The Aurum Cantus Leisure 2 SE. It is musically involving. Rivals much more expensive speakers on that score. Can use a very good front end because it does highs so well.
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I have a pair of Proac Response 2. They image well. have great natural presentation of voices, and for a stand speaker the bass is great. I have has ls3/5a, other Proac, Linn, Acoustats and large floorstanders.
I really like the Response 2. Also front ported so the back can be near a wall if necessary.
Nick a few that come to mind in no particular order: StoneImage Audio Rothchilde, Tyler Acoustics Mini-monitor, ACI Sapphire XL, and Onix Reference 1. All are purchased direct from the company and can be had for under $1500.
If your putting the system together from scratch the Onix looks to be a real bargain. They have some type of almost insane deal where you get the Ref 1 and Onix tube amp for something like $1300 and they sell seperate for over $2500.
Another option that comes to mind is the Ohm Micro Walsh. Not minimonitors but no stands needed and only 35"x6"x6". Corresponded with a former reviewer of Soundstage who is totally taken with the speaker.
Check out the Silverline SR15s. For the most part, fairly easy system matching. These are my favorite speakers in Silverline's range, they have more PRAT and detail than any of the other reasonably priced speakers they sell, and still have that fantastic Silverline midrange. Soundstaging is nice, but positioning makes it or breaks it. It's hard to find them used, but they come up once in awhile. Make sure you're getting the newest generation.
I know I alread emailed you some suggestions, but for the archive and other users I thought I need to mention the Omega Super 3R, since no one else has done so. For a price way below $1500 you get electrostatic speed and transparency. The left-over money is enough to buy a sealed sub, which can be nicely integrated with the Omega's. I have and like the Spendor S3/5 as well, but did prefer the Omega's in my own system.
Some speakers I did consider, when looking around for monitors:
Omega Super 3R
Reference 3A Dulcet or De Capo
Green Mountain Europa
Silverline SR 11, SR15, or SR17
In reference to Beheme's 7/14 recommendation to a link to a speaker review thread elsewhere, I should caution that that particular reviewer has a *STRONG* bias towards Audio Note speakers. This is not to imply the reviewer should be ignored, but I think his reviews are heavily weighted towards that brand, and as such it is important to keep it in mind when reading the reviews (just like when reading any other reviews)... If you share his preference for Audio Note, then his reviews will probably work for you, if not, then other sources may be better yardsticks for you to go by.
For *my* money, I would spend it on Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitors - 1K used (USA Built), Ellis 1801Bs (USA Built) - 1K used, or Opera Audio Consonance Eric-1s (Chinese built) 1K new -- in that order (but all three are excellent, IMO).
BTW: I do not mention the build country to imply one country builds better speakers than another, but rather to use it as a reference for duties purposes into Canada.
Yesterday I listened to a pair of Vienna Acoustics Grand Haydn with Musical Fidelity a3.5 integrated and cd player. The build quality and beautiful veneer finish is immediately noticeable. They use a soft dome tweeter with a new designed front port. It is my understanding they have been recently released. The sound was, as you expressed, "musically involving" to say the least. I have been looking for a pair of monitors about the physical size of the Haydn's. They are certainly on my short list. I would highly recommend you listen to them.
You'll probably think I'm nuts, but the Polk Audio LSi9's are probably more musical then the bulk of what's been posted. I however have not heard everything posted in this forum. If you're cool with having a "polk audio" speaker then I'd strongly suggest you listen. This is like no other polk apeaker you've probably heard.