If you can find them used you might find Joseph Audio Pulsars in that price range, and they should have enough bass to keep you rockin'. I like Ref 3As too, but not sure they'd be my first choice for your type of music. Maybe Revel Ultima Gems or something from ATC would be interesting for that genre. Best of luck.
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I have reviewed the MM de Capo i for my website hometheaterreview.com and gave them an excellent rating. However, if you are looking for quite a jump up from them across the broad sonicly and still want two way stand mounts I highly recommend that you would take a look at the Lawrence Audio Violin's that are a large two way that come with their own matching stands. I have reviewed the baby sister called the Mandolin, it's terrific, and reviewed the biggest brother the Cello and ended up purchasing the review for my new reference. I have the Violin in house right now for review and they put to shame many highly regarded floor standing models that cost much more.If you would want to discuss this with me for more details please give me a call at 219-635-4316.
Have you evef heard a pair of good dynaudio or totem monitors off say a
good 250w/ch or more class d amp or equivalent? That would be
something worth comparing perhaps. Amp + speakers together might fall
in your price range. Active monitors might be another option. Dynaudio
xeo wireless monitors would take that approach even a step further.
If youre not wedded to your amplifier, I think that these could be a good fit for you and your wife.
I have owned Reference 3A de Capo's for many years, up to the most recent versions...Excellent speaker all around, and very amplifier friendly. I recently upgraded to the Episodes, and am extremely happy with them. Have you considered integrating a good quality subwoofer with the de Capo to give you the extra "slam" you may be looking for? The Gallo TR-3D sub makes a great match for around $700.
"The Legacy audio Studio HD is 93db efficient."
Have not heard these particular Legacy speakers, but at least on paper, these might be worth consideration as a result of same bass driver size and higher efficiency. Might not go quite as low though as a result but even if so may not matter for a lot of rock music.
I also recommend the dynaudios for what you are looking for. Proacs are not my cup of tea and dynaudio is. I have the C4s and they rock for sure. The amount or sound that will come out of a pair or C1s will surprise and I think your amp is up to the task. You can get plenty of bass from the C1 as well as a refined sound that will play acoustic music just as well.
IMO what your seeking is something along JBL/Altec status.The music you listen to in most cases is poorly mixed and mastered,even on LP.To throw cash at monitors and a sub in most cases is a big waste ie Dynaudio C1 and f110 combo.I have tons of that music left over from my youth,before I found the true light of day in jazz and it all sounds like crap.Fun at times but nothing I would spend high dollars building a system for...You wanna rock..JBL/Altec/Tannoy..spend a grand on some JBLs and call it a day..just my opinion
"Like I said, I wanna rock.
Everybody will have their own standard for what that means, but something in your tone suggests to me that you ***WANNA ROCK!!!***. In my opinion, your amplifier is going to be an extremely limiting factor when you are already limited by your commitment to stand mounted speakers.
You can "really rock!!" a lot better than most with an 80 watt tube amp and very large and efficient (probably also very expensive) speakers, but to really rock, with most normal sized, less efficient speakers, you need to throw the kitchen sink at it in terms of amp power and current, and have speakers that can handle it at high volume. There are some monitors that can "rock", like better Dynaudios or Totem Mani 2 for example, but if you really "WANNA ROCK!!!", you'll need something with a larger enclosure. I have heard nothing rock better in a home than my current rig through my larger OHM 5s, but those are larger floorstanders with significant cabinet volume. Smaller OHMs can also do equally well in smaller rooms though.
IMO, your not rocking with that setup..You may think you are but I seriously doubt it..The speakers are only good from what I just read down to mid 4s and without cabinet volume or a nice sub,just not happening...I built a second system with 1950s EV and JBL 15s driven with 65 watts,you wanna hear how the Clash "rock" your more than welcome to stop by.
No doubt that with large, high sensitivity speakers, and enough power, you will rock. But with stand mounted monitors, it does get more difficult. As far as I can tell, your Reference 3As have a higher sensitivity than any of the monitors recommended, yes, even the Legacy Audio Studio HD, listed as 93db Room sensitivity, which is 2-3db higher than anechoic chamber, so that puts it at about 90. Knowing that 3db is a double or half of power, the 85db monitors will need at least 300 watts to have the same relationship you currently have. If you must add power, then add to your current speaker.
Adding a sub could help, but adds more problems to achieve a coherent sound, and that is one of the strong qualities of the 3As.
Just curious as to what cables you are using, and if the MC275 still has stock tubes.