Best Full Range Speakers @ Around $2000?

I'm looking to put together a "small" system for my den (Int.Amp, CD Player, Speakers) I have a pair of Alon I Loudspeakers that I'm considering using, but they now seem a bit too colored to my ears, especially in the upper bass. I have a Marantz CD-63SE that I'll be using as my CD source. So I just need an Int. Amp and a set of full range speakers that are VERY EASY TO PLACE. My den is about 16 X 20 x 8. My budget for each is around $2000. Any favorites?
I might suggest NHT 2.5i. It is a very good fullrange speaker that is pretty easy to place if you follow the manual that is included. And, at $1300 retail it beats your budget by $700! Good Luck! Ricky Hunter
Medawlark hot rod Kestrals 1500 new.I heard these, this past week.But they were being driven by some very good equiptment.It is amazing how good a $1500 speaker can sound, if driven by the right stuff.So your milage will definitly vary.Borrow whatever you decide on first,and listen before you buy.
I have a room basically the same size, as yours, in which I am using Thiel 1.5's, with much success, however, I used to have a Marantz CD63-SE and with the Thiels it was too hot, so I am now using a CAL. So for your situation, have you listened to the Spendor 1/2's or 1/3's both excellent? The 1/2's go new for around $2500 but you may be lucky enough to pick up a pair used for around $2000. Good Luck and enjoy the search! Ted Watkins
I feel that having listened to a number of integrateds in your price range the Densen B-100 is a killer. Also the Myryad and Arcam are very good. The Sonus Faber Concertos are very hard to beat and can be had for a lot less than $2000.00. Also the nOrh 7s are a bargain and better sounding than a lot of speakers 2X their price. You would have to like the way they look but a lot of people are very taken by their unigue design. I have a pair of rosewood 7s and I have yet to see too many speakers finished as nice let alone better, regardless of price.
The Hales Revelation 3 speakers (New$2200.) are very exceptional speakers for the money.They made a very solid B+ rating(borderline A) from Stereophile and were recommended to anyone in the $5000. or even slightly higher range.Special designed enclosures and designed woofers and top capacitors,a special designed crossover,Cardas wiring and Cardas Gold plated solid copper binding posts.Read the owner reviews at and the review at Check out the speaker site at .Happy listening.
*true* full-range? bass response down to 20hz, +/-2db? try used thiel 3.5's; if ya must spend $2k, then buy *two* pairs, & run 'em back-to-back! ;~) this, actually, is what mr. thiel recommends doing w/his speakers, in lieu of bi-amping, which is why his recent models don't have more than one pair of rca's... the thiels are also quite accurate & detailed, & image great for a big speaker.
Thanks to all of the above. I was already thinking of checking out the Hales speakers; I've heard allot of great things about them. And no Sedond, not "real" full range down to 20hz. A speaker like that would probably overwhelm my room. I will consider others in the Thiel line though, such as the 1.5's as suggested by A_e_watkins. My only concern with Thiel is finding an integrated amp that can handle the tough load that many Theil speakers present. Any thoughts? BTW, I'm also considering a pair of monitor speakers instead of "full range" floorstanders. Any favorites?
On the used market Von Schweikert VR-4 originals can not be beat in the full range department. I mean true full range, not 30hz a above but real 20hz stuff. They are not the best midrange, or treble when compared directly to the big guns Thiel, or Meadowlark, etc. but when all around performance is taken into account the speaker absolutly rocks. Easy to place, wellllll, thats another story. I am driving mine with a Belles 150A Hot Rod which has 100 watts and it seems to drive them to louder than I care to listen levels. Anyway good luck. My2$.
my thiel 3.5's - an *especially* difficult load, due to their bass equalizer (which is how they go down to 20hz) - are currently being used in a 2nd system in my kitchen (big kitchen!). they're being driven by a 35wpc audio innovations integrated, and they get *plenty* loud. if ya find a decent integrated w/lotsa current that will increase wattage as the ohms drop (the 3.5's are a 4-ohm load), yule be all right. re: monitors, i like proacs, aerial, diapason, jm labs, merets, sonus fabers. most monitors, will take up the same space as floor-standers, properly set-up w/stands. but, yule usually get better sound in *all* areas above 100hz, by foregoing *any* real output below ~50hz, at any given price-point, imho... my main set-up has a pair of meret re's, x'd over at 60hz to a pair of vmps larger subs. i like the monitor/sub solution to full-range sound at a somewhat reasonable price. - easier to set-up each speaker to optimize what it does best, &, as said before, i tink monitors do thing floor-stander's can't, at any given price-point.
Vandersteen 2ceSignature if you like bass and full range. Magnepan 1.6QR if you like incredible detail. These are electrostatics, but are small enough to move every day. Dynaudio 1.8 for clear detailed sound w/drivers and some bass. Audio Physic Sparks for holographic imaging, clarity, but not much bass. AP's do need to be out in the room.
The best speakers for under $2500.00 are either the Paradigm Studio 80's or 100's.If you did a A/B with the Rev 3's the only real difference you would hear would be better bass from the Paradigms.If you had the RIGHT room and spent CONSIDERABLE time experimenting with placement of the Rev.3"s,then maybe they would sound as good as the Paradigms.The Paradigms have high sensitivity also so you dont have to worry about running out of clean volumn like you would with a 86db speaker,unless of course you want to pay big bucks for watts.I have heard A/B's of the 3 above speakers in a salon and at home.The above is what I heard.
I love my NHT 2.5i speakers. You need at least 100wpc amp to run them, but they are very revealing. I listened to Vandersteen 3a, maggies 1.6 and numerous other $2,000+ speakers. When I come home and listen to the NHT 2.5i's I sit back and smile. You can find them used for around $700+
Thanks Rosstaman. I've been thinking allot about NHT speakers too. My gut tells me that they might work well in my horrible room, because it is my understanding that NHT speakers are not wide dispersion designs. My den is VERY reflective, especially in the upper bass (between 100-200 hz) so a speaker that radiates most of it's energy towards the listener might work well for me. I hope to gather some opinions, and get to listening this weekend. Chow for now!
B&W CDM7 se -Someone has a pair in red ash listed for $999 usually $1800 new. They are easy to place and have a smooth laid back sound (some say too laid back)Just give them LOTS of clean power and use the money youve saved for high quality cables.
deborah, if yer looking for a speaker that radiates most of its energy directly towards the listening-spot, perhaps ewe should try dunlavys - they have a *very* narrow sweet-spot, primarily cuz they're so directional. one reviewer, talking about their largest model, the sc-vi's, said they were "the worlds largest headfones", due to the *great* imaging, but *only* at the sweet-spot...
Deborah, I highly recommend speakers from Coincident, Meadowlark, Vandersteen, and Paradigm for this system. I think you should consider easy to drive speakers, as you are using an itegrated amplifier in a good sized room. All of these companies produce easy to find models(new or used) that will fit the bill, and sound very good. Is your problem with the Alons their warmth? Good luck!
If you want one of the best monitors, deffinitely check about Audio Concept Sapphire III! This is 'factory direct", made in USA, with money back guar...! Check reviews on "Audioreview" also "bound for sound"..they've been compared with B@W 801's. I own (just recently) a pair of Sapphire II. Must audition speaker!
Thanks again to all. I'm making a short list (well, not that short right now) and I'm planning to start "listening around" this weekend. Trelja, I happen to love Alon speakers. I have their model V mkIII in my main system. My den is a very strange acoustical space for a resonably sized room; it's like bizarro world in there! No matter where I place my Alon I's, I get a huge suckout in the midrange between 400-800hz or so (this also happens to be the crosover region where the woofer and mid driver intersect)...also, the closer the speakers are to the wall, the LESS bass I get; in fact the speakers have to be placed VERY far into the room in order to get decent bass response!?!...The room has hard plaster walls, and half of them are canted from about 4' up. I had a pair of Totem Arro's in the den today which I borrowed from my brother-in-law, and they were no better than the Alon speakers, in fact in most ways, they sounded much worse. This is why I've been also considering smaller monitor speakers; it's now my feeling that ANY floorstander will perform poorly in bizarro world. Again, thanks for all the input, and I'll keep you up to date. Chow.
And yes, just in case my humor gets lost here, I know it's "ciao".....I just find allot of this stuff "chow" for thought. Ciao, for now!
I heard a pair of Vandersteen 2ce Signatures at around $1600 that sounded as good as the electronics on them, and when the electronics weren't the greatest the Vandy's didn't punish me. Very impressive, musical, and lot's of music for the money.
Deborah: Can you change your listening position? In other words it seems that you need to address the accoustic situation that you have are the speakers with the long or short wall behind? If you can get a test tone cd with a tone close to that and a SPL meter you might find the chair/speaker position that improves response in that troubled range as usual the typical compromise will be reached..... If the room accoustics is the problem the situation might still happening with other speakers as well. For checking check that your speaders are not placed at same distance from side/back wall because that produces problems. Also consider placing the speaker diagonally to see what happens. Regards
Thanks everyone! Sol322, I'm sure you are correct on all counts. My main system is in a dedicated room with full acoustic treatment from ASC, and the difference between the treated and non-treated room is profound. In fact,I feel that an acoustically correct environment is the MOST important "component" in a hi-rez system. But, alas, I can not accomplish much in my den due to aesthetic restraints. I already take up too much room in my home, and the den needs to function like, well, a den! Even with careful placement, the Alon speakers have poor in-room response, and I too now believe that ANY full range speaker I place in this room will perform poorly. So to that end, I've been auditoning mostly smaller monitor speakers. My favorite so far has been the Dunlavy SC-I; it has very little output (mesured in room response) below about 80Hz, and sounded wonderful when mated with a REL Strata III subwoofer and VTL integrated amp. The REL is positioned for the smoothest bass response, and the Dunalavy's for the cleanest midrange/trebble response. The system was very satisfying on a variety of program material, and since my whole family will be using this rig, that is important. Now if I could only find an SOLID STATE integrated amp that sounds nearly as sweet as the VTL, I might be in business (my husband complained that the den felt like it had a coal stove in it with the heat generated by the VTL, and since this is a non-critical listening system, he pleaded with me to stick with solid state; He also feels, and perhaps rightfully so, that our den system should be reliable and maintenance free)Anyway, I'll be trying some more speaker/amp combos this weekend; if anyone has any favorites, please let me know. With you in the music, Deborah.
I would try out some Totem Model 1 signatures. They are sensitive to aiming less than placement (off axis response is just plain weird with them). They are wonderfully detailed though and are worth a listen if nothing else. The other option that I would at least investigate is the Nautilous 805 from B&W. I always think of it and the Model one as being almost exact peers, just with different personalities.
I would give the Vienna Acoustics Bach a try @ $1500 per pair. Heard some good things about them. Tried the Totem Model1 and has a midbass bump. The Proac 1sc are too analytical.
deborah, i *told* ya the dunlavy's would be good in a problem room! ;~) now, buy the alchemist kraken integrated that's f/s here on audiogon, & yule be happy - nice non-solid-state sounding amp. but, it *also* runs hot - pure class-a. mebbe not as hot as a tubed unit, tho. also, *unbelievably* cool-looking, if ya care... i'm tempted to buy it, for looks alone, for my kitchen system, but my audio innovations alto is yust fine, & my *main* system is sucking up too much money presently. or, electrocompaniet has a real nice sound, for solid-state, if ya like tubes...
In my difficult office / workroom, with very little space, I went with Mackie HR824 active monitors, these are bi-amped, two-way monitors with an additional passive base radiator. Amp problem solved, space problem solved, sound problem solved. As long as you are in a situation where you can listen to these in the 'near field', there is nothing that beats em if you ask me. For $1,300 or so a pair, not a bad deal IMO. (One note, the Balanced hookup is meant for pro gear, not audiophile gear, so pin 2 is cold... Need special cable unless you use other pro gear) Niels.
If you are willing to buy used speakers, you won't do any better in a full-range speaker than Vandersteen 3A's. There have been several sets of 3A's listed recently on Audiogon for about $1800, and there is currently a pair of 3A's for auction on E-Bay (last price I saw yesterday was $1850). I own a pair of Vandy 3A's that I bought used, and can attest that they are an outstanding full-range speaker (although they don't fully reproduce frequencies below 30 Hz).