Looking for the same basic thing. My search so far has me leaning towards the Meadowlark brand. The Heron I's to be specific. All the reviews I see seem to be good, the speaker seems to go lower for most. These might be below your price point, they make higher end ones too, Blue Herons and such.
They just came out the Swans are coming out with a the next model soon(30 days?). A big Swan I guess. The Swans replaced the Kestrels and the new ones replace the Shearwaters I think. This company seems to get little press, but is one of the few "best buys" type of thing.
The center channel listed on the web site is not the matching center for the Herons. Sounds stupid but they do not seem to list the speaker I saw. The matching center is MASSIVE, 100lbs or so. This is one of the nice things I like about this package.
People hate these threads, hope you and I get some feedback.
Yo-guys: Not such a bad thread. I have Montana ESP's,and they go both ways for me. Dynamic speakers are just such-- and work well in 2ch as well as HT. How dynamic depends on how good the amp AND the processor you drive them with.
A mid priced 5ch amp wouldn't get ME there--I don't know about you guys.
I finally got above "mid priced" processors--Sony 9000es/ Anthm avm/Citation. Now a Meridian user--and the dynamics went way up.(as in awesome)
I always thought if I was building my ultimate home theater I'd look at ATC speakers. I believe the 50s are in your price range and are near full range, more slam than you'll probably ever need, and a midrange that few if any can match.
The only reservations I have with these speakers for audio are matters of taste. First, as ATC started as a professional studio monitor company and their speakers don't do some of the "audiophile" things like deep, holographic soundstages, and they don't pull off as good a disappearing act as some of those designs either. But as far as absolute transparency, tonal purity and accuracy, and incredible dynamic presence, they are hard to match. Secondly, although the woods used in the cabinets are absolutely beautiful, the speakers are simple rectangular boxes reminiscent of so many '70s era speakers.
Anyway, these are really special speakers, and if you can find a dealer I'd say they're definitely worth listening to if the "audiophile" qualities listed above are not must haves. Best of luck.
Agree with Marty, Meadowlark is a great choice. They really are wonderful speakers given their modest price (modest being relative of course). Others you should consider would be the Talon Raven, B&W N802, Revel Studio, Wilson Sophia, Thiel CS7.2, and Von Schweikert VR5.
Another alternative would be to purchase monitor speakers and stereo subwoofers.
What is your associated equipment? Might allow us to make a more intelligent recommendation.
Disclaimer: I am a dealer for Talon and Meadowlark.
Best Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
I have been looking at the Wilson's Sophia, not soooo expexsive. Never heard the Sophia's and am unsure if a dealer here has a set...
The Wilson center looks really cool(a plus for me, to heck with the audio gods...)
I did find the info on the Meadowlark center, it is buried in their web site. They also make a matching Blue Heron too.
If you want to get serious answers you should give us a little bit more information.
What amplification are you planning to use, what is the size of your room, what are your preferences.
Personally I think it’s better to have 2 separate systems for 2-channel and HT and spend available funds according to your preferences.
If I needed to build integrated Stereo/HT system with your budget and had a large room, I would take a look at Vandersteen 5s. Great speakers when used with good amplification and easily match with Vandersteen center, surrounds and subs.
Almost never being sold used though.
Other good choice for such system are Aerials 10t. You can easy find a pair of these. Matching Aerial center and surrounds are also available.
Can you get used Meadowlark Nightingales for that cost? I, myself am waiting for their Kite speaker.
I have only found one speaker that performs VERY well in both applications, that is the Roman Audio Centurions. They are an 8" two-way speaker that is very efficient (93db),so they don't require a ton of power. I use a set of these speakers in my two channel and my best friend uses a pair for his mains in his HT. You take the Centurions and run them along with the Pro Consul (Roman Audio center channel), you've got a serious set-up for HT. The price for the Centurions is $6K (new). Check out the web site, www.romanaudio.com
I was looking for more of a general answer as to which company makes a speaker that does both well. I figure more people would get use out of that instead of me being selfish and making it all about me..
But since you asked...
First the reason I said $10k, is because it looks like on then used market you can pick up most speakers at 50% off. I rather not buy new, I want the most bang for my buck and with new, well you loose a lot of value out of the door.
Aragon 8002 2x125
Sunfire Cinema Grand 5x200
Rogue 99 Magnum Tube Preamp
Electrohome or NEC Front Projector (not sure which yet)
I am not married to either amp and would consider upgrading, but I needed to start somewhere.
The room is 25' long and 13' wide. I do not have the room nor $ to run two separate systems.
I just heard the Revel F50's (thanks for the suggestion Mike) and liked them a lot but at $8k new and none on the used market, they are out of my price range. They also had 3 Snell Reference A's from 1997 selling for $7k for all three. Didnt get to really hear them, but at $30k new, they must have been good.
I have heard Alon's, very nice but dont know if they are dynamic enough for HT.
Going to hear some Merlin VSM-M's this weekend.
Thats my story
Welborne Labs has the Aspen Speaker Company on their list for recommended speakers (for SET amps). ASC makes a model HT-6K that looks interesting for $1250 each (LCR) and SE-8K for $3000 a pair (LR) or SE-10K for $4000 a pair (LR). I've never heard them but they have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee that might be interesting. Their web site is at www.aspenspeakerco.com and includes a link to a short review of them. Just a thought . . .
I will vote for Dynaudio Contour 3.3. They are good enough for most 2-ch system and more than good enough for HT. They play loud and deep, also have good dynamic, and reward you when you feed them more power. They can even run without sub for 2-ch listening so the sub won't screw up the sound. They don't take that much space, and they are less than what you wanted to spend :)
Well, with Genesis coming back into business, you *might* be able to pair their center channel they made with the old Infinity IRS Betas. The betas can be had for around $4K give or take and are amazing still to this day. The 8 servo controlled 12" woofers makes more than enough bass for movies and the upper frequency panels are awesome.
I bought Betas for my HT and then picked up another pair for surrounds instead of getting the Genesis surrounds. Even using my IRS Gamma on its side for a center channel has yielded pretty good results.
I have Dynaudio Contours (3.0's in front, with matching center, Audience 50's in back), so I guess by definition that's what I'd recommend since that's what I decided on. I have a dual purpose system that I avidly use for both music and movies.
I think something along the ATC suggestion is the other "path" I'd investigate (or will investigate if I ever change what I currently have. The Dyn's are nice, and are my first choice in music, but probably wouldn't be my absolute first choice in HT. Something that's a little "quicker", which will probably come from a more monitor-like speaker, and quite possibly is self powered, at least in the bass, would probably be what I'd pursue for a system that was more HT, but where I wanted good music as well. Other brands I'd consider along these lines would be Infinity, M&K and NHT, to name a few.
Finally, Martin Logan would be an excellent choice, particularly if you listen to music where electrostats excel. A pair of Odyssey's up front would be an excellent start, and they make dynamite center and surrounds to add later.
Certainly the Dynaudios and the ML's would require (at least ultimately) an upgraded amp for the fronts to fully realize their potential. They both really like their juice.
As usual, I haven't heard most of the suggestions! But I -have- heard both Aerials (I think the 7B), Vandersteen-5s and I was impressed with both. I had the same budget and I opted for MartinLogan Odysseys, although I'm sure a lot of folks will not agree with my tastes... Sonus Faber has HT products too; I've heard some of their 2-channel a little and it sounds qgreat - but looking at their web site suggests that their HT stuff is in a different (much lower) class. And you should look into Vienna Acoustics, too - they tend to get a lot of high marks (but I haven't heard them myself).
If your primary interest is music I'd suggest the biggest Dunlavy's you can afford. If your primary interest is HT I'd suggest Aerial 10T's.
Well, heard the Merlin VSM-M this weekend and was sold. They were great.
Now I have to start saving for the VSM Center and 4 TSM surrounds!!!
I'd take a look at the new ACI stuff. The Talismans look to have all the right ingredients for a great pair of mains. Veritas centers and surrounds should build an incredible system. Haven't yet heard any of this new stuff but ACI has never disappointed me.