That should have been $300 per speaker or $600 for the pair. Sorry
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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!..it's thought.
Anyway, good luck.
I am a big Acoustic Research fan. Take a look at www.accessories4less.com. 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.
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'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.