i've heard the def tech's. they are very good speakers, but you also might want to look into b&w 601's and 602's (series 2, which unlike the s1's have the same tweeter as the much more expensive nautilus line). they go for about $250 (601's) - 400 (602's)used. you could probably get a pair of 602 s2's for your fronts, 601 s2's for the rears, and the matching center for right around $800 used. these are very, very good speakers. equally at home with music and theatre. for your size room, they should be perfect (you might even be okay with 4 601's + center).
i think it would be a little premature to drop $700-800 on two speakers given your current set up. if you're talking $700-800 used, your up in the $1200-1600 retail range for a (i'm guessing here) <$400 A/V receiver? i think it would be much more worthwhile to use that money for a full set-up of b&w's (or something comparable). to be honest, it might be worth it to buy a pair of used 602's and spend the rest of your allocated money on upgrading to a nice two channel integrated amp (there are some great ones out there for $400-500 used). however, given that the sony was a gift from a very thoughtful GF, i can see how that would be virtually impossible!
the 601's and 602's are speakers that will last you through quite a long chain of upgrades. they are that good. plus, since b&w just released the series 3 versions, used s2's are going for very reasonable prices. throw in a decent pair of stands, and you are looking at a fine entry level HT/2 channel rig.
I had a VERY bad experience with the 2006tl. Read my review on audioreview.com for details. I would stay away from power towers if I were you. I went with B&W N804s instead - quite a jump in price, I know, but well worth it.
Can't really make any recommendations at this point. But, I'll reiterate that I didn't like the 2006tl AT ALL. Many others may disagree, but I think you can do better.
I would stay away from the Def. Tech's. They are not, in my mind, close to the best you could do for that price. You don't see TOO many used on this site because Def. Tech isn't considered (by many, not all) to be a true high performance loudspeaker. Hence, many people who own these speakers don't frequent this site.
My picks (used, of course) for you would be:
B&W Matrix 805's
ProAc Tablette 2000's
Meadowlark Kestral Hot Rods
I would lean toward monitors in your case, because of your smaller room. If you go with monitors, however, factor in at least another 100 for decent stands. Cheers!
I browsed the full-range speakers for sale here, and found you an ABSOLUTELY KILLER DEAL on a superb pair of older speakers. This is the Snell Type A. This was one of the finest speakers of its day (which was, admittedly, 20 years or so ago). The Type A was a two-piece per side system with a downward-firing woofer in one wide box, then a midrange & tweeter in a large wide box that sat on top. This upper box was smoothly curved to minimize diffraction, and gave excellent soundstaging even up against the wall. Actually, these speakers were designed to be placed up against the wall. The voicing was very natural, and the bass quite deep and solid. It's been twenty years since I heard a pair, but they were the finest speakers I'd ever heard at the time. Omigod lovely rendition of vocals.
This speaker was sadly discontinued but remains (in my mind at least) one of the most intelligent designs of all time, taking into account so many aspects of sound propagation and psychoacoustics. I don't think anything like it has been built since, probably because it would be so expensive to build. To pick up a pair in fine working condition for six hundred bucks has got to be one of the best deals around.
Here's the link to the ad: http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?spkrfull&1016766537&class&3&4&
If you absolutely can't bring yourself to get a speaker this old, then consider a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Signatures (warm & rich sounding). http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?spkrfull&1018741034&class&3&4&
But frankly the Vandy 2CE's aren't in the same league as the Snell Type A.
I'd suggest a pair of Totem Rokk's, they come up for sale here every now and then ~$500. Go to Totem's website and take a look, they are really nice speakers (both visually and sonically). Jeff
The Snell recommendation sounds like a good one, haven't heard the Zephyrs, but know they're highly thought of by some well informed 'philes. With smaller speakers (pretty much the only way to go w/ your room size), good stands are important. Not sure what sonic attributes you're after, but would agree w/EWHA that you'll need to upgrade the front end and your amplification to get a good idea of what your speakers are capable of. I saw a pair of Spendor sp1's go for $500 on this site a couple of weeks ago. They don't come up often (for good reason). Usually these are the last things to go when a person who owns them falls prey to the dreaded (seldom dormant) upgrade disease. You'll have to spend a lot of bucks before they become the weak link in your system.
thanks for the responses! I am curious about the snell's however I see that they weigh 200lbs according to the classified. Are you sure that my amp could drive this speaker?
I think the Type A's are only moderately efficient, like maybe 86 dB, but I think they are an 8 ohm load which your Sony would have no trouble with. This is my recollection, which is highly fallible - I suggest you contact the seller.
And now that you mention it, they are kinda big for your room! My recollection is they're about four feet tall by two feet wide by one foot deep. If that rules them out, well, I understand - but considering how natural these speakers sound, they are a steal at the asking price.
You could come VERY close to your price range and have a killer setup with a pair of GR Research Paradox 1's and an Adire Rava Subwoofer. It's a great combination that would give you a full range frequency response. The imaging should be excellent, and in addition, it should have plenty of punch and rythm without sounding dry. I think it would be a perfect match for your Sony.
I suggest you go over to Audio Asylum (www.audioasylum.com) and check out the Speaker forum as there have been MANY reviews and commentary on the combination.
The best part is you could buy it new from the factory and have a warranty on everything (if that matters to you.)
Forget the DefTechs. If you're gonna be using the Sony for at least a while I'd generally stay away from speakers with metal dome tweeters, at least in your price range(although the Triangle Zephyrs recommended above may be an exception). This is a recipe for bright/harsh sound.
Given the size of your room you may be better off with monitors than floorstanding speakers, and you'll tend to get more for your money. One suggestion that falls right in your price range used would be Soliloquy 5.0s with their cool and beefy matching stands. The 5.0s produce a good amount of bass for their size, huge soundstage, full midrange, great detail, disappear in the room and are very efficient so should be easy for your Sony to drive effectively. You can add a sub later if you want, but either way you're off to a good start on a great system. Best of luck.
I second Audiokinesis' recommendation of the Snell's, IF your long term goal is to build a system around them. If that is in fact the case, I would happily live and put up with sub-optimum amplification until you can afford it. The Snell's are great speakers, and when you can afford to feed them a good source amplified by good electronics, you will have a great, and I mean GREAT system.
I still remember the first time I heard them. Powered by VTL 300's with an Audio Research pre and Oracle/Koetsu combo. To this day, for my tastes, some of the best sound that I have ever heard, bar none. $600 ???, if you can handle their size (they ARE kinda big), a steal if I ever heard of one!!! By the way, at the dealer showroom where I heard them, they were situated very close to if not right up against the back wall; and as I recall, the room itself was not particularly large. Good luck.
I would join Frogman and Audiokenesis in recommending the Snell type As--they were among the finest speakers of their time, and hold up very well to modern competition. I auditioned them, Apogee Divas and Duntech Princesses as my finalists before deciding on the latter about 14 years ago, and have always been impressed with their sound. Frogman's observation about where they were located is actually where they are supposed to be placed, virtually up against the wall, which makes them unique among the best high end speakers.
Agree that the old Snells would be a good choice if you have the room. They won't do HT, though.
Listen long to those DefTechs before you buy. They do OK for HT (though even there you can do better for the money) but they will burn your ears out on music. A recording of the Bach Double Concerto for Violin that sings on my JM Labs music system, and sounds at least acceptable on my Paradigm HT system sounds like two dental drills having jungle sex when played on my neighbor's DefTechs.
thank you all for your responses.
I apologize for not responding, I've been away for a few days.
I think I have to rule out the snell's due to size concerns.
I'm looking at a set of B&W's on ebay that have 602's as the two mains, however they are series one. Is there a big quality difference between the first and second series?
Everybody knows the best speakers for low dollars would be some 2-C or 2-CE vandersteen's , end of story.
what about the totem arro's? They fit my girlfriends size constraints, have any of you heard them? Are they as good as the soliloquy's or b&w's?
Also aren't the vanderstein's just as big as the snell's?