I think Energy C-series speakers are very underrated. I own a pair of one-gerneration-old C5's and they sound fantastic. Way better than the price I paid would suggest. I think the current generation is significantly better, but I have not had a chance to listen to them yet critically.
If you can find a pair of Alon Petite's used they could be a bargain. They sounded much better than their original price would suggest many years ago. Since the company is no longer around (I think) you may be able to find a deal on them used.
energy 22's-pros,references,conns. the price (and the sound!) increases in that order. cahmpions in bang-for-the-buck, imho!
when found in great condition, still the large advent. for a few hundred bucks they can be stacked and compete with lots of 20k hi end margin-alia.
Monitor RS6. Stupid good value.
Gallo Ref 3.1's and Zu Cables have made big buzz for $3K.Usher and Totem and I hear Hypoerion are high value overachiever lines.if you looking cheaper I have heard the new NHT line is very good.Depends onb many factors.Your budget,your muiscal tastes,whether you might want to use it for stereo or home theatre,how much power/size of room,monitor or floorstanding etc.What's neaby you to go listen to (hopefully better stereo shop than Circut City and Best Buy).Define your terms.
The Taylor Acoustics monitors are all fantastic values at their price points, and if you can find a pair used here or on audiocircle it's downright theft.
The nOrh speakers are wonderful, especially with tube electonics pushing them. The two top of the line models have crossover issues, but Dennis Murphy's website will show you how to fix that.
I haven't heard the Totem or Usher speakers mentioned above, but they consistently receive rave reviews, so if you can hear them within a reasonable drive you should do that.
i get a little tired of bringing up my 1st really good speaker purchase- ADS L-810/2's. walnut cabinets with dark-stained corner inserts. a dedicated pair of black lean-back stands with generous rubber pads to protect the speaker finish. free speaker wire of course. i paid about $960. the big deal for me was/is that NOTHING i had heard at the time, perhaps with the exception of magnaplanars (which were not nearly as good as present-day maggies), was relaxed and exceptionally natural sounding, with superior imaging that you could discern right off the bat- even if you didn't have prior knowledge of what imaging was. the dealer warned me against using an amp with too much juice, because the tweeter-fuses would blow (although a trip to radio shack and $5 would remedy that). you can easily get $600 or more for a mint pair today. only the "mint" pairs are rarely for sale...
I like the Reyanuds...MK II version, and subsequent generations on up to Signatures. Costs range from $500-$900 on Audiogon. They are amazing in the way they convey the intent of a singer, are extremely musical, and 90db efficient...sound great with tubes or solid state.
The all time value leader might be the B&W 302 at $299, new. They make a mid fi system sing.
Used Vandersteen 1Cs are an exceptional value without question.
For me though, it's a beautiful pair of Meadowlark Audio Kestrel IIs I got for $500.
Let's not forget the Magnepan 1.6's are the first step on many an audiophiles road to nirvana.
The DCM speakers on demo in NYC at the show were very good for $1000.00 infact it made some of the insane prices on other speakers look almost criminal. I dont mean to say some of the more expensive speakers were not better but $50,$75,$100,000 better?...........nope.
Snell Type A's. Tweak your system upstream all you want & they just sound better & better(& better). A pair, depending on model AI-AIIIi, in good condition will run you 500-1500 bucks(make sure the woofer foams have been replaced). I've heard speakers for 10X the money(either end) & I'll still take my pair of A's.
Snell CV's for $900 are also quite a bargain.
Any Vandersteen especially 2, 3 and Quattro.
Vandersteen 2's, if you've got the room.
Alon I or II
Older System Audio 905 or 950
Spica TC-50! Current models I think the Maggie MMGs are a good Bang for the buck.
Chadnliz: The DCM speakers on demo in NYC at the show were very good for $1000.00 infact it made some of the insane prices on other speakers look almost criminal. I dont mean to say some of the more expensive speakers were not better but $50,$75,$100,000 better?...........nope.
Just to provide some perspective if possible: at what price point did you start hearing better sound than DCM's?
Darkj, I noticed you have martin logan. Vs Magnepan how are they?
I thought I got the greatest steal ever when I picked up my GMA Continuum 1's here last year for $800 -- this speaker out performs the Callisto! Think of it as a Callisto with integrated subwoofers, if you will. For $800! Then, just recently, someone nabbed a pair on an a'gon auction for $550! Amazing.
I have to pick two, >> Horn Shoppe Horns $775 and Mark and Daniels Rubys $1600 New Technology 20 years in the making!
Ofcourse there are better and I never denied that, what these speakers do show is that you can get great sound on the cheap. They sounded as good as many speakers 3x the price and far better then some.
Totem Arro are amazing for their size and asking price IMO.
Another vote for Vandersteens, most especially the 2 series for value and for an essentially full-range speaker.
Vandersteen 1c and 2Ce sigs
Condocondor, I auditioned Vandersteen's up to $12,000/pair, and then I listened to the Magneplanar 1.6's and I was blown away. I found them more open and airy than the Vandersteen's! I bought the Maggies on the spot for $1725 and never looked back. To my mind they have the best bank for the buck of any speaker on the market today. Period. They have great dimensionality, soundstage, and convincing presence. The 3.6's are even better, but for an additional $2800 I'll stick with the 1.6's.
Give 'em a listen. I think you'll like what you hear.
Magnepan speakers can have a very positive and hypnotic affect for many and are great value but compared to Vandersteen and others there are significant tradeoffs.
Best to listen and decide for yourself so you dont get on a miserable and expensive path of upgrades just to have basic happiness, Magnepan speakers are much harder to get right in a room and need both alot of space and alot of power.
This is a no contest and is won by Green mountain audio with the entry level Europas.They will play in excess of 103 db and sound as spacious as one could expect from such a small design.The asking price of 1250 for a new pair is a deal for the performance that it is capable of.A speaker like the Calypso is stunning in all aspects.Hope this helps Dennis
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1. Unbelievable for $800.
IMO the absolute best value in speakers are the Acoustic Zen Adagio's. I've been blown away everytime I sit for a good listening at the clearity, speed, depth, and stage created. Way under priced compared to other brands out there which charge several times more for an inferior product. Highly recommend anyone looking for a great value seriously consider the Acoustic Zen Adagio. Must listen!
Magnepan and Bryston
I bought a magnepan, bryston rig almost twenty years ago to the day.
Since then I sold the speakers to my brother and kept the amp. They both are still cranking out beautiful music
Totem Forest is a class leader for sure.
Intuitive Design Summits are phenomenal. I think that they're even better than the old, three box version of the Audio Physic Caldera, a legendary speaker that retailed for ~$20,000, and had sound that I thought justified their price. I've reviewed the Intuitive Design Summits
i gotta put a plug in for the new focal chorus 806v and 807v monitors for $800 and $1000 respectively. the level of resolution, speed and clarity you hear at these prices is amazing. of course i AM biased since i picked up a pair of 806v's recently.
Just listened to Monitor RS6s today in my quest for my first set of good speakers. I was completely blown away.
My "vote" goes to the Vandersteen 2ce Sig II. IMO, it goes a long ways towards the performance of mega-buck speakers (especially in terms of soundstaging and tonal balance) for the relatively small sum of $2K. Its main shortcoming is a slightly veiled quality on vocals, but (to my ears) is otherwise as good or nearly as good as anything I've heard including Wilson W/P 7, Thiel 7.2, and Revel Studio. Disclaimer: I own the Vandies!
Rufi..............love the name, thanks for the laugh!
The DCM's are amazing value and one of the best sounding that I have ever heard for the money or even not!!
DCM is a great idea, it was one of the most impressive speakers in NYC at the show, I have heard many speakers that cost a heck of alot more tat only sound as good or maybe even worse. What was also great was this was in a total budget set-up total cost less then $2500 so it wasnt paired with super gear to make it shine.
Well, the best values, regardless of brand/model, are of course had by carefully shopping the online venues like audiogon and ebay for quality components from over the years that are in good working order.
Also, buying direct from the manufacturer can provide additional value. Ohm Acoustics, for example offers refurbished models with the latest driver technology for lower cost and also excellent trade-in value for your current Ohm speakers that are in "restorable" condition.
No question in my mind. Linkwitz Orions are the best value period. Perhaps the best speaker period. Once you hear you will beleive. Give them an audition or not..makes absolutly no difference to me.
NHT 2.5 is the best value of speaker that I ever had. You can get a pair used for around $500, and they will stand up to nearly any speaker within $1500 of their new price tag ($1200). The value gets better as you move up the line to the 2.9 as well.
I currently use Thiel 2.2 speakers, and they're an amazing value as well at around $900 used.
I own a pair of Martin Logan Aerius for the past 15 years and I will not part with them,however I see them for sale all the time for $1000 used,just make sure the stater panels have been replaced in at least the past 7 years or you'll be out $600 or so to replace them.
Canton Vento 802 or now the updated 820 for 2K.
Very, very good speaker for the two grand mark. Feed them some good power and you will be amazed. Dynamic, musical, accurate good sound stage and decent bass all in a smaller two way speaker. They need some good equipment to really sing. I heard them at a local shop with a top of the line pioneer receiver, but it really couldn't make those speakers come to life. Put them on a good amp and preamp and you will be very happy.
Agree with many of the responses, in particular the Acoustic Zen Adagios I use at the moment. I would add
Cain and Cain Abby
Oris 150 occasionally found here on Audiogon and usually going for a song.Can't be beat.