Best $300 Speaker Used

My dad is finally getting involved in Home Theater. He has an Outlaw 1050 receiver and is looking for the best set of mains he can get for under $300 new or used to pair with it. These will probably be mostly used for home theater together with some listening to 50s and 60s rock and roll. Size is not a real issue here. I would imagine in this price range it will be necessary to get a subwoofer for full range sound, but if there is something out there that can do it without one that would be better.

I recommended he audition the Paradigm speaker line because of their excellant price/performance ratio. What other speakers would you recommend he listen to?
That should have been $300 per speaker or $600 for the pair. Sorry
maybe some jbl 100ts or l 80ts. 4410s or 4412s. control 10s. these can all be had for way under 600.
Hi Kirk,

Are these all jbl's? I am not familiar enough with the model numbers to be sure.

Some general recommendations to go by since you've given us the basics.

1) Look for something that is relatively efficient. This typically means ported in today's market. 60 wpc coming out of a receiver is not a lot of power when trying to reproduce the dynamics required in most HT systems.

2) Try to avoid metal dome tweeters. I don't think that they blend well with "reasonably priced" receivers and cd players for long term listening. Soft domes are typically a LOT more forgiving and listenable at these price levels.

3) Don't under-estimate the importance of room size and listening distance when looking for speakers.

Hope this helps and good luck. Sean
I would bet you a good sized bet that you won't find anything better for the money than the likes of the new Energy C-1's for $299/pr retail!!!...and that includes more expensive stuff at $300 used!..or more!
However, if you can afford the C3's, they have better bass, and are $499/pr. These speakers are too new to to be found used however, unless you local chain store has them as returned openbox or something.
Anyway, you can also find a used pair of Energy C-2's, that are older models, at around $200=300 range used(retailed $600 new), and these all sound great as music/HT speakers!
I say this, and I've owned some mondo expensive speakers over the years, and none is as exciting for the money as these new Energy bargain speakers!
If you have a large room however, you might want to find some DiAppolito configued speakers (Drive/tweeter/driver) speakers to use to control room refections and focus a bit. Otherwise, you'll love the Energy Conneiseur series speakers, trust me.
They are dynamic, open, pretty decently detailed for the $, clear, uncolored, and great treble and midrange. I've had quite a lot of mid priced monitors come through my means over the years, includng B&W 600 series, Tannoy MX series, NHT 1.5's and Zero's, and others. Thus far nothing at that sub $600 price range new is as good as what Energy's C series is offering. You might want to go give em a listen.
I also know of someone who still has a pair of new C2 Energy's(Stereophile recommended as borderline Class B/C) new inthe box if interested!'s thought.
Anyway, good luck.
Thanks for the feedback Sean, your advice is excellant as usual.
I am a big Acoustic Research fan. Take a look at They have the AR 11 towers (part of their Hi Res series, in either black or cherry) for about $400 a pair new (they are $900 speakers) ... My experience with them is in a HT set-up. They play loud (91db efficient), very clear and clean sounding, reproduce bass very well, and do a pretty good job with music as well. I have dealt with accessories4less quite a bit and I have nothing but praise for their products and service.
I have B&W DM302s all around. They are bookshelf/stand mount speakers. They are only +/-$175 per pair used and will outperform most low-cost speakers. They have a soft dome tweeter, so they will make Sean happy. Very efficient/sensitive also (91db), so you won't need a ton of power. They are a former Sterophile Editor's choice.

You could also pick up the new DM303 for under $300 per pair brand new.

This link is to the Stereophile article on the DM302. The picture is of the new DM303.

Linn Tukans. My very favorite speaker in the whole world.(at that price) They are very versatile, don't require tons of power and are real perty too. 1k/pr. new. I paid $600 new because they were being replaced by the Katan, which in my $1.99 opinion is better neither in form nor function. You should easily be able to pick up a used pair for the money in your budget. I,ll die with mine even if I never listen to them again.
Happy shopping
Thanks for all the feedback, and keep it coming if you haven't put in your two cents worth so far! I never realized that this price range was so interesting!
hi gpalmer... another speaker you might want to consider is the fried a/6. it's auctioned off on this site occasionally. if you do a search over at audioasylum, there is some very interesting reading about these speakers. i have a pair, and they are incredibly musical, very engaging speakers. really a steal at $300/pr. i also second the b&w recommendation. i had b&w's for quite awhile, and they are great, versatile speakers that will do well for both HT and music. best of luck!
I am using NHT Superones in my bedroom with a Nak receiver and Technics DVD player as source. Other speakers I would have used are: B&W 602, KEF Q30/35, NHT 1.1/1.3, Tannoy Mercury...
You can probably find some variant of the Vandersteen 2, which is a very safe bet and easy to resell (tho you may never want to).
Definitive Technology has a line of good HT speakers. It would be easy for you to add a matching center speaker later.
I've listened to a ton of speakers in this price range, hell I've owned a ton of speakers in this price range. The only one's I wish I had held on to were the Totem Rokk's. Sold 'em cuz I crushed the dust cap on the tweeter and was too lazy to fix 'em. Smooth, non-fatiguing, incredible workmanship....damn I love that monitor. You should be able to find a pair for around $400 used. I'm gonna get me another pair soon, they do a LOT of things right. Jeff
I would up the budget and go for an inexpensive used pair of Vandersteen 2 series (the best you can afford). This way you won't have to budget in a sub and though not super for 70's style hard rock they should be great for 50's and 60's stuff as well as HT. They are also easy to power and will not tax the Outlaw. I see earlier 2's now and then in the $450-$600 range and the Signature's go for more.
You can also get a new pair of PSB 5T for less than $600. These are relatively full range and easy to drive. A lot of speaker for not too much money -- just like PSB Alpha A/V.
Thanks to everyone who responded, all of the candidates sound excellent and will be keeping him busy for some time auditioning all of them. I'm pushing him in the direction of the Vandies, since they're a classic, but of course, it's all a matter of taste.