Look for a pair of Von Schweikert VR1 monitors; they come up on A'Gon every now and then in your price range. See the review in Stereo Times online.
All the others you mentioned could also nicley meet your criteria.
Monitors/bookshelf or floorstanders?
For the price, I like the VS VR-1 mentioned above, except I feel that it's a little thin for jazz and blues.
I would consider something like a PSB Image series, any of the NHT offerings in that price range, perhaps a Paradigm Studio 20 or Acoustic Energy AE100 series.
Depending on the amp you choose and the room geometry, you might actually consider Magnepan MMG's. I sent my pair back before the end of the trial period, but if I didn't have a more expensive speaker I was comparing it to and I only listened to jazz and blues, I would have definitely kept them. They are great speakers for the money, but you need to make sure that you have the room and amp for them. (And maybe a sub.)
Thanks guys, I have thought about the VR1's. Don't know why I forgot about those. Good suggestions.
Reubent, no preference, just the price range.
More info, the speakers will be in a semi large room.
speakers with a bright/lively top end would be great, my father has some hi-frequency hearing loss. He misses the highs he used to hear, therefore when he hears good tweeters with good imaging and soundstage, he likes it.
What about Dali, don't the Helicon's have a dome tweeter and a ribbon? Are they in this price range when used?
Sorry, I was thinking of the Dali Mentor not Helicon's.
Jdfelice, based on what you've said about the room and listening priorities (imaging and soundstage), I'd say the Magnepan MMG's should be at the top of your list. They're available NEW with 60 day no-fuss return policy for only $50 above your price limit.
Good Point Michael. I'll check into them some more. At one time I was very interested in these for myself, I just could not accommodate the placement requirements.
Was going to suggest Vandersteen 1Cs until I read the high frequency issue. Actually I'd still recommend them but I replaced a pair of Paradigm Studio 60s a few years back with the 1Cs because I thought the Paradigms had a little too much energy in the upper freqs. Good luck and let me say it's a wonderful gesture on your part.
If you really want to save some dough and still have great sound, I'd suggest the Sound Dynamics 300ti that are for sale on the GON right now in Florida. He is only asking $200.00 for the pair which is a very good price! (I don't know the seller) I recommended a pair of these for a friend who paid $350.00 and he loves them. Check out the reviews in the Absolute Sound.
Those Sound Dynamics 300ti's for $200 is a great deal. One could likely live with those speakers for a long time to come...
Buy the SD 300ti's NOW. It is a no brainer. I still have a pair upstairs in a third system. They were in my main system for many years before the upgrade bug bit. Still it took me a log while looking and listening and a great deal to knock them out of my main system. I would not sell my pair for $200.
Those are some pretty big compliments for the 300ti's. Since I have never hear them or of them, I'm a little tentative. As nice as they may be, do you guys all feel I can't get a better speaker for $500. If this was your budget, is that what you would buy?
Try and find an Active pair of Quad L2. Then you can sell your amp.
Have you given some thought to putting together a vintage system for your Father? There's still a lot of great sounding amps, speakers, ect from the "goldern age of audio", that has loving been taken care through the years, and can give a lot of modern equipment a good run for the money. I sure your Father would appreciate a classic 60/70s era system system to listen to his Blues and Jazz recording from that time. One thing that you mentioned in that your father used to own a pair of Acoustic Research AR3, and with that in mind, I wonder how much would like a modern day speaker, or would it would be better to have a pair of vintage speakers that have the "Boston" sound that Acoustic Research, Advent, ect where know for. Put that together with maybe a well taken care of amp from that era - and there are plenty of Marantz, McIntosh, Fisher, ect out there, along with a quality turntable and he'll have a system that would take him back to those days.
cleaneduphippy, I thought about that, there is a pair of AR3a's on AGON right now. I think when it comes to sound quality, he has heard my PS Audio, Jolida, Usher X-719 system, and I think he likes the newer technology. He has commented several times about how much sound comes from a monitor compared to his older AR3's. There are so many good speakers, I think I should concentrate on filling his rather large room. It's about 25x25 with 3 connecting hallways, one of which is a staircase going to another level. Does that sound big to you? Would the Maggies excell in these conditions over some monitors?
Does sound like your father has a fairly large room, and with many of the speaker being suggestioned I would wonder how well they could fill that room. Also many of these speakers mentioned wouldn't have very much in the way of bass responds. Can't really comment on Maggies has I never really had a chance to listen them at any length beyond a brief store demo sometimes back. Perhaps somebody else could help you with that question. You mention that your Father likes your system, and you also mentioned that the speakers in the system where the Usher X-719. With that in mind, perhaps a speaker that you should look into is the Usher V-601. It uses the same 7-inch woofer that the 6 series uses and has a one-inch soft dome tweeter. Had a chance to listen to a pair awhile back and they're great sounding (as are most Ushers) and good looking speakers. New they run around $700, but you should be able to find a used pair in the $500 range. Btw what Jolida do you own? I own a SJ-502A amp and considering getting the JS-100A CDP to replace my NAD CDP.
Thanks, for the input hippy.
I'm using the JD100A CDP and a PS Audsio 6.2 preamp. I have for sale of my Sherbourn 5/1500A home theater amp, to upgrade to a better 2 channel amp. I'm thinking about a PS Audio HCA-2.
What about the EPOS ELS303, ever heard them?
I'm thinking about a PS Audio HCA-2.
You might also look at the PS Audio Trio A-100. I recently purchased a Trio C-100 and am very happy with it. Cool, quiet with music coming out of total silence. The lottle box is pretty amazing after some of the behemoths I've had.
I've heard of the EPOS ELS-3 (and I'm assuming the ELS303 are an updated version), but never got the chance to hear a pair as I could never find a nearby dealer, and believe me I was looking as I was interesting in hearing the EPOS line. I do know the ELS-3 got quite a number of positive reviews when it first came out. Could be a good speaker for your Father. Of course with the size of his room, you might want to see if you could find a pair of EPOS M5 or M12.
Just realized that EPOS ELS303 is a floorstander, while EPOS ELS-3 is a monitor.
The reason the SD 300ti's are highly recommended is that they are that good. Audio Advisor was the exclusive distributor and they retailed for $800 but were commonly "on sale" for $500. That was in the mid 80's. Harry Pearson of Absolute Sound fame (the ultimate Audio Snob) flipped over them and for good reason. Find his review on line. The little EPOS won't touch them, you will have to move up the line to best the 300ti's. They sound much bigger than their box size. I have used them with older gear and modern gear, tubed and Solid State and they have always done well for themselves. I replaced them in my main listening room with Dynaudio floorstanders at 6X the price. You won't find a $500 pair of better speakers. With regard to the "vintage" recommendations: I have had AR's and Large Advents. Heck I rebuilt my Large Advents and they look great, but they are not hooked up to anything right now. The reason is they do not sound as good as the 300ti's. The 70's speaker designs are a much more constrained sound in general.
If you can find a pair of Fried A/6, they would be extremely hard to beat. I don't know of too many currently produced sub $5000 loudspeakers that can beat them.