There is a Paradigm Persona 3F unopened box ($7500) that is maybe a step above the speakers you have listed. It is on USAudiomart. I have heard the 3F with NAD M22 v2 and it was very good. Better amplification improves the sound. Your NAD M33 is likely closer to the SimAudio 860a that I thought was really good with the Persona 5F.
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The C60's were selling for $5800 recently on usam. that would cure your need for more bass. The appeal of the persona's is how tight the speakers are, top to bottom they sound like perfection. or more like the source. Pick yourself up a used pair of meridian dsp 5200's and listen for awhile if you like em keep em if not resell em. I bet you keep em.
I have no experience with many of the speaker models mentioned here. However, I do have some experience with NAD amps but not the M33 in particular. NAD amps mate very well with PSB speakers since they are, or were, sister companies. I've heard more expensive speakers that didn't pair as well with NAD. Something in the Imagine T line may fit your tastes.
Other brands mentioned here may be a better choice but I'm just offering my opinion. Of course, the best option is to audition your amp with prospective speakers but often that's not possible. Good luck in your search.
I picked up my used Goldenear Triton Ones for $3000. Shouldn't be hard to find a price around there. Pretty nice speakers, I'd say. I have them connected to Bel Canto amps but you don't need 600 wpc. For your budget you might be able to find used Triton One.r or Reference speakers in the used market.
Note that these speakers have really nice sound stage and imaging, but only when set up right- plenty of room from the wall and toed in.
I was in the same boat that you are thinking about now - found a pair of Vandersteen Model 5As for just over your price range so a $30K speaker for cheap not the best speaker in the world but they do so much really good that I would have to spend double to find something that does specific things better in all areas.
I have the NAD M33 now myself and you get a good portion of bass straight from the unit, very balanced with the mids and uppers, but it’s def. there! I’m on even less of a budget so I’ve tried SVS Ultra bookshelves with an SVS sub, sounded pretty good. Then went to the Prime Pinnacles and it was a step backwards. I’ve now got kef Q750’s and the bass is bloated and boomy, so unless they tighten up considerably they’ll be gone just after Christmas. My next step are the Polk L200’s, they’re getting great reviews, might check out the PSB line, too. No matter what, you’re going to love your NAD M33!
@jrpnde - I realize that the OP says under $5K that is why I said a tad over his price range. I paid $5K for mine. What do you think he can find in that price range that is suggested above to compete with them, sound as good as them, and have multiple adjustments to bu9ildt into the speakers to integrate with his room? I was just a suggestion my friend. Plus resale value is way better that most anything suggested above.
Here's what makes the GE Triton 1r the perfect speaker for you. If you want bass and the ability to control it, these speakers each have their own 1600 watt Class D amplifiers dedicated to controlling base. And the bass is adjustable, tight, and of high quality. What makes these speakers nice is that they have an spl of 92 db making them easy to drive, especially since the class D amps take care of the bass. This allows you to go with a low powered tube setup up front adding to the quality of sound. I'm using them with a pair of 50 w Cary Six Pack mono blocks and a Primaluna dialogue preamp. Absolutely love the sound. Prices have gone up a bit since they were introduced but you may luck out and find a used pair in your price range.
My first pick would be a pair of SALK Song3 Encore's for $6,000. They sound better than a pair of $20,000 speakers at RMAF. Jim Salk sells direct and by passes the dealer wholesale discounts and as a result uses expensive drivers. They are incredible. That Paradigm Persona for $7,500 is also a great speaker. However, for $6,000, the SALK's are incredible.
The ones I suggested dsp5200 is an active dsp 2 1/2 way so does have a bass advantage for similar size passive cabinets. The esotar 2 tweeter is probably better than the seas unit in the meridian but similar in character.
At $5k you are looking for better than the c20 for the same or less money so expect tradeoffs whatever you decide.
The urge to trade up your speakers is a very healthy one.
If you are needing more bass, read the reviews of the models you listed.
In my opinion you should shoot for 20hz as the low. Many
of the ones you mention won’t do it. Now if you want a new $3k speaker
that goes to 20hz which people are loving check out the one New Record Day is orgasmic over. It is a kit but anyone can assemble a speaker kit or hire a pro. They are open baffle son even simpler.
By GR-Reasearch.com. Texas based.
Typically a $3.000 kit speaker will compare to something 2-3 times more $.
Let us know where you go!!
I’m wondering if larger Totems would sound good with your range of listening. How loud do you like to go? Or is tone more in consideration?
I have totems, but am currently auditioning some used Quad Z3’s. And wow, they sound good with everything I’m throwing at them. And that’s with an integrated (however, I’m mostly a jazz listener). GREAT tweeter, sound wonderful even in my relatively small living rooom.
You could even get the Z4’s well within your budget, which had even greater reviews (I think).
As @chorus mentioned, take a look at the GR Research options. I had the GE Triton2+ and got the upgrade itch. After stumbling across Danny Ritchie's (owner of GR Research) videos about speaker technology and design, I decided to build a set of NX-Oticas and stereo open baffle subs. Since I used all the crossover upgrades and built subs with three woofers each, my total investment was about $6k.
I have now had these speakers for a year and I'm totally blown away by how good they are. I've been an audiophile for 45 years and have owned at least 15 different speaker systems, many priced 3 or 4 times what I paid for the GR Research speakers, and none have come close to the sound of these speakers (well, maybe somewhat close 😏).
That said, these speakers require a fairly large room. Like other open baffle speakers, these speakers need to be placed out into the room to sound their best. I have mine about seven feet from the front wall (measured from the front of the baffle).
My post/link from another site where the owner was looking to sell his C60 or trade + cash for a pair of c20 was removed, my bad. anyhow If you like your c20 but want the dual 9'' woofers look them up. they are finished in grey oak and if I wasn't creaming all over the persona 7f right now I would be buying them.
Two years ago, I demoed 3 of the 4 brands that you are considering. I have not heard KEF speakers since the late 80's. If you end up leaning towards Revel, I suggest the following:
1) Read the review of the F206 in SoundStage! HiFi (9/14) that was written by Douglas Schneider, who is a frequent contributor on this forum.
2) Also, read the review of the F208 in Home Theater Review (11/13) that was written by Brent Butterworth. As much as he liked the F208, he ended up buying the F206 instead and pairing it with a subwoofer(s).
Good luck in your search, and let us know what you end up buying!
I was able to demo the F206 yesterday and it was a nice speaker, but just a lateral move I think from the Contour 20’s. They didn’t have the F 208’s available ( they are very popular), but I can buy and do a 30 day home trial, which I might do.
I heard the Goldenear one.r and was actually impressed. It could be the impressive bass, but I did also like the tweeter, it was very revealing to my ears. It may not be an audiophile darling, but I liked it.
I listened to some Martin Logan ESL X I think, it was nice, but I think it would be a bit fiddle.
Still looking forward to listening to more over the next few weeks.
bigkidz....If the OP can find a pair of those Vandersteens for around $5K that are not "whipped" then he is more than lucky. If a seller is willing to sell those speakers at such a modest price then there must be something awry. Maybe the ones you bought for that price sounded better than what you already had and good for you.
Buying on the used market is always a gamble. Sometime terrific deals are made and other times...not so good. The OP should not limit the purchase of used equipment but should investigate new before looking into used. Your post is in good faith but it may lead the OP into a road that may not be a good one.
I’m gonna reiterate that you can try the LSA-20 Statements at home for 30 days and think you should strongly consider doing so. I believe at only $3300 they’ll give you everything you’re looking for and quite a bit more and highly doubt you’d send them back. Read the reviews, and again, best of luck in your search.
tomlhuffman: The Tekton Design Moabs. $4.5K. Full-range, life-like sound, very large.
Also unbeatable in this price range. They do not need to be played loud, sound great at lower levels, and you will be spellbound the way they sound with a good recording. Any good recording. Some Ellington and Miles Davis I never even realized how great it was until I heard the way those instruments sound with the beautiful Moab midrange.
Someone said maggies, but you have the power problem. Well no power problem with Moabs, they are super easy to drive. And as for how they sound compared to Maggies.... https://youtu.be/7RxRTFx6Cd0?t=341 He's talking about the Double Impact but its an excellent description of the Tekton sound. The combination of coherence, delicacy, and power is addictive. Kemper Holt has another fine video specifically on the Moab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj_eRQ8TCAY
There's no retailer network to audition so I relied a lot on video reviews like these and they do fully live up to all the accolades. Also searched out a lot of on-line comments and reviews. You will have to wade through your share of ignorant attention-seekers and haters but if you can filter those out and focus on the people who have a clue there really is a lot of helpful info. Unless you are turned off by the way they look, and let's face it they are big, but if you can live with that its hard to see how you can do better without double the budget. And even then it would just wind up being another Tekton, Ulfberht or Encore.
My wife picked the color and thinks they look pretty good in charcoal. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
so I went and listened to the Goldenear Triton One.r and, in my opinion, it was light years ahead of the Triton 2+. I was able to listen to them in the same room side by side, and the One.r hands down. It's a real contender. Also, I was able to listen to the Revel F206's again and, while nice, they really need a sub or two. The dealer could not get the F208's in for at least two weeks, so not sure if I can wait that long :)
The f208 will not sound significantly different than the f206, It does dig deeper but tonal balance unless in a small room will be very close and not competitive with the goldenear in the bass. The revel should sound more open and natural in the mids, and many complain about the GE tweeter, subjective tho and it's your ears that need to be happy. Make sure to listen to some crappy recordings too.
There's a pair of Canton's that are sporting a pair of powered 9'' woofers for $2k. Probably plate amps on the back so if one fails cheap and easy to repair.