Any monitors clearly better than Pulsars?


After some recent amp and preamp upgrades, I'm wondering if it's possible to push further on my speakers.

Right now, I'm running Joseph Audio Pulsars, which I enjoy thoroughly. Because I live in an apartment, floorstanders are out of the question, and I know the Pulsars are some of the best monitors around.

My question is: are there any monitors that are clearly head and shoulders above the Pulsars, which might be worth a listen? Budget-wise, I could probably go up to $12k used.

In terms of what I'm looking there, really there is nothing specific. I'd say the same about upgrading from the LS26 to the REF 5SE; I wasn't looking for anything specific there, but the 5SE is clearly better :)

That said, I'd be hoping to find a speaker that is clearly an upgrade. If any other monitor would be a minor step up, or more of a lateral move, then I'm happy standing pat with the Pulsars.
rrolack
Raidho. The C1.1s occasionally come up on Audiogon under $10,000.
Having heard the Pulsars on several occasions I completely agree... very enjoyable. I was at Goldprint Audio a couple of weeks ago to listen to the new Alta Audio Celesta FRM-2's and ohhh mama! A very well balanced speaker with incredible bass (similar to the larger Perspectives) and a wonderful top end. I believe they're right around your stated price point and definitely worthy of an audition. Maybe give Taylor (Goldprint) a call since he's a dealer for Alta as well as Joseph. I'm sure he's had a chance to compare both and would be able to offer an honest opinion.
The Pulsars do not shine a light to the Raidho monitors.
The Raidho's are the Pulsars little bitch.
The Raidho's are not night and day difference from the Pulsars for most people. To an experienced audiophile they are serveral levels more refined though. Worth the extra dollars spent. They are both very fine speakers.
Magico Q1 very great stage,bass,imaging and speed.
Harbeth C7ES3 and 30.1.
Would be nice to sometime hear Raidho with some tubes, not some black and white, washed out, thin sounding solid state equipment.
I've heard the Raidho D1 with Luxman tubes and I've never heard anything so beautiful in my life. My close friend owns a shop and of everything he could pair with the Raidho, this Luxman amp provided the sweetest sound. For my personal taste, there's no speaker to date that can compare to the Raidho D1.
I have the Raidho C1.1 speakers paired with an Atma-Sphere S-30 tube amp. Beautiful sound.
Thank you Donjr and Sabai....just shows that Raidho should be partnered with tubes way more often than it is. Hope to hear it one day in tube set up.
Like mentioned above, try and see if you can take a listen to the Alta Celesta/FRM-2's. They are simply fantastic with amazing bass response for a "bookshelf".

http://alta-audio.com/collection/frm-2/

There are several VERY positive reviews on these out there (ToneAudio mentioned in their recent review that they are at the head of the class in the sub $20k speaker market at this time)

**** Alta Audio dealer disclaimer *****
Branislav,

Well worth the try.
Those Pulsars are great speakers. I will keep an eye out for great monitors at AXPONA this weekend and report back.
Rrolack, shoot Bob Gross from Speaker Art an email to inquire about his new ribbon Super Clef's. They are amazing from first hand experience. I own a set of the standard Super Clef's(Scanspeak soft dome) and they are wonderful as well.

Bob also uses high (4th & 7th order) slopes in his networks but is the only builder to employ Kaminsky series networks. All the Clef series speakers use an 8" woofer made to his specifications by, I believe, Eminence.

The price point is well under your budget but these speakers tend to "punch well above their weight".

I've had great results driving them with a variety of amps as well. My limited experience has been with a vintage Mitsubishi DA-15DC, Jolida JD 302CRC, & Wyred 4 Sound 500W monoblocks. All three offered astonishing performance with different "personalities".
Might want to try and get listen to the new Kef Reference 1..
Rrolack-

The ARC Ref5 SE is nothing less than outstanding. I do not think you will find better money spent on a pre-amp.

Now, to address your loudspeakers. Having heard both the Pulsar & Perspecive models. Until I can demo the Pearl 2 or Pearl 3, you might want to consider a Magico or Wilson Audio speaker.

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Sonus faber Guaneri Momentos - about $7k used. next on purchase list.