Of that list the Vienna Acoustics are the runaway favorites, for my sonic pallete, which doesn't have to be yours.
The speakers conspicuously missing from your list, it seems to me, are the Joseph Audio RM25si and the DeVore Gibbon-8 or, if you can make it fit the budget, the Super-8. My personal list in your size and budget would also include Spendor s8e's, but again, that may be a taste issue as much as anything.
The one thing you didn't mention was the room: A pair of DeVore-8's will sound way better than a pair of Spendor s8e's, in a narrow room with hardwood floors. Just the opposite in a big, wall-to-wall carpeted space with a huge set of sliding glass doors along the back.
Vandersteen 3A Sigs (own them so obviously bisaed:)
I listen to lots of my old rock and some County LP's, and am far from disappointed. In fact, some of these are my personal favorites for demoing to friends (as we are in our mid 40's and love the shock on their face when I play a LP i bought in 79 while in high school.
At min, you should seek these out for a listen. New around $3500/used on here for close to your floor above.
Well, I voted with my wallet for the Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Baby Grands, at $3500, moving from Celestion SL6s. Not only did I gain tremendous impact in the bass but I retained the great imaging of the Celstions. The mids are smooth and articulate.
They're 4 ohm, so I think your Mac will provide plenty of slam for rock and country.
Another possibility in that price range are the VonSchweikert VR4JRs Used which will meet all of your musical tastes;the 252 will really make the sing.
Have you considered anthing from Totem Acoustic? (Hawks or Forests, in particular)?
I would include dunlavy sc3,4,or 5's
these are excellent speakers and do show up on the used market
I would add the Usher CP 6381 MK II. The Usher has a big open sound stage, well defined punchy bass, and a smooth lush midrange and treble.
Before I became an audio dealer, I owned the WP 5.1 and the Usher CP 6381 actually outperformed the WP. Yes the WP was more transparent and had even better dynamics, but the Usher had a more layered sound stage and was more musical.
Man, I read a lot of audiophile magazines and I haven't even heard of most of these. Thanks for all the feedback. I will start researching these.
Regarding the totem speakers. I have heard LOTS of great things about the Hawks and they look great, but can you really get big sound out of one 5 1/2 inch woofer.
Well if your starting a new search you should look at the Revel Performa line.
I own the Vienna as well. After a long search, the choice was easy
I second the Vandersteen 3A which you should be able to get for $2000-2,500 used or $3,500 new. Are you Macs 100 watts or more?
Worth a look.
Adagios by accoustic zen..
What do you mean by old rock and country?
Infinity Intermezzo 4.1 are excellent speakers!
stretch a little more - SAlk HT3's
or the HT2's in your price range
the Song Towers well under your price
exquiste cabinets, exceptional sound
direct from the builder
plenty of reviews here
That is a good price point. Consider the VMPS RM-30s. That is what I settled on. I also liked the Totem Acoutic Forests and Martin Logans. Tetra makes a nice little speaker in that range. And you really should consider the Zen Acoustic Adagios.
Here is another vote for the Acoustic Zen Adagio's. Also, Klipsch and McIntosh work very well together. Klipsch Cornwalls are worth a demo. Currently using a McIntosh system with Adagio Jr's. and Cornwalls.
Best of luck!
I think the Vienna Acoustics, B&W 800 series, and the Gallo's are outstanding speakers. To me, the Paradigm speakers (at least the Studio line) do not quite measure up to the others. As other people mentioned, the Totem line and Von Schweikert are good options. The VR4 Jrs. used would probably be a better option within your budget than the VR2's. I've seen the VR4's on Audiogon for under the $2500 starting point you've mentioned. As for the Totem's, the Hawks and Forests may both appear small, but they can create a lot of sound for their size.
I will put a plug in for Odyssey Lorelei's. I owned VA Beethoven Grands and Von Schweikert VR4jr's and prefer the Lorelei's. You can get them new for under $3000 with a 30 day trial.
Emerald Physics CS2 Controlled Directivity Loudspeaker.
*if you are ready to build your system around them.(*amps*)
*must be placed at least 3-4 feet from the back wall.
*must be willing to giva up on industrys' diet of BS.
*have to be ready and willing to explore new territory.
*must trust your instincts, me and few who heard them.
a whole 3K and bag full of enjoyment.
(there is another spk. around the horizon, but I will have to hear it first to make any opinion of it....)
In my book, it was "The Best" budget
HiFi room at the 2008 CES in Las Vegas.
I haven't read the responses here but you should take a very serious look at GR Research speakers as well as AV123. Tons of "bang for the buck" performance at either of those two vendors. Best of luck to you in your search!
VMPS RM40 jrs. $3K, although I think they've only got a single pair left.
I'm also looking for speakers upgrade and I've been listening to a lot of things lately. Dealers are really nice around here and let us take the equipment home to try.
I have a Naim NAP150x/122x, a Rega Apollo, and a Rega P3. On my opinion (and it's purely matter of taste), the PSB Synchrony One were the best, not the best in a specific field, but the best overall. They could play anything equally good, with not listening fatigue and were so coherent from top to bottom. Plus an amazing bass response.
I had Maggies MG1.6 that where too bright with NAIM, I had Vandersteens 2ce Sig MKII, that where beautiful in the midrange and the highs, but the bass was really slow and totally undefined.
I didn't get to listen to the PSB two but I heard great things about it.
It's always a difficult choice.
Given the Macs, HT use, and the fact that you like the Celestion sound, consider something dynamic, like what I use --Revel Performa F30, a true full range 3 way tower that does it all, has audiophile refinement but rocks too. --used about $1500-1800. The best speaker I ever heard with country. I haven't heard the new Revels. The Legacy Classic and Paradigm 100 are also good choices. Vandys, vienna dont rock in my opinion, nor do planars of any kind, nor really most audiophile brands, unless you just like string quartets. I wouldn't get a B&W smaller than the 802, which is pricey used. PSB might work too. Good luck, you will know what you need when you hear it.
for Rock, my favorites will always be Klipsch. If you can place them, the Klipschhorn are just sublime really, and in your price range. If you don't have the corners available the La Scala's are almost as good. These would integrate very well with your existing gear. Heck, add a McIntosh 275 amp and go all old school. I think for home theater you may find you only need a small "Boomer" sub for the LFE effects.