audio newbie question

I don't currently have a good stereo... and the logical thing to do in shopping for a system seemed to be to start with the speakers.

So I've been listening to as many speakers as I could, and so far I'm leaning toward the Dynaudio Audience 72 or the System Audio 1270. I've heard the following speakers: Magnepan 1.6, Thiel 1.5 & .5, numerous B&W up to $1500USD, Proac Studio 125, Paradigm Studio 100 & Monitor 7, Meadowlark Kestrels, Triangle Celcius, Martin Logan Aerius, Quad 988, Tannoy Revolution 2, Klipsch RF3, Mirage, Boston Acoustic, Dynaudio Audience 72, & System Audio 1250 & 1270 (believe me, I'm getting tired). I'm still planning on auditioning the JMLabs & Vandersteens.

Anyway, my question: Is there anything else I should consider (I'm trying to stay under $2K for the speakers - new or used)? I'm starting to lean toward used, since it seems to be a much better value... only problem is my lack of experience with most speakers. I'm also thinking that at the price range I'm looking at, I'll need a subwoofer (I like very tight bass, but with weight... not boomy!). Should I go with a less expensive option and get the subwoofer up front?

BTW, I listen to everything from jazz & folk to electronic & pop to rock & even heavy metal. I like crisp imaging and good dynamics... and a large sweet spot. I also don't know what electronics to get, so I'll take suggestions on that as well (trying to stay under $1600 for that). I'll work on the source at a later date. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Depending on the size of your room, I would check out the Vandersteen 2ce signature. Still one of the best values in hi end. They sound better and better as you improve the upstream signal. Very musical. Listen to a pair.
Agree with Carl, and if you buy a pair used @ ~$1K, you can add a Vandersteen 2WQ sub used and still stay under $2K.
I'd go for the best (the ones you like the most) speakers you can budget for, and leave the possibility of a sub for later. You will most likely not be happy with any speaker which must depend on a sub to go near-full-range, and if you budget in such a way as to try and get both a sub and pair of near-full-range speakers at the same time, you may have to make compromises in speaker performance which you will not be content with later on. As for buying something used, if you can find a used pair you like the best that would be great, but you're already going about this the right way by listening first, and I would stick to what you can actually audition when choosing. You can always try a ZIP code search on Audiogon to find used speakers for sale in your area.
I agree with Z. All I can say is that I owned the Thiel 1.5s for years and loved them. I, only, after 5 years, found it necessary to go with a sub. I'm glad I did. Now, I'm grooving with the Revel M20s. Although, I use a sub, it is being repaired, right now, and I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying my system without the below 40Hz bass. I cannot live without that bottom end, but I can, obviously, live with this situation temporarily. Maybe, you can, as well. The M20s can be found in your price range, new. I realize with killer stands you may have to go a little beyond what you want to, so this may not be as good a suggestion as I originally thought, $$ wise. Revel's stock stands are poor, and substantial stands, are, costly. It just may mean, going used, rather than, new. Go with what tingles your tympanics and let no one tell you otherwise. I'm just throwing in another speaker for you to listen to, if you can. peace, warren
You have done some very good "leg work"...alot of good choices...and to be have pretty much hit most of the bases...outside of Vandersteen...although auditioning as many speakers as possible is is impossible to hear "everything under the sun"...I was in the same boat...pick the best shop in your area...make a good choice...which sounds like you will...and enjoy! My .02...used original KEstrals for around $750...dont need stands..
I think all of the speakers I've heard can benefit from a dynamic musical sub. Although some have such a loose bass that they cannot be helped. By the way, I don't have a dedicated listening room, so these speakers would have to integrate into my living room. Also, any thoughts on electronics?

Just incase you were, for some reason,considering the Klipsch's, the SB 1's and 2's are better than the RF series in my oppinion.
Besides that however, if you are going for higher end speakers in the end, DO be prepared to experiment with different gear/set up for best results ultimately! YOu'll not get it on the first try likely...most never do. NOthings of course perfect, but you will get much better resluts with time, dedication, and patience. good luck
I was considering the Klipsch, but I prefer the sound of the Dynaudio... hard for me to describe what I like. I also really did like the Thiel 1.5, but the "soundstage" (don't know if that's the proper term) seemed very distant. Also, female voices seemed kind of flat to me (again, it's difficult to describe sound!

I am already understanding what foreverhifi2000 is talking about, which is why I'm leaning toward used equipment. I figure I can more easily experiment with used equipment (if I choose wisely, I can probably just sell whatever doesn't fit and break even).

That's interesting about the Thiels. One of the things that I thought was, truly, wonderful with that speaker, was the reproduction of the female voice. One of the best; to me. I guess that's what makes the audio world go 'round.
I have a pair of the Tyler Acoustic Linbrooks. I think they are terrific. I heard the Tyler Reference Monitors. Not going to claim that they are any better than anything else on your list or better than the recs that other people have made. (For the record I'm a big Vandersteen fan) but I think the Tylers are good bang for the buck and can be had used for ~1250 if you look around. New, I think they're about 2500 or thereabouts. Good luck.
I auditioned the vandersteens side by side with the maggies and preferred the 1.6's. Any way I think no matter how many speakers you listen to you need to do two things.
1) always listen to the same musical pieces that represent the cross section of music you enjoy for comparisson.

2) keep in mind what associated equipment is being used to audition them. Try to have the speakers set up with equipment comparable to what you will have when your system is finished. for example if you are going to end up with a 100 watt integrated amp. you should not be listening to them through huge monoblocks.

3) be straight with the dealers your are using for these auditions because they need to make money in order to saty in business.
I am being very straight with the dealers... and have actually found a few great places. However, I have noticed that some dealers are not straight with me! They can actually be quite condescending to a newbie (especially since I'm not spending $10K).

I have been using the same music on all they systems I've been listening to (good cross section), and I've been making sure the same level/type of equipment is used in my auditions. Anyway, thanks for the input.