Room size? Amplification? Type of music listened to?
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Do you have a dealer nearby? It's the first place you should walk into before any internet based purchases take place. Share your thoughts here as well as price. Will be great if dealer has used equipment that will allow you to take higher performance level speaker for less money. Usually when you walk onto the dealer's door with goal to spend $1000 for speakers you may end up spending 2...3x more... So post here before making decision(as an advise) and share and Goners will help you with the right one possibly for less money.
++Marakenetz. And if you find certain brands you like then check here on AudiogoN (and maybe other sites...) and with a little luck you can find speakers that retail ~$2K but now sell in your budget. I will freely admit I haven't bought "new" speakers at retail in quite a while - but I've found stuff here that I really like, that were much more affordable than new, and were graciously broken in by someone else...
Great advice guys. Have him go audition stuff at a dealer's place, then turn around and buy here.
Wonder why independant dealers are going the way of the dinosaur?
For the record, I'm not a dealer. Have no financial interest in what anyone buys. I just think its absurd to have a dealer do a demo, explain what's what, then have someone turn around and buy the same stuff at a discount on the web.
Independant dealers are going the way of the dinosaur because people forgot about customer service. It's still around and your local dealer is waiting for you. I used to buy from the web but found that building a relationship with my local dealer and purchasing from him made my life a whole lot easier. If I have an issue with something, it goes to him. If my stuff gets damaged, he has to deal with it. I've also built a great relationship with my local dealer so I get stuff like speaker cable at cost. I recently bought new speaker cable and saved $400 from the best price i could find online after a week of searching. This is just a little perk he does for his customers. Also, I get invited to demos of new equipment where there might be food and cocktails served and we have the same interest in music. he burns CD's for me that he thinks I might like......the list goes on. Of course your local dealer has to carry gear you like, which mine does. I guess maybe I'm lucky because my local shop is amazing and makes it worth it for me to deal with them directly. In fact, my shop is so amazing that expats from all over the world buy from him. The respect I have for this guy I wouldn't trade for the best internet deal on the planet. I'm not a dealer or anything like that. I just thought I'd share my experience so you know some of the benefits of buying local. If you have the option, you should look into it. I don't have any audio friends with the exception of my local dealer and it's helped me a great deal.
Mirage OMD-15. They were designed to sell at $2500/pair and sound like it, but Vanns is selling the closeouts priced (right now) at slightly under $900/pair. I have had a pair for over three years and they are excellent on a wide variety of music types. I listen to classic rock and lots of acoustic music of various complexities and volume levels--acoustic pop, combo jazz, big band jazz, classical chamber music, and bombastic full scale orchestra. Also Diana Krall, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Holly Cole, etc. These speakers never disappoint. Excellent transparent natural sounding midrange, omnidirectional pattern makes the whole listening area a sweet spot, pretty amp-friendly.
Yet they are of high enough resolution that any upgrades you make will be heard. They take 100 hrs to basically break in, but you'll hear more improvement, resolution, and refinement up to around 1,000 hours.
At $950/pair, free shipping, and a 15-day return period, these are hard to beat.
I imagine all of those people who say "Go to your local dealer and listen" are those who actually HAVE a local dealer to go to. Now I have no idea where Eddyv lives but it's entirely possible (maybe even probable) that he has no local dealers. Many of us don't and as has been pointed out above, even if you do, the selection is likely to be sparse. How many speaker models less than $1,000 do you think they will carry?
I'll second the Vandersteen recommendation above. Another possibility is the Direct Acoustics Silent Speaker II. You can find a review here: http://www.stereophile.com/content/direct-acoustics-silent-speaker-ii. Yes, it's a Stereophile review but the reviewer is John Marks who seems to care about sound quality more than specifications. If someone were to ask my help in putting together an inexpensive system, I would have them seriously consider these.
IMHO, the best value by far would be used stock Thiel 3.5's. They can be had for well below your max price, and out perform speakers that cost many times that max price. The only caveat is that to make them really sing, you'll probably need to take the savings and apply it towards the cost of an appropriate amplifier. The Vandersteen 2's are another excellent value choice.
I love listening to Doc Watson, Chet atkins, Les Paul, Leo Kottke on my system.
Its very live and really sounds like they are sitting in my room.
My speakers are the main reason IMHO Reference 3A De Capos really sings with acoustic music. I do use a tube amp with them and that also influences the sound.
they turn up used around 1000-1300.
It's not precise interpretation of the advise. The prices here are for reference and any decent dealer would go for the price break even for the new equipment if there will be an interest in certain equipment. If we speak in terms of speakers It's best to buy them locally only weather it's dealer or private owner. A-gon is needed to to define best values and not overpay large amounts from the same dealer.
I agree, do not want to waste dealers time to demo BUT how else do I get get to listen to the difference between speakers? I may just buy from the dealer and have no moral dilema. I like a concrete and mortar business behind a purchase like that anyway. Good advice, much appreciated. I am definately going to try the Theil's, Vandersteen's and for sure the 3A DeCapos because I am a huge Leo Kottke fan just like Grinnell.
Dealer demo is part of their sunk cost. Besides, if they treat you well, you will refer, etc. Demo, demo...and demo!
I will second the Mirage OMD-15s. I had them, and they are fantastic floor standers. I now have the OMD-28s...which are amazing, but a bit too big for my room. I would also recommend listening to Paradigm, based on your music tastes. Audition the Studio 20's.
I ended up going with Totem Rainmakers for my winter speakers, and if you have a dealer I would recommend a listen. Pretty remarkable speakers.
"Dealer demo is part of their sunk cost. Besides, if they treat you well, you will refer, etc. Demo, demo...and demo!"
At first glance I was tempted to scream "No! Don't audition and then buy oinline."
But - Would a B&M dealer prefer you spend some time in the store, see what they have, get familiar with the staff, and then buy online. Or never walk into the shop?
I dunno - I'm asking.
(Of course the best for them would be demo then buy from them)
the automatic assumption that everything's cheaper online is fallacious--in the auto business, for example, there's all sorts of data that shows that something like 75% of the time you get a better deal from your local dealer than by shopping on the internet. with audio gear, as per markanetz (and especially considering shipping costs) you'll often found better deals at a bricks and mortar store than on the web. i do think that those b&m dealers who refuse to deal/insist on charging MSRP are likely to fail--i think most folks are willing to pay a reasonable premium for personal service, expertise, etc., but will balk at paying an arbitrary premium.
Look into used Snell, Type D and the C series III,IV,and V are all very good and should fit well in your budget range ($500-$1000). I had a pair of the C-V's in my room (15x21x8) for a couple of years and sold them to a friend so I could try horns. They sounded great in my room and still sound great at my friends house.