Sarah, you say that your Genesis 500 speakers developed a problem and that you have to change. Have you looked into repair? Possibly from a service such as Millersound
? You may find it cost less to get back to the sound that you have enjoyed for the last 16 years.
The repair is too expensive. If I were an engineer, I would jury-rig something with an outboard amp for the woofers. My brother may give that a try. In the meantime I hope to find something I can live with--for less $$! Probably an impossible dream.
The Genesis Model 500 is a tough act to follow under the best of circumstances, and for $3.5k it's really tough.
My recollection is that it's poly-directional over most of the spectrum, with a rear-firing tweeter, dipole midrange, and then essentially omnidirectional midbass and bass. Does that sound right?
I've worked with bipolars for several years now, and they are sort of like your Genesis 500 in concept if not in execution. Ime that richness and openness is not going to be replicated by a conventional monopole speaker.
One possibility is Maggies, which unfortunately tend to be on the power-hungry side, but give 'em some breathing room and they can sound magnificent. Maybe Emerald Physics? Equalized dynamic dipoles, I was a dealer in the early days under Clayton Shaw. Used Shahinians, perhaps?
How much would it cost to have your Genesis speakers restored to service? I'm sure you already looked into that, but maybe a non-servo bass section is an option.
Best of luck in your quest,
I have a local dealer with Maggies. Perhaps I will give them an audition, haven't listened to them since the Tympani IV in the 80's (which I loved). I wonder how they would fare on my BAT mono blocks, possibly not enough power. Right now I am making do listening to my sweet Silverline Minuets in the living room--powered by a new Decco65 I just picked up here for a song. Wow, seriously good sound. Maybe I will forego my "big" system. Sigh.
Silverlines are great on strings, far better than Maggies.
If you like the Minuets it just gets better up the line.
I would look at Devore Fidelity Nines which can be obtained used near your range.
Viewing current listings, the ones that would be tube amp friendly and full range are: Alon/nola V mk3 for 2200.00, Silverline Sonata 2 for 2000.00 and Coincident Super Eclipse 3 for 3000.00.
Would you consider buying used, unseen and unheard? Those listings look entertaining, at least to me. It might be worth a gamble.
I also subscribe to the UK magazine Hi Fi Choice. In the current edition they review the Magnepan 1.7 powered by a 55w tube amp from Canor electronics and found it was an entertaining match. You have double that amount of power.
Thanks RHLJazz--I had two of those on my "watch" list, not familiar with the Alon/Nola sound at all. I have owned Coincident monitors in the past, very nice sound, comparable to Silverline IMO.
Rhljazzm they my be an "entertaining match" but having owned 4 pairs in last 30 years i guarantee you it takes at least 400 ss watts at four ohms to sound as good as they can.
And 400 is a bare minimum .
Here's a random thought. Although a just a bit above your budget, there is a pair of Linn Akurate 242 for sale here on A'Gon right now (no, I am not the seller). HUGE value even at the asking price of $4,500. I had the Akurate 212 (the monitor) for several years and your musical tastes should shine with the Akurate line. That said, I cannot comment (don't know) how your amps would mate with them, and obviously that's a key consideration. I drove the 212s with SS horsepower (McIntosh then Pass), but always had tubed pre-amps up front (CJ then Einstein) and the Linn Akurate showed beautifully. I used a sub with the 212, the 242 full range might be just the answer for you.
Silverlines are great on strings, far better than Maggies.
This flies in the face of about 98% of the audiophile press and my own experience, having grown up with a professional cellist, and having owned speakers with phenolic ring, silk dome, doped fabric dome, fabric-damped titanium dome, and finally Maggie quasi-ribbon tweeters in the Mag 1.7s, whose success prompted Magneplanar to redesign the rest of their line.
Of course, I respect Schubert's opinion and am sure he has plenty of reason to have formed it. But I've found these Maggies (which depart significantly from previous dogma about Maggies) to be very revealing of upstream components and cabling. I got a complete change of personality from switching amplifiers. I'm currently listening to Lynn Harrell's rendition of Dvorak's Cello Concerto, and if there's anything not lacking, it's the string sound.
I tune up my ears on this matter regularly with yearly subscriptions to the Seattle Symphony. I don't want to get into a pissing contest; I only urge you to give a listen to the latest iterations of the Maggies. If your room is right for the 1.7s, use the rest of your budget for a pair of Magneplanar's DWM's or some other quick subwoofers. I use a pair of small, enclosed, powerful ones with mine and they always come through.
Now someone is offering a pair of Triangle Stratus Volante for under $3000. Again, never heard them, but have heard good things about these models.
Buying speakers unheard is always a dicey proposition. I only consider used speakers which I have not heard if the seller is local and I have a chance to audition. Sure, you could always resell them if they do not work, but buying and selling speakers just for in home auditions is too much work for me. I'll do it with cables, preamps, even amps, but if I'm buying 200 pounds worth of speakers, I want to hear them first.
Of course, as usual, YMMV.
Listen carefully to how the slight, but audible smearing of mass strings , makes brass overemphasized .
Of course could be just my ears, but others have heard it too.
All that matters in any case is if you're happy.
Interesting development--a pair of dealer demo Genesis 7.1f's are available within my price range. Tall slim floor standers with the sound signature I am used to with my 500's.
Jmcgrogan, I agree ,wise advice, but there are two speaker brands I will buy unheard . Rega and Silverline.
Schubert, good to know. The Silverline Sonatina IVs and these Genesis 7.1f demos are my short list. Haven't heard either one, but have owned and love other speakers in their lines.