A Must Hear under $5,000

The Dynaudio Excite x36 is a must hear for anyone looking for a loudspeaker in the $5,000.00 range. This loudspeaker does several things really, really well. It does some things better than any speaker costing $3,800.00 has any right to do. For example, the x36 does the "disappearing act" incredibly well. Set up properly (more on that later), the Dynaudio casts a spookily-realistic, goosebump-inducing soundstage. Make no mistake, as other reviews have mentioned, the mid-and-upper ranges are its wheelhouse, but with proper amplification (again, more on that later), the bass is very good as well. More important to me, the bass these speakers produce is of the of the highest quality; super-tight, and with a delicious dollop of decay. These speakers image as well as any loudspeaker I've heard under $10,000.00, and I've heard a lot. The imaging is truly pinpoint; each instrument delightfully delineated within the soundstage. And these speakers are LIGHTNING FAST! As in planar fast. I auditioned these speakers in my smallish listening room for a week before pulling the trigger. Initially I was underwhelmed. Typical 3-way tower. I experimented with toe-in, rake and distance from back-and-side walls in an effort to give them the benefit of the doubt. It paid off. In spades! This speaker is VERY sensitive to positioning. I suspect this is at the root of the so-so review issued by WHAT Hi-Fi. You must invest time in getting the toe-in, distance and rake just right. I never really put much stock in the "move 1/4 inch at a time" practice, but with this speaker it REALLY makes a difference. Likewise with amplification. My BAT VK-500 solid state amp produces 250 wpc into 8 ohms, 500 into 4 ohms, and more importantly, a stout 75 amps. These speakers really respond to the juice, and they are so revealing that lower-quality upstream components will be quickly exposed. The one thing that everyone whom has heard this speaker agrees upon is that the Excite x36 are a master at detail retrieval. Wow. As you've heard many people say many times about audio components, I really did have to plumb my albums and CDs to look for new detail and nuance that I hadn't heard before. It's a blast. Lastly, the other big impression this speaker makes is the DEPTH of the soundstage. I have heard speakers in hi-end shops pull this off before, but never in my listening room have I been able to conjure the DEEP presentation the x36 create. I sat there chuckling, shaking my head, thinking, "It's like my listening room is 50 yards deep!" Needless to say, at week's end I bought them. Highly, highly recommended fellow music lovers!

Associated gear
Balanced Audio Technology VK-500 amp (with BAT-PAK)
PS Audio PCA-2 preamplifier
Cary Audio 303/300 CD player (tubed/ss)
Rega RP3 turntable
Ortofon 2M Bronze MM cartridge
Dynaudio Excite x36 loudspeakers
PS Audio X-treme balanced interconnects
Audioquest Hyperlitz Midnight III speaker cables
I have the Dynaudio Contour 3.0 speakers and I cant say enough good things about them.They sound perfectly awesome after 12 years of owning them. Dynaudio is highly recommended.
I had demonstrated almost 30 floor standing speakers not long back. There was three that stood out,Joseph audio perspective over 10k Kef r900 and your dynaudio excite 36 I found the same qualities that you have and I preferred them over the 3.4 contour. I ended up buying the kefs but would have been happy to own the excite 36 speakers. I was surprised how good they performed . I was also was surprised at the reviews because I heard things much differently. Enjoy
The LSA1 speakers that are now only $600/pair are unbeatable for that internet direct price. I think the BMC PureVox at $6490 are clearly better, but for the price of the LSA1, nothing else is even close.
Can never go wrong building a system around Dynaudio IMHO.
A must hear under $5,000.00?

Spiral Groove Canalis Anima.
The Yamaha Soavo ns-f901's SOUND BETTER than TAD R-1's!

I recently built custom plinths for the Dynaudios using 1-1/4" maple and solid brass cone spikes from Dayton. I raked the towers back about 2 degrees to improve time-alignment and rear-port angle, and now even better!!
Yep. I know that's a tall order, but yep. I should probably add a must hear for NEW speakers under 5K, as there are many fantastic used transducers out there for much less. I spend a lot of time visiting audio stores and listening to friends' systems, and these Dynaudios are really special in a few important areas. I don't have a deal with the Danes, just calling it as I see (hear) it. :)
If I were shopping in the $5K range, I wouldn't buy anything until I at least auditioned some Magneplanar 3.7i's.

Or in a smaller room I'd get 1.7s and use the balance of the 5K for some quality subwoofers.

I got my 1.7s at 10% off. If you could do that w/3.7s, you're right at $5K--phase coherence, no boxy resonances, no ringing or overshoot distortion, easier to control bass--an awful lot to like. I've had my 1.7s for 7 mos and I still can't believe how good they sound every time I fire them up, whether it's LP or digital off my laptop (via Audirvana Plus).
IMO some of the best under $5000 speakers around are made by Audiokinesis especially if you have tubes.
I think the speaker to beat in the $5k range will be the new Golden Ear Triton 1.
I agree with that. Wish someone could comment that's heard it.
I second the magnepan 3.7's
+1 regarding the Maggies 1.6, 1.7, 3.6, 3.7... and... maybe the new MG12 w DWM bass panels. When properly set up with custom stands, proper electronics, and maybe a custom crossover - there is very little that can better them in <$10,000+ range.

And... if you really want to "blow your mind" have "Peter Gunn" complete his Magnestand mod. I have the 1.6 Magnestand's and they are superb in all respects.

I just auditioned the Triton 1's... and... they don't really come close to my Magnestands in an overall context. The Triton 1's do have a superb soundstage and imaging (very Maggie-like), but their highs are overwhelmed by their bass and mids - their highs are almost "veiled" (too rolled off). But, I think it's primarly that the highs just aren't balanced with the bass and mids... and... would liklely benefit from a good EQ, or DSP (DSPeaker Anti-mode, etc.) to improve their balance. Though, their bass and mids are impressive - very detailed with good resolution. The DSP can also help eliminate the "room boom," of the Triton 1's, which need some good room treatments, or a DSP, in that context also - not a fault of the speakers, but of the room. However, if you are sensitive to highs in a lot of speakers with prominent highs, then you might like the "smooth" sound of the Triton 1's.

I also second the recommenation of the Audiokinesis speakers in the <$5,000 range - very little can compete with those also... and... the plus is they are so efficient, they can be driven by a good tube OTL amp like those of Atmasphere, or a good tube TC amp.

And... if you really want unmatched sound quality at a bargain price - you will find the Wavetouch Audio Grand Teton monitors are almost unmatched by anything <$10,000+. They are also very efficient and can be driven by a lot of very reasonable priced amps... such as the Atmasphere M30 OTL tube amp. They sound as good, or better, than my Magnestand 1.6's.

So... you have lot's of great options... though... I would place the Tritons further down the list.