The Vandersteen Treo CT’s were awarded The Absolute Sound’s “Editor’s Choice Award” (Loudspeakers $5000-10,000) in 2016:
The question is actually a very simple one: Are you an audiophile whose ears are attuned to the sound of live, unamplified acoustic music performed in a natural setting—traditionally defined in these pages as “the absolute sound”? If the answer is yes, Vandersteen Audio would very much like to talk to you. For this is the milieu of its Treo CT, a mid-sized floorstander that, at $7990, resides midpack in the Vandersteen lineup. It’s a loudspeaker that has an uncommon reverence for the music that poses the greatest challenges to an audio system. Reproducing
the context and complexities of performance and venue, harmonics and ambience, the micro and the macro is where the Treo CT shines at its most brilliant.
The Treo CT silhouette will be instantly familiar to longtime audiophiles, and not just to Vandersteen fanciers. Elements of this classic look—the slanted front baffle to time-align the drivers, the cabinet widening and deepening as its non-parallel sidewalls flow into its base—have appeared in varying degrees from makers as disparate as Thiel, Avalon, Rockport, Wilson Audio, and, more recently, newcomers like Ryan Audio.
The Treo CT is a four-way floorstanding loudspeaker in a bass-reflex enclosure. (The single port fires downward from the speaker’s base.) It shares its general architecture and transducers with the Quatro Wood CT—a hybrid iteration with a powered bass system. CT stands for carbon tweeter—an evolution of the driver type first developed for the Model Seven flagship, later migrated to the Model 5A Carbon, and now an option with the CT (the standard Treo lists for $6900/pair). For Vandersteen, carbon-driver cones offer the pistonic linearity of metal drivers without their inherently unnatural and amusical sonic colorations (known as ringing in some circles).