Audio Advice became a Vandersteen dealer in the early 80’s. I’ll never forget meeting Richard Vandersteen for the first time at CES. Here was this guy sitting in a chair with cowboy boots drinking a Miller beer. He turned out to be Richard Vandersteen, the founder of one heck of a great speaker company. At that time the Model 2 was the only speaker. It was just an amazing value for the money and still is today. Back then, for around $1000/pr you got incredible sound!

The original Vandersteen Model 2

The original Vandersteen Model 2

It was such a good value, and just so revealing of component differences, we used it as our primary reference speaker. I remember we had a pair set up with an Audio Research D70 tube power amp, Audio Research SP-8 preamp, an Oracle Delphi turntable with a Magnepan tonearm, and a Dynavector Ruby phono cartridge. Some Audioquest cables completed the system. I used to sit for hours and listen to this system, it sounded just so musical. We also had a Tandberg tuner connected. After the store would close on Saturday evenings, several of us would sit around and listen to the Garrison Keillor live radio show. The performers sounded like they were right there!

The more all of us listened to this system over and over, we obviously became pretty familiar with how it sounded. Richard Vandersteen and I had gotten into a habit of talking on Saturday afternoons. One Saturday I get a call from him. He was so excited he just had to share his discovery with someone. He told me to go take a broomstick, cut off two long pieces and wedge them between the speaker and the back wall! Well, lucky for us, we had some wooden dowels laying around. I measured to get them to fit just right, wedged them in there, dropped the stylus on the record (It was John Prine, Bruised Orange) and was blown away. Everything suddenly was much clearer and in focus. The bass definition improved by a mile! All for about $2 worth of materials! What Richard had discovered was the great deep bass the Model 2 could reproduce was causing the speaker to wobble on its flat base, especially if it was sitting on carpet like it was in our showroom and his lab. By wedging in the dowel, this held it steady. Richard went on the design a stand for the Model 2 that had adjustable spikes which would keep the speaker from rocking. Today, virtually every high performance speaker has spikes. It was kinda fun to be part of such an important discovery in speaker design!

The moral of this story is, if you have floor standing speakers sitting on carpet and have not spiked them, you should. Make sure you get them adjusted so they are level and do not rock back and forth. Then sit back and play some of your favorite tunes and you’ll more than likely be just as impressed as I was some 30 years ago!