Best versatile speakers?

Hello All...

I would like to hear your opinions regarding the best versatile 2 way monitor or 3 way small floor standers that will do justice to all types of music. My wife and I listen to all sonic types of music from Ute Lemperer / Mozart to 70's and 80's rock to 90's hardcore and some Hip Hop.

For this reason I have always stuck with the Paradigm Studios. They seem to handle everything well.

We are running a Space-Tech Tube Pre and a Nad 270 power amp
Sources are a Toshiba 3950 - DVD-A / Sony Sce-775 for SACD and using a Benchmark DAC-1 for redbook. We also have a MMF-5 Music Hall for vinyl. The room is small 13.5 long x 8.5 width and 9ft high.

Suggestions beyond the Paradigm Studios? The Signature line is too easy a leap. For the money we want to check out other options.
Price range, please?
Greem Mountain Audio Callisto
Hello Fatparrot... I would max out at $2800 - 3000.00
Would prefer to pay less.


Meadowlark Kestrel 2/Swift
I went from Paradigm Studio 40's v.2 to a Magnepan MG12.
In comparison the paradigm sounds a little shrill and cold and thin.

If you have the space Magnepan might be worth looking at.

Happy Listening,
Hello All...

Thanks for the suggestions. Nick...How big is your room and where are the MG12's placed?

Another suggestion run by me was to ditch the NAD and go with a pair of powered ATC's.... does anyone have any experience or thoughs on this direction??
In your price range there are a bunch. My fav's would be Gallo Nucleus Ref 3, Magnepan 3.6R used (my fav for sure), Paradigm 100 V3 (great speaker), Vandersteen 3a sigs used, Joseph Audio Monitors. It's so subjective. I really think each speaker has a strength dependant on the type of music you most frequently listen to. I like rock music best from Klipschhorns, I like Paradigms for rock as well. The Joseph's are fantastic on orchestral music, as are the Vandersteens. Jazz and all vocals are sublime on Magnepans. But for all around, I like the Maggies. One downside is they tend to need more power and better amplification, NOT tubed, which means more money. The good news is, that most speakers sound so good now, that it's just a matter of personal preference.
Magnepans are simply NOT good for rock and hip-hop. I sold my Magnepan 3.6's for this reason, and have been very happy with my Gallo Reference III's for all types of music. They do small ensemble, orchestral, rock, hip-hop VERY well. You can add a subwoofer amp to drive the 2nd voice coils on the woofers to get sub-woofer level bass (23 Hz).
My room is only 10x12.
I ended up making acoustic panels and bass traps which help a lot.

But I really need a bigger room.
And as long as your not trying to reach concert levels I think the maggies are great on rock. I listen to rock at 80-90db.
Thanks again for the responses.

I did intend to do some sound control.

I would like to check out the Gallos and the Maggies. I know there is a Maggie dealer here ( Vancouver BC Canada )... not sure about the Gallo's...

Subjectivity is a key issue as well. I think I'm going to have to flex the credit card and do some home demo's..

More suggestions welcone. Thank you Gentlemen!!!
Some versatile ones are Aerial Acoustics (I own a set so I may be prejudiced) and Totem Acoustics.

I also like ProAcs and Audio Physic (though I had no opportunity to thoroughly audition them).

Never heard the better Paradigm line but I own a set of Atoms and if the "familial" territory is the same and you like the house sound, you may want to try further up the line.

Happy Listening!
I agree with Nickway on the Maggies, I think they are great on Rock music, not as good as Paradigms or the Gallos (which I own), but they definitely have other advantages. I don't listen to modern lyric poetry set to music written and recorded by other people with actual talent, so I cannot comment on how they sound in regard to that medium. But with actual music they are great.
Here's a couple of reviews:
The New Brian Cheney Signature Edition 626R review by John Beavers from Positive Feedback Online

The 626R (non-BCSE) review by Steve Lefkowicz from Positive Feedback Online
Thanks for all the responses.

Well we have made a decision. A strange turn indeed.
While I was in my local music store to get guitar strings, I happened to walk in on someone auditioning a pair of Dynaudio BM6A's. These are powered pro monitors. Incredible sound for the money ( $ 2400 cdn ) They are 2 ways actives. Mine are on order. Hopefully this will keep upgraditis away for a few years.

I will do a mini review after a few months.
In your room size,those gems should keep you going for years.Active monitors can be great.My KRK's were,my Yamaha NS10M's were too until I heard the KRK's...good luck,Bob
Cool. I wonder why there are not more active speakers out there? Paradigm made some great ones a few years back and no one wanted them until they stopped making them. Could you follow up when you get them? Enjoy.
price wise for a 2 way for sure the new green mountain callisto, for a small 3 way the green mountain calypso.
and for a statement loudspeaker, the green mountain
No joke please see the excellent review at 6moons online
magazine, on the Continuum -3 ,and next week the Callisto.
then go have a listen.
I have compared the green mountain callisto to several stand and floorstand models ,for overall musicality
it beat every big brand , check them out there.
and as a added bonus they make your recordings sound better
also . Why is that a true 1st order crossover that is
Time and Phase coherent, which very few are and 1st order are the only speakers truthfully that can be totally phase coherent .the drivers reach you at the same time ,
therefore , many of the so called bright cds are much more manageable.check out green mountain audio next week ,
they have a whiole new line and web coming out ,also review in 6moons online on the Callisto next wed.
I agree the Paradigm's are great versatile speakers - and here I break with tradition: I watch as many movies as I spend time listening to music. I have an integrated two channel screening room/listening room and find that metal cones are better for multi-source listening like vinyl or switching over to a DVD. In many ways I think they approach timbral accuracy better. Maybe it's because I like the sound of the inside of Sun Records or Detroit's "wall of sound", I dunno, but but the imaging and the speed says a lot, especially with tubes.

These are some of the reasons I have thought about upgrading to a pair of Joseph Audio's which have, after much waffling, won me over to their point of view with off-axis response and fourth order crossover arguements - partly screening room, partly being able to fill up the house with 20 watts of power (a bugalow) and fixed 6 ohm. However, the Paradigm's have very good off-axis response and excellent conservation for a third of the cost (it's the third over crossover in Paradigm's). Anyone should be happy owning a pair. I post these little tidbits for those new to speaker arguements so don't jump on me for being pedantic.

I have owned a pair of dutch paper cone speakers - from the early '80's - not the Vandersteen's that have become so popular. After a week of listening I was disappointed, but after a year and a half and a change to tubes, I do actually think the metal cone thing is a valid arguement. And my opinion went up quickly after break-in. I agree about paper (e.g. Proac's, etc.) being musical, but all around versatilty is not something paper has in abundance.
The Callisto's were simply jaw dropping good, I was amazed how they simply cabinet sound at all..simply awesome speakers....heard with tubes
Great Choice!