If your looking for the best monitor around, look into the Kharma 3.2 w/diamond tweeter and enigma cable/crossover upgrade, you will have one of the best speakers period- all in a nice 75lbs. package. Contact those who have heard these little gems, don't listen to all those who say "its not possible for that to sound good" because they haven't heard them. You will NOT be dissapointed.
No classical? Your loss! Btw, Spendor makes best monitors available. Hands down!
My vote goes for the Totem Mani-2. Don't take my word, read the review at Stereophile. Hector
Tim, are we now classifying any 2-way speaker as a "monitor"? The Kharmas I thought are floor-standers, and I associate the designation with small-to-medium stand-mounts (at least as we audiophiles have bastardized the term; in a recording studio, whatever you're using to monitor your playback is a "monitor", no matter what the configuration) - usually 2-way, but not necessarily. Is any box dynamic speaker now a monitor (again, in the studio, real monitors can often employ horn-loading as well)?
(Don't sweat it man, you didn't come up with these fuzzy definitions... :-)
BTW, I think the best monitor is the Komodo dragon... ;^)
Zaikesman- You are correct when you say it is a floor stander, but the name of the speaker is the 3.2 reference monitor. Also Emster said
open to small floorstanders if necessary
so I figured that one of the best sounding speakers that just happens to be really small would be a great choice for this person.
Zaik... are you making fun of me;?(
I think the Mani-2s are very nice speakers, particularly their bass response for such a small package. You might try to give the Revel M20s a listen. I think the midrange and high end are a little more refined than the Mani-2s, but you'll give up a bit of bass extension and impact.
El: I consider it unwise policy to make fun of dragons (just ask that guy Sharon Stone took to the zoo... :-)
eldragon, and zaikesman, in addition to being a lizard, a monitor also means advisor in latin. On the topic of advice, I am surprised that there are very few other names tossed about, but perhaps that means that I am going to audio extremes here. I will check out the Kharma. any other ideas, say in the 10k area? thanks for the thoughts.
Emster, don't forget the Merlins, VSM (floorstander) and TSM (stand mount), both relatively efficient and an easy load. The Karma's 3.2 are also great as noted by Tireguy. They are also quite expensive for a 2-way but it shouldn't be a consideration if you can afford them.
Do listen to the Merlins though. Whether you love them or not I doubt if you will be indifferent and that is always a good thing.
Any one tried Tannoy's System 800,1000 and 1200? How about Tannoy's DX00 series?
Verity Audio Monitors (the top 1/2 of the Parsifal Encores). Phenomenal neutrality and soundstage precision.
I think the Alon Lotus Elites are one of the most exciting new speakers. They received some best-of-show votes at CES. Medium size, decent looking, dynamite sound. $8K for the Signature, all-alnico version. alonbyacarian.com.
Sound like a broken record:Green Mountain Europas
I've listened to the KEF Reference 201's at a local dealer. The sound is clean, airy, accurate, musical. Does not reach the lowest regions in bass, but great overall tonal balance. Wide soundstage and sweetspot thanks to Uni-Q driver incorporating mid and high frequencies in one unit (the tweeter is mounted in the centre of the mid-range driver, which allows for excellent coherence). Not sure about pricing in the US, but probably around $4.5k with the KEF stands.
The Tannoy System 12 DMT and System 12 DMT II, the predecessors to the System 1200, are superb near/mid-field monitors, largely sold to the professional market, though there is a growing coterie of home listeners who have caught on to what might be the best price/performance ratio available. I know both these olders models well (own the DMT 12) as well as their big brothers, the DMT 15 II, which I use in my main system.
Recent reports on the Tannoy user's group on yahoo.com suggest that the System 1200 continues the tradition of excellence.
Hope this helps.
the new style Active ATC 20's on Sound Anchor stands
Dynaudio anybody? I had the 1.3mk'2 and thought they sounded great! I would love hear the 1.3se or 25th se.
You bet! Dynaudio Special 25 Anniversary Edition.
It has the Esotar2 and 20mm woofer directly from the top Confidence line. Gorgeous birch finish ... Yummy! It sounds like sparkles from a beautifully cutted diamond.
Having carefully researched this issue, i have a thorough understanding of most of the best monitors out. Here is a list of them.
Sonus Faber Guaneri Homage
Sonus Faber Extrema
Dynaudio Confidence 3s
Dynaudio 25th Ann
Talon Peregine X
Talon Hawk Diamond
JM Reynaud Offrande
Jm Labs Mini Utopia Be
B&W 25th Anniversary Silver Special
ATC has a few good ones
hmmm there are a few more but i forget them right now.
The best speaker of all of these are the Hawk Diamonds from my experience. They list for 16k, the hawks are almost just as incredible and are only 8k. Now you wont find these used. If you want a great deal on a used speaker i would reccomend JM Reynaud Offrandes. For about 2500 used they are vastly better than the totems i would know as i presently own them both! My hawk diamonds will hopefully be coming shortly. Look into the talons seriously if you want to spend 8k or up, if not go for the offrandes, they are worth 500 dollars more than the Mani IIs. Hope this helps...
Nice list Lordgorian.
A couple other speakers that I can think of that should probably be on the list are:
Wilson Benesch Discovery
Peak Consult Incognito
But as a two year owner of Offrandes, I can't imagine a need to spend more money than what the Offrandes cost, new or used. They are a tremendous speaker.