Customer Testimonials

Mark W is simply in love with the Vandersteen Treos

treoMy new Vandersteen Treos!

For many years I owned a very fine and highly regarded pair of audiophile speakers.  New, they were almost three times as expensive as the Treos, and I was extremely happy with them.  They were refined with great bottom-end extension and beautiful mids and highs.  They were my dream speaker.  A speaker I had lusted after for many years and was finally able to put into my home.

Not long ago I created a small office system with a pair Vandersteen VLR Wood speakers.  What blew me away with this little, reasonably priced system was its ability to completely pull me into the music.  The coherent, refined detail simply provided me with the ability to be part of the emotion of the performance even better than my main system could do.  My main system did other things better, but still I was completely and utterly smitten with the VLR’s.

After that it didn’t take long for me to replace my main system’s speakers with the Vandersteen Treos.  The Treos do everything my previous speakers were able to do but with the added thrill of connecting me more easily and more in depth with the emotion of the performance.  I don’t have to seek it out, it just happens effortlessly.  At the same time, what really amazed me was how well the Treos were able to take on music that my old speakers just didn’t do well.  The best way to describe it is: The old speakers could sip tea with their pinky in the air extremely well.  The Treos are capable of doing the same and even better, but when called upon the Treo’s can also do shots of whiskey with you.  Their ability to deliver energy with emotion is by far the best I’ve ever heard in my home.  The Treos have reacquainted me with a broader swath of my music library because they are so versatile and expose the emotion of the music so beautifully.  If it isn’t obvious, I’m simply in love with the Treos!


Mark W.



“David M’s Vandersteen 2ce Signature II update”


I have had these new Vandy’s for a while now and thought I would provide an update to my earlier impressions.

I am continually impressed by the ability of them to disappear and instruments, artists and recording spaces to appear. The subtle nuances of wood resonating from an acoustic instrument, and the perception of it’s actually the sound of a string exciting wood.  That’s just a small example.

From an HT perspective they mate well with the Vandersteen VCC-2s and my Paradigm Sub-15.  Dolby TruHD and DTS Master Audio sources sound superb.

On the somewhat down side of things, these are so revealing that much of my earlier CD collection is a chore to listen too. That said I am enjoying new hi-res material from places like HD tracks and Reference Recordings.  I am going to need a second employer as my collection grows.

Next I may dust off my old turntable and see where that takes me.


I hope all is well with you and yours.



“Dave E. on MASTERS”

A year ago I went into a high end audio store that I had frequented for years and bought a completely new speaker system.  The new speakers sounded wonderful.  I then recently decided it was time to buy a new receiver and I was stunned to discover that my audio store, a cornerstone of the Milwaukee area for generations, had closed.

I then started blindly calling high end audio shops, the first being Ultra Fidelis.  I explained to Jonathan Spelt what I was looking for in a receiver and that I had not been completely happy with my previous one.  Jon listened carefully and made some recommendations and suggested a course that I had not previously considered that would better meet my needs.   After that conversation, I called three other area shops but none of them offered the alternative solution Jon did.  They had things to sell me, good things, but with Ultra Fidelis I had insight, understanding and expertise.

When I called back to order the receiver, Jon suggested that what I really needed was for him to come to my home, install it, and based on his experience, reposition and adjust my speakers specifically for the room.  Now I was very happy with the way things sounded in my home, but reasoned that I spent a considerable amount of money, and so why not see if he could make a difference.

Jon spent an entire afternoon carefully listening and repositioning my speakers in a painstaking approach for both audio and DVD.  When he was finished the results absolutely astounded me.  There was depth, acoustical space, the clarity I seek as a classical music listener, and even height.   I had never been aware of the height of a sound stage before.  Jon’s presence in my home allowed my equipment to achieve its full potential.  The results were amazing.  I thought I had an excellent system, but Jon took it beyond my expectations.

David E.


“Jim O. loves his twin Audio Research DS450’s”

Hi Jon,

Just wanted to follow up with a note about the DS-450’s, now that I’ve had them for awhile.  As you know, I was pretty reluctant about switching power amps, seeing that I had a pretty nice pair of Reference quality amps which were very enjoyable to listen to.  If I had a sonic issue with those amps, it was only at the very highest of listening levels.  Being tube amps, they “fell apart” quite gracefully, but they were limited, given my very hungry speakers.

I was more than a little bit suspicious about the break in period with the DS450’s.  Goodness, these are solid state amps!  But, I followed the procedure anyway.  I was surprised when I “cheated” and listened to them early, that they sounded pretty good.  When they came into full bloom, I was blown away.  It’s as if (my speakers) are plugged into the wall socket.  Power is right now and inexhaustible.  And besides being powerful, they are amazingly smooth as well.  The highs of cymbals, and dynamics from horns and piano notes are very natural.

So here’s the weirdest part.  I have the DS450’s as part of a daily use a/v system, so I listen to them all the time.  What’s strange is that even if you are quietly listening to TV programming, the dynamics and musicality are all there.  Since all I’ve learned about hi-fi over the last 30 years makes me believe that it’s not possible, I’ve been searching for the flaw.  Surely, they are somehow coloring the sound to manufacture wonderful sound at all listening levels.  But try as I have, I can’t find a flaw.

I have inefficient planar speakers, but can imagine that for most systems one amp would be more than enough.  Thanks for sharing my skepticism early and then doing the work to help me believe.  I’m all in.




“Another happy Furman believer”

Hi Jon,

Well plugged it in and I wasn’t expecting much — how could I improve on what I have?  Results:  Blew me away — I put on Diamond’s Rounds four String Orchestra which I always listen to analyze anything — just breathtaking.  Heard some inner voices I never heard before, rosin on the bow — all that.  Christine was amazed too.  Then went to the new Beethoven violin Sonata set I’ve been working through:  Faust.  So I was very aware of the sound of that music — amazing, both the piano and violin — the piano especially because piano recordings can be muddy.

Got up early this morning to listen to George Winston’s Forest as the sun came up — The music is now clear, clean, and articulate — as if someone cleaned up its pronunciation.

Wow  — obviously, based on this, I’m not done.

Thanks a bunch, appreciated the listening experience — and again, thank you,



(Followed 30 days later by)


Hi Jon,

Here’s a Furman story for you.  When I hooked it up I wrote you about the wonderful sound — and then after a time everything sounds fine — and you lose the appreciation for the added vividness.  Well then I had an experience.

One of my favorite pieces of music is Mahler’s 4th especially Jonathan Nott SACD version from Tudor.  I love the soprano in the last movement but there was this one spot on the repeat where it sounded like the sound/music just stopped for an instant — like someone shut off the recording devices — this in the most crucial part of the piece for me — a drop out.  I played it over and over trying to figure out if it was a defect — SACD, regular CD, a different player — and I assumed it was a flaw in the recording itself and so there was no reason to send back the disc.

We’ll I played it for the first time in a long time yesterday.  The drop out was no longer there — it was a breath — you can hear her breath — and now it is entirely musical.  The recording didn’t get better by itself — something made the difference.  Seems as though the Furman saved this piece of music for me.

After the 1st of the year, we’ll start with cables.


Thought you might like this story,



“Note regarding your MASTERS Speaker set up”

I really appreciate the results of your Masters speaker set up at my house.

I was reflecting on it when I was recently auditioning a new audio component. The improvements the component added to my listening enjoyment got me excited about my music again, as these improvements always do.   It suddenly hit me that the improvement in my system because of your Master set up was more dramatic than the improvement realized by the upgrade in the audio component.  We are so conditioned to expect a tangible box of some kind for our hard earned money.

Plus, I think Iam the most frugal customer in High End audio.

So given all that, please take it as a compliment when I say that your Masters Speaker setup is an incredible value.

Al W.



“My New Furman Power Conditioner”

First of all let me say that my experience with Power distribution/protection/filtering/conditioning devices has not been good. At best they don’t damage the sonic performance of the system they are used with. More often than not they do and on top of that they cost you a lot to do so.

So I find myself in need of another power outlet for my system. I mention this to the guys at Ultra Fidelis and they say… “Oh my do we have a solution for you.” I come back with, “The government has not freed up any bailout money for me to replace my power distribution system you know.” Well it turns out the solution they had was very reasonably priced and given the fact that they’ve never steered me wrong (that’s a major understatement by the way), I went with it.

My only expectation was that it not do any sonic damage and give me the extra outlets I needed. So I brought home my new Furman Power Conditioner, put it in the system and fired it up; more to make sure everything worked rather than actually listen. Well I was immediately drawn into the system, I was almost laughing at how much better my system sounded. I sat down to one of my longer listening sessions in years. I was rolling through old favorites, new favorites, even some poorly recorded favorites and I never even transitioned out of the digital side of the system to play any LP’s. I wasn’t analyzing how the system improved; I was simply listening to music enraptured by the performances.

Now how did it improve my system? The best way to describe it is to say it seems like it took a huge wool blanket down that had been hung between me and the system. The sound stage became far less “cluttered.” The resolution, top to bottom, improved, especially in the lower octaves. Musical texture became more rich and luxurious and the human voice sounded so natural and unstrained. Prior to placing this device in my system, none of these aspects were bad, but this Furman Conditioner simply made them all better, maybe not all a lot better, but better nonetheless. I’ve never heard an upgrade to my system improve every aspect of its sonic capabilities like this thing did. The statement, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” has never been more true. By improving on every aspect of my system’s performance it jumped the beauty of my system up more than I would have ever believed possible, and for the price tag it’s almost ridiculous.