Bookshelf Speakers:500-900$CDN Advice for starter?

I'm a university student who is desperately trying to put something together that is decent, something I can enjoy for a few years, music/movies 50/50 split on this system.

The current challenge is I only have entry level components right now so in my mind something like the ATC SCM7s (which are beautiful) are out of reach not just in price but they are going to simply reveal the weakness of my current system to a level that will be intolerable.

I currently am looking at (due to local dealer product availablility)

Quad 11 or 12L
- Mini Monitor or Monitor 5 or Reference 20

I have already auditioned the 12Ls and was very impressed. However the demo was conducted on a beautifully high end system with components (and it was biamped) and I will not have that grade of components, or the capability to biamp for quite some time and am concerned how much of my enjoyment of the audition was derived from the Speakers, and how much was derived from the Equipment driving the speakers.

I will be auditioning the Paradigms this week.

Advice on other brands? I'm in a fairly small market and net purchase isn't an option for me. The appeal of the Quad's asthetically is great as well, but I can pickup a Monitor 5 + Center Channel for just a bit more than I would pay for just the 12L.

Any impressions regarding the 11 or 12L and these paradigms with entry level components would be much appreciated.

As well as any other recommendations of manufacturers that I should examine in this price point.

My amp is a Pioneer VSX-D509S and it is what I will have to power them with for atleast the forseable future.

My concern with my current speakers is that they are a 2way design and I find them often muddled (6.5" tweeter, 8" woofer) which is why I was looking at the Monitor 5s as I was hoping a 2.5 way system would be a bit better for this. 50/50 Music Movie split on this system in a less than ideal townhouse.

Thanks again,
Nathan Klassen
I would suggest Acoustic Energy or maybe Jamo if your Pioneer is bright. A-E is an easy load, designed for budget receivers, and gets rave reviews in British press.
Let's see...$500-900 Canadian...

That's like 50-60 bucks, right?
That's 366US$ -> 659US$ actually.

I've finally narrowed it down to three Speakers:

Paradigm Monitor 5
Quad 12L

Anything else in that range I should really be examining in a 50/50 listening mix for Bookshelf Fronts?
For a music system in this price range, I'd recommend the Spica TC-60s that are being closed out on AudioAdvisor for $599.

For a combo system, from what you have on your list and considering what you'll be using to drive them, I'd go with the Paradigm Monitors. Musically the Quads are nicer, but they'll reveal the weakness(es) of your Pioneer receiver. They'd probably just frustrate you. Likewise, the B&Ws would sound shrill and edgy with your amplification.

Paradigm is a nice happy medium. BTW - Have you had a chance to listen to them yet? What did you think?
I will be going to a new receiver (NAD T752 or Arcam AVR200) within the next year or so, with that in mind I don't think that I should restrict speaker choice due to an item that won't be a permanent fixture in my system, do you agree?

I am going in to audition the Paradigms a bit later this week so have not yet had time to spend with them. The Quad's have me a bit concerned as I can find NOTHING about their new centre on the internet at all. Not that reviews are the be all or end all, not by any means, but some feedback (especially trying to move away from the incredibly weak centre I currently have) would be nice.
There is an NHT SuperOne/SWP-2 Sub system on A'gon for $450. You can't go wrong with this gear at this price!
Im hearing ALOT about the green mountain audio Eutopias,
880 a pair, but it better be a very strong shelf, they weigh in at a whopping 43lbs each.

made of marble.. check for the review on them here on the a'gon
Even if you get a new receiver, I don't know that my recommendation would change.

If you can, find a dealer who sells the NAD AND Arcam and ask to audition the speakers through each respective receiver.

I haven't heard either one of the receivers that you list, but I have owned integrated amps from both NAD and Arcam and I was more impressed by the musicality of the Arcam. The Arcam with a pair of Quads might be pretty nice. You've gotta' listen and find out.

Finally, regarding the Quad center channel. I wouldn't worry about it. It's guaranteed to use drivers matched to the 12Ls. If you like the sound of the 12Ls, then the matched center should be equally good.

Keep us "posted".
I wouldn't use B&W with NAD receiver - not enough power.
I am using quad 11L's currently, albeit with a rega planet and a unison research unico integrated, and they sound great. I have owned paradigm before, and I think the quads are a step up than the paradigms. Later if you upgrade to higher gear, the quads would likely give you better performance. I do think the paradigm might have an edge in home theater. Hope this helps.
Thanks everyone for your responses :)

I did end up making a purchase.... The Quad 21Ls in Piano black for an amazing $1200 CDN!! From Canadian Hifi this amazing price was due to overstock in that colour of the 21Ls.

He still has some left, at that price as well. ask for Rob - Incredibly professional.

I will be posting something more detailed regarding my auditioning process and my impressions of the Paradigm Studio Reference 20s and the B&W 603s, and how I ended up choosing the 21Ls over the 12L & 11L. All of which I auditioned (the 11's with and without a sub, the 11s and 12s on Sound Organization stands)

And I will soon post a "preview" of the 21Ls since there does not seem to be a lot of content on Audiogon regarding these impeccable speakers.

If anyone has any specific questions please let me know and I will try to answer them.