Model 1Ci

This is an older model that is no longer available. Please see 1Ci+ for current product and pricing. The Model 1Ci is living proof that designing and building a great entry-level speaker doesn't require as much ingenuity and skill as a cost-no-object flagship- it requires even more! The Model 1Ci is a time- and phase-correct speaker constructed in such a way that the alignment and positioning of the drivers allow a point-source wavefront and maximize the phase coherence of the loudspeaker at the listening position. Dimensional Purity in a shockingly affordable full-range speaker.

Starting at $1,715 / Pair With Stands

Prices shown do not include duty, taxes, or freight

Available Finishes

Click on Finishes to Enlarge

(*) indicates upgrade finishes.

Vandersteen Audio has done its best to photograph these wood finishes on each product page, but please know that while the woods we receive from our vendors are unfailingly high in quality, no two pieces of wood are ever exactly alike. This is dictated by nature. We promise that your speakers will look gorgeous, but not that they will precisely match the photos you see on our website or on our dealers’ in-store demo speakers.

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"They nail the musical fundamentals better than some speakers I’ve heard that cost 20 times as much." -Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio

"I was just reading about the new 2Ce Signature III, and they sound like a fantastic new iteration. I've had my 1Ci's for about 4 years and have enjoyed them immensely. I hope you never cease production of these two iconic speakers; they are speakers for the real world, and they represent the pinnacle of American quality, ingenuity and pride more so than most any product i can think of! My 1Ci's with my Belles Aria Integrated amplifier make me forget the hardware and enable me to get lost in the music. Thanks RV for all you've done for people who want great speakers at sane, sensible prices!" - Steven O - Vandersteen Owner

The active components used in the Model 1Ci combine classic strength and durability with innovative design and construction. The woofer uses the same type of cast-metal basket used in costly esoteric loudspeakers. The cast-metal basket's inherent rigidity and superior vibration resistance increase cone movement accuracy and reduce sympathetic resonances for cleaner and more natural sound. A filled polycone is used to insure high stiffness, superior internal dampening and greater neutrality than metal alloy, woven plastic or treated paper cones. The stiff, low-weight polycone resists flexing under all drive conditions for lower distortion and increased detail. The Model 1Ci's transmission-line port extends bass response while operating much closer to the ideal than any of the more conventional ported or passive designs.

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 compared to common fabric and plastic domes. The quality materials and advanced features of the Model 1Ci's tweeter result in smooth and accurate response throughout the audible range.

The crossover of the Model 1Ci is a transient-perfect, first-order network designed to preserve the phase integrity of the original sound. It is compensated to allow the drivers to operate in absolute phase with each other while maintaining flat amplitude response. This gives the Model 1Ci more precise imaging and a more stable soundstage than conventional two-way speakers using out-of-phase drivers. The crossover's computer grade components, including film capacitors in the signal path, are hand soldered on a double-sided, plated-through PC board for enhanced consistency and reliability.

The baffles holding the drivers on the Model 1Ci 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 imaging and enhances the openness and transparency of the speaker. The enclosure of the Model 1Ci is constructed of MDF, a pressure-formed material that effectively resists vibration and controls cabinet resonances. Broad spectrum, low-Q resonances are controlled so as to cancel rather than become additive.

To insure consistency, each speaker is FFT analyzed for correct response and performance compared to a model reference prior to leaving the factory. The Model 1Ci combines superior components, innovative engineering and quality construction for exemplary performance and unparalleled value.

Model 1Ci Specifications


1” Exclusive Dual-Chamber, Transmission-Line Loaded, Ceramic-Coated Alloy Dome with Ferrofluid Voice-Coil Cooling


8” Mineral-Filled Polycone with Die-Cast Basket, 1.5” Dual-Layer Voice Coil with Ventilated Aluminum Former, 40 oz. Focused-Gap Magnet Structure



Recommended Amplification

20-100 Watts Into 8 Ohms

Frequency Response

38Hz – 22.5kHz +/- 3dB


90 dB, 1 meter with 2.83 volt input


6.8 ohms +/- 2 ohms


First order/6dB per octave, 2.8kHz

Input Terminals

Barrier strips, 7/16" max width

Dimensions (WHD)

12” x 36” x 10”


44 lbs. Net

Country of Manufacture

Made in the USA
  • Mar 1, 2014
    Model 1Ci

    (The Model 1Ci) ... offers a highly neutral tonal balance, wide dynamic range and a full frequency response- for $1,200 a pair! They nail the musical fundamentals better than some speakers I've heard that cost 20 times as much."

    Jeff Dorgay

    See Full Review
  • Jul 1, 2008
    Model 1Ci

    "The Vandersteen 1C doesn't sound like a box speaker. It has the open quality of a panel speaker, and its center image is remarkably solid and focused."


    See Full Review
  • Dec 1, 1996
    Model 1Ci

    " ... the ideal speaker for both the non-audiophile music lover who wants superior sound (without having to devote his or her living space, retirement fund, or life to The Quest), and the budding audiophile in search of an entry-level speaker."

    Wayne Garcia

    See Full Review