I have no personal experience with them but the Green Mountain Europas seem to be attracting a lot of attention. Search archives for reviews and descriptions. They interest me because they sound like a spica TC-50 brought up to present.
Sean is dead on...as a GMA Europa owner...they are a must audition...they retail for $900...contact Roy at GMA on the directory on this site..
INFINITY INTERMEZZO 2.6... You won't be disappointed !
Well, I'm going through the same process right now and I'm leaning towards either Totem Model 1 Signatures or Von Schweikert VR 1's. If you could swing some Totem Mani 2's for that price range, they would be a great choice. I've read here that the Mani 2's need a lot of quality amplification to sound their best.
I listened to the Tylers and Paradigms while searching for monitors, although I only heard the Tylers against the ones I eventually bought (Gershman X-1's) and I thought the Gershmans bettered both. With my tube monos, the Gershman's were, to my ears, clearly superior. Still, I'd audition everything you can. Your tastes may differ from mine and your equipment may work better with others, but the Gershmans should be on your audition list- they fall into your listed budget.
I'M USING THE SHAMROCK EIRES W/GREAT SUCCESS. GREAT ALL AROUND BALANCE. PERFORM WELL ON ORCHESTRAL. JAZZ, ROCK, ETC. THEY ARE VERY REVEALING IN A MUSICAL WAY.
I'M USING A DODSON DAC, THETA TRANSPORT, FIRST SOUND PREAMP, BEDINI MONO AMPS.
ANOTHER MONITOR OF INTEREST IS THE SP TECHNOLOGY TIMEPIECE.
Definitely as stated above consider the Green Mountain Europas. I know its difficult to audition these speakers, but if at all possible listen to them, superb in every way. They have bettered all monitors I've listened to and can be driven with even modest amps. I've preferrred them to Condor, Merlin, Revel Gems, B&W 805's, JM Lab Mini Utopias, and Virgos. They won't go as deep as some of the above monitors, but their bass is extremely fast and tight. Of course these are my opinions.
I'm surprised that nobody has recommended the Reference 3A MM DeCapo yet! It generally comes up in this type of post. Yes, its list price is $2500, but an excellent used pair can be had for as little as $1000-1500.
I have owned a lot of different speakers and for me, the DeCapo has gotten me off of the "want to upgrade" train.
FWIW, the DeCapo is a mirror imaged monitor with an 8" proprietary carbon fibre weave woofer and a silk dome tweeter. It provides outstanding bass from such a small speaker and the highs are not bright like so many speakers I've owned. Additionally, a great feature of this speaker is that it is a very easy to drive 92db eff. speaker with basically no crossover (except a single capacitor on the tweeter). It can be powered by almost any amp, including low powered SET tube amps (I'm currently using 3.5 watts/ch). So, you have nearly limitless amp possibilities, but there would be no need for anything over 100 w/ch (saving you money on amps).
At the used price, the Reference 3A MM DeCapo (or new DeCapo(i)) is a bargain. Read the reviews. These are great speakers!
TIC (a happy DeCapo owner)
Get the Green Mountain Europa's. They are a fatastic speaker that sounds very resolved and has a deep stage. JM Sound is now selling them new. Joe is a great person to do business with.
Here are some older choices. Acoustic Energy AE1, AE2 and Platinum Solo,all designed by Phil Jones, who is also a bass player. They are not terribly efficient, but if you have a smallish room and/or listen in the nearfield they will definitly get the job done. If you like canadian speakers consider PSB Sratus Minis. And everbody's all time favorite the Spica TC 60's.
You can then take the $1000 to $1500 you just saved and buy more music. Enjoy.
I can second the used Platinum Solo's which seem to run $675 when listed on Audiogon. Full range, articulate, yet sweet when the amp is capable. With your amp there will be bass with clarity, speed, and even startle factor ( which converts to smile factor ) if listening in the nearfield. At this modest price the bass really is special.