Dynaudio 1.3mk2's. Close to the 1k. After starting out with these,I am hooked on Dyns.
14 responses Add your response
Check out the Totem Rainmakers ~950 new. Room filling sound, amazing bass for the size. I have Paradigm Studio 60s and will eventually upgrade to the Totem Hawks.
Don't downsize your amp unless you go into a really efficient speaker.
I used to run my Paradigm Studio 60v2s with a 4420 in a 11x12 room, Paradigms and many other audiophile speakers love power. I now use a Classe CA150.
Your room size is similar to mine. I owned Paradigm Studio 40 V2 monitors and have moved on to three other speakers since. The ones that are staying are the GMA Europas. They are in your budget (around $600 used) and will do what you are looking for. P/U a used set and compare them to any of your other choices. If you're not happy with them they are easily sold here on Agon. While they are not the last word in monitors, I'm thrilled with their openness, transparency and neutrality.
You just described perfectly the Green Mountain Audio Europa which lists for the $1000.00 price new. Don't blow these off because of their low list price....they easily outperform a great number of speakers costing 2 or 3 times their price, including to these ears anyway, the Paradigm 40's as well as the Sonus Faber's at $1500/pair. Search the archives here for more info. Main strengths are best human voice I have personally heard anywhere close to their price and the ability to make bad recordings somehow pleasurable.
Third the Europas, they should work well with your amp and preamp combo. I'd keep the 200 watts, the current will bring out the best in them. If you're into trance, ambient, electronic, etc these are a good choice because the bass is tight and they are almost impossible to overload, as long as you keep the volume below Mt. St. Helens eruption level (and even then they'd probably be OK). I broke in a pair with Biosphere's "Cirque," which is mixed hot and has powerful transients and it gave them no problems whatsoever. They are ugly as sin, however, so if you're into furniture grade finish I'd advise you to look elsewhere.
Re: the Von Schweikerts, not sure, I've been wanting to audition those myself, but haven't gotten a chance. Heard nothing but good things about them, though. I find it hard to imagine they'd sound quite as clean as the GMAs because of the different materials used in construction, but I understand the tweeter is very sweet sounding, so that's a plus. And they're a LOT nicer to look at.
I'm doing the floor-standing two way thing myself now...I've vacillated a lot on the monitors versus floorstanding issue. No question, though, a high quality monitor on top of a high quality, acoustically dead stand with sharp spikes all around will mop the floor with the floorstander in terms of imaging. It's more of a pain in the ass to deal with two pieces per side, and bass extension can be an issue, but on the other hand there's less cabinet to resonate. Tough call. I do miss my Osiris stands. If you can get your hands on a pair of these, you're done as far as stands go...
As a Europa owner I'll chip in and say that the treble, imaging, soundstage and microdynamics are all superb. They do also have an uncanny ability to bring out the best in all recordings, and make bad recordings enjoyable.
But I do find them a little lacking in bass for rock music. I have a REL strata sub crossed with the Europas and the overall result is great. On their own I think I might not be entirely happy for rock music.
You might get better bass from the europas with all that power on tap. The europas are 4 ohms, so you need current more than power. My amp is 60wpc into 8ohms, 120wpc into 4 ohms, so it's not veyr powerful, but it has a good ability to supply current.
User Europas run about $600 and a used REL runs about $800, so it's a bit over your budget, but a superb combination, which I'd guess would compete with most speakers this side of $5000.
Call me nuts, but the aestetics of the Europas is growing on me. I have them sitting on a pair of Osiris stands and they seem to be a great match from a function and proportion standpoint. My other hobby is building custom hardwood furniture, so I love the looks of well finished wood and I have to admit I miss the beauty of my natural cherry B&W N805s (what a beautiful speaker) but the looks of the Europas have just seem to grow on me.
Before purchasing the Europas I actually did listen to the Von Schweikert VR-1. It's really not on the same page with the Europas IMO. I just wasn't all that impressed with the VR-1, but to be fair, it was not exactly an ideal room, source, etc.
As far as the appearance of the Europas goes, I will echo what abbeydog, songwriter, and mijknarf said. What I like about them is that they have a modern and original appearance, rather than another wodden box. All of Roy's speakers are a little different than the norm, some people like them, some don't.