THE MODEL 3A Signature
Since 1977, Vandersteen Audio has designed and
built innovative loudspeakers using advanced design concepts. Minimum-area baffles
eliminate virtually all cabinet edge and grille diffraction anomalies while mass alignment
of driver elements insures proper time arrival. Vandersteen Audio was the first
loudspeaker manufacturer to use the Gen-Rad 2512 FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) Computer
Analyzer for in-house research and development and remains a leader in interfacing complex
computerized analysis of loudspeaker parameters and performance with practical design and
The Model Three benefits from our years of experience
designing and building loudspeakers of unparalleled value and performance. It couples
proven technology with advanced materials, construction and design for a speaker system
that is always true to both science and music. The Model Three is completely upgradable.
As future improvements in technology and/or materials enhance the capabilities of the
speaker, cost-effective updates will be available to upgrade existing speakers to the
latest components, performance and specifications.
THE ACTIVE COMPONENTS
The components used in the Model Three 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 our experience in FFT computer analysis and extensive
research into the negative effects of diffraction, we developed a unique, proprietary
midrange driver (Patent # 5073948) that outperforms previous 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 Three is cohesive and smooth with a level of inner resolution
unequaled by other loudspeakers.
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. Filled polycones are
used on the woofer and midrange to insure high stiffness, superior internal dampening and
greater neutrality than metal alloy, woven plastic or treated paper cones. The stiff, low
weight polycones resist flexing under all drive conditions for lower distortion and
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 Three operates much more
closely to the ideal than conventional ported or passive designs.
The crossover in the Model Three 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 Three 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 Three'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
THE ALIGNED DYNAMIC DESIGN
The Model Three 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 for the Model
Three due to its many potential advantages:
- Precise, more dimensional imaging and a wider listening
- 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
- Increased efficiency and improved dynamic range.
Each Vandersteen Audio Model Three 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 Threes.
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
At Vandersteen Audio, we believe that these qualities are
fundamental to your enjoyment of your music. We are pleased to have embodied these
qualities in a speaker whose simple, but elegant, physical presence complements the decor
of your listening room. We are devoted to continue building distinguished loudspeakers
that make a statement about the importance of music in your life.
- ACTIVE ACOUSTIC COUPLER
Long excursion, dual-spider 10" with die-cast basket and aluminum alloy cone
Heavy-duty 1 1/2" four-layer voice coil with ventilated aluminum former
60 oz. linear excursion magnet structure with focused field pole piece and copper rings
Range of operation: 26Hz - 35Hz1" critically damped metal alloy dome
Long excursion 8" with die-cast basket and curvilinear polycone
1 1/2" two-layer voice coil with ventilated aluminum former
40 oz. linear excursion magnet structure with focused field pole piece
Range of operation: 35Hz - 600Hz
4 1/2" with linear surround and curvilinear polycone
Proprietary high performance die-cast basket and magnet structure
Ferrofluid voice coil cooling
Range of operation: 600Hz - 5kHz
- TWEETER (Model 5 Type)
Ferrofluid voice coil cooling
Range of operation: 5kHz - 30kHz
Even with advanced test equipment and complex
computer analysis, loudspeaker design remains an incomplete science. No measurements
currently available can fully convey the sound of a speaker or provide a meaningful
comparison between differing designs.
The truth is in the listening.
6 ohms nominal 4 ohms minimum.
87dB with 2.83 volts of pink noise input at 1 meter on axis.
- RECOMMENDED AMPLIFICATION
100 to 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms.
The amplifier must be stable into a 4 ohm load.
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE
26Hz to 30kHz 3dB
30Hz to 22kHz 1.5dB
By FFT step function.
26Hz to 17kHz 3dB
30 degrees off axis.
- CROSSOVER FREQUENCIES
600Hz and 5kHz
First-order, 6dB per octave.
Dual inputs allow bi-wiring with a single stereo amplifier or passive
vertical bi-amplification with two identical stereo amplifiers.
- INPUT CONNECTIONS
2 pair of heavy duty screw terminals.
- CABINET FINISH
Hand-matched and finished natural oiled wood veneers.
- VIDEO APPLICATIONS
Main or surround speakers
The Model Three is not magnetically shielded and should be positioned
at least 10 inches away from a direct view television set.
- PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS
48" high x 16" wide x 10 1/4" deep.
102 pounds gross, 90 pounds net.
One year, extendable to five years by registering the free optional warranty within 30
days of purchase.
The Model 3 series speakers are designed for complete upgradability.
As future technological advancements improve the model's capabilities,
cost-effective updates will be available to upgrade existing speakers to the
latest components, performance and specifications.
Specifications and design are subject to change without
notice due to our ongoing research and development program.
Please contact Vandersteen
Audio for complete product information and performance graphs.
to Vandersteen Price List
Copyright 2004 Vandersteen Audio, Inc.