Silverline Sonata III's
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I have to qualify this because I became a dealer for Vmps last year. I've owned Vmps speakers since 1996 though and that is what is in my main listening room, RM 40's. It's the only thing I sell and actually I don't sell them, they sell themselves.
This is fortunate as I'm no sales person and don't care to be. It's part of my hobby and has nothing to do with my living.
I will say in my honest opinion you're going to be very hard pressed to beat the Vmps RM 40's. This of course is opinion and there are other great speakers too, but not very many that are great for the money.
You should check out the Vmps forum at audiocircle.com. At minimum you should hear everything you can before you plunk down several grand for a pair of speakers. I can say that myself, my brother and a close friend all have owned Vandersteens. We all now own Vmps speakers in one size or another.
What you seem to be looking for is a pair of Daedalus DA-1's. Given your preferences I have to say this will be a spot on match. If you want a "live" sounding speaker look no further. Do a search on the Audiogon and see my extensive reviews as well as commentary by other enthusiastic owners. I don't recommend them to everyone but given what you have stated here I can pretty much guarantee you will be thrilled.
Everyone, so far, thanks. No VMPS 40's in the Gon classifieds now- I had already looked for those and am intereseted. Veritas 2.4i are for pick up only; Daedulus DA-1 appear to be awesome (I remember Barrelchief mentioning them in an email last year) but $6400 for the DA-1 is way way out of my budeget of $3-$4k used.
Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III HSE are a screaming value in this price range. Yes, I have a pair listed for sale, but I'm not sure I really want to let them go...
Used Tyler Signature System, Silverline Sonata II and III would be on my short list for replacement speakers in the same price range, based solely on user comments in these threads.
I owned the Soliloquy 6.5s and they are a great speaker, but I sold them for a pair of Hyperion 938s. IMO, they are better in every aspect than the Soliloquys, are just as efficient and can be had used for around $2,500. The Soliloquys are monsters to ship and move around! The Hyperions have made me forget about upgrading.
Bring home and audition a pair of Vandersteen Model 2Ce Signatures. A new pair will be best as they do improve by vintage. They are under $2k new and will give all the rest serious competition. Older ones from the last few years will also impress.
IMHO they're the best value in Hi-Fi.
I hope you have fun with whatever you end up with!
I listen to 95% acoustic live/recorded jazz and will never go back. In this price range I like the maggies best and Vandies are close. I looked up your amp, it doubles to 500w in 4, though damping factor only listed at 200. I would expect it to handle the 1.6s great and be good on 3.6s. Nothing creates the small group sounstage, in the room feeling at this price range like the mags. They are also very clean and true, but you must play them at at least moderate volume to get the effect. I would put them on your long wall and listen nearfeild if it is an option. You will think you are front row !!
I own both 3.6s and 1.6s
I listen mostly to blues and jazz. I was a long time fan of Vandersteens and i almost was sold on a pair of Aerial 10-T (but the bass was kind of tubby on a lot of things...room i heard them in maybe?. I also listened to a pair of maggies and liked them a lot but they were a littel shy on bass and a little bright...again likely a room issue since it was in a sales room. Once I found Dunlavy athenas the choice was easy and I've never looked back. Solid bass, great mids, the best soundstaging i've ever heard. There is a pair here on gone in oak for about 3K or maybe a bit less. The cantatas are similar and show up for as little as $2500. They are a flat out steel at those prices. i run mine with VTL MB185 monos and have more than enough juice, though there are days when a 450 calls my name but i think that is more GAS (gear acquisition syndrom) than anything else.