Classical music speaker recs for small room?


I'm currently in the market for a pair of good classical music speakers that are under $500 and for a room roughly 120 square feet.

I don't intend to live in this box forever, which is why I don't want to invest in something bigger/more expensive. But---how can I put this---Altec-Lansing and Schubert aren't really on the best of terms right now, and I need a huge upgrade in order to make at least one of them happy (schubert).

I primarily listen to classical---especially newer music with sharp, percussive attacks; piano music; and the standard orchestral fare. Next on the list would be experimental/electronic music, jazz, bluegrass, etc. For what it's worth, I'm a classical musician myself and tend to be fairly picky when it comes to these things.

The Paradigm Atom V5 and PSB Alpha B have been recommended, but I'm willing to spend up to $500 and would welcome any recommendations in that ballpark. Also, I'm willing to get something a little too big for this space so that they can be of SOME use when I finally decide to move...

A million thanks,
The new PSB B6 is nice.

NEW: Silveline Minuets

USED: Meadowlark Kestrals (the original) or Klipsch Heresys or KG4's

Bonus: all of the above can be used with tubed amps which lend themselves to classical IMHO
I would recommend used Triangle Comete ESs which are hot the newest model but can be bought for about $ 500. They are coherent from top to bottom and are easy to drive and sound great with all music but really great with classical. I have two pair plus the larger Celius and recently bought a pair of Cometes here for $465. Hard to beat at any price.
Do yourself the biggest favor you have ever did. Find a pair of vintage Wharfedales model W25, W35, W40, or W60's and you will never look back! Very easy to drive and sound excellent with tube gear. Great for classical, jazz and vocals. You will forget all about hi-fi and fall in love with the MUSIC. Trust me. I've also got highend stereo systems but I gotta say I love what the Wharfedales do with piano, strings, voice, etc.
Another thought for a small room might be used Thiel SCS's, but the amp budget might go up. I humbly suggest you not get speakers that might "be a little too big for this space so they can be of SOME use when I finally decide to move...", unless you know what room your moving to. This is Audiogon, buy what suits you now, sell them when your needs change, and then buy what works best in your new room. The issue of compatibily re: the speaker/room interface should not be underestimated.
I never trust anyone who says "Trust me." FWIW.

For your musical preferences, listening room and your price range, a used Vandersteen 1c would be very difficult to improve upon. I note that there is one for sale on Audiogon now, but they show up from time to time.
Yes, I just auditioned a new pair of Vandersteen 1C's with a friend, and I think they are a great all around speaker for the money. Open sounding with body. Good suggestion at the price point. Also, not too hard to drive. Need to be a minimun of a foot from the wall. Very different aesthetic than most speakers.
Used PSB Stratus Mini
Thanks for all the responses so far. After checking out a few of the suggestions, I realized I forgot to mention one thing: I have absolutely no floor space, which means these will most likely have to be bookshelf speakers. More accurately, I probably have floor space for speaker stands but not for actual floor models.

Keep the suggestions coming!
Maggie MMG w.

Go here: MMG W On-Wall Speaker

They hang on the wall and you swing them out when you use them.

Upsides include: 1- They can flank a flatscreen TV set (made for that purpose). 2- They sound very, very good. 3- They are $325 a pair, NEW! 4- 60-day money back guarantee.

Downsides are: 1- the sweet spot is a little narrow (but not unuseably so). 2- They will positively, absolutely require the use of a sub. (but so will almost any other monitor you might choose)
NHT Classic Three; Never heard these but they get good reviews in the rags.


12-20-09: Kr4
I never trust anyone who says "Trust me." FWIW.


That's fine....but not much of a suggestion to help the original posters question. I on the other hand have been a musician the last thirty five years playing the tenor and bass trombone, baritone/euphonium, as well as the cello. I play both classically as well as jazz and have been an audiophile for well over twenty five years. I have components that cost in the tens of thousands of dollars as well as inexpensive ones. For a budget of less than $500 for a pair of speakers to be used in such a small room for the type of music he prefers, you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding speaker. It is easy to drive, sounds fantastic with tube gear, it gets the timbre correct, it is dynamic and plays great in that size room. I would not recommend them for large rooms however.
I was able to pick up a pair of NHT classic three brand new with warranty for $500 on ebay. These are phenomenal speakers for the price.