What amplification will you be using?
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I agree on Triangle. Try to find a used Celius on this site.
I liked the Celius when I bought it new several years ago and I like it more every day. Both my wife and I liked it better than the B and W 600-series (683, I think) and also better than M-L, Dali and Epos. We thought the B and W 703 was equally as good, but at double the price.
Another option might be a late model Paradigm reference series. Very easy to drive and excellent build quality.
Disappointed with the KEFs and Monitors. The Regas were ok and we both disliked the Gallo (although I think what we listened to was right out of the box so maybe not a fair comparison). That's out of the range anyway.
Anyway. That's my $0.02.
it definitely matters if they're rear ported--i did a very similar search recently for a near-wall placement monitor and some very good speakers, such as psb and proac, didn't work in such configuration. for your budget, i'd find a used pair of rega r1 or rs1--they're indifferent to placement and forgiving of electronics. alternatively, focal cobalt (which i ended up with) or chorus; cantons are a good budget rec as well.
Earlier this year, I bought Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 based on the strength of reviews I read (Stereophile and elsewhere). You can get them new for less than $250. I got mine from Wild Electronics.
They seem to scale well with whatever equipment you use. I had been using my 12-year-old Denon mini component system with them and they sounded OK. But when I upgraded the source recently (MSB Platinum DAC), the speakers offered much improved sound. I'm now very happy with the Diamond 9.1. I should add that they are used in my office rig for nearfield listening.
Reviving posts to me isn't a waste of time. To me it is showing someone is checking the archives for info rather than just opening a new thread asking the same thing over and over. Also too with older threads being updates it helps us who you the internet to research speakers and gear. We can get an idea as to what has been recommended through the years in one thread rather than going through thread after thread.
To the OPs question I would say a used pair of KEF Q300s would fit the bill. I have them being powered by a Jolida JD-502P amp and they can really fill up a room.
Keep checking out GoodWill stores and Thrift stores, if you have the patience. Scored a pair of old Wharfedale W90-D's for 50 bucks. Look very nice and sound so sweet and warm. Just got a pair of ADS L570's yesterday for 9 dollars....YES, 9 DOLLARS. Nothing wrong with them other than a good cleaning. They look almost new now and for a small speaker, these things can go deep.....I am very impressed. Also ran across a pair of Snell Type Civ's and got them for 100 dollars. Those are in my main system. Amazing speakers. You can keep the new stuff. I'll spend my money on turntables and cd players, and then use a good Emotive amp and pre, and sit back and drool.
If I was looking today based on your description, I would seriously consider the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Andrew Jones is a legendary speaker designer, formerly with
KEF and now with Pioneer's luxury brand, TAD Loudspeakers.
He is typically found designing loudspeaker systems in
the 30,000 and up range.
He designed these loudspeakers and they have been reviewed extremely favorably in the audiophile press.
They were designed to sell for 250-300, but Amazon has them for 129.00 and if you'd like to add the subwoofer, it is 129.00 as well. No fancy veneers here, but the drivers are far better than any speaker in the sub 500 range.
I have a pair of these on a very low cost tube integrated in my office system and the sound is truly remarkable. At 129 per pair, it is a miracle that they can sell this kind of sound for so little........
There's an interview on youtube with the designer, look up Andrew Jones Home Theater Geeks and you should find it.
Also many reviews on this series of loudspeakers.
Don't let the brand name fool you. These are the best Pioneer speakers in terms of value that has ever been made and you can do no better south of 500.00 or so....
If you can afford to bump up to $ 500.00...here's a damn good floor standing speaker that takes up a small foot print perfect for your room. The ARX A-3. Has a very high quality ribbon planar tweeter and high quality drivers. High end sound for the price. Go to Audio Insider online.
They are the exclusive internet dealers.