20 responses Add your response
The following speakers will serve you extremely well with both your current Denon receiver or if/when you upgrade to a more expensively priced amplifier.
1. NHT SB2 ($400 list)
2. Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 ($350 list)
Both speakers sound differently from each other, but also sound above their price tags. The NHT's are somewhat on the warm musical sound. The Wharfedale's probably sound closest to the B&W 602's, but are also more refined sounding. Both will complement your set-up.
Some models in your price range which are worth a listen would be the PSB Image B25 ($450), the Boston Acoustics VRB ($500), the Audio Note AX2 $550?), and the NHT SB3 ($600). You might also consider the Boston Acoustics VR1 floorstander ($600) which is pretty nice and would eliminate the need for stands. Good luck.
I just received a new pair of Axiom M3ti and am breaking them in. $300 new, shipping included. I really like them. They are detailed with nice midrange and decent bottom to 60 Hz. They will not play to concert volumes, but no speaker in that price range can. I also love my Von Schweikert VR-1s and they can found used for $600. The VR-1s are definitely better and if you can find them, that would be my recommendation. But, the Axioms are a great sound for not much money, a real value. I run them with a classic Kenwood integrated amp for a bedroom system. I am using Atoms for surrounds in the home theater now since I tried them in the bedroom and didn't like them at all. Good luck!
I second the choice of NHT SB2, I think you can get a pair for $299 and are excellent clean speakers. The NHT SB3 is more highly praised in the audio press and you might be able to pick up a pair on the cheap. I would add that if you like very defined sound and don't dislike horns then you should add Klipsch Heresies version 1 pre 1980s (pretty big monitors) to your list. You can pick them up for less than $400 on agon or ebay and they never die.
I'll jump on the NHT bandwagon as well. In their price range, they are just killer. And FWIW, I slightly prefered the focus and detail of the SB2 to the slightly greater frequency range of the SB3. There are many great little speakers that I haven't heard, but in my experience, the NHT's stood at the top of my list, until you start moving up into ProAc, Totem or Thiel range.
Madisound.com offers some fabulous kits, and assembled versions too. I have been thru the mill with umpteen small spkrs and now use and love SEAS Cygnets 2s, large 2-ways that really sing with a 25W Gaincard clone. Several notable features: big phase plug on the woofer, woofer mounted above the tweeter for time coherence, a LEAP crossover tuned for the best sound, and a slot-loaded cabinet. 40 Hz bass and smooth, non-fatiguing highs. Madisound knows their stuff, hard to go wrong with these, and they will definitely rock. "Simple and elegant." Good luck in your quest.
depends what type of sound you are looking for. For the money you could do better than the B and W 602. The Acoustic Energy Aelite or discontinued Aesprit provide very open clear sound with rounded off top end and limited bass extension. They clearly benefit from bi-wiring. Can be had on e-bay for under your budget. The Quads are excellent but the finishes are unique (very glossy). The wharfedale is an excellent value. Not familiar with the others.