castle harlechs on audiogon and keep 600.00...classics in sound quality and fit /finish..real bass too.
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There's a lot of excellent speakers out there at that price range, many of which would go with your listening taste. Might be good to let us know which amp you are using, though. Some examples:
Thiel 3.6, B&W 802 matrix,Tylo Ref Monitors, NHT 3.3, Aerial (6 or 7?), Revel Performa 30, Infinity Prelude PFR.
Consider the following only if you have a high power/high current solid state amp: Magnepan 3.3 or 3.5, Dunlavy 4.
Best of luck.
B&W Nautilus 805, JM Reynaud Trente, Merlim TSM-Milennium.
All of these are bookshelf speakers, but I've had all in my home (Trentes right now). EXCELLENT sound.
All of these are Musical, Accurate, with incredible soundstaging and imaging, and tight bass down to 40hz or so.
I use a Rogue Tempest in triode (30watts) and get great strong bass from my trentes, let me turn it up so you can hear.
New Carolina Audio 6XL's go fo $1800 and are fantastic transmission line loaded 2 ways with series crossovers. Hand made in Charleston www.carolinaaudio.com
I have the JTM's using the Jordan JX92s full range driver and I have never been this blown away by a speaker..... only $1500... I honestly can't think of a speaker at any price that I'd rather have in my living room.
Gershman Acoustics Cameleon, under $1800-, NEW!!! I heard them at both the 2002 and 2003 C.E.S shows, and was floored both times! And at the 2003 show, these speakers were used with a CD player, and integrated amp, with stock power cords, and sounded awesome for a system total cost of around $4500-! Contact me for more info regarding the set-up.
I have seen the EPOS ES-30's anywhere from $1200-1600 used. I bi-wire the mids and tweeters to one channel and the bass to a second to a Sherbourn 5/1500a(5 Channels) using Monster Z2. Four channels used for the left and right speaker and the 5th for a center speaker.
The sound is crisp and clean with very tight bass down to 25hz. The entire EPOS line are renowned for reproduction of Jazz and Classical music. However, The ES-30's, (IMHO), are the only model EPOS that really Rock.
I auditioned many speakers including the B&W Nautilus line. I found the ES-30's imaged and presented a better soundstage than the 803's but they just fell short of the 802's. Of course the B&W name comes with a price tag even the in re-sale market. I almost justified a B&W purchase with the "its an investment" argument but I just didnt have the cash.
I just bought a pair of Sony SS M9's and continued to be amazed by how good they sound. I bought them to tide me over till I had the money for a pair of Watt/Puppies or Soundlabs, but I'm not sure anymore if I need to change speakers again. I only paid $1100 for these floor standing nearly full range beauties.
What you wish for is REEAALLYY easy!
The only trick, and this is a big deal for most of us, is to just be patient. Oh, and I should mention that you will be looking at used speakers if you follow this plan. But hey, one good thing about used speakers is that someone else ate the depreciation.
You have to suppress the audiophile animal, sit back, and wait for a killer deal to come to you. I have done this for my 2 pairs of speakers, and have paid less for both pairs, than what the cheaper pair retailed for not very long ago.
One important facet of this is to be active in this hobby. Visit dealers, shows, friends, etc., so you keep up with the products. Along the way, you'll develop a sense of which you like, which are so-so, and which you dislike. That way, when a killer deal comes your way, you'll be able to realize whether it's a killer deal for you. When it is, and if you have the money, you pounce on it.
Oh, and for some recommendations of of those types of deals that exist right now:
1) The Stereo Trading Outlet is selling a pair of Fried Studio V for $995. Two transmission lines, one for the woofer, the other for the mid. I personally listened to this speaker about 1 month ago, and was so impressed by the bass that I am still drooling.
2) Community Audio in Philadelphia has a pair of JSE Infinite Slope 4(the flagship) for $1500! 2 - 12 woofers, the Dynaudio dome midrange(many feel this to be the BEST midrange driver they have come across), a Dynaudio tweeter, coupled with the crossover you can only find in the very well respected Joseph speakers today. Are you kidding me?
3) A great friend called me up on Saturday night, and when I told him I was looking for speakers, told me about a pair of the smaller Innersound electrostatics a friend of a friend would take $1000 - $1400 for. I don't have Innersound experience, but how can anyone get hurt on this deal?
4) That same friend is one of the best speaker guys in the world. And, he has for sale 2 pairs of Infinity loudspeakers which he has gone through from top to bottom. One is the IRS Beta(yes, they need a big room), the other is a smaller(Kappa something) that offers a rich, live, powerful sound. One thing I can tell you is that a satisfied customer is his worst nightmare. He doesn't feel like he's done his job unless you have tears streaming down your face from the inexpressable joy.
5) On Audiogon right now are pairs of Apogee hybrids(Centaurs and Slants) for anywhere from $300 - $1300. Doesn't anyone remember how great these speakers were?
Just because something isn't new, doesn't mean it isn't a find. Good sound is good sound. Bottom line!
Who knows, one of them might just end up in my second system...
That would buy ONE HUNDRED PAIRS of ACOUSTIC STUDIO DIGITAL MONITORS!!!! Tell me where you live and I'll drive my white van over today!!!!. Seriously, this is so easy, you should have just asked us all what our favorite $1800 used speakers are.
I'd look for a good used set of Martin-Logan SL3's with original boxes, near to where you live so you can go pick them up. Should be able to get a pair and have enough left over for budget cables.
There are at least 4 pairs on Audiogon right now for $1700-$1800 asking prices.
FOLLOW-UP TO ABOVE THREAD: Many thanks to all who responded so far to this thread. I wish I had the time to e-mail back each response. First,one member advised to be patient and hold for a "killer deal". Yes, good advise; but,how does two years worth of patience sound since I sold my B&W Matrix 3's?? I am listening currently and only occassionally through a pair of Large Advents(don't ask why!! none of my reasons will seem rational) One member ask about my setup which is: Aragon 4004MK2, Conrad Johnson PV-8(which has been modified twice)and a Sonagraphe SC-1 CD player---all are about..gulp...15 years old. The interconnect cables are nothing spectacular. AudioMagic Spellcaster 2 runs between the pre/power amp, and a Synergistic Research Alpha Sterling between the pre/CD setup. I have a VPI Junior/Audioquest/Bluepoint specialT/T that has seen little use; and, a Nakamichi LX-3to play a set of Grateful Dead recorded concerts----still an outstanding tape deck. I have two Monster Cable interconnects which were reference series in 1990 that are used with the take deck. I sold my hi-end speaker cable with the speakers.... My room is 15X22 with a 13 ft cathredral ceiling--there is some slap echo....FYI: Big speakers are out; that is why any Maggie, whether 2.7 and 3.3(even 1.6R), is not under consideration and I auditioned them all. I have heard Thiel 2.3; Audio Physic Virgo 2 and 3's(liked the 2's,but the 3's are too bright)Martin Logans: Ascent, Prodigy, SL-3, Aerius(too finicky with raspy highs when pushed; though, I have read the new model, Clarity is smoother) Quad L-22; Audes Blues; Dunlavy Althea. B&W Nautilus 803 thru 801. A member recommended B&W 802'Series 3's of which several pairs have appeared on this site recently for $1800---that to me is not much of an upgrade form their Matrix 3's.... Also, would like to buy something with some "style" and looks. Considered "used" AP Libra's, and Roman Audio's Centurion which is gorgeous in all its veneers---both are pricey even used; also Gershman RX-20 which I have never on this site read much praise compared to other speakers. Finally, I don't want to have to play around much with placement; I realize this is a no-brainer for us audiophiles slaves, but I am getting impatient in my middle years with measuring my enjoyment of music in millimeters of positioning. So there it is!! Deep bass and soundstaging are very important for my next speakers because the B&W'Matrix 3's were lacking in this area.... Again thanks to all for taking the time to answer this thread. Jimbo
In answer to Viggen's question: FYI, The B&W Matrix3 series 2 was current in 1989. "Matrix" describes the honeycomb, concrete cabinet design used to reduce vibrations. I owned them 12 years. I sold them because they began to bore me in terms of their presentation of music. I could not perceive anything new about the music I played. Nevertheless, the B&W Matrix 3 was a very good speaker; my acoustic values seemed to have changed over the years..... Whatever you may read about speaker performance on this forum, great speakers, which are often and unfortunately very expensive(overpriced is a better word) seem to be able to communicate some new aspect of the music you may value and treasure.
Actually, the B&W Matrix III take a lot of clean power to wake them up. I used a 100wpc Adcom amp with the B&W's and it sounded real thin. I then ran 450wpc from a Citation 7.1 amp and the speakers finally came alive in 2 channel audio. I changed because I have been leaning more towards Home Theater.
if great is possible at 1800$ then why would anyone spend any more than that?
its my opinion that 1500$ in used speakers is just entering midfi territory, which goes up to probably around the 10k range. Midfi sounds pleasant...but its not gonna give anyone a wow moment. Lowfi isn't engaging whatsoever. And HiFi is so engaging your house could burn down around you and you wouldn't notice cuz you'd be in such a trance from the music.
Calanctus, this was an earlier version of the SS M9's. Not the totally redesigned speaker with the 'super tweeter' on top of the cabinet. Right now there is a guy selling a better pair of my speakers for $1800. These would be a steal, and if they didn't say 'Sony' on the cabinets would have been gone a long time ago. They sound better than virtually every speaker B&W ever made, I consider them to be on the level of a Wilson, or other great speaker!
To answer your question Geoffgarcia..probably because most have figured out they can achieve engaging sound without blowing money on some ones work of art..Most equipment over 10k is bought for statis not sound!Most drivers used in elite highend can be found in a used $1500.00 speaker.As well as the same filters,and wiring.There are only so many driver and filter manufactures in the world.In a blind fold test it will be impossible for you to tell the difference between what you consider midfi and elite hifi!IMHO the best bang for the buck is between $3000 and $5000.Sure some of the speakers you are refering to are beautiful...but beautiful has nothing to do with sounding good IMHO! For those who like spending 50k on some speakers with $25.00 drivers in them ...I wish them well.I guess there is a fool born everyday as the saying goes. Happy Listening!