Have you tried a pair of ProAc speakers?
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Emster - You might consider Sound Lab full range electrostats. They use the thinnest diaphrabm in the industry - 1/20th as thick as the Martins, and so they have superb nuance and articulation. See Jonathan Valin's review in the February/March 2000 issue of The Absolute Sound. I am a Sound Lab dealer and can get you into a pair of Millennium-3's in the price range you mention, or into a pair of Millennium-2's for a little more. My gimmick is this: I also run a bed & breakfast, and if you travel to New Orleans for an audition you stay free in my B&B, and if you purchase a pair of Sound Labs from me I'll reimburse your airfare, up to $500.00. I'd be glad to explain more about the Sound Labs if you are interested - don't worry, I'm not a hard-sell kinda guy. You can check out their website at www.soundlab-speakers.com, or check out mine at www.audiokinesis.com. My e-mail is [email protected]
You could not possibly go wrong with a pair of Jean Marie Reynaud speakers, you might be happy with a pair of evolutions for about $3000, and save some money at the same time. delveaudio is a dealer. I haven't heard them but I understand they are great value. Even greater value is going to see more live concerts with your significant other and a large crowd of music loving friends.
I don't disagree with much that has been said, and particularly agree with Johnsonwu. In particular, MLs are very fussy as regards setup. Poorly setup they usually sound indistinct from the mids on up. They MUST be firmly spiked to the floor. You MUST experiment with forward tilt to get higher frequencies in focus. You MUST have a uniform and uncluttered front wall. If you deal with these issues and the rest of your system is up to it, then you will get lots of detail - more naturally presented than any Thiel. But I agree with Audiokinesis that the ML is bested by the Soundlabs.