I've really enjoyed my Silverline SR17's with the Portal. Great combination. Magical on piano music especially. Wonderful midrange and great overall balance and coherency. Disclaimer; I'm currently selling my SR17's. I'm pretty sure you can find my comments on that combination if you look to some of my older threads before I sold the Panache, and long before I put my SR17's on the market. Highly recommended combination. The Panache is a great integrated amp that should go well with a wide range of different speakers. I can't recall it not going well with anything I paired it off with, but those were the only pair of monitors I recall, the rest were floor standers. The SR17's were what I used with it the longest. Based on listening without the benefit of being paired off with the Panache, at a smaller investment I'd also suggest checking out the Era Design 5's (about $900) as a suprisingly outstanding mini monitor.
Well the Silverline SR-17s would probably be an excellent choice for the Portal, about as close to full range as you'll find in a monitor. The Von Schweikert monitors aren't in the same league as the others on your list IMHO. Yes I owned the VR-1s with a Portal Panache. The Silverline SR-15s would also be a good match. Oops, disclaimer time, I have a pair of SR-15s for sale here. They are the best monitors I've owned and I've owned more than a few.
But to be honest, if I were looking in your price range I'd go for the SR-17s.
I matched the Portal with Green Mountain Europas. Excellent pairing, but as Marco says, it's hard to imagine a monitor in your price range that would not be happy with the Portal.
NHT M6, NHT Classic 3, Snell LCR7, Revel M22.
If your subwoofer is sealed, I'd favor the NHT and Snell since they are sealed boxes.
Thanks for the tips, guys; will check 'em out. What about Splendor? Dynaudio? Others?
Dynaudio Acoustics BM15P. Using a pair with a Manley Stingray. Great speakers for about half of your budget.
I've heard the VR1's and they were entirely unremarkable in the (decent) system I heard them in. I've not heard the Dynaudio gear, but both drivers in the SR17's are from the high-end of the Dynaudio line, so I imagine they share some similar characteristics - so I'd bet that'd be another good direction to check out.
Now i'm thinking of moving in another direction: getting floorstanders and doing away with my sub! Suggestions?
Again, 2K or under, used or new...
What kind of sub do you have now?
Totem Model-1 Signatures sound very good with the Panache
Jazz, Classical.... JM Reynaud, tough to beat...best value Twin MkIII or Sig, best overall Offrandes.
Again, with the Panache, you'll have a large selection to choose from, albeit the really power-hungry ≥87db efficiency or planar speakers should be very carefully considered as they may need more juice, depending on your room and tastes. Again, I'd point you towards Silverline's excellent choices; the Sonatina or Sonatas would likely be a wonderful combination, with the Sonatas giving you more bass. No association with them, BTW - just think he makes damn fine speakers. Also look at used Soliloquy's if you don't mind that the company is out of business. The upside of that is that you can get some of their top line floorstanders at great prices. Downside is lack of replacement drivers (though Underwoodwally - Walter Liederman - did have some stock left over a few months back). I drove some of the less expensive 5.3's with the Panache for a short while and that combination was great. 6.2's 6.3's and 6.5's would also likely yield a nice combination, though no direct experience to vouch for that. Call it an educated guess based upon owning the 5.3's and having heard the 5.3's and 6.2's in other's systems. I think you'd get some big bang for your buck at current used prices on Soliloquy's. From personal experience, and as a generalization, I've found that three and four-way floor standers, while offering a fuller sound, often don't have quite the razor-sharp focus of the soundstaging abilities of a great monitor. On the other hand they do give you that low end without benefit of a sub. You should probably go out and try to listen to some different speakers if you can. It will give you some ideas about what you like and what you don't in speaker. If you decide to buy a used floorstander (or monitor, for that matter), do be sure the seller takes care about packing and shipping/shipper - they are heavy and easily damaged by poor packing and or handling. A good shipper, and insurance are both good investments. A few questions that might fine tune others responses: What kind of music do you listen to...at what volume...in what size room...which sub do you have...what speakers are you listening to now and what do you like and not like about them?
Hsu sub -- not the greatest... but good enough for my purposes.
The fact that Reynaud uses natural rubber in the surrounds worries me about their durability, though I have high praise for their sound.
I mean, though I have HEARD high praise for their sound.
OK, I think I've found the monitors to go with my Panache setup -- Silverline SR17s. Now I need to find compatible speaker cables. My Goertz Alpha Cores MI1s were dead, the Stealth silver cables I tried were too hard and bright. I need something modestly priced that will offer openness, depth, detail, but with emotive warmth. Suggestions?