I have owned the S8E years ago and I think Spendor will fit the bill ! Outstanding Speakers!
If you like the Paradigm's sound but just looking for more bass.... get floor standing verion of the Studio 20s. Studio 60 or 100. They just discontinued them and you should be able to find a new or demo at a really good price. Paradigm is blowing out their 20's and 10's on eBay. I've owned them. They look beautiful. Sound good too. I had to get rid of mine (towers/home theater) but still use the Studio 10 in stereo. Waiting/hoping tje signature follows suit. S2's baby !
Sorry but you are trying to pick out speakers the worst way possible - by how they look, written reviews and asking for suggestions from strangers on the internet who will tell you what they have or want to have. But how does anyone really know if these are the right speakers for you? Glad to hear you did go out and listen to B&W's though and ruled them out. That's a positive step.
All we really know is that you don’t like black boxes and your taste in music. But we don’t know what kind of amp you have? How do we know if your amp can even drive any of the speakers being recommended?
Let us know what amp you have and then a short list can be suggested for you to go out and hear them for yourself. Good luck!
If you must compromise with functionality you should know what you are giving up. Try and listen to a pair of the latest Technology Vandersteen 2CE Sig II boxless design with Five As reflection free woven drivers. Imho its such a refreshment to the cookie cutter 6 in metal driver PC clone box.
Hey, when many wives experience the Vandersteens they like them so much they whisper in their husbands ear,
"" I want these they sound the best.anyway""
Vandersteen dealer 27 years
@Paraneer - although you make a decent point, you do so in a pretty condescending manner. Yes, the OP is asking for advice from strangers - who may or may not "tell you what they have or want to have". But that may also be the best way for him or her. Most of us don’t have the location luxury to audition many different types of speakers and, truthfully, almost every pair of speakers I’ve owned and enjoyed - save for a pair of Triangle Celius and Maggie 3.6R’s I first heard at a dealer - I’ve bought and enjoyed based on recommendations here or in Stereophile.
Why? Because like the OP, I’ve rarely lived anywhere where I can audition a lot of different brands.
The OP wanted speakers that are attractive and have more bass than his existing Paradigm monitors; and he’s received a few ideas - including sticking to Paradigms. And yes, he did listen to and rule out the BW’s, as you patronizingly pointed out. But BW’s are everywhere; most of the others are not.
And if he’s doing things "the worst way possible", then that worst way has worked out fine for me over the years, with changes in speakers coming from my own online and print research and from this board -- only coming about because of spatial or component changes or simple curiosity - not out of dissatisfaction with the speakers themselves.
Thanks for saying I made a decent point Simao. But since it is about buying speakers, I feel I made excellent points. Especially the part about asking what kind of amp he has first which is paramount in selecting any speaker.
And why is my comment about listening and ruling out B&W's patronizing? I commend the OP on going out and auditioning them and said it was a positive step.
Perhaps you disagree but I still stand by my assertion that selecting speakers in this manner is the worst way possible. It's akin to picking a vacation destination by throwing darts at a map while blindfolded. And yes, it mostly results in a popularity contest.
I have to endorse what Johnny R says and like the entire Vandersteen line . .but naturally I’m biased since it’s where I put my own money (Model 5s--definitely not a black, rectangular box!). Given what you’ve told us about your preferences, you might also investigate the Goldenear Triton series. Heard a couple of their models at a dealer event a few months ago--were I in the market, I would definitely have arranged a second listen. Seem to be well-reviewed, not conventional boxes, and have a fairly wide price spectrum (as with Vandersteen).
Take a look at and, if possible, give a listen to a pair of Silverline Audio Prelude Plus speakers. They look very nice with rosewood veneer and slim design. Even with grills on they are pretty attractive. They also have excellent sound. Can do nice deep bass if it's in the recording (e.g., Cosmic Hippo, Black Light Syndrome)....just not into the 20s...least ways not worth talking about. Sensitive and capable of generating some high dB levels. Silk dome tweeter. Very airy with great imaging. Price is very good too. I took a gamble and bought a pair un-auditioned from Underwood HiFi. Very happy I got them. Maybe there's a sub in the future but I can honestly say it is NOT pressing. Enjoying them very much as they are. With your music preferences you might never need one.
Your post motivated me to unpack and hookup a pair of those Paradigm Studio 20 V5 that I had in storage. Wow. I missed the sound of them. (Been running a pair of Studio 10.2 since moving last summer).
I will probably have to sell them soon so I am interested in following your ad - if you sell them here.
Paradigm makes some great speakers but that doesn't mean I will always buy them.
Thanks all. I certainly am not going to blindly order speakers based on poster feedback. Instead, I solicit feedback to narrow down my search. There are way too many brands of speakers out there to audition. So far, I've auditioned the B&Ws and also a pair of Salk SongTowers a local audiophile owns. I liked the Salks a lot. They are a bit on the large side but, they are now on my short list. There is a dealer an hour drive away who carries Paradigms. I'll try to audition some of their towers this week.
OK, I've narrowed my audition list:
Ascend Sierra towers
Silverline Preluse Plus
Monitor Audio Silver 6 or 8
Golden Ear Triton 5 or 7
I've decided against the Salk Songtowers. They are pretty tall (44.5") and I want towers that don't visibly dominate my living room.
The Ascend get great reviews and are often compared to the Salk STs. They're a tad shorter. I am intruiged by the Silverline Preluse Plus. It looks very unique. I will see if I can find some of all these to demo.
At least with the Ascend Towers you can try them in your home risk free for 30 days.
I am in a similar situation, looking for new speakers and live in an area where there is not a decent dealer within 100 miles. So, I am also forced to use the worst possible method to evaluate what might work for me. Add to that, many of the brands don't support warranty claims if you purchase from a dealer on line and won't authorize their authorized dealers to sell them that way either. What a load of crap.
Anyway, after about 4 weeks of reading, evaluating specs and browsing, I am basically down to Salk HT-2 or Revel f208's. Salks are probably better looking speakers and they have excellent drivers and components. The Revels are easier to get and available now. Salk currently has a 75 day production time between order and shipment.
I have not read a single negative review on either of them. Good luck with your selection!!
I'm in the same situation as you. I have been contimplating new tower speakers to replace my studio 20 v5. I truly enjoy the 20s except for the lack of true depth in the low end. I struggle with the idea of adding a sub or going with a larger floorstander. The Rel s2 looks promising or do I go with Paradigms Prestige series. You're not alone in your search!
Silverline Preludes (not the "Plus" version) have little alloy woofers in a D'Appolito array and the imaging of mini monitors, albeit with useable bass…a screen over the alloy tweeters for "grill off" no worries listening, and sound really friggin' good with a sub or two. The tone appeals to me as it's somewhat neutral, and efficient enough to respond well to a modest (60 watts or so per side) tube amp. I "auditioned" these at a friend's house a few years ago and consequently found a clean used pair online for 400 bucks…love them things, and they sound better with single runs of wire…all good.
Have passed through the hundred hour mark on the Prelude Pluses. Finally hooked them up to the tube gear I had bought them to use with (78 wpc EL34 mono blocks; 6H30 & EZ80 rectifier pre-amp). I am no longer thinking I need to get a sub. Lower mid-range and bass are fuller with these tubes than I expected and actually seem better than with the much higher powered solid state gear I used during the breaking in period. Go figure. I think these Preludes are an amazing bargain.
I was in the same predicament lately; looking for small, attractive floorstanders for the living room. A local Hi-Fi shop had a used pair of Totem Hawks for sale for only $1200. Excellent condition, nice cherry finish, and I love small size floorstanders, so I had to take them home. I was a little torn about getting them because I've had songtowers before and loved them, but they're too big for my current space but I've been thinking about songbirds for a while. However, at $1200 I couldn't pass up the Hawks and they do remind me a lot of the songtowers. They actually go a little deeper than the songtowers, but I did prefer the songtower tweeter and overall tonality of the salks, but its close and for the money I feel like I got a great set of speakers. I think if the songbirds sound close to songtowers, which they should, they will be excellent. But If you can find a used pair of Hawks I recommend them too.
Just an FYI, there are a couple of good deals on the bay for some songtowers if that sways you at all. Also check out the LSA 2.1, and I saw some good deals on the Rega RX5 tower on the speaker classifieds. That looks like a nice small tower. KEF R500 is nice sounding/looking as is the Tannoy line. Those can often be found at good deals used. You have quite a few good options, good luck.
@albireo13 You mentioned WAF, attractiveness, and that you switched to a Nuprime IDA8. The latter is rated at 100w at 8ohms. With that output, I second abd1's suggestion of Totems. The Totem Hawks are well-made, beautiful-sounding speakers that would mate well with your Nuprime. The Totem Arros are much the same, though smaller. And Totem makes some very pretty finishes. The same can be said for the LSA 2.1 Statements.
I don't own any of these speakers, though I do have an LSA Statement integrated and I used to own a pair of Totem Arros about a decade ago.
You're Nuprime will drive the songbirds and probably sound great. The Hawks aren't that efficient either and I'm using a Peachtree Nova 220. They sound great, detailed, dynamic, maybe even too much bass, but that could be the room too. Your Nuprime sounds like a sweet sounding integrated. The funny thing about the Totems.... I wasn't planning on buying them. I just wanted to take my wife to the store to demo them because she hasn't really heard a nice hi-fi system, other than briefly hearing my songtowers before I sold them :( . My plan was for her to hear the Totems and then hopefully she'd understand why it would be nice to have some great sounding and looking speakers in the living room. I was planning on having her help me pick a finish for some songbirds, or maybe a philharmonic speaker with salk cabinet, but once she heard the Totems she said she had goosebumps. She liked their small size and the cherry finish almost perfectly matched the liquor cabinet they're straddling. So she said just get these. At the price, I couldn't say no. One nice thing with the Salks is that you could have your wife pick a veneer. I can tell you from experience I have never seen a better looking speaker than the Salks. The Hawks are pretty nice, but the Salks are at another level regarding the finish and cabinetry. Truly furniture grade finishes -- actually nicer than a lot of furniture!