You might consider revising your list given your preference for a system that "sounds natural like real music". Specifically, I would recommend speakers from Daedalus Audio. I am currently using a pair of DA-1.1's which retail around 6K. For better imaging and even greater lifelike dynamics you might try Lou's Reference Series Ulysses at around 9K retail. Both these speakers are made from real North American hardwood, sport high quality custom drivers and a top notch crossover network and, most importantly, sound like real music. Many of the speakers you have listed as possible options simply do not. I've heard most of them and if live music is your reference point and what you aspire to create in your living room you will be disappointed. Give Lou a call--he is a straight shooter who will not steer you wrong. He has several reviews coming shortly on his new lineup and once the news gets out you may have a wait before he can build you a pair.
what is your current system? as far as natural sounding speakers go, i don't think most users think of the sound coming from their speakers as 'unnatural'. its also just as likely to spend a lot less, unless of course you just dig the speakers you're mentioning. in that case, if you already own nice speakers, change for the sake of change is a valid, if costly reason to move to something different.
ps...if you're still using mini utopias and sub, i don't think any of the speakers mentioned are a step up any ladder.
I realize that you think you're going to save money by not going out and auditioning some speakers, but I think that's exactly what you need to do. Speaker choice is a very personal thing, as speakers that one person loves might be irritating to you.
I'd advise you to go to local dealers and listen to different speakers just to get some sense of the differences. Take CD's with you so that you can listen to your own material. And keep in mind that the speaker-room interaction and the speaker placement can make a big difference. (And to a lesser extent, the amp-speaker match.)
I know that's not specifically answering your question, but in the long run I think you'll be much happier (and have more money in your wallet) if you shop around and find the speaker that you really like and keep it for some time, rather than being disappointed with other people's suggestions and on a perpetual cycle of buying and selling.
Take your time and listen to as many speakers as you can. I have not listened to the speakers you identified. But there are numerous speakers out there that are extremely competitive.
For example, the Dali Helicon 400MK2 is well within your budget as a new purchase.
You also need to look at the entire system as a whole with amp, preamp, source, dedicated electrical lines in mind with your loudspeakers.
All speakers have compromises and it is very difficult to use other people's opinions once you get to the level where the obvious faults are taken care of. We will not even be able to agree on what is important for something to sound like "real music". This means that most of the advice you get is along the "I have XXX and I like it".
My idea of natural sound doesn't get delivered from box speakers, but I am not sure whether you like dipoles at all.
I love my Quad 2805s, but if your pop/rock interests means that you like playing really loud then they will not be for you. In that case I would suggest the excellent Linkwitz Orion (www.linkwitzlab.com), which I auditioned before buying the Quads. They are also great value (your budget including the 12-channel amp) and pretty spouse-friendly since it is smallish and have a large variation in looks.
Selection of speakers is probably the most critical decision in setting up any system. There are so many variables it's incredible -- and I wouldn't rely on anyone here, or anything other than your own ears. $8-9 large is alot of money and a bad decision can be a very costly error. Also, Lapierre's remarks about building a system are right on. A good system will be worth more than the sum of its parts.
This may be heresy on Audiogon, but in my opinion, unless you really really know what you're doing, I think that a system you put together with a good dealer, new, is likely to be more musically satisfying than one made by putting together a selection of very nice "top rated" pieces. The latter is a crap shoot -- and the house usually wins (yikes, where did that come from?!).
New doesn't necessarily mean full retail either, btw. You can usually do a little better -- but dollar for dollar, within your budget . . . especially when you're starting from scratch and new to equipment at a high price range . . . you're better off with a dealer. It's your money, not mine, 'just saying what I'd do.
There are many many good speakers in the $8-9K price range. All of that said, my personal favorite around your price range is the Quad ESL-2805, but all speakers have compromises of one sort or another and the trick is to select speakers that, in the context of a coherent system, compromise in a way that's best to you. (e-mail me if you'd like the name of my dealer, who has never steered me wrong. If I mentioned his name here I might sound like a shill, please which believe me I am not.)
Audiogon definitely has a place, mind you. I buy and sell here. But I wouldn't put together a whole system here, based on the advice of others -- as you'll see, the advice will be all over the place. Hope this helps.
Want a system to sound natural like real music should.Sorry, dont know all the buzz words but I want it to present it self as musical as possible
Everybody wants or already thinks they have this - yet none of the speakers you mention are quite there.
I listen to all formats jazz/pop/classical/rock..
For example the 802D and Dynaudio C4 are known better for Jazz/classical as both have a bass emphasis that people like (it can get overhanded on pop/rock). For examples the Sophias are revealing but a little laid back in the upper mids, which is good for pop/rock - especially on todays compressed pop. Revels tend to be the most "accurate" of the speakers you mention making it most suitable for all genres...
If you are buying used speakers at the 8 to 9 grand price point, it most likely will be the ELECTRONICS you choose to power the speakers with, (source, preamp and amp of course) that will determine whether the speakers are to your liking.
Buying new... as many posts are suggesting, is not a bad idea if you are going to keep the speakers for the next 10 years. But I don't like the idea of wasting a salespersons time if I know I am going to just go out and buy a similar product used.
I imagine that you would easily be able to find a New speaker you could live with for that kind of money. (Proac, Vandersteen, Spendor, Merlin...) However, if you are gonna be like many of us on this site, and enjoy the search for the holy grail, a great used speaker, purchased at a reasonable bargain price, will usually lose a very small margin of the value that you purchased it for, and often times, you will get a tad more for the product.
I couldn't agree more with Scpetscott's point about not wasting a salesperson's time if the plan all along is to buy something used.
..Yes ,im buying used for sure..been there/ done that on the walk out the door worth 1/2 of what I just paid....thanks for the imput but was really wanting comparisons about the speakers I listed so ill repost a simplier question..thanks again
I'm a very satisfied owner of Dynaudio C4's. My room is similar in size as your room (21' x 16' x 7'). C4's in your room will greatly benefit from room treatments.... failure to treat a room your size will result in the C4's overpowering the room and you will be dissappointed. I recommend GIK Acoustics room treatments... $600 to $900 spent on room treatments is one of the best investments you can make in optimizing your speakers. I also recommend the Plinius SA-102 amp with an Aesthetix Calypos preamp with NOS tubes (Telefunken 12AX7 smoothplates or Mullard CV4004's)
The Wilson Sophia's powered with tube gear would also be a fine choice and may be better suited for a room of your size.
Go back and reread 'Jbaxley's' first response !
It is all about synergy . You will , most likely , not find
what you are looking for with just a speaker purchase . One speaker with three different amps can have three different sounds . And then you have the sound contribution from the source !
If you can't go out and listen to different dealer setups ,
then try to copy a members setup that may have the sound that you are seeking . I started out doing what you are attempting . I spent a bunch of money for a crappy sounding system ! I then developed a repoire with a member here and for a fraction of the cost I had a much better sounding system . I simply copied one of his first systems ! It was not the ultimate system but it had good synergy , was enjoyable to listen to and gave me something to build upon later . It really showed me how components work together , or don't !
Good luck .
thanks for the imput but was really wanting comparisons about the speakers I listed so ill repost a simplier question..thanks again
Revels are probably closest to your described desires.