Model 3A Signature Floorstanding Speaker (pair)
It’s a big speaker that plays really big, and yet fully realizes all of the nuance, finesse and detailed musicality of a Vandersteen.
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Vandersteen Audio Model 3A Signature Floorstanding Speaker (pair)
The Model 3A Signature is a classic Vandersteen in being an extreme-performance hot rod in a brown paper bag. Prior to the introduction of the Quatro in 2006, the Model 3A Signature alone bridged the Vandersteen line from the Model 2 to the Model 5. The Model 3A Signature is loaded with the quality parts typically found in cost-no-object designs.
The components used in the Model 3A Signature combine classic durability and strength with innovative design and construction. The metal-alloy dome tweeter is a dual-chamber design to improve range and linearity. It is critically damped to extend the high frequencies past audibility without the excessive ringing associated with open or underdamped metal dome tweeters. The specific alloy used for the dome was chosen for its superior strength and resistance to break-up.
With experience in FFT computer analysis and extensive research into the negative effects of diffraction, we developed a unique midrange driver that held a patent (US Patent # 5073948) for over 20 years before expiring recently. This woven-fiber, aerodynamic midrange is the same driver employed in the Treo, Treo CT and Quatro Wood CT. This midrange outperforms other designs in several significant parameters. In conventional cone midranges, the acoustic energy from the back of the cone immediately strikes the front of the driver’s magnet assembly and is reflected back through the cone and into the listening room. This distorted secondary signal created by the internal diffraction smears the sound of the driver and inhibits true transparency. The frontal area of the magnet assembly on the Vandersteen midrange is minimized through the use of advanced materials and construction techniques to reduce internal diffraction and the resultant distortion to inaudible levels. With the elimination of this distortion, the sound of the Model 3A Signature is cohesive and smooth with extraordinary inner detail and resolution.
The active acoustic coupler and woofer use costly cast-metal baskets rather than the more common stamped baskets. The cast-metal baskets’ inherent rigidity and superior vibration control increase cone movement accuracy and resist sympathetic resonances for cleaner and more natural sound. Mineral-filled polycone is used on the woofer to insure high stiffness, superior internal dampening and greater neutrality than metal alloy, woven plastic or treated paper cones. Stiff, low-weight polycones resist flexing under all drive conditions for lower distortion and increased detail.
The dual-spider active acoustic coupler accurately complements the woofer to reduce box loss, thermodynamic loss and active/passive transfer nonlinearities. This novel Electro- Mechanically Optimized Woofer System provides powerful, detailed and extended bass response as the Model 3A Signature operates much more closely to the ideal than conventional ported or passive designs.
The crossover in the Model 3A Signature is comprised of transient-perfect, first-order networks designed to preserve the phase integrity of the music. It is compensated to allow the drivers to operate in absolute phase with each other for more precise and stable imaging than in conventional multi-way speakers using out-of-phase drivers. The crossover’s computer-grade components, including low impedance air-core inductors and high-quality film capacitors in the signal path, are hand soldered on a double-sided, plated-through PC board tested to insure less than 0.1dB deviation from a reference circuit. Like all Vandersteen Signature Products the crossover is hand tweaked with the speaker in an anacoic chamber into matched pairs. Custom 6N wire with polypropylene dielectric is used for internal wiring to maximize signal transfer.
The crossover is engineered for bi-wiring with a stereo amplifier or passive vertical bi-amplification with two identical stereo amplifiers. Inputs are heavy-duty screw terminals.
The baffles holding the drivers on the Model 3A Signature are as small as possible to eliminate virtually all of the early reflections that affect dynamic speakers with conventional flat or low diffraction baffles. Reducing both early reflections and edge diffraction improves the imaging and enhances the openness and transparency of the speaker.
The Model 3A Signature’s enclosure is constructed of 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick MDF, an advanced material that resists vibration and reduces cabinet resonances. Broad-spectrum, low-Q resonances are controlled so as to cancel rather than become additive.
The Model 3A Signature uses the proven Vandersteen Aligned Dynamic Design to optimize the dispersion and transient accuracy of the drivers while maintaining the input signal’s time and phase integrity. The drivers, their positioning and their associated minimum baffles were developed with the aid of FFT computer analysis to minimize diffraction, cone break-up, multi-driver interference and out-of-band phase irregularities. The construction, alignment and positioning of the drivers allow a point-source wave front and maximize the phase coherence of the loudspeaker at the listening position.
The Aligned Dynamic Design is used due to its many potential advantages:
-Precise, three-dimensional imaging and a wider listening area.
-A greater flexibility of placement options within the listening room and better transient response.
-A high level of genuine transparency and detail typical of planar speakers without the distortions and response variations of multi-directional dynamic loudspeakers.
-Increased efficiency and improved dynamic range.
Each Vandersteen Audio Model 3A Signature undergoes rigorous testing and retesting during each phase of construction. Each driver and crossover is tested for proper operation and computer matched to within 0.1dB. After final assembly, each pair is high-power sweep tested for structural integrity and FFT computer analyzed for correct response and performance compared to a model reference. This intense commitment to product quality and reliability is unsurpassed in the audio industry.
Music is pure in its dimensions. Vandersteen loudspeakers are true to the original dimensions of the music. They preserve its carefully crafted proportions and weight. They accurately convey the composition, shading and timing that build an involving experience. They reveal the power, the authority, the subtlety and the intimacy of the music.
This dimensional purity is the essence of the Model 3A Signature. It allows them to recreate the music’s original scope and passion. You hear deeper into the music and better understand the feelings forming its foundation. You become more involved in the music as its complex inner structure is revealed with increased clarity and realism.