I'm in hour 100 (suggested 24 hour break in time) and you'd have to pry the Lipinski 707's from my dead fingers. If you ever get a chance to hear them, try to do so. I'll put them up against any speaker in and/or well over their price range. I just don't want to shut them off. Check out Lipinskisound.com Best of luck.
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I am a Rogue dealer and Joseph Audio dealer. The Joseph stuff matches up great with your amps. I would take a look at the RM7xl's or the RM22xl's (if you would consider a small/mid size floorstander). Of course, if you want to bump your budget up a bit, the Joseph Pulsars sound incredible with the M-180's.
If you do not require very low bass, loud volume or have a large room to fill then smaller speakers have some great advantages. Since the drivers are so close together the inaging is better than a larger speaker, everything else being equal. Also it is much easier to build a great two way than a great three way; smaller cabiniet can be more rigid, simpler crossover etc. The 805 or Harbeth are very good, years ago I was a dealer for both of them; still have a pair of 805 Matrix and Spendors, which are very similar to Harbeth. Harbeth and Spendor are both very good matches with tubes and the B&W should work also. My advice to you would be this; recent generation 805s often show up in very good condition for around $2000; buy a pair and see how you like them. You will soon know if small speakers are for you; if not sell them at at most a small loss. If you do like them then either keep them, trade up to the newest 805s or transfur your allegence to another brand. They are many good brands of small speakers which sound quite different. Instead of spending $5000 initally I would buy a good used pair of a good brand and live with them for a while; this way your loss will be minimised if you decide to go in another direction.
I just wrote a review for the website hometheaterreview.com that should be published by next week on Bob Smith's, Aether Audio, Spirit-1SE two way stand mount speaker. I have heard many of the other speakers mentioned by other posters and they are quite good, however this new Spirit-1SE is a pretty amazing performer. Take a look at the review when it is published and if your interested shoot me an e-mail.
If you manage to find a pair of system audio
SAK2 WILL BE THE END OF YOUR SEARCH!
I have been lucky enough to find a used pair in San juan Pr while I am in graduate school!
One of the sweetest sounding speakers I ever listen to!
Coming from Dalis, crescendos, dynaudio I know what I am talking!
Otherwise get a nola boxer pair I compared them with linn accurate 242 I think in NJ the dealer owner could not believe it!
My 2 cents!
I and anyoher long-time member and i (due to the mind-bending demo I haeard thru his smoewhat modest system. I knew I had to have a pair in my system. And thus began the 8-month "watch Audiogon like a hawk for the right speakers at the right price" obsession.
We both have the marvelous Gallo Reference 3.1s You can find this in pristine condition for right around 1500 - 1800 delivered.
Do yourself a favor and read the reveiews for these remarkable speakers. Adn, generally, very high-WAF...
An example: here is an Agon ad for the Gallo Reference 3.5, the successor to the 3.1. However, Anthony *doubled* the price and I think that hurt it'sgiant killer" cred.
However, the ad linked is offering the 3.5s at @9995.00 - still a *smokin'* deal in any budget-minded music lover...
I have personally not found that small speakers necessarily outperform larger speakers in the same price range. Much depends on the room and the type of music you listen to.
Smaller room and/or listening to primarily small ensemble acoustic music or classic rock and minimonitor is probably the way to go.
I have heard B&W 805 diamonds and think highly of them. Would also consider Joseph audio pulsar, Totems and dynaudio in that price range.
Hands down the Harbeth Super 5's. Go audition them if you can. Google reviews. The reviews will amaze you. I'm not sure why mapman mentioned Rogue, but at the 2010 'The Show' in Montreal, the most well regarded room was the room with a Rogue Cronus Magnum, Rega Apollo, and Harbeth Compact 7's. Look it up on Google. I've read reviews of the Rogue / Harbeth combo several time and my local dealer also recommends this combo. Remember, specs do not matter when auditioning audio gear so if someone tells you such and such will not work with such and such, it's not true.
I just spent the last two hours listening to Billie Holliday on the speakers that replaced my wonderful Magnepan 1.6 QR pair. The Maggies were on Mye stands and fed by Rogue and Odyssey gear...terrific sound and image and amazingly transparent with a lot of watts. Good lord this Verve CD of Holliday is also amazing!
Now those big Maggie panels are replaced with fairly small Merlin TSM-MXrs and fed by 18 watts from a Manley Stingray. It's been a very nice upgrade for me. And it's a lot easier to move the Merlins when needed.
No doubt a lot of people will chime in and some very good speakers will be mentioned. Sadly....it's not easy to audition Merlins, but if you can you may find the magic you need.
Why settle for small speakers that have higher distortion
mid Bass thump and bright highs when driven to their limit...
Take a listen to Full Range like a Vandy Quatro still a smaller profile or Five A both offer room compensation will never overload your room and deliver more seamless enjoyable music.
Audience, made in Southern California are terrific.
Huge, open sound.....when I walked into the demo room, I thought the big-brother line source speakers were playing.
These are full-range multi-driver speakers with a passive radiator.
And for the full pop of $5k, really nice. Model? 2+2
Best? Who knows.... but here's a list to consider.
Red Rose Rosebuds
Jm lab micro be
JM Labs 1007Be
Dynaudio Special 25 Original Edition
Magico Mini II
Marten Design Duke
Sonus Faber Cremona
Sonus Faber Cremona M
Coincident Triumph Signature UHS, Extreme Version
SF Amati Homage
Sonus Faber Extrema
Star Sound Caravelles with stands
MBL 121 Rosewood
Manley ML10 using Tannoy sgm10b with mastering labs xvr
Tannoy SGM-10B Super Gold
Eggleston Works Fontaine
Jean Marie Reynaud Offrande
MBL 121 Radialstrahler
Ah well, I would recommend Harbeth or MERLIN; the first ones only because i heard them puzzled over them, but never had first hand experience; the Merlins because I truly believe that the MASTER TSM is my personal finest speaker I want to have in my living room, and I am a violinist, using gear in every possible way.
Just to pile on, I think the Merlin TSM are well worth considering, very high quality two-way monitors. I would also seek to audition the Harbeth line, HL5s would be my target at the price point and bit better bass performance than their smaller models. Are there better? Who knows, but these are undoubtedly excellent small speakers. Oh, and did I mention Verity......
There are lots of great speakers up to the $5K mark that could go well with the Rogues. I used to own the M150s and they were fantastic amps that did not sound like your typical tube amps.
I own the Harbeth P3ESR and Spendor SA1. Both worthy small speakers that would cost far less than $5KUS. Harbeths have very natural timbre to their sound and sound great with music with real instruments. If fast bass heavy, electronic music is your thing the Harbeths won't suit. Whereas the Spendors have a different sound and I feel can play more genres than the Harbeths as they are faster. They to my ears sound a little more closed in and the tweeter rolled off. What this does believe it or not is really draw you into the music. The sort of speaker that lets you forget about all your gear. Both cracking speakers which is why they are still with me. There is something refreshing with small sealed box speakers that has me hooked!
Just my two cents...
Part of that something I think has to do with what I would call coherence that comes from two drivers rather than 3 or more - few drivers to mesh and make sound like they are cut from the same cloth - also imaging seems to be more precise with two-ways - the advantages are to my liking, which is why I got Merlin VSMs - essentially two-way monitors with "integrated" stands (and electronic equalization to produce almost full-range performance down to 33hz or so. If I had 5k to spend, and was not a matter of size, a used pair of Merlins is what I would get, with considerably better bass performance than is possible with a pure "book-shelf" two-way monitor.
Alot of great choices, but I have returned to Totem more than any other brand for the way they move me emotionaly. Even my Watt/Puppy 6's, Maggie 3.6s, Dynaudio C4's etc.. were not as expressive and engaging. Totem speakers have a unique way of delivering dynamic shifts, combined with tonal sonority and holographic imaging like no other. It's a total package deal as compared to being the state of the art in any particular category. Most live music is a compramise in and of itself anyway, dependant on venue acoustics, performance and seating assignment. Try a Totem speaker...you may be hooked for life!
Don't waste your time on the B&W. The Tyler Acoustic D3's smoke them. With that being said I would look into many others before B&W. Anyone else look into this Vapor Audio Cirrus design? It appears they don't hide anything in the design or construction. Top shelf components throughout. I don't own them but am tempted after doing a little research on these. Maybe not the safest bet but I like living on the edge a little. I would be shocked if they did not really sing. I know there are longer standing safer bets out there but people need to see the cabinet alone on the Vapor. Price out the components and you will see there is not much profit after the build time.
When I first got my Vapor Cirrus, I just had to take them apart to see the internals. First I found he uses some screws that have a totally unique head, so had to call him and find out what screwdriver bit I need to remove them. Ryan was totally cool about it. He said go ahead and take them apart, but please just go slow :) Since everything is CNC cut, the drivers fit really tight in the cutouts.
When I did get the drivers out I was even more amazed with the insides than I thought I would be. That cabinet literally is built like a fallout shelter! Ryan doesn't cut any corners.
Yea, add up the parts cost. My calculation is there's over 50% of the total cost in just raw parts alone. I count myself fortunate to have found out about his work ... I sure am glad to be rid of my Utopia Be's and Harbeth HL5's.
Grand Teton speakers keep pace with all of my previous monitors (Nola Boxers, to Magico Q1's, to Harbeth 30.1's) and offer a balanced combination of their preferable qualities and none of the bad. They are at the same time musical, warm, accurate, transparent, and dynamic. Also, the sound of Teton is very open and dynamic like the Avantgarde, but much better suited in my smaller room. ---Reviews.