The Vandersteen Adventure


October 17th, 2015

I flew to Portland (The West) to set up a wonderful system this past weekend.  Vandersteen 5A Carbons (newly updated) and a bunch of Audio Research and Audioquest paired with a nice VPI turntable.  The unusual part is this system had recently come home to the U.S. from China where it had spent its life so far.

We had shipped what I know to be the first pair of Vandersteen 5A’s to China over a decade ago for a Wisconsinite who moved there for business  He is making long term plans to come back to the U.S. permanently as opposed to occasionally, so it now makes sense to have the music gear back here.  The interesting part for me was that, rather than ship all his electronics back to their manufacturers for “U.S.-ification,” he had an electrician wire his listening room for 240 volt operation.  And here, it’s even balanced as opposed to what he got in China.


Hearing the sense of dynamic ease and grip made me wonder why we don’t all do that.  Oh, I know there are reasons (120 volts is safer, it’s what Edison’s orginal light bulbs drank, and it’s what we are served here, so many manufacturers won’t sell anything but 120 volt gear here), but if it sounds better, I say damn the torpedoes!  It’s got me scheming.

Kaitlyn Herzog