bookshelf speaker choice

I am planning to upgrade my speakers, I thought I would ask for a few opinions.
Currently I use a B&K amp and I am considering either new NHT classic 3's, used paradigm studio 40's, or used Von Schweikert VR-1's. All 3 should be the similar in price range, which would you choose. I want something off the floor since it's a small house and couple of small children which creates a need for speakers that are not floor standing. These are meant for stereo listening and mains for my HT. Thanks for the input.
go to the montana audio site and look at thiers
Tough one...Von Schweikert VR-1's because size and the drivers. Plus it's the same speaker as the VR-2 minus the bass driver.

If you buy new look at my favorite Haydn Grand by Vienna Acoustics or Usher BE-718 tiny dancer. Both mentioned in TAS and you can find them on the "GoN".

Also for check the "GoN" for used Totem Model 1s.
There is a pair of Selah RC3 ribbons for sale for $695. IMO this speaker is in a different (better) league altogether than the speakers mentioned. Also it is quite a bit larger and heavier. More like a stand mount monitor. I would buy them myself, But I already have to many speakers. They are very smooth sounding and complement solid state amps.
Thanks, I would love the usher's but I haven't seen any in my price range. I have basically been looking for stuff between 600 and 800 a pair. I can get new NHT's for this, but I know there are many others out there. Since new is just shy of used, sometimes I prefer to try to get a bargain on a higher end piece of equipment. Since most of my system I bought used, I guess you could say I almost prefer it. If I'm completely honest, most people spending the amounts I spend go straight to circuit city and best buy. I can't bring myself to do that knowing how much good used stuff is out there. Any other recommendations?
Focal JM Labs Cobalt 806S
" " " Chorus 707s
Both discontinued but worth searching out. I have Cobalt 806S and love them, i paid $600. used. The new V series has a new (cheaper) tweeter, and they are not even close!
After reading lots of good stuff about them here, I bought a pair of Green Mountain Audio Europa's on Audiogon. For the week I had them, I was very impressed, but they are a bit odd looking (cabinet made of a resin incorporating crushed marble), and when my wife saw the black cabinets on black metal stands, she declared, "Darth Vader has to go."

Out they went, to be replaced by Von Schweikert VR-1's, which are much more attractive in the conventional way. It's no big deal to me, since virtually all my critical listening is done via headphones, but I think those Europa's are a special sounding speaker in their price range ($500 - 600 on Audiogon.)
I used to run B&W dm 602 S3's with a matching sub and was very pleased with them.

Ironically, I got rid of them because of little kids. I had them mounted on stands, but they did not attach to the stands themselves and so presented a real risk. If you're looking for monitors for kid safety, take that into consideration.

If you do consider the 602's, you might also want to think about 602.5's. They are the floor stander version of the 602's.
Maybe something from Phase Technology...
You should check out the Infinity intermezzo 2.6 as they are an all around great sounding speaker. I bought a pair shipped for 525.00 in mint condition and could not be happier. They have good bass and very realistic highs and are built well.Read the reviews from stereophile, absolute sound and it will inspire you to seek them out. They were stereophile class A.
Small kids ... playful and high flying cats ... all pose similar problems to the both their own health and the health of your speakers.

The NHT's are good choices because they are sealed box designs and can be wall mounted or placed on a shelf or placed inside a bookcase. The Classic 3's are excellent speakers. Depending on the size of your room, the Classic 2's may work out as well. I used NHT SB2's on shelves inside of a bookcase (15 x 10 x 8.5 sized room) for a number of years with both NAD solid state and Prima Luna tube equipment and loved the sound. You will lose some of the soundstaging, but that is about it.

In general, speakers that are sealed box or front ported will work for you. Rear ported speakers will only work, if they are designed to be near a rear wall and/or wall mounted. Which brings me to two other speakers to consider.

The Rega R1 is a real sleeper of a speaker ($550). I use the previous generation (Ara) in two of my systems; one set on top of a bookcase (solid state receiver), the other inside of a bookcase (tube amp) and the sound is very good. Warm with a good sense of detail, a decent amount of bass for a very small speaker, non-fatiguing listening.

The other is the Polk LSi7 ($600, if you look around on the net). There is an incredible amount of technology packed into this speaker. It has been very well reviewed. It can be wall mounted.

I wouldn't trade my cats in for anything, but Buster currently, Ruby in her heyday and Maddie from yesteryear terrorized many a speaker set-up.

Listening to Netrebko and Le Nozze di Figaro on my Rega Aras, Prima Luna Prologue 2, and Rega Apollo as I write this.

Regards, Rich
Concerning the Usher speakers, look at a used pair of
X 719's you can find them if patient between $800 - $1000.For build and sound they are a tremendous value,the finish work on these speakers are outstanding,if you are blessed you may find a pair with matching stands.There is a pair of RW 729 w/stands (AGON) listed now for $1500 which would be comperable.Good luck on your search.
If you can build a kit I suggest you look into the North Creek Spirit or Okara in a Lee Taylor cabinet.
I have planned an Audition for the Usher Audio X-719, the Paradigm Studio 40's, and the Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand. What's your choice?
Jdfelice I don't think you have a bad choice either way.

Don't forget your stands will cost you $200 to $500.

My two cents...hold out longer for a used pair Usher BE-718.

Enjoy the process and have some fun.
I think that you should listen before making a decision . In my experience , the VS , Usher and Paradigm all have a different sound !

I have auditioned the Usher standmount , 520 I believe , and the next in line floorstander , maybe 6311 . Both of these were quite glaring and in your face . Not bright or forward just kind of wow here we are ! I'm not saying that they were bad so no flames please ! Just the polar opposite of VS .

On the same equipment and room , I auditioned the VS VR2 and 4jr. More subdued and laid back .

I have also auditioned several of the Paradigm standmounts , at a different shop , and found them to be sort of in the middle between the Usher's and the VS's .

Good luck .

I don't mean to grab hold of the thread but I have a similar requirement. I have similar need for a bookshelf speaker as the original poster, but perhaps even more limited space requirements. Mine will need to fit into our entertainment center shelf, which is only about 13 inches high.

I have Paradigm floor speakers now, and had hoped to move to a used pair of Paradigm Studio Reference 20s, but they are a couple inches too tall (doh).

Any one have suggestions for smaller bookshelf speakers that fit into the same sort of budget mentioned above?

On the original subject, I listened to a three speakers on Thursday of this week. I ended up buying some Usher Audio X-719's. They are nice. I also listened to the NHT's (didn't compare at all), and some Focal 807V's (they are nice, but it was an easy decision for me). Thanks for everyone's input, but I couldn't possibly listen to every speaker mentioned, although I'd like to, it would probably just make the decision too difficult. I listened to the ones I could get quickly and inside my price range. Unfortunately TSrich, these are large speakers, they will not fit where you want them to.
Good choice Jdfelice.