Best loudspeaker on the 3k range???

Which is the best speaker for the 3k range? An used Merlin VSM with BAM? or a B&W Nautilus 804? or the NOVA Bravo?
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Get a listen to 1) ProAc 2.5 and 2) AudioPhysic Virgo. New they're in the $4500-5700 range. Used takes them to $3K. I'm a lookin' got a pair to sell? Different sound but both excell in presence, detail, and punch. Alex [email protected]
Consider used Martin Logans or Magnepans or Sound Labs. You can probably find a store with either Martins or Maggies to see if you like them - Sound Labs are harder to find but even better. All of these are enclosureless dipoles (except for the Martin hybrids) and have a nonfatiguing naturalness that no enclosured speaker can rival for anywhere near the price.
Michael Green Designs Chameleon2 loudspeakers.
Martin-logan are where it's at. bu t listen to the maggie's first. The best sound is in the ears.
The Wilson Audio Watt 3 (used) would blow your brain off.
If you have a little more money to spend I would seriously look fore second hand pair of gallo solos or references, if not check out PSB stratus gold and try them out with Bryston amps; PBS voices there speakers with them.
try the maggie 3.6 or the new revel performa
You should listen to the Hales Revelation 3's; they retail for $2195 and sound much better than the 804's. They will surprise you in terms of sonic quality for the price, and likley are better than most speakers up to $5,000/pr. Good luck. bobm
My Paragon Acoustics Radiants list for $2900, I'd sell them to you for $1650. I could e-mail you photos.
The Nova's use the Revelator tweeter, so I'd get them, if you've got to pay retail. I have those tweeters for one of my projects. There's a reason they're in all the statement speakers from PBN, Nova, Sonus Faber...The Merlins use the Esotar, but it isn't really better than the Revelator, just more expensive. However, the Esotar dome midrange (I have them also) is entirely better at being a midrange than the tweeter is at being a tweeter, and that's saying a lot!
Check out the Celestion A3 or if you don't like metal domes tweeeters,the Dynaudio Contour (the one down from the 3.3) The JBL SVA-2100 is a good choice if you listen to a lot of heavy metal and rock and roll. They will dynamically outperform the other speakers mentioned easily. These speakers are the closest you can get to the $5,000-$10,000 range. Matter of fact, they probably outperform quite a few speakers in that price range.
The Paragon Radiants are every bit as dynamic as the Contour 1.8 mk2's, and ARE A MUCH BETTER VALUE AT $2850. The Esotec D260 tweeter is nowhere near as good as the D21/2 in the Radiant. There are only 2 dome tweeters better than the D21/2: the Esotar T330D, and the Scanspeak Revelator (as in the Nova line). I don't like metal dome tweeters, although the Accuton in the Avalon Acoustic's line is probably the best metal dome. It still rings...
ProAc 2.5 Speaker is recommended. I suggest you either increase your budget or look at a used 2.5 speaker. good luck.
If you are willing to to spend the time and have the skill the best speakers I have ever heard will cost you about 3K. But you will need to assemble them. They are Aria 7 TLR towers. Read about them at
Ditto on the Hales Revelatipon 3 speakers.All top grade parts ,in the same tradition of 5 figure reference speakers !!!Cardas gold plated connectors and internal wire.Special polypropylene woofer designed for the Rev 3.Top polyprophylene capacitors. A - rated by Stereophile and very good owner reviews at audio review.Read the review at audio revolution. A give away at list price of $2195 and a steal if you can find a rare used pair.The very best value for exceptional sound within $3000.and will hold their own to good 5k speakers.
NHT 2.9 have awesome base response and can virtually disappear. They retail for $2500-2700 but dealers will negotiate. NHT makes great speakers throughout their line but high end dealers don't carry them very often. Very underpublicized speakers that are worth checking out.
IMHO, it's the Magneplanar 1.6QR. This option has the added advantage of leaving you with $1,500 change in your pocket.
PSB Gold or Gold i. Beast full range speaker for under 3000 dollars. I have owned B7W 801 and these PSB are not far behind. Wonderful mid-range and solid,accurate base.
Best value is PSB Gold-i, can be purchased new over internet for $1900. JA review in Stereophile says it all. Use the extra money for some good cables, interconnects, or powersnakes Black Mamba power cords!
If your definition of the "3K" range means NEW speakers at retail, then no list should be without the Vandersteen 3A or Vandersteen 3A Signature. With SoundAnchor braces, these two speakers fall within the $2800-$3500 range. If you are looking at the $3K used speaker market, then check out Hales, MartinLogans, Dunlavy, and NHT.
Sonus Faber II' least they are 3k when bought from Paolo in Italy. These speakers are amazing in every way. They are also getting a slight bad rap because of the driver changes. Truth is they are benefitting from this change with great integration.
Currently very satisfied with Stratus Gold i. This are an excellent cost/performance investment. Considered the Hales Three as well, but Stratus are easier to drive... Both Stratus and Three got B rating by Stereophile.
Rock? Hales 3 has prodigious bass/slam; classical/jazz/folk? Revel Performa F30 has GREAT midrange. Both speakers are MUCH better than Nautilus 804, but WAFs aren't the best.... (Frankly, they're better than 803 also...what a hideous tweeter integration, and muddy bass!)
Spendor SP 1/2's, hands down.
My vote goes to the vandersteen 3a or 3a sig.with sound anchors.
check out revel performa f-30's and meadowlark shearwater hot rods. have heard great things about proacs, too. imho, martin logans are not practical unless you are content to always sit still in the same perfectly placed chair every time you listen.
It's not hard to understand why there are so many loudspeaker manufacturer's judging by the responses above. Now the poor guy is really confused as am I. I sure wish I could listen to all listed so I could really know for myself. I recently acquired a pair of Merlin VSM-SE's and I can say they sure are revealing, detailed, dynamic and positively breathtaking on well recorded material. They are going to take some careful system matching so I can get the best out of them. I don't think there is a limit to their capabilities but that may prove to be a double edged sword with these babies. I now know why people unload them, not enough patience to get them to their optimum. I expect that they may be unsurpassed if you are willing to go the distance with them. I have never heard a speaker that surpasses them at their best. They are throughbreds all the way.
Hales Revelation two or three, or save your pennies for Transcendence three
NHT 2.9's list for $2500, sell for about $1500 used. Very low base and amazing wide soundstage. Open and detailed sound. Can play very loud. I compared these to PBS stratus golds and the PSB's sounded like they had wet rags hung over the drivers. May be a bit analytical and forward for some ears, don't know what you like in a speaker.
Do yourself a favour find a Coincident dealer and have a listen.Better than most speakers twice the price.Hearing is believing.
in responce to everyone I own a pair of 804s and biwired i happen to like then. Alot. The only way to figure out what speaker to buy is to go to a store with a few cd's and FIRGURE OUT WHAT SPEAKER TO BUY.