52 responses Add your response
I owned the Spendor S8e (2-way with 8" mid/woofer) many years ago and liked it a great deal, but it could not handle bass at relatively loud levels without bottoming out the woofer. This led to my appreciation of high passing main speakers and letting subs handle the bass load.
My suggestion would be to look for high quality stand mount speakers (3-way design preferable) and one or two subs.
For example, the Wharfdale Jade 3 (https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers/wharfedale-jade-3-bookshelf-speakers-pr-awfjade3blk ) and a pair of SVS SB-2000 (https://www.svsound.com/products/sb-2000) is within your budget.
If you can't go the sub route, then I second the GoldenEar suggestion.
My 2 cents-
If you want the best for the least green, get Vandersteen. If you go with the 1,2,3 or Treo, your going to need subs. Vandy subs are the best, but you can get by with a pair of HSU for a lot less money.
For more 'Rock' punch, I would consider Zu Audio. They have a trial period if you buy direct..
You have nice equipment, so either would make a good choice.
I demoed Golden Ear, but wasn't 'wowed'. Though it wasn't a very good setup- Which is why I like Vandy's. They sound beautiful even if they aren't perfectly setup. and they sound outstanding when they are.
I would urge you to read the reviews on the speakers outline in the below listed link. I would think there is room for negotiation of the asking price. Not associated or affiliated with seller or manufacture.
The missing spikes are available from Sound Anchor
91dB sensitivity and 8 ohms. One of the most easy stand mounts / monitors to drive. Also Beryllium tweeters.
There butt ugly, clearly a company that isn't trying to sell you furniture.
The market is loving the Golden Ears Triton 3+ or 5 speakers and they are in your price range. My pal with $9000 Brodmann speakers heard them in a dealer's showroom in San Diego and was blown away. Sandy Gross is a genius speaker design. Me, I am loving my Spatial Audio M4 speakers, but I have a REL T7 sub to round out the LF. The Vandersteen's are legendary... I have never heard a pair that I didn't enjoy. So many speakers, so little time...
With good floor standing speakers such as the Proac Studio 148 you'll not need any sub for such relatively small room,however there are some serious standmount speakers with good bass capabilities such as the Bryston Mini T with 8' bass driver there will be no shortage of bass on your room listening with them.
Be aware that smaller rooms will have room effects at higher frequencies than larger rooms and thus, those effects will have a larger impact on typical music.
For this reason, though it seems counter intuitive, one or two subs are more necessary in smaller rooms than larger rooms. It's not about bass quantity, but bass quality, i.e., bass response in the room.
Small room acoustics needs to be accepted and dealt with if you are trying to build a high fidelity audio system. We set up main speakers for imaging and bass response will likely suffer. Being able to place bass drivers in appropriate locations independently of the main speakers can resolve poor bass response.
This is why some (very few) floor standing speakers, e.g., Vandersteen Model 5, include a parametric equalizer so that the poor placement can be corrected.
Owners and reviewers are finding these are so incredible they're replacing their Avantgardes, Wilsons, etc. with them.
I've had their Grand Tetons (the predecessor) for 3+ years... and... I've found nothing that sounds any better.
+1 bob_reynolds re: monitors/subs In anticipation of adding subs, I looked for a monitor with a large cabinet that would easily deliver down to 40 hz. This would facilitate better bass integration - especially, for a kickdrum that spans the cross-over point. Getting drums right, helps to provide PRaT. The advantage of a self-powered sub (or subs) is that they can be placed anywhere to adjust for room anomalies. Just like any speaker, they need good placement re: your listening chair.
The 683 S2 by Bowers are a true bargain. You essentially get the CM series components without the flash. I bought them for my sitting room. I have the 802 in my listening room and they sound much better but are much more money. I auditioned Paradigm SVS Golden Ear Wharfedale JBL Pro McIntosh Martin Logan and I went with the Bowers
Get these and you could sell your amp.
Utilitarian look and no grills but they would rock.
I've heard some in a mixing studio and they were very nice.
My experience buying the Vandersteen Treo CTs this past summer taught me to have patience with break in. They kept opening up and revealing finer details for several weeks. The last driver to reach its apex was the carbon tweeter. Ride cymbals on good jazz recordings told the story there. I knew I was about there when I could hear subtle changes in timbre as the sticks moved around the drum kit to various cymbals of different sizes. Cool to hear that...more there there!
With your room dimensions, I would suggest an in-home audition of Ohm Walsh 1000s ($2000/pr) or 2000s ($2800/pr, but you can wait for a sale, the next one will likely be around Presidents' Day). IME, they are excellent on all types of music, including rock. Note, however, that a large amount of sound absorbtion in your room would not work well with the Ohm's near-omni radiating pattern. I had a lot of foam panels up, and actually took some down. That resulted in a wider, deeper soundstage. And you will need to keep them at least a little bit away from nearby walls. YMMV, of course.
Would like to stay with tubes if possible and budge is about the same.
Was going through a recent thread
and was doing some reading about preamps that Radu Tarta makes .
Might have an idea for speakers.....have to do some reading first.
@hifiman5 No, the Watkins speakers do not come "broken in." They are tested for impedance and frequency response before packing but other than that, they are "virgins." I have been told that of all the ones that have been shipped out, none have come back to the factory during the two week trial period.
Are you really planning on changing preamp and speakers at the same time? That is a road to confusion.
If the preamp is sold, but you still have speakers, suggest making the preamp purchase first so you can get a handle on that in your system before you evaluate a new speaker at the same time.
It's hard to forget sometimes, but you aren't in a race. :-) Cheers,
if you’re looking for loud dynamism, whatever you end up with should be as far away from the walls as possible . Your room is treated as you said... But I’ve heard $550 floating vanatoos sound better than 60k vandersteens backed into corners.
@gdnrbob you’re on point with the Zu’s. They’re a joy to listen to though mine are finicky with placement. With the 9’ ceiling height, the Zu’s wideband driver is closer to the null of that mode than most designs, and well away from the floor... which helps give that authoratative and coherent clarity in the low end. My Druids (and most of their designs) roll off the lowest octave but I stopped caring and learned to love my flat midrange. They roll off their stuff after 40hz because they sell subwoofers too, which are supposed to be quite lovely.
Onwatershipdown, I own the Unions and find them quite nice for the price. I pair them with my Vandy 2w subs, so I get the low frequencies to boot.
Though I would disagree with your assessment of the Vanatoo's. Of course, none of the Vandie's want to be in the corner.
Addyson, it seems there is Audio Advisor and Audio Advisors. I was about to say they don't carry Vandies, but the latter does. Looks like a nice operation.
I would call them and set up a date for a long audition. They open at 9am weekdays, so you could get to them mid morning and be home by dinner.
While there are some good speakers suggested here I must throw my .02 with the Legacy Audio brand. A nice used pair of Signatures would really be nice and handle your room nicely a pair of Studio HD's with a sub might just be the ticket. I have a pair of Focus SE's in my family room and they are fantastic (no need for a sub with these babies), anyway, I liked them so well that I decided to stay with Legacy for my bedroom. I bought the Studio HD's and have been very pleased, I have the Studio's connected to a Sansui G-9000DB receiver and it's worked out great, you couldn't ask for anything more from a speaker. I listen to everything from Jazz to Rock and the Legacy have handled it all.
I would check and see how close you are to a Legacy dealer and check out the product..You WON'T be disappointed.
For a Zu competitor, check out Tekton Design. Both companies hand build their speakers in Utah, and while Zu have some models that look classier, Tekton is no fluff, all performance at an affordable cost. I have the Tekton Lore with upgraded capacitors (using ClarityCap MR). My room is bigger than yours, and my 12W tube amp can rock these things to make the walls shake, and they frequency extension is just amazing.
Give them a look, and you might be surprised just how much of a speaker you can get for $2000 with them. There are a few threads about Tekton on Agon so give it a good search. Best of luck!