well, it really depends on what you like. I think top end and midrange are more important than anything, so I will vote for Dynaudio Confidence 5. you can add a Rel Stadium III for $3k and still come out cheaper and better than anything I have heard under $20k. I know because I sold my Confidence 5 to search a "better" speaker under $20k without success and had to buy another pair back later.
Hello Timber, I have no idea what the best speaker is in this price range but I just replaced my Coincident Super Eclipse with the Total Eclipse. One of the reasons I chose this speaker is because of it's efficiency. 94db and bass claiming to go down to 26hz. I use a 12 watt amp that drives this speaker as if it were a 200 watt amp. I am getting eye flinching dynamics with an electrostatic type transparency. I have had many speaker and amp combinations over the years and nothing has thrilled me like this combo. For those who love SET amps or OTLs, but have been frustated finding a speaker that will not strain or fall to pieces when the music gets demanding, give this one an audition. BTW, for those who think tubes can't do great bass, take a listen and learn a lesson. I have not tried any ss amps with this speaker and I don't intend to. Good hunting Timber.
Check thread "about Nestorovic" on these pages. You will find very interesting observation, by the owner of Nestorovic speakers.
You ought to check the Egglestonworks Andras. They are under $15 K if $14,900 counts, have a wonderful tweeter and midrange, and astonishing bass, and were Stereophile Class A until a few months ago (they drop components they have not recently heard). Best of all, they are visually striking, quite compact for their extraordinary sound front, and are designed to go within a foot or 18" of the rear walls. But they eat power--250 to 350 watts per channel are really necessary.
Check TAS review of Vandersteen 5s (now about $11K) by Robert Harley. Haven't personally heard them yet but will soon, and I'm already starting to save bucks:>). Cheers. Craig
try a pair of 2-ways & a pair of subs w/active cross-over. best bang for the buck, and also easiest to place, imho (if you have the space) - you can place the monitors for best imaging, & the subs for best bass response. and, monitors generally image better than full-range single-box speakers. you *do* want the monitors to go low - say to 40hz - so the x-over point can be as low as possible - say 60hz.
Thank you all for your responses. I have plenty of juice in my gear and a decent size room 20X18. I am surprised that I haven't heard B&W , Avalon or Snell? Any others? Very tough decison. Just want the best musical dynmaic, with decent bass but not sloppy. How about those Tyler Acoustics?
I had a chance to hear the new Verity Audio Avanti 3...retail 10k... and what I heard has me believing it will be special. My understanding is that this speaker will begin arriving in the US in Feb( there are currently ony two pair in the states...Sound by Singer in NYC and Immedia in Berkley CA). It is stunning to look at as well with a gracefully curved cabinet somewhat reminisent of the B&W design(you can go to the AP Germany site to see a picture...does not quite do them justice). My understanding is that this has been 2 years in the developing by Audio Physics and in their opinion represents a step forward in technology(driver design). Again from what I heard (great dynamics, great extension, excellent timbre and seemlees integration) I think they may be right. Oh yeah they are cheaper that 15k but I think they will compete well in that price category, let alone at their 10k price point.. Also I have nothing to do with AP and am not a dealer and do not own these speakers...yet.
Dunlavy V are a 4 way speaker. If you can handle their size they are one of the best. Audio Video logic has a Demo for 9K. They retail for 15K. I auditioned them with B&w and Vandersteen's. Dunlavy's walked away in sounstage and Dynamics. Also check out Wilson 6
I would definitely recommend the Nautilus Series, especially the 801 if you have the room or the 802. I would also recommend the Revel Salon. I own the 802's and love them. Other speakers mentioned here are very very good. I will depend on your musical taste.
How about the Proac response 2.5? Yes, I know its NOT a three way speaker. However, they sound wonderful, have the seamless presentation of a two-way, image like monitors, and give you extension all the way to 20hz. Best of both worlds.
Aerial 10t's, sound great, need lots of power and good cabling, components etc. Worth hearing at 8000$
I am personally in love with the Vienna Acoustics Mahler speakers. Retailing at about $10K they just play everything else that I listened to in the same price class away. Detail, clear mid range, nice tight bass, look great, sound exactly the way I like. Can't wait to get my very own pair :)
Hello Timber, I didn't respond recommending Avalon because I only have recent hands on experience with the Eidolon. A new pair cost more than the budget you have in mind unless you could find a demo or used pair. I find these speakers to be the most musical engaging I've heard! If you could see your way to stretching your budget I'm sure you'll be taken by these incredible speakers. All the best, Tom
the Zu Definiton, it will bury other loudspeakers, the Zu Druid for under 3k if your room is small, check out the awards on 6mooons.com first, the overall catagory range from low bass to no crossover,untill 12k, 101 db efficient , and dynamics up past 125 db if you have the room and capabilites ,and totally natural with No crossovers to deal with ,totally direct coupled from the speaker cable to the loudspeaker voice coil. Now that 's direct !
Natual, not hyperbole ,super detailed - fatiguing is not what live sound like , listen to these good before making any comparisons or judgements! PJ.