Every guy's dream is to have a dedicated music room..so you have one..you are lucky at that sense..Also it is a big room..Your budget is 3,5 K..If I were you I would buy a used VMPS RM40..these speakers are big but as size is not an issue you can go for them(they are 260 lbs and 168 cm tall)..the bass goes down to 24 hz and I think that is enough for music..the ribbon midrange is the real point with these speakers..very nice midrange..the best midrange for that price..I mean I see no reason why not to buy these speakers for that price..
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The $3500 price point is the MSRP for a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers, which work well with just about all types of music (except, perhaps, rock at very high volumes -- the 3A Sig's tend to sound a bit compressed at very high decibel levels, although that is also a function of the amp used to drive them). Your other system components would work very well with the 3A Sig's, and if you want to further upgrade your system at a later date, you can add a pair of Vandy 2Wq subs.
If you are willing to buy used speakers, a used pair of 3A Sig's typically sell for about $2000-2200, and used Vandy 2Wq subs usually go for about $850 each. Hence, with a bit of stretch in your budget, you could get used 3A Sig's AND a used pair of 2Wq subs for a bit over $4000.
For info about Vandersteen dealers that might be in your area, check out the following page on the Vandy web site:
If I were to make a recommendation among the group of speakers you listed in your post, I'd suggest the Coincident Super Eclipse or the larger Maggies (although bear in mind that Maggies do not excel at playing at high volume levels). The Maggie 1.6's are a fine speaker, but your room is probably a bit too large to suit them.
Some complain of Maggies having narrow sweet spots,little bass,and poor dynamics...and despite some or all of these limitations(they are very room dependent)...they still can sound amazing...and give many more pricier hi-end speakers some serious competition...for jazz and strings...they would be ideal...i find they also work well with Pink Floyd,etc...they are unforgiving to poor recordings however...good luck...
For a warmer, more forgiving, "full bodied" midrange speaker, Vandersteen 2ces would spring to mind...phase correct boxless design...not a "rocker" speaker by any stretch of the imagination...but this isnt what you are looking for...decent bass considering price point...all in all...both these and the Mags are very transparent and musical...and both of these companies offer what many consider the best value in hi-end speakers...not to mention companies who have been in the business since the 70s
I would get the Maggie 3.6, I have a friend who has the 1.6s with a Bryston amp and they are awesome, the bass is very good to. It doesn't get all the way down there, but what you do hear is very good. Another friend has Vandersteens, and while musical and good sounding they don't hold a candle to the 1.6s in my opinion If you have the freedom to set the Maggies up (as you do) they are just fantastic.
Some comments are always forth coming about the Maggies "lack of bass". I owned a pair of 1.6's, so my comments are limited to this particular model. The 1.6's require OODLES OF POWER to open up the bass!!! I was pushing 500 wpc, (yes, 1 kilowatt both channels driven at the 4 ohm inpedence of the 1.6's!) If people complain about lack of bass, it's cause they just ain't got enough juice, Jack! Another trick is to make some kind of anchor, rod, or bracket and secure the top corners (please use some type of clamp and don't drill a hole in the frames!!!) firmly to the back wall. W.A.F won't be a problem, because she'll probably leave you when she discovers this latest tweak! Maggies are wonderful speakers that have a history of getting it right for about 30(?) years now!
Hi B2sc, The larger Vandersteens, Maggies 3.6 are excellent speakers. Both should do fine in your room. IMO, the maggies seem to do their best with big amps. I have owned the Coincident SE and the TE. If you can find a deal on the TE, I think it will be more to your likeing than the SE. It is IMO, a speaker that should have no problem fitting in and filling your room much better than the SE. All the speakers mentioned, except the VMPS and Avantgarde, which I have not heard, are great speakers. One reason I mention the Total Eclipse is because it should have enough bass to satisfy you and your room. It also is very easy to drive.
Maybe Garfish will see this thread and give some of his thoughts on the Vandersteen's.
Hope you find the one that makes you happy.
If you are interested, I will be more than happy to give my opinions on the SE vs TE. Good hunting.
Wow, thanks for all the responses. Please keep them coming. My intended budget is for used speakers. I obviously need to check out the 3.6s, even if I have to drive 3-4 hours to find some to listen to.
I've heard a lot of great things about the Vandy 3A Sigs but man, that's a face only a mother could love. Sorry, but sometimes I like to listen with the lights on :-) (no offense meant to 3A Sig owners)
I assume nobody commenting on my amp is a good thing since I don't want any problems driving whatever I end up buying.
I won't mnd upgrading it someday but it won't be anytime soon after the speaker purchase... :-)
And Brulee, those SE/TEs are still at the top of my list so I'd very much like to hear your opinions between the 2. Feel free to post here or email me privately if that's more appropriate.
Maggies have a few flaws:
1 - Their bass is not good. Forget anything belo 35hz with the 3.6's. And this is if you have world class bass amplification.
2 - They lack dynamics of a good box speaker. Especially if you run them with a typical 100wpc-200wpc amp.
3 - It takes a lot of power to drive Maggies well. I had the 3.6's for 3 years and I ended up driving them with 2 Plinius SA 100 mk3 amps (665wpc into the Maggies). This combo was the best I had ever heard driving the Maggie (especially for dynamics, Maggies get more dynamic when fed with more current).
Everything else about the Maggies is world class. I love them as speakers, but they ultimately do not have the dynamics to produce live sound. Switching from Maggies to the Viennea Acoustic Mahlers was a good transition. I did not initially enjoy the sound of the Mahlers than the Maggies (INITIALLY); however, my system when I first got the Mahlers was designed around the Maggie 3.6's. A year later, after my system has evolved around the Mahlers, I can safely say that I am getting better sound (that I like) out of the Mahlers than I ever did from the 3.6's.
You can see my system at this link:
PS You might want to look at Vienna Acoustic Speakers. They may not be the absolute best in every category at their price points; however, they are very solid in all categories at their price points.
If you have some patience.I would consider strongly looking at the Soliloquy 6.3s.These have been an all around contender.The only weak point I can find in these speakers is the breakin period.But once you get past 500 hrs , these speakers are amazing. I also have a dedicated listening room. And spend many hours listening to them. These are so efficeint that there are no constraints to what amp is used and you are free to explore tubes or ss,highpower or low power amps. The weight and realism of the 6.3s will beguile you! There are alot of good speakers out there,but some make you jump thru hoops to get the right sound.I have ran them with 25 watt,100 watt,300 watt ss amps.And also a 30 watt and 125 watt per channel tube amps. There aren't many speakers on the market that can do this and sound good with either.I also live where there isn't much to choose from. I drove 4 and a half hours one way to listen to these. I bought them the same day! There's a new review on them in Sensible Sounds. The reviewer liked them so much he bought the pair he was reviewing! I have found at least 4 or 5 audio reviewers from different magazines using these or the 5.3s as reference speakers.This is special for the simple fact is they get to hear more audio equipment than the average audiophile.I have talked to the president of Soliloquy and he is a very nice guy.Their customer service is without flaw! They treat you like you are the only customer,I can't say that about some of the other guys.The designer is a cofounder of AE and designer of the AE1 and Solo Platinum,argueble some of the best monitors in the world! Each has one countless awards. The same engineering is in the Soliloquys!