Best $4000-$5000 loudspeaker

- Price range from $4000 to $5000, new or used.
- Room average size.
- Average efficiency (or good, of course).
- -3dB at 40Hz or better bass extension.
- Capable to be enjoyable at low listening levels.

Opinions are welcome. I have not introduced higher constraints, so that opinions suit other enthusiasts.
Regards and thanks.
...piega p-10's..used....89db efficient with bass to 19hz +/- 2db..great ribbon mid/tweeter.$12.5k when new
gershman acoustics avant garde rx-20....there's a pair for sale right now, used $2500 (i'm not the owner as i would never consider selling my pair). check out the rave reviews online and at

kevin t
Used B&W Silver Signature 25's go for around $3000-$3500. They were $8000 new when they came out in 1991. I have a pair that replaced a pair of Dunlavy SC-IV's.

I've been looking to replace mine for a couple of years now. I thought that with the newer technology, like you, I could find something better in the $4000 - $5000 range, so I wouldn't be taking much of a loss.

I still honestly haven't found anything that has made me want to jump up and sell mine and buy them. I've been looking extremely hard, driving three hundred miles in any direction (like just wanting to buy a new car whether you need it or not).

I've heard a lot of speakers that sound really good and that I'd like to have, but not one to die for. The Silver Signature is the Father of the B&W Signature 805, but goes down to 35Hz. It's crystal clear down as low as it goes with no boominess. I sounds as good at low levels as it does rocking your world.

There's three pair listed on Audiogon right now, two gray and one brown, check out the pictures.
Infinity Preludes with the RABOS Subs
$5K used, 91 dB self powered 600 watts each sub.

just an ideal
good luck
I like the Vandersteen 3 Signature, the Theil 2.4, the Proac 2.5 (although I think they recently changed their line and introduced newer models) and the Aerial 7b. Rather different sounds from one another (some might think the Thiel is the odd man out here). Your mileage may vary.
Innersound of Boulder, CO has advertised closeout prices on
both the Eros III and Isis III models.
I bought the Isis direct for less than $4000 shipped.
It's a wonderful speaker when tubes are part of the (pre-amp)
I own a pair, so I am biased, but you can pick up a pair of Vienna Acoustics Mahlers for $4k-$5k used (retail is $9,800).

Here is a link to reviews of the Mahler. The Stereophile and Audio reviews are accurate. The Ultimate Audio review is too flattering (the speaker is not that good).

There are a gazillion other options at this price point, but the Mahlers are full range, image and soundstage very well, and sound excellent at both low levels and at incredibly high volume (each speaker has two 7" mid-woofers and two 10" woofers -- they can go really loud without distorting). They are efficient (90 db.), but need a quality amp and the right speaker cables (Kimber Select works great) to control the woofers. They have incredible bass and the wood finishes are of the highest quality (they are like fine furniture).

Good luck.
I would suggest used Aerial 10T's or Dunlavy SC-IVA's (not the IV's without the A) both of which are under $4k now. Both these speakers need room to breath, though, so your room size is a consideration.
if you can stretch to $6k- used Coincident Total Victory...
How about Merlin VSM-MM's (I found mine for $4500 as demos)or MX's (might be able to find them used for around $5,000-$5,500).

They extend down around 28 with BAM, work well in an average size room, and can be enjoyed at low to moderate levels.
For new, I like the Focus Audio FS788 and Amphion Xenon.
Swklein listed most of the speakers I would have included. As an owner of the Vandersteen 3A Signatures, I can highly recommend them -- they compete very well with speakers costing up to $5000 (MSRP). The one other speaker I'd add to the list is the Magneplanar 3.6's, which are a superb speaker if you have the right room for them, and a fairly powerful amplifier (200 wpc minimum).
Merlin VSM-MM is perfect for your requirements!!
Check out the new Hyperion HPS 938. Rave reviews from all magazine's reviewers and agon alike.
Good luck,
There is a pair of the newest Merlin VSM-MMs w/BAM for sale right now at about $4K. A steal at that price. Vandy 3A sigs would be quite a bit cheaper and used could be bought with a 2WQ sub, which would be a very nice full range system.
FWIW, why not put this one on your list also?
Strata RSL One.
I would listen to a pair of used Verity Audio Fidelios. They excell at low level listeneing, but can play loud if need be!
Thiel CS2.4.
$4400 new
~$3000 used
There is a pair of totem Shamans for just under 5k right now. They are great and retail for 11k.
The Decware HTD Towers will put most of the other mentioned speakers to shame.

Sorry they are only $ 1,695.00. The sound compairs to many speakers costing 10 times their price.
I would highly suggest you find a way to listen to the Von Schweikert VR4jr's. They are an incredible value and compete quite favorably with $15 - $20,000 speakers.

I took on the line because I have not heard a speaker that could come close to competing with them at the equivilent price points.
Von Schweikert VR4 jr
If you can stretch a little more, consider the Audio Physic Avanti3 for around 6k used. Some people may say they fit into an excellent speaker under 15k category. When set up properly, Avanti3's image and create a very effective soundstage.
Depending on the type of music you enjoy. For classical and easier listening, I would consider the bigger ProAc's or Audio Physic's.
I think that if you can swing a pair of used Merlin VSM or Coincident Total Eclipses, you really will be hard pressed to beat them.

On the new front, you may want to wait for the word to come out about the new $5000 Fried Studio VII at CES 2005 in about a month and a half. I am a part owner of the company, but pride myself on being objective and even recommending other speakers. You will not find another speaker in its price range that will be able to offer you what this speaker does - REAL TL bass and midrange alignment, first order series crossovers, low Qts drivers, mirror imaged drivers, and are made right here in the USA (Pennsylvania). The speakers are incredibly easy to drive, sound exceptionally open and spacious, go really low and tight, and image like no large three way speaker has any right to. Although I am opposed to it, I fully expect that once the company has a foothold in the marketplace, you are going to see the prices ratchet up considerably - I prefer offering great value and making things up in volume. Get to them early if you can.
I own the Thiel 2.4, but if you like the Thiel sound, you might want to explore getting the 1.6 with the small Theil sub, or some other sub. The 1.6 has better low-volume performance than the 2.4.
I have a pair of Dali Helicon's. They sound great even at very low listening levels. You should be able to find them used or new in your price range. I have the 800's but depending on how big your room is even the 400's could do. I've listened to some Dynaudio S5.4 lately. Very good sounding speaker too. There you could also go with the S3.4 depending on the room. I would audition all of them if you like a neutral sounding speaker. The Dyn's need more power though to bloom.

I'll give another vote for the Dali Helicons (the 800s in particular). The Helicon 800s retail new for $5900/pr. and are worth it in my opinion.

Also if looking used, I would keep an eye out for the Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signatures. They retail new at $5500/pr., but used you should be able to find them around $4,000.