens but wanted some suggestions of other competing speakers before pulling the trigger.

My current system is mostly ARC: Ref 5 preamp, Ref Phono, VM220 amps, EMM Labs XDS1 disc player, and Nottingham Dias turntable. I really like the 5As and the system sounds great with the current electronics. Thanks for any suggestions.


I have heard a lot of speaker systems, but none tempted me away from my Vandersteen 5As . . . until the Sevens. I have ordered a pair, which will become my new reference. I know that Randy Cooley at Optimal Enchantment is all about the tubes, and for good reason, but I really think having a great solid-state power amplifier (like the Ayre MX-R monoblocks, which I own -- look for my review on December 1) pairs beautifully with the Vandersteen Seven, the Seven being more demanding on the amplifier than the 5A. Richard Vandersteen also uses the Ayre MX-Rs at home with his Sevens.

If I were to go a different route, the few speakers that have repeatedly impressed me are the Vivid Giya (I especially like the G2), theTAD Reference Ones, and the Rockports. I have not yet had enough time listening to the newest Magico, but I do like that brand quite a bit too. I think the G2 is similarly priced to the Sevens; their US importer, Philip O’Hanlon, lives just down the road in San Juan Capistrano, so you could probably hear them there. In any event, I prefer the Vandersteen Sevens that are a truly a fantastic value, even though expensive, and I can’t wait for my pair to be built , but at the moment there is a several-month queue.

Glad you liked the review, and keep on reading Ultra Audio and the rest of the publications that are part of the SoundStage! Network. . . . Peter Roth