In that price range and box style, I would seriously consider EgglestonWorks Andra III. I have the Fontaines, and they are exquisite. I added two powered subs to mine because they are only the top three drivers of the Andra - they are missing the bottom woofer. I wanted a pair of Andras but could only afford the Fontaines, so instead I added a pair of 12" woofers via the subs. I like to think of my setup as a "poor man's" Andra. Had I the money, I'd buy the Andras in a heartbeat. Here is a review from 2010:http://www.ultraaudio.com/equipment/egglestonworks_andraiii.htm
I have both the Nautilus 802 and the Sophia ones in my home now and have had them both in my two channel system over the past 6 years. Let me say they are both great speakers and I could live with either for the rest of time. My preference though would be the Sophia ones for there ease of listening on all music I throw at them. My system is and will be for years to come consist of VTL MB125s,Audible Illusios Modulas 3B pre w/the John Curl moving coil stage, Wilson Audio Sophia 1, VPI Super Scoutmaster/Dynavector DRY XV1 cart and a Wadia 26/8 combo for digital. At times I swap out the Modulas with a Lamm LL2.1 pre with an Allnic 1201 phono. Please bear in mind my Sophias are the ones and not the improved Sophia two's.
You'll get a lot of great advice but buying speakers without an audition is the crap shoot to end all crap shoots.
All the best,
I second the Egleston, but at that price point I'd LOVE
Rockport. I think they're much more coherent...well, they
sound better...than any of the 3 you listed.
These are on Agon, but may be too big for you
This will come down to which speaker does best with the aspects of sound reproduction that are most important to you. Without that information recommendations are not very helpful or meaningful. Tell us what you're looking for and you'll get much better advice here.
That said, I also noticed Vandy 5, Aerial 20T, and Rockport Mira for sale in your price range that are also excellent speakers.
SLightly below your price range are the Avalon Eidolon Diamonds. I think they outperform all but the Egglestonworks.
Narrowed it down to three.
(1) Wilson audio sophia 2
(2) 802 Nautilus
(3) Usher 8871!!
Please guide me towards one.
I would vote for the Wilsons. More forgiving and musical than the other two, IMHO (I'm not a big fan of Ushers). Of course, that's my preference; not knowing your musical preferences, room size, or what you're really after in speakers, as some of the others have pointed out, this is just a shot in the dark and reflects my musical tastes, not necessarily yours. I strongly suggest you get out and listen to the speakers before you buy.
Another vote for the Wilsons. I had the Nautilus 802's before and thought they were very good until i heard and tried other speakers. You can get a way better speaker for the amount of money you spend on these. They are ok to look at which is about it.
I'll second the Vandersteen 5. But I would not buy a speaker of this quality with a listen first.
Would you have room for a pair of Magnepan 20.7s, or some 3.7s plus compact sealed subwoofers?
Otherwise, given this thread's candidates so far, I lean toward the Wilson Sophias too. They're compact, near full-range, pretty coherent in presentation, and have an ease of presentation that allows the music to come to you, i.e., you don't have to strain to catch it.
If your listening room is small to medium size, Wavetouch Grand Teton speaker may be better suited. GT is preferred to Avantgarde and Magico Q1. http://www.wavetouchaudio.com/reviews.html
Sophia it is then!!!!! As far as room is concerned I am quickly running out of room in my house with three systems already.
how about used Usher 8871's? Do they compare with 802 Nautilus?
I have an option to buy 802 Nautilus for $4700 and Usher 8871 for $3200. Wilson Audio Sophia 2 is not available close by. Which one will be good for a decent size room 24x18. Driving with MC12 and RX amp.
Need to make a decision soon!!!!
From my experience on the 802's, I would opt for the Ushers. I never regretted selling them.
I personally would buy neither and wait for the Wilsons. Heck, you already have 3 systems. What is an MC12 and RX amp, though?
Lexicon MC12 and Lexicon RX-5