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The Spica TC-60's are in your price range and even better than the TC-50's (more bass). A small speaker that sounds big.
Any of the Paradigm Mini Monitors are a great choice, too. The Paradigms have incredible bang for the buck -- great resolution.
Epos are another good choice -- amazingly lifelike sound and imaging.
Klipsch Heresys ...
I regret ever selling mine .. you can drive them on an old receiver or a set of Levinson monoblocks and they kick serious tail either way. Play em soft or loud enough to make your ears bleed.
Run them on a small tube amp in a medium sized sound room and you will get one heck of an enjoyable system. The Steely Dan horn section has never quite sounded the same since!
As for MSRP they run a little high but isnt that why we all shop on this site? You can pick up a used pair for $350-500.
I agree with my friend John(and others).The Spicas are an excellent used value.My friend Bob has several pair(both 50's and 60's).We compared them to his Thiel 2.3 and they were very close in overall performance and better in some areas.The Quad 11-L are the best small speakers I have owned(they would be a good value at twice the price).The Wharfedale's are also excellent value for the money.They are made in the same factory and use many of the same components as the Quads.The Diamond Anniversary (updated 7.2 with real wood veneer) from a few years ago originally sold for $599 and by the end of their run were down to $299 with a street price under $100.They are outstanding!!! Michael at TSOT has great deals on the Wharfedales and Missions.He sells a pair of small Floorstanders from the Wharfedale Crystal Line(like the Diamond 7 series with lighter cabinetry)for $109 NIB!They sound really nice! I've recommended them to a couple of the young guys who work for me and they have been very happy.I've also been impressed with the small AAD's and Ushers that I've heard at Quest For Sound.I believe they are under $500.
I have a pair of The Advent/1 that I just love. I got them off eBay about 3 years ago for $250. They have been restored. Their tone is just excellent (full and rich) and sounds better in some ways than my Apogees.
Here are pics of the Advents:
I love my small speakers - Nola Minis. They used to retail for street [price of $595 but can be had in the $350 a pair range here at A-gon. The previous incarnation, Alon Lil rascals can be found occassionaly for $300.
These are just terrific sounding, unboxy, expansive speakers with a huge stage, a lovely midrange, refined highs and surprising bass heft for their size. The are also extremely dynamic - they remain transparent and uncongested whether pumping out The Rolling Stones or Ralph Vaughn-Williams.
I couldn't say the same of the vintage Spica TC60s. These are imaging champs fersher, as in...holographic, 3-D musicians in the room with you. But they spit the bits when it comes to large scale, complex music. Great for chamber and small jazz ensembles. Look elsewhere if you rock or orchestral music is what floats your boat.
Rgs2 I don't know the model number. I just sort stumbled on the dealer and gave them a listen. The setup was far from ideal, yet they came through quite well. They listed for about $500/pair and were floor standers.
Anyone have opinions on Aperions? Just read a review in Stereophile. If it can be trusted they sound like quite the bargain.
Eleven years ago, I paid $30 for my PSB Alphas that are now hooked up to a Denon integrated in my downstairs office. I have definetely gotten my money's worth!
About 15 years ago, I got a pair of PSB 500's from a store I worked at for $150. I gave those away to a friend about three or four years ago. Those were great little speakers.
Great thread ... I am in the vintage category so here goes:
- Magnepan SMG any model, there are a few here on Agon.
- Dahlquist DQ-10 with mirror image and cap mods, there are
2 pair on CL in the Chicago area.
- DCM Time Windows (not Time Frame), 2 pair here on Agon.
The DQ-10s eat amps for lunch. SMG's are a bit better. Not sure on the DCM's look like they are pretty efficient from what I have read. I have had DQ-10s, sorry I sold them, now have SMG's and hope to own the DCM's soon.
Some good suggestions here; I'll echo the Spicas.
One I'd like to add are the Fried A/6. They have routinely beat out new loudspeakers in the $2000 - $6000 range in my system, including the winner of a loudspeaker of the year award. Tuneful/tight, nicely extended and weighted bass response, very smooth, relaxed, and natural midrange, with phenomenal imaging. Not so common to come up on the used market here on Audiogon or ebay, but when they do, selling price is usually in the $300 - $400 range.
Update - I have a pair of DCM TimeWindow 1's. Pictures here: (and 1 on my virtual system here on Agon)
Check the thread, there is a pair of TW 3's owned by a former co-worker that look to be in fantastic condition for sale in Milwaukee. Modded by him.
A pair of Lynn Tukans (bought two months ago for 200.00 on audio.gon) or a pair of KEF 101 Reference Series. The KEF's lack much in the low end, but they have the world's sweetest midrange and a beautiful high end. Far better than the Tukans, and better than the Spendor 3/5. If you can find a pair of KEF 101 Reference Series, buy them. I've seen them sell between 350.00 and 600.00.
I recently got a pair of Spica TC 50's after hearing about them and curious to hear them for many years and have been completely underwhelmed. They image well but so do a lot of other small speakers I have had. They are of course bass shy but also not very full bodies. I am driving them with 275 watts of class A triode tube power and other main system equipment. Just curious if anyone else has had my experience.
Actually, just the opposite. I put together a pair of systems for my girlfriend using Spica TC50s, and both systems sound great. One uses Linn electronics and the other Audio Refinement (YBA) electronics. Good imaging and off axis listening and rich full sound. Her rooms are small; I had to position the speakers on the long wall in both cases and close to the back wall.
I have a pr of early 90s era JbL j830m speakers that constantly surprise me...an early Harmon effort, these are surprisingly laid back and mellow...something not usually associated with JBL...not a ton of bass considering their size but balanced nevertheless...not the last word in transparency or razor sharp imaging...but a solid engineered product that is a steal on the used market...ssssh..
don't tell anyone
great thread; lots of really good nominees. among the ones mentioned, the energy 22 are seriously great (the more modern energy c-3 are also really good). i'll suggest a couple of others:
kef coda 70 (extremely impressive for their size/price--they look and sound like a $1k monitor)
jbl hls 610 (a modest, mass-market piec which just happened to do everything right. you can find these used for $50 or so)
design acoustics ps6 (another unexpectedly great sounding, modestly priced speaker; really big dynamic range and soundstage)
to bbro's point, i was also underwhelmed by the spica tc50.