Looking for loudspeakers under $4,000

I am intersted in auditioning loudspeakers witha cost at or below $4,000 (new, not used). Associated equipment: Wadia 850 CD player, Linn Klout power amp. Room size 18 x 26 x 10. Music: mostly accoustic jazz. Current speakers: Magneplanar 3.6 R's: Wife can't live with them; I want to continue living with wife. Ideally, I would like to match the 3.6 R's sound, with "better" low bass. Any suggestions? Thanks for your thoughts.
You have a tough situation, Richmonk. Wife, speakers - wife, speakers: hmmmmm........ My best suggestion for a speaker in this price range is the Vandersteen 3A Signature. I have owned planar speakers, too (Acoustats, back in the dark ages), and their mid-range transparency and quickness is hard to beat. However, the Vandy 3A Signature is also very transparent and clean, with excellent bass response. I recently upgraded from the 3A to the 3A Signature, and it was worth every cent. The 3A Signature is one of the best integrated speakers, from top to bottom, that I have ever heard. In listening to disks that I know really well, I am absolutely amazed at what I am hearing that I hadn't heard before. I think the 3A Sig particularly excels at acoustic jazz and small chamber classical, as well as small-group vocals. I have said many times in these pages that for $3500 you can get a speaker that sounds DIFFERENT than the Vandy 3A Signature, but you won't get better. Infact, I strongly believe that you won't get better for less than $5000-6000.
hey, aren't monks supposed to be poor? and un-married? ;~) look into newform research nhb645's or r645's- uglier than the maggies, but much narrower, & easier to place. these are ribbons, sothat should make you happy. check their www, & check the user-reviews on audio review. w/the money left over on your $4k budget, you can afford a pair of vmps subs, an active x-over, & an amp to drive 'em with! good luck, doug
I'd look at the Dynaudio Contour 1.8 - lists for about $3500. Obviously a different approach than Maggies, but very transparent, very nice low end. Just curious - why are you limiting yourself to $4K speakers with a $6K CD player and $20K in amplification?
For what it's worth, the 1.6 Magnepans are much less obvious looking in a room...and with the Carver sub-woofer, are just superb. I also own or have owned the Magnepan MG-20 and 3.6, and it is very difficult to go to another type of speaker after living with current generation Magnepans. I have tried Thiel 1.5 and 6, Various Kef, B&W and Vandersteens....and they were all super box speakers....but none were as much a pleasure to listen to as the Magnepans. If your mate just will not consider the smaller 1.6...then you will have quite a search ahead of you.
The new Martin-Logan Ascent (replacing the SL3) is supposed to be coming out this month at the price point and using some of the technology from the Prodigy. The sound should be similar, the bass better, and it all depends on your wife if the SAF has changed. Enjoy!
I agree with Sedond. The Newform Research speakers are hard to beat at their price. Plus their is I believe a 30 day home trial period offered. The transparency, open sound and soundstage are great. I don't know about the wife approval factor though. They are quite unusual in appearance.
I concur with sdcampbell about the Vandersteen 3a Signature's. For the money you can't beat them. This can be said for most of the Vandersteen line up. I have owned Thiel, Martin Logan, and Aerial. Every time I think I've found better than my Vandy's I have been mistaken upon further indepth listening. I started out with Vandersteen 2ce's and I have run the gambit of high performance speakers and I have returned to the Vandy 3a signatures. And I am happy I did. Regards, thestryder
The one that will do as you ask (Maggie tranparency with low end authority) a used pair of Von Schweikert VR 4.5's
I've read and heard wonderful things about the Talon Khite loudspeakers.
You may want to check out the posts and responses on the Talon Khite speakers on the Audioasylum website. Go to search to find them.
KEF Model 3, either plano 3 or 3-2, <$3.6K. lAST FOREVER, even in abusive relationship ie too loud. Speaking or abusive, never allow your wife to dictate audio decisions, buy her her own system, let her rule everything else, but godammit be a man and and buy big and ugly if it f g sounds good....here me.....Best wishes!
You also might want to check the Coincident Eclipse loudspeakers.
I suggest some time with Joseph Audio RM25si. I live with these dynamic neutral vivid speakers driven by a Casse 151 amp Adcom 750 pre a Cal Audio CL12 and Audioquest Diamon interconnects and slate cables. Spekers are subjective. I love the clerity of the voice of singers and instruments, piano, guitar, saxaphone, trumpet... With a well recorded and enginered disc these speakers come alive. In your quest for audio perfection, you will want to hear the greats, including some of those listed above. Take your best recorded performances. Have a good time. PS everyone says that Jeff Joseph is a great guy, which is a bonus. He has responed to my e-mails with usfull information and humor.
I had auditioned the 1.6 and the 3.6 and I prefer the sound of the smaller Maggie. My listening room is 23'x 13' and it fills the room quite well. I think the key is a great amp, which you have already. The 1.6 with a great subwoofer like the one that Vandersteen puts out would be a match made in heaven. I have to say I personally do not find 1.6's when they are fully broken in to have bass that is lacking that much, I too listen too mainly acoustic jazz. At this point I am undecided about adding the sub, because the 1.6's are so seemless. Many people have added either a Vandy or Rell sub and swear by it. All the best-Gary
Martin Logan Ascent, much smaller then the Maggies much better looking and has a MORE detailed sound
I assume detail and imaging are important since you are a mag fan. The audio physic tempo III is around 3000 ish, and has tremendous detail and imaging. It is not that powerful in the bass. I like the joseph audio speakers in this arena as well.
If you're going to heard the Talon Khite, check out the RBH 1044-SE. It is under $2k per pair. I wouldn't pay the extra for the Khite, or any Talon product. (Sorry to disappoint or offend any Talon lovers). Talon's products, IMO, are overpriced, and overhyped by their marketing literature. I love the Maggie 3.6r's and am strongly considering buying a pair, if even for a second system. I'd like to hear the new 20's first though. An alternative to selling the 3.6's may be to mark the spots on the floor where they sound best in your room, but then slide them back right up to within a foot or less from the wall behind them, and only pull them out for critical listening. Perhaps that would improve the wife acceptance factor. If you decide to sell them, I may be your buyer.
Kthomas, Sorry that I misled you. I own the Linn Klout, not the Klimax. The Klimax's are $20,000, the Klouts are $4200 ( I bought mine used for $2,000. The Wadia 850 I purcahsed for $3500 from Great Northern Sound (modified by Steve Huntley). Since my first question, I have listend breifly to some Martin Logan Scenarios, and I liked what I heard. Any comments on the Martin Logans?
re: martin-logans, i like their cls, but no bass, & they don't get loud. i also like their top-line stuff (but haven't heard their latest $10k prodigy). i really don't care at *all* for their other products - cheap woofers=n-crossovers, & you can tell it by listening. once again, check out those ugly newform research r645's or nhb645's... ;~) doug
re: martin-logans, i like their cls, but no bass, & they don't get loud. i also like their top-line stuff (but haven't heard their latest $10k prodigy). i really don't care at *all* for their other products - cheap woofers=n-crossovers, & you can tell it by listening. once again, check out those ugly newform research r645's or nhb645's... ;~) doug
Re: MLs. I heard the Prodigy this summer in San Diego driven by the big Krell monoblocks. They are impressive. I still prefer either the Dunlavy 4a or 5 to them because of better dynamics, sound staging and life. The base is more seamless on the Prodigy than on the ReQuest which is only $5K. I don't think the Prodigy is worth the extra money, unfortunate, because ever since hearing the original Quads I've loved something about electrostatics.