Best "Bookshelves" for $500? new or used

About two months ago I got a pair of B&W 601 series 2 for $500 to go w/ my used, budget "mid-fi" system: 1)Rotel RB-980BX amp (120W), 2)Rotel RC-972 pre-amp, 3)DIY TNT-audio X 1.5 IC's (12 strand,30 GA silver-coated OFC), and 4)bi-wired Chris Venhaus DIY (27 pair braid) Cat 5 teflon speaker cables. Originally, I used a Denon 360 carousel w/ Alpha processor (5 cdp for girlfriend) as my source, but found the highs to be really agressive at times (sibilance?). So, I switched to the Denon 370 carousel w/ Burr Brown's. Beautifully warm and smooth unit initially that is oh-so silky, but after a few days I realized that it seriously lacked detail, highs rolled off, and made mid-bass boomy. So I think I'll get a used MSB Link DAC 1 (upgrade later) and a decent 5 disc transport. Anyway, after breaking in, the B&W's seemed like a great buy, but now I'm beginning to think that high freq trouble may be a result of their tweeter and maybe they aren't as engaging as they should be. Possibly because B&W really meant these for home theater. Now I am looking for something w/ better soundstage, imaging, and presense. I now this is a tall order for $500 (used), but something that will fill my room with a detailed, spacious, engaging sound. Preferably bi-wirable now that I spent a month making the cables. I've read great things about the Paradigm Atoms for $200 new, but maybe these are the new budget flavor of the year. Any suggestions? Feel free to email me. Victor

Showing 1 response by subaruguru

Interesting response, Sugarbie. Perhaps the 601 S2 tweeter isn't rolled off, but upon cursory listening I felt it was pretty hot in the mid-treble on axis (just like the Nautilus 803 and 804), and I wonder if that sibilance-crisping is what's bothering Darkmoebius. If so, wouldn't the warmer-bodied CDM improve his situation? I'll leave the model diffs re x-over and driver integration to you.... Yeah, maybe it's the Rotel. Things certainly improved tremendously for me when I deleted my NAD pre from my system. What about used Pro-Ac Tablet 50, or Castle Isis? I'd concentrate on these upstream issues, and let the single/bi-wirability preference sort itself without initial prejudice. JMO. Happy Holidays. Ernie