Best speakers for $500 or less

I have a friend who wants to get a good pair of speakers for $500 or less, and was looking at Bose. I cringed. Though Bose does make some OK speakers for a very small size, I thought there is probably something better out there and I would turn to all the good Audiogoner's to help! My friend listens to a mix of 2-channel and TV/movies, and is looking to get two speakers now and expand later. What would you suggest???
Sound Dynamics 300ti. Not often found on Audiogon--keep your eyes pealed.
A good, used set of Paradigm 40s or 7SEs could probably be had for that price point, I see some 40s on the 'Gon right now for $575 and a pair of 7SEs for $200 (!!).

Good luck,

Second the SD 300ti. Perhaps even the Sound Dynamics RTS3,
In a bigger size, Magnepan MMG at 550.00/pair factory direct. One of the best buys in audio IMHO.
I have owned the RTS-3's, they were very good. Exceptional bass from a monitor. There was a pair for sale on here for $150 I think. Not sure if still available.


PS - Also the new Epos minimonitor's too. Not sure how good for movies/HT though.
SlipKnot1 is correct. And you can get your money back if you trade up to other Magneplanar speakers within a year.
If your talking about used, you might be able to find a pair of Vandersteen 2's or Thiel CS-2's.
Without a doubt, I would look for a used pair of Paradigm Studio 20's. Version 1 or 2.
If size is an issue, Anthony Gallo Micros. If size is not an issue than either the Triangle Titus or the Quad 11L's.
For new check out Ascend Acoustics CBM 170 for $328 a pair.
Somebody who's considering Bose is an unlikely candidate for buying used. Among new speakers, I'd start with Paradigm and PSB. They might not be everyone's favorites, but they're doing low-end speakers about as well as anyone, and they're pretty widely distributed--though almost exclusively through small shops. If your friend is put off by the high-end boutiques (as many people are), at least get him to consider Polks, which are a competently made mass-market alternative.
Used JM Reynaud Twins
Bomarc, you make a good point and I agree with your suggestions.
Castle richmonds new or used...

I had a pair of these monitors, and i was really impressed.
They retail new for about 450 a pair, they come in some very attractive veneers, and they have some pretty wicked sound.

They are on to something with thier UNI-Q drivers. Excellent imaging, and impressive low end response from a monitor.

These are also relativll easy to find.

If you have a SoundTrack Audio, Audio King, or Ulitmate Electronics anywhere in your area, you can pick up a pair there.

I dont know if anyone has seen those places, but i love em. Big big store with Huge huge selection, alot of thier stff us Mid-fi, but they also carry the top of the line products from Infinity, KEF, Denon, Klipsch, Sunfire, Krell, Martin Logan, Definitive Technologys, and plenty others.

Of course, it has that supermarket feel, but thier sound rooms are not all that bad.
Thanks guys!
I think there is a shop near where we live that takes care of both Paradigm and PSB, so we'll start there, and see if we can find a Sound Dynamics retailer.
I appreciate all the input!!!
I second the PSB and Paradigm. If you live near a Best Buy you might check out the Athena line of speakers. I believe they are either the sister company of Sound Dynamics and/or the new renamed company. A lot of bang for the buck with Canadian made speakers.
You may want to check into Axiom M3ti or M22ti, Ascend Acoustics CBM 170 for monitors (both have an in home trial period so you're only out return shipping if you don't like them). As stated above, the Magnepan MMG is a larger size and slightly out of your budget new ($550), but these also come with an in home trial as well. IMHO, the MMGs are an exceptional value around this price point.
Purchased a pair of Vandersteen 1Bs for my son last year for $200. Obscenely good for the money, even with an inexpensive integrated amp and run of the mill CD player. Natural and unforced presentation with great frequency extension and smoothness. Efficient and an easy load, play quite loudly when necessary. Beguiling with voices in particular.
New-the best B&W he is prepaired to pay for within the $500 limit; used-so many choices,probably hundreds of them. Steer clear from cheap Canadian speakers, not worth it.Your friend may also want to audition some Polk and Cambridge Sound Works speakers, they can be good value.
API has replaced the Sound Dynamics line with the Athena line.
As long as size is not important, I highly recommend Sound Dynamics 300ti if used, and recommend Paradigm Monitor 5 if new. The SD are very very good and warrant using really nice gear (ARC, CJ, Anthem, etc) but also are OK with mass market. The Paradigms are not as transparent but work well with good (and probably low end) gear. I have owned both and recommend them above baby Maggies (high power requirements) and Cambridge sub/sat (pretty papery sounding and really not significant upgrade from Bose).

If size and aesthetics really matter, Bose is a serious contender because they truly disappear in a room. Just don't expect audiophile sound. Yes, I've owned and recommended them, too.