Sjofn the clue monitors might be up your alley.
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Good point Soix,
Musical speakers desinged with the goal of reproducing music at the highest level.
Open 3 dimensional soundstage, spot on imaging, taut bass, uncolored with excellent midrange for the best possible reproduction of the type of music I listen to.
I guess I'm looking for the holy grail in terms of musicality and affordability.
I once owned the Totem Model 1 and I regret parting ways with them. Looking for something similar in sound but at a more affordable price.
Maybe too much to ask?
It is a lot to ask, Kiko65, but lots of fun bargain-hunting in this price range. Much more fun, I think, trying to "get lucky" with a $600 pair of speakers than a $6000 pair of speakers (where your expectations can run so high).
From my own personal experience - and I've not owned everything - I keep thinking a pair of the Sonus Faber Concertos, 2nd version (the non-biwire ones). They can rock when they need to, but when you need them to put Diana Krall in the room with you they can pull it off. They can sound pretty, which you will need if you want to enjoy Krall, Norah Jones, Allison Krauss, etc. And when you need to crank "D'yer Mak'er", they won't fall down. That's the only issue at this price range...many speakers will do one or the other well, but not both. The SF Concertos play well with tubes, they won't overload your room, and when you need resolution at lower volumes they can do it. They were $2K new, but I've seen them for around $600 used, albeit maybe not flawless. But on the used market, it's a ton of speaker for $600 and gorgeous if you can find them in the real Italian walnut.
How good are the Epic 2s now that Music Direct is selling them at 50% off ($399.00)?
The Cronus Magnum is capable of producing a hefty 100 WPC so I'm not concerned about sensitivity.
I would prefer 8 ohms nominal inpedance (although I could switch to 4 ohms if I wanted), 87db+ sensitivity, and between 45Hz - 20KHz frequency response.
Good one Mapman, funny!
All in the price range but which one to chose for the type of music I listen to?
I still like the Dreamcatchers just for the fact that I loved the Model 1s and I can buy new ones for around $500.00
However, how good are they?
One of the very best book shelf speakers I ever heard is the Infinity RS-1 speakers, from 1996 or 1997, I have a pair I bought from a yard sale back in 2012, I remembered they got Editors Budget Best choice for the year in stereophile magazine way back then, so I bought them, confirmed the review and award from stereophile and fired them up, they have a tiny woofer, 4 1/2 inches, two way speaker, these speakers are incredibly heavy and well built, solid as a rock, the sound?, I was in awe, they have an extemly timberal sound with great clarity and detail, the bass is very impressive for such a small woofer to say the least, I will never sale these!, what a deal, $20.00 !!!, all that I have said may sound dis-believable, Really, These speakers are that good, of course this was before infinity went down market!
Given what you're looking for I'd reiterate my recommendation of the Minuets and add Joseph Audio RM7 and Ref 3A de Capos if you can find them used in your price range. I know your tube amp is relatively powerful, but I'd still be leery of speakers that drop to 4 Ohms or below (wouldn't be as concerned about sensitivity so much), and all three of these speakers are relatively tube friendly designs. Highly doubt you'd be disappointed by any of these, and best of luck in whatever you ultimately choose.
I remeber the Model 1s very well. As I said, I regret selling them. Mids were to die for with punchy/taut bass for their size; fatigue free airy highs. They paired really well with the type of music I enjoy listening to. Never had a chance to hear the Dreamcatches. I read the Stereophile review. Great review!
I'm interested in your opinion. Could you elaborate? Am I going to enjoy the likes of Dire Straits, Alan Parsons, Supertramp, and Steely Dan with the Dreamcatchers?
I don't listen to Small Band, Orchestra nor Classical. Your input will be greatly appreciated Schubert.
I don't really know as I am almost exclusively a listener of classical and chorus . My guess is Dreams are not for you, what is astonishing about them is the clarity and the fantastic sense of the hall acoustic music is recorded in.
I would think Silverlines would be nice for that, a lot of pace and "jump'"
And of Model 1"s too, I have a pr of Model 1 Signatures playing a Mozart Wind piece as I type this.
I just ordered a new pair of Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus from Underwood HiFi. First I want to say that Walter was a true gentlemen. I called to snatch a demo pair of Supreme Plus for $590.00 a little too late. He told me that he would honor the same price for a new pair (no tax included) so I went for it. I'm really excited about the purchase.
I own two of the greatest "affordable" integrated amps of all times (obviously my opinion :-)
SS - Tandberg TIA 3012A
Tubes - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum
Buying to listen mostly to soft rock, female vocals, acoustic music on my second listening room.
Hopefully I made the right choice.
Thank you all for your thoughtful advise.
We'll see !!!!!!
Not sure you're keeping the new Silverlines (congratulations!), but there's a pair of Fried Betas for $100 that probably will languish here.
Sad what's happened to the high-end audio hobby. Too many people buy stuff based on their eyes, not ears. The last line of Frieds before the original venture went under in 1997 compete with all but the exotics of today, offering a trueness of tonality you rarely encounter. We hear about the so-called improvements of the past 5 - 10 years. Then, you listen to a pair of mid-late 90's Frieds, and sit there in disbelief that you get sublime sound at mass-fi pricing. You don't get book-matched veneers, boutique level crossover parts, or in-your face screechiness. They simply make music.
MSPs have been up and runnnig for almost a week now. I would say between 18 - 20 hours of break in. I've used both of my trusted integrated amps (Tandberg 3012A SS and Cronus Magnum KT120 tube) with great results. Listening strictly to analog LPs using Atlas Equator Biwire speaker cables.
Music preference; Bob James, Stan Getz, Sergio Mendes, Herp Albert, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, James Taylor, Alan Parsons, Supertramp, Steely Dan, Eagles, Seals and Croft, Bread, etc.
My first impressions are:
1. Highs are airy and not harsh at all, with natural renderings of instrumental timbres. The airy quality of the female voices in particular was presented tightly within the deep soundstage.
2. Now the mids is where the real magic is and where the MSPs shine the most. The mids are "just right"! Extremely resolving with surprisingly decent "jump" on the mid bass region. Certainly good enough for the type of music I listen to.
3. These little speakers are tonally neutral, with an almost perfect midrange reproduction (great for soft rock), and their imaging is spot on.
So far they sit on 24" stands, with the back sitting on top of two sorbotane pods (1/2" high)and the front sitting on top of one vibrapod cone (1" high) creating a slanted configuration, 1/2" higher at the front. 7.5 feet apart and 7.5 feet from my lstening chair, toed in with drivers x-ing just behind my head.
The most interesting aspect of my short listening session is that I have not moved them to the small room they were originally intended for. Instead I have them in my big (20D x 15W x 9T) room and, surprisingly enough, they are holding on pretty well.
No, they don't sound as "big" as the Totem Acoustic Model 1s I used to own. That said, they have no business sounding this good for $600.00.
So far I am thrilled with the Pluses. These are remarcable speakers and I cannot wait to hear how well they can perform when they are fully broken in and placed in my small second room originally intended for.