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[ http://www.vandersteen.com/ ]Company Profile

Every Vandersteen loudspeaker is designed to be as accurate and as true to the original music, voice or sound as possible. To do this, we had to abandon conventional loudspeaker engineering concepts with their inherent limitations and develop new designs with greater performance potential. As you can see in the cut-away picture, Vandersteen speakers have a very unique internal design. We discovered that the baffle holding and surrounding the drivers in a conventional speaker affects the sound of the drivers just like holding CD cases on either side of your mouth affects your voice. Mounting the drivers in individual, minimum-sized, curved-edge enclosures rather than a baffle or front panel dramatically reduces early reflections and diffraction and significantly improves our loudspeakers’ performance. This boxless mounting of the drivers provides an open sound and allows the texture and dynamics of each instrument, sound and voice to be reproduced with astonishing detail and transparency. To insure that the outputs from the different drivers all reach the listener at exactly the same instant, the individual driver enclosures are staggered to perfectly align the drivers. The aligned drivers are all connected in positive phase so that they push and pull in unison.

Each frequency range is reproduced by a single driver to escape the detrimental effects of multi-driver interference. Above the omni-directional deepest bass, the drivers all fire forward to insure easy placement and avoid the distortions and response variations of multi-directional (bi-polar) designs. Round dowels support the open-center wood top and acoustically transparent grille cloth. The surface areas of the dowels and wood top are minimized to insure that their vibrations are not audible. Although it has often been shown that anything round—like a broom handle—leaned up against a speaker is inaudible, we have set the dowels at carefully calculated distances and angles from the drivers to insure that they do not cause any audible interference. So while the Vandersteen design does not lend itself to the currently popular narrow look, the narrow speakers that simply round their baffles, cover their baffles with an absorbent material or use fitted grille frames to reduce diffraction do not offer the uncompromised performance of our aligned, baffleless, phase-correct design. Beyond the sonic advantages, our design also allows a distinctive look that is cost effective and visually pleasing. In a conventional speaker, the wood veneered cabinet is often the most expensive component. (Over 65% of the total manufacturing cost.) The veneer takes considerable time and skill to finish and the entire cabinet is useless if it is even slightly scratched or dented during assembly. With their unique construction and grille cloth wrapped finish, our cabinets account for less than 16% of the total manufacturing cost. We are able to invest these huge savings in the drivers and crossover parts directly responsible for sound quality. With better critical components than many speakers costing three times as much, each Vandersteen model is an exemplary value offering superior performance, reliability and consistency.

The design and physical appearance of our speakers have proven to be very flexible as the small amount of exposed wood allows them to blend into and complement a wide variety of decors. (See your dealer for information on custom finishes.) Due our popularity and wide acceptance, other companies have tried to make their speakers look like Vandersteens. But don’t be fooled, behind the grille there is a box speaker with all the box speaker problems.


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